City leaders are progressively moving forward in hopes of encouraging new businesses to move to Bonne Terre.
In a special session of the Bonne Terre City Council last month there was a discussion of getting bids for an engineering firm to prepare a preliminary design for a new road into and through the city’s industrial park. Bonne Terre City Administrator Jim Eaton remarked that funds from the TIF district and the Industrial Development Authority would be paying for the engineering fee for the design.
Eaton said the reason for running a new road from the current road, Industrial Drive, down to Benham Street is because it will open the industrial tract.
“It will eventually give the industrial park another access in and out of town,” said Eaton. “The problem right now is that the Berry Bridge is out and it may eventually be replaced, but right now we need a secondary entrance.”
Eaton said the new road will give vehicles an opportunity to get in and out of the industrial park another way instead of one way in and one way out.
“For us, there are three TIF districts and one of the TIF districts is the industrial park area,” explained Eaton. “The taxes that are paid that would normally go to school systems, college or ambulance district goes to the TIF fund. There is money out there that has been generated by this industrial TIF district and we are going to use some of that for the purpose of design (for a new road).”
The council voted to accept a bid from Taylor Engineering to look at expanding the roadway. He added they are trying to figure everything out right now because the proposed entrance to the industrial park between Benham Street Grill and Missouri Midwest Truss Company is an easement that was passed on to them.
“Then we get into the railroad … they don’t know if they own any property and the county says they don’t,” said Eaton. “They aren’t paying any taxes, so we are in slow mode at this time trying to figure everything out.”
Eaton added they feel if they get another road through there, they will be able to draw some light industry back there in the industrial park. Ground broke for the industrial park in April of 2001.
“It’s approximately 120 acres left that would be good for expansion of small industries, said Eaton. “In general there is water and sewer you can get to and we are going to lay out the water and sewer as we go also.”
“We have four businesses back there already: Plattin Tool, WaterWork Specialties, GWS Contractors and Trelleborg Bid Co.,” said Eaton.
One existing business has already began expanding their facility and it will employ 10 more people.
Eaton added they are also going to extend the water main line or loop the system by Knights of Columbus. He said it will give them better quality water and they are calling it the Berry Road Water Line Loop.
“The engineering project would include laying out the street and possibly some other work,” Eaton explained. “We have to get an engineer before we can do anything. There is money out there for development, but there wasn’t before and you just have to get in line. If you have a manufacturer of some kind, a lot of times you can get money.”
The city hopes to not only bring the road out to Benham Street, but also to Desoto Road and possibly Turkey Creek Road in the future. The land is relatively flat and won’t take much more than a brush hog to clear in most areas, he indicated.
Eaton added the city has also provided information to a few people who are very interested in the Old Orchard area, but Eaton said until they have a signed contract they won’t keep their hopes up. That development has access to sewer, water, gas and fiber optic lines.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com