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By Mark Evans
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Storm water issues were again a topic of concern when the Sate. Genevieve Board of Aldermen held a work session following the Aug. 24 meeting.
Duke Bleckler of 744 Rozier has complained that the stormwater swale behind his house that runs toward Valle Springs Park has silted in and no longer properly drains stormwater from yards, as it flows from Highway 61, a trailer park behind his street and a stormwater pipe the city installed along Highway M.
He would like the city to clean out the ditch like it did about 10 years ago. City records, however, show that the city only has a six-foot sewer easement there, not big enough to bring in equipment to do the work. It also appears that much of the stormwater area is on an adjacent mobile home court. The owner is not willing to clean out the ditch. Both would like the city to tend to the ditch.
“The problem is we don’t have a stormwater easement behind that property and we generally don’t do improvements on private property,” City Administrator Happy Welch told the board.
Bleckler is hoping to see the city dig out a foot or two, then re-rock it and clean it up.
“As much as I’m always in favor of helping a home owner but, we did have a similar thing to this a while back, in back of where the Subway building is,” Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan sad, “That whole ditch there was caving in and we didn’t do anything then, and we had in the past. I’m not sure how we approach these: one at a time, or do we….”
Ward Alderman Joe Prince said perhaps they should have had city Attorney Mark Bishop, who left after the regular meeting, stay for the work session. He said Bishop was the one who advised them in the past not to work on private property, “because then it does become ours.”
Welch clarified that if the city did the work, they would have to get a stormwater easement first and that the city would then be responsible for it.
“We could probably do it temporary, but they’re going to expect it in the future,” he said.
“It affects a lot of people and probably more water coming,” Ward 3 Alderman Joe Steiger said. “I don’t know what it looks like with a three-inch rain.”
Concern was expressed over going forward on it without Bishop’s advice.
“I think it probably has to be done,” Steiger said.
Donovan pointed out that gas, electric and other buried lines and wires would have to be located first.