Perryville rejects bid to repair historic sidewalk

The cost to repair some of Perryville’s historic sidewalks and rock-walled curbs might be more than anticipated based on the one bid received by the city for the job on Thursday night.

The bid for $18,875 is to repair the sidewalk in front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The bid from Brussell Builders would cover the cost of removing the existing brick at the church, put concrete down and then lay brick over that. The city had requested bidders to include the cost of repairing the stone curbs across from the Perryville Community Center, but it was not included in the bid offered.

“I would like to interject just a second that we had an inquiry online … they indicated if it wasn’t worth $100,000, they wouldn’t come look at it,” City Clerk Bill Chance said. He did not share the name of that business.

Council members said they would try to find another option or see if there were any other businesses interested in submitting bids.

“That seems awful pricey,” said Council member Julie Clay.

Council member Jerry Houck agreed and asked if there could potentially be grants out there to help cover the costs of the curb or the sidewalk, since it is historic and could be a historic walking trail.

Clay began looking up other potential grants, and said there are reimbursement grants involving safe routes to school, transportation, historic preservation, battlefields and others.

Council members said they would continue looking into the grants.

“It’s at least worth a try to ask,” Houck said.

The bid was not accepted.

Invasive primrose

Council members also learned from community members Bill and Linda Faulconer about a plant growing on the Chaplin River that the two have begun trying to eradicate.

Bill Faulconer said it is called a water primrose and is an invasive species brought into the United States.

Bill Faulconer said they believe they have found a brand of weed killer that would get rid of the plant, which has begun taking over the river, and he hopes it will be gone in a few years.

“I’m offering to help as a citizen. I’m not trying to promote this as a commercial venture,” he said. “If you guys are okay with that, we would work out a way to make it gone. Think about it, and see what you want to do … We don’t want any of it left.”

While they noted it’s a pretty plant, he said it only brings problems.

“It’s delightful, but it will take over and form a solid mat. It will grow from edge to edge,” Bill Faulconer said.

Linda Faulconer said it is also a breeding ground for mosquitos.

The council gave their blessing to the couple to continue fighting the plant.