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, January 7, 2021
CARES Act Funds Available

The city has been awarded $1.3 million in CARES Act funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist with recovery efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. City staff have been working to identify those in need of these funds consistent with guidelines for use of funds related to the pandemic. CARES Act funds recipients are required to determine there will be no duplication of benefits -meaning there are no other funding sources able to assist for that specific need. Federal requirements for use of funds identified under the CARES Act guidelines to meet eligibility under the following four categories:
  • Improvements to public facilities that are necessary due to COVID. 
  • Support businesses to increase economic development.
  • Planning and technical assistance.
  • Provide increased public services during the outbreak. 

At the time of this funding announcement last year, the city solicited for interest in use of funds and received requests totaling more than $500,000. These funds are currently being allocated toward assisting public service agencies. The city reached out to local agencies to assess their unmet needs due to increasing number of COVID-19 cases. The city is also currently working with public service agencies to provide a portion of CARES Act funds to assist with homeless prevention (rent, mortgage and utilities) for low to moderate income households (family of four can make no more than $50,900 to qualify). 

The city has also appropriated a portion of CARES Act funds towards an Employee Retention Program to assist small business affected by the pandemic. HUD guidelines required any applicant to first exhaust all other possible retention programs before applying for these funds. 

The city is now seeking requests for assistance in HUD CARES ACT funds to assist St. Joseph residents who have been impacted by COVID-19 as it relates to the four eligible categories. The city has prepared an application process for those seeking assistance. This review process ensures funding is provided to determine eligibility of federal guidelines. Once an application is received and approved by the city, funding will be distributed based on request by applicant. Learn more about HUD CARES Act guidelines and application process at stjoemo.org.
Blacksnake Creek Recognition

The city of St. Joseph was recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for performance and innovation in the Blacksnake Creek Stormwater Separation Improvement Project. During dry weather, the project diverts an average of 1.5 million gallons of clean creek water to the Missouri River each day. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the project will improve environmental and public health by decreasing combined sewer overflows by approximately 303 million gallons per year, decreasing combined flows to the treatment plant by 11% and reducing plant operation and maintenance costs by $1.5 million annually. The project was designed by Black & Veatch, and principal contractors were Super Excavators, MEGA and Kissick Construction on various elements of the overall project.
See it. Report it.

City code requires vacant structures or vacant portions of structures to be secured against entry by trespassers or animals and put in a safe, stable condition. Exterior doors and windows must be locked and secured at all times. Vacant structures can attract vandals along with homeless persons and animals seeking shelter, especially during the cold weather months. Small fires used by trespassers for heating, light and cooking may be left unattended and spread resulting in large destructive fires. If you see unsecured vacant structures or observe suspicious entry into vacant structures, please contact the property maintenance division at 271-5342 during normal business hours or contact the police department after hours at 271-4777. For more information about property maintenance programs and related city codes, click here.
NIXLE Alerts

Engaging the public with important information wherever they are when it matters most. This is exactly what the St. Joseph Police Department strives to do by utilizing NIXLE to send out public alerts. NIXLE is a software platform that partners with Google to combine both community engagement and emergency management through public safety agencies. Since most everyone is connected to a cellular device or email account, NIXLE is a quick and easy way to deliver emergency updates to its users.

Examples of incident alerts the community could receive include missing persons, hazmat, severe weather, traffic accidents involving road closures or delays along with other emergency services incidents. NIXLE can also be used to push out information regarding traffic information on major community events such as the Sounds of Speed Airshow. 
 
Living in Northwest Missouri, NIXLE can be very helpful in receiving notifications of tornado watches, tornado warnings, tornado siren monthly testing and emergency snow route closures and releases. 

NIXLE is public-dependent in that one must subscribe to receive alerts. Sign up is free and easy with the ability to opt out at any time. Your address is required in order for the alerts to be specific to your geographic location. Users can select whether they prefer to receive alerts via text message, email or both. They can also select what type of alerts they want to receive including alerts on all aspects of community information or limited alerts to only be notified when there is an emergency which threatens life or property. 

NIXLE is an excellent tool for getting out information in a disaster, but like with most tools it comes with some limitations. NIXLE will not make your phone ring or sound an alarm aside from your personal text or email notification. While NIXLE is used to get information out, it may not wake you up. For this reason, make sure your wireless emergency alerts are turned on. 

To sign up, visit Nixle.com, download the app on your cellular device or simply send a text message to 888777 with your zip code to opt in. Users can also check for updated alerts on the online website rather than receiving text messages or email notifications. 
Take On the Challenge

Looking to challenge yourself in the new year? Registration is underway for the Outlaw Adventure Walk/Run on March 27, starting at 10am, at Krug Park. The event will take participants through a 5k course as you maneuver through, over and under obstacles along the way. Registration is $60 per person for ages 10 and up. Register online or call 271-5501 for more information.
(816) 271-5300