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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Sixth months out, things appear to be in good shape for the 2024 Ste. Genevieve County Fair.
Karen Stuppy, first district commissioner and liaison to the fair board, reported on the board’s progress during last Thursday’s county commission meeting.
She said the board found a company from Illinois, highly recommended by Nick Gegg and Gage Sumner, to run the popular demolition derby. The group has been putting demo derbies on for more than 15 years. They also handle promoting it.
Local bands Crossroads and Sidetrack, meanwhile, will be performing during the fair, which will be July 12-14. Stuppy said she is working on a Municipal Band grant for additional band money.
Three of the board members recently attended a fair conference, where they met with possible vendors. The board would like to increase Sunday afternoon attendance and also to offer more activities for children. Corn hole or horseshoes competition are being considered.
Stuppy said the fair board has $27,000 in its checking account. She said she “feels confident” the board has things under control, noting, “It’s coming together.”
The fair board is just one member short of being full, after the commissioners appointed Tyler Weinhold to the board. They had been looking for a representative of emergency services when Weinhold, a Ste. Genevieve fireman, applied.
The fair board will also hold an appreciation dinner at Mimi’s on Jan. 22 for the fair volunteers.
Stuppy also noted that the 2024 fair’s theme would be “Barn in the USA,” with an image of a red barn.
WORK COMING UP
A project that area residents have long supported will apparently soon come to fruition.
Second District Commissioner Mark Marberry reported that the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has indicated that the proposed turn lane at Industrial River Road and Highway 61 will get done this year. According to MoDOT, requests for bids will go out in April, with work expected to start in April and finished no later than Nov. 1.
The need for a turn lane was first brought to the commission by Bill Kraemer, during a March, 2019 meeting. Kraemer said he had witnessed many “near-miss accidents” at the intersection. He said that with the addition of more businesses along that stretch had led to increased traffic and more danger.
The commissioners took Kraemer’s concerns to Jefferson City and shared them with state legislatures and officials.
The plan gradually made its way through the Southeast Missouri Transportation Advisory Council, the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission and MoDOT hierarchy.
“It looks like it’s a go,” Marberry said.
HAS BIG CROWD
Stuppy reported that a large crowd attended last week’s monthly Community Services Forum meeting. Reports were given on the Adapt-A-Family program, which helped 143 children from 51 families, thanks to 28 donors.
Kathy Kreitler also reported that 0.48% of the Ste. Genevieve County population commits domestic abuse, compared to just 0.26% of the Cape Girardeau County population. She went over options available to victims of domestic violence.
Dr. Paul Pautler, CEO of Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, was among the speakers. He announced March 1 and March 8 town hall meetings to answer residents’ questions about local healthcare.
It was also announced that St. Vincent DePaul has a new president. Aging Matters, meanwhile, announced that hearing aids were available for those 60 and older and that a dental services van would be visiting.
Also, Estrella Carmona of University Extension gave an update on the fair board.
FOR BAD WEATHER
With forecasts threatening winter storms the beginning of this week, Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, was trying to prepare for whatever Mother Nature could throw at him.
“We’ll set back and see what happens with the weather,” he said.
Otherwise, his crews have been performing basic maintenance and just “getting stuff done” before winter does hit.
He reported that Truck 4, a 2010 International, is still being repaired. He and the commissioners agreed the week before to go ahead and overhaul the engine for an estimated $14,848 and to later get a new bed at about $20,000, rather than sink $175,000 to $200,000 on a new truck.
He will have some new equipment to work with, though.
The commissioners voted to buy a new John Deere tractor for $114,300 and a boom mower to go with it from Woody’s for $69,980.
• More water issues have occurred in the community center following recent rains. It could be insulation or it could be roof drains.
• Stuppy reported that large blocks put along the recycling center fence to protect it from the forklift had been pushed to within an inch or less of the fence. She called addressing the problem “a top priority.”
• Stuppy read off a list of 26 accomplishments the county achieved in 2023. Among these were replacing courthouse windows, cleaning out the courthouse basement, replacing the community center roof, paving a handful of roads, putting new box culverts in, getting a new road and bridge department pickup, getting Franklin Bridge removed and sold and a grant for its eventual replacement, obtaining various other grants and repairs/cleanup of the fair grounds.
• Associate Clerk Michele Gatzemeyer reported that final paperwork was being done for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims for funding for the July 28-Aug. 14, 2022 flooding disaster.
• During the Monday, Jan. 8 meting the commissioners approved a 5% cost of living raise for county employees.
• At the Monday meeting, the commissioners reappointed Dan Abts and Jackie Bauman to the county mental health board.
• The commissioners approved requests by Interim County Collector Lisa Marschel to waive interest and penalties on four taxpayers as a result of errors.