Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Meeting
In June, July, and August, there will be one Board of Aldermen meeting each month instead of two meetings. The meetings will be held on June 17, July 15, and August 19 at 7:00 p.m., at The Pointe at Ballwin Commons, #1 Ballwin Commons Circle.
The normal schedule of two meetings per month will resume in September at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police & Court Center, 300 Park Drive.
These meetings are open to the public and the building is handicapped accessible.
Robert Kuntz, City Administrator
Residents of Ballwin are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the programs and services of the City of Ballwin regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, national origin or political affiliation. If you are a person requiring an accommodation, please call (636) 227-8580 (V) or (636) 527-9200 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2966 (Relay Missouri) no later than 5:00 P.M. on the third business day preceding the hearing. Offices are open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
CITY OF BALLWIN
1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Approval of Minutes: May 13, 2013 Board of Aldermen meeting
5. Presentation: None.
6. Pending Issues: None.
7. Citizen Comments
8. Public Hearing: None.
11. Mayor’s Report
13. Staff Reports
14. City Attorney’s Report
15. Aldermanic Comments
NOTE: Due to ongoing City business, all meeting agendas should be considered tentative. Additional issues may be introduced during the course of the meeting.
BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING BRIEFS
This is a condensed summary of the action items which will be considered at tonight’s Board Meeting. It has been prepared to give you a greater understanding of the issues which will be discussed. If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please call (636) 227-8580. If you would like to know more about the programs or services which we provide, please dial our 24-Hour Information Line (636) 207-2300, or visit us on the web at www.ballwin.mo.us.
If you wish to address the Board during this meeting, please fill out the “Citizen Comments: To Address the Board of Aldermen” form and place it in the tray on the table in the center of the Board Room before the meeting begins. Topics of a global nature, such as requests for ballot initiative endorsements, should be submitted in writing to the City Clerk at 14811 Manchester Road., or e-mailed to www.ballwin.mo.us prior to the meeting.
Please limit your comments to 3 minutes as an individual and 5 minutes representing a group. Please avoid repeating comments others have already made.
CAP CARPET (Bill 3793)
INDOOR SHOOTING RANGE (Bill 3794)
SALES TAX HOLIDAY (Bill 3795 and 3796)
LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWALS
POINTE LOBBY IMPROVEMENTS
DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS
GREAT STREETS BRANDING
FERRIS PARK IMPROVEMENTS
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:05 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the May 13, 2013 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mr. Young said the BAA has become a more localized athletic association that includes Ballwin, Pond, and Ellisville. Youth programs have increased by adding a younger age group. BAA’s 75th anniversary is in 2015. Owning this property would be a cornerstone event of the 75th anniversary.
Mayor Pogue suggested that this subject be included on the next agenda as a closed session to discuss real estate.
Ray Kerlagon, 1146 Westrun Drive: Mr. Kerlagon spoke in support of Bill 3794, Indoor Shooting Ranges. Mr. Kerlagon said, “As the Board considers this legislation, would a positive vote on the proposed bill have a negative impact on our Ballwin community. As a concerned resident, I sought input from others on this issue. Regarding property values, real estate, our homes. I spoke with two real estate agents that have been active in marketing homes within the City of Ballwin. They both said that having a shooting range in the C-1 zoning district would be a non-event. It won’t help sell a home, and won’t make it more difficult to sell. Their view is that any proposed site, as long as it’s not near any single-family homes, the noise issue won’t be a concern. Testimony was given during the Planning & Zoning meeting that the range noise should not be a problem. In fact, the discharge of a firearm normally used at an indoor range, would be almost negligible outdoors. Regarding the image of Ballwin: I’m a member of Ballwin Baptist Church, and I discussed this with the Pastor, staff, administrators of the church, and numerous church members. No one felt that there would be any negative implications of having an indoor range in the area. In fact, many voiced how they would look forward to using the range. In conversations of approximately 20 other people, the only concern expressed was from one gentleman that shooting might be a fad and the facility might close in a few years, and become a liability to the city. This is one of the points that Assistant City Administrator Tom Aiken very satisfactorily addressed in his comments during the Planning & Zoning meeting; therefore, I support Bill 3794.”
BILL # 3793 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE MANCHESTER ROAD REDEVELOPMENT OVERLAY DISTRICT, APPROVED PER ORDINANCE 11-16, FOR CERTAIN LAND AT 14940 MANCHESTER ROAD IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Boland for a first reading of Bill No. 3793. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, the motion passed and Bill No. 3793 was read for the first time.
Alderman Boland said that at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, there were no major concerns that were brought up during the meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3793. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3793 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3793 with the following results:
BILL # 3794 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE XIV OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO MAKE INDOOR SHOOTING RANGES A USE ALLOWED BY SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION IN THE C-1 ZONING DISTRICT.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Finley for a first reading of Bill No. 3794. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3794 was read for the first time.
