St. Charles County Connection Header
A Publication of St. Charles County Government - July 2019
Aerial View of Flooding

Special Section: Flood Assistance and Recovery

Before sharing the Top 5 Things to Know About St. Charles County for this month, we want to make certain those affected by the flood receive this important information on debris pickup, federal assistance and damage assessment:

Flood Debris Pickup in Unincorporated St. Charles County, West Alton

During the week of Aug. 12, St. Charles County Government will pick up household debris, major appliances and vegetation from flood-damaged homes and businesses in unincorporated St. Charles County and West Alton. Pickup is expected to begin on Monday, Aug. 12, however, the County is waiting for bids from local vendors to confirm details. Please check our website and social media posts daily for any changes/updated information.

Portage des Sioux residents should contact their city hall for information about debris pick up.

Residents need to follow these instructions for pickup preparation:

  1. Separate household debris, major appliances (water heaters, furnaces, condensers and other household appliances) and vegetation into three different pickup piles.
  2. Household hazardous waste (chemicals, paint, motor oil, cleaning supplies, pesticides, etc.) will not be picked up. These products need to be taken to the St. Charles County Recycle Works locations or another recycling center that takes hazardous waste. More information is located here.
  3. All debris, appliances and vegetation must be placed curbside on the public right-of-way. Collectors will not pick up from private property. Items must be properly sorted and placed before removal; please do not block public streets.
  4. Any debris not curbside on the public right-of-way by the pick up date will be the owner’s responsibility to remove.

Residents who have further questions should call St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management at 636-949-3023.

FEMA Assistance

On July 9, President Donald Trump approved Missouri’s request for a major disaster declaration to assist residents and businesses in 20 counties in the state affected by flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms that began April 29. The President’s declaration includes St. Charles County and makes the federal Individual Assistance (IA) program available to eligible residents. 

Affected residents can register for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance with temporary housing, housing repairs, and replacement of household items. Individuals and families who sustained damage or losses can register for disaster assistance online or by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), 7 a.m.10 p.m., seven days a week. If you use a TTY, please call 1-800-462-7585. The deadline to apply for assistance is Sept. 9, 2019.

U.S. Small Business Administration Assistance

As a result of President Trump’s  declaration, federal disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration also is available to St. Charles County homeowners, renters and businesses affected by severe weather events that began April 29. Applications for low-interest federal disaster loans are available online. Applicants may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 1-800-877-8339. The deadline to apply for assistance is Sept. 9, 2019.

Detailed Damage Assessment Requirement

A Detailed Damage Assessment inspection by the St. Charles County Division of Building and Code Enforcement is required for all structures damaged by the flood and is the first step to become eligible for federal assistance. Also, this inspection can be helpful for insurance claims. If your property has been affected by flooding, please call the division at 636-949-7345, 8 a.m.
– 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, once the property is safely accessible to schedule a damage assessment.

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

1. County Government Services Meet Community Needs

County Services
Many services that are essential for the needs of residents are provided solely by St. Charles County Government. For example, the critical functions of the Assessor, Collector of Revenue, Election Authority, and Recorder of Deeds are vital to the community and are not provided by municipal governments.
  • The Assessor and Collector of Revenue offices work closely together, but have very different responsibilities:
    • The Assessor places a fair market value on real estate and personal property. The office issues annual personal property assessment forms, conducts real estate assessments, and is the first stop for obtaining a Certificate of Non-Assessment (tax waiver or waiver).

    • The Collector of Revenue collects and disburses taxes for political subdivisions. These include school, fire and ambulance districts, as well as the Road and Bridge, Dispatch and Alarm funds, and many others. The office uses the assessed taxable values determined by the Assessor and the tax rates submitted by political subdivisions and certified by the State Auditor to produce real estate and personal property tax bills.  It is the final stop for obtaining a Certificate of Non-Assessment (No Taxes Due certificate).

