Monday, January 21, 2013

City kicks off 2013 with public presentations

Mayor Bill Jenks, III
I’m sure everyone has been just as bewildered with the roller-coaster type of weather we have been having in the Ozark Highlands – and throughout the U.S. for that matter, as I am, but be assured that Old Man Winter will eventually raise its head before winter’s end, and we’ll be in the thick of a true Missouri snowstorm before long.
In the meantime, the beginning of a new year is an opportunity for the City to get out into the community and provide a comprehensive overview of the many City projects, programs, and plans that are completed or underway in our community. Our City Administrator, John Butz recently kicked off the first of such presentations last Friday when he gave an abbreviated State of the City “Community of Choice” PowerPoint presentation to members of the Rolla Rotary Club at their weekly meeting luncheon at Benton Square. Through a series of graphs, analytics, photos and captions, John provided a snapshot of the significant projects that have recently been completed in the City and other projects that are well underway such as the new Public Works Service Park (located off McCutchen Drive near the Rolla Recycling Center) that includes a new building that will house the Environmental Services Department’s Vehicle Maintenance Division, and Solid Waste Division. Everything from the City’s sales tax revenue projections, construction activity, retail activity, and even industrial activity are discussed, as he provides an overview of the state of the city from a financial, economic, and operational perspective. In addition to the presentation, John also provides plenty of opportunity for questions and answers, and to discuss issues and concerns that are on the minds of citizens, merchants, and members of our community. The next ‘Community of Choice’ presentation John will make will be on Tuesday, Jan. 22 for the members of the Rolla Kiwanis Club.
These mini-State of the City presentations are also given at other civic club meetings throughout the area, business luncheons, and Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheons so that as many folks in the Rolla area have an opportunity to keep informed of ongoing City projects and operations. The presentations also provide a unique opportunity for folks to provide valuable input and feedback to the City, and to keep an open line of communication.
As we begin a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to mention that filing for the 2013 Rolla Municipal General Election ended on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The following individuals have filed as City Council candidates for the election, which will be held on Tuesday, April 2: Rhonda Sue Myers (Ward 1); Gregory M. Sawyer (Ward 2); Susan J. Eudaly (Ward 3); David B. Nenninger (Ward 3); Louis J. Magdits (Ward 4); Mike Samaras (Ward 4); Brian Woolley (Ward 5); Carrolyn Bolin (Ward 5); Mark W. Walburg (Ward 6) and Fran Mazanec (Ward 6).
In closing I’d like to further clarify a topic I discussed in last week’s column regarding the importance of following the proper rules and guidelines when walking or biking in the City’s roadways. Missouri Revised Statues, Section 300.405.1 state that ‘Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.’ The statute further specifies that ‘where sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall when practicable, walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic, which may approach from the opposite direction.’
In regards to bicycles, the City’s municipal code (Chapter 27, Section 27-15) states that ‘Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of the state.’ The code further states that ‘Whenever a person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.’ This situation pertains especially to the downtown area where individuals may be walking out of stores or restaurants onto a sidewalk when someone on a bicycle is approaching.
In closing, I would like to remind everyone that Rolla City Hall will be closed on Monday, Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King, Junior’s birthday. Due to Monday’s holiday, the Rolla
City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. The Environmental Services Department will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 21. Monday’s trash will be picked up on Tuesday and Tuesday’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday.
Have a nice weekend and a safe week!

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