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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Gearing up for whatever additional winter weather comes this way, the Ste. Genevieve County commissioners approved purchase of snowplow blades for trucks at last Thursday’s meeting.
Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, needed to order eight 11-foot blades and one 12-foot blade from Winter Equipment Company, for $12,676. Since Winter is a sole source for such equipment, the order did not need to go out for bids.
That is not the case for grader blades. Schmieder needs more of those, too, but is waiting to get one more price quote before a decision can be made.
Meanwhile, the commissioners approved spending $19,200 for a new bed from Crown Motors in West Plains for Truck 4, the county’s oldest dump truck, a 2010 International, which has been undergoing an engine overhaul. Schmieder had previously said he hopes to squeeze another 10 or so years out of the truck.
The commissioners also approved spending $8,900 to get a good used self-contained crack-patching device. A new one would run around $32,000.
They also approved spending $2,500 for a monitor screen for the new boom mower.
Meanwhile, Truck 19, a 2017 Freightliner, is sidelined. They were waiting for a part to arrive. The part had been iced in, in Memphis.
Schmieder said he was ready for whatever snow would come Friday and over the weekend.
He said he had received no calls on road damage from last week’s inclement weather and said his crews would “do what we can” to keep roads in good shape.
Presiding Commissioner Randy Ruzicka asked Schmieder to be putting together a list of priority projects he would like to get done in 2024.
He then urged Associate Commissioners Karen Stuppy and Mark Marberry to also come up with priority lists from their districts.
“We’ll try to figure out where we are, and what we can get done,” he said.
Reports were given on meetings they had attended. Stuppy reported on the joint tourism meeting earlier that week, in which the Tourism Tax Commission and Tourism Advisory Council discussed how to address the issue of a lack of quorums by possibly merging groups.
They also recently attended a Southeast Missouri County Commissioners meeting in Dexter. Robbie Myers of the Emergency Management Agency spoke about forest fires, earthquakes and evacuation plans. An April 4 earthquake drill will be held. Discussions were also held about controlling traffic during the April 8 total eclipse event.
Personnel from the Department of Natural Resources spoke about winter weather and about getting drinking water for emergency facilities.
Missouri Department of transportation personnel spoke about various projects, including the Chester bridge.
There was also much talk about the closure of the Tyson Chicken plant in Dexter, costing the community some 700 jobs. A new egg plant will be opening, which should replace about 150 of those jobs.
• Associate Clerk Michele Gatzemeyer said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requiring an additional spreadsheet to be filled out for aid for last year’s flooding disaster. She said Schmieder would help her with it.
• The commissioners approved purchase of a geothermal unit for the administration portion of the community center, at $11, 052.