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 8, 2021
Operator of the Year Award

Superintendent of Water Protection Eddie Leaverton recently received the 2019 Operator of the Year award for a large facility through the Missouri Water Environment Association. The presentation of this well-deserved award was delayed due to COVID. Congratulations Eddie on this recognition and your dedication to the community!
The Art of Creating a List

To create a project list for the parks tax initiative to be presented and voted on by St. Joseph citizens in August looks relatively simple. The process to create, modify, and finalize that list was not. The official recording of projects on the list began approximately six years ago, but a number of the projects had been discussed for many years prior to 2015. Contributors to the list included members of parks department staff, other city department staff members, user-groups, community partners, individual park users (both citizens and visitors), and elected officials. 

The list has been an extremely fluid document, being updated on a frequent basis, several times a year. Some of the projects have already been completed through funding mechanisms which include CDBG, Capital Improvements Program (CIP) half-cent sales tax, grants and donations. Maintaining the list on an ongoing basis proved to be extremely valuable recently when the City Council decided to place a half-cent parks sales tax initiative on the August ballot.

The list presented to a council-appointed citizens committee had a total dollar value of $77 million. The committee reviewed and researched the projects and determined which projects would be presented to City Council as the final recommendations for consideration by voters in August. The final citizen committee list totaled approximately $60 million. Each member of the eight-person committee attended every scheduled meeting and dedicated themselves to a very difficult task. 

Thank you to those dedicated citizens for their commitment to the parks department and the St. Joseph community. Committee members are Ben Burnett, Chris Clark, Robert (Bob) Dempster, Scott Mooney, Brenda O'Meara, Dennis Rosonke, Terry Turbak and Peggy Voltz.
When You've Been Fully Vaccinated

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine. If you do not meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are not fully vaccinated. You should keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

If you've been fully vaccinated, you can:
  • Resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
  • Resume activities without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States. 
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or get tested unless you have symptoms.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

We do know the COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing the COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death. The COVID-19 vaccines also reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19.

However, there are still some things we are learning like the effectiveness of the vaccines against variants. Early data shows the vaccines may work against some variants, but could be less effective against others. Researchers are also looking into how well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications. Additionally, how long the vaccines can protect people.

As we know more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to update recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

New Breathing Apparatuses

The St. Joseph Fire Department recently received new MSA, self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA). These new air packs will replace the current fleet which is approaching the end of their 15-year lifespan. Air packs play a vital role in everyday services. They provide the means for firefighters to enter dangerous atmospheres such as structure fires, CO emergencies and any other unknown atmosphere which could be encountered. 

This purchase was made possible through a 10% matching grant provided by the Assistance to Firefighter Grant administered by FEMA. The total grant amount was $490,000 with the city having to match $44,500. With this amount, the department was able to purchase 70 MSA SCBA’s, 150 spare 4500 psi SCBA bottles and a personal face piece for all the staff. Conrad Fire was the vendor for this purchase and they will provide initial face piece fit testing as well as training on maintenance and operations of the new items. 

Without this grant, the city would have had to spend nearly half a million dollars on this vital equipment since the current packs are becoming unreliable. Fire department personnel spent nearly two years preparing for the application and acceptance of this grant. With great fortune, the department was awarded this grant and are excited to place this equipment into service. 

In the last 15 years, many new improvements have been made to SCBA’s. The new air packs will be powered by a single rechargeable lithium battery which supplies the heads-up display and a voice amplifier that makes it possible to communicate while wearing the face piece. They also have a quick connect hose and bottle which will make it effortless for crews to exchange bottles at fire scenes. The department would like to thank the Civic Arena staff for helping receive and store these new packs while fire companies undergo training and distribution of these new devices.
Job Opportunities

Are you passionate about our community and working towards the betterment of our residents and visitors for our future? Check out the latest job opportunities and apply. Join our team and see how you can impact and better the city.

(816) 271-5300