By MARK EVANS
About two-thirds of the American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) money Ste. Genevieve County received has been committed to various projects.
Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson went over the figures during last Thursday’s county commission meeting.
The county received $3,475,700 dollars of the federal money. It has committed $2,273,035 to various projects. That leaves a balance of $1,203,665.
The commissioners and just approved $30,025.50 of it to go to Public Water Supply District No. 1 for a new water tower.
The first of the COVID-19-related funding had come in early 2021, when the county got $2,099,323 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money.
LITTLE CAN BE DONE
Bob Kluender of the county health department reported on the trailer court off of Routes OO and DD. The commissioners had been looking into the situation for some time. Some residents have gone all summer with no running water and do not feel they have gotten any cooperation from the landlord.
Kluender said that without county-wide planning and zoning, his hands are really tied. Prosecuting Attorney Wayne Williams has written the owner letters. One was delivered by a deputy. However, Kluender said that the owner insists the tenants should pay to repair leaking pipes.
Kluender obtained a copy of the lease, in which the landlord agreed to provide water. It adds that he is not responsible for large overages for the water bill. The landlord argues that a bad pipe caused the water bill for the trailer court to spike from about $250 to over $800 on month. Apparently, that was when he shut the water off.
The commissioners all expressed distress at the thought of families going all winter without water and having to send children to school without even being able to wash their hands.
He said the tenants’ best resort would probably be to try to get a lawyer and file a civil suit. He also suggested that a nonprofit or church group might be able to help in the mean time.
LIGHTING NEEDED IN STAIRWELL
The need for better lighting in the courthouse stairwell also came up. The stairs are dimly lit and the addition of new, dark-colored flooring has made the bottom step an added danger.