County Seeks Consultant on Parks and Recreation

Article excerpt

St. Charles County is looking further into a parks and recreation system.

The Planning Department is advertising for a consultant to prepare a plan for parks and recreation in unincorporated parts of the county.

Proposals are due June 29. The county has budgeted $47,500 for the consultant, planning officials say.

Municipalities - not the county government - have provided traditional public parks, featuring amenities such as ballfields, swimming pools and picnic areas.

Other recreational areas in the county are the state-run Katy Trail and more than 22,000 acres owned by the Missouri Conservation Department, including the Busch Wildlife Area.

The county never acquired much land suitable for parks. It owns 68 acres of steep, rugged land along Matson Hill Road near Defiance, and about 30 acres along St. Peters-Howell Road.

In 1987, the county had a chance to get 105 acres as a gift from the late Elberth and Gladys Grant, who wanted to donate their farm south of O'Fallon to the county as a memorial to their deceased son. The only stipulation was that the county government commit itself to develop and maintain the land as a park.

The County Commission, forerunner of the County Council, asked voters to approve a sales-tax proposal to finance construction and renovation of county government buildings.

Shortly before the election, county officials said the tax would help finance a park project as well. They spoke of $2.4 million being needed to develop the park. But they offered few details to voters.

Nor did they tell the St. …