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A Publication of St. Charles County Government - Winter 2017

Protecting Our Community, Creating Opportunities 

Grants, Collaboration Help County Police, Missouri Job Center Serve Our Citizens 

St. Charles County Government continuously looks for ways to improve services and programs to benefit our residents while maintaining a focus on fiscal responsibility. To that end, we collaborate with other jurisdictions, seek grants and pursue public-private partnerships to provide you programs that make a difference in our community.

  • The St. Charles County Police Department is one of only three police departments in the nation to receive a grant from the United States Department of Justice. The grant is to be used by the St. Charles County Cyber Crime Task Force for employment of trained disabled veterans in cybercrime investigation. It covers the salary, benefits, overtime, and equipment for one civilian forensic examiner for two years. The additional personnel will assist in helping the department work with the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (MOICAC) in reducing the forensic backlog to provide more efficient prosecution.
Launched in 2001, the Cyber Crime Task Force was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse images available electronically, and heightened online activity by predators seeking unsupervised contact with potential underage victims. Last year alone, the unit received more than 1,800 cyber tips. Congratulations to the Police Department and Cyber Crime Task Force for being awarded this special grant!  
 
  • Apprenticeships have been around for centuries, but there is a new and growing awareness by businesses and job-seekers across America today about this proven method of training workers and filling job openings. In 2017, the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County became the first Workforce Development Board in Missouri to be certified as an official sponsor of registered apprenticeship programs by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and its Missouri Office of ApprenticeshipUSA.
This collaboration enables the center to help companies and job-seekers with apprenticeship opportunities in St. Charles County! And thanks to special federal funding made available from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County has started a pilot project to recruit and assist 30 job-seekers for a new a Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program. Depending on job-seeker eligibility and availability of program funds, the Missouri Job Center may be able to provide some funding for wage reimbursement during on-the-job training and for some classroom training costs.


In the Know...

Prepare for Winter, St. Charles County!

Snow Day at Quail Ridge Park

St. Charles County Government is here to provide services, resources and information to make the winter season easier for you and your family:

And After the Holidays...

Make a gift to the environment AND easily dispose of your natural Christmas tree. The Division of Environmental Health partners with the Parks Department and other organizations to provide free Christmas tree recycling. Trees are used in parks to provide mulch, habitats for fish in ponds, and more. 

The holiday tree recycling collection runs from Dec. 27 through Jan. 13. For a list of locations accepting trees, please visit sccmo.org/publichealth or call 636-949-1800 after Dec. 26. Before bringing natural trees to any of the locations, residents must remove the tree stand, all decorations and any coverings. In addition, the Recycle Works centers  accept light strands, cardboard gift boxes and wrapping paper. Various types of electronics devices and accessories are accepted for a small fee.


Making Taxes Easy

Assessor and Collector at Speaker Series

Did you miss the #SCCMore Speaker Series on assessments and taxes? Presentations by Scott Shipman, Assessor (left), and Michelle McBride, Collector of Revenue (right), and handout are available online!

Paying your taxes is easier and more convenient than ever thanks to processes in the Collector of Revenue’s office.

  • Real estate and personal property bills are combined into one bill in one envelope for the convenience of the taxpayer.

  • The office offers partial and advance payment options. If paying the tax bill in full is a financial burden during the holidays, taxpayers have the option to make a partial payment before Dec. 31 to reduce the overall amount of late payment interest and penalties. During the year, the Collector of Revenue also accepts advance payments for future bills. Learn more about partial and advance payments.

Tax payments for 2017 are due by Sunday, Dec. 31. There’s no need to mail payments or make a trip to the Collector’s office during the busy holiday season – you can pay over the phone or online! Visit the Collector of Revenue’s website for information on these and other ways to pay. 

Since County offices are closed on the weekend, Collector of Revenue Michelle McBride urges taxpayers to plan ahead. Please note that technical difficulties with making payments over the phone or online do not extend the State of Missouri’s statutory deadline to pay without late payment penalties and interest.

To better explain the distribution of tax dollars, a list of political subdivisions that receive taxes is listed on the tax bill. The bills detail the allocation of taxes to these entities, including the state, schools, cities, fire districts, library, ambulance and emergency communications. Each of the entities that receive a portion of the tax bill sets its own tax levy, also known as the tax rate. The Collector of Revenue is given the tax rates to collect and is responsible for distributing the taxes collected to the political subdivisions.

For more information, view the latest news from the Collector of Revenue online, or call 636-949-7470.


Shopping Local Benefits YOU!

Couple Shopping in St. Charles County

You may be surprised to see on your tax bill that there is no line for the General Fund Property Tax – the tax that goes to the primary operating fund for St. Charles County Government. This is not a mistake and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong – it actually means a lot is going right in St. Charles County Government. However, it also means that sales tax - and shopping local - is more important than ever.

Here's why:

The last time the General Fund property tax was raised was before 1993, and since 1995, the County has voluntarily reduced its General Fund property tax, saving county taxpayers $77 million. Through responsible planning and budgeting, the County recognized that there was sufficient sales tax growth to maintain fund balances and not overtax residents. In 2006, the rate reached a point that resulted in a General Fund property tax of less than one dollar on the average home. In 2015, the remaining rate was reduced to zero as required by the state’s calculation formula. Your real estate and personal property taxes support our schools, fire districts, municipalities, roads and bridges, community college, library district, ambulance district, 911 services, developmental disabilities services, and more.

Sales tax is the primary funding source for St. Charles County Government’s General Fund. When you shop local, you are helping support the services that make our community a great place to live. For St. Charles County Government, sales tax funds:

  • Public safety
  • Courts
  • Health services
  • Transportation projects
  • Regional parks and recreation projects
  • Operation of the county's emergency radio communications system
Sales tax is a major funding source for our local municipalities, too. Learn more about why you should Shop Local St. Charles County.

