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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
County Commissioners and Road and Bridge Foreman Scott Schmieder agreed to go over priority road projects for 2024 at this Monday’s commission meeting.
They took a road trip, some 130 miles around county roads on Jan. 31, to check out possible priorities.
Due both to the need for maintenance and a shortfall of revenue, the commissioners had already decided to focus on road repair this year, instead of paving additional gravel roads.
“We’ll focus a lot on preserving what we have,” Presiding Commissioner Randy Ruzicka stressed on Thursday.
Schmieder noted that with projected warmer weather, he might be able to get a head start on the projects this month.
It was greed that they need to see about getting bids for the sections that would be overlaid.
Schmieder also said that after reviewing grader blade bids, he was going with McCoy, which offered 30 blades for $3,133.
Schmieder reported that Truck 4, a 2010 International, was back in service after an engine overhaul. It is the county’s oldest dump truck.
Now, however, he is having issues with the county’s bucket truck. It is too old to be serviced in St. Louis. It would need to be taken to Springfield, Ill., more than a two-hour trip.
Schmieder will be researching a new mower. They seem to be in the $13,000 price range.
NEW START TIME
The commissioners voted to move the starting time of their Monday and Thursday meetings from 8 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. This was due to the courthouse opening until 8 a.m. and visitors having to go through courthouse security.
SCHMIEDER TO MEET WITH LIGHWAVE
Chris Govero of Lightwave Communications had called the courthouse, asking about laying fiber optic cable along French Village Road. They did so elsewhere on that road last spring and then later on Dry Fork Road. The commissioners have had no issues with Lightwave, unlike Charter Spectrum, who used some contractors that caused numerous complaints.
“They did a good job,” Schmieder said of Lightwave. It was agreed that Govero would call Schmieder and meet him on the road to go over some specifics.
FLUORIDE IN WATER?
Jennifer Mueller, director of the county health department, was recently notified that by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that Ste. Genevieve would not be listed among communities listed in the CDC’s Community Water Fluoridation Awards program. This is based on the level of fluoride in the water. Jefferson and Perry counties both made the list.
After calls were made to Public Water Supply District No. 1 and to the city of Ste. Genevieve, there was no interest in participating.
According to the CDC website, “Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities (also called tooth decay) by about 25% in children and adults. By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money both for families and for the US health care system.”
Ruzicka urged people to look for themselves.
“I strongly encourage everyone to do their own research on fluoridation,” he said, noting that there are some harmful health effects. Some studies have linked fluoride with dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, and even cancer.
• The commissioners voted to increase the road and bridge crew’s yearly boots stipend from $150 to $175.
• Laura Oliver, who had been the commissioners’ liaison with the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC), will now serve that role for the Tourism Tax Commission. It was agreed that First District Commissioner Karen Stuppy, who attends the tourism meetings, would serve in that capacity with the TAC.
• At the Monday, Jan. 29 meeting, the commissioners approved a request by Interim County Collector Lisa Marschel to waive a late penalty for one taxpayer, since the notice had been mailed out late. Another request was denied for a taxpayer who had moved without leaving a forwarding address.
• At the Monday meeting, the commissioners approved a purchase requisition by Sheriff Gary Stolzer for shower and fixture work at the correctional facility for $22,500.