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, November 24, 2021
Goodbye to the City Link

Today is the last edition of the City Link publication as we know it. This publication has been in existence for the past 25 years in some format or another, providing relevant and timely information about city services. Technology and communications have changed significantly over recent years and it is time for us to change how we deliver information to our residents. From hard copies to digital, our newsletter has seen multiple variations over the years, but the mission has always remained the same… providing timely information to our residents to ensure they stay up-to-date on what is happening in local government and available services. 
We will still be sharing the same information, but in a variety of ways. We will increase our social media presence along with additional website content and continue to pursue creative ways to get connected and stay connected to our residents and allow them to access information at their convenience and in the format they desire. 
So, while we are saying goodbye to City Link, we are saying hello to newer and better ways to communicate with our residents.
Holiday Lighting Ceremonies

Join the Parks, Recreation and Civic Facilities Department for an evening of awe and wonder as two parks are transformed for the holiday season. First at 6pm, Mayor McMurray will flip the switch to transform Krug Park into Holiday Park for the 41st year. Free hot cocoa and cookies will be served leading up to the switch flip. Come see if you can spot the new light display created by Friends of Krug Park. This year, Santa’s Station will be open on Fridays and Saturdays until Christmas Eve. The St. Joseph Optimist Clubs will also be handing out Cherry Mash and accepting donations at the end of the drive. Donations help support the light display.
At 7pm, the Mayor will flip the switch to transform Hyde Park into the beautifully illuminated South Pole. Santa will be there to great all the children who come to walk the display. The South St. Joseph Progressive Association will also be giving out free cookies and cocoa.
Work at the Transit Administration Building

The transit administration building has some new concrete. The original concrete, which was one of the main access points for busses to refuel and park, was six inches deep and had no rock under to support it. Heavy vehicles, such as busses and other industrial equipment, need thicker concrete to drive on if the concrete is going to last. For context, most sidewalks are poured with four inches of concrete and a layer of gravel below. This type of concrete is good for light duty uses, such as pedestrian traffic. Mixed use trails are generally between four and six inches thick, depending on what vehicles the trail will need to support. Places with heavy vehicles driving on the concrete are no less than six inches thick, due to the compression heavy vehicles like trucks and tractors generate.

The concrete at the transit building has to be even stronger than this, given how many busses use this entrance to fuel up and park. The new concrete at the building is eight inches thick and, instead of gravel, it has baserock under it. Gravel and baserock are two very common base layers for concrete, each with different uses. For light use concrete, such as sidewalks and driveways, gravel is the most common base layer. Gravel is easy to spread and level and can allow for better drainage under small structures. However, for applications where a higher strength is needed, gravel can only be compacted slightly. Compaction strengthens the base layers under the concrete. Baserock is a mix of gravel and clay which is better suited for high-strength applications. The clay in the mix makes baserock more difficult to work with, but it can also be compacted much more. This creates a much stronger base for the concrete to sit on top of, which means the concrete will last longer under heavy use.

Another factor which should ensure a long life for this concrete is the use of fiber-reinforced concrete as opposed to rebar to support the concrete. Traditionally, steel rebar is set up in a grid pattern throughout an entire pour to help add flexibility to the structure and support the concrete. However, rebar can rust, which will damage the concrete and rebar also expands and contracts much more quickly than concrete when the temperature changes. This means thermal cycles over years can cause the concrete to crack substantially. The concrete at the transit administration building does not use rebar in the majority of its structure, but rather has fibers mixed in with the concrete before it is poured. This adds strength in the same way as rebar, without many of the issues of rebar. Even though the transit station concrete uses fiber instead of rebar, some measures still need to be taken to avoid cracking. The new concrete was cut into ten-foot panels which stop cracks from spreading and also allows for individual panels to be replaced without replacing all the concrete.
Safer Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

With the holidays fast approaching, many people are looking forward to spending time with family and friends, attending gatherings, or heading out for those shopping deals. Whatever the reason is which draws you out and about, the following recommendations may help keep you stay safe and well throughout the upcoming holiday season.

Food Safety Tips
  • Keep foods such as meat, seafood and eggs separate from ready-to-consume foods. Prevent juices from dripping or leaking onto other foods to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure items such as meat, seafood and eggs have reached a safe internal temperature. These foods, if undercooked, can cause food poisoning.
  • Bacteria grows rapidly in a temperature range between 40°F and 140°F, which is known as the danger zone. Your refrigerator should be set at or below 40°F, with items inside stored in a way which allows air to circulate around them. Raw food which requires cooking or baking or food that requires a heating process should be prepared carefully, according to package or recipe directions. Once food has been prepared to serve, keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
  • Do not eat raw cookie dough or batter. Batter or dough prepared with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as E. coli or Salmonella. There are exceptions to this, as some companies and stores offer edible cookie dough which contains heat-treated flour and pasteurized eggs or no eggs at all as those labels should indicate baking or cooking is not necessary prior to consumption.
  • If you are planning on deep frying your turkey, you must ensure they are fully thawed beforehand. Safely thaw your turkey, in one of the following ways: in the microwave; in a sink of cold water by changing the water every 30 minutes or in the refrigerator. Do not thaw a turkey by placing it on the counter to warm to room temperature, as this can allow harmful germs to grow rapidly. 

To Prevent Exposure & Promote General Wellness
  • Wash your hands often. To remove viruses, bacteria, microorganisms, dirt, grease or other unwanted substances, use soap and water, lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds, then rinse thoroughly under clean, running water. Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Proper hand hygiene is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs.
  • If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and/or from different parts of the country with varying vaccination statuses, consider additional precautions such as the ability to distance, employing an enhanced cleaning frequency, use of a well-fitted mask or pre-testing for COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you are ill. This includes staying home from work, school, activities and skipping small and large gatherings. If you are sick or are experiencing any symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Consider being vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza. COVID-19 and flu vaccines are safe and effective at reducing the risk of infection, hospitalization and death.

The mission of public health and the St. Joseph Health Department is to prevent the spread of disease, promote health and wellness and protect the community. Though we are not suggesting you shouldn't participate in holiday-related or other activities, consider the proceeding points and plan accordingly so your family, friends and loved ones remain safe and well throughout the upcoming holiday season and beyond.

For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention site for more food safety tips and COVID-19 information.

Happy Thanksgiving from the city of St. Joseph. In observance of Thanksgiving, all city facilities will be closed and busses will not be in operation on Thursday, November 25.

On Friday, November 26, busses will not be in operation and all city offices will be closed with the exception of:
  • Landfill - 7am-2pm
  • Remington Nature Center - Open
(816) 271-5300