The Daily Guide asked St. Robert Mayor George Lauritson to reflect on some of the challenges, changes, and best moments for the City of St. Robert in 2017 and what the city would like to accomplish in 2018.
Lauritson told the Daily Guide one of the best moments and a highlight for 2017 was The Army Partnership Award for Fort Leonard Wood.
Lauritson said, “ The recognition for Fort Leonard Wood and the local communities was a national recognition of how well we work together.”
Other “best moments” for the City of St. Robert, according to Lauritson, included:
the groundbreaking and building of the Black USO Chimney along Missouri Ave
the fire station completion
construction on the water tower
purchase of 330 acres of land for city growth
two new fire engines, fire brush truck, two new police cars, and several public works utility vehicles.
Visits by Senator McCaskill, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Governor Greitens and many others.
The biggest challenge for the City of St. Robert in 2017 was, and still remains a challenge, replacing the Sewer Treatment Plant.
Lauritson said, “We continue to focus efforts on replacing the treatment plant that has been flooded two times; once in 2015 and again in April of 2017. The replacement options range near the 18-20 million dollar range and we continue to work with FEMA to resolve this pressing issue. Although, we are meeting environmental standards, the treatment plant is running on temporary fixes awaiting FEMA assistance.”
Another major challenge for the City of St. Robert has been taking over temporary operation of the water system in the Ridge Creek subdivision just outside the city. This was an issue of about 125 local residential houses not having reliable water and was taken over by the state’s Public Service Commission and put into receivership.
The city has stepped in and begun the process of helping the community of Ridge Creek by taking over the current system and trying to get it to safe standards.
St. Robert has grown in 2017, Lauritson said, by continuing to build financial strength while at the same time upgrading city facilities and infrastructure. These upgrades were necessary to be ready for future growth.
Lauritson commented, “The City of St. Robert is looking at a growth period starting in 2018 with the economy picking up. All the indicators are looking for a better year in 2018.”
In 2018 the City of St. Robert has several major long term projects planned that Lauritson said he felt would contribute to growth and improvements to the city that will build a solid foundation for future growth.
The major projects planned and already funded include:
the million gallon water tower,
water interconnection with Fort Leonard Wood for emergencies,
airport taxiway and fuel road project
widening of St Robert Blvd to three lanes behind Cracker Barrel, St Robert Blvd/Highway Y intersection
creating entrance to city land for St Robert Blvd West behind Centex off Plattner.
“Most important,” Lauritson said, “we are hoping assistance from FEMA to allow design and start building a new Sewer Treatment Plant, which is not funded.”
In 2018, the City of St Robert has a very busy project schedule.
Lauritson told the Daily Guide, “the biggest dream for the City of St. Robert is the resolution to the Sewer Treatment Plant by FEMA. With all the projects we will still be maintaining infrastructure and dealing with other smaller projects on a daily basis. During 2018 economic development should begin to grow with a strengthened outlook and commitments by developers in the area. Emergency services will also grow within the city as we continue to focus on safety.”