By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Electric cars are coming, sooner or later. Therefore, Ste. Genevieve County commissioners believe the county should be ready to take advantage of their growth in popularity.
They agreed during last Thursday’s meeting that it is time to look into getting charging stations for electric vehicles.
There is a possibility of Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and/or Solid Waste Management District grants being available to help pay for setting up charging stations.
Discussion then took place over whether there would be continued cost involved in operating them or whether customers would pay for using the stations. It was agreed that since the electricity will take the place of gasoline being put into cars, the users should pay.
“The county shouldn’t be paying for it,” Second District Commissioner Randy Ruzicka said. First District Commissioner Karen Stuppy agreed that the customer should pick up the cost.
The commissioners wondered whether the charging stations could be set up to take credit cards, the way gas pumps are today.
SCHMIEDER GIVES YEAR-END REPORT
Road and bridge foreman Scott Schmieder gave his year-end report for 2021.
He used 24,203 tons of maintenance rock – including flood repairs.
He used another 19,019 tons of base rock. Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson reminded him that the maintenance rock and rock for making base for paving jobs needs to be kept separately.
Additionally, 2,581 tons of chips, both for chip and seal paving and force control, were used.
Add to that, 55,618 gallons of oil and 1,139 tons of asphalt.
An additional expense came from 225 road signs being stolen.
Nelson reiterated the serious nature of the sign thefts.
“They don’t realize that missing signs cause emergency vehicles delays in response time,” he said, noting that minutes can make the difference in life and death on many calls and that Google maps and other online direction systems are often wildly inaccurate in rural areas.
“It’s not just the price of the signs,” Nelson said, pointing out that missing intersection and stop signs can lead to potentially fatal crashes. It can also leave a prankster being held criminally responsible if someone dies in a crash due to a sign being stolen.
“They don’t realize that if it can be traced to them, they can be held liable,” Nelson said. “If someone dies, that would be manslaughter.”
Meanwhile, Schmieder reported that parts had come in for Truck 7, a 2011 Freightliner. It was expected to be repaired by the end of the week.
The tar pot, meanwhile, was leaking. Schmieder said he would make an appointment to get it repaired. Nelson stressed the importance of the tar pot, which is used to heat and spread asphalt during paving, being in working order.
“Our whole operation centers around that piece of equipment,” he said.
Schmieder also informed them that the blade edges for snowplow blades are at Viking-Cives in Morley, ready to be picked up. He said he would do so.
Schmieder also reported that he had met with MoDOT personnel regarding upcoming work on Roth Cemetery Road and Coffman Road.
He also said he marked off the county’s 30-foot right of way for a landowner on Charter Church Road. Once all trees that need cutting are removed, the county will be in position to widen and pave a portion of the road.
He said crews have been putting rock on roads and hauling chips to the road and bridge shed.