      Neither the Assessor or Collector of Revenue is responsible for setting budgets or establishing tax rates for political subdivisions. Learn more about assessments and taxes.


  • Managing elections for the entire county is the responsibility of the Election Authority. The office handles all the behind-the-scenes work, including voter registrations, candidate and issue declarations, organizing polling locations, hiring and training election judges, and counting ballots on election day.
The Election Authority is always looking for volunteers to be election judges. This position is a vital part of the voting process. Judges work at polling locations, sign in registered voters, explain procedures, provide ballots, and monitor the election. Judges are paid $30 for mandatory training and $120 per day ($150 per day for supervisory judges). To apply, download an application from the Election Authority’s website.

To prepare for elections, voters can visit the Election Authority's website to view candidates, issues and sample ballots, and to look up polling locations and voter ID requirements. On election days, results are posted on the website as votes are counted.

  • The Recorder of Deeds maintains all public records and documents pertaining to marriage licenses, land ownership, federal and state tax liens, and military discharges. The office provides a single location in St. Charles County for obtaining, recording, and researching these materials. Land records are especially important for assisting in the assessed value of a property and determining ownership and zoning.
The Recorder of Deeds office issues approximately 2,500 marriage licenses each year. Additionally, the Research Area and Copy Center are widely used for land and genealogy research. Citizens also can conduct research online.
 

The Assessor is funded by state revenues. The operation of the Collector, Election Authority, and Recorder of Deeds is primarily supported by the General Fund, the principal operating fund of St. Charles County Government that is supported by your sales tax dollars. For elections, participating political subdivisions contribute to the cost.


2. "Felicity's Law" Improves Safety Near Ice Cream Trucks

Felicity Karam
Tragedy struck last summer when 2-year-old Felicity Karam (above) died after being struck by an ice cream truck in Wentzville. In response to this accident, the St. Charles County Council unanimously passed “Felicity’s Law,” which improves safety by making it mandatory that certain equipment be installed on these types of vehicles before they operate in the county.

The bill requires ice cream trucks and similar vehicles operating anywhere in St. Charles County, including municipalities, to have a front passenger side-mounted wide-angle convex mirror; caution signage on the back of the vehicle; a reverse backup alarm; rear visibility for the driver through a rear-mounted mirror; obstacle detection sensor, or camera; and a front-mounted obstacle detection system.
 
Read "Felicity's Law" online and watch the County News Update to hear from Councilman Joe Cronin, who requested the bill.

3.  3D Scanner Helps Police Department Investigate Crimes

Forensic Services Investigators with 3D Camera

St. Charles County Police Crime Scene Investigators Tiffany Fischer and Don Smallwood practice using the FARO Focus S70 3D Scanner.

Investigating crimes and vehicle crashes takes tremendous skill, diligence, attention to detail – and technology. Within the past year, the St. Charles County Police Department’s Forensic Services Division added the FARO Focus S70 3D Scanner to its high-tech toolbox. The equipment allows the division’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit to create virtual multi-dimensional models of crime and accident scenes.

“The scanner doesn’t help us locate additional evidence, but it serves as the ultimate documentation tool,” explains Daniel James, Crime Scene Investigator. “It captures measurements from points throughout the scene and helps ensure all details are recorded. It also allows us to go back and look at scenes in a more immersive manner and provides good visuals for court purposes.”

Investigators are required to take a 40-hour, one-week training certification course through FARO to operate the equipment. To use the scanner, investigators position it on a tripod and then program it to do a 360-degree line-of-sight scan. The scanner is repositioned as necessary to capture other parts of the scene. Along with precise measurements, the scanner provides a blueprint of the space, a 360-degree fly-through model of the scene, and panoramic photographs. After leaving the scene, investigators can view the footage on a computer to “walk” through the details.

The scanner has been used to document both homicide scenes and major vehicle accidents. “In crash investigations, for example, there are many measurements taken and the scenes take a long time to document. This tool records millions of points per scan in half the time,” James says.

