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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Rather than spend somewhere in the $200,000 ballpark on a new dump truck, Ste. Genevieve County will try to squeeze another several years out of its oldest truck.
Truck 4, a 2010 International, will need a complete engine overhaul, estimated at $14,848.
Scott Schmieder, county road and bridge foreman, gave the report to the county commissioners last Thursday.
He had initially hoped it might just need a head gasket replaced. It had been blowing out antifreeze.
“You’re not going to get another truck that size for $15,000,” Presiding Commissioner Randy Ruzicka said.
It could also use a new bed, which should run about $20,000.
That still makes repairing old No 4 financially preferable.
“I think we can squeeze another 10 years out of it,” Schmieder said. He estimated that it would only take two to five years of continued use to get the money back on the repairs.
While the truck is being worked on, it was agreed to have the diesel exhaust fluid filter freshened. The work is being done at C & B Diesel in Jackson.
Meanwhile, Schmieder reported that his crew would be cutting trees and limbs and working in the shop.
He said they would also be gearing up for possible snow this Tuesday.
COUNTY WILL KEEP
The commissioners voted to drop out of the John Deere grader buyback program. When the county got the latest grader from Erb Equipment in July 2019, the purchase price was $248,138, with a guaranteed buyback price of $117,000 in July 2024.
This, of course, will save some $250,000.
LOOKING AT 2023 TOTALS
Schmieder went over year-end figures with the commissioners.
In 2023, the road and bridge department used 207 tons of regular rock, 54,070 tons of base rock and 48,106 gallons of oil and 2,610 tons of chips (including salt) for roads.
Additionally, there were 157 regular roads signs stolen, plus six stop signs.
The commissioners have frequently warned of the dangers of sign theft. Not only do the stolen signs cost the county several thousand dollars a year to replace, their theft can also be deadly.
Obviously the stolen stop signs create a real hazard, and in one instance involved the county in a lawsuit over a 2019 accident at an intersection with a missing stop sign.
The stolen road signs can also be dangerous, causing critical delays in ambulance fore or law enforcement personnel arriving on a scene.
• A small Solid Waste District grant will be pursued for the county recycling center building. A larger grant can be pursued in the future.
• The county mental health board has three terms expiring. Dale Kraenzle does not want to continue serving, while Melissa Otto and Jackie Bauman do. The commissioners discovered that Otto had already been appointed to a new term in July, but the move had not been recorded. It was greed that a letter of appreciation will be set to Kraenzle for serving more than 20 years on the board. The commissioners have reached out to a nurse practitioner about taking his spot.
• It was noted that Melissa Otto also coordinates the Imagination Library, a program backed by Dolly Parton, that gives free books to children.
• The commissioners agreed to look into air duct cleaning for the courthouse after the 2024 budget is finalized.
• Felix Meyer, county emergency management director, told the commissioners he took the truck he uses to Barley Automotive to fix a recoil spring and to check out a “check engine” light.