Friday, October 24, 2014

City to Delay “Prop P” (Parks) Vote

ROLLA – In April 2014 Rolla voters narrowly rejected a ¼ cent park sales tax initiative (51% to 49%) that would have supported both the traditional park system and to a lesser degree the community’s Health and Rec Center.  Much of the rhetoric before and after the initiative focused on the need to support the City’s traditional park system.  In an attempt to be responsive to citizens concerns and suggestions the City Council and Parks Advisory Committee moved forward to put Prop P, a ¼ cent parks-only sales tax initiative, on the November ballot – 8 months after the April defeat.

It was discovered this week that the authorizing statute, RSMo 644.032, was amended to restrict going back to voters with such a sales tax initiative “sooner than twelve months from the date of the last proposal”.  In order to follow the spirit of RSMo 644 the City of Rolla will be postponing the Prop P Parks vote until 2015.  The City will need to apply for a court order to instruct the County Clerk’s Office not to count the ballots.  City Administration sincerely apologizes to the voters and park users in the oversight and in the delay in providing the opportunity to sufficiently support the park system. 

The condition of the community’s park system has been well publicized as has the significant and impending cuts facing the park system in the recently adopted FY 2014/15 budget.  Not only has the City been unable to maintain the public assets and facilities in the park system over the last several years but funding cuts will substantially affect the routine maintenance of virtually all neighborhood parks.  With the delay in a new park sales tax effort Mayor Magdits and the City Council will be convening a plan to address the current fiscal year operations and a future ballot initiative to sustain and support our parks in the future.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Animal Shelter Needs Assessment - September 2014

The purpose of this Needs Assessment Study (Study) is for Shelter Planners of America (SPA) to provide information to the City of Rolla, MO (Rolla) that will guide them in regard to their future facilities needs.

The Study was authorized by John Butz, City Administrator, on April 23, 2014 in accordance SPA proposal dated March 25, 2014.

Information in this Study was developed from information provided by Rolla and observed during our on-site visit on May 28 and 29, 2014. The Study provides an evaluation of the existing facility, looks at people and animal levels, provides a proposed Building Space Program, provides site considerations, recommends features, discusses staffing, operating cost, estimated construction cost and operational matters.

It should be understood this Study is the first step in planning a new shelter. The second step will be to develop the Conceptual Site Plan and Building Floor Plan based on the approved Building Program contained in this Study. The third and final step will be development of the working drawings and specifications for constructing your project. There is a strong feeling among the general public and people who support humanely run shelters that new animal shelters need to be designed to address irresponsible animal ownership problems and irresponsible pet breeding. It is felt these problems should be countered with remedial programs of spay and neuter requirements, pet owner and public education, developing progressive ordinances and well promoted adoption programs. This approach is preferable to simply allowing the destruction of animals as a response to the problem of pet over population and irresponsible pet owners.