By ERIC X. VICCARO
The Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen plowed through a work session last Thursday night – under the cover of cellphone flashlights.
“The lights were flashing for 15 minutes, and then the lights went out,” Ste. Genevieve city administrator Happy Welch said. “We kept going.”
City clerk Pam Meyer took minutes while her cellphone flashlight was on, and the darkened meeting also was captured on Ste. Genevieve Spectrum Cable Channel 991.
The main topic at this hour-long work session was the possibility of Alliance Water Resources operating the city’s streets and parks departments — in addition to carrying on with the water/sewer contract.
At this point, it’s a forgone conclusion Alliance will continue with water and sewer department operations, with the first reading passed during the regular meeting.
However, the street and parks departments are another matter entirely.
The public was welcome to make any comments; however, none were presented to the board of aldermen in this open forum.
Several aldermen gave a blow-by-blow, scoreboard-like accounts of what they heard from constituents in each of the wards.
Ward 4 Aldermen Joe Prince said he has been sitting on the fence.
“I’m not ready to make a decision,” he said. “There’s a lot at stake.”
Later in the meeting, Ward 2 Aldermen Bob Donovan said he was ready to vote that night. However, he agreed with Prince that this was a difficult decision-making process.
Ward 3 Alderman Mike Raney asked Welch if the city has the resources to make a street/parks contract work with Alliance. Welch said there is a budget to work with.
Mayor Paul Hassler said, with all due respect to Alliance, he was against giving them a street and parks contract. However, Hassler also said it’s ultimately going to be the board of aldermen’s decision.