On behalf of the Rolla City Council, City staff and residents, welcome to Rolla, Missouri! Whether you are just passing through, relocating from another area, or thinking about making Rolla your home, we're glad you’re here.
If you haven't already noticed, friendliness is something you'll find a lot of in our city, along with abundant recreational, cultural and educational opportunities. We have a saying in Rolla that the quality of life is high, but not the cost of living.
Whether you're looking for great authentic restaurants, affordable lodging, or a beautiful park, we have what you are looking for in Rolla! Couple all this with nationally ranked blue-ribbon schools, a leading technological university (Missouri University of Science and Technology), world-class theatre, year-round community festivals, a historic downtown and an outstanding parks and recreation system, and you'll quickly see why we have been recognized as one of The 100 Best Small Towns in America (Norman Crampton).
Rolla also boasts one of the most state-of-the-art recreation facilities in the MidWest. The Centre – a 63,000-square-foot health and recreation complex, offers everything from a cutting-edge 4,000-square-foot fitness center, to an amazing Aquatic Center, gymnasium, indoor walking track and recreational programs for the entire community to enjoy. During the hot summer months SplashZone, Rolla's water park, located in beautiful Ber Juan Park, offers a refreshing break for families.
While some refer to Rolla as the foothills to the Ozarks – in particular the Mark Twain National Forest – there is much more to Rolla than our scenic rolling hills, world-renown trout streams and highly sought after recreational opportunities on the Gasconade, Little Piney, Big Piney and Meramec Rivers.
Phelps County, of which Rolla is the county seat, includes such diverse industries as Brewer Science, Inc., Mo-Sci., Inc., Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the USGS, Mark Twain National Forest Headquarters, and Royal Canin USA. Missouri University of Science and Technology is actively positioning itself as one of the nation's top technological universities and research parks.
High quality medical facilities at Phelps County Regional Medical Center, the Bond Clinic and St. John's Clinic, together with an abundance of cultural opportunities at the Castleman Hall Performing Arts Center, Ozark Actors Theatre and Arts Rolla, are additional assets that make Rolla such a desirable place to live, work and play.
The Mayor is elected to serve a four-year term. The Mayor is required to be at least thirty (30) years of age, a U.S. Citizen, and a resident of the City for no less than two years preceding the election.
The Mayor acts as the chief executive office in Third Class Cities in Missouri. The Mayor is the president of the City Council but can vote only in the case of a tie. The Mayor does have veto authority over any ordinance passed by the City Council including "line-item" veto, provided a written veto or objection is submitted at the next regular meeting of the Council (subject to Council override).
The Mayor has the authority to appoint all officers or commissions prescribed by law with the consent of the City Council. The Mayor should actively enforce all laws of the City and has the authority to call on every inhabitant of the City, between eighteen and fifty years of age, to aid in enforcing the laws. The Mayor has the power to remit fines and forfeitures, to grant reprieves and pardons, and execute all deeds for the sale of real estate.
The Mission of the City of Rolla is to promote the enhanced quality of life for citizens of all ages and abilities. We do so by pursuing strong public safety services, a quality infrastructure network based on properly planned growth, and a diverse and vibrant economy. Through effective leadership in cooperation with our citizens, businesses and community organizations we can ensure the desired balance between our urban development with the charm of our rural history through open and participative communication with our customers and citizens.
Like a conductor of an orchestra, Darrin Bacon, air plane pilot, air plane instructor, and Manager of Rolla National Airport, is orchestrating numerous infrastructure projects that are transforming the look, feel and energy of the City’s 1,200–acre municipal airport.
Located about 13 miles north of Rolla off State Route 63 North and Hwy. 28 near the town of Vichy, Rolla National Airport, once a training base for World War II pilots, includes two runways over 5,500-feet long, a pilot’s lounge, several T-hangers and Barron Aviation.
It was once a relatively quiet national airport that served the general aviation needs of the Midwest. If you haven’t been out to the airport in the last few weeks, you might be astounded by the amount of earth moving, infrastructure improvements, and the sight of a very large sign announcing the future construction of a 25,000-square-foot building that will be home to a state-of-the-art high-tech manufacturing facility owned and operated by Brewer Science, Inc. The global company, which has its headquarters at HyPoint Industrial Park in Rolla, will add another 65 jobs when the new facility is running at full capacity.
To meet the growing needs of manufacturing facilities like Brewer Science, Inc. that have selected the airport to expand their commercial enterprises, and to accommodate future growth in manufacturing and economic development, the City has invested heavily in upgrading the infrastructure at the airport. The Rolla City Council recently approved the construction of a 300,000 gallon water tank, all new sewer systems, and stormwater retention facilities. At this particular time there are probably more dumptrucks, bulldozers, and gravel trucks than there are aircraft due to the heavy demand the various projects have placed on the City’s Public Works Department, and other contractors doing the infrastructure work.
In addition to the new construction site for the Brewer Science facility, the storm sewer upgrades, rock work, and grading, Vance Brothers, based out of Kansas City, is busy applying 35,000-sq.-yards of 3/8-micro surface to the airport’s apron where the various aircraft dock and refuel. The company, which specializes in the pavement and maintenance of airport runways, will also apply a seal coat to 65,000-square-yards on runway 22-4. After the micro surfacing and seal coat is completed, the apron and runway will also be restriped – giving the airport a fresh, new look. In addition, tie downs for the aircraft have been installed, and a two-inch overlay of the main entrance road off Hwy. 28 to Rolla National Airport will be paved. The airport’s gravel parking lot located next to the pilot’s lounge and runways, will also be paved with a two-inch asphalt overlay. The installation of street lighting along the airport’s entrance road is something I would also like to see sometime in the future to enhance not only safety and security, but also increase the appearance and image of RNA.
All of the paving work and infrastructure work at the airport is being overseen by Jviation, Inc., an engineering firm that has offices in Jefferson City. Jviation was hired by the City of Rolla over two years ago to help plan, design, construct and administer all of the infrastructure, and airport pavement maintenance upgrades necessary at Rolla National Airport. Jviation has completed national and international airport projects for over 20 years. Jviation also has offices in Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The transformation of Rolla National Airport from an aviation-based airport to one that offers opportunities for high-tech manufacturing and industrial expansion, began many years ago with the design of the RNA Master Plan. It is most satisfying, and encouraging to see the growth and expansion of this critical asset for the region, and to welcome the folks at Brewer Science, Inc. as they continue to expand and enhance the region’s prominence in high tech manufacturing and cutting-edge technology.
Have a safe weekend and a great week ahead!
By Mayor Bill Jenks, III