By MARK EVANS
PERRYVILLE – With only two voting members present at the start and three by the end, the New Bourbon Regional Port Authority Board of Commissioners lacked a quorum on Feb. 24.
Initially, only board president Ron Inman and member Mark Gremaud were there, in addition to the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission’s Jeremy Tanz and Margaret Yates. Later, a third voting member did show up, but that still left the group short of a quorum.
Since an official meeting could not take place, Yates and Inman merely updated the others on some items.
Yates reported that things are finally moving on the port authority’s dolphin/mooring project. She said a pre-construction Zoom meeting would be held today (Wednesday). She also said Newt Marine would be in the harbor sometime in the second half of March, to begin work on the project. Water levels have kept the firm from being able to transport its equipment through the lock and dam system on the Ohio River in Indiana.
The project should be completed by the end of April.
Yates said Newt Marine has the bonding and insurance in place, so it should be ready to start when they arrive.
The expected cost for the project is $453,150. The apparatus will extend into the river and can hold two to three barges at one time.
The subject of ferry transmissions again came up. In December 2018, the Ste. Genevieve-Modoc Ferry had to replace its transmission. Inman found two good options, a reconditioned transmission purchased in St. Louis from TwinDisc, for $13,000, or $20,000 for a factory-rebuilt transmission. All options include a one-year warranty, but only the $13,000 option with TwinDisc had a warranty that did not start until installation. Since the spare transmission is likely to be stored for years before use, the preferred option was the transmission repaired in St. Louis for the lower figure and the more advantageous warranty. The other two warranties would have started at the time of purchase and would likely have expired before the spare is ever needed.
Unfortunately, to get federal funding, the ferry was required to get a brand new transmission.
Yates said she would apply for funding under the Federal Transit Administration’s section 5311, for assistance to passenger ferry operations.
“We’re going to ask them if there’s a way to do that with their money, so if there’s any way possible we can jump through their procurement hoops, they could sole source it,” Yates said. “But we’re going to see if we can use the 5311 money to purchase this.”
“When this one was pulled last year and the other was put in, that transmission, we couldn’t remember how old it was, 10 or 12 or 14 years old.,” Inman said.
Inman said he checked on the price of that $20,000 rebuilt transmission and was pleasantly surprised to find out it had not gone up.
“It kind of surprised me,” he said. “I figured it would go up $1,000 or two. But they said they would stay with that same $20,000 price.”
Yates said she sat through a three-hour workshop about the 5311 grants, which go through the Federal Highway Administration and the Missouri Department of Transportation.
“They’re accepting all of our documentation for reimbursements,” she said.
Inman is hopeful that Yates’ attempts to get funding for the purchase will pay off. The spare transmission could be a lifesaver – especially if transmission trouble should crop up during the busy summer months.
“I think it would be good to have it on the shelf, sitting,” Inman said. “Because the new style transmission we went through is not even available anymore.”
The last replacement was also a backup that Inman had stored for emergencies.
“It sat on the shelf for nearly two years,” he said. “We were lucky it was sitting on the shelf. We were only down for a day when they replaced it.”
FERRY WAS ACTIVEnIN JANUARY
Inman reported that the ferry brought in $7,055 dollars in 26 1/2 days in January, while expenditures for wages were $18,198.
The ferry transported 210 cars, 196 pickups, 13 pieces of farm equipment, six semis, 20 motorcycles and six bicycles, for a total of 1,031 passengers. It also hauled 7,600 gallons of diesel fuel, 50 gallons of gasoline, 94 tons of fertilizer and one 1,300-pound head of livestock.
Inman said the ferry is back in operation after being shut down by the winter storms and temperatures.
INMAN PLEASED WITH ALBERICI
Inman complimented J.S. Alberici Construction Company of St. Louis for its work in completing the metal dock sheeting.
The St. Louis company won the bid, at $474,590, back in March, 2019. The firm began installing sections that fall. However, river levels kept them from being able to complete the project and install sheeting on the dock piers until this winter.
“Alberici did a good job,” Inman said. “They caught that river just right and got underneath and got all that extra bracing in there.”
He added that he felt Alberici “did a hell of a job.”