CITY COUNCIL MEETING

St. Joseph residents attend the virtual City Council meeting in the City Hall lobby Monday.

The St. Joseph City Council approved $4,000 for a new Downtown website during the City Council meeting Monday night.

The website, part of the Main Street Program by Mo-Kan Regional Council, will be a one-stop shop for everything about Downtown, from restaurants to businesses to live events.

“I think the Main Street Program is fabulous,” said St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray. “I’m so glad that Mo-Kan is taking the lead to get that Main Street started again here in St. Joe. I think a key element to that is communication, which this website will provide.”

The website will have a full directory of businesses in Downtown and links to their personal websites. The council said this provides more cohesiveness, rather than having to go to multiple websites for different information.

The council voted 8-1 in favor of appropriating $4,000 to maintenance of the website, which will cost a total of about $20,000.

“I think it’s seed money,” McMurray said. “To get this thing started, I would imagine that we’d be a funding partner for Main Street (Program) just as we were for other Downtown organizations in the past. We won’t directly be taking care of the website, but we certainly want to support a Downtown organization and a strong Downtown.”

Gary Roach was the lone councilmember who opposed the bill. Members voiced concern over the money that will need to be invested for continual maintenance and updates for the website. The $4,000 from the city is not perpetual.

The website, created by Midcoast Collective, is up and running at downtownstjoemo.com.

The council also approved cleaning and repairs of the Riverside Road Interceptor Sewer for about $1.4 million. The 40-year-old sewer has deteriorated due to age and corrosive gases. This has led to inflow and groundwater infiltration into the sewer line.

The more than $1.4 million comes from city bond proceeds. The city refinanced sewer bonds at a favorable interest rate, saving about $5 million.

Other notable bills that passed:

Health department receives COVID-19 funds

The city approved $6,400 to the St. Joseph Health Department through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B COVID-19 Grant passed through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The health department will use this money for personal protective gear and communication equipment, such as computers, printers and cellular headsets.