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Bonne Terre gets $550K boost from state grants

Bonne Terre City Administrator Shawn Kay, Alderwoman Julie Williams Hawn and Alderman Bruce Pratte listen to a report from Fire Chief David Pratte about the recent ISO inspection.

The city of Bonne Terre received more than half of a million dollars in state money for infrastructural improvements, according to City Administrator Shawn Kay, who shared the news at Monday night’s monthly council meeting.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) awarded $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for bridge repair and improvements in the city. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources also awarded the city a $50,000 grant to evaluate wastewater system improvements.

“I’d like to thank Rep. (Mike) Henderson, Sen. (Gary) Romine and Rep. Elaine Gannon who provided letters of support. Thank you, to the council, for your hard work and support in moving this project forward,” Kay said. “Most importantly, thank you to the citizens, because if they hadn’t voted for the property tax, we wouldn’t have the money to match these grants, which is a total of $200,000 for the city.”

“While it’s cash out of our citizens’ pockets to pay the tax to get these grants, I feel the mayor and council members have made good on their promise to the citizens that if we had a little more money to work with, we’d address infrastructural improvements,” Kay said.

Bonne Terre Mayor Brandon Hubbard agreed. "We sincerely appreciate receiving the assistance we needed to make these much-needed improvements," he said. "These funds will go a long way toward keeping citizens safe by improving a bridge that was in great need of repairs."

Missouri Department of Economic Development Deputy Director Luke Holtschneider said the DED was glad to help the city’s efforts. "Ensuring infrastructure is safe and up-to-date is not only necessary, but highly beneficial for commerce and economic development in rural Missouri," Holtschneider said.

Kay said he was also thankful for the $50,000 Small Community Engineering Assistance Program (SCEAP) grant from the DNR to evaluate the city's wastewater system. The program offers funding to small communities for wastewater engineering costs incurred in preparing a facility plan report.

The city will use the grant to identify wastewater system improvements for efficiency and effectiveness, capacity, to satisfy public health and water quality regulations, and to reduce inflow and infiltration of stormwater into sewer collection pipes.

The facility plan should be complete in July 2021.

In other matters, the council:

Approved an ordinance regulating marijuana-related businesses operating within city limits.

Authorized Kay to hire Equipment Pro Inc. to repair the ditch rotors at the northeast wastewater treatment facility.

Heard a report from Kay that touched on selling surplus equipment, installing the last of the screen doors to Parkview Apartments, replacing security cameras at the apartments, bidding asphalting and striping for the police department parking lot.

Approved putting stop signs on the newly-named Archer Street as it intersects with Nesbit Drive, both east and west.

Authorized Kay to contract with Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission to assist with Turkey Creek bridge improvements associated with the CDBG funds.

Heard an ISO report from Fire Chief David Pratte, who said it might be anywhere from two to six months to get the results from the recent ISO inspection. Kay commended Pratte for his and his volunteer firefighters’ diligence in preparing for the visit.

Heard a complaint from a citizen whose unlicensed vehicle was towed from the city street with little or no notice. Kay said he and Police Chief Doug Calvert have worked on revising policy to improve notifications in the future.

Entertained a request from a resident who lives near the corner of Desoto and Division streets regarding signage creating awareness that children may be at play, since she said motorists were frequently speeding and ignoring stop signs.

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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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