Welcome to the city of St Joseph's weekly digital newsletter. City Link is your source for timely and relevant information from your local government.
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Garage Sale Weekend

Don't forget this weekend is Garage Sale Weekend in St. Joseph. Residents will be able to host garage sales without purchasing a $5 permit. With the school year right around the corner, this is a great time to get geared up for the new school year. For those treasure hunters out there, this is a great opportunity to make your way around your neighborhood and the community to see what you can find! It's also a great way to get some exercise and meet your neighbors!

For more information, visit the   garage sale license   page on stjoemo.org.
Understanding Growing Concerns

Perfluoroctanesulfonic acid (PFAS), a class of carbon-fluorine chain organic chemicals typically found in low concentrations in media and wastewaters, is a human health concern and is receiving a lot of attention in several states. For example, North Carolina is testing all public water system intakes/wells for PFAS. Michigan has required every publicly owned treatment works (POTW) to test its influent and effluent for PFAS. This month, Maine is requiring all POTWs which land apply biosolids to have their biosolids tested for PFAS.

PFAS comes from food packaged in PFAS containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or PFAS contaminated soil or water. It can also be found in c ommon household products like water repellent fabrics, nonstick products like Teflon, polishes, waxes, paints and cleaning products. Some PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States, but they are still produced internationally and are imported in products such as carpet, leather, clothing, rubber and plastics. Nationally, a number of university researchers have become engaged and are asking for access to POTWs, water plants, and municipal landfills for sampling.

Like any emerging pollutant parameters, the EPA and/or the state has not yet fully developed standards or threshold levels for PFAS. However, for general reference EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act (nonbinding, nonregulatory) threshold for the combination of PFOS and PFOA (two specific PFAS chemical compounds) is 70 parts per trillion (ppt or nanograms per liter). For solid wastes (bio-solids) purposes Michigan DEQ (MDEQ) uses “screening” concentrations for PFOS of 5.2 parts per billion dry weight (ug/kg); 2.5 ug/kg PFOA; and 1.9 mg/kg (parts per million) PFBS.

Due to the health concerns and because of the continuing nature of interest and regulatory activity for these pollutant parameters, the Association of Missouri Cleanwater Agencies, of which St. Joseph is a member, pulled together several documents that may be of interest either for background or for purposes of sampling and analysis considerations. Most of those are from Michigan, given that they has been particularly active on this front, along with one from Maine. 

As an evolving pollutant of concern, PFAS has been on the public works department radar screen for several years now and was one of the factors that led the City Council several years ago to begin to develop a system for bio-solids disposal that did not rely on farm field application into the future, i.e. developing a bio-solids dryer. As predicted some time ago, the subject is now moving forward at the national and state level. Along those lines, St. Joseph is coordinating with other POTW’s in Missouri to begin collecting data on the subject through an information request for industrial users and non-domestic users. While testing protocols are still being developed for each of the many types of PFAS, some interim methods have been established and knowing where Missouri falls, and St. Joseph within the state, will be key down the road. 
Trends in Parks and Recreation

Every year, there seems to be changes in the trends for parks and recreation. According to the National Recreation and Parks Association, in 2019, the following were trends seen nationwide: recycling, technology, funding, pickleball, different versions of yoga with small animals, eSports and indoor facilities. So what’s on the decline? Recycling and traditional sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis and softball. 

On the other side, investments in infrastructure for parks facilities, buildings and playground equipment replacement are seeing an increase. Technology for photography, videography, and public safety with drone use and event technology incorporated into playground equipment has also grown in popularity. Many people are turning to new and different fitness related recreational opportunities such as pickleball, goat and pig yoga, ga ga ball, and eSports. There has been an increase in indoor facility construction for sports such as lacrosse, football and soccer, places for educational opportunities such as escape rooms, nature centers, and exploratory museums. This also includes areas to learn, practice or watch theater and orchestra and places for seniors to spend time exercising and participating in other group recreational activities. 

As with most years, the trends continue to focus on improvement to parks and recreation systems along with maintaining a structure that provides free and economically priced activities for those in the lowest socio-economic brackets.
Don't Forget Your Back to School Vaccines

Tis the season…the back to school season as it’s nearly time for school outfits, backpacks and school supplies. There will be a last-minute rush at the end of summer to make sure that everything is ready... read more
First Saturday

Have you discovered what downtown St. Joseph has to offer lately? Take a trip down this Saturday, August 3, to take part in First Saturday. This monthly event showcases the many one-of-a-kind shops, the chance to treat your tastebuds to the locally owned restaurants and an up-close look at the new pieces of the Sculpture Walk. There is always something to explore in downtown St. Joseph.
(816) 271-5300