Every precinct in St. Charles County approved Prop R for Roads April 5, voting to reauthorize the County’s ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax for another 10 years. The tax originally was enacted by voters in 1985, and this is the fourth time it has been reauthorized. It was overwhelmingly approved by nearly 72 percent of voters.
“My sincere thanks to everyone who voted to extend the County’s ½- cent Transportation Sales Tax Tuesday, and throughout its 36-year history,” says St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “Because of the continued support of our residents, the county has benefitted from more than $1 billion in public transportation improvements and has built or improved 1,110 miles of St. Charles County roads in the past 36 years.”
Funds from the County’s ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax are administered by the St. Charles County Road Board, a 12-member citizen advisory commission whose members are appointed by the County Executive and approved by the County Council. The Board evaluates and recommends road and bridge projects that are included in a three-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), which is submitted to the County Executive and the County Council for approval. The money is spent throughout the county’s municipalities and unincorporated areas alike.
“Without this tax, projects like Page Avenue, the Gutermuth Road Interchange, and the Heritage Ramps would not have been completed,” Ehlmann says. “And projects such as David Hoekel Parkway, the Route K/I-70 Interchange, the Muegge Road Interchange and the widening of Route 94 would not be underway.”
Funding from the tax has been used for studies on congested areas such as the Wentzville “curve” on I-70 near the interchange of I-64/I-70 and US 61, and on Route N west of I-64.
“It’s important that, as St. Charles County continues to grow, we keep moving on infrastructure improvements,” Ehlmann says. “With funding from this tax, we are able to complete studies, assess needs and recommend improvements so when additional funding is available from federal and state resources, we are shovel-ready. That has made all the difference in our progress on transportation infrastructure.”
Ehlmann expressed his gratitude for the support of Mayor Dan Borgmeyer and the St. Charles City Council; Mayor Len Pagano and the St. Peters Board of Aldermen; Mayor Bill Hennessy and the O’Fallon City Council; Mayor Nick Guccione and the Wentzville Board of Aldermen; Mayor John Gotaway and the Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen; Mayor Jason Law and the Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen; Mayor Don Licklider and the Weldon Spring Board of Aldermen; Mayor Bob Ronkoski and the Cottleville Board of Aldermen; and the Board of Aldermen of Foristell. He also thanked the Cottleville Fire District, Wentzville Fire Protection District, O’Fallon Fire Protection District, the St. Charles County Ambulance District, Economic Development Council of St. Charles County, and the St. Charles Regional Chamber of Commerce for passing resolutions of support.
Ehlmann says county residents are to be commended for their awareness and understanding of the need for this sales tax. “We are a growing community with a lot to offer,” he says. “More and more people are moving to our communities and our ability to continue to provide residents and businesses with safe, efficient access across the county is a big reason why we continue to grow.”