Alderman Finley said, “I agree with the comments made by Mr. Kerlagon under Citizen Comments. The position I have is that of a famous American who said, ‘The great body of our citizens shoot less as time goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among school boys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services, by every means in our power; thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world. The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come, is to teach men to shoot.’; spoken by our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt. I think this is something that can be done responsibly. That expresses my position in favor of this legislation.”
Alderman Boland said, “At the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, there were about a half dozen people who spoke in support of the measure, two of which were neighbors of the property. There was one citizen who spoke in opposition. It was a very lengthy discussion of the necessary items for consideration of the petitioner and this legislation.”
Alderman Harder said, “He talked to the Ellisville Police Chief, who patrols the area around Ruby Guns, and the watch commanders at the St. Louis County Police Department in Valley Park. In both cases, none said anything negative about having a similar type of gun store or range in the neighborhood. They felt that it was a non-event. They have not gotten any calls regarding any kind of activity both inside or outside the facility. I assume this will be run in a like manner or even better. I support this indoor shooting range in Ballwin.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “I haven’t received any negative feedback from anyone. The only people I have heard from are those who want more details to be able to get memberships.”
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3794. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3794 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3794 with the following results:
Mayor Pogue said Bill 3795 and 3796 are related to the State Sales Tax holidays. Bill 3795 is to opt in to the holiday. The City would not charge the local sales tax during that time period on specific items, and bill 3796 is to opt out of the sales tax holiday. The local sales tax would continue to be charged during that time frame.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder for a first reading of Bill No. 3795. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3795 was read for the first time.
Alderman Harder said, “If this passes, is there a way that staff could track the sales tax that is affected?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “We could compare the results with August, 2012. It’s specific to types of purchases. Because the State collects the tax, we will get what information we can. I’ve never seen any statistics on this.” Mayor Pogue said, “It will be difficult to track a 3-day event in this regard.”
Alderman Fleming said, “I’m interested in any numbers that can be gathered. It will be hard to do this. When this first started in 2004, the Board didn’t want to participate because it would hurt revenue. At this time, I don’t think it will hurt revenue. I think it will be neutral because people will also be buying items that aren’t exempt from the tax. There’s no clear argument either way. It’s our tolerance for risk. I feel that this won’t risk a lot of revenue. If we opt in, since we are the only municipality in the area opting in, might bring in more shoppers into Ballwin. Everyone around us is still opted out.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “I shared the information with the Municipal League. Their contention was that we may not want to do anything because of the internet tax issue. Our neighbors have opted out in the past.” Alderman Fleming said, “If it hurts our revenue, it won’t be much. Another reason in the past was that the Board felt the businesses didn’t want this because it would be difficult for the businesses to keep track of what items were sales tax free. I felt that argument was silly because they are already taking care of their point of sale machines to opt out of the other tax, they can opt out of the local tax also. Another reason is that this is titled a State Imposed sales tax. Some thought this was the State pushing and getting into the municipalities pockets without asking. Those are historical reasons why the Board didn’t want to do this. I think it is a good thing to do. The green sales tax holiday in April can be discussed when the time comes to opt in or opt out. This sales tax holiday is one that we should try.”
Alderman Harder said, “If this passes, I would like to see a press release or a notification that our Business Resource Officer can deliver to the businesses; therefore, the businesses can advertise this as well.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “When we first discussed this, we were concerned about our sales tax base and the economy was on a down-turn. We were trying to save every dime we could. Things are starting to turn around and sales are trending well. I think we should approve this bill.”
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3795. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3795 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3795 with the following results:
City Attorney Jones said, “If a vote is taken on this bill and is passed, it will undo the vote on Bill 3795, Ordinance 13-26. The end result would be that we will have opted out of the sales tax holiday. If no motion is made for a reading of Bill 3796, it will die.
No motion was made for a first reading of Bill 3796.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
A. Liquor License Renewals
Alderman Boland requested that Item A be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy to accept Consent Items B and E. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Consent Item A: Liquor License Renewals: Alderman Boland asked are there any license applications that we chose not to renew? Police Chief Schicker said, “The applicant must have a background investigation from St. Louis County. The application is then forwarded to me. Unless I’m aware of any incidents that would bring concern, I sign the application. After that, it’s forwarded to the Board for approval.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “Every application is reviewed by the Police Department. If there were any issues, the application wouldn’t be on the agenda for renewal. These are all existing businesses that have licenses, no violations, no changes of ownership. This is a two-part process. The State license must be obtained before the municipal license. It’s a thorough screening process.”
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to accept Consent Item A as recommended by Staff. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Consent Item C: Pointe Lobby Improvements: City Administrator Kuntz said it is recommended that the millwork and flooring bids, because they were non-competitive, be rejected, and that we repeat the process in an attempt to get more competitive prices. There was a third element, which was the painting in the lobby. That was within the administrative threshold. That contract had three bids and we are moving forward with that one.
