By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Work continues to be done, getting the county fairgrounds ready for the 2022 fair next weekend.
“It’s crunch time,” First District Commissioner Karen Stuppy said, in discussing the last-minute work.
Carpenters finished replacing boards on bleachers and the addition to the livestock barn was completed.
It was noted that the issue of old tires on the property would be discussed at that night’s fair board meeting.
Second District Commissioner Randy Ruzicka said he had gotten compliments from neighboring property owners who appreciates the grounds being cleaned up.
It was agreed that they would inquire about borrowing the community center’s Gator for use during the fair.
The fair, under the management of the reconstituted fair board, will be this Friday through Sunday. (See separate story.) The commissioners had been striving this winter and spring to get the fairgrounds in better shape for the new board.
Bridges and the state’s Off-system Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (BRO) grant program again came up. Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson has long bemoaned what he considers to be the program’s collapse. Money goes to counties for bridge repair and replacement. Ste. Genevieve County used to be able to fix and replace a number of bridges with BRO help. Continuously changing requirements, however, have virtually shut the county out of the program. In recent years, however, eligibility for bridges has drastically changed. The county gas some $150,000 in BRO money, but no bridges that currently quality – except the historic Franklin Bridge, in St. Mary.
The county would like to see the Fourth Street bridge by Ste. Genevieve City Hall and/or the North Main bridge near the old mill replaced.
Nelson said he would talk to Happy Welch, Ste. Genevieve city administrator, and see if the city is interested in working together to pursue a grant for either of those bridges.
The idea also came up of seeing whether the program might cover replacing low-water slabs on Ditch Road with either bridges or concrete box culverts.
Nelson called the $150,000, “money we can’t spend elsewhere,” and said, “We don’t want to flush it away.” He later added that the state “has butchered up a good program.”
CHARGE STATIONS BEING LOOKED INTO
The subject of charging stations for electric vehicles was again brought up. Nelson planned to meet with Welch on Friday and said they would discuss that topic, as well.
Various locations were mentioned, including the Welcome Center, the community center, and Ozora.