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, March 11, 2021
Being Prepared In Case of Flooding

A change in seasons brings a change in severe weather threats. It's not uncommon during the spring to have rain chances multiple days during a week, but some of those storms can cause streams and low-lying areas to flood. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when out on the road during heavy rains.
  • Stay clear of areas subject to flooding easily such as underpasses, low spots and valleys.
  • Just six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over and two feet can sweep away a car.
  • Avoid walking, swimming or driving through standing water as it could be electrically charged due to downed power lines.
  • If your car winds up in flood water, abandon it and get to higher ground.
  • After the water recedes, roads could be weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

Protecting Waterways During Construction Season

Spring is on our doorstep and the construction season is right around the corner. With the commencement of larger projects, stormwater management is in the forefront of every project manager and stormwater inspector mind's for these project. Every Capital Improvements Program (CIP) half-cent sales tax project that will undergo excavation will require erosion control. This is a measure taken to ensure the proper amount of distribution and reduction of sedimentary soils into the natural waterways and manmade systems. 

The most popular type of erosion control is the siltation fence. The silt fence is an ideal way to prevent erosion. The fencing is made with a synthetic mesh that allows water to filter through but prevents soil or other materials from passing through. 

Another option is the siltation wattle which looks like a fabric sausage filled with rock or straw. Silt wattles, as they are referred to, are designed for use to slow the flow in channels to treat muddy water by capturing sediment and encouraging natural silt deposition. Silt wattles act as check dams within a water course, reducing water flow and increasing filtration which leads to cleaner water. For reduced turbidity downstream and greater sediment control capacity, Floc Mats and SiltMats can be used in combination with the wattles. Silt Wattles also replace silt fence in windy environments or to better protect sensitive receptors and slopes.

This water management solution decreases the likelihood of soil erosion, interrupting sheet flow and surface runoff to benefit surface waters. The wattles capture silt in natural filter media produced from recycled wood waste, contained by tubular netting. They have low permeability and are structured in 20cm, 30cm or 40cm diameter rolls. For particularly sensitive sites, 100% biodegradable version may be more appropriate.

Deployment of silt wattles is flexible. They can be laid directly onto the channel bed or slope in low flow sites or staked in higher energy environments. Depending on site type and dimensions, they are easy to join together or may be pyramidally stacked. While there are many other methods of erosion control, these are the more popular types for projects. 
Before Getting Behind the Wheel

Each year, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with parades, funny leprechaun hats and plenty of green beer. Unfortunately, it often ends with risky drunk drivers taking to the streets when the parties end. Drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States. During the week of St. Patrick’s Day in 2020, 110 impaired driving arrests were reported statewide. In 2020, 183 people were killed and 695 seriously injured on Missouri roadways in crashes involving at least one substance-impaired driver.

What is most tragic about these crashes are that they are clearly preventable. Impaired driving is a crime, not an accident and one of America’s most often committed and deadliest crimes. Coupled with speed, the number one contributing factor to crashes, and you have a recipe for disaster. 

Every officer enforces traffic laws, but the St. Joseph Police Department Traffic Unit specifically enforces these laws to lower the number of crashes in St. Joseph, thereby lowering the number of people hurt and killed in crashes. The six officers in the unit do this through a combination of enforcement and education. Enforcement is the traffic stop and education is what happens during the traffic stop. Whether those officers give you a ticket or a warning, they are also going to take the time to explain to you why they enforce the law and how everyone can help. 

Most likely you have someone at home who would be sad if you did not come home today and that's the reason why the officers do what they do each day. If you get a ticket, take a deep breath and think about why you got it. It’s not about the money, it’s about making sure you and everyone else on the road makes it safely home to their loved ones.
Understanding Form 1095-C

Once again, the Human Resources Department is sending out another tax form and this time it is a 1095-C. This form has health insurance coverage information which is provided to the IRS. Employers with 50 or more full-time employees are required to report information about health coverage and enrollment in health coverage for their employees. Form 1095-C is also used in determining the eligibility of employees for the premium tax credit. Below are some common questions about Form 1095-C:

  1. Do I need a 1095-C to file my taxes? Although information from the form can assist you in determining your eligibility for the premium tax credit, it is not necessary to have the form to file your return.
  2. Does the 1095-C affect my taxes? No, the form just proves that you had health coverage.
  3. Where does the 1095-C go on my tax return? This will be shown on line 61 of your 1040 tax form. The individual shared responsibility payment is not applicable for tax year 2020. You do not need form 1095-C to complete taxes and the form does not get filed with your return.
  4. What is a 1095-C tax form used for? The form contains important information about the healthcare coverage offered or provided to you by your employer. Information from the form may be referenced when filing your tax return and/or to help determine your eligibility for a premium tax credit.

Make sure that your Human Resources Department has all your current information. Address, current phone number and emergency contact are just three of the important items you should make sure is kept current. As things change in your life, this information is often overlooked and not kept current with your employer.
Outlaw Adventure Run

Have you signed up for the annual Outlaw Adventure Run? There are just a couple of weeks left as the deadline to register is Thursday, March 25. This event will take participants through a 5k course at Krug Park as you maneuver through, over and under obstacles along the way on Saturday, March 27, starting at 10am. Registration is $60 per person with group discounts available. Register online or call 271-5501 for more information.
(816) 271-5300