Alderman Dogan asked, “Since there was only one bid received, what are we going to be doing differently to try to get more bids in the second attempt?” Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said, “We had a pre-bid meeting for all of the renovations (millwork, painting, and flooring) at one time because we knew the trades were going to have to work together in the building during the one week when we were closed for business in August, as is usually done. There were 4 or 5 contractors representing each one. When we only received one bid, Deputy Director of Parks John Hoffman called the contractors that were here for the pre-bid meeting and asked why didn’t they all bid. They said that in our bid specs, the way we sent them out, there was a clause that’s normally in a larger Public Works bid spec that calls for 10% retainage to be held by the City for one year following the project. We’re recommending that we take that clause out when we re-send the bid requests. This is a much smaller type of a project and we will not pay the vendor unless we are totally satisfied with the work. The 10% is on the Public Works road jobs where payments are made at intervals, and 10% is held until the end. John Hoffman has spoken with most of the contractors that were originally interested, and told them that we will be going back out to bid. They are interested. We will re-advertise the bid.”
Alderman Dogan asked, “Is there a potential timetable for having the second round of bids go through?” Ms. Bruer said, “The bids will be due on July 3, and will be brought back for Board approval on July 15, and hopefully do the work in August.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “We hope to do the work in conjunction with the week that we close The Pointe for maintenance. The work will be disruptive for staff.”
Alderman Harder asked, “On the bid requirements, would it be important that we require that they be available for that one week?” Ms. Bruer said, “Yes, that is written into the bid specifications that all work will be completed during that week.”
Alderman Boland said, “With the issue of retainage, are we the only municipality in the area that was requiring the 10%?” Ms. Bruer said, “On something this small, we still require a performance bond.” Alderman Boland said, “Even without the 10% retainage, we still have the power that if it’s not done to your liking, they won’t get all of their month.”
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Boland to accept Consent Item C as recommended by Staff. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Consent Item D: Towing Contract: City Administrator Kuntz said, “This was essentially a monitoring item. The City of Ballwin does not participate in any of the billing or revenue exchange that takes place between the person that needs to be towed and the company that does the towing. We have used D & L Towing for quite some time, but that contract recently expired. Police Chief Schicker was able to get two bids. The bids are essentially the same terms and conditions as what we’re currently under. It’s important that we know what the rates are and that it be a service related type of contract because when somebody has an accident or needs a tow, we want to be assured that they are dealing with a reputable business.”
Alderman Dogan asked, “What is the usual total amount spent for towing?” Police Chief Schicker said, “There’s no charge for the City. It varies, depending on the type of vehicle. Generally on an auto accident tow, it’s $90. If they must use the dolly, there’s an additional fee, which could range up to $150 per hour. That is all based on the conditions and size of the vehicle that’s being towed. This contract guarantees that the price is consistent across the board. There’s no fluctuation in the pricing.? Alderman Dogan asked, “Has there been any change in it from last year?” Police Chief Schicker said no.
Mayor Pogue asked, “When was the last time this was bid?” Police Chief Schicker said 2009. Mayor Pogue said, “I recall that we used to have contracts with two tow companies simultaneously. If one was unavailable, we had a backup. Would it be beneficial to have contracts with both companies?” Police Chief Schicker said, “We did that at one time, and it became too complicated to try to manage who was next on the list. If we didn’t get a quick response or if we called and the dispatcher answered the phone, we went to the next contractor. We determined that the response was good by staying with one contractor. We’ve had no negative issues with D&L Towing.”
Alderman Harder asked, “When we have a vehicle towed, if something happens to that vehicle, do we have any liability?” City Attorney Jones said, “We don’t have any direct legal responsibility or liability. Someone might try to involve the City in a lawsuit, but in this situation, we’re guaranteeing that the price charged to the customer is going to be the same and consistent. Since the City doesn’t contract for a particular tow, it’s the automobile owner that does that.”
Police Chief Schicker said, “If there is a motor vehicle accident, and the parties prefer a particular tow company, or if they have AAA, we will make the phone call for them or allow them to make the call. One of the reasons for the contract is for expedience in getting the roadway clear. If there’s an accident at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and there’s heavy traffic, we can’t wait an hour or two hours to get the roadway clear. That’s one of the reasons for the contract. This is part of the condition of the contract is the response time. We also require that the contractor has liability insurance.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is a non-mandatory referral for the driver of the vehicle.” Police Chief Schicker said, “About ten years ago, there was such a fluctuation from one tow to the other, we felt that citizens were being charged unfairly by the towing companies. In communicating with other police agencies in St. Louis County, we found out that the best way to assure that there wasn’t price gouging was to enter into a contract. St. Louis County has had a tow contract for many years. The contract that we currently use is a model we obtained from St. Louis County.”
