Aldermen Agree That Basler Drive Extension Is Worth Pursuing
By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Ste. Genevieve aldermen agree that working with the county to extend Basler Drive is worth pursuing.
City Administrator Happy Welch told the board of aldermen about potential plans for the project during a work session following last Thursday night’s regular meeting.
Welch said he did not want to commit the city to working with the county on a plan to extend Basler and to seek funding for it, unless the group was on board.
“If we’re going to pursue this, with the county’s help, are you okay with an extension of Basler Drive?” he asked.
The plan is to extend Basler Drive from where it dead-ends just past First Baptist Church and take it south, all the way to connect with Progress Parkway.
The city has obtained land along that route from the Church of Ste. Genevieve that could then be developed as a subdivision.
One option that had been discussed was extending Parkwood Drive to Progress Parkway and curving Basler to connect with it. It was agreed, though, that Basler Drive would be better to extend than Parkwood.
Welch also reported that financial help may be available to aid the project.
“Economic development funding may be available for the Basler Road extension for multiple reasons because it would be economic development; it would connect the north-south route to connect with Progress Parkway and 61,” Welch said. “But, it would also serve the point of emergency vehicles having access to both directions. So, instead of having to go out to 32 and around, this would connect them together.”
The city, county and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have discussed the project, with the aim of developing a new subdivision in that part of town, to offer. Working together, there seems to be a good possibility of getting some money to help pay for the project.
“They feel there’s a strong case to extend Basler Drive,” Welch said. “We don’t have a subdivision plat to go by at this point, but we could look at putting it in, keeping in mind what the dimensions would need to be for plats along that stretch of the property.”
Welch also suggested that this could make things smoother for a future developer in that part of town.
The safety aspect of connecting the roadways is also a key. Emergency vehicles could get to various points quicker by cutting across an extended Basler Drive.
“The justification is they could do that with economic development money because of the emergency service part of it,” Welch said, “and we’re boosting the chance of getting singe-family dwellings and getting a subdivision started.”
Ward 4 Alderwoman Ashley Armbruster asked whether the city would also plan on putting sidewalks along the extended road, to improve “walkability.” Welch said that had not yet been discussed. There was general consensus among the board and Hassler that sidewalks, whether done by the city, or as a requirement for subdivision developers, would be a big benefit.
Another item on the work session agenda was prioritizing stormwater improvements.
Welch and the board discussed which spots should be priorities to address. It was agreed that the northwestern part of town, down to the South Gabouri Creek, should be a priority. A second one would be Rozier Subdivision, south, where it collects by Shuh and Sons Heating and Cooling. The third would be International Subdivision.
Those three priorities were priced at $26,520. The city has a chunk of federal American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) money to spend by the end of 2024, that can be used.
“We’ve got $62,000 allocated of ARPA money allocated,” Welch said. “What other areas would you like us to look at?”
He pointed out that these would take less than half the ARPA money.
“We know those three will fit,” Welch said. “What else?”
“When we started talking about these other areas, I heard from several people at Washington and Second, in that area, wondering why they were not getting looked at.”
“I think that’s a good area to look at Mayor Paul Hassler said.
Welch mentioned the sinkholes in the Point Basse area.