The City of Poplar Bluff is situated in the north central portion of Butler County. Forty-two full-time police officers and 33 full-time firemen protect the residents of the county seat. City offices are housed at 101 Oak Street, where the seven-member city council meets. The Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission, the city, and its chamber of commerce work together to foster economic development for Poplar Bluff.
Mayor Robert Smith reports that, according to the 2010 census, her city had a population 17,023. Of those residents, 12,908 are over 18-years-old, and 4,115 are younger than 18.
Per capita income for Butler County is $18,620. The unemployment rate of Butler County in 2015 was 9.3 percent, with an available workforce of 7,262. Only 678 people in Butler County are unemployed, with 18,067 having gainful employment. The average hourly wage for the county, as of 2010, was $14.90 per.
Major employers in the county are Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, with 1,200 employees; Briggs & Stratton Corporation, which employs 760 to manufacture internal combustion engines; Gates Rubber Company, whose 550 employees manufacture radiator hoses; and V.A. medical Center with 580 employees.
Municipal Utilities provides electric power, water, and sewer services for Poplar Bluff residents. Natural gas is obtained from Spire. AT&T, Windstream Communications, Big River Telephone and Boycom Cablevision are the local telephone service providers. Internet service is available through AT&T, Socket Internet Services and TcMax.net.
Residents of Poplar Bluff have three hospitals and numerous clinics from which to choose for their medical care. Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, Black River Medical Center (Coppertop) and John J. Pershing Veterans Administration Hospital are all located in Poplar Bluff.
Poplar Bluff students stay in town for their education, from elementary to high school. Besides the public school system, students also have six private schools in the area from which to choose. Three Rivers College is located in Poplar Bluff with Fall 2017 enrollment of 3,226. Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center is also a popular choice for area youngsters. Southeast Missouri State University, a public four-year college located in Cape Girardeau, MO, is the nearest higher learning facility. Fall, 2011, enrollment for the university was 11,502 students.
Residents of Poplar Bluff travel U.S. Highways 67 and 60, and State Highways 53 and 142. The nearest four-lane highway is within the city limits, and it is only 45 miles to the nearest interstate: I-55. Amtrak service is available in Poplar Bluff. The Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport, located just outside the city limits, has a 5,007-foot runway. Private aircraft storage and aviation fuel are available. The nearest commercial airport is Cape Girardeau Regional airport in Cape Girardeau, MO, 70 miles away.
Poplar Bluff residents have a wide choice of banking facilties from which to choose. Financial institutions include: Commerce Bank, People's Community Bank, U.S. Bank, First Missouri State Bank, Southern Missouri Bank and Trust, and First Midwest Bank. Folks enjoy one daily newspaper and sixteen radio stations. The Poplar Bluff Nutrition Center, Black River Colisuem, and multiple parks are enjoyed by young and old alike.
Lake Wappapello is the nearest public access lake and Black River access is near. Visitors can camp, fish, hike, boat, swim and water ski. Other available facilities to be enjoyed include the public library, a country club, public golf course, eight public parks, two swimming pools, and six tennis courts. Average temperatures for the area range from 47.6 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in July. The average annual precipitation is 48 inches.
The city is represented in the State House of Representatives by 152nd District Representative Todd Richardson (R) and in the state senate by Senator Doug Libla (R) of the 25th District. U.S. Representative Jason Smith (R) represents Poplar Bluff in the Eighth Congressional District.
Poplar Bluff Muncipal (POF). Location: 3 mi. E of city.Coordinates: N36-46.43; W090-19.49. Mag var: 2E.Navaids: MAW 111.2 30023.8; FD278 358 6.2. Telephone: 573/686-4892. Fax: 573/636-7764. Hours: 7 am to 6 pm Oct thru May; 7 am to 9 pm May thru Oct; aft on req. Elevation: 331. Pattern altitudes: 1100 MSL all aircraft. Runways: 18-36 5,007 x 100, asphalt, asphalt pfc; trees ea end, lights MIRL (NSTD). Lights: beacon. Fees: hangar, tiedown. Approaches: GPS RNAV, NDB, SDF. FSS: Saint Louis 122.2, 122.65. Com freq: APP Memphis Center/135.5; UNICOM/CTAF 123.0. Weather Contacts: ASOS 124.225, 573/778-9172. Charts: St. Louis; L21. Transportation: courtesy car; van. Taxis: 573/785-8696, 776-1000. Notes: agricultural ops, banner towing, helicopter ops, RC models, ultralights.