A motion was made by Alderman Dogan and seconded by Alderman Leahy to accept Consent Item D as recommended by Staff. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Energy Savings: City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is a comprehensive exercise on an engineering level to evaluate all of our mechanical systems and related HVAC equipment, with respect to The Pointe. There are maintenance issues, new technology opportunities, and funding opportunities through grants to be able to identify and hopefully capture a budget number moving forward. The goal of this process is to authorize, at no cost or no obligation, that this engineering study be conducted. They will provide us with a payback of what we can consider to save in terms of moving forward with replacement and new equipment. Since we have interviewed three firms, it is recommended that the contract be awarded to CTS Group. They are located in Ellisville and have good local references and that are specific to this type of facility. They have done Richmond Heights and the Hazelwood municipal complexes. The recommendation from staff is that this professional service contract be awarded to CTS and that it be a no-cost contract for the initial phase. We reviewed the concept with City Attorney Jones. It is a new concept, but has legislative authorization.”
Alderman Harder said, “The contractor is paid based on what they project as savings. Is that how their compensation is awarded?” Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said, “If the Board approves CTS, there would be a letter of intent that would be given to CTS Group, and they would go forward with an analysis of this building in terms of what they see we need, what we can keep mechanically or what should be upgraded. They will also calculate the cost savings. In terms of energy savings, they will apply for grants for us; there’s Ameren rebates, etc. They will provide a menu of different budget numbers. The city can consider making the improvements all at one time and paying for them over a period of time, or doing this in stages. This is a different type of purchasing procedure. We’re not to that point as yet. We’re at the very beginning to allow them to do the analysis and bring back budget numbers. If the Board agrees that this is the way to approach this, the company would then bid out all of the equipment. It’s a different concept.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “The company oversees the installation, they go through all of the processes to insure compliance, they fill reports and grant applications. It’s like an 8% - 12% on that portion and is what becomes their margin for the project.”
Alderman Harder said, “By going forward with this, are we agreeing to pay 12%, or are we waiting until the report comes back, and then we decide if we want to go forward with them or not?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “We will be waiting until they come back with a menu. When this is received, we decide what we want to order. Numbers will be provided for budget purchases.”
Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said, “This is only available to public agencies such as school districts and local and state governments. Rather than us having to hire an engineer to point out different things, and then a year later, we address the roof issue, we have to bid it all out. We’re not taking a comprehensive look at everything involved. If we spend $300,000 to replace the pool pack unit, how do we know that there isn’t something better now, and by getting that, it might work better with something else we have. We’re also looking at the energy savings. This is a different method than most local governments and school districts are accustomed to doing. Richmond Heights went through this process last year for their community center and city hall. Parkway is also doing this.” Mayor Pogue said, “This is strictly to do the study and consider the options at budget time.”
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to accept the staff recommendation for energy savings. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Great Streets Branding: City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is an exercise that cities are doing to create marketing and public awareness with respect to either their community at large, as a destination, for development, etc. In our case, it’s more complicated because it’s a long corridor that involves three cities, which is the Great Streets Initiative. Some of the physical improvements will start next year in conjunction with the Manchester Road overlay project. This is a way to put together a marketing package that both businesses, the Chamber, and each of the communities can use moving forward.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “The steering committee, made up of representatives from the three cities, interviewed three firms. We are recommending the company that has done the most work for municipalities over the years. North Star Destinations specializes in municipal brand making. They were the least expensive of the three that were interviewed. By partnering with the other two cities, and possibly with supplemental funding by area businesses, our cost not to exceed, would be $27,866.”
Alderman Harder asked, “Is the total bid of $88,000 being split three ways?” Mayor Pogue said, “The amount was changed to $83,600, divided by the three cities.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “They brought the number down and said they included travel as long as it didn’t exceed $2,500.” Alderman Harder said, “Our share will be $27,866.”
Alderman Boland said, “$88,000 is a lot of money to come up with a brand. What are we getting for our portion of the cost?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is an outsider’s look at the corridor to encourage people that live within our communities to shop and patronize our local businesses. These are the lifeblood of the revenue source for Ballwin and all the cities. We want people to think about Manchester Road in a positive way that generates sales for those businesses and keeps our economy thriving. This concept is being embraced by communities such as ours. If we are serious about revitalizing Manchester Road, we need as much participation as possible from the businesses and community. Ellisville has approved the program and it is on the agenda in Wildwood. This is creating a brand and then show some improvement, which is a starting point, since MoDOT has committed $5 million for repaving Manchester Road.” Mayor Pogue said, “This will be beneficial to the businesses and the whole community.
