St. James City Council approves hire of Andrea Gehrke as EDA Director

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer
St. James Plaindealer

At Tuesday's St. James City Council meeting, the council anonymously accepted the approval to hire Andrea Gehrke as the new EDA Director.

On September 8th, a committee met to interview three potential candidates for the EDA position, currently being held by interim EDA Director Joe McCabe.

"One [candidate] outshined the rest of them," said City Manager Amanda Glass. "We made her an offer as EDA Director and she accepted."

Gehrke is scheduled to start on October 1st.

"She was exceptional," said Paul Harris. "[An] outstanding candidate."

The council also discussed the much-required work on the St. James pool. 

The park board met on Monday to discuss a bid opening last Thursday. The board received a bid of $86,875 from American Sandblasting Inc.

 The pool is 30 years old and has never been sandblasted. Recommendations are to sandblast every 8-10 years.

The board also received a quote of $14,400.00 for other maintenance, including installing new counters and cabinets for the concession area, replacing steel panel siding along with wrapping the windows, new soffit and fascia, replacement of the exterior steel door and jamb to the chloride room. 

The council recommends that the projects not exceed $101,275.00. Funding will come out of the Liquor Fund Reserve.

"Anybody who's been out to the pool knows that there's chunks of paint that chip off and everything, so this will take care of that," said Mark Anderson.

"We have an opportunity to maintain this as we should instead not doing anything," said Kathleen Hanson. "In the long run, our pool will be better."

The next St. James city council meeting is scheduled for October 6th.

Other items:

- Approve vending wagon license- Rosie Little Weenie Wagon as part of the farmer’s market

- Approve purchase- new boiler. The boiler did not pass inspection. Not in 2020 budget, will be part of the 2021 budget. Total cost of $48,550. Timeframe for 6-8 weeks.

- Approve purchase- rehab of lift station. Will consist of new pumps, valves, pipe, air release valves, and rails. Total cost of $34,770.

- Approve recommendation- Call of EDA bonds for $83,798.40

- Approve the St. James Convention and Visitor’s Bureau 2021 budget 

- Approve resolution- setting the proposed property tax levy

- Approve donation from American Legion Post #33 for $250