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 12, 2021
Back to School Safety

It's hard to believe, but the new school year is just around the corner. As students get ready to head back, remember to always be aware of your surroundings. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Watch for children crossing streets or waiting at bus stops.
  • Exercise caution in school zones.
  • Know the bus routes in your neighborhood.
  • Remember you must stop for school buses.
  • Slow down and be mindful of posted school zone speeds.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

For more safety tips, visit stjosephmo.gov.
Transit Development Plan

We are looking to update the transit services to better serve you. The St. Joseph Area Transportation Study Organization and The Ride are inviting residents to participate in a public meeting tonight, August 12, in the City Hall Lobby from 4:30-6:30pm. This meeting is a great opportunity to learn more about what the future of transit service could look like and for the public to provide input.

Currently, the city is looking to achieve the goals set forth in the current Transit Development Plan. Staff wants to provide safe and efficient public transit for all users, ensure the system suits our needs – not only for today, but for the foreseeable future – and ensure the system is sustainable in the long term. They also want to encourage public participation in updates to the system at every reasonable opportunity. These may seem like abstract ideas at first, so here are a few of the concrete steps staff hopes to accomplish with this update to the system. 

The goal is to decrease headway times so riders do not have to wait so long for service, as well as reroute or combine current routes from low-use areas to better service necessary destinations across the city. Staff is also looking to expand the micro transit service, that way riders can get exactly where they need to go. On top of all this, staff is also working to expand the user base by making the services easier to learn about. The Ride is currently in the process of re-branding and would love to have more input on the process to know what the public wants to know about the new services.

What this all boils down to is staff wants riders to have faster and more predictable transit service they can depend on and understand.
Try Your Hand at Pickleball

The history of pickleball dates back to 1965 in Bainbridge Island, just a small ferry ride from Seattle. The idea for this game was to be challenging, yet manageable. The inventors lowered the net on their badminton court and gave kids Ping-Pong paddles and a whiffle ball. The rules of the game have evolved to what they are today. People set up their own courts in their driveways and backyards by using chalk for the lines and finding something as small as a piece of string to make their own nets.

The game has continued to gain popularity over the years for players of all ages. Today, pickleball is played all over the world. Anywhere from community groups, PE classes, recreational and competitive leagues, there are more than 100,000 people playing the game in the United States alone as the game continues to grow.

Plan a visit to the newly renovated pickleball courts at the Bode Sports Complex or even try a match at Northside or Hyde courts. You may just fall in love with a game you can play for a lifetime.
The Role of a Neighborhood Service Coordinator

The job of neighborhood service coordinator covers a multitude of activities, all of which are centered around the neighborhoods and working with the residents to make their neighborhoods a great place to live. This is done by promoting activities to help build a sense of community and addressing challenges detrimental to this goal. The coordinator assists groups with identifying neighborhood concerns and finding solutions.

The role serves as the city’s liaison to neighborhood groups and individuals while attending neighborhood organization meetings in target areas. This includes relaying information on current city initiatives while also promoting city programs through organized associations and neighborhood watches to keep residents informed. Some of the current city initiatives are the rental inspection program, land bank, vacant building program, and the litter campaign. The litter campaign is a grassroots effort with a goal of reducing trash and litter throughout our city. One of the first steps to achieving this goal was a revised trash ordinance passed by City Council. More information about this new ordinance will be provided to residents when it takes effect. The desired outcome of this ordinance is to keep trash bags from being torn open by animals which contribute to scattered and blowing trash. 

There are two popular city programs with neighborhood associations, neighborhood watches, civic and volunteer groups administered by the coordinator with the first being the neighborhood cleanup program. This program provides two dumpsters on a Saturday and at the time of a neighborhood’s choice. They are provided 20-yard up to 40-yard dumpsters for a street permit of $10. This program pays for the dumpsters and the landfill fees, so you can see why it is a great program for neighborhoods.

The other program is a neighborhood grant program, which is available to neighborhood associations and homeowners’ associations. This program has been used for buying neighborhood banners, replacing a small retaining wall around an association’s butterfly garden, trimming trees around a park, buying paint for shelter houses and to purchase four new picnic tables. It has also been used to remove dead Ash trees from the medians of the main entrance of a neighborhood and obtaining free new trees which were planted by the developer.

Great neighborhoods make a great city. When the city partners with neighborhoods, great things happen!
Missouri Bicentennial Celebration

Celebrate St. Joseph's journey from a frontier town to a city of innovation during the St. Joseph 2021: From Steam to S.T.E.A.M. Festival August 20-21 at Civic Center Park. This free event will feature live music, living history activities, a S.T.E.A.M innovation zone and much more. For more information, visit the Allied Arts Council's website.
(816) 271-5300