There's no doubt that 2017 was a year of change and transition for the city of Desloge. Long-time city administrator Greg Camp resigned to take on the same task for another city and Dan Bryan was hired a month later to replace him. The city also lost and gained an alderman over the 12-month period. 

January

According to City Administrator Greg Camp, high on the city’s list of accomplishments in 2016 was the continued push to complete several recreational trails within the city limits.

At its monthly luncheon, North County Superintendent Dr. Yancy Poorman gave Desloge Chamber of Commerce investors an update on the school district he’s led for almost 11 years.

February

Hoping to get a few more years of service out of the city pool, the Desloge Board of Aldermen approved a number of repairs that were expected to be completed in plenty of time for the start of this year's swimming season.

The board passed a 2.5 percent increase in city water rates based on an increase of the West Region's Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months.

Associate Circuit Judge Joseph L. Goff Jr. was named St. Francois County’s “2016 Citizen of the Year” at the 26th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night held at the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge in Desloge.

March

The Desloge Board of Aldermen set the schedule of monthly charges for the city's water service. From one gallon up, the charge is $3.14 per 1,000 gallons.

The board of aldermen approved an ordinance that provides guidelines for the keeping of domestic strains of honey bees within the city limits.

April

Camp provided members of the city's chamber of commerce an update on projects either in progress or already completed when he served as guest speaker at the investor's luncheon.

City Clerk Linda Moore led Ward 1 Alderman Jim "Yogi" Jones, Ward 2 Alderman Chris Gremminger and Ward III Alderman Jerry "Hogshead" Hulsey, along with Mayor David Kater, in the oath of office immediately after the board certified the April 4 election results.

Camp announced his intention to resign his long-time position to accept an expected offer from the city of Festus to become its new city administrator.

May

The Desloge Board of Aldermen gave a proper send-off to Camp who resigned after almost 10 years on the job.

The board approved a change in the way the city’s fire chief is chosen. The position will now be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the board, rather than by an election held by firefighters at the firehouse.

Survivors of the F-3 tornado which ripped through the towns of Cantwell and Desloge on May 21, 1957, recalled their experiences 60 years later.

June

Desloge Chamber of Commerce members learned about the mission and needs of the Southeast Missouri Family Violence Council when Tracy Carroll served as main speaker at the civic organization’s monthly luncheon.

A presentation by Kevin Wolff of Cochran Engineering brought the city aldermen up to speed on a project to repave streets and put in storm drainage, curbing and sidewalk from Fern to Willow streets and then to Hawthorne.

The Desloge Board of Aldermen hired Dan Bryan of Terre Du Lac as the city's new administrator.

July

In a brief meeting of the Desloge Board of Aldermen, a list of proposed street overlay projects for the coming year were discussed. The combined estimated total of the projects was $149,432.65.

State Rep. Mike Henderson, R-Bonne Terre, touted the importance of having a balanced state budget when he spoke before the Desloge Chamber of Commerce at its monthly investors luncheon.

After a more than 18-year career with the Missouri Department of Corrections, Bryan took the reins as the city’s new city administrator. He has had extensive ties to the city his entire life.

August

The Desloge Board of Aldermen tackled a lengthy agenda that included a presentation on animal control protocol.

The Desloge Chamber of Commerce officially announced that long-time city firefighter Kenny Hawkins had been selected to serve as grand marshal for this year's annual Labor Day Parade.

The Desloge Board of Aldermen said goodbye to Ward I Alderman Mara Westbrooks who served more than nine years before announcing that she and her husband were moving out of state.

September

The 27th annual Desloge Labor Day Picnic started at Sept. 2 in City Park and continued through Sept. 5.

The Desloge Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of security cameras for the city. The majority of the new cameras purchased will be placed in City Park, including the pool area, to combat increasing acts of vandalism to municipal property.

Newly-appointed Ward I Alderman Deion Christopher was welcomed to the Desloge Board of Aldermen by Mayor Kater.

October

Residents of the Riverview Estates subdivision attended the October meeting of the Desloge Board of Aldermen to voice their concerns about the lack of streetlights in the neighborhood and the subsequent safety issues that have arisen because of it.

About 200 people gathered on the parking lot of the extensively remodeled Desloge Walmart, located at 407 N. State St., to celebrate its grand reopening and ribbon cutting.

The Desloge Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of several items for the Public Works Department when it met in special session. The items were all related to the previous purchase of a 3500 Ram and 5500 Ram pickup truck at the board's September meeting.

November

Plans to work with other St. Francois County cities in placing the addition of an internet use tax on the ballot in August was among a range of items discussed at the Desloge Board of Aldermen November meeting.

A request by El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant for TIF funds in the amount of $7,668.98 was approved for work on the restaurant entrance and ditchline required by MoDOT.

About 80 area veterans recently enjoyed a free Thanksgiving dinner which is provided each year by the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge 2583 in Desloge.

December

The city of Desloge is facing ever-increasing costs in providing free trash pickup for city residents and is attempting to find ways to cut expenses so it can continue the service.

The Desloge Public Library recently received a $2,500 grant from the Missouri State Library for early literacy collection development. According to Head Librarian Jill Kaufman, the granted funds were used to purchase more than 60 new children’s books.

Almost two weeks after a representative with Jokerst Inc. heard complaints from Bryan and the board of aldermen about the problem-prone railroad crossing project, it was announced the project was now a day ahead of schedule.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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