August 7, 2022 Issue

Dear Neighbor,

I hope that you are doing well. Can you believe it that summer is almost over? In just a few weeks school will start up again for the many students in our area. Some will be starting for the first time in a kindergarten class, while others will be starting their last year of school. As we approach September, I am excited to be getting closer to our annual Celebrate Wildwood event and I can’t wait! We are doing so much to make this a fun time for all. Read more about the event in this newsletter and save the date now ~ Saturday, September 24th.

I have many updates to share with you in this newsletter so take a moment to read through them all.

Soon I will be sending you my annual survey to get your feedback on several topics. Your opinion matters to me. Look for a survey invitation from me in your email inbox later this week to share your feedback on how things are going, what is going great, and what opportunities we have to make Wildwood a better place to live.

As usual, please let me know if you have any questions or if you need any assistance. I can be reached at 314-750-5489 or by email (

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our city. Enjoy these final weeks of summer.

Best Regards,


Back to School Party Summer Concert

Save the date for the Friday August 19th Back to School Party featuring Griffin and the Gargoyles. The back to school event has kids activities, including bounce houses, a climbing wall, face painters, and balloon artists, all followed by a great concert. The fun starts at 6:00pm. (Note the earlier start time.)

Attendees can enjoy complimentary soda, water, hot dogs, kettle corn, and snow cones while they last. This summer I have enjoyed volunteering with the Wildwood Area Lions Club to cook the hot dogs at our concerts and I can assure you, 800 hot dogs go fast!

The last concert of the year will be Celebrate Wildwood taking place on September 24th. Read more about it in this newsletter.

Work on Sewer Lateral Protection

Several readers reached out to me after my last newsletter about the risk of sewer lateral failure and the story of the impact to a local family. It is a concerning topic for many, especially as our communities age and the durability of sewer and water infrastructure is tested.

Several of you shared that you were able to add lateral insurance to your existing home insurance policy, while others shared that there was no option available. It all depends on the company you have.

A city sponsored program for those that are connected to municipal sewer service (Metropolitan Sewer District of St. Louis) would provide low cost coverage protection in the event of a failure. Since the last time I wrote to you, we have added the topic to the Administration & Public Works Committee for consideration. A city sponsored program would collect a fee. Cities that offer it today throughout St. Louis County add it to the real estate property tax bill. For Wildwood to pursue this option it will require a vote of the citizens to pass. Over 70 out of the 80 or so municipalities in St. Louis County already offer this type of protection today.

Wildwood is exploring the options and steps to consider offering sewer lateral protection. I expect to share more with you in future newsletters.

Missed the last newsletter? You can read it by clicking here. Not receiving the newsletters in your email inbox or a friend forwarded it to you? Subscribe here.

Classic Cars Descend Upon Town Center

On Saturday, July 30th, the Cars and Cones STL group held their monthly gathering at Main Street Creamery in the Wildwood Town Center. The St. Louis based group selects a local ice cream shop each month for members to show off their rides and enjoy an ice cream treat with fellow car enthusiasts. This was a fun event, and the weather could not have been any better. Thank you to all the Cars and Cones STL participants, attendees, and Main Street Creamery for putting together a wonderful time for all.

Photos by Amanda Marie.

Classic Car Owners: This year’s Celebrate Wildwood Parade theme is Route 66 - Then and Now. We would love to have classic cars be a part of the parade. If you would like to participate, please let me know (reply to this email) or contact Kristin Naeger at Wildwood City Hall 636-458-0440, ext. 134 or email her at

Learn more about Cars and Cones STL and future events by visiting and becoming a member of their Facebook Group at

Celebrate Wildwood is this September

Celebrate Wildwood is just around the corner. Mark this date on your calendar - September 24th! I am so excited to serve as Co-Chair, alongside with Libby Wilson from Ward 1, of the Wildwood Celebration Commission. We plan to raise the bar even higher for a quality family experience!

The commission members, city staff, and Wildwood Police Department representatives have been meeting monthly since the end of the last celebration to plan for this year’s event. The event takes place all day long with the start of the parade, and continues with activities, music, and food throughout the day. We will cap off the celebration with a stellar concert and fireworks show in the evening.

New for this year! We will light up the Wildwood Town Center with bistro lights throughout Main Street to create a festive atmosphere during the event. It will be Instagrammable!

The venue will remain in the same location as last year. We are grateful for the property owner to offer the use of the land for Celebrate Wildwood. Often times I hear the assumption that the land east of the B&B Movie Theater is owned by the city. However, it is not the case and the land, as is most land, is private property. We appreciate the kind gesture of the property owner over the years to allow use for the enjoyment of the community. Over the long-term, we will be transitioning the location of future Celebrate Wildwood events and concerts to the six-acre area west of City Hall. This land was purchased by the City from two property owners for the future Village Green. The goal also continues to connect Main Street from Eatherton Road through to the remainder of the Town Center.

