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City Looks At Sidewalk Expansion; Two Phases Expected


During a brief special meeting last Thursday, the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen looked at getting American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and Transpiration Alternative Plan (TAP) financing for projects.

City Administrator Happy Welch said that the ARPA funding being sought to help pay for water line replacement, has been “narrowed down to a couple of generators for wells and water mains that we’ve looked at improving, over on Rozier, LayHaye Roberts.”

“Those are probably our worst lines, oldest lines, the cast iron, they have more breaks than the others,” he said. They will be the first priority for 2023, using ARPA and reserve funds.

The projects would be about $1.5 million, including engineering.

Welch said that Cochran Engineering, the firm handling the city’s water line replacement and maintenance program, recommends that engineering fees not be included in the funding request. Welch holds a different view, however.

“By not including that, we end up with more money out of our reserves,” Welch said, “and I just don’t think I want to go that far, yet.”

On the TAP grant, to extend a sidewalk down St. Mary’s Road, Welch said there is an issue in figuring out the city’s right of way and how much space there is to work with.

“The issue that we bumped into, on our GIS, you can look at St. Mary’s Lane, you know it’s 50 feet wide,” he said. “Then it works its way past Seraphin and then towards Main Street. Main Street is 36 feet wide.”

The problem, he said is at Seraphin, where it was not certain whether the city had a 36-or 50-foot right of way.

“There’s a portion that could be 50, but we’re not really sure,” Welch said. “So the issue with putting a sidewalk in we’d end up with a narrow road that we would need to get some easement or right away.”

He said one property owner in that stretch has already refused to grant a right of way.

“That kind of stops us from working our way up Seraphin,” Welch said. “We can not do the project – wait a couple of more years and do some surveying and find out exactly what that road entails from Seraphin  back to Main Street.”

The other option, Welch said, would be to cut the current project down and go from Seraphin to Hillside (also known as Terrace Heights). This would take the sidewalk all the way through the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park and on past the Bequette-Ribault House.