Monday, July 16, 2012

City of Rolla Weekly E-Updates (July 16, 2012)

Record heat
wave takes
toll on many
By Bill Jenks, III, Mayor
Extreme heat, and the dog-days of summer are by no means something new to folks in the Ozark Highlands, but most will agree that the recent 10-day heat wave that included multiple days of temperatures well above 100 degrees, (without the heat index) was one of the worst spells of hot, dry weather since the days of the infamous Dust Bowl.
Fortunately for us Mother Nature intervened last weekend (like something right out of the movie Sarah Plain and Tall) when we needed rain the most, and two downpours (that also brought dangerous winds, thunder and lightning), were so significant that the Rolla Fire and Rescue Department was able to lift a County- and City-wide burn ban that was implemented prior to the July 4th holiday.
Seeing the grass, and even some trees and bushes turn various shades of brown, and even in some cases white, it is easy to see where the term ‘scorched earth’ got its name. Realizing how hot and how dry the ground had gotten from the heat wave, I have to commend the Fire Departments in Phelps County, our own Fire & Rescue Department, Rolla Police Department and local law enforcement agencies, for working together to get the word out to the community regarding the potential hazards of fire caused by the draught and extremely hot weather. A special thanks goes to the Rolla Daily News and other local media outlets for several articles and public service announcements on the potentially dangerous conditions caused by the heat wave, including many important tips and tricks on how and where to stay cool and healthy during such harsh weather conditions.
Knowing that the community is aware of where to go when it gets too hot (i.e., cooling centers), and how to best protect ourselves during severe heat, is reassuring, considering that the hottest weeks and months of the summer are still ahead. To say the recent, unrelenting heat wave we experienced was a dress rehearsal for more severe weather ahead, would be premature, but I’m sure we have all reviewed and reconsidered the necessary precautions we all need to take during such hot, dry weather conditions.
It’s never inappropriate to express my gratitude and appreciation also for all the City employees who work outside regardless of the weather conditions and temperature. The Street Division continues to fill pot holes, fix traffic lights/signals, build and pave roads, the Sanitation Division continues to pick up waste and recycling materials; the Parks and Recreation Department continues to operate and maintain our park system, and 320 acres of park and cemetery land; the Rolla Police Department continues to patrol and protect our streets, sidewalks, neighborhoods and businesses; the Community Development Department continues to conduct inspections, make site visits and issue building permits;  Rolla Fire & Rescue continues to respond to emergency calls and provide necessary first response service to those in need. While is it is easy to say that working in 110 degree weather is part of the job, I think if any one of us worked 5 to 10 days straight in that kind of heat, we might have a difference of opinion.
In closing, I would like to encourage anyone who has not yet seen the progress that is being made at Veterans Memorial Park (located on Southview Drive), including the recent completion of a new pavilion and the U.S. Armed Forces Pentagon. Many individuals, groups and businesses are working together to complete the many phases of this park, including the members of the South Central Regional Veterans Group (S.C.R.V.G), our very own U.S. Army soldiers stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department of course, and many other U.S. veterans and supporters of the military and Veterans Memorial Park. I am confident that the time is not so distant when we will see the completion of this multi-phased, 11-acre park with significant donations from the community and region, state funding and possibly even federal funds that will make it the premiere Veterans Park in South Central Missouri, if not the entire state.
 Enjoy the weekend and have a safe week

Rolla City Council
Mtg., July 16
The next Rolla City Council meeting will be held on Monday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Rolla City Hall, 901 N. Elm Street.
Rolla City Council meetings are ordinarily held the first and third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. except when there is a conflict with an observed holiday.
To review a copy of the City Council agendas or the full agenda packet, please visit For more information, please contact Rolla City Administration at 426-6948.

Burn ban back
in effect
Due to the continued extremely dry and drought-like conditions in Rolla and Phelps County, the fire hazard for the area continues to be severe. City of Rolla Fire & Rescue, and other Fire Departments in Phelps County are again joining together to announce and enforce an open burning ban.
With the extreme weather conditions, effective immediately, by the order of Robert Williams, Fire Chief, open burning in Rolla and other cities and towns in Phelps County will not be permitted until such time it is safe to lift the burn ban.
“The two thunder storms we had about a week ago helped offset the fire hazard to a certain degree, but unfortunately they did not make a long-lasting impact on the draught-like conditions we are facing in Rolla and Phelps County,” said Chief Williams. “There is unfortunately very little rain projected in the immediate forecast, and it doesn’t look like we will see much relief for quite awhile.”
For more information, please feel free to contact Robert Williams, Fire Chief or Ron Smith, Training Officer at (573)364-3989. 

International Idol
Talent Competition
auditions, Sept. 6
Do you sing, dance, rap, act, or play a musical instrument? Talented community members (all ages and acts are welcome) are invited to audition for the International Idol competition on Thursday, Sept. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Havener Center, Meramec Room, on the Missouri S&T campus.
The final competition will be held during the 3rd Annual Celebration of Nations event on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Downtown Bandshell (located at the corner of 9th and Oak Street.) Group and individual prizes will be awarded.
To sign up or for more information, please contact Rebecca Holmes at or Barbi Spencer at
Celebration of Nations was created to promote awareness, understanding and the celebration of the vibrant cultural diversity that makes Rolla unique to the Ozarks. ”One Campus. One Community. One World.”