The parade theme for this year will be Route 66 - Then and Now to coincide with all of the magnificent work taking place by the city to revitalize this important and historic corridor. The parade start location returns back this year to the Schnucks Wildwood Crossing parking lot and will travel west on Manchester Road. We thank Desco for allowing us use of the parking lot to stage and begin the parade. At Taylor Road, the parade will turn towards Main Street and end at Eastgate Lane.

Look for more details about this year’s Celebrate Wildwood festivities that include the parade, concert, scavenger hunt, kids activities, food, and vendors on social media and the city’s website. In the meantime, note the date, share it with friends, and plan a family fun filled day on September 24th!

Please also take a moment to thank all of the event sponsors. Look for their names on the banners going up soon on Taylor Road.

To learn more about Wildwood’s Route 66 Revitalization, visit

Former Jack in the Box Site

The former Jack in the Box location at the Schnucks Wildwood Crossing site was recently acquired by a new owner and plans were for a hibachi restaurant to lease the space. However, I have since learned that plans have changed, and the new owner has decided to sell the property. If you or someone you know is interested in this property, please let me know and I will gladly do my best to connect you/them with the resources to pursue the interest.

Farmers Market Open Saturdays

Farmers Market Favorite: Miss Becky’s Salsa Shack Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Miss Becky’s Salsa Shack is a regular at the Wildwood Farmers Market and I never miss the opportunity to stop by her booth. The first time I tried Miss Becky’s salsa, I absolutely fell in love with it. All of her salsa flavors are super delicious and fresh tasting, but my favorite if you like a little kick is the Sassy Red Salsa. Stop by her booth and Miss Becky will make sure to give you samples of all her salsa, including freshly made chips.

Miss Becky’s Salsa Shack will be back at the Wildwood Farmers Market on August 27th, September 10th, and October 1st. Plus, she will be one of our food vendors at Celebrate Wildwood on September 24th. Stop by her booth and tell her Joe sent you!

Visit Miss Becky’s Salsa Shack online at or her Facebook page.

New Community Church Plans for Recreational Area

New Community Church, located at 16801 Manchester Road, has submitted plans to the city for a 3.5-acre parcel located diagonally across from the church. Plans call for an expanded parking area and recreational activities located on green space. The proposed site on the city’s land use plan calls for commercial business-related activities. However, recreational activities and facilities are permitted uses as well under the Workplace district designation.

Recreational activities offered on the site will be four pickleball courts, two volleyball courts, open space, and a pavilion, restroom, and refreshment area.

Pastor Jeremiah Kirberg of the New Community Church, who is also a nearby resident, shared the desire of this recreational area is for the church and the local community.

Ward 8 does not have any park areas today, unlike other wards that have parks such as Ward 1 - Community and Old Pond School Parks, Ward 4 - Anniversary Park, Ward 5 Green Pines Park, and Ward 6 - Glencoe Community and Bluffview Parks. The future Village Green will certainly fill the void when the plan materializes. However, there is a strong demand by residents for recreational activities. Any opportunity where a local resident would be welcomed to walk over and enjoy a game of pickleball would be great asset for the community.

Coffee with the Mayor

Coffee with the Mayor is the first Thursday of every month at 7:30am. Listen to updates from the city while enjoying coffee and refreshments.

A great update recently shared by the B&B Theater on Main St. is that they are doing well this quarter and will be undergoing renovations to further improve the theater experience.

Discussions included revisiting a sewer lateral coverage program for residents. The Admin & Public Works Committee is evaluating options.

Council Member Rambaud (Ward 6) shared an update on a plan he has proposed for deer management in Wildwood. The proposal outlines a multi-year professional approach. The draft report is available online for review at:

Other topics discussed include beautification, cleanup of the Manchester Rd & 109 intersection, the city’s new Economic Development/Communications Manager Thomas Lee, and MoDOT maintenance of roads.

Premier Martial Arts Represents Wildwood at Team USA Competition in Wales

Super Exciting News! Congratulations to two students and Sensei Brett Thomason from Premier Martial Arts who have made Team USA and will be traveling to Wales in October to compete. Premier Martial Arts is holding fundraisers to help with the trip. Please reach out to Sensei Brett at 636-544-1068 if you are interested in helping.

Asphalt Street Resurfacing Work Begins

Asphalt street resurfacing work begins the week of August 8th. Resurfacing will start with work on Eatherton Road, from Cambury Lane to Manchester Road and Taylor Road, from Route 109 to Sandalwood Creek Drive.

Other roads that will be resurfaced as part of this project include:

  • Ossenfort Road from RTE T south to Melrose Road

  • Bouquet Road

  • Hencken Road

  • Old Manchester Road (out west by Fox Creek)

  • Bassett Road

Internet Expansion Update

As you may recall in late 2021, Wildwood allocated $6.75 Million of American Rescue Plan Funds (federal dollars) towards addressing the longstanding issue of poor or lack of internet service for certain areas of Wildwood. A contract was signed with Spectrum for the execution of this work. Construction of Phase 1 work recently started. This update as provided the City Administrator Steve Cross and shared on the city’s website is only the beginning and does not reflect the overall plan.

