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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Ste. Genevieve County commissioners agreed to continue paying their percentage (about 57%) of the annual $550,000 fee to support 911 dispatching services.
Jason Schott, a member of the new 911tax board, made the request at last Thursday’s commission meeting.
The new 3/8 of 1% sales tax is expected to bring in more than $600,000 a year, which should eventually fund the services.
However, the 911 board is not yet ready to cut the cord.
The infrastructure project should be done by 2025, including installing new towers. Schott, also a county deputy and president of the Senate Bill 40 board, said the 911 board would probably need help” for three to five years. Once the infrastructure work is done, it shouldn’t take long for the tax to become self-supporting.
“We don’t really have a choice,” Presiding commissioner Randy Ruzicka said.
Schott noted that current equipment is more than 30 years old and outdated. In newer, better-built buildings, emergency personnel have trouble communicating with dispatch personnel. The goal of the upgrades is to give emergency personnel 90-95% coverage everywhere in the county, on hand-held devices.
PAVING WORK CONTINUES
Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, reported that paving was nearly done on Coffman and Avon roads. Frye Road would be next. He said issues were taken care of on Smith, which is scheduled for paving, as well.
The road and bridge crew began working its summer schedule of four 10-hour days each week. Schmieder said the part-time summer helpers had started and were doing well.
Mowing and duropatching were also being done.
Schmieder said everything is lined out for the July low-water slab replacements on Cave Road. Concrete box culverts will replace both slabs.
The target date is the second week of July.
“You’re getting a lot done,” Ruzicka told him, adding that, “Things are going great.”
Schmieder said that with the weather good, and no storm or flash flood damage to repair, he “can fly through things.”
The commissioners agreed that it is not too early to start “getting a game plan together,” in First District Commissioner Karen Stuppy’s words, for 2024 paving priorities.
CHESTNUT ACRES STILL NOT READY
Earlier in the week, the commissioners and Schmieder visited Chestnut Acres Subdivision, to see progress that had been made on their roads. Residents haammissioners have told them that roads must be up to county specs before they can even consider taking them over. That includes having a good base, being at least 18 feet wide on dead ends and 20 feet wide on through roads, plus having good drainage ditches.
The commissioners agreed that considerable progress had been made since their last visit. However, more improvements would still be needed before the county could consider the possibility of taking over the roads. Among the issues was standing water at one intersection. Also, not all easements had been obtained.
MEETING REPORTS ARE GIVEN
Reports were given on a couple of recent meeting the commissioners attended.
Second District Commissioner Mark Marberry reported on the recent New Madrid Regional Port Authority board meeting in Perryville. The Ste. Genevieve-Modoc Ferry has been back in operation since May 18 and board chairman Ronnie Inman was hopeful that a $225,000 grant from the state of Illinois may be received, in addition to the annual $88,000 stipend Missouri pays the ferry.
It was reported that five barges of fracking sand from NexGen Silica had been loaded ad that a dredge would be on site on June 10. It would have to wait to start dredging until sometime in July, to avoid interrupting the spawning season for various fish species.
Stuppy reported on a recent university of Missouri Extension board meeting. A “chicken chip raffle” will be held to raise money for youth projects. Three employers took part in the extension’s recent job fair.