In addition to the new water softener project already reported in Eureka-Wildwood Patch, a host of other topics were covered at the annual Eureka Town Hall meeting. The three-hour meeting was hosted by Eureka Mayor Kevin Coffey.
Eureka City Administrator Craig Sabo said the proposed ordinance to award the $2,299,000 water softening project contract to Martin General Contractors, LLC is on the board of aldermen's agenda for Tuesday's meeting.
Approximately 65 attendees participated in last month's meal and town hall-style meeting, which was convened at the Eureka Community Center at 6 p.m. The meal consisted of fried chicken, salad, green beans and fruit, secured from local suppliers, such as Walmart Supercenter and Schnucks.
A general announcement referenced the contest being conducted by Wednesday Club members for the Eureka Hills Branch Library.
Coffey reported Eureka parks, particularly Soetebier Park, are being well used. "As Rockwood budgets were cut back, Eureka was able to step up to offer our fields for high school sports practices," he said. "We've leveled the fields and placed new gravel for parking."
He said city representatives were able to work through a trade-out of land with a private property owner so parking near the corners of Williams and Augustine Road could be offered, with the city assuming the liability.
The mayor also said the proposed Bald Hill Trail is slated to be started at the end of summer. It will connect with The Legends, Geggie Elementary School and to Route 66 State Park. It will be built underneath Missouri Route 109 and Central Avenue. Some of the work is being done by city staffers, and some of the work is being executed through a $200,000 grant, he said.
John Sabo, a Eureka resident for the past five years, said he didn't like seeing the vacant gas station on Central Avenue. "There are a few things that don't reflect well on the city, such as not placing the trash bins out of site. They are eye sores, and should be changed, but I guess it's a question of who's going to pay for it."
Coffey said grants were being sought to build restrooms near the gazebo in Old Town Eureka. "We have a ton of power hooked up for the new area, with the help of Butler Electric. The new area can host barbecue groups up to 20, or concerts, or family gatherings," he said.
He also reported that restroom facilities would be replaced in Lion's Park through a $232,000 grant.
The new recreational center is in the final stages of design, Coffey said. "The small railroad (St. Louis Live Steamers) is expanding at Kircher Park, and a new inflatable, outdoor screen was purchase for Friday night movies."
Eureka Police Department was spotlighted as the only continuously running 24/7 Drug Take Back program in St. Louis County as well as Missouri. Eureka Police Chief Michael Wiegand said 325 pounds of unwanted medication and materials—both legal and illegal—had been collected. A no-questions-asked policy is in effect for any unwanted drugs in Eureka.
One attendee said he was truly glad to have this drug drop-off option, and was surprise to discover other states did not offer the same. He said when his father recently died in southwestern Pennsylvania, he checked with the police, hospitals and drug stores regarding how to dispose of the leftover medications, and they could only recommend mixing the items with coffee grounds or kitty litter.
Coffey called the Eureka police force "one of the most progressive and modern police departments in the United States," with Wiegand's FBI training being a bonus. "We think they are no. 1 in the state. They have updated tools such as being able to instantly run names on computers and to use infrared systems to see heat, even in full darkness."
Eureka's police department created a thorough mobile command unit that only cost the city $17,000, due to the donations made by companies such as Six Flags St. Louis, Byerly RV Center, and Eureka automotive companies.