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: June 17, 2013 Board of Aldermen meeting
5. Presentation: None.
6. Pending Issues: None.
7. Citizen Comments
8. Public Hearing: None.
9. Legislation Next Ordinance # 13-27
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, 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.
U-GAS ZONE CHANGE (Bill 3797)
BALLWIN GROVE SITE PLAN AMENDMENT (Bill 3798)
628 – 630 KEHRS MILL ZONING & SUBDIVISION (Bills 3799 & 3800)
ROJEAN STORM WATER AGREEMENT
CABINETRY / MILLWORK
NEW BALLWIN CELL TOWER
PENDING LEGAL ISSUES
SOLICITOR BACKGROUND CHECKS
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:07 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
BILL # 3797 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE GOVERNING ORDINANCE AND SITE PLAN APPROVED PER ORDINANCE 10-43 FOR CERTAIN LAND AT 14803 MANCHESTER ROAD IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3797. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, the motion passed and Bill No. 3797 was read for the first time.
Alderman Finley asked are there any challenges to access the detention basin underground? City Engineer Kramer said manhole access is necessