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, July 15, 2021
Parks Sales Tax

On August 3, voters will consider a half-cent sales tax to help restore and improve our green spaces, parks, and parks facilities to provide safe, ADA-compliant and desirable amenities for our residents and help maintain them for our future generations.

Did you Know…
  • The parks sales tax has a 10-year sunset; voters must approve the continuation of this half-cent sales tax in ten years.
  • The parks sales tax will generate approximately $50-60 million in revenue. The revenue generated will be used only for specific parks projects that have been identified by a citizens committee.
  • Approximately 42% of sales tax is paid by those who don’t live here but use our parks and other amenities when visiting our community.
  • The cost is one-half cent on every $1 spent. On a $10 purchase, it is an additional 5 cents. On a $200 purchase, it is an additional $1.
  • The priority areas are green spaces, equipment, indoor and outdoor facility infrastructure, maintenance and aquatics. Major projects include improvements to Krug Park, Hyde Park, Bode Sports Complex, Noyes Complex, Northside Complex, the addition of an east side park and a dog park, improvements to Phil Welch Stadium, Civic Arena, Missouri Theater, Fairview Golf Course, aquatics, park restrooms, ball field lighting, and sidewalks throughout the park system.

For more information and a list of specific projects, visit the city's website.
Sewer Rehabilitation Project

Recently, the city has undertaken a large diameter sewer rehabilitation project. The 60-inch brick sewer line under Frederick Avenue is in dire need of repairs. This will have minor impacts on traffic, however the technology being used will allow for it to remain open during construction. This project will utilize a fairly new and innovative process to increase the structural integrity of the conveyance while increasing the flow by reducing the friction coefficient of the pipe itself. This process is called quadex lining with fiber reinforced geopolymer. 

The Quadex lining system is a robotic application where the geopolymer is broadcast by an axial motion applicator which articulates in a conical pattern inside of the existing pipe. This robot is then navigated back through the pipe leaving a new fully structural, corrosion resistant monolith lining. The method of application allows the lining of round, oval and arched pipe which may also have bends and other penetrations or obstruction in the composition of the original pipe materials. 

The GeoKrete Geopolymer is a formulated mortar comprised of aluminosilicate powder with an alkaline activator to form a monolithic mineral polymer with ceramic properties. Geopolymer cures through a process of polycondensation and possesses proven, high early and long-term compressive strength. The chemical composition of GeoKrete Geopolymer makes it inherently resistant to the microbial induced corrosion prevalent in many sewer environments.

So, what does that all mean in terms we can understand? Basically, a robot with a nozzle shaped like a sausage spins casts of liquid material inside of an aging pipe. This material is as strong, if not stronger, than the pipe itself once it has cured or set up giving it a ceramic like coating. Because of this coating, it is much smoother, even with the reduction in pipe diameter, we are able to move more water more efficiently due to surface friction being lower. Furthermore, all of this is done quickly without the heavy costs of pipe removal and reconstruction. 
Volunteer Opportunities

The mission of the St. Joseph Police Department is, “Protection and service through partnership with the community.” Partnerships are a center point for success in law enforcement. When referring to partnerships, it is more than the relationships within the criminal justice community. The department relies on many partnerships between criminal justice agencies including federal, state, and local law enforcement as well as the members of the community. 

Volunteers provide a vital service to the police department and the city of St. Joseph. They bring needed skills and fresh insight in assisting with everyday operations. Volunteer opportunities may range from administrative duties, Chaplain Corp, or working as part of the trail watch. 

The trail watch volunteers patrol the hike and bike trails, helping create a safe, clean environment for citizens to exercise and relax. The trail watch volunteers make their own schedules, routinely scheduling shifts during daylight hours. They travel the trail system in golf carts equipped with water, emergency supplies and a cell phone. The trail watch is a service provided to the extent volunteers are available to patrol our parkway system.

