By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Several entities approached the Ste. Genevieve County Commission last Thursday, either seeking money or soliciting advice on how to get funding for important needs.
Representatives of Levee District No. 3, Lake Forest housing development, and Ste. Genevieve tourism all visited during Thursday’s meeting, seeking help.
Mark Basler and Bruce Giesler of Lake Forest spoke to the commission about issues the lake development is having with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR demands that Lake Forest install a new sewer system by October 2023, or face crippling fines and an eventual shutdown.
Basler explained the situation. They received a grant for $290,000 to put in sewer meters. However, the price of those meters has since shot up to $397,552.
Add to that, a fence needs to be built around the water tower, with a lockable gate. Plus, the United States Department of Agriculture is now demanding one year’s worth of interest and principal payments this year on a 35-year loan, another $280,000.
“The bottom line is, we need more money,” Basler said.
He explained that for 50 years, residents have gotten water at no charge. Since the development had been facing some of these additional costs, a monthly $42 water fee had been started for each household. Basler said he feared the increased demands might force them to double that to $85 a month. He said that would definitely not to go over well.
They wondered if some of the county’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, given out following the COVID-19 pandemic, might be available.
“We want to receive guidance from you on what we need to do,” Basler said.
“And we want to help you get it,” Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said. It was estimated that some 1,100 people live in Lake Forest. Nelson noted that that makes it the county’s seconds-largest community.