October 2018 Connection Header
A Publication of St. Charles County Government - October 2018

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

1. The Wait is Over! Veterans Tribute Park Opens Oct. 20

Veterans Tribute Park Playground

Excitement is building! The St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department is debuting Veterans Tribute Park with a ribbon cutting and opening from 1 to 4 p.m., this Saturday, Oct. 20! The 120-acre park is located at 1031 Kisker Road in Weldon Spring. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend. The ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for 1:15 p.m. at the Sammelmann Shelter, which overlooks the park’s two lakes. County Executive Steve Ehlmann and District 3 County Councilman Mike Elam, District 7 County Councilman John White, and Parks Director Ryan Graham will participate in the ceremony. The St. Charles County Police Honor Guard will present the flags and the National Anthem will be performed by the Duchesne High School Royal Impressions Singers.

Visitors are encouraged to try out the new playground equipment, walk the trails, enjoy the lake views and learn about all the park has to offer. Activities at the opening include a Storybook Walk with the St. Charles City-County Library District, pet adoptions in the dog park with the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center and a chance to win a complimentary picnic shelter rental to accommodate up to 100 guests. Parks staff will be available for tours and to answer questions. Representatives from Great Rivers Greenway and Missouri Master Naturalists Confluence Chapter also will be on hand.

Highlights of Veterans Tribute Park include:

  • A destination playground for children of all abilities (pictured above) that encompasses social/emotional, physical, sensory, cognitive, and communication development. The playground is divided into zones: interactive and motion-activated water play; music play; adventure play with climbing features; inclusive swings; and a hillside slide.

  • A paved walking and biking trail system.

  • Two lakes stocked for catch-and-release fishing.

  • An off-leash dog park divided into small and large dog areas.

  • A veterans’ memorial plaza in development that is scheduled to open in 2019.

For more information about the park, check out our latest release! After Oct. 20, the park will be open from 7 a.m. until half an hour after sunset. For questions, please contact the Parks department at 636-949-7535.

2. U.S. 61 Safety Improvements Near Completion

U.S. 61 Ribbon Cutting

St. Charles County, Wentzville and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) officials gathered on Monday, Oct. 15, to commemorate the completion of an important part of a project promised to families who have lost loved ones on U.S. 61 in Wentzville. A new bridge over the highway will eliminate the at-grade intersections of Route P and Peine Road with U.S. 61. 

“We know that as traffic has increased on U.S. 61, there have been terrible accidents and deaths on this stretch,” says County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “But we’re proud of the partnership between St. Charles County, Wentzville and MoDOT, and the fact that we have accomplished this much needed roadway improvement despite MoDOT’s severe budgetary restraints.”

In 2012, County Councilman Joe Cronin, who represents District 1 where the project is being completed, encouraged County and Wentzville officials to find a way to deal with the issues of multiple accidents and fatalities. Conversations started regarding safety on that stretch of highway. In August of that year, a section of U.S. 61 was designated as a “travel safe zone.” Speed limits were reduced, fines for speeding were doubled and enforcement by city, county and state agencies was increased. In ongoing efforts to improve safety of the corridor, cable barriers were constructed along U.S. 61 from the county line to I-70. 

Councilman Cronin is happy to see these improvements. “In 2012, it was estimated that more than 47,000 vehicles traveled this section of U.S. 61 per day, and that number is projected to increase to 61,000 by 2040," he says. "These improvements will not only save lives, but address traffic flow as well as St. Charles County continues to grow with new residents and businesses. On behalf of my district, many thanks to County, city and state officials for pushing to make this project a priority.”  

This project is being funded as a cost-share between the County, Wentzville and MoDOT. Work began in 2017; cost is $15 million. 

Watch the latest County News Update to learn more. For details about the project, visit the MoDOT website

Pictured top, from left to right: MoDOT District Engineer Tom Blair, MoDOT Area Engineer Andy Tuerck, Wentzville Alderman Robert Hussey, Chairman of the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission Robert Cornejo, Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione, County Executive Steve Ehlmann, County Councilman Joe Cronin, and Senator Bill Eigel.

3. Prop D Key to Street Maintenance

Car and Pothole

The St. Charles County Highway Department is working to make County roads better. The department uses the Road and Bridge property tax and other available local, State and Federal funds to maintain and make necessary improvements to approximately 780 miles of roadways in St. Charles County. More than $1 million is spent each year to replace deteriorating concrete slabs, fill potholes, patch asphalt streets and replace aging curbs and gutters on County-maintained roadways in subdivisions where joints are failing and concrete slabs have cracked. As County roadways are heavily traveled, there are more and more streets that are in need of repair, and additional money is needed to keep up. 

“Simply patching with asphalt doesn’t look good, and doesn’t last long,” says Craig Tajkowski, County Engineer with the County’s Highway Department. “But the money available to do more than patching for this kind of maintenance is just not enough to cover the need.”

Tajkowski says if Proposition D passes in November and there is an increase in the state’s fuel user fee, counties and cities in the state will reap some of the benefit. The County’s share would reach $2 million after four years.“This would help us to get caught up on street maintenance,” he says.

County Executive Steve Ehlmann objects to calling Proposition D a 'tax,' instead insisting it is a 'user fee.' "If you do not drive, you pay nothing. The more you drive, the more you pay. The fee is a per-gallon fee that has not increased as the price of gas has increased," he says. 

Ehlmann further explains, "Most 'taxes' are based on a rate. A sales tax of 1 percent on a $1 loaf of bread 25 years ago raised the price one cent. When the price of bread doubled, so did the tax revenue collected. The 'tax' on a gallon of gasoline is the same now as it was 25 years ago, even though the cost of gasoline and building roads has increased. And with more efficient vehicles we are using less, not more, gasoline than in years past.”  

