The Bonne Terre Parks Board, city of Bonne Terre and the Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce, along with some businesses in the community have teamed up to start a disc golf course in hopes of attracting more visitors.
Bonne Terre Parks Board Member Julie Pratte said the parks board was approached by Kaleb Politte and Al Kennon. She said they came to the board wanting to know if they would be interested in a disc golf course at the Bonne Terre City Park.
“As you all know, over the past few years we have really gotten the pond looking nice and the walking track. The (city) park has just kind of been abandoned,” Pratte said. “So this is going to be a way to bring people back to the park.”
Pratte said she took it to the chamber of commerce after speaking with then-City Administrator Jim Eaton and they agreed to put $2,000 toward the project right off the top. She explained there will be nine holes and six of them already have sponsorships.
“I am waiting to hear back from a couple of other people, so I could potentially have eight sponsorships,” Pratte said. “I am just going to guess that if there is any cost at all it shouldn’t be more than $2,000. I gave you copies of what the sponsorships look like, there will be a sign on each of the 4×4 posts. There will be a concrete pad that they will stand on and the baskets will be blue and gold.”
Pratte added that North County recently formed a disc golf club so this will work out really well.
Alderwoman Andrea Richardson said there is a lot of excitement about a disc golf course and there is already a disc golf champion in Bonne Terre.
“They are telling me these tournaments can bring up to a 1,000 people into the area,” Pratte said. “So that would be gas, food, lodging and all of that good stuff for our town. The rules are the courses have to be within 20 minutes of each other.”
Politte said there would be four courses they could use within 20 minutes of each other. In St. Francois County, there are courses at Columbia Park in Park Hills, Engler Park in Farmington and at Mineral Area College.
Pratte said Al Kennon will design the course.
“He will take care of designing the course and he is going to sell us the baskets at cost,” Pratte said. “It’s normally $500 for each hole and he is waiving all of those fees. If anything at all, I would say no more than $2,000 is needed because I know we are going to have a couple of benches and their might be some unforeseen things.”
City Administrator Shawn Kay said that some of the city cost will be in labor because they will have to put the baskets in, and Kennon said he would show them where they need to be installed.
Richardson said all she has seen were the baskets and signs in areas that have disc golf courses. Kay said there is also a tee box. Pratte added that is why the chamber donated the $2,000, to cover the cost of the tee box.
Eaton asked if Pratte was hoping to obtain some funds from the parks and recreation fund, and she said that was an option if additional funding was needed.
“It’s $295 for a sponsorship and that is the cost of the basket,” Pratte said. “If they want to stay on there the following year then it will cost $100 each year, which will help with the upkeep.”
Basket sponsors so far are Hub’s Pub, Belgrade Financial Services, C.Z. Boyer Funeral Home, Unico Bank, First State Community Bank and Dominos. There are three baskets available for sponsorships.
Pratte said there will be nine holes and it will start up in the area where the tennis courts are located. She added they will want some of the baskets in the trees so it will be a little more difficult and the course will stretch throughout the park.
“The baskets are rustproof and last at least 10 years,” Pratte said.
Alderwoman Julie Hahn added that they are relatively indestructible.
Alderman Eric Schonhardt asked if the parks committee was onboard with this project. Pratte said they were in favor of the idea.
A motion was made and the council voted in favor of a disc golf course being added to the city park.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com