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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Plans to install an electric vehicle charging station at Main Street Park are moving ahead.
The Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen gave tacit approval at a work session last Thursday for City Administrator Happy Welch to pursue the plan.
Welch reported that he had received an estimate of $12,900 from ArchKey Solutions for the stations. I twill cost the city another $3,000 or so to prepare area with concrete and retaining wall blocks.
The $12,900 was not budgeted and will have to come out of American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) money intended for another project or from elsewhere in the budget.
“We did not budget for all that,” Welch said. “I don’t want to spend that money unless the board wants me to see if I can find some ARPA money or another area to pull that money from.
“It can be ARPA funds. It depends on what we want to pull it from that we budgeted for or if we have some left over. At this point I don’t have any left over except a little bit of stormwater money. But that may be involved with some other items because we have another survey still coming for stormwater.
“I can double check what we have, go over our numbers on ARPA again, and at least it doesn’t impact general fund or park fund.”
Ward 4 Alderman Mike Raney said he didn’t think it would be appropriate to use any stormwater funds for the charging stations.
Welch said he could put the electrical work out for bids locally and see if the price comes down any. The current bid should be good for about 90 days.
He said just the $15,000 for purchasing the equipment had been budgeted.
“We thought it would be a little easier than what it turned out to be,” he added.
He noted that in going with ChargePoint, one of the more reputable EV charging manufacturers, the company has certain standards for installing the devices.
NEW CITY HALL SIGN
Welch said that the old city hall sign was taken down to be temporarily hung at the temporary city hall (44 Plaza Lane), but was broken in the process.
“I didn’t like it that well anyway,” Welch said. “So I’m looking for something that would be a little more appropriate and I think easier to read for those that are walking or driving. The one up on the building above the door was difficult to see.”
Welch showed the aldermen a proposed new sign and a drawing of possible landscaping to be done.
“The city has actually done some of the stuff that was here by putting in the flower beds on each side, and then the pole was right in front of the wall,” he said. “We would have to move our sister city sign somewhere else on the building or on the wall.”
He suggested an old-style sign hanging out from the wall on an arm. He said that would help boost the city’s image.
“We could then have a sign out front of the building that I think is appropriate for city hall and would dress the place up,” he said.
Ward 1 Alderman Patrick Fahey agreed.
“I think it sends a powerful message about us as a city,” Fahey said, “the way City Hall presents itself, and have a dumpy little sign out there, people think it’s a dumpy little town.”
“I think that dresses it up,” Welch said. “I think it’s appropriate to the character that we’re trying to portray for the downtown.”
The possibility of a light shining on the sign was also discussed.
It was agreed that they would “get into it a little deeper” in the near future.
Welch asked the board how it wanted to handle city hall furniture that would not be needed after the renovations are finished.
Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan asked how many pieces of surplus furniture there would be.
“Every one of the cubicles that you see in this facility is unneeded,” Welch said.
Some of the furniture has a place to go. Old desks in the police department will go to Public Works, etc.
Welch said they could always pay an extra month rent on Plaza Lane after moving back, and have it as a sort of “show room” for interested buyers to look over the unneeded furniture.”
“I would say if we can’t make money, we shouldn’t lose money,” Ward 2 Alderman Eric Bennett said. “I wouldn’t be opposed to just throwing it out if it’s surplus and nobody else needs it.”
“Maybe just advertise it that we’ve got it and see if anybody puts any offers out for it, or donate it,” Ward 3 Alderman Joe Steiger said.
Welch also asked
If it is given away, Welch asked whether it should be restricted to a non-profit organization.
Donovan suggested trying to sell it and use any money obtained for Christmas lights, or even to help pay for the new city hall sign.
Welch said he would draw up a resolution to declare the items “surplus” and be pursing options to sell it.