Aldermen Approve Purchase of Two Police Vehicles

By ERIC X. VICCARO

eviccaro@stegenherald.com

City of Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen approved vehicle purchases for a pair of departments — as well as engineering services on a water main project among a long list of agenda items last Thursday.

Vehicle purchases are through the state of Missouri’s Cooperative Procurement Program, which allows local governments to order products and services more quickly and efficiently.

Aldermen approved both the first and second reading for the purchase of two police vehicles.

This is a tax-exempt equipment lease through First State Community Bank, with total acquisition price tag of $88,120, according to a packet emailed to the Herald on Feb. 16.

The new police vehicles reportedly will be a pair of 2021 Dodge Durangos, which includes the cost of necessary equipment for both units such as sirens and detailing.

During budget discussions last summer, Ste. Genevieve police chief Eric Bennett indicated his preference for sport utility vehicles over cruisers.

City leaders also approved both readings for the purchase of a 2021 Ford F-350 Supercab 4×4 for the water department from Joe Machens Ford of Columbia.

After the first reading was approved, alderperson Susan Johnson made a motion for a second reading to expedite the process.

The Supercab will be used by Alliance Water Resources as an on-call service vehicle, city administrator Happy Welch reported.

Those weren’t the only purchases the aldermen approved.

The city officially entered a three-year agreement with K&J Landscaping of Ste. Genevieve for lawn mowing and related maintenance services for both Memorial and Crestlawn Cemeteries.

The contract is for $50,400 for its duration, and required city leaders to approve a budget amendment.

City leaders accepted the first reading of a service agreement with the St. Louis-based Forward/Slash Technology, LLC of information technology management services.

Ward 1 Aldermen Gary Smith made a motion for a second reading to move the process along more quickly.

The contract will begin on March 1, at a cost of $3,000 per month plus $125 per hour for additional labor costs. Welch noted the city will be receiving services at a discounted rate.

Forward/Slash also provides IT services to other area communities such as Perryville and Crystal City. Services include the following: a 24-hour help desk and associated monitoring and assisting municipalities with potential future equipment purchases.

Under old business, aldermen approved the second and final reading of an ordinance authorizing professional design services with regionally known Cochran Engineering.

Cochran Engineering will be responsible for drafting a water replacement project on Fourth Street — running between Biltmore and Roberts Streets.

This approval also caused the need for a budget amendment, with a total cost of $32,880.

Welch said the area will need to be surveyed, which includes locating water lines as well as other plans and specifications.

Welch said the goal is to go out for bid on this construction project at some point during early spring.

In a couple more police-related nuggets, aldermen approved a contract for dispatch services through Dec. 31, 2022.

Ward 4 Alderman Joe Prince needed clarification on the contract, noting that dispatching officially runs through St. Francois County.

Even though St. Francois County handles the services, the dispatching contract remains with Ste. Genevieve County.

The total contract for dispatch services is $107,548.00, which helps fund staff salaries and annual operations. The city will make four payments ($26,887 per time) for these said services.

During Welch’s city administrator’s report, he noted Bacon Engineering has produced a specifications book for the upcoming police department-city hall remodeling project.

Welch said bids for the building renovation will be opened in early March. The city has been looking at remodeling its main operations center for the past three years.

All votes at the meeting were unanimous, 7-0, with Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan the only alderman absent from the proceedings.

COVID-19 DISCUSSIONS

COVID-19 (coronavirus) discussions were brief, with Welch mentioning Gov. Mike Parson’s report on the possibility of creating large vaccination sites throughout the state.

The Ste. Genevieve County Health Department and Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital had a joint COVID-19 vaccine registration last Thursday, for a clinic today (Wednesday).

Mayor Paul Hassler reported registration went quickly, lasting just 20 minutes.

The clinic was by appointment only.