4. 911 Upgrade Provides Faster, More Accurate Info

Emergency Communications

Working closely with its industry partners, St. Charles County Emergency Communications (pictured above) successfully upgraded the countywide 911 system with an integration of RapidSOS. All dispatch agencies in St. Charles County now can locate 911 callers who are using Apple’s iOS 12 on their iPhones faster and with more accuracy.

Apple, in cooperation with RapidSOS, uses Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) information, which pinpoints the location of the caller and allows for faster dispatch of police, fire and EMS resources as is appropriate for a reported emergency.

Unlike landline users, mobile callers could be anywhere. Without RapidSOS, the dispatchers first receive the address of a cell tower the caller’s phone is affiliated with. Typically, in approximately 30 seconds the system will provide updated location information which is generally within 50 feet of the caller’s location. With RapidSOS technology, the caller’s actual location is provided almost instantly and is accurate within approximately 3 feet.

Those with iPhones who have downloaded iOS 12 and have location services enabled don’t need to do anything further; Apple has made RapidSOS the default, and there is no additional cost. Those who have Sprint as a cellular provider need to be connected to Wi-Fi for RapidSOS to function. Google has announced that it, too, will be partnering with RapidSOS by the end of the year, which is great news for Android users.

5. GGL Spotlight: Citizen Input Vital to Program

Gateway Green Light

Gateway Green Light (GGL) is a cooperative traffic control program between St. Charles County Government, local municipalities, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). GGL coordinates and synchronizes more than 300 traffic signals and other traffic control devices throughout the county. The system allows GGL operators to monitor traffic conditions, identify problems, and implement changes when necessary to improve traffic flow. Starting this month, the St. Charles County e-Connection will feature regular updates about this important program.

YOU, our citizens, are key in helping GGL operators keep traffic moving! If you see traffic signal problems or other issues, call GGL at 636-949-7900, ext. 8950. Your comments are critical in helping identify trouble spots, fine-tune the system, save motorists’ time, and make the county’s roads safer. Here are two recent examples where GGL worked with citizens and local officials to improve traffic:

  • Mid Rivers Mall Drive Late Evening Delays:  A citizen reported unnecessary stops along Mid Rivers Mall Drive north of Route 364 in the late evening hours. Traffic engineers investigated the concern, identified the problem, and made traffic signal timing changes. While each concern is unique, GGL engineers fixed this issue within 48 hours.

  • Lake Saint Louis Lunch Backups:  Lake Saint Louis officials alerted GGL operators that left turns onto Route N from Ronald Reagan Drive and Hawk Ridge Trail were backing up over the lunch hour. Using the GGL system, engineers observed the issue, verified the problem, and took corrective action to improve the situation for motorists.
Visit the GGL website for more information.


Check Out the New sccmo.org!

New sccmo.org

The County’s new website launched recently with a dynamic new design and has many navigational and organizational improvements!

Here’s what you’ll see at the new sccmo.org:

  • An improved mobile-friendly design for easier access to information

  • A large “Search” bar at the top center of every webpage

  • Expanded citizen-oriented news and seasonal content sections on the home page

  • Separate meetings and events calendars

  • Convenient, visible links on every page for access to County ordinances, the GIS mapping system, agendas and minutes, and subscriptions

All of this and an updated, richer-looking color scheme. Additional content improvements are in the works and anticipated to be complete by the end of the year. Questions, feedback and suggestions for the new website are welcome – just drop us an email!

On SCCMO-TV in October...

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.

Also, watch the latest myCounty documentary on Virginia Polkinghorne, 4th grade world champion disc golf phenom!

To view agendas and minutes from Council meetings, visit 

County Council Meetings Link
County News Update Link
MyCounty Virginia Polkinghorne Link

County Executive Steve Ehlmann

Looking Back with the County Executive

“The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

This famous quote rings true when looking at the dynamics between current and past generations in our ever-changing world. For example, today’s millennials often get a “bad rap” by older adults, but the World War II Generation had similar difficulties in understanding Baby Boomers. St. Charles County’s residents have not been immune to these growing pains. Looking back at issues surrounding youth and families in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s in our community provides interesting insights for where we are today...MORE                  

Council Comments

Mike Elam

Mike Elam, District 3

Even though many of us turn to the internet for fast information, libraries are far from becoming obsolete. These vital institutions are more important than ever to help children and adults learn, find accurate information, and connect with others. We are lucky to have what I consider the gem of all libraries – the St. Charles City-County Library District – in our county. I’d like to share with you how this amazing institution has expanded offerings and resources, and partnered with County government, to enrich our community...MORE


Calendar, Reminders and Directory

To all veterans, THANK YOU for serving our nation!

Veterans Day is Sunday, Nov. 11. St. Charles County Government offices will be closed Monday, Nov. 12, in observance.

County Calendar and Activities

Make sure you don't miss these events and important dates!


  • Tax season is almost here. To help you prepare, learn more from the St. Charles County Collector of Revenue about the real estate and personal property tax bill production process and payment options.

  • If you need a speaker or series of speakers for group meetings, we've got you covered! St. Charles County can provide experts in a variety of topics to give engaging presentations about local government, public safety and other issues to neighborhood and business associations, civic groups and community organizations. View a list of topics and request a speaker.


Visit the St. Charles County Government Directory for a listing of departments and contact information. 

Stay Up-to-Date on County News!

View and subscribe to St. Charles County's e-newsletters  the Connection, Health e-News and Active by Nature  by visiting Notify Me at sccmo.org!

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Connection is produced by the St. Charles County Department of Communications.
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