By ERIC X. VICCARO
During the spring, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) installed new signage along the levee.
But, what’s next?
Those were some of the discussions during the Levee District 3 meeting this past Tuesday at city hall. The meeting covered 45 minutes.
Levee board president Vern Bauman told his fellow members he received messages from local historian Robert Mueller and Ste. Genevieve Parks and Recreation board member John Karel with several concerns.
Both Karel and Mueller told Bauman there were no signs marking boundaries on the levee.
Signs are needed stating private property areas beyond the area that will be conveyed to the USFWS.
Another sign is needed explaining that vehicles are not allowed on the levee, except for those used by levee personnel.
Mayor Paul Hassler said the levee board needs to “create awareness” on the matter, and he urged them to talk with USFWS before moving forward.
The board also discussed that the wildlife service will ultimately make the decision on whether the land will still be used for agricultural purposes.
City administrator Happy Welch told the board to make sure it has easements, in order to cross this area for general maintenance work.
Levee district supervisor Norman Gallup called local railroad authorities to see if they would keep the gate at the north end always locked.
Gallup called it a “dangerous area,” and no one should be trespassing in that area.
Board member Tom Okenfuss said Todd Bauman approached him about possibly contracting out for dirt screening services.
The levee board would be able to profit off the dirt sold, as explained in minutes provided to the Herald.
One of the new signs has been posted at the bottom of the levee near the city public waste disposal site off Division Street.
The sign welcomes recreation enthusiasts to the “Ste. Genevieve Levee Wildlife Refuge,” the latest in a series of similar areas along the Mississippi River.