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, September 16, 2021
Fall Clean Sweep

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Clean Sweep October 1-7. Clean Sweep is a program to assist St. Joseph residents in maintaining their property, however, it is not a substitute for regular solid waste (trash) collection. All yard waste, trash and appliances will be accepted from St. Joseph residents for two full days a year, free of charge. Some guidelines and restrictions apply.

Force Main Evaluation

Recently, the south St. Joseph industrial sewer district force main was evaluated for structural integrity. In order to accomplish this daunting task, the city utilized an electromagnetic technology module known as a pipe diver free-swimming electromagnetic inspection tool. This tool assesses the condition of pipes from inside by transmitting and returning signals to the tool, which provides several levels of quality assurance and quality control testing.

Along with transient pressure monitoring, hydraulic pressure transients occur in pipelines when the pressure conditions in the system change due to a variance in pressure flow. During a transient event, the kinetic energy within the pipeline is converted into potential energy and strain energy by propagation of transient pressure waves. Transient pressure waves can travel through the pipeline at speeds greater than 3,000 feet per second and can cause damaging pressure events and vacuum conditions, which can cause catastrophic events to the system. Being able to test for these conditions is a valuable tool as the data collected provides a clear picture of the current condition along with remaining useful life analysis of the areas inspected. 

Data identified several areas as points of weakness, however, the good news is that this information also identified the majority of the system, while being aged, is in reasonable condition. This not only reduces the amount of down time for repairs, but focuses the dollars spent to key locations instead of needing to avert funds to replace an entire system. 
Community Engagement

The mission of the St. Joseph Police Department is, “Protection and service through partnership with the community.” Partnership and community are a focal point for success in law enforcement. The department relies on relationship building and community interaction to be successful. The pandemic had a significant impact on staff ability to engage and interact with much of the community. 

As the vaccine was rolled out and businesses reopened, the department has been able to bring back many of the crime prevention related programs. Earlier this year, the Citizens Police Academy was held with 29 citizens spending the time with staff to learn what they do, why they do it and how we can work together to strengthen the community. The Cops Who Care Kids Camp is a weeklong event held in July which was attended by 30 children and our Junior Police Academy had 12 young teens attend. Though the attendance numbers were down some from the past, staff anticipates growth in participation as the community continues to move forward. 

Other events this summer included National Night Out held on the first Tuesday in August. This year, the event also had participation from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Patrol, Buchanan County Sheriff’s office, St. Joseph Fire Department, Buchanan County EMS and Target. A similar event was hosted in June by the Savannah/Blackwell Road Neighborhood Watch. The crime scene investigators also had the opportunity to set up a workshop at the STEAM Festival.

The return of neighborhood watch groups and other events provides the opportunity to share crime prevention tips, training, and other services like free security surveys for homes and businesses. The crime prevention unit is available to assist residents by calling 236-1473. The department would like to thank all the community partners for their valuable contributions to our city. 
Preventing Falls

One of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in individuals over 65 are slips and falls, with more than one in four persons in this age group experiencing a serious fall. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri’s injury rate, “related to falling is 31% higher than the national average.” Fall Prevention Awareness Week, which takes place September 20-24 this year, is a great time to become more aware of the cause and prevention of trips and falls.

Falls are preventable and not a normal part of the aging process. What is normal is for people to fear falling and becoming injured or hospitalized, losing independence or mobility, and having to move to a residential institution or nursing home due to fall-related injuries. Some of the things which put a person at a higher risk for falling include medical conditions, poor dietary habits, personal risk factors and risk factors at home. People with conditions that impact their gait, cardiac rhythm, blood pressure, joints, urinary tract, vision, hearing, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and cancer, or who are taking certain medications are more prone to falling. 

Personal risk factors include the ability to react quickly to environment, lack of exercise or activity which decreases coordination, balance, bone and muscle strength. Additional personal risk factors include excessive smoking, excessive alcohol intake, a poor diet and dehydration. Some risk factors at home include slippery or wet surfaces, cluttered pathways, lack of handrails and poor lighting.

The good news is personal choices can go a long way toward preventing falls. Simple things like maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake, checking with your doctor about the side affects of your medications, getting the proper amount of sleep, getting an annual physical evaluation, getting an annual eye examination, and taking medications on schedule are the first step. Check with your doctor about exercise programs which will help with strength, coordination, and balance. Also participate in classes designed for any medical or balance related conditions you may have, and staying active during your day with activities such as gardening, bicycling, and walking can help improve your chances of avoiding falling. Make sure your shoes fit properly, are tied and have nonskid soles. Avoid walking in stocking feet and replace slippers that don’t have a nonskid surface, are too loose, or stretched out of shape.

At home, pay attention to lighting conditions by ensuring your rooms are well lit. Arrange furniture so there are clear pathways between rooms. Keep electric cords out of walkways and don’t place these under a rug as the cord will stick up and cause a trip hazard. Secure any loose rugs with slip-resistant backing or double-faced tape. Avoid standing on chairs or boxes and be cautious when using ladders and repair loose and torn carpeting. 

For everyone, especially people over 65, a fall can be a life-changing event. The good news is that falls can be prevented through modifications at home and making healthy lifestyle choices. Below are additional resources:
Time to Weatherize

With the change in seasons right around the corner, it's a good reminder to finish up those last few summer projects and weatherize your home to avoid unexpected problems or expenses as cooler temperatures move in over the next few weeks.
  • Have your furnace inspected and be sure to stock up on furnace filters.
  • Clear all gutters and downspouts.
  • Check caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows.
  • Avoid blocking heat vents with furniture or draperies.
(816) 271-5300