Legal battle over red light camera ban in St. Charles County int -

Legal battle over red light camera ban in St. Charles County intensifies

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. ( - Voters in St. Charles County overwhelmingly approved a ban on red light cameras, but a recent letter by the county had cities wondering if it was a threat to their funding.

The letter from County Executive Steve Ehlmann was sent out in late April, which Ehlmann said thanked the cities for not suing the county and explaining their position.

Some cities in the county, like St. Peters, Lake St. Louis and O'Fallon are trying to stop the ban on red light cameras. Councilman Jim Pepper of O'Fallon even joined the lawsuit as an individual.

"I'm just totally amazed by the wording of it," Pepper said of the letter. "I take personal offense to it."

Pepper said that by banning red light cameras, the county is interfering with the rights of the cities and said he saw the letter from Ehlmann as a threat.

"I perceived it, especially the last couple of sentences, as a threat to the cities: if we persist in this lawsuit, we could be losing county tax and bridge tax funds," said Pepper.

County Executive Ehlmann disagreed with Pepper's claims with the point that the county cannot treat one municipality differently than another.

"If there was a threat to withhold money on one municipality we'd have to withhold the money from everybody, including the people who [support the ban]," said Ehlmann.
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