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, December 10, 2020
Don't Make It Easy

The official start of winter may be a couple of weeks away, but recent cold mornings are already driving the urge to warm up vehicles, often leaving them unlocked and unattended. Bear in mind, the warmth of a morning commute may pale in comparison to the heat of frustration you’ll feel if your car is gone when you return from your home, office or coffee run. Please, don’t make it easy.
Upgrades at the Joyce Raye Patterson 50+ Activity Center

The Joyce Raye Patterson (JRP) 50+ Activity Center was built in 1978 as an activity center for seniors in the area. When it was built, it was considered a modern facility with meeting rooms, activity rooms, a kitchen and a multipurpose room. Construction plans called for the building to have a majority of the lighting coming from floor to ceiling windows in the dining room, lobby and conference room areas. Ceilings in the facility were average height in the smaller meeting rooms and offices, while the larger rooms having high ceilings.

The building has been updated a few times since it was built, most notably with a building addition and interior updating in 1997. Since that time, small changes have been made here and there, however much of the interior color-scheme is outdated and in need of a make-over.

The closure in March for COVID-19 helped kick-start a gradual update and deep clean of the interior of the building. The conference room and a hallway were painted, the tall windows were washed, carpets were cleaned, and all of the nooks and crannies of the ceilings were dusted out. Ceiling panels were changed, the water feature in the lobby was drained and cleaned, and additions were made to the waterscape including three new goldfish. In addition, small repairs were made to areas which are difficult to repair when customers are in the building.

To spread out the expense and make it more feasible to continue updating, the JRP building will be closed for one week, twice a year. This allows for staff to gradually make needed updates, repairs and to clean the very difficult areas of the tall ceilings and windows. The next planned week for this project will be December 14-18. 

Staff looks forward to making improvements to the facility during these short time periods. Gradually, small sections of the building will be updated until the entire interior is painted and decorated in a more modern style. These time periods also allow for shampooing of carpets and cleaning of chairs which would normally interrupt customers activities and provide opportunities for staff to make small repairs that are inexpensive and easy to make.
Downtown Street and Garage Cleaning

Trash and debris control in public spaces is always a challenge. We all live in neighborhoods where a property owner throws their trash in other's yards or a passersby throws trash out their windows into the street. Most realize the street division simply does not have the manpower to devote to picking up trash from the street everyday, so most residents pick up items on the street, sidewalk or in yards. 

The Public Works and Transportation Department attempts to treat the downtown a little differently by routing a street sweeper through the area at least once per week, usually on Fridays. The overall goal for the street sweeping program is to cover each block of street in the city with curb and gutter through the year, so the level of effort in downtown is 51 times more than anywhere else in St. Joseph. The area covered is everything between Messanie Street on the south, Robidoux Street on the north, Main Street on the west to 12th Street on the east. 

Parking garages are also an area of focus. The garages are cleaned of trash and debris every day, starting at 4am on weekdays. On Sundays, a staff person picks up the garages after the bars have closed or an event at the Civic Arena over the weekend. The covered lots are swept with a sweeper once a month. Once a year, the covered garages are washed down and the stripes are repainted. 

Despite these efforts, trash remains a common complaint. Some property owners believe the city should police the public sidewalks daily and remove the debris, while others take personal responsibility for the sidewalks and landscaped areas in front of their building currently. Residents outside the downtown area lament the extra efforts made there and would like resources re-directed to the rest of the city.

One thing is certain, trash is an issue in the downtown and city-wide. Despite current downtown efforts exceeding those in other commercial and residential areas of town, trash and litter remain a problem. As the downtown area continues to redevelop, the issue of trash removal will undoubtedly take center stage.
Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccines

The choice to be vaccinated for COVID-19 is a personal one. Your choice can make a positive impact not only you and your family, but...read more
Experience the Holiday Season

As many are busy rushing around town getting all the gifts on their lists, take a moment to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Stroll down the streets of downtown to experience the holiday window displays or attend one of the many events happening downtown through the end of the month.

Don't forget to visit the lighting displays at both Holiday Park and the South Pole. Visitors can enjoy them now through January 3, between 6-10pm each night, weather permitting.
(816) 271-5300