Rolla Downtown
Farmer’s Market
open every Tuesday
The Rolla Downtown Farmer’s Market is open and operating under the new shade structure in the lower parking lot of Rolla City Hall from 7 a.m. until 12-noon each Tuesday throughout the growing season.
The Farmer’s Market is coordinated by Roy Fiscus and Wilma Bingham, and spots are available for vendors to sell their items, but they must be locally grown or made products/produce (Phelps County).
No flea market, yard sale type items will be permitted. All spots are first come, first served. The cost to host a booth is $2 per day, which is given to the organizers the day the vendors are there.
For additional information, please contact Roy Fiscus at 341-8045 or Wilma Bingham at 364-5544.

City urges property
owners to display
address numbers
The City of Rolla Fire and Rescue is conducting their annual business safety inspections, and one of the items they check for is a visible and conspicuous address number to identify the location of each business.
By properly displaying address numerals that contrast with the color of the dwelling, fire, safety and medical responders can more quickly identify a property when responding to an emergency call, or during other safety or medical related matters.
“When lives are at risk, visible property address numbers really count,” said Fire Chief Robert Williams, City of Rolla Fire & Rescue. “And emergency services personnel don’t need to be wasting your time guessing at addresses.”
In addition, property owners who have recently remodeled or re-sided their homes, or whose address numbers are not visible, need to ensure their street or property address is easily identifiable somewhere on the structure and visible from the street.
 A violation of the requirements of this Ordinance shall constitute an offense which could be punishable by a fine not to exceed $50.
This requirement is in keeping with the City’s Ordinance relating to Chapter 6 (Sec. 6-1, Article 1 – In General) “Street numbers required of property owners on dwelling or structure.”
 If you have any questions relating to these requirements, please contact Rolla City Administration at 426-6948.

Environmental Services Important Dates

 (clip & save coupon)
Sept. 3, 2012 - Labor Day:  Monday’s trash will be picked up Tuesday; Tuesday’s trash will be picked up Wednesday.
Oct. 6, 2012 - Citywide Fall Clean Up: Saturday - Citywide clean up day (residential only).
Nov. 22, 2012 – Thanksgiving Day:  Thursday’s trash will be picked up Wednesday.
Dec. 25, 2012 Christmas Day:  Tuesday’s trash will be picked up Wednesday.
Holidays NOT affecting trash or recycling collection:
            Oct. 8, 2012 – Columbus Day
            Nov. 12, 2012 – Veteran’s Day
Nov. 23, 2012 – Day after Thanksgiving

Rolla Channel 16
live streaming
24/7 on the Web
If you happen to miss the airing of a Rolla City Council meeting, Planning & Zoning meeting, Rolla Public School Board meeting or Board of Public Works meeting, you can now watch them live on the Rolla Channel 16 Website at
Rolla Channel 16, Rolla’s premiere Education and Government channel, is also now live streaming (24/7) at RC16 is live streaming all Rolla City Council meetings, Rolla Planning & Zoning Commission meetings, Rolla Public Schools board meetings, Rolla High School Review and “City Minutes” hosted by the City of Rolla’s Communications Office.
Other syndicated content on RC16 such as Missouri Outdoors, Army Newswatch, and Capitol Dialogue will also live stream on RC16 at
For more information regarding programming or DVD duplication of Rolla City Council meetings, Rolla Planning & Zoning meetings, and Rolla Public Schools board meetings, etc., please contact Gabe Mankin, Digital Media Operations Manager, at (573) 426-3377 or at
Be sure to watch Rolla Channel 16 – Education, Government and Community for you!

Upcoming Events
JULY 2012
July 16 – City Council Mtg. (6:30 p.m.)

Aug. 6 – City Council Mtg. (6:30 p.m.)
Aug. 11 – Cruise In (5-8 p.m.), JC Penney parking lot, South Side Shoppers World
Aug. 18 – Relay for Life (noon-midnight); Lions Club Park, Hwy. 63 South
Aug. 20 – City Council Mtg. (6:30 p.m.)
Aug. 24 – 4th Annual Bulldog Pride Night (5:30 p.m.); Rolla High School – Lions Memorial Stadium

Sept. 3 – City Hall closed for Labor Day holiday
Sept. 5 – City Council Mtg. (6:30 p.m.)
Sept. 6 – International Idol Talent Competition Auditions (6-8 p.m.); Havener Center (to register, contact Rebecca Holmes at
Sept. 8 – Cruise In (5-8 p.m.) JC Penney Parking Lot, Southside Shoppers World
Sept. 17 – City Council Mtg. (6:30 p.m.)
Sept. 29 – 3rd Annual Celebration of Nations (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.); Downtown Festival Park

Scott A. Grahl
Communications Director
City of Rolla, Missouri
(573) 426-6943
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