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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Patrick Fahey, an owner of the Main Street Inn and Ste. Genevieve Antique Mall, was sworn in as the new Ward 1 alderman at the start of last Thursday’s Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen meeting.
Fahey will finish the term of Gary Smith, who resigned this summer. He will serve until the April municipal election.
Fahey’s first meeting was a fairly short one, lasting just over half an hour. Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan, board president, ran the meeting in the absence of Mayor Brian Keim.
It included the passage on first reading of an ordinance approving a memorandum of agreement with Alliance Water Resources, incorporating a 3.0% increase in fees for public works management and operations services. The price is now $1,510,040 for fiscal year 2024, in payments of $125,837 a month.
Donovan asked City Administrator Happy Welch what the history of price increases had been. Welch told him usually between 2.4% and 2.7%. Last year it had risen 3.6%.
During the meeting, Welch reported that street paving was underway. Some issues had arisen, though, when Jokerst Inc. discovered that gravel would need to be added to driveways on Weiler Street, due to increased street elevation. Also, Jokerst cannot mill the western portion of Linn Drive because it is concrete.
Welch indicated the problems might cost an additional $23,000.
He also reported that he and Mayor Keim are on a committee, along with the Chamber of Commerce, the county and business owners, to investigate options for holding an April 7-8, 2024 eclipse event.
He noted that during the total eclipse event in 2017, the city provided insurance coverage for parking lot owners, transportation and event locations. He asked if the board wished to do so again.
No one had any issues with doing so again in 2024.
Fire Chief Kenny Steiger reported that the department responded to 33 emergency calls in August, giving it 186 for the year. Last year there were 229 calls the entire year.
He said the roster is down by five people. Volunteers to for an applicant list are still being sought.
In giving the tourism report, Welch said that they were about to start the second round of interviews for tourism director. He hopes to have the position filled by the first of October.
He said he is working with Perryville on setting up a three-day joint bus tour that highlights our historic buildings and the wineries.
The board also passed the second reading of an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into a Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission easement for upgrading pedestrian facilities along Route M.
The first reading of a budget amendment to the fiscal year 2023 budget was passed on first reading.
Additionally, the board passed on first and second reading an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the county 911 tax board for 911 dispatching services.