Hot and bothered? Head for the courthouse, or for St. Robert city hall

Darrell Todd Maurina

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (June 25, 2009) — If you’re hot under the collar, government leaders in Saint Robert and Pulaski County want you to come to their offices.

That’s not just an invitation to residents who are frustrated about government services, but also to people who may not have access to air conditioning. Officials with both the county and city issued public notices Thursday morning stating that people who need someplace to get out of the heat can come to their air-conditioned facilities.

For St. Robert, the designated cooling station is the municipal center courtroom; for Pulaski County, the location is the basement of the county courthouse. Both are air-conditioned, and in the case of the county courthouse, the facility is also useable as a storm shelter.

According to a St. Robert press release, “The city will have available for your convenience chairs, water, vending machines, public restrooms and personal safety, as the cooling station is located adjacent to our police department. Due to limited resources, you must bring with you any other items that you may need.”

The St. Robert Municipal Center is located on Eastlawn Avenue and contains the city hall, post office, and police department; it’s commonly known as the “old Wal-Mart” and is located behind Paul’s Furniture. That location is not the same as the St. Robert Community Center, which is located on Old Route 66 and is a metal-sided building that has air conditioning but isn’t built for holding large numbers of people during high-heat conditions.

City officials stated that the courtroom will be available “for city residents any time that the heat index reaches an excess of 100 degrees.” Those who have questions may call the city building department at (573) 451-2000, ext. 1144.

Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall said he’ll rely on the county health department to determine when the courthouse will be used as a cooling center. The courthouse basement will be available for overheated residents during daytime business hours and until 8:30 p.m. in the evening; those arriving after 4:30 p.m. should go through the sheriff’s department door at the east side of the courthouse.

Health Department staff members or County Emergency Management Director Lawson Smith have been present in the courthouse basement since Tuesday to assist people with heat-related problems, County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer said, but so far no one has taken advantage of the service.

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