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New city administrator to face challenges

DESLOGE — The next city administrator in Desloge will have his work cut out for him almost immediately. The incoming administrator will have to get the new water system up and running, begin the Cantwell Stormwater Project, help oversee the Eastern Outer Road Project and oversee the library renovations.

“Anybody we bring in is going to have to be brought up to speed pretty quick,” said Mayor David Kater. “We have a lot of projects going on right now.”

Kater said most likely the biggest task will be overseeing the completion of Phase 1 of the water system and getting the system up and going by the first part of July.

“They are going to have to be brought up to speed on the ongoing litigation as well,” Kater said. “We are scheduled to go live (with the first part of the water system) the first part of July. Getting this done is going to be the biggest challenge right off the bat. I think anybody can see that.”

A pending court ruling could force Desloge to return completed water service applications to customers. Park Hills has filed a lawsuit asking Associate Circuit Judge Raymond M. Weber to issue an injunction that would prevent Desloge from asking or requiring its residents to sign up for water service.

Eric Wiederhold, Desloge’s former city administrator, said in a previous interview that if Weber rules in Park Hills’ favor, Desloge would have to return all the completed applications and would have to solicit for new applications. Weber has yet to make his ruling.

The second project on the new city administrator’s list will be the Cantwell Stormwater Project. The board of aldermen are meeting tonight in special session to discuss bids for the project.

“It’s going to depend on the funds that are available and if the board is satisfied with the bids as to when this project gets done. Depending on the funds, this project could be done in two phases.”

The Eastern Outer Road is the third project on the list.

“This is going to be a challenge,” Kater said. “The wheels are in motion and whoever we hire is going to have to jump on the bandwagon.”

Kater said the new city administrator will have to tackle the task of acquiring land for the outer road.

“If the new administrator isn’t familiar with this type of project, he or she is going to have to get familiar pretty quick,” Kater said. When we first hired Eric (Wiederhold), he wasn’t that familiar with water systems. We got him up to speed pretty quick and he did a good job. So it can be done.”

Desloge recently held a public hearing concerning the planning for the U.S. 67 Eastern Outer Road. Residents were able to talk with the project engineers and review maps of where the road is going to be constructed.

The construction of the Eastern Outer Road will be east of US 67 extending from Highway 8 south to the Parkway Interchange, including the bridge crossing Flat River.

In May 2006 the board of aldermen approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission (MoDOT) that provided financing for the outer road.

The estimated cost for the project is $4,027,619, but through the agreement Desloge will only be responsible for $1.125 million. The remainder will be paid by the federal government and MoDOT.

During closed session tonight, the board of aldermen is expected to discuss candidates for the city administrator’s position.

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