The Bonne Terre Board of Aldermen met Monday for their monthly session where several topics were addressed including hearing department reports, announcing progress on city projects, and approving a bid for street paving.
The meeting began with a public hearing regarding the splitting of a portion of First Baptist Church’s lot in order to share the parcel with an adjacent neighbor. The public hearing was brief with no comments made.
The regular meeting began with public comments which included an invitation from Dean Moak of First Baptist Church to the church’s annual fall festival on Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Moak explained that the event is free and will have rides, games, and activities for people of all ages.
Next, City Administrator Shawn Kay gave his monthly report and updated the board on city projects and other business.
Kay began by reporting that construction on the bathroom facilities at the soccer field will be held off until after the soccer season is complete so that play is not affected by the work.
An update on the city apartment roof repairs was given by Kay who said the contractor will begin work in the next few weeks. The city is also working on installing screen doors on the apartments and is in the process of getting bids to install additional security cameras at the complex.
The mine shaft at 46 Young St., which was discovered on the license office property earlier this summer was mentioned in Kay’s report. Kay said that he has been in touch with the Doe Run Company regarding the company’s plan to address the surface opening. Kay said the mining company’s current stance on the issue is that since they are now in litigation with the company that operates tours at the Bonne Terre Mine –West End Diving Inc.– they will not be correcting the sinkhole until the case is resolved.
Other project updates mentioned by Kay included announcing that the water main installation on Dover Street is now complete so workers will begin running water service lines to the properties in that area. Progress on the soccer field lighting project is being made and poles for the lights have been purchased. The lights will be installed after the season is complete.
Fall cleanup will take place during the last two weeks of October. The annual cleanup gives city residents a chance to dispose of unwanted items in bulk and will begin Oct. 21. Over the two weeks, city workers will only be able to complete 20 pickups per day so residents are asked to call City Hall to schedule a pickup date.
Another city-wide event that will take place in October in the annual city-wide yard sale Oct. 4-5. Permits for the sale can be purchased for $1 at City Hall. Maps of the sale will be available at City Hall and residents wishing to be placed on the map should pay the $5 listing fee by Oct. 2.
Next, reports were given by the heads of some of the city’s different departments.
Fire Chief David Pratte said they are still getting things situated in the new fire station. Pratte mentioned that a pump has been ordered for the department’s pumper truck which has been out of service.
Firefighters will be training this weekend with the department’s new ladder. Pratte said that they will be out this weekend at area churches and businesses conducting training on the best ways to position the large truck when responding to various locations.
The chief also said the department will have their Spook House at the old fire station on Oct. 19. Pratte said everything is in progress there and the night should a fun, free event for the community.
The board then heard from City Accountant Greg Shinn who gave an itemized report about the city’s financial standing.
Shinn said that the city’s Housing Fund had $167,000 come in and a big part of that is due to some insurance proceeds that the city received. He said the city will receive the very last part of the insurance proceeds upon completion of the roof on the city apartments.
Revenue over expenditures for the city’s Housing Fund shows a year-to-date figure of $214,000. Shinn said that some money will begin to come out of this figure when construction begins and materials are ordered.
The city’s Capital Tax fund is at $12,650 year to date, according to Shinn’s report. Kay added that they had just received the sales tax figures which came in at $63,000 for the month of August.
Shinn explained that the Senior Center is doing great and is $60,819 in the positive.
Overall, the city’s General Fund is $13,442 in the positive for the month of July.
Bonne Terre Police Chief Doug Calvert gave a brief report next where he updated the board members about repairs needed on the department’s two-wheel-drive Dodge Chargers. Calvert explained that after doing some research, he was able to determine that there is a service issue on the font-ends of the Chargers and he spoke with several area police departments who have had similar issues. Chrysler is reportedly aware of the problem but has not issued a recall for the vehicles. The chief further explained that he is going to look into ways of getting reimbursement for the front-end repairs from the manufacturer as the unexpected cost has taken a large chunk out of their vehicle maintenance budget.
Calvert moved on to explain to the alderman Some of the upcoming training the police department has planned. He mentioned that he is seriously considering having the city’s police officers carry Narcan for overdoses that officers encounter on patrol.
Calvert went on to explain that he’s concerned with the influx of carfentanil, a strong opiate that is around 100 times more potent than fentanyl and thousands of times stronger than heroin. The chief said a lethal dose of carfentanil can be a little as three grain of salt and he’s concerned with officers and members of the public accidentally becoming exposed to the substance so he believes carrying Narcan is a wise decision. Several aldermen agreed that it was a good idea to look into having officers carry the opioid reversing agent.
The council then moved on to set a work session to discuss the preliminary budget for next year, which needs to be completed by the end of the month. The work session was scheduled for Sept. 23, at 5 p.m.
It was also decided in the meeting, after hearing recommendations from Calvert, that the three-way intersection at Oak and Summit Streets be made into a four-way intersection. The two-way intersection at Summit Street and Cherry Street will also be made into a four-way intersection.
The new business that the board addressed in the meeting included the issuing of a proclamation by City Mayor Brandon Hubbard recognizing the Centenary United Methodist Church’s 100 years of dedication to the city and people in need. Everyone in attendance at the meeting applauded as the mayor signed the centennial proclamation.
The North County School District’s Homecoming parade was approved next. The parade will be held on Oct. 4.
The board approved a request to have Steve Kohler and Patricia Milfelt join the Senior Center Coordination Committee and also approved the Bonne Terre Historical Society’s request to have Ruth Rellergert and Cynthia Robinson join their organization.
Also approved by the board was a resolution authorizing the filing of an application with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Small Community Engineering Assistance Program under the Missouri Clean Water Law. Kay said that essentially what this means is the city is applying for a grant to assist with engineering in fixing the city water system’s inflow and filtration problems. He explained that the city has had some issues with rainwater runoff into the system and if they are awarded the $50,000 grant, it will save the city $12,500 in repair costs.
Moving towards the end of the meeting, Hubbard presented plaques to Darlene Williams and Debbie Hoskin, on behalf of the city, for their volunteer work at the city’s Lake Park. Williams and Hoskin provided their own time and money to paint all of the flower planters in the park and fill them with fresh soil and flowers.
Lastly discussed in the meeting was the approval of a bid by Bauman Contracting to pave five streets in the city. The bid was approved unanimously as the contracting company was the lowest bidder out of the four bids the city received. An ordinance will have to be drafted and taking up in next month’s meeting to approve the contract for the work.
The streets that are planned to be paved include a section of Elm Street, between Church and North Allen Streets, Nesbit Drive beside Dairy Queen, North Dover Street near Hubs Pub, the unnamed street that runs behind Cheap Smokes, and another unnamed street that runs from Nesbit Drive to Barry Road.