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Voters approve measure for city to impose fine

BONNE TERRE – Voters in Bonne Terre authorized the city to impose a semi-annual fee to owners of vacant residential property characterized with housing code violations.

According to unofficial election results, 209 individuals or 77.7 percent voted for Proposition A while 60 individuals or 22.3 percent voted against it.

Mayor Sue Wilke said she was pleased the issue passed. She thanked voters for giving it consideration.

She said she expected to have a positive response to the issue. Wilke said the issue only affects people who are willing to let their property deteriorate and affect the surrounding neighborhood.

The mayor said it will be easier to put some teeth in the building ordinance and address the problems.

City Manager Larry Hughes said the council has to approve the ordinance before they can start imposing fees. The next meeting will be April 13.

However, they could not impose the fee until six months after the ordinance is passed.

Owners of vacant residences or multiple dwelling buildings will be imposed a semi-annual fee of $200. The structures must have been vacant for more than six months before a fee could be imposed and have housing code violations. The fee cannot apply to commercial property.

Hughes believes there may be about 25 residences they could collect fees from.

In other matters, both Wilke and Councilman Gene Archer will return to the council. Wilke received 197 votes while Archer received 192 votes. Those races were uncontested.

There were four write-in votes.

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