The Hike and Bike Trail system includes the following:
  • Northwest Parkway - Ferndale to Lovers Lane
  • Northwest Parkway South - Corby Pond to Lovers Lane
  • Corby Parkway to Ashland Avenue
  • Corby Parkway to Maple Leaf Parkway
  • Bartlett Park
  • Chicago and Rock Island - 28th/Commercial to 36th Street
  • Chicago and Rock Island East - 36th Street to Riverside Road
  • Southwest Parkway North - Mansfield Road to 22nd Street
  • Southwest Parkway South - Hyde Park to Mansfield Road
  • 2.6 miles of Riverfront Park

If you are interested in volunteering with the police department or would like additional information regarding volunteer opportunities, visit the city's website or call Sgt. Roy Hoskins at 236-1473. New volunteers will receive training for their position and will be issued a volunteer handbook. The department would like to thank all of our volunteers for their valuable service throughout the year.
Communication Throughout the Fiscal Year

The need for financial statements to be audited by an independent external auditor has been a cornerstone of confidence in the world’s financial systems. The audit provides assurance management has presented a true and fair view of the financial performance and position. The audit is vital to trust in financial information and the independence audits bring, the objective scrutiny, gives confidence in the numbers. 

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the city is a requirement with Article IV, Section 4.4(f) of the City Charter which states that the city must issue annually a report on its financial position and activity and an independent firm of certified public accountants audit this report. The independent accounting firm of Cochran, Head, Vick, P.C. (CHV) will audit the financial statements for June 30, 2021. This report is prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States in conformance with the standards of financial reporting set forth by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and the guidelines recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

As a recipient of federal, state and local financial assistance, the city is also responsible for ensuring an adequate internal control structure is in place to ensure and document compliance with applicable laws and regulations related to assistance programs. The city is required to undergo an annual single audit. The standards governing single audit engagements require the independent auditor to report on the audited government’s internal controls over compliance and compliance with legal requirements applicable to its major federal programs.  

Finance aims to safeguard city assets, check accuracy and reliability of data, report financial information timely, promote operational efficiency, effectiveness and economy, and encourage adherence to the City Charter, administrative and personnel code, and individual policies and procedures. Internal controls have been established for the division to achieve these goals. Internal control includes all the processes and procedures put in place to help make sure assets are protected and activities are conducted in accordance with the established policies and procedures.

Preventive controls are intended to prevent the occurrence of an activity that is not consistent with control objects. Detective controls are intended to identify errors or unauthorized activities after they have occurred so corrections can be made in a timely manner.

Special Ordinance 9920 authorized CHV to perform the city’s next five fiscal year audits commencing 2020/2021 and ending 2024/2025. CHV is vested as a local CPA firm, has extensive experience and expertise in governmental audits, familiar with working with the city, and their clients are comparable in size and economic climate of St. Joseph. 

Annually, CHV will review the city’s policies, processes, receipts, invoices, reconciliations and reports to verify separation of duties, supporting documentation/authorization, proper placement of revenues and expenditures, policy compliance, and possibility of risk. The auditors review cash, investments, receivables, capital assets, retirement plans, payroll, payables, inter fund transfers, revenues, grants, long term liabilities, budget, and variances from year to year. To enhance the degree of confidence, an independent audit firm is required to express an opinion on whether the financial statements are fairly presented. This means the following concepts are in place: accounting principles applied by the city are generally accepted, accounting principles are appropriate under the circumstances encountered by CHV, financial statements are reasonably informative about matters that may impact their use and interpretation, financial statement information is reasonably classified and summarized and financial statements reflect the underlying transactions within a range of acceptable limits.  

Continuous communication is built into the entire audit process to make certain no surprises are encountered. However, communication does not stop after completion of the audit. CHV is up-to-date with governmental accounting and auditing standards and can provide assistance throughout the fiscal year. In addition, CHV offers other value-added benefits and services including comprehensive annual financial report preparation, consulting services to optimize economic development opportunities and IT security and risk assessment. They will work with the city to achieve staff's goals as they possess the creativity to assist the city’s financial challenges and can suggest innovative ways to improve operations and assure transparent accountability.
Liberty Oak Splash Park

The much anticipated and long-awaited Liberty Oak Splash Park at Hyde Park is scheduled to open this Friday afternoon. After a year-long wait, the splash park will be open to visitors late Friday afternoon after a grand opening celebration, which begins at 4pm.

The public is invited to attend the grand opening celebration and experience the splash park afterward. Beginning Saturday, July 17, the hours of operation will be 10am - 8pm daily. Hours will be adjusted later in the season to accommodate the earlier nightfall.

Funding for the project was through the 2019 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) half-cent sales tax which was approved by voters in 2018.
(816) 271-5300