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Lake Saint Louis considers making contractors clean mud from city streets

Mud on Lake Saint Louis streets from construction activities may have to be cleaned the same day it happens or the city could cite contractors.

That was the consensus of the city’s Board of Aldermen at a work session before its regular Nov. 7 meeting, where they reviewed the city’s procedures for keeping city streets free of construction dirt and debris.

Mud and rocks from construction activities on city streets can be unsightly, messy and could pose a safety hazard for traffic, particularly if it rains. It’s an issue in much of St. Charles County due to ongoing residential and commercial construction.

The board took no formal action at the work session but aldermen may consider a bill setting new requirements in construction areas. City Administrator Paul Markworth said the board also may review erosion and sediment control on sites later this month.

Markworth told aldermen that if city staff receive a complaint about mud, the contractor must clean it within four hours. Derek Koestel, the city’s public works director, said he checked with other cities and St. Charles County about their cleanup requirements and found varying rules.

O’Fallon requires mud to be cleaned immediately or at least by the end of the day if the construction site is in a residential area, Koestel said.  If the construction site is on a major thoroughfare, mud or rocks may have to be rinsed multiple times during the day. St. Peters gives contractors a 24-hour period to clean away mud before issuing citations. The city of Saint Charles says streets can be cleaned twice a day if mud is tracked on them. St. Charles County’s requirements are vague, Koester said.

Koester said in the past, city staff had trouble applying requirements consistently as written because citizens asked previous elected officials for quick action on the issue.

The city also heard from Celeste Rueter, executive vice president for the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri, who said a four-hour requirement is “pretty tough.”  Building contractors are asking for rules to be applied consistently.

Alderman Gary Turner [Ward 1] and Mike Potter [Ward 2] said they liked what St. Peters does. Turner said cleaning up at the end of the day was common sense, even on a Friday afternoon.

“If there is traffic coming through, you clean it off,” Turner said. If the construction site is in a new residential area away from existing homes or businesses, clean up may be less of an issue, he said. The board generally agreed with the idea of an end-of-day clean up requirement. Potter said the requirement is actually less strict than the city’s present four-hour rule.

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