By MARK EVANS
Patience has run out for Mastec and other contractors Spectrum has been using to lay high-speed internet cable.
In both St. Francois and Ste. Genevieve County, officials have been displeased, as has the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
The contractors – especially Mastec – have blocked lanes on county and state roads without having flagmen, have installed pedestals on private property without permission and have left messes on private and county property.
The Ste. Genevieve County Commission was ready last Thursday to pull Spectrum’s permits for laying cable on county roads. The commissioners were just waiting to confer with attorneys to make sure they would be on firm legal grounds to do so.
Spectrum personnel have visited the commissioners before, promising to straighten out the contractors. The permits issued state that the land involved must be left the way it was found. This has not been the case, with rocks and trash, in addition to pedestals being put in drainage ditches and other county property where crews need to mow. The pedestals and the crews’ failure to bury the wire at least two feet as agreed will also present problems during snow removal this winter.
“They just don’t follow through with their subcontractors,” Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said
“It’s a mess,” Second District Commissioner Randy Ruzicka agreed.
It was also mentioned that a motorcycle accident took place on Highway O that may have been connected with the activities.
It was agreed that in the future, a cash bond may be required before such permits are issued.
THREE ‘BRIDGES’ FOR $154,000
The commissioners continued to express pleasure over the recent installation of three concrete box culverts on Cave Road.
They were impressed with the way Sanford Roth’s SR Bobcat & Dumptruck, Budrovich Crane Rentals and the county road and bridge crew worked together to remove the old low-water slabs and replace them with concrete box culverts from McCann Concrete with minimal disruption to traffic.
“I don’t know how you could have asked for it to go better,” Ruzicka said.
They were also happy with the final price.
A couple of delays at the worksite had raised concern that additional fees might be added. They were not added, however, leaving about $33,000 due to S & R, about $21,000 to Budrovich and about $100,000 to McCann for the three culverts.
Nelson said he was “amazed” to get what essentially are three new bridges, for a total of $154,000. Had actual “bridges” been built, with engineering fees and additional MoDOT and other guidelines to follow, the total would have been tremendously higher.
FLOOD DAMAGE TO THE SOUTH
Road and Bridge Foreman Scott Schmieder reported that some roads were damaged by a mid-week flash flood. He said it was mainly limited to the southern end of the county. Boyd Road had about two feet of water over it at 4 a.m., he said. Crews had to take time repairing those roads before getting back to their other jobs.
Schmieder reported that the leased tractor for the summer was going to cost $6,900,up from $6,600 a year ago.