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North county neighbors Glen Echo Park, Normandy OK merger by wide margins

Updated Aug. 8 with election results

There will be one less municipality in St. Louis County come February.

Voters in the north county municipalities of Normandy and Glen Echo Park voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to merge. Turnout was about 28% in Glen Echo Park and about 8% in Normandy.

When the merger takes effect in February, the 122 residents of Glen Echo Park will become voters in Normandy’s 4th Ward, though they will have a nonvoting representative on the Normandy City Council until municipal elections in April.

Property taxes in the merged town will not change much, though Glen Echo Park residents will start paying a tax on the sale of utilities like electricity and cable. Normandy residents meanwhile will start paying a higher sewer lateral fee, but officials said that was likely to happen without the merger.

Our original story from Aug. 6

Voters in two small municipalities in north St. Louis County will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether they should become one.

Normandy, which had a population of 4,287 at the last census, already surrounds Glen Echo Park on three sides and provides policing to the village on a contract basis. They're in the same school and fire protection districts.


“It makes a lot of sense for both of us to do this,” said Normandy Mayor Mark Beckmann. “The future of all of these smaller municipalities is consolidation. It’s become so complex and expensive to run a small municipality.”

The towns first explored a merger in 2020 but withdrew due to a lack of support from the Normandy City Council.

This time around, political support for the proposal was strong. Both governing bodies supported the necessary ordinances without opposition, and no one spoke against the merger at a hearing of the St. Louis County Boundary Commission, an appointed body that reviews territorial changes.

If voters in both locations approve, Glen Echo Park will cease to exist in February, though there would be a nonvoting representative from the village on the Normandy City Council until municipal elections in April. Glen Echo Park’s residents would become part of Normandy’s Fourth Ward.

Victoria Valle, the chair of Glen Echo Park’s board of trustees, moved to the village in the early 1980s to care for her father and joined the board in 2011. Despite the long history, she has no regrets about supporting the merger.

“We have to look at the fact that a two-street municipality with 122 residents as of the last census is just too small to maintain independently,” she said.

Glen Echo Park is purely residential, meaning it has no business income to help fund municipal needs.

Valle said she was most concerned about having the resources to do code enforcement. Real estate speculators, she said, have begun buying up houses in her community.

“It becomes very expensive to try and get these people to comply, and we don’t have a lot of help,” she said. “This is actually a historic place. We’re on the National Register of Historic Places.”

Real estate and personal property tax rates would remain basically the same after the merger. Former Glen Echo Park residents would begin to pay an 8% gross receipt tax on the sale of utilities including gas, water and electric, but Normandy residents would begin to pay a higher sewer lateral fee of $50, up from $28.


In documents submitted to the Boundary Commission, Normandy officials noted that such an increase would likely be necessary in the future to keep the program stable even without the merger.

Normandy’s budget would also grow because it would receive Glen Echo Park’s share of the county sales tax pool and community development block grants.

Normandy and Glen Echo Park would not be the first north county municipalities to merge. Voters in Vinita Park and Vinita Terrace approved combining in 2016 by wide margins.

Beckmann said he had no qualms about his town becoming the “seller” in the future.

“If we can share expenses and pool assets, both financial and intellectual, I think it’s good for everybody,” he said.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.