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.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Spring Open Burning

Open burning has been approved for April 1-30, between the hours of 8am-6pm. Only dry yard waste such as leaves, brush and logs grown on the residential property may be burned. Residents are encouraged to explore alternatives to open burning. Many options for disposing of yard waste are easy, do not contribute to air pollution, are not dependent on time restrictions or the weather and provide the health benefit of physical activity while doing yard work.

Improvements at Joyce Raye Patterson

The Senior Citizen’s Foundation, Inc., has played an active role in improvements at the Joyce Raye Patterson 50+ Activity Center (JRP) since its inception in July 1980. Two recent improvements made possible by funding from the Foundation have been new signage as well as the installation of a dehumidifier and ionization units on the HVAC system in the fitness center.

New signs were important following the recent name change for the facility. The first initiative to change the name of the Joyce Raye Patterson Senior Center to the Joyce Raye Patterson 50+ Activity Center began in 2017 when the Foundation discovered a number of centers were changing their names due to younger generations eligible to participate in activities in these centers did not like to be referred to as seniors and did not want to participate. With participation from those between 50–65 year olds having a low attendance at the JRP, it was decided a name change was needed. A contest was held to choose the new name and was later approved by the City Council on October 21, 2019, resulting in a push to begin rebranding. To date, the Foundation has approved a new logo and new signs which were installed on the building on February 2, 2021.

The Foundation has also been very proactive during the pandemic. The largest volume of customers spend at least an hour each visit in our fitness center. It was discovered the original HVAC unit did not have a dehumidifier installed and patrons were concerned about air quality in this portion of the building. To solve this issue, the Foundation agreed to install a dehumidifier and air purification system in the fitness center. This has greatly improved the atmosphere in the room and customers are noticing the air quality is much better.

The city greatly appreciates the generosity the Foundation has shown to the JRP and its customers through the years. Many improvements have been made to the facility due to their interest in keeping the JRP a welcoming and fun place. All ages of residents are encouraged to visit the facility for lunch, Tuesday-Friday from 11am-12:30pm and those 50 and older are welcome to visit to take a tour.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, or NDAFW, is an annual, week-long health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction so that we can improve the prevention and awareness of substance misuse in our own communities and nationwide.

Here’s a list of resources to engage with youth to start the discussion: 
Continued Upgrades for Riders

The goal of St. Joseph Transit, The Ride, is to accommodate all customers riding the bus. During the pandemic, the buses never stopped running and continued to get those needing service from point A to point B. St. Joseph Transit is continuing to provide services throughout the city and strives to make sure customers are safe and accommodated. Extra safety precautions have been taken, including additional cleaning and mask availability on the buses. 

In the last few years, The Ride has worked to improve the infrastructure. The biggest change has been the update of the bus fleet as 24 new buses have been purchased from Gillig over the previous two years. The new buses come with fewer breakdowns and continuity of service for our passengers. 

Some may have noticed new blue bus shelters are replacing the old, outdated ones previously used. The new shelters are not only a bright blue new color, but also have many upgrades to make better accommodations for customers throughout the city. The new shelters also include a built-in bench and solar lights for safety and convenience. The shelters have been replaced in 13 locations and bring a big improvement to previous infrastructure which was old and worn out. The new shelters are meant to withstand weather better and last longer. They are in key locations like outside the Wesley Tower and on Frederick near 22nd Street as these locations really needed the improvement for customers. 

The bus shelters were paid for with grant funding and has been part of a series of updates to better accommodate customers. In the last few years, American with Disabilities Act (ADA) bus stop updates have been made to free-standing poles which were previously in place. Those stops also come equipped with solar lights for when waiting for a bus in the morning or evening which increases visibility and enables the drivers to see passengers in the twilight and darkness. They also include a new bench which can withstand weather events. The stops are equipped with concrete pads which makes it easier for persons with disabilities to board the bus. There are currently 38 of these stops located throughout the city, with plans to add more with future funding. 

Also, coming soon, St. Joseph Transit is in development with Route Match to provide a real time app for all our passengers. This app will enable passenger to tell where their bus is with an approximate arrival time at their location. The app should be available to the public later this spring. St. Joseph Transit uses Route Match as the software Transit dispatchers use to schedule deviations for the passengers and communicate to the drivers onboard the buses. The relationship with Route Match has lasted for many years and the app will provided continued service for many years to come. 
Run/Walk for Paws 5K

Grab your four-legged friends and join the Friends of the Animal Shelter for the 7th Annual Run/Walk for the Paws 5K on Saturday, April 17, starting at 9am. There are both in-person and virtual options to participate. The race will start in the parking lot across from Bode Ice Arena, 2500 Southwest Parkway, and will follow Southwest Parkway up to Bartlett Park and then back to Bode Ice Arena. Local pet-related businesses and organizations will have booths for participants to browse and there will also be a kid’s activity booth. Awards for first, second and third place for male and female participants in age categories along with awards for first, second and third place dog finishers. Registration packets can be picked up on Friday, April 16, from 4-7pm at the future home of the St. Joseph Animal Shelter, 5909 Corporate Drive. For more information, visit the Friends of the Animal Shelter's Run/Walk for the Paws 5K Facebook page.

(816) 271-5300