St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann today announced he is proposing an aggressive initiative to fix potholes throughout the county, including the replacement of more than 10,000 slabs of concrete and miles of asphalt roadways. Ehlmann is requesting that the County Council approve $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the work.
Further, he is proposing an additional $10 million from the County’s ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax funds be combined with a 50-50 match with municipalities for their own slab replacement programs that could potentially result in a total of $30 million of road replacement and improvement throughout the county.
As subdivision development has continued to expand in the county over the past three decades, the number of miles of subdivision streets has steadily increased. This increased traffic, coupled with seasonal weather extremes, has resulted in a backlog of work in the county and in municipalities. By devoting these funds for road repairs, Ehlmann hopes to significantly reduce the backlog.
With the Missouri legislature leaving intact the additional motor user fee it approved in 2021 for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the County will no longer have to use its funds to cost-share construction projects in St. Charles County.
“By the County using $10 million of the ARPA allocation to fund additional pothole repair and slab replacement, and combining that with $10 million from the ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax in matching funds for the municipalities as they use their ARPA or general funds to repair roads, the overall program could result in thousands of slab replacements and miles of asphalt repair on the county’s local and subdivision roads,” Ehlmann says.
Under this proposed plan, cities would be able to seek reimbursement from the County for 50 percent of the cost to replace broken concrete slabs and reconstruct asphalt roads in poor condition. The maximum funds available to a municipality would be based on their percentage of the county’s incorporated population and the work would need to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022. The smaller cities such as Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, Weldon Spring and St. Paul, which contract with St. Charles County for slab replacement and pothole repair from the Road and Bridge Tax, will have their repairs matched by the ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax as well.
The County’s ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax, administered by the St. Charles County Road Board, was reauthorized in April of 2022 for another 10 years by 72 percent of county voters. The funds are used for traffic relief, roadway safety improvements and to construct, reconstruct and repair roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure within St. Charles County.
The ordinance related to this initiative will be introduced at the County Council meeting on May 31, 2022, and could potentially be approved at the June 13 meeting.