Work on three road improvement projects are well underway, as South Louise, Bourbeuse Street, and St. Ann will have major reconstructions in the coming weeks. The city has contracted with P.J. Meyers, of Cuba, to remove the roadway, and with Jefferson/Capital Asphalt laying the asphalt for the roads.
St. James News
The Scouts Lodge, which is located in the St. James City Park, received an update after the volunteer efforts of some former eagle scouts and their families. The building was in bad shape and received power washing and a fresh coat of paint last week, as volunteers hoped to improve the look of the site.
The St. James FFA hope to break in a newly constructed arena on Friday and Saturday with a rodeo. This fundraiser will benefit the local FFA chapter and members are hoping to get community support by sponsoring the event. Completion of the arena was finished on Tuesday and the rodeo will be a great time for the community to view it while helping a local school club.
Wooten Rodeo Company will be performing this year’s event. Events will include saddle bronc, bareback, steer wrestling, calf roping, breakaway roping, team roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.
“This will allow these kids to go out and do more events,” FFA sponsor Robert Ridley said.
Fundraisers, such as the rodeo, are the only means of raising money to attend the many events kids are involved in and Ridley said he hopes to bring out a big crowd this weekend to help the club. The FFA has just completed a summer full of several big events they attended and, with the new arena, Ridley hopes to hold more local fundraisers and activities to be able to send the club to other events they have not been able to attend due to the costs.
“We’re hoping the rodeo will allow our FFA chapter to get out into other events,” Ridley said.
Concessions for this year’s event will be conducted by All Pro Concessions, who will offer pulled pork, fried catfish, cheeseburgers and more. Missouri Pizza Company will also be serving pizza.
Gates will open at 7 p.m. on both August 10 and August 11, with the rodeo beginning promptly at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the St. James Agriculture Building and John’s Firestone in Rolla. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 7 through 12, and 6 and under get in free. Those who don’t want to preorder tickets can also purchase them at the gate. Attendees are encouraged to enter at the west end of Nelson Hart Park, the entrance on Springfield Street, as the two other gates will be closed to entry traffic.
The new arena was completed this week after a donation of materials by Bull Moose Tube and assistance from Johns Farm and Fencing, along with volunteers from the St. James FFA. New fencing was installed and the arena expanded considerably, changing from an oval shape to a squared arena, which will allow the FFA to bring in new events and rodeo entertainment in the future that has not been possible due to the size and shape of the old arena.
“It’s going to be cool. It’ll help the community out as well. There will be more room for bleachers that there has been in the past. By our next rodeo, we’d like to have more grandstands. It needs to be a continuing community service project,” Ridley said.
Ridley added that the arena improvement helps more than just the FFA for their events, but activities like the Grape and Fall Festival, and other organizations who use it for activities.
Ridley estimated the total project cost approximately $15,000, all of which was donated by the two companies, volunteers, and some assistance by the city of St. James moving the lights. These donations have allowed the FFA to look to the future in what they can add to the arena moving forward and how it will benefit not only the club, but others who use the space for public events as well.
“I don’t expect everything to be funded, but the more we do, the more support we can get,” Ridley said.
All proceeds from the rodeo will go towards supporting the St. James FFA program and will help local kids. Ridley encouraged the community to come out for a weekend of fun and to see the efforts that have taken place to improve the arena.
The arena at Nelson Hart Park is getting a facelift thanks to a sponsorship from Bull Moose Tube for the St. James High School FFA. Work on the arena will begin this week and will involve several improvements including expanding the size and updating the grounds.
The St. James Board of Education appointed two new members to the board during a special session held on Wednesday, July 25. The board interviewed four interested candidates to fill the two vacancies left open after former board members Barb Wilson and Diana Rinehart resigned in June.