Alderman Dogan said, “Don McEachern, President and CEO of North Star Destination Strategies, Inc., has clients that we’ve never heard of and will probably never visit, such as Brooking, South Dakota, Walton County, Georgia, and Goshen, Indiana. The premise of the article is that we need to take this guy, on faith, and all that he does, he admits he has no way of proving that this is cost effective. He has no way of proving that this branding really works, he is the first to acknowledge that he has no proof. Some of the language he used in the article is a lot of flim flummery. He has a diagram that means nothing. I hate to be parochial, and that’s one of the things people dislike about St. Louis a lot of times, but I think this is one case that this is justified. Why do we have a guy from Nashville, Tennessee, coming into Ballwin, Ellisville, and Wildwood to tell us about our communities? He’s going to study our communities for a few months, and then tell us about ourselves. Wouldn’t it be better to hire a local person who knows our communities and the flavor of the area, etc. I think there’s too many opportunities for us to waste this money and for this to go wrong. I’m a little skeptical about the whole Great Streets Initiative in general, some aspects of it. But, I’m willing to take a leap and take it on faith in some respects. I think that if we provide a good plan and if there are strong fundamentals that are going to be a part of this, that will attract visitors. I don’t think a slick marketing program by some outsider is going to necessarily bring in those businesses. I am inclined to be against this.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “$30,000 is a lot of money for six months work. They layout of the timeline seems to be comprehensive. I somewhat agree with Alderman Dogan and Alderman Boland. The one thing I disagree with Alderman Dogan about is having outside eyes looking at this. I think sometimes we in our community have blinders on. An outside vision may be helpful. Branding is a big issue and has been for a long time. I recall in the past Alderman Ray Lembke said we need signs to designate the Ballwin boundaries. The article says ‘North Star builds hours into the brand point process for official follow up with our clients. North Star provides six to twelve months follow up, however, we do not limit communication of these two instances.’ I’m pretty sure there are some things held back on this for continued sale on things. I’m a little hesitant about spending that much money on this. I need more convincing on this.”
Alderman Fleming said, “I’ve shared some skepticism about the Great Streets program in general, mainly about the duration it’s dragging out. However, this is one of the deals where slow and steady wins the race. Everything we’ve done so far has been reasonable in bite size chunks. We need to continue making steady progress. This is not an unreasonable expenditure. North Star will be doing a lot of study work, delivering a lot of product related to a branding exercise. It’s expertise that we don’t have and three cities will not agree on everything. When an expert puts this together, they will more likely agree. $27,000 would be a good portion of someone’s salary for a year. We don’t have that expertise on staff. We should continue to move forward in chunks. If we ever feel that we’re not getting enough for the money, we can bail out on it. We need to keep moving forward at this point.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “That was convincing. The Great Streets project is slow moving. When is the turning point that we realize if this is good or not? How much have we spent so far on this?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “You budgeted and then we ended up not touching any of it because we got MoDOT to contribute the enhancement. East-West Gateway picked up the cost on the study. There’s not a lot of revenue contributed at this time. There’s positive fallout from it in the sense that all of the new or re-developments along the Manchester corridor, and the zoning classification that embraces a lot of the terms and concepts that were brought to us through that study. You can contribute in an incremental way. We now have back streets, different signage, different building lines and parking restrictions. This is being done in the zoning process right now.”
Alderman Terbrock asked for a dollar amount that Ballwin has invested in the project. Mayor Pogue said, “There’s not a dollar amount other than staff time. The study was all paid by East-West Gateway, $5 million that MoDOT is using to repave Manchester Road in 2014. That’s all at this point. Everything that comes out of the branding plan is ours. They don’t have legal rights to it.” Alderman Terbrock said to Mayor Pogue, “You’ve been involved in all of the studies and I trust your judgment. Is this something you think we should do?” Mayor Pogue said, “Six months ago after we heard the first round of proposals, I would have said no. After hearing the presentation three times, I think it will definitely be beneficial. In Iowa, the hospitals, the businesses, and the logo that they developed out of the branding, they started implementing it across the city, in signage, the businesses were using it in their marketing. The executive committee, which is a lot of businesses within the corridor have heard the presentation, and there is interest.”
Alderman Harder said, “I’ve been frustrated with the pace of the Great Streets Initiative. It’s going on 10 years since we started putting this together. We won’t see anything on this come together until next year when MoDOT works on Manchester Road. That’s when people will start to see improvement. By that time, this report will be finished and ready to progress. It is a lot of money, but it’s one more piece that we need as part of the whole project. There’s still another piece with the overlay district that still needs to be worked out as well. We’ll see more and more pieces come before the Board that needs our approval. We need to keep moving forward on this. I support this report.”
Alderman Dogan asked, “Is there going to be uniform signage regardless of the branding issue?” Mayor Pogue said, “Part of the branding is the graphics that could be implemented regarding logos. That could be implemented into the signage and used all up and down the corridor. The graphics can be used in marketing and the businesses will start to use the logo as a way-finder for their business. What do we want to call ourselves? There’s the Loop, Central West End; what do we want this corridor to be known as?”
Alderman Dogan asked, “Is the West County Chamber of Commerce contributing to this?” Mayor Pogue said, “There are members of the Chamber who are on the steering committee and the executive committee. There is some interest with the businesses within the Chamber. If the Chamber contributes, our dollar share will become less.” Alderman Dogan said, “When we do see revitalization in places like the Loop, downtown, etc., it usually is the result of those businesses owners who invest in it, having their input. I would want to see more participation of the Chamber and businesses.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “If this contract was awarded, that would be the place that we would send him first, is to do the business community presentation. He would have to do a Chamber meeting, meet business owners fact to face, and to sell them into using some of their advertising dollars to incorporate these concepts. I don’t want to do a fancy study that’s going on a shelf and we can’t use it.”
