By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
With spring nearly here, the Ste. Genevieve Road and Bridge Department is trying to wrap up some loose ends before diving into the 2022 paving season.
Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson mentioned to Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman at last Thursday’s commission meeting that prep work had not yet begun on Charter Church Road, the first paving project.
That led him to consider putting cleanup work at the county fairgrounds out as part of a bid for fairgrounds work instead of having the road crew take care of it.
“You could add a day of work at the fairgrounds in the bid,” he said. “Now it’s time to prep roads.”
“It may be more efficient to contract it out,” Second District Commissioner Randy Ruzicka said. “There’s plenty to do.”
The commissioners had wanted to get the fairgrounds cleaned up and free of trash for the new fair board, who assumed duty late in February.
Some trees need to be removed first. It was agreed that a price quote would be requested from Todd Faulkner Tree Service, who has done work for the county before.
Meanwhile, Schmieder said his crew was prepared for predicted snow last Friday.
“We’re about as geared up as we can get,” he said.
While it did snow the next day, there was no accumulation.
Meanwhile, the commissioners were planning on attending a meeting in Perryville last Friday that would feature Dru Buntin, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Nelson said he intended to ask about any upcoming grants to help purchase new trucks.
The county has taken advantage of Diesel Reduction Act (DERA) and Volkswagen Clean Air Act grants to replace two of their older dump trucks with newer, more environmentally friendly trucks.
The DERA program paid for 25 percent of a new truck, when evidence was produced that the old truck had been rendered inoperable.
Schmieder also reported that the road and bridge tar pot – used for heating and distributing tar during chip and seal paving – will cost $7,795 to repair.
“With what we put that through, that’s not bad,” Nelson said.
It was agreed that the essential piece of equipment is needed and must be repaired.
Schmieder also updated the commission on roadwork. He said Jackson School Road needed ditch work. The ideal solution would be to cut the road and stick a pipe under it. The idea of tearing up a paved road is intimidating. However, it may need to be done.
“I think it needs to be fixed right,” he said. “We don’t like to cut asphalt, but we don’t want to fix things halfway and have to come back and do it again in five years.”
Schmieder said repair work had also been done on Boyd Road, where heavy rains had caused some damage.
Schmieder said he would meet a Hagar Road resident about a driveway complaint. One resident had complained that water is being directed onto his property. The commissioners believe a new driveway is the reason, not county roadwork. Nelson called it “a civil matter,” between the two property owners.