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Bonne Terre issues record number of building permits

BONNE TERRE — Bonne Terre issued a record number of building permits last year.

During a city council meeting held Tuesday, City Manager Larry Hughes said he believes they are seeing some of the growth they were anticipating from the prison opening.

In 2004, the city issued 13 residential building permits and four apartment building permits.

In 2003, the city issued six residential building permits and six apartment building permits and in 2002, the city issued eight residential building permits and three apartment building permits.

A total of seven building permits were issued in 2001; eight in 2000; six in 1999; four in 1998, and six in 1997.

Also during the city council meeting, Dwight Miller, owner of Millers’ Meats, said he is trying to address the issues that the city council had with his business.

He said he did not realize the city had issues with him until he received a ticket from police and read an article that ran in Daily Journal following the December city council meeting.

In a letter, Miller explained in great detail the steps he has already taken to make sure there is no animal blood in the street.

He also has taken steps to reduce the odor by requesting additional pickups from their waste management hauler and by keeping the dumpster locked to prevent stray animals from getting inside.

“I do not wish nor plan to be what has been depicted in the newspaper as an uncooperative businessman and not concerned with the community or environment,” he stated in the letter.

Miller took over the business from a previous owner in June.

“Thanks for the way you have handled this,” Mayor Sue Wilke said. “(A person) can get a lot done that way.”

In other matters, Councilwoman Janet Barton announced she has been involved in planning several events for this spring and summer.

A bluegrass festival will be held in June at the city park. The festival will include work sessions on instruments, a fiddle contest, crafters and concerts.

The third-annual public safety day sponsored by the Public Safety Committee will be held May 14 and they are hoping to have it at the high school this year.

The city will again have a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. She said they still are looking for donations.

In addition, the second-annual National Night Out celebration will be held Aug. 2 at the city park.

During the public comment session of the council meeting, 12-year-old Keila Nesler said she would like to see Desloge and Bonne Terre have something to offer to kids. She said she would like there to be a place for kids to hang out with their friends and do different types of activities.

Barton asked if she would be interested in being involved in the park board. She said it is a good idea to get teens involved in city activities.

Also during the public comment session, Lisa Furmeister alleged that one of the city’s police officers committed an act of police brutality against her son. She said she has filed a complaint and will be meeting with her lawyer.

The mayor advised Furmeister that they could not talk about individual employees during an open council meeting.

During the meeting, the council approved a park and recreation master plan and the partial payment to Jokerst Construction for the Industrial Park Road project, which began this fall and is funded by grants.

Also during the meeting, the mayor apologized to council members for not informing them of the press conference held last week to announce Police Chief Fred Mallow’s retirement. Both Wilke and Councilman Gene Archer attended the press conference. Barton and Council member Cindy Driemeier said they were very disappointed they were not made aware of the press conference.

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