Alderman Dogan said, “How is Ellisville’s situation going to play out in all of this? When we talk about having a positive brand, positive news, and one of the participants is being written up in the “New York Times”, and not in a positive way, and in the local press, could that possibly harm economic development efforts in this whole corridor? Is there something that this marketing person is going to have to do to address some of the negativity that one of the members is facing on this?” Mayor Pogue said, “It has been a concern that I have had as well. The biggest thing is it’s more of a personal political arena over the business corridor, entertainment and everything. It’s not just the corridor as a whole. I echo your concerns about this.”
Alderman Fleming said, “A few years ago, there was another neighboring city that was having similar problems. At this point, things are back to normal. These things don’t last forever. You’ve seen over the past year, there have been municipalities that have gone out of existence. You might see more of that in the future. I’m in favor of hanging in with the people up and down Manchester Road. Anything that we can work together on, or other things like equipment and cost sharing, benefits everyone. If some of our immediate neighbors are having a few problems, those problems don’t last forever. I share your concern. There might be an individual that needs to withdraw from being the face of this effort. Maybe someone else can take that on in Ellisville, but it’s up to them to straighten out on their own.”
Alderman Boland said, “I’m wondering about the term ‘outsider’. I’m an outsider in that I wasn’t born in St. Louis. I moved here in 1974 from New York. Sometimes we have to think big and look at the big picture. Sometimes an outsider is needed to point out positive and negative aspects of a project. Two or three years ago, a writer for the “New York Times” said we are the greatest city in the country and he relocated here from New York. Everything I’ve heard is leading me to the point that this makes sense.”
Alderman Kerlagon said, “We’ve been dealing with the Manchester Road issue for a long time and how we’re going to present ourselves within the five cities. These things are new and we use our 10-year Plan as a starting point. It takes a while to get things together. Once this happens, we can move forward. This is a positive approach. It seems that some things take forever to get done. Are we going to agree or disagree, and then finally things all begin to gel and come together.”
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to accept staff recommendation for Great Streets branding proposal. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Terbrock, Finley, Harder, Fleming, Leahy, Boland, Kerlagon. Nay: Dogan. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Ferris Park Improvements: City Administrator Kuntz said, “The first phase will include the playground area. We received a grant from St. Louis County Municipal Park Commission to fund this phase. We are presenting a recommendation that gets us the most value for the dollars available. With that goal in mind, the recommendation is to award the contract to ‘All Inclusive Recreation’. Based on their references and proposal, this would give us the most features for the first phase of the project. We would like to begin construction in late summer or early fall. We will then be looking for phase 2 funding, which would be next year. It will take about three phases before this park is finally designed and developed the way we want it to be. This is a unique concept because this park is going to be different than any of our other parks in Ballwin. It will be very non-traditional with a heavy emphasis on the environment and green initiatives. I believe it will be the jewel of the whole community when completed.”
Alderman Fleming said, “Does this necessitate the elimination of the soccer field in the park, or does this just cover the area that we purchased that’s up front by the road?” Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said, “It’s in the area where the house was located. If you use the front drive and look to the right, there’s a small meadow among the trees. That’s where the nature exploration playground is proposed to be located. The soccer field would be in phase 2 next year. Our master plan calls for keeping the soccer field and upgrading it. The $161,000 is for equipment and the surface material which will be wood fiber mulch material, installation of the playground, flatwork, and grading involved with the installation of the whole area will be part of a general contracting package that will go out to bid in the next few weeks. We anticipate bringing that to the Board at the August Board meeting. Construction and installation would start in September. The nature exploration playground also includes a water feature, sort of a man-made drainage way that looks like a creek. There’s a pump at the top for water flow. This is all part of the flat work that will be done in this project as part of the general contract. There will be a small pavilion that fits in with the nature theme. The proposal tonight is just to purchase the playground equipment so that we can explain to whoever gets the general contracting what equipment they are installing. The total construction was $397,000 for this phase.”
Alderman Boland asked about the Public Hearing. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said, “We are having a public meeting on Wednesday evening at the pavilion in Ferris Park at 7:00 p.m. There will be an update on phase 1, and we also want to give input on phase 2, which is in the design process right now. We want to get the design portion of phase 2 done so we can apply for a grant for that in October.”
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boland to accept staff recommendation for Ferris Park improvements. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Background Checks: City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is regarding solicitor background checks. We’re asking that this issue be resolved by referring it to the City Attorney for legislative amendment that would enable us to be responsive based on the tools that are now available in terms of getting the background checks completed. We have some access restrictions with data sources. There is an alternative that has been discussed with City Attorney Jones with minor amendments so that we can be in compliance with the legislation, but responsive to what we need to do with the background checks.”
