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Port Authority Expects Project To Start Soon

By MARK EVANS

mevans@stegenherald.com

Work should begin soon on installing the New Bourbon Port Authority’s new dolphin/mooring system.

Margaret Yates of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission (SEMO RPC) reported that Newt Marine, the company doing the installation, is on its way.

Water levels had kept the firm from being able to transport its equipment through the lock and dam system on the Ohio River in Indiana.

Once Newt arrives, it should be about a 30-day project.

Yates had said during the February meeting that Newt Marine has the bonding and insurance in place, so it should be ready to start when it arrives.

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.

Yates said around $390,000 of Missouri Department of Transportation funds are available to help pay for it. With other funding sources, more than enough money will be on hand for the project, she said.

Yates said she discovered during a phone call  with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that additional money was coming. Federal compensation had been received for the most recent dredging of the port, as part of the overall project. She was informed that about $50,000 from the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) was also forthcoming.

INMAN REPORTS ON FERRY

Chair Ronnie Inman reported that the Ste. Genevieve-Modoc Ferry lost 13 operating days in February. It brought in $3,545 and had expenses of $20,709, for a net loss of $17,164.

He said the snow and frigid weather  during the middle of the month shut them down. Ice on the river was part of the issue. They were down Feb. 13-22 due to that.

“As cold as it was, I don’t think anybody would have been moving anything anyway,” he added.

Inman said that during the severe cold, the ferry was started, to let the engine run, twice a day.

He also noted that they paid one of the pilot two days pay for going to Memphis, Tennessee, to renew his certification.

The ferry transported 113 cars, 116 pickups, one piece of farm equipment, one semi truck, four bicycles, two motorcycles, eight other trucks and eight  pedestrians, for a total of 606 passengers.

Three bulls, totalling 3,600 pounds, 800 gallons of diesel fuel, 450 gallons of gasoline ad 600 gallons of oil were also hauled.

Inman said a backhoe was going to be used to clean trash out of the harbor.

Now he is having to constantly keep watch on the Chester, Illinois and St. Louis river stages, which have been fluctuating considerably.

He said that by the first of this week, if the floating trash issue isn’t too bad the ferry should be able to run.

“We’re hoping to run Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

He noted that the projections have been two to three feet high higher than actual crests lately. If this is the case again, with the 28-foot predicted height for this Tuesday, operating would be no problem.

“I didn’t think it rained that much this time,” he said, “unless it did further north. I’m hoping we don’t have to shut down because the river’s going to fall right back down.”

DNR PERSONNEL PAYS VISIT

Yates said someone from the Poplar Bluff office of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) contacted her about the port authority’s DNR air permit.

“We’re in good shape on it,” Yates said. “They want to have a lot more information on it.”

Inman said the individual also visited the ferry.

“He asked a lot of questions,” Inman said, but noted that the man “left happy.”

INSURANCE IS DISCUSSED

Board member Mark Gremaud asked who handles the port authority’s liability insurance. Inman  informed him it  is Marsh McLennan Agency.

Gremaud suggested looking into adding an equipment failure policy. He said his place of employment had such a policy through Lakenan Insurance and that it overed $122,000 of a $250,000 repair.

Inman agreed it would be worth looking into.