By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Ste. Genevieve County commissioners are pondering how to best organize a new county fair board.
The commissioners had previously decided it was time to reformulate the fair board in accordance with state statutes. During last Thursday’s commission meeting, they discussed ideas of what that could look like.
The initial plan is for the commission to appoint five members. Those five would then appoint four “at-large” members. They would continue to answer to the county commission.
Having representatives of various groups involved with or impacted by the fair seems like a feasible path.
The commissioners agreed that the university of Missouri Extension Office should be represented, along with the local 4-H program.
It was also suggested that the city of Ste. Genevieve – either an elected official and/or a police officer – should have representation, along with the R-II School District,who owns some of the land around the fairgrounds.
The Chamber of Commerce was also mentioned as a possible entity to be represented. So was the commission itself, although it was agreed that just maintaining a liaison person from the commission to attend meetings as is done now, might be the best track.
The commissioners will meet with Ivan Schraeder, the attorney who represents the county, to seek his input on setting up the framework.
The fair board operation and selection has been largely informal in the past, with board members tending to select new members themselves. The commissioners want to see the process comply with state statutes.
HUGE TREE MUST GO
The commission also voted to seek bids for removal of the huge old maple tree, between the Chamber of Commerce office and the courthouse. Thought to be at least 100 years old, the tree is still blooming, but seems to be nearing the end of its life.
Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said he hates to see the tree go, but that it is beginning to threaten the chamber building and other things.
“It’s doing damage to the foundation of the building, to the sidewalk and to a rock wall,” Nelson said. “Plus, there is increasing danger of limbs falling onto the roof.”
It was agreed that merely removing the limbs most likely to threaten the chamber building wouldn’t be feasible. An advertisement, seeking bids for removing the tree is in this edition of the Herald.
MORE ROAD SIGNS ARE MISSING
Road and bridge foreman Scott Schmieder reported that more than 150 road signs have been stolen during 2021. That has cost the county taxpayers more than $7,500 in material, alone.
“That’s money that could be spent patching roads,” Nelson said.
The commissioners continue to be aghast at the lack of thought given by sign thieves.
The county was nearly sued two years ago when an accident took place before a stolen stop sign could be replaced. Road signs being stolen can be almost as dangerous.
“They’re not looking at the big picture,” Nelson said. “Ambulances and fire personnel depend on those signs in emergencies. You can’t rely on google maps to find places. “
He noted that a few minutes lost time in finding a critically ill or injured patient can make the difference in life and death.
He also reported that Truck 7, a 2011 Freightliner, was in Wentzville, having its transmission repaired.
He said he should have four trucks available to haul chips for the chip and seal paving of Saline Creek Road. He said he hoped to do it this Tuesday, if weather cooperates.
He also said the department’s new 3,000-gallon water tank has a crack. It should still be under warranty.
Meanwhile, crews have been running the bat wing mower.
Schmieder said they are also finishing Straughn, Burke and Ross Cemetery roads. Dry Fork and Mill Creek will follow.
He also said the goal is to install a new box culvert on Kocher Road by the end of September.
ROADS TOO NARROW
The commissioners and Schmieder examined two private roads, Terry Lee and Oak Drive (off of valley View) after inquiries were made into the possibility of them being taken over by the county.
The roads have “so many issues,” in Second District Commissioner Randy Ruzicka’s words, with spots only 13 feet wide, a bridge 14 feet wide and nowhere wider than 18 feet. They also look sufficient bases and drainage ditches and are overgrown.
Nelson said that “we sympathize” with any residents who had been told by contractors that the roads would later be taken over by the county.
County policy demand 20-foot wide roads, sufficient ditches, right of way along the roads and adequate base under the road.
“Once a county takes a road on it’s liable for floods, accidents, you name it,”Nelson said.