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Bonne Terre signs off on FY budget, names streets

Bonne Terre aldermen approved the city's budget for the new fiscal year and named two previously-unnamed streets in memory of two police chiefs during a special meeting last week.

The Bonne Terre City Council approved its fiscal year 2019-20 budget and the amended budget for 2018-19 during a special session last week.

They also named two previously-unnamed streets in memory of two past police chiefs.

Bonne Terre City Treasurer Greg Shinn, of Thurman, Shinn and Co., presented both budgets. The amended budget for 2018-19 was passed unanimously. The 2019-20 budget, which was discussed during the previous week’s work session, was approved with a dissenting vote from Ward 3 Alderman Erik Schonhardt.

Schonhardt explained he voted no because he was reluctant to sign off on the budget when questions still surrounded a few key issues.

“There were issues in the budget that I felt needed to be addressed, but haven’t,” he said after the meeting adjourned. “One issue was how we’re going to spend the revenue generated by the new property tax, and another issue has to do with health care.”

During the meeting, City Administrator Shawn Kay indicated the budget hadn’t changed much since the council had worked on it the previous week.

“There were two line items we adjusted in the police budget to align it more with the three-year average, and the equipment line added to the fire department,” he said. “Otherwise, it’s very similar to the budget we talked about last week.”

By phone the following day, Kay said the budget for any city is more of a financial prediction of how the money is spent, and every public entity does its best to prognosticate the coming year’s expenses based on previous years’ spending.

“It’s more of a guess than anything,” he said. “We try to work within the constraints of the budget, and we do quite well, but we’ll have unforeseen expenses crop up from time to time, like when equipment breaks down or there’s a price increase or something. And sales tax revenue is difficult to predict.”

The city’s fiscal year annually begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30.

Having taken care of Bonne Terre’s budgets, the council turned their attention to city streets, approving an ordinance to have Vern Bauman Contracting Company repave: a portion of Elm Street; Nesbit Drive; the unnamed street from Nesbit Drive to Berry Road; a portion of Dover Street; and the unnamed street from Berry Road to the end of the Sowers Insurance lot.

Naming those “unnamed streets” was the next order of business.

The road that begins at its intersection with Berry Road and ending at its intersection with North Dover Street was unanimously voted to be renamed Fred Mallow Drive, after the police chief who served the department for 25 years, 11 of them as its leader. Mallow retired in 2005 on his 65th birthday and died at his residence in 2012 at the age of 72.

Mallow was a friend to and worked under the namesake of the next “unnamed street,” which the board unanimously agreed to christen Gene Archer Drive. The road begins at its intersection with Nesbit Drive and ends at its intersection with Berry Road. Archer served in and out of law enforcement over the course of about four decades, but he got his start with the Bonne Terre Police Department in 1952. He preceded Mallow as chief, a position he held for 15 years. He was also a city councilman and mayor. He died in December 2016 at the age of 83.

The council also discussed possible violations of the ordinances concerning commercial businesses using the city’s hydrants.

The council approved two stop signs at the intersection of Summit and Cherry streets, and a stop sign at the intersection of Oak and Summit streets.

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Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at shaas@dailyjournalonline.com.

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