One of the most important topics on everyone’s minds is clearly the state of the economy – especially here in our own community in Rolla. While I certainly cannot speak for every business and industry in the area in terms of sales projections, employment rates or prospects for expansion, I can tell you that after seven months in Fiscal Year 2009 the City of Rolla’s sales tax revenues are up .12%. Considering that the City Council budgeted conservatively for 1% growth in sales tax in 2009, the City is off budget by .88%.
In comparison to some cities throughout Missouri and the nation who are experiencing declines in sales tax revenue, Rolla is holding its head above water, operating as efficiently as possible and providing the services and programs that our citizens have come to expect. We certainly would like to see sales tax revenues in the 4% to 6% range again, like we have in year’s past, but there are some positive signs that construction activity is on the rise with new home and business starts, and that are larger employers such as Phelps County Regional Medical Center, St. John’s Clinic and Missouri University of Science and Technology are continuing to expand their facilities. Seeing growth areas along Martin Springs Drive Outer Road, Bridge School Road and more recently, Hwy. 63 North and Hwy. 63 South, are all positive indicators both from a revenue generating perspective and an image perspective. Some communities are shrinking, and ceasing construction and development, while Rolla is moving forward with some significant projects.
Another important topic on the public’s mind no doubt is the recent Swine flu outbreak that is paralyzing the country of Mexico. Be assured that the Phelps County Health Department is closely monitoring the Swine flu outbreak in Mexico and parts of the U.S. Jodi Waltman, Phelps County Health Dept. Administrator and her staff are in constant communication with Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and are doing enhanced surveillance, meeting with community partners, including Phelps County Regional Medical Center, the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, and first responders. Jodi and the staff at the Health Department “encourages area residents to remain informed and continue to practice common sense disease prevention methods such as good hand washing, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth and keeping a distance of at least six feet from anyone who may have a flu-like illness.”
For further information, please contact the Health Department at 458-6010 or visit their Website at www.phelpscountyhealth.com.
Mayor Bill Jenks, III