On the Move...


Curious About Coding?

Computer Coding

For the third consecutive year, the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County is hosting a number of free special activities to encourage interest and pursuit of information technology careers during Hour of Code Week, Dec. 4-8. Hour of Code is a global movement emphasizing computer science as a strong foundation for 21st century careers. The movement reaches tens of millions of people of all ages in 180+ countries. Anyone can learn the basics!

Following is the schedule of events. Except for the IT Meet-Up, all events will be held at the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles Countylocated at 212 Turner Boulevard in St. Peters.

  • Intro to Computer Coding Workshop – 9 to 10:30 a.m., Monday, Dec. 4

  • Intro to Object Oriented Programming – 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 6

  • Cyber Security Workshop – 9 to 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 7

  • IT Meet-Up at OPO Startups in Historic St. Charles – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7

  • Hour of Code Week Online Self-Tutorials
    • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 4
    • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5
    • 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 6
    • 12 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7
    • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 8
All events are free to attend; pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Lori Myers at lmyers@sccmo.org or 636-255-6060, ext. 5260. For free and fun online tutorials in software coding for people of all ages and abilities, visit Hour of Code’s online learning portal

Unemployment Falls to 18-Year Low

Regional Unemployment Comparison Chart October 2017

After three consecutive months at 3.1 and then 2.7 percent in September, the October 2017 unemployment rate in St. Charles County fell to 1.8 percent, an all-time low, and the lowest in the Metro St. Louis Area, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor. The last time the rate was this low was in 1999! The unemployment rate for that same period was 1.8 percent in Wentzville, 1.7 percent in O’Fallon, 1.9 percent in St. Peters, and 2 percent in St. Charles City. These are the largest municipalities in the county.

Based on historic trends, a slight uptick in unemployment is expected at the end of the year and in the first quarter of 2018 because of companies adjusting their payrolls and the impact of seasonal holiday workers.

“We want to encourage the business community to stay competitive with their wage and benefit packages even as we encourage local employees to consider how they might transfer their skills to a new industry and a step-up in their career pursuits,” says Scott J. Drachnik, Director of St. Charles County’s Department of Workforce & Business Development and the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County.
 
Drachnik adds that the demand for workers is expected to increase. “With more than 1,000 new jobs in financial services, manufacturing, warehouse/distribution not counting all the new retail and service industry jobs about to be added to the local economy, we continue to need to attract more people to work and/or live in St. Charles County,” he says.

For more information about the local economy, workforce and business growth assistance, contact Workforce & Business Development at 636-255-6060.


Greenway Growth Connects St. Charles County

Great Rives Greenway Centennial Greenway Bridge

Wonder what those big green bridges are across Routes 94 and 364 in St. Charles?

Great Rivers Greenway is extending the Centennial Greenway (pictured above) across these busy routes, creating a link between the current portion of the greenway that connects to the Katy Trail near the St. Charles County Heritage Museum to thousands more runners, walkers and bikers in the eastern part of the county. The one-mile extension of the 2.2-mile greenway will connect to Old Highway 94 near Muegge Road, enabling on-street connections to nearby Laurel Park, the Laurel Park Trail, Schaefer Park, Wapelhorst Park, the McClay Branch of the St. Charles City-County Library, Francis Howell North High School and Henderson Elementary School – all of which are less than two miles from the bridges. To the east, the Centennial Greenway connects the 4.5-mile paved Creve Coeur Connector trail extending from Creve Coeur Park. 

In a nutshell: When construction is complete in spring 2018, you’ll be able towalk, run or ride all the way from Muegge Road to Creve Coeur Park or Laurel Park to Frontier Park through one connected greenway. Stay tuned for updates!

The mission of Great Rivers Greenway is to connect “the St. Louis region with greenways so people can explore their rivers, parks and communities, making it a vibrant place to live, work, and play.” Great Rivers Greenway is a regional public agency created by a “vote of the people” in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. That vote created a sales tax that funds Great Rivers Greenway to build and care for the network of greenways. Visit Great Rivers Greenway’s website to learn more about this and other projects.


On SCCMO-TV...


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 happenings on County Buzz, and see what's happening in County Parks on Active by Nature! 


To view agendas and minutes from Council meetings, visit sccmo.org.
Council Meeting Graphic
Active by Nature
Active by Nature

Safety First: Holiday and Winter Pet Safety

Pets Dressed Up in Santa Suits

Festive decorations, comfort food, and cold weather are all a part of the holidays and the winter season – but did you know that these can create health hazards and stressful situations for your furry family members?

To help your pet, check out these safety tips videos from the Division of Humane Services:


#SCCMOThrowback

Christmas in downtown St. Charles 1966

1966: Christmas on Main Street in Historic St. Charles.

Photo courtesy of the Saint Charles County Historical Society.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more St. Charles County history and pictures during #ThrowbackThursday!


County Executive Steve Ehlmann

Looking Back with the County Executive


Located at the juncture of three major rivers, St. Charles County has long been a “hunting ground” for those who call the area home...MORE


Council Comments

Terry Hollander

Terry Hollander, District 5

Youth and the elderly –two groups you wouldn’t generally put together. These generations are vastly different, yet they have so much to share and learn from each other...MORE

Mike Klinghammer

Mike Klinghammer, District 6

Since opening in 1996, the Highway 370 corridor has drawn an immense amount of development. The vast, empty fields have become trucking hubs for freight liners and warehouses for businesses...MORE


Calendar

County Calendar and Directory

All events are subject to change. For updates and more events, including Parks activities, Workforce & Business Development/Missouri Job Center classes and recruiting events, please see the County Calendar


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



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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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