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EPA to remediate ballfields

Bonne Terre city leaders recently found out their baseball fields at the sports complex will be remediated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this spring.

Shawn Kay, who has since been promoted from public works director to city administrator, gave an update on the Bonne Terre Sports Complex during a recent council meeting.

“I thought I would let the council know that I have been notified by the EPA that they are going to remediate all three fields at the Dairy Fields starting around the first of March,” Kay said. “The soccer field is not on their radar at this time. If you have ever seen a map of the lead in the area, the soccer field is just along the edge. Because of all that dirt that was brought in and put on top of it to make it level, it is a little cleaner of an area.”

Kay explained the sports complex baseball fields range from about 1,800 parts per a million of lead up to almost 4,000 parts per million lead. He stressed that is kind of high on the radar and the state of Missouri is actually going to do it as part of their project.

“They had some properties they were supposed to remediate that they can’t get access agreements signed, so they are going to move over and exchange this for something they were supposed to do,” Kay said, “which is good for us, because instead of doing hydro seed, we are going to get sod.”

Alderman Bruce Pratte asked if they were going to do the field behind city hall in Veteran’s Park. Kay responded that ballfield had not been agreed to yet, but he is still working on it.

Interim City Administrator Jim Eaton asked if Kay was still considering watering the fields over at the sports complex.

Kay said that was Mayor Brandon Hubbard’s idea and Hubbard said he thinks they are crazy if they don’t do some type of irrigation system on brand new fields they are going to get.

“If we don’t do it while it’s all ripped up we will really regret it later on,” Hubbard said. “If we can’t find the money, we need to figure something out between now and March.”

Eaton said they need to get some estimates and Kay said he is already working on it.

“The first one was about $24,000, but you have to remember you are irrigating three fields,” Kay said.

Hubbard added they will never have good grass if they don’t irrigate it and it will always be clumpy patches of grass.

“I think you could host a lot more tournaments if we have a nice complex like that,” Hubbard said. “There will be a lot more people coming into the area if we have a nice playing surface. We will be talking about that because it will be here before we know it.”

Hubbard said it needs to be complete before the summer time, which is the main thing. He stressed they definitely don’t want to miss out on the summer games.

“I have talked to the folks with the EPA and DNR (Missouri Department of Natural Resources) and they said it shouldn’t be a problem,” Kay said. “The only thing they are worried about is if they have to work around us if we are going to do the irrigation system. We have to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row in regard to that.”

Kay added that is if they decide they want to do that, then they should have their proposals all ready to go and to move forward when the EPA comes in to do their project.

“I think they said they will strip the dirt, then our contractor will come in and lay the sprinkler system and irrigation system,” Kay explained. “Then they would leave and the EPA folks would come back in and do the fields.”

Hubbard said he knows when they do remediation for yards they make it look nice, but wanted to know if they do the same thing for baseball fields.

Kay said they are supposed to put back the way it was before they started.

Hubbard said that this was something they needed to stay on top of.

Kay said he has started working on proposals for the irrigation system project.

The EPA will be remediating the baseball fields in the sports complex. The city is looking at an irrigation system. 

The EPA will be remediating the baseball fields in the sports complex. The city is looking at an irrigation system. 

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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