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, February 18, 2021
Still Time to Register

Though it may be hard to believe with the recent temperatures, but spring is right around the corner and so is the annual Outlaw Adventure Run on March 27. Registration is still underway for this fun 5k event that has participants maneuver through, over and under obstacles throughout the course at Krug Park.

Registration is $60 per person with group discounts available. Register online or call 271-5501 for more information.
Bridge Replacement Update

Last year, voters approved a bond to provide $20 million to replace many structurally deficient bridges in St. Joseph. The process had resulted in the selection of, and subsequent contracting with, several different consulting engineering firms to proceed with this work. An initial 20 sites with the greatest needs for replacement were selected and assigned to the various consultants to begin the design work.

For most of the chosen structures, the field survey work is complete as are the geotechnical investigation activities. For many of these, site design is well underway and city staff was recently able to conduct a series of 30% design reviews on over half of the chosen sites. However, due to an inability for the city to acquire a satisfactory agreement with one of the initially selected consulting firms, a few of the projects were delayed. These projects have subsequently been reassigned to other consultants and the survey, geotechnical and design work is now proceeding. Staff expects to have the final 30% of reviews to take place over the next month or two at the latest.

Two of the main topics of discussion at these recent review meetings have been to emphasize efficient and effective structures which maintain some visual aesthetics to maximize the investment we are making in these replacements. The other significant topic has been the initial discussions involving detouring and construction timing to minimize the impacts the construction activities will have on the traveling public. Both topics were embraced by the consultants and they are considering some alternative phasing and structures in a couple locations and are working to adjust some design considerations to stretch the available funds as far as they will go.

At this point, the design for most of the structures is still scheduled to be completed in the spring 2021 with construction expected to begin shortly thereafter.
Article submitted by Ivan Klippenstein, SJFD Training Officer

Being Prepared On the Job

For the start of 2021, the weather has been great. It has been warm with a moderate amount of precipitation. This requires less fuel to heat our homes and city facilities. It reduces stress on equipment for emergency responders. Most importantly, it is a better environment for those who have to work outside. 

However, the last couple of weeks have brought some major changes in the weather. I have been a firefighter for the city for many years, but also raise cattle. Weeks like this, with extreme temperatures around or below zero along with the snow on the ground presents unique challenges that we need to consider when working outside. In the cattle business, the cattle require more energy, or feed, to help them keep warm. They also required us to cut holes in ponds so they can drink. We spend a great deal of time outside. As many employees for the city can relate, it is important to dress and prepare for the outdoor weather as we go about our duties for the community. 

We all should be prepared in the event we are caught out in the cold. Breakdowns of cars or equipment or just needing to feed and water our animals or livestock can place us in a dangerous situation. We should prepare by having a small duffle bag with dry clothes and an extra pair of gloves in our vehicles or outbuildings. The key to staying warm is to layer and cover exposed skin as much as possible. Chemical warming packets are good to put in your gloves and boots. Also, consider traction devices on your boots in icy conditions.

Most of us don’t think about hydration when it is extremely cold, but it is important to hydrate and water does this best. Alcohol does not do a body good in cold weather. While it may initially warm you up and liquor can help you feel warmer as blood vessels on the skin's surface open, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. However, this feeling of warmth does not mean your body temperature will be affected. You will still be just as likely to get frostbite or hypothermia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to abstain from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages while in the cold since both cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.

Each of us should prepare for extreme weather as it applies to our jobs and know the risks we face as we work or travel.
Being Proactive to Prevent Syphilis

Syphilis cases reported in Buchanan County and within the state of Missouri are increasing. In 2018, 19 cases were reported and in 2019, 33 cases for Buchanan County. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection which can cause serious health problems if it is not treated. It is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can be spread through many different ways with someone who has the disease. Congenital syphilis is a disease which occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy.

Syphilis is divided into stages, primary, secondary, latent and tertiary, with different signs and symptoms associated with each stage. A person with primary syphilis generally has a sore or sores at the original site of infection. These sores usually occur on or around the lower extremities or in and around the mouth. These sores are usually, but not always, firm, round and painless. Symptoms of secondary syphilis include skin rash, swollen lymph nodes and fever. The signs and symptoms of primary and secondary syphilis can be mild and they might not be noticed. During the latent stage, there are no signs or symptoms. Tertiary syphilis is associated with severe medical problems. A doctor can usually diagnose tertiary syphilis with the help of multiple tests. It can affect the heart, brain and other organs of the body.

There are several ways to prevent syphilis:
  • Consider abstinence.
  • Limit your partners.
  • Use latex condoms. Condoms are not 100% effective. But, they can help protect against syphilis and other STIs (including HIV). Some STIs can be caused by contact with infected areas not covered by a condom.
  • Be sure to use a new latex condom properly each time and follow the instructions in the label exactly.
  • Check the expiration date.
  • Never use latex condoms with oil-based products.
  • If you have a latex allergy, there are alternatives.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection diagnosed by a simple blood draw and treated with antibiotics. If you have symptoms for syphilis or suspect symptoms of any sexually transmitted infection, please call your local health department or primary care provider. All STI’s are on the rise as in 2018 there were about 68 million new infections in the United States, half of these new infections were in persons 15-24 years of age. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
St. Joseph Restaurant Week

Get your appetites ready for St. Joseph Restaurant Week March 2-11. This second annual event will feature special menus and carry-out/delivery options at participating restaurants so everyone can participate. For a full list of participating restaurants and special offers, please visit stjrestaurantweek.com. For additional information, visit the Joe Town Fun or St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce Facebook pages.
(816) 271-5300