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Council makes decision on street collections

No residents appeared before the Bonne Terre City Council to voice an opinion during the group’s hearing Wednesday regarding solicitations at city intersections.

The council briefly discussed feedback members had received in person from residents, as well as legal advisement received from City Attorney Seth Pegram.

The council also discussed legal action which had come against the City of Desloge in the recent past when those city leaders sought to limit the groups that could solicit at city intersections.

After the discussion the council voted to eliminate all solicitation at city intersections, posing the possibility of groups using city park space to collect donations while remaining visible to traffic.

In other business, the council heard from a representative of Vandevanter Engineering regarding the purchase and installation of a wastewater UV filtration system at the state correctional facility.

The representative went over the project with the council, saying he had heard there was some concern over the installation cost which had first been projected to be around $30,000, but was then raised to possibly around $38,000.

He said he projected the installation cost to be around $32,000 but that amount could be higher depending on the state of the existing conduit. He said the maximum amount it could cost the city would be around $38,000, but added he anticipates the cost to be closer to the $32,000 estimate.

The council decided to further consider the matter and to vote on it at the August meeting.

The council also discussed information regarding insurance coverage for city employees. After a lengthy discussion concerning possible new plans, the council decided to continue researching the issue to find the most cost effective avenue for the city while providing the best coverage for employees.

Also during the meeting, the council heard from Police Chief Doug Calvert about city businesses which failed to purchase business licenses. Calvert said there are around 15 businesses currently operating without a valid business license.

The council spent some time in a discussion about updating city ordinances pertaining to business licenses.

“What we’re hoping to do is that the city clerk will have a listing,” said City Administrator Jim Eaton. “At a certain date it will go out that they’re due and if they do not respond then the chief of police is going to step in and do the enforcing.”

This is what the city ordinance already states, according to Pegram, though it hasn’t been strictly enforced in the recent past.

The council discussed enforcing the policy while also cleaning up the ordinance, which has various business license costs depending on the type of business. Most cost $25, and the council resolved to condense the cost of business licenses to one flat rate for all businesses at an amount to be determined in the near future.

The council also discussed the city’s Facebook page. Ward 4 Alderperson Andrea Richardson said social media can be a valuable tool to communicate quickly with the public in a relevant way. Because of staff commitments, the council agreed it would be best to work through the next few months before concentrating on developing a Facebook presence.

Next, Pegram discussed the need for an updated plat map to be generated for the Orchard Development which would include setbacks, easements, utility lines and points of access.

While parcels of the development have been sold, updated plat maps have not been generated in the past as is required by city ordinance. He said the situation should be looked at and brought up to date and kept up to date going forward as pieces of the development are parceled off.

Before wrapping up for the evening, the group discussed a traffic issue on Stone Street resulting from the street being too narrow for traffic to pass with vehicles parked on the street. The council discussed possible solutions, including converting Stone Street to one-way between Buchanan and Plum streets.

The council will give homeowners the opportunity to have their opinions on the matter heard at a hearing at 5 p.m. on Aug. 14, before the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Bonne Terre City Council which will begin at 6 p.m. that evening.

The Bonne Terre City Council hears from City Attorney Seth Pegram regarding the ramifications of restricting groups collecting donations along the city's roadways. The discussion was had during the council's meeting Wednesday evening.

The Bonne Terre City Council hears from City Attorney Seth Pegram regarding the ramifications of restricting groups collecting donations along the city’s roadways. The discussion was had during the council’s meeting Wednesday evening.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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