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home : local news : local news

8/15/2013 12:33:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
St. Francisville authorizes repairs to toll bridge
ST. FRANCISVILLE - During its monthly meeting Wednesday, the St. Francsiville City Council authorized repairs to its toll bridge system.

The Cannonball bridge is actually a series of three bridges which take motorists over the Wabash River, connecting the community with Knox County, Indiana, and Vincennes.

Papers authorizing the replacement of a small bridge on the Indiana side were approved and work is expected to be completed before the end of the year, according to Mayor Don Ravellette.

"After we get the papers sent in, the state will let the bids. They are supposed to be let on Sept. 20," Ravellette explained, noting that the state will then notify St. Francisville as to who is awarded the contract. "From there we will try to get it done this fall. That is what they are wanting to do, weather permitting."

Cost of replacing the small bridge is estimated to be $260,000. If that number is accurate, the city's share of the project will be about $52,000. The city is responsible for paying for 20 percent of the cost of the project.

When construction begins, the toll bridges will be shut down for about three weeks. The council voted Wednesday night to use that time to make repairs to the trestle bridge, the large single-lane bridge which actually crosses the Wabash.

"We're going to be replacing some of the ties and some of the boards on it that need to be fixed, as many as we can during the amount of time (that the bridge is closed)," Ravellette said.

The council also heard from Rob Wielt, an energy consultant for Affordable Gas and Electric Company (AGE), regarding an electric aggregation opt-out program - the same program Lawrenceville and 28 other communities approved in April and the same program the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce joined this summer.

Wielt said the program will not cost the city anything and result in electrical savings for St. Francisville residents. Should the council want to move forward will the cost-savings program, which uses bulk purchasing power to acquire lower electric rates, it will have to pass a resolution putting the question on the ballot in the March 18 election.

In addition to asking the council to pass a ballot resolution, he also asked that the council enter into a consulting agreement with AGE.

St. Francisville residents would then have to pass the referendum which will read something like this: "Shall the City of St. Francisville have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?" 

The Sumner City Council and the Lawrence County board recently voted to move forward with the program. Bridgeport is also expected to approve the proposal.

The St. Francisville Council decided to look into the program and find out if a previous Ameren utility agreement will prevent the community from participating in the aggregation.


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