The equipment offers expanded capabilities that will be used in the future. “There is a setting on the scanner that allows users to put virtual reality, or VR, goggles on and walk through scenes,” adds James. “This could be extremely helpful during court trials.”
 
The department purchased the scanner for $62,965.49 with asset forfeiture funds.

The St. Charles County Police Department’s Forensic Services Division is part of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The division’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit is comprised of six civilian personnel who are Certified Crime Scene Investigators with the International Association for Identification. The unit is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and assists the department’s Patrol Division and Detective Bureau, as well as the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis and other requesting agencies. The Evidence Management and Latent Print Examination units also comprise the Forensic Services Division.




4. Commemorative Pavers Available at Veterans Tribute Park

Commemorative Paver

The St. Charles County Parks Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, has established a Commemorative Pavers Program for Veterans Tribute Park, located at 1031 Kisker Road in Weldon Spring. The pavers are a way to honor those who served in the military and will be placed on the walkway in front of the park’s Veterans Memorial Garden.
 
Each 4” x 8” paver is $100 and includes up to three lines for a message with a maximum of 13 characters per line (punctuation and spaces count as characters). Download an order form or purchase a paver online.
 
The Veterans Memorial Garden will overlook the park's lake and feature waterfalls and engraved stone panels with the names of St. Charles County soldiers who died in the line of duty. It is scheduled to open on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11 (stay tuned to future e-Connections for more information!). 


5. GGL Spotlight: Daily Traffic Monitoring Keeps You Moving

Gateway Green Light Traffic Monitoring

Gateway Green Light (GGL) operators work daily to monitor St. Charles County’s traffic signal systems to identify equipment faults, sudden congestion spots, and other issues with traffic flow throughout the community. This is done by operators through GGL’s Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), but it’s the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) equipment that makes it all possible. 

ITS equipment includes traffic control and monitoring devices connected to signals. This equipment is directly integrated with the County’s servers and the ATMS software. Information is sent by the ITS to the ATMS, which constantly processes this information and alerts GGL operators to problems. Together, the ITS and ATMS allow operators to see and correct issues in real-time and even off-site before serious delays or hazards occur. The County’s continued investment in ITS devices is a proactive approach to traffic management and sets the County up for the future of ITS and connected vehicles

Even with this technology, GGL also relies on citizens to report traffic issues. Call GGL at 636-949-7900, ext. 8950, and provide the location (road and cross-street), direction of travel, a description of the problem, and specific time of day it occurs.

The GGL program, a cooperative traffic control initiative between St. Charles County Government, local municipalities, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), coordinates and synchronizes more than 300 traffic signals and other traffic control devices throughout the county. GGL operators monitor traffic conditions, identify problems, and implement changes when necessary to improve traffic flow. GGL is funded by the voter-approved half-cent Transportation Sales Tax. Visit the GGL website for more information.


On SCCMO-TV in July...


Click on the images below, visit the SCCMO-TV YouTube channeltv.sccmo.org, or download our Roku Channel (search for SCCMO-TV) 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, check out the St. Charles County Department of Public Health's Top 5 Summer Safety Tips to have fun in the sun!

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

County News Update
County Council Meetings
Top 5 Summer Safety Tips

County Executive Steve Ehlmann

A Look Back with the County Executive


Since the 1800s, public libraries in our county have helped foster a love of reading and knowledge in both children and adults. As a historian and former educator, I consider them valuable and necessary in our community. Following is a look at the history of public libraries in St. Charles County...MORE                 


Council Comments

Councilman Terry Hollander

Terry Hollander, District 5

When it comes to new business openings, employment opportunities and overall growth, St. Charles County continues to thrive. Recently, I talked with Scott Drachnik, Director of the County’s Workforce and Business Development Department and the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County, about the status of our workforce and economy, and how the department’s services can help job seekers get started in their dream career...MORE




Calendar

Calendar, Reminders and Directory



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