Construction will begin along Wild Horse Creek Road from State Route 100. (See Map #1) The Spectrum construction team started work in this area around the end of July 2022, and residents in this area could expect to be able to sign up for internet service by the end of September.

The next buildout area, as noted in Map #2, is expected to begin around the end of August 2022, with service potentially available to residents around the end of October. The third buildout area is noted in Map #3, and residents should see construction begin in this area approximately the end of September, with service availability potentially around the beginning of December. The fourth buildout area is noted in Map #4, with construction expected to begin by December, with service availability potentially around the end of January 2023.

I do want to caution readers by setting expectations that the schedule can change due to unplanned circumstances. Supply chain, labor and material shortages as observed in other industries may impact the progress of this work.

Another phase of work that is critical and continues to remain a high priority for me is the inclusion of several neighborhoods east of Route 109. These neighborhoods, in areas such as Old State Road and Orrville Road, currently do not have internet or have poor service (less than 25 mbps). These neighborhoods must be included as part of the City’s overall plan.

AT&T Expands Fiber Internet to the Home Service

At the same time while we were waiting for Spectrum to begin work, AT&T was feverishly installing fiber optic cables in several neighborhoods along Route 109 between Route 100 and Westridge Oaks Drive. This work by AT&T was recently completed and homes are now reporting over the past week that AT&T is advertising the new faster fiber service to the home. Installations are being completed within a few days of sign-up and residents have reported receiving the new service.

Local Business Updates

I was excited to join the West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce in July at the ribbon cutting for Rockwood Eyecare. Another small business that has chosen to make its home and invest in the Wildwood community.

They are located at 16972 Manchester Rd and next to Cherry Hills Veterinary Hospital & the Post Office.

Please stop by and say hi to Dr. Peter Jacques and his team.

Other business updates for our community include:

  • Silver Spoon Ice Cream & Sweets (17225 New College Avenue) plans to open their new store soon. They will be the first location in the St. Louis Metro Market to exclusively serve Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co.

  • Passiglia’s (1855 Hwy 109) is holding their Fall Festival on September 17th from 9:00am to 3:00pm. This will be a fun filled day of vendors providing specialty shopping, live music, food trucks, kids pony rides and petting zoo, specials at the nursery and so much more.

Another Business Opens in Wildwood

Please join me in welcoming Maderi Caretenders at the Westridge Office Center located at 17013 New College Avenue Suite 101. Maderi Caretenders is a home healthcare service. They held their ribbon cutting with the West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, July 20th.

Wildwood Retail & Office Occupancy Rate at 89%

The city recently installed a new Economic Development/Communications Manager and let’s welcome Thomas Lee to the role. Thomas conducted analysis and provided insights on the City’s economic climate. The following are excerpts from his report.

Wildwood’s occupancy rate stands at 89%. The occupancy rate refers to the ratio of rented or used space to the total amount of available space. Separated out, Wildwood’s retail and office occupancy rates are:

  • Retail Occupancy Rate: 88.62%

  • Office Occupancy Rate: 91.66%

  • Total Occupancy Rate: 89.22%

For a regional comparison, CoStar provides the following comparison graph. CoStar Group, Inc. is a leading provider of online real estate marketplaces, information, and analytics in the commercial and residential property markets.

Lee notes “that Wildwood has businesses concentrated in a few specific areas... This is not the case in many of our neighboring municipalities. Also, Wildwood has a lower population density than some of neighboring municipalities such as Ballwin and Ellisville. These areas have high population densities which give retail/office plazas easier access to the population. These factors could be affecting our occupancy rates.”

Available Space vs. Vacant Space

Another insightful comparison is the amount of available and vacant square footage in Wildwood and our neighboring municipalities. This graph shows that some of our neighboring municipalities have a lot more retail/office space in general.

Lee notes that “when a municipality has less total space, new vacancies are more impactful. For example, the total amount of Wildwood’s retail/office space is 642,531 SF. Ballwin’s total retail/office space is 5,149,819 SF. If 10,000 SF becomes vacant in Wildwood’s market, it affects Wildwood’s occupancy rate by 1.6%. If 10,000 SF becomes vacant in Ballwin’s market, it affects Ballwin’s occupancy rate by .02%. This is important to note when focusing on business retention in the City of Wildwood. We feel the hit of a business leaving more than some of our neighboring municipalities.”

Lafayette HS Installs New Sign

Joe’s Message to Local Officials

West Gate Region Civic Leadership Awards Banquet

Recently I had one of the most rewarding opportunities I have experienced while serving as Missouri Municipal League President. I attended the West Gate Region Civic Leadership Awards Banquet in Blue Springs (near Kansas City) to honor and recognize 17 local civic leaders from the region for the exceptional leadership and contributions they have made to their communities. Thank you to all these wonderful citizens for their dedication and positive impact.

Wildwood History

The location of the Grover Post Office, right by East Ave & the Bordeaux Estates and Rockwood Pointe Subdivisions, was home to a ball field. Here is the Grover baseball team from 1940-41. (Source: 'Wildwood' by Beck, J.)

Click here for the Wildwood Parks & Rec Calendar for upcoming events.