Alderman Kerlagon asked if solicitors are coming to the Police Department for permits and background checks. Police Chief Schicker said yes. Alderman Kerlagon said that some solicitors in her neighborhood didn’t have a permit or identification. Police Chief Schicker said in that case, residents should notify the police department.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boland to instruct City Attorney Jones to draft legislation for background checks to be presented at the next Board meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Legal Issues: City Attorney Jones said, “I received proposals from Walter Young’s attorney regarding the Breezeview case. That was the demolition project that ended up in litigation. Ultimately, the City prevailed in the litigation. We were awarded attorney’s fees, costs, and a special tax bill that totaled $24,850.40. I was approached by Young’s attorney, and he asked if the City would be willing to discount that amount if Young dismissed his appeal, transferred the property to his daughter and son-in-law, and paid off the amounts due to the City in a lump sum within 90 days. We went back and forth and ultimately came up with a proposal that I’d like to bring back to the Board tonight. This can be discussed in open session unless the Board wants to get into strategy and details. Mr. Young is willing to pay $20,000. We would be compromising $4,850.40, but in return, the appeal gets dismissed, so, we wouldn’t have to write a brief or argue to the Court of Appeals. We won’t have the uncertainty of a reversal, although it’s unlikely, no continued litigation. The $20,000 would be paid in a lump sum within 90 days.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “As opposed to waiting until the property sold. It could go on for a couple of years. We’ve always wanted to resolve the issue, put it into a habitable condition, inspections that are part of the contingency, and get this off the books so that the transfer of the real estate transaction can be completed. It’s good for everyone, including the neighborhood.”
Mayor Pogue asked, “Would this transfer of ownership require an inspection?” City Attorney Jones said yes. “The idea is that the daughter and son-in-law (a general contractor), will work with our staff to isolate the exterior and interior issues so that they can eventually get an Occupancy Permit. They want to move into the house.”
City Attorney Jones said, “The reason they need up to 90 days is to obtain a loan. The closing will happen simultaneously with the transfer of the property, the payment to the City, the release of the City’s tax bill and judgment against the property.” Alderman Harder asked, “How much are we into this in fees?” City Attorney Jones said, “$24,850.40. We probably have a few hundred dollars more in attorney’s fees since that award was made, but I never had to brief it in the Court of Appeals because he never filed his brief.” Alderman Harder asked, “In all of the citations that have been issued over the years, have any of those been paid?” City Attorney Jones said, “Yes. The City routinely cut the grass at that address, and Mr. Young then paid the special tax bill each year at the time that he paid the property taxes. As far as we know, we’re even with past due accounts.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “Would it be possible that the transfer would then eliminate us from continuing to go at them as a persistent offender in that regard because it’s a different owner?” City Attorney Jones said, “The concept of a persistent offender is not part of our code. It’s more of a mind set in terms of enforcement. This property will continue to be on the radar no matter who owns it.”
Mayor Pogue said, “I’ve had communications with some of the residents. It will be a relief to them to see this house become occupied. I recommend closing this one.”
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to accept the settlement. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Terbrock, Finley, Harder, Dogan, Fleming, Leahy, Kerlagon. Nay: Boland. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Kimball Class Action: City Attorney Jones said, “The only other litigation the City is involved in is the Kimball Class Action, which is a group of 34 cities. The defense is currently being funded by the St. Louis County Municipal League. We filed on May 1, a motion to dismiss. Last Friday, June 14, we filed a motion for summary judgment and for judgment on the pleadings. Now, everything is on the plaintiff class to respond to those motions. They will have to do so by August. I assume there will be a court ruling near the end of summer.”
Ballwin Athletic Association: Alderman Fleming asked City Attorney Jones, “Could you give a short summary of the difficulties we encountered with the request last time. I think there were Board members who were in favor of doing something to try to make this happen for the BAA, but there are certain difficulties with this property. When this is on the agenda next time, everyone will have background information. As I recall, you were also on their Board. If you needed to disclose representing them in addition to us.” City Attorney Jones said, “That was one of the concerns that I have traditionally been council for the Ballwin Athletic Association. BAA provided in writing, a waiver of that conflict of interest. The City declined to do that at the request of Alderman Jim Robinson, as I recall. At the request of the City, the BAA hired a separate council, apart from me. That council rendered an opinion about whether it would be legal for the City to transfer the property to the BAA, in light of the fact that it was acquired with public funds. It was a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. We have a written opinion from that attorney that was hired by the Ballwin Athletic Association at the request of the City, indicating that it was a lawful transfer. The City declined to take action at that time, and it’s been on the back burner for over a year.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “Anything that we bring to the Board will provide those assurances. There’s no interest in this going beyond the great relationship that we’ve enjoyed for all these years. It’s a way to solidify it and make it more permanent. That’s nothing that can’t be overcome as far as preliminary discussions are concerned.”
