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A Publication of St. Charles County Government - August 2018
 

Top Five 
Things to Know About St. Charles County this Month

1. County Executive, Mayors Push for Additional Lanes on I-70

I-70

Improving traffic flow is important to St. Charles County Government. That’s why County Executive Steve Ehlmann, along with the mayors of St. Charles, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake Saint Louis and Wentzville, are pushing for additional lanes on I-70 – especially in the Wentzville area. A daily bottleneck on the interstate, due to the curve of the highway and limited number of lanes under the railroad bridge between Route Z and Wentzville Parkway (pictured above), causes delays for those trying to get home and freight trucks travelling through the St. Louis region.


In a letter to MoDOT, the leaders expressed surprise and concern after they were briefed on details of a recent study that did not include adding capacity as a high priority.


“We were given that information despite a letter I received from Jim Wild, Executive Director of East-West Gateway, that identifies a bottleneck at the Norfolk Southern Railroad overpass on I-70 as being high in three areas of an annual congestion report: severity of congestion, total impact to the traveling public and congestion variability,” Ehlmann says. “And, despite the fact that that Senator Bill Eigel filed a bill during the last legislative session to provide funding for this bottleneck, and that MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna has indicated that eliminating this bottleneck is a MoDOT priority.”


The leaders say MoDOT is not looking at the growth of St. Charles County in making their decisions, but instead looking at the whole region. The annual growth projection used in the study was 0.5 percent, even though the study breaks the region down into five segments – three of them in St. Charles County. Growth projections for St. Charles County are nearly three times that at 1.2 percent annually.


Recent announcements from Amazon, Nike, Grove Collaborative, Cenlar FSB, Seyer Industries, BH North America Corporation and others mean more than 2,000 new jobs will be coming to St. Charles County by 2019. The county’s population is approximately 390,000 and experts project there will be more than 432,000 by 2022.


“We hope MoDOT will take another look at this study before a final decision is made,” Ehlmann says. “Keeping traffic moving is important to our residents, visitors, businesses and potential businesses and is key to our region’s growing logistics industry. This means it is a top priority for St. Charles County Government.”


For more information on MoDOT’s I-70 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study, visit envisionI70.com.


2. New County Parks Open Starting in August

County Parks

Which St. Charles County Park is your favorite? It’s probably hard to pick just one – and this fall there will be three more parks to choose from! Starting in August, Riverside Landing in St. Charles (pictured left), The Park at New Melle Lakes in New Melle (pictured right), and Veterans Tribute Park in Weldon Spring (construction pictured center) will open to the public, increasing the total number of County parks from 12 to 15.


Riverside Landing

  • On Saturday, Aug. 18, the FREE public boat ramp opens at Riverside Landing, located along the Mississippi River in St. Charles between Kampville Drive and Huster Road. The ramp at the 7.73-acre park will be available just in time for the weekend's Blessing of the Fleet festivities. The property will close again this winter to undergo major renovations that include adding a pavilion, camping facilities, playground, new boat ramp and docks, kayak launch area and public restrooms. Following this construction, Riverside Landing is expected to reopen to the public in 2019.


The Park at New Melle Lakes
  • The soft opening of The Park at New Melle Lakes, a 410-acre park located on Foristell Road near Highway Z, kicks off with an inaugural disc golf tournament at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23. Disc golf enthusiasts can be among the first to play on the "champion" 18-hole premiere course! There are only 72 spots available and pre-registration is required by Wednesday, Sept. 19. Cost is $15 per round and includes one commemorative disc for each round, lunch, and closest to the pin (CTP) prizes. To register for the tournament, call the parks department at 636-949-7535 or go online.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, guests are invited back to continue the soft opening celebration. Activities include fishing on the park's 26-acre lake, hiking and biking along 4 miles of paved trails, and more opportunities to play disc golf! Watch the Parks Facebook page and website for time details and more information!


Veterans Tribute Park
  • Veterans Tribute Park, located off Highway 94 between Pitman Hill and Kisker roads, is expected to open later this fall. More information about the opening date and festivities will be released soon. The 120-acre park includes a veterans' memorial, destination playground for children of all abilities, interactive water feature, raised boardwalk, 3-acre off-leash dog park, paved walking trails, two multi-acre fully-stocked lakes, three open-play fields, and three shelters.

For the latest updates about St. Charles County Parks, visit the department online or on Facebook. And a reminder, the Parks Quest program for kids ages 6 through 18 ends soon! Master Tracker entries are due Sept. 4.

3. Next #SCCMore Speaker Series Focuses on Public Safety

Speaker Series

Mark your calendars now for the Sept. 18 #SCCMore Speaker Series, “Making Public Safety Personal.” This popular program has limited seating and you won't want to miss this important topic!
 

Colonel David Todd, Chief of the St. Charles County Police Department, will cover a variety of topics regarding public safety and emergency procedures. Chief Todd will discuss the impact of the heroin epidemic and prescription drug abuse on police, as well as general safety precautions, law enforcement structure and public services available through the Police Department. He also will provide an overview of the County’s Division of Emergency Management and talk about the new Emergency Operations Center which opens soon in O’Fallon. He will answer questions after the presentation.
 

The #SCCMore Speaker Series is designed to help residents learn about programs and services provided by St. Charles County Government, and to learn more about what the County has to offer. Speakers for the bi-monthly series are St. Charles County elected officials and staff who address topics of interest to residents. All programs are held from 7-8:30 p.m., at various libraries in the St. Charles City-County Library District.


