Monday, March 4, 2013

Winter stroms bring much needed rain

Mayor Bill Jenks, III
Old Man Winter has raised its head once again, and despite the hazardous road conditions and inconvenience of shoveling a few inches of snow and ice, these storms, and the precipitation they bring to the Rolla area, are actually much needed. It’s hard to remember when it’s sleeting and snowing, and 18 degrees, that the Phelps County area is still in a drought – and we desperately need rain for the low level ponds, rivers and lakes that are crucial for the area’s agricultural industry, including farming and ranching – not to mention the growing season for hey and other important agricultural related crops.
So every time it rains, sleets or snows, don’t curse the weather outright, because if you are a farmer, rancher, grocery store owner, or anyone who depends on water for your livelihood, you would be grateful for any precipitation we receive. That said, I do know how difficult snow and ice can be to travel on, and to even get back and forth to your home from work or the grocery store.
I know the City’s Public Works Department has once again done a Yeoman’s job of pre-salting and plowing the 110 miles of city streets during the recent snow/ice storms, and I always need to remember how fortunate we are to have the resources and dedicated employees to work all hours of the morning and night to ensure our streets are plowed and safe to travel on. Members of the Parks and Recreation Department are also to be commended for teaming up with the Public Works crews to clear the streets and municipal parking lots.
We also need to recognize and thank our sanitation employees in the Environmental Services Department who continue to operate the sanitation trucks to pick up our recyclables and solid waste despite icy roads, frigid temperatures and dangerous conditions. That also goes of course, for the Rolla Police Department and Rolla Fire and Rescue – working in all sorts of weather conditions day and night. While we are all warm at home having coffee or hot chocolate, wrapped up in a blanket by the fire, these men and woman are all braving cold temperatures and slippery roads to ensure are community is protected and safe.
The City of Rolla through its Facebook page, Website, blog and other communication tools, continues to alert the public about impending storms, weather alerts from Accuweather, and updates from the National Weather Service, the Public Works Department and even the Missouri Department of Transportation, which is responsible for snow removal on state owned highways such as Hwy. 63 and Hwy. 72 for instance. These communication tools also help citizens and the general public to post information related to storms, weather conditions, etc., so if you are not already receiving the City’s Weekly E-Updates, Facebook posts, etc., please feel free to contact Scott Grahl, Communications Director, at 426-6943, or e-mail him at, and he will be glad to add you to the list serve so you start receiving the City’s Weekly E-Updates. To become of a fan of the City’s Facebook page just logon to and point your cursor to the “Like” button. It’s a great way to stay connected and up-to-date with what’s happening in the City. Other departments in the City that have active Facebook pages include the Rolla Police Department, City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, The Centre, Parks and Recreation Department, Environmental Services Department and Public Works Department.
In closing, I’d like to invite everyone to attend a very special event sponsored by the Rolla Police Department that will support the Special Olympics Missouri athletes on Saturday, March 9. The Taste of Rolla Chili Cook-Off will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Eugene Northern Community Hall (located at 400 West 4th Street). Thirteen locally owned restaurants will provide healthy portions of their specially made chili to be sampled by you, and then you will vote for your favorite. Chili, hot dogs and soda will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to Special Olympics Missouri. Musical entertainment will be provided by the popular classic acoustic guitar rock group, Trilogy. Our very own City Administrator, John Butz is a member of Trilogy, and we are all looking forward to seeing and hearing him perform at this fun event. The Rolla Police Department has been an avid supporter for Special Olympics for over 30 years, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local athletes. Please come out and help us help the athletes. For more information or to answer any questions, please contact Sgt. Vince Giacolone, VIPS Director/Community Police Officer, at 573-308-1213.

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