By Mayor Bill Jenks, III
If you have driven by the Rolla Recycling Center or the compost site located off McCutchen Road and Old St. James Road lately you may have noticed the large concrete stormwater drain pipes, and a significant large track of land being graded and developed.
While most folks may not venture out to this area unless they are dropping off compost at the compost site or recycling, I thought it would be helpful to explain the plans that are underway for this expansive area.
Realizing the need to upgrade the City’s aging, outdated and badly deteriorating Vehicle Maintenance building, Sanitation building, Street Department building and Animal Shelter, the City, in October 2005, purchased the former Meade Technology site, which consisted of 102.3 acres, for a future multi-phased public services yard. Since that time, the City purchased an additional 30 acres for stormwater improvements and future expansion of industrial properties
During the last City Council meeting on Jan. 17 the Public Works Department proposed to subdivide the 132 acre tract (known as Rolla Industrial Park West Subdivision) to accommodate the construction of a new, consolidated public service yard and to make available for economic development the remaining lots located along Industrial Park Drive. The first reading of the proposed ordinance regarding this proposal was read, and will be brought back for consideration and a second reading at the next City Council meeting on Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
About 40 acres of the total area has been set aside to build a new multi-phased Public Works yard, including the construction of a new Vehicle Maintenance building and new Sanitation Division building that will replace the badly deteriorating structures located at 18th and Old St. James Road and off Sharp Road. The required funding for the construction of the new buildings will be provided by the City’s Environmental Services’ enterprise fund. The design and preliminary engineering work for those new buildings is currently underway and should be completed in the next few months. All other operations mentioned above will continue at their current locations, and there are no immediate plans for further improvements. The plans for this badly needed and adequate working conditions for our city employees have been underway for nearly eight years. I will continue to keep the community updated regarding this development and the status of the new buildings as we get closer to a ground breaking date.
In closing, I’d like to mention that we are encouraged that we have seen a 6.9% increase in sales tax through the first four months of Fiscal Year 2012! While we have not yet seen the December and January sales tax results from the holidays, the positive numbers thus far indicate we may have turned a corner on this economy!
Enjoy the weekend and have a safe week!