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News Briefs: Fire stations go solar


Fire stations go solar

Three Cottleville fire stations have new roof accessories that also will play a role in saving energy – and money.

The Cottleville Fire District has joined a state renewable energy program that incentivizes the use of solar panels. Managed through the Missouri AmerenUE Solar Rebate and Incentive Program, the program aims to boost the use of photovoltaic energy and reduce the cost to residents and businesses by offering energy rebates to customers who participate in the program.

While the panels adorn the roofs of three fire stations, the district does not own the photovoltaic equipment. Rather, the fire district will lease the solar panels on a 20-year lease or power agreement.


SCC honored in national survey

St. Charles Community College is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

“This is a very satisfying affirmation of St. Charles Community College. As affirming as this is, our real goal is not recognition – it is being a community that values the needs and contributions of every individual. In that sense everyone at SCC helps to make this a great place to work,” said SCC President Ron Chesbrough, Ph.D.

The Chronicle’s seventh annual report on “The Academic Workplace,” is based on a survey of more than 43,000 employees at 278 colleges and universities. In all, only 92 of the 278 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For®” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium and large institutions, with SCC included among the medium universities and colleges with 3,000 to 9,999 students.

SCC won honors this year in the category of Facilities, Workspaces and Security. The results confirm that SCC facilities adequately meet needs, the appearance of the campus is pleasing, and the institution takes steps to provide a secure environment.

Survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators and professional support staff.



Program helps low-income homeowners

Eligible O’Fallon homeowners can stay cool this summer with help from the city’s no-interest Home Improvement Loan Program (HILP). Applications are now being accepted.

“With the hottest days of summer just ahead, it’s important to keep your family safe and comfortable, especially if you have young children or seniors at home,” explained Jessica Hawkins, O’Fallon’s public assistance specialist. “The funds can be used to repair or replace air conditioning and furnace units, water heaters, sump pumps, windows, siding, roof repair.”

Loans of up to $5,000 will be made to applicants who are accepted, and they will be made on a first come, first-served basis until all loans are filled. Space is limited and applicants must meet income guidelines. The loans cannot be used for new construction, appliances or security alarm systems.

Additional information can be found online at www.ofallon.mo.us/CDBG.


Veterans Commission to host Benefit Fair

The O’Fallon Veterans Commission is hosting a Veterans Benefit Fair on Aug. 23 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at O’Fallon City Hall.

According to City Councilmember Rick Battelle (Ward 3), the event will feature workshops hosted by local businesses to help veterans and the families of veterans.

“We’ve got a lot of effort going forward from many companies to support the veterans that are in our community and throughout St. Charles County,” Battelle said.

Sheldon Hartsfield, chairman of the Veterans Commission, said there would be four main categories of workshops at the fair: medical, employment, education and finances.

“These are the biggest issues that younger veterans, who are coming home today, are facing,” Hartsfield said. “Any particular veteran needs one of those four services, at least.”




Community surveys due Aug. 15

The city of Weldon Spring is updating its comprehensive plan, and input from residents is being sought.

Residents are being asked to complete and return the city’s community survey by Aug. 15.

“It’s very important for the citizens of Weldon Spring to fill out their community surveys because doing so allows them to have a voice in the process” said City Planner Todd Streiler.

The state recommends that cities rewrite their comprehensive plan every 10 years and that they update it every five years.

“The comprehensive plan is essentially a plan on how the citizens want to develop their community. The city’s elected officials have no say in the decisions that come from the comprehensive plan,” explained Mayor Donald Licklider.

The survey was featured in the June issue of the Weldon Spring Newsletter and also is featured on the city’s website (www.weldonspring.org). Any completed surveys can be emailed to Alexis Bolin (abolin@weldonspring.org), or mailed to or dropped off at city hall.



New County park proposed

St. Charles County recently acquired the former Sammelmann Farm and Homestead for its newest proposed county park.

The farm features three tracts totaling 116 acres and is bordered by Pitman Hill and Kisker roads in the Weldon Spring area.

“I am grateful for the interest and willingness of the descendants of the Sammelmann family in wanting their land to become a county park,” said Bettie Yahn-Kramer, director of St. Charles County’s parks and recreation department. “This purchase will guarantee that their property will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

The park’s cost of $6 million, will be paid for in full by the county’s park fund, which is funded through a local use tax dedicated to park acquisition, development and operations. The county will solicit citizen input and feedback about additional development and features of the park, as well as a name for the park.

“This is a welcome addition to our parks system as there is not a regional, county park in this area,” said County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “I would like to thank the descendants of the Sammelmann family for sharing our vision to preserve valuable land for the recreation of St. Charles County residents.”

The Sammelmann Farm and Homestead is the sixth St. Charles County Park in reserve for future development, which increases the total land reserved for county parks to 3,156 acres.


Frontier Experience offers free family fun 

Families can take a journey back in time and experience games, demonstrations and activities that highlight the Missouri Frontier from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Aug. 9, at St. Charles County’s Towne Park.

“St. Charles County’s Frontier Experience provides the perfect opportunity for families, Scout groups, organizations and clubs to enjoy a day of entertaining Missouri culture and history at Towne Park,” said Parks Director Bettie Yahn-Kramer.

Participants should meet at the restored 1830s homestead, formerly known as the “Pink Plantation,” to join in a variety of frontier challenges.

The homestead also will be open for park guests to tour. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the Boyd Family of Kentucky, who originally settled the property in 1830, and Betty Towne, the woman who donated the property to the St. Charles County Parks Department in 2004.

The program is hosted by the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department. For additional information, visit www.stccparks.org.

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