The #SCCMore Speaker Series is free, but registration is requested. Visit us online for more details and to register!


Looking for a Speaker?

 
Are you part of a business or organization that is looking for speakers for upcoming meetings or other programs? Contact us!

  • Experts are available to give engaging and informative presentations about a variety of topics related to local government, public safety, community health and more. Presentations are tailored to meet your needs! Past speaker topics include roads and traffic, county growth, cybercrime, and health services.

  • “Lifelong Learning: Senior Speaker Programs” are geared specifically for seniors in retirement centers and communities who are interested in keeping up to date on what's going on in St. Charles County. Topics include, but are not limited to, county history, crime prevention and online safety, individual emergency planning, prescription drug monitoring and disposal, taxes and assessment process, and natural crafts.
Learn more and complete a form to request a speaker!

4. Tips to Help "Block the Bite" 

Applying Insect Repellent

Fall is approaching, but that doesn’t mean the bugs go away! Mosquitos, ticks and other insects are still quite active in cooler weather, so taking precautions is still important.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that tick- and mosquito-borne illness cases tripled and nine new insect-spread diseases were discovered in the U.S. between 2004 and 2016. Additionally, mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus were discovered recently in St. Charles County. Residents should not be alarmed or panicked by these findings, but aware and vigilant in their personal efforts to discourage mosquito and other insect bites. With your help, a team effort between residents and the St. Charles County Division of Environmental Health and Protection can take steps to “Block the Bite” and reduce the risk for exposure to insect bites and related illnesses.


Precautions you should take:

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR355 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outside, and a separate pet-friendly defense on animals such as heartworm medication and/or a flea/tick collar.

  • Eliminate potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes by draining areas where water settles and disrupting fountains, ponds and bird baths.

  • Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing and long sleeves and pants in grassy and wooded settings.

  • Be vigilant in checking yourself, family and pets after being outdoors.

The Division of Environmental Health's Mosquito Control program inspects problem areas and applies effective treatments to reduce the mosquito population, targets habitat areas to control larvae, and sprays to treat adult mosquitoes. In addition to efforts throughout unincorporated St. Charles County, the division contracts with several municipalities, including Augusta, Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, Flint Hill, Lake Saint Louis, Portage des Sioux, St. Paul, Weldon Spring, Weldon Spring Heights and Wentzville. Residents concerned about nuisance mosquitoes can go online or call 636-949-1800 to request assistance. Those living within the city limits of O’Fallon, St. Charles and St. Peters should contact their respective city halls for information. For questions, please call the division at the number above.

5. Apprenticeships, Youth Job Opportunities Available 

Apprentice and Instructor
Are you thinking about making a job change or learning a new skill? Or, do you know a young person looking for an employment opportunity? The Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County is THE place to go for resources and assistance!


The center, located at 212 Turner Blvd. in St. Peters, provides a wide variety of job-seeker services and workshops for people of all ages. Services include computer coding classes, career planning, resume development, interviewing tips and more. Specialized career services are available to assist military veterans. Residents can make an appointment or stop by during regular business hours to speak to a career counselor.


Take a look at these two exciting opportunities available through the center:
  • Manufacturing apprenticeships – Manufacturing is a one of the fastest growing industries in our area and in the country. Thanks to federal funding from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, the center has started a pilot project to recruit and assist job-seekers for a Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program. Earn while you learn! Career areas include CNC and manual machining, production assembly, welding and more. Download the Apprenticeship FAQ online to learn more or call 636-255-6060.


  • Summer Job League – Summer may be in full swing, but it’s not too late to apply to this program! The Summer Job League is for eligible young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 in St. Charles County who are interested in earning up to $2,400 while they gain invaluable work experience. Applicants must meet monthly family low-income requirements. While funding lasts, jobs through this program can extend into 2019. Call the center at 636-255-6060 for more information.



On SCCMO-TV in August...


Click on the images below, or visit the SCCMO-TV YouTube channel or tv.sccmo.org, to watch recent County Council meetings, hear the latest local news and helpful information on County News Updates, see what's happening in County Parks, and more! 

To view agendas and minutes from Council meetings, visit 
sccmo.org.

This month, be sure to check out the latest myCounty, our mini-documentary series! This edition features Victor Imgarten, volunteer St. Charles County Parks beekeeper. Learn how Victor became a beekeeper and the importance of keeping these valuable insects healthy.

Council Meeting Graphic
County News Update
myCounty Promo - Victor Imgarten

County Executive Steve Ehlmann

Looking Back with the County Executive


As St. Charles County celebrated the 200-year anniversary of its creation in 2012, the goals of the national movement, begun after World War II, to bring more professionalism to law enforcement had largely been achieved within the St. Charles County Sheriff ’s Department. The remaining step was to remove the last vestiges of politics from the department by establishing a County Police Department, with an appointed chief who served at the pleasure of the elected County Executive and County Council. The events leading up to and following this transition are chronicled in “The Star Between the Rivers: The History of the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department, 1805-2015,” published by the County in 2015. Following is an abbreviated chapter from the book, along with an update on the successes of the County Police Department over the last three years...MORE                  


Council Comments

Joe Cronin

Joe Cronin, District 1

As a County Councilman, I have witnessed first-hand how County employees help build our growing community. Have you ever thought that a position with St. Charles County might be a great fit for you? It’s a wonderful team to join...MORE




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