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Work has begun to clean up and prepare for sale slightly more than 4 acres of county-owned land on Maple Street in Farmington previously used by the St. Francois County Road & Bridge Department.

Highway Superintendent Clay Copeland offered an update on the project during Tuesday’s St. Francois County Commissioners meeting.

“We have a crew working on Maple Street, so if anybody wants to look at the [Road and Bridge] building one more time...,” he said.

Associate Commissioner Gay Wilkinson, filling in as presiding commissioner in the absence of Harold Gallaher, said, “Maple Street, for anybody who doesn’t know, is the name for the former barn. It’s been reduced except for the large building itself. All the other out buildings have been taken down. Another big building will be taken down relatively soon.

“That will be the next phase where we remove and remediate the soil, so we can make it ready for sale — and that’s a big project in itself. We’re fortunate that our road and bridge guys have the equipment that they can do that rather than hire somebody to tear that down to make it safe for either residential or commercial — it will be safe for either one.”

Following last summer’s move of road and bridge to its new location on Woodlawn Drive, county commissioners voted for the county to take part in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program with plans to sell the land for future redevelopment.

According to the DNR, "Brownfields are sites where redevelopment and reuse is complicated by known or suspected contamination with hazardous substances. Typical brownfield sites include gas stations, dry cleaners, mills, production facilities, hospitals or even main street buildings with older hazardous building materials.”

The commissioners selected Smith & Company Engineers in October for the cleanup of the county's Maple Street facility through the Brownfield Voluntary Cleanup Program.

In other action, the commissioners held its annual bid opening. The bids were open and placed on a table for viewing by all bidders. No decisions were made during the meeting, but an announcement of accepted bids will be made at the commissioners’ March 13 meeting set for 10 a.m. on the third floor of the courthouse annex building in Farmington.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or



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