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2017: A busy year in Bonne Terre

The city of Bonne Terre had a busy year in 2017, from making water improvements to taking ownership of a historical church and an apartment complex. Here is an overview of all the major happenings within the city and North County School District.

January

The Bonne Terre Senior Nutrition Center received a new director after the previous director submitted her resignation and it was accepted by the senior center board. The former director, Robyn Turner, met with the nutrition center board and they discussed things they felt were important. Cher Robinson was appointed the new nutrition center director and she has worked with the nutrition center before.

February

City leaders are progressively moving forward in hopes of encouraging new businesses to move to Bonne Terre. In a special session there was a discussion of getting bids from 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.

Bonne Terre Fire Chief Matt Barton addressed the city council with concerns about the current ISO rating the city has and how it affects the city. ISO collects and evaluates information from communities on their structure fire suppression capabilities. The data is analyzed using their Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and then a Public Protection Classification (PPC) grade is assigned to the community.

March

Roadwork began off South Division Street, which was the first of several roads being repaired within the city. Other Roads on the project list included Desoto Road from Division to Norwine, Bell Street from Low Street, Shephard Street from Middle to Church, Middle Street from Shephard to Cole and on Grove Street from Verdmont Street to Oak Street. They also seal coated Blackberry Lane to cut down on the dust.

Bonne Terre city officials received word from the Environmental Protection Agency this month that work may be moving forward on a flooding issue near the Save-A-Lot plaza. EPA Remediation Project Manager Jason Gunter told them the EPA was going to pay to clean out the sediment basin behind Huddle House off Northwood or Hedgeapple Lane in Bonne Terre.

The North County Raiderettes competed at the NDA High School National Championships in Orlando, Florida for their second time in Raiderette history and they came home with 5th place in the nation.

During a discussion between the Bonne Terre City Council and the Bonne Terre Fire Department about the ISO rating, the topic of the newest fire truck came up and what they plan to do with it. It was said the truck was not adequately designed for the city. They only run it for EMS calls and it’s not a truck the department felt comfortable sending out to a fire first.

A new city clerk was sworn in after a decision was made during a special closed session. Mary Topping was selected as the new city clerk. She has been with the city since March 2014.

April

The Bonne Terre City Council briefly discussed whether or not the city wanted to take possession of a small, historical church property. Eaton was informed when he took the city administrator position that the city was trying to get the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Main Street deeded over to them. They were to the point where if the council wants to take possession of it, they would have to have an ordinance prepared agreeing to take possession of it.

The Bonne Terre City Council held a special closed session and during that meeting they made some big changes with the fire department. They let go of one chief and appointed another. David Pratte was named chief of both Big River and Bonne Terre.

There were several roads that do not have a street sign and there are stop signs all over the city that have been defaced. Bonne Terre was working to replace 237 signs within the city. Some of them are just faded to the point where they are not very useful, some are missing and some had been vandalized.

May

The Bonne Terre City Council approved repairs to the UV treatment system at the correctional facility.

The new Bonne Terre fire chief gave his first report to the Bonne Terre City Council during their monthly meeting. Bonne Terre/Big River Fire Chief Dave Pratte gave the council a copy of the roster and explained it shows the current information for the firefighters and more will come later as they progress. He said the department is making strides.

More than 200 students competed in the 3rd Annual Local Special Olympics on the North County High School football field.

June

The Bonne Terre Historical Society was offering the residents of Bonne Terre and surrounding areas a second chance to purchase a book featuring the history and families of Bonne Terre to help fund the historical St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

A small piece of Bonne Terre’s history was put on display at Heritage Hall after being hidden away in the Shepard House for many years. Anyone who visits Heritage Hall can see a series of watercolor paintings adorning the walls along the staircase. They are the works of an artist who used to live and paint in Bonne Terre. Her name was Faith Bunch.

The North County School Board heard everything is going well with the summer improvement projects. They had approved an upgrade to the electrical service to the softball field, tennis courts and driveway of the high school, a roof replacement on the high school’s 700 wing, and replacing the outside door sets at the high school and Parkside Elementary.

Missouri 115th District State Representative Elaine Gannon, R-De Soto, visited the North County Raiderettes and presented them with a resolution for their hard work and efforts in recent competitions.

July

North County Primary is one of several schools to be recognized once again this year for their achievement in Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support. SW-PBS is a proactive approach to teaching behavioral expectations in order to improve student behavior and maximize instructional time and student engagement. It was their second year to receive a gold status.

Bonne Terre was forced to close the pool because of a part that has to be replaced on the pump. 

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

August

The Industrial Development Association (IDA) Board convened during a special session and the board voted to transfer all of the IDA’s funds back to the city’s general fund and dissolve itself. The transferred funds total $1,500 in two accounts. Eaton said the IDA was formed several years ago when more funds were available for such an organization.

September

The Terre Du Lac Association had been working to bring Meals on Wheels into the area through the Bonne Terre Nutrition Center.

The North County Board of Education discussed the annexation of a portion of Raider Road and voted in favor of the annexation, making the entirety of the school and Raider Road part of the Bonne Terre city limits.

The Bonne Terre City Council and Alliance discussed the prison issues. It was said that Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) and the city have an agreement and years ago when the agreement was reached, the former city administrator would not challenge the state with anything they brought forth. The screening system they had there was originally designed for no plastics. It’s been broken, rebuilt, redone and they were in the process of getting a new one.

The new North County softball field next to the primary elementary building was opened for the season.

October

Ron Elders, Ward 2 alderman of Bonne Terre, resigned his seat after a push from the council to remove him. The council did not state why they had discussed removing Elders as an alderman.

There was an open house and ribbon cutting for Bonne Terre’s Park View Apartments, marking their grand opening. All apartments were made available to rent and will generate a large income for the city.

A large donation was made to the city to help restore part of the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Main Street in Bonne Terre. The money Dwayne Franklin donated went to the repair of the exterior of the building and install water reserve, a sealant spray that will be sprayed on the exterior of the building to prevent moisture from getting inside. The historic building is owned and maintained by the city with the assistance of the historical society.

November

Two North County students, Juniors Jami O’Hara and Zack Pipkin, were selected to attend the Missouri Scholars Academy at the University of Missouri, which is a three-week program offered to Missouri’s brightest high school students.

December

The North County Board of Education heard from Rep. Mike Henderson, R-Bonne Terre on charter schools and how it will affect the school district.

A new screening system/grinder was put into place at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre. The system has been discussed several times in the past due to the issues the city was having with the original screen and how it wasn’t designed to accept plastics. After a long process, the project is finally complete.

The city of Bonne Terre received their first report back on the radionuclide/radium levels in the water since they installed the new filtration system and they are within safe levels, but have a couple more tests to be completely in the clear.

The Bonne Terre Council discussed several road issues and concerns with a representative from MoDOT and made a plea for turnarounds on the highway for emergency vehicles.

North County yearbook staff received an award for the 2016-17 yearbook and received third place out of nearly 50 schools that were nominated at the Missouri Journalism Education Association Conference held at Southeast Missouri State University.

The water in Bonne Terre is now treated with a Hydrous Manganese Oxide (HMO) filtration system to remove radionuclides from the water. Early testing shows the process is working. 

The water in Bonne Terre is now treated with a Hydrous Manganese Oxide (HMO) filtration system to remove radionuclides from the water. Early testing shows the process is working. 

The North County Raiders softball team gained a new field in 2017.

The North County Raiders softball team gained a new field in 2017.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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