Rolla is blessed with some of the most beautiful scenery, forests, parkland, streams and landscapes in the entire country. Fresh air, clean water, and healthy creeks and streams are all aspects of a sustainable community where the environment is treasured as much as all the other cultural, educational and recreational assets that make Rolla one of the top places to live in the entire country.
In an effort to ensure that Rolla’s environment remains healthy and sustainable, the City of Rolla’s Public Works Department has joined the Missouri Water Utilities Partnership Initiative (MoWUP), along with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Missouri University of Science and Technology, Siemens and 10 other Missouri communities.
Through this partnership the City of Rolla is committed to promoting a safe, clean and sustainable environment in the most fiscally responsible manner while continuing to provide quality, cost-effective infrastructure for the citizens of Rolla. Through this initiative, the City’s Public Works Department, is developing a plan to achieve a 25% overall reduction in electricity consumption in all currently city owned and operated facilities; and reduce inflow and infiltration in the City’s wastewater collection system by 50% within the next five years. The City intends to accomplish this goal by partnering with Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., which is currently conducting a detailed, technical energy audit of City-owned facilities. From the audit, Siemens will prepare a list of potential energy conservation measures the City can use to save energy.
Included in the energy audit will be a detailed evaluation of the City’s three wastewater distribution systems, Rolla City Hall, Fire Stations #1 and #2, Rolla Police Station, The Centre and Splashzone. The assessments will range from lighting and water improvements to aeration system upgrades, and new energy efficiency systems, equipment and technology.
The Public Works Department, with City Council approval, would also like to engage a consultant to update the City of Rolla’s Wastewater Capacity, Management, Operation and Maintenance Plan with an emphasis on systematic evaluation and elimination on inflow and infiltration within the wastewater collection system. During this process a formal audit plan would be designed to monitor the progress and effectiveness of energy usage reduction methodologies. The in-house audit findings would then be used to enhance the City’s Energy Management Plan, which is intended to identify energy saving opportunities, and provide sustainability training for both City employees and the Rolla community at large.
The City’s commitment to a sustainable environment has also lead to the support and promotion of the “Healthy Yards for Clear Streams” FREE workshops. The City of Rolla’s Public Works Department and Phelps County Extension will once again team up together to host the workshops during the first three Mondays in March (March 1, 8 & 15) at 6:30 p.m. at The Centre (1200 N. Holloway Street). The “Healthy Yards for Clear Streams” program was developed by the University of Missouri Plant Sciences Division and University Extension to educate the community about non-point source water pollution and effective ways to prevent pollutants from entering waterways. All workshops will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., except the final one, which will last until 9 p.m. For more information or to register, please call Phelps County Extension at 573-458-6260.
In closing, please remember that this Monday, Feb. 15 is Presidents’ Day and Rolla City Hall will be closed. The Rolla City Council meeting, normally held the first and third Monday of the month, will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Also please remember that the Environmental Services Department will be picking up Monday’s trash on Tuesday and Tuesday’s trash on Wednesday.