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By Mark Evans
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
The Holcim Group (formerly LaforgeHolcim) will put on a free large-item recycling event this fall after all.
County leaders had been under the impression that the event would need to be postponed until next spring. At an Environmental Quality Control Committee meeting the commissioners attended last week, however, they learned that the event is on after all, Saturday, Sept. 30 at the county recycling center.
The event annually draws a huge crowd, with people being able to bring in computers, televisions, printers and other items, as well as paint and other chemicals for free drop-off.
In 2022, 290 vehicles went through the center, dropping off 6.4 tons of material that otherwise could have wound up in a landfill. There were 1,200 pounds of used motor oil collected, along with 6,000 pounds of latex paint, 46 computer monitors and other items like florescent light bulbs, aerosol cans, pool cleaning chemicals.
There is a limit of one free TV and one computer monitor per household. After that, there will be a charge.
While glad that the event is being held, the commissioners were surprised to find out about it at the “last minute,” and were concerned about getting sufficient word out to the public. In the past, they have known about the event a couple of months in advance.
ROAD CREW STAYS BUSY
Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, reported that road crews are getting roads patched and doing other maintenance while the warm weather holds out.
He had no new equipment issues to report.
Calls continue to come in regarding the Misplay Road culvert project. The replacing of a low-water slab with a concrete box culvert was stopped by a flash flood in August. The flood widened the creek banks at the site, requiring more engineering to be done to address the issue, since the purchased culverts would no longer fit without some accommodation. Plans have been drafted and things are moving forward.
“We’re on it,” Presiding Commissioner Randy Ruzicka said. “We’re going as fast as we can go.”
He stressed that, “It will be completed.”
The boulders left in a drainage ditch along River Aux Vases Church Road by a Spectrum subcontractor laying cable have finally been removed.
After blocking the ditch, interfering with mowing and threatening motorists for more than a year, the boulders were finally taken out, Ruzicka reported.
However, the commissioners weren’t entirely sold on the alterative.
A “flowable fill” mixture was placed over the cable.
“The jury is still out” as to whether the fill will be a long-term solution, Ruzicka said. “I’m weary of how long it will last.”
While it will allow storm water to run through the ditch, the fear is the water will also gradually wash away the fill, leaving the cable exposed.
In discussing the situation, the commissioners agreed that all future Spectrum permits for work within the county will be provisional. This will help avoid issues like the ones experienced by some of spectrum’s recent subcontractors, like MasTech, which left the River Aux Vases Church Road mess.
• The commissioners spoke with Gretchen Morse of the Workforce Development Board of Southeast Missouri about finding a replacement board member. It is preferred that the new member be from the private sector, rather than a public official. Industries like transportation, mining, farming and several others would be considered.
• Sheriff Gary Stolzer said he had no issues with the low-bidder for a new courthouse security camera system.
• The subject of the closed Ozora Truck Stop came up again. Ruzicka noted that with the amount of work needed to either restore the facilities currently there, or to raze them and build new, it would probably take a big chain to do so.
• The commissioners signed an annual maintenance agreement for the emergency generators at the courthouse and the road and bridge shed.
• Paperwork was turned in to allow the county to invoice Missouri Division of Agriculture for remomumenting. The process is to perpetuate surveying corners – many original to the 1810s.
If the monument, marking the corner of a piece of property, is destroyed, the position can be reestablished, based on the witness trees. The county has been paying for five to 10 a year, to be done by County Surveyor Gerald “Duck” Bader.