by Sarah Thomack
St. Joseph Post
St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray, despite having the flu, still gave a State of the City address.
McMurray did not attend the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Coffee Friday morning, but he and city staff had a prepared video that was presented.
In the address, McMurray spoke about several big moments from 2019, including the impact of the Missouri River flooding.
“The river reached a historical crest of 32.07 feet, just slightly above the flood of ‘93. If not for the heroic work of sandbag placement by the men and women of the 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard, the low point in the right bank levee near the railroad bridge would’ve been overtopped,” McMurray says. “Throughout most of 2019, the public works and parks departments had employees dedicated specifically to flood-related duties. A great deal of time and money were expended to fight the high river levels, hitting hard both services and budgets. Already, staff is watching closely to monitor the river as we head into spring.”
McMurray also highlighted the Land Bank legislation, downtown revitalization, Kansas City Chiefs training camp, progress toward opening a new animal shelter and Metropolitan Community College now offering technical classes at Hillyard Technical Center.
St. Joseph City Councilmember Russell Moore says McMurray did a wonderful job summarizing 2019. Moore adds there are some challenges facing the city this year including the budget and finding a new city manager.
“I think most of us believe we have to put some community leaders together to at least vet the candidates (for city manager),” Moore says. “We’ll have to probably find a national search team (but) I don’t know that we’re going to do that… there is an expense that comes along with doing that. We have a closed door meeting on the 26th and at that time I think we can probably come to a consensus.”
In the address, McMurray reiterated the same goals he brought up during his first address and outlined how the city would continue investing in people, creating a better place and growing prosperity.
To view the full State of the City address, click here.