“Growth in St. Charles County has been remarkable.” That was the lead sentence in an article in the St. Louis Business Journal by Jacob Kirn in the Dec. 9, 2021 edition of the newspaper. He is correct, it has been. And it continues to be.
The population of St. Charles County grew 12.4 percent from 2010 (360,485) to 2020 (405,262) and continues to grow. The latest estimates put our population at 411,748, an increase of 1.6 percent or more than 6,000 people in less than two years.
Most of the growth is in the western portion of our county – specifically Wentzville – which grew from 29,070 in 2010 to 44,372 in 2020 – a 52.6 percent increase. O’Fallon also had a significant increase – 15.1 percent during that time – from a population of 79,329 to 91,316. And Cottleville, while just over 3,000 in population, grew 82 percent.
This growth means housing and retail have been on the rise. Despite the pandemic, the County reports year-end 2021 totals for housing and commercial construction permits remained ahead of the pre-pandemic numbers of 2019 and rival those of 2020. O’Fallon, St. Charles, and Wentzville lead the county in the number of single-family home permits.
This growth provides your County government with the challenge of continuing to expand and improve infrastructure and an opportunity to expand its parks system to provide more recreational areas for our growing communities. Many thanks to those who voted for Prop R in April to reauthorize the County’s 1/2-cent Transportation Sales Tax. The proposition passed by nearly 72 percent and ensures we will be able to continue to provide construction of major road projects for growth, safety improvements and congestion relief, and construction of new roads and repair and reconstruction of existing roads and bridges for another 10 years.
Our Parks and Recreation Department is celebrating its 25th year – a relatively short life for a parks system. But as the county has grown, so have our parks. Today we have 17 parks open and four in reserve. This summer, we plan to open Oglesby Park near Wentzville – 199 acres at 2949 West Meyer Road. We continue to look for new opportunities to make certain that, as our population grows, we have green space to maintain a healthy community.
Amid all this growth remains our dedication to serve the county’s residents, businesses and visitors with public services needed to maintain St. Charles County as a great place to live, work and play. Whether you are new to the area as part of this growth or have grown up in the county, please visit our website to learn more about the services County government offers—from Parks and Community Development to public safety and health.