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New government in Bonne Terre gets busy

BONNE TERRE — Radionuclides and dilapidated housing were two of the topics talked about during the new Bonne Terre City Council’s first regular meeting.

City Administrator Larry Barton told the council that the engineering report to correct the city’s radionuclide problem has been approved by the state. Radionuclides are a problem that all area city have, he added.

He said he would recommend that Taylor Engineering come to a meeting and give the new council a report and update. He would then recommend the council have Taylor prepare detailed plans and specs.

He said fixing this problem won’t just be a one-time cost, it will be a constant project. He said they would need to establish financing before moving ahead.

During the public comment part of the meeting, a few residents complained about eyesores in their neighborhoods.

Mayor Fritz Gower said they do have the vacant house ordinance which would cover vacant houses that are in bad shape.

The city stopped doing the vacant house registry under then-City Manager Ron Thomure. A few months ago, the previous city council voted to start it from scratch.

“We started from scratch since we let it go so long,” Barton said.

Barton said Building Inspector Dwayne Hackworth has just finished identifying the houses for the registry.

Gower said he has been spending a lot of time reviewing documents and ordinances and meeting with Barton. He asked if they had a mosquito abatement ordinance and Barton said they did not.

Councilwoman Cindy Driemeier said now would be a good time to look over all of their ordinances and make changes.

Councilman Ed Hottle said he had received complaints about speeding on Spring Street near the elementary school. Police Chief Doug Calvert said they are aware of a parking and stop sign problem, but have not observed a speeding problem. He said they have monitored that area. They had no-parking signs placed there and have written a grant to get a sidewalk.

One resident asked why they couldn’t have a police officer near the school every day. Calvert reminded her that they have two schools in the city and they both need attention. He said they have limited staff and they will be there if they don’t have calls to respond to.

He also reminded the council that the city does not have a full-time nuisance officer. A police supervisor handles the nuisance violations.

During the meeting, the council voted to change the regular meeting dates from the second Tuesday to the second Monday. The council tabled discussion of the grease trap ordinance and an agreement with Sharo Shirshekan. The council approved the senior center’s fiscal year 2009 budget.

A work session will be held April 28 to discuss the grease trap ordinance, as well as other matters.

Gower reminded the council to be prepared for meetings. He said he would appreciate it if council members went through the mayor or city administrator before contacting the city attorney, who charges for each request, or any state agency or department.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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