City Attorney Jones said, “That’s right. The BAA has been willing and indicated in previous discussions with this Board that the BAA is willing to accept a deed restriction in the conveyance, which would have a reversion interest in the event that the BAA ceases doing business, and providing those services to the community, then the property would go back to the City of Ballwin. My role in this should not be an impediment in any way. I would be happy, if the City allows it, to handle transaction from a legal standpoint, but I don’t have to. Someone else could do it. This should be considered more on the strength of the proposal rather than on my involvement one way or the other.”
Alderman Fleming asked, “Would there be anything that we can do between now and the next meeting to start the process? Is there something specific that we can talk about net time?” Mayor Pogue said, “We can do that. My thought was to see if the Board was open to entertain any proposals and see where we wanted to proceed.”
Alderman Leahy asked, “What was holding this back? Was it your conflict of interest? Was there property owned by a third party?” Mayor Pogue said, “The question was if we could dispose of the property to BAA in any way or means and waiting to get a legal opinion. BAA hired the attorney and got the legal opinion. At that point, nothing progressed.”
Alderman Leahy said, “I don’t have any problem doing this as long as the inclusion is made that if BAA was to go out of business, the property would go back to the City. I was in favor of working with the BAA two years ago, but for some reason, it fell through. I’m fully in favor of working with them again, now.”
Alderman Kerlagon said, “My first involvement with this was last year. I was really excited about it, and I know that you were also. The kids that they brought into the tournament were from all over the world. There were seven or eight countries participating in the tournament. They were mixed together and sent to stay at various homes. By the next day, using their electronic devices, they could easily speak to one another without having just a face in front of them. I was very impressed by the positive attitudes of everyone.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “I agree with Alderman Kerlagon. I don’t see any conflict for City Attorney Jones to assist in this transfer, since there’s no monetary value involved.”
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock to authorize City Attorney Jones to participate in the discussion with the BAA.
Alderman Finley asked, “Are you still willing to have the waiver? Did you say they signed something to waive the conflict of interest representing both sides?” City Attorney Jones said yes. Mayor Pogue said, “I agree with Alderman Terbrock. I think this would be a potential cost saving on both sides. If we want to continue entertaining proposals, I think this would be beneficial to both sides. BAA already paid for a legal opinion to make sure this could be done. I don’t see any reason why City Attorney Jones couldn’t represent both sides on this.”
The motion was seconded by Alderman Finley. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Fleming said, “Perhaps next time we should take City Attorney Jones off the hook of representing us. Having him represent the BAA and us was former Alderman Jim Robinson’s problem with this. It might be something we may want to think about in the future. I ask City Administrator Kuntz to take a good look at the opinion that we got last time, because essentially, we’re selling something that was given to us.” City Attorney Jones said, “I would want to verify that it’s my opinion as well. Ideally, I’d like to try to get a ruling.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is for the protection of both parties, in the event of an audit or any other higher agency’s determination that it would nullify this, or we would pay the proceeds.”
Mayor Pogue said that there will be a Closed Session after the next Board of Aldermen meeting to discuss real estate.
Finance & Administration Committee Meeting: Alderman Fleming requested that the Finance & Administration Committee meet on July 15, prior to the Board meeting at 6:00 p.m. When former Alderman Richard Boerner was on the Board, we had discussion about the Olde Towne Plaza TIF. One of the results was a new footnote in our financial report, but this discussion was not complete. There is additional information to review and other financial matters to consider prior to the beginning of the budget discussions in September.
BAA International Tournament: Alderman Terbrock said, “As a joint venture, the City of Ballwin is hosting the international tournament during the first week in August. During last year’s event, a lot of people put an extensive amount of time into the event. If anyone wants to help this year, I’m sure the BAA will welcome this. It takes a lot of people and a lot of effort for the success of this worthwhile event. Mayor Pogue and I will be helping again this year. If anyone wants to volunteer, talk to Vern or Judy or anyone at the ballpark and sign up.”
Mayor Pogue said, “There will be six international teams again this year, three from Japan, two from Europe, and one from Australia. The opening ceremonies will be on August 2, and the ball games will begin on August ”
Board Room Renovation: Alderman Harder asked for an update on this project. City Administrator Kuntz said, “The work is ahead of schedule. The AV portion is getting started. The first door cut out has been made. We hope to have the new door installed this week. Chief Schicker and I meet with the construction team every two weeks, on Wednesday, through July. They are hoping to be finished in early August, but we will stick with the off-site meeting schedule in case there are any delays. The first Board meeting in September will be the first meeting in the renovated Board room.”
Police Chief Schicker said, “Since the Police Department is experiencing the most impact of the project, I have been extremely pleased at the progress, cooperation, and the understanding that the contractor and sub-contractors have provided. They have been very good to work with.”
Financial Report: City Administrator Kuntz said the Financial Report will be provided at the July 15 Board meeting.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR