Supporting Local Communities
17 Aug 2020
The rolling hills of Southeast Missouri are a nature lover’s paradise. Here, we enjoy hunting, fishing, floating or hiking, all close to home. Ensuring the vitality of this area is something we take seriously.
Doe Run supports its communities through company efforts, as well as volunteerism. Over the past 10 years, we have donated more than $2 million to support education and charitable programs in our communities, including assistance to help employees further their education.
“Over the last several years, we’ve heard from many of our local school districts that they’d like to supplement their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum,” said Tammy Stankey, director of communications. “Supporting them aligns with our goals of strengthening educational opportunities in our region and preparing a future workforce. Despite the downturn in the metals market, over the past year, we have donated nearly $33,000 to support STEM programs and scholarships for elementary through college-level students.”
Our 2019 education donations included:
- Sponsoring STEM curriculum for Valley R-VI High School in Caledonia. This marks the third year that Doe Run has supported the Project Lead The Way curriculum program. During that three-year period, 242 students in grades 7-12 participated in the program.
- Purchasing lab materials, teacher training and robotics equipment for Bunker Elementary.
- Supplying STEM materials to North Wood R-VI in Salem, so students in grades 5-8 can conduct scientific investigations, analyze data, and use mathematics and computational thinking.
- Funding a STEM grant for Viburnum junior high and high school, including curriculum, lab equipment and after-school robotics activities.
- Providing two full scholarships to Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) 2019 Summer Explosives Camp, where high school juniors and seniors gain hands-on experience with the safe handling and setting off of the types of explosives used in industries, like mining.
- Sponsoring college scholarships for students attending Missouri S&T, Southwest Baptist University Salem Campus and Minerals Area College.
Doe Run also invests in our communities by buying local. In 2019, we spent $169 million with 665 Missouri businesses.
When it comes to our support of local schools, we sometimes receive questions about Doe Run’s property tax appeals with Reynolds and Iron counties. Our objectives for the tax appeal in Reynolds County were to determine through the Missouri State Tax Commission the correct methodology to compute our real property taxes, and to then utilize that methodology to arrive at a proper and fair determination of Doe Run’s real property tax obligations.
The Commission’s findings and following opinion from the Missouri Court of Appeals essentially confirmed we had been overpaying our real property taxes. When we overpay for something over a period time, this impacts our ability to reinvest in our business. By being good stewards of both our physical and financial assets, we can work to extend the life of our mines in the Viburnum Trend and their economic contributions to local communities for as long as possible. We are working through a similar process with Iron County to ensure consistent application of the taxation methodology.
Sustaining Our Vibrant Communities
Each year, Doe Run hosts events that celebrate more than 300 years of mining history in our region. During Old Miners’ Days in Viburnum, visitors can see what modern-day mining equipment looks like above ground and take a free tour of one of our underground mines. Throughout the weekend, guests enjoy live music, a car show, food and craft booths, and children’s rides and activities. More than 100 employees volunteer at the weekend-long event. We’ve also co-hosted the annual Fall Rocks event held at Missouri Mines State Historic Site in Park Hills for 15 years. Here, families participate in interactive events for all ages that celebrate the importance of minerals in our everyday lives.
Doe Run also sponsors other events, such as the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Rodeo and roadside clean-up activities, to support a fun and vibrant community in which to live and work.
Our employees give back in their own communities by volunteering, as well as through donations, such as school supplies, clothing, food and hygiene items to support local school districts’ Backpack Buddies programs. These supplies are given to elementary school students in Bunker, Steelville, Viburnum, Lesterville and Salem. Employees also donate thousands of cans of food and non-perishable items to the A Plus CDS in Salem, Mission Food Pantry in Bunker and Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independence (DCAI) in Viburnum.