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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
The city of Ste. Genevieve received a clean audit from Beussink, Hey, Roe & Stroder. Jeffrey Stroder reported to the board of aldermen during their meeting last Thursday that everything was as it should be.
“Everything from our perspective went very well, so what I have is a very routine and probably a boring report,” Stroder said, “but when it comes to governmental auditing, routine and boring is usually a good thing.”
Stroder went over the various aspects of the audit, all of which came out well for the city.
“The report goes on to explain that we found no deficiencies in the internal controls that are in place,” he said. “So that means that the testing that we did, we found that the internal controls that are in place are appropriately designed, and our tests found that they were working the way they were designed.
“The second part of that report has to do with the city’s compliance with various regulations and laws and contracts and grant agreements. So things that are financial in nature that we’re also testing to determine whether the city complied with those requirements. And we found no instances of noncompliance to be reported there. So we’ve got a clean opinion on the financial statements, no deficiencies in the internal controls, and we found no instances of noncompliance for our testing. So that’s about as clean a report as we can do for the city.”
INTERSECTIONS AGAIN DISCUSSED
At the end of City Administrator Happy Welch’s report, Ward 3 Alderman Joe Rozier asked him about the five-way stop at Rozier Street/Highway M and Highway 61, which was discussed at the previous meeting.
Welch said the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has recommended the city look into a Transportation Engineering Assistance Program (TEAP).
“Have them look at that intersection, come up with some ideas, because just getting rid of the fifth light is not going to open it up for right-hand turns,” Welch said. “Because of the pedestrians that are at that intersection, it is not drawn to the MoDOT specifications that they now require. So you’re looking at the little concrete islands that are around those.”
Steiger asked whether the sidewalk program the city is implementing would take care of the requirements.
Welch said that they will only fulfill part of the requirements and that “another major construction project” would be needed to meet all the new MoDOT requirements to allow right-hand turns on red. They would include pedestrian crossing signals.
Welch also reported bids would be opened Feb. 15 for the Fourth Street drainage and paving projects. Equipment has also been ordered to provide a wireless public assess point in Pere Marquette Park.
OTHER REPORTS ARE GIVEN
Police Chief Jasen Crump reported that his department responded to 354 calls in December.
He thanked the city for the new furniture in the police portion of the city hall building.
“We’re happy with it,” he said. “The setup is nice, the furniture is nice, so we appreciate it.”
He also reported that one officer struck a deer in a patrol car.
Ward 1 Alderman Patrick Fahey asked Crump for his breakdown on “serious cries.” Crump said domestic violence is probably No. 1.
Fahey said he had read that Ste. Genevieve had a considerably higher rate of domestic violence than many similar-sized cities. Crump replied that it may largely be due to reporting procedures. Ste. Genevieve police, he said, make a report even if no action is taken. Many cities only report a case if an arrest is made.
Steve Wilson, local manager for Alliance Water Resources, reported the replacement of internal electronic components in the water plant’s electrical building was more than 50% done.
Steiger asked about salt gravel and sand that have been applied to the streets during the wirer weather and said concerns had been expressed about them winding up in the creeks.
Wilson also said that they had been responding to water main breaks every day during the cold spell.
Tourism Director Aaron Smith reported that he and his wife have gotten moved in He spoke about how grants “play a big role” in boosting tourism. The French Heritage Festival will be getting a $20,000 grant from the Missouri Humanities Council, half of which will be for creating a video to promote the festival.
He said the assistant tourism director would have the title Social Media Coordinator. Applications have started coming in for ye part-time Fahey asked about plans for the April 7 total eclipse. He said that in 2017, visitors could not find any place to eat.
Smith said the next planning meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, National Park Service, the community center, etc., would be Feb. 7. He said most rooms in town are already booked for that weekend.
ORDINANCES ARE PASSED
Three ordinances were passed on second reading. One authorized the mayor to enter into a three-year agreement with K & J Landscaping for cemetery mowing ad maintenance. The amount is not to exceed $50,400 over three years.
Another authorized the city administrator to enter into an agreement with McLiney and company as municipal advisors.
The third amends municipal ordinances, by adding Section 200.100, noting the police department’s participation in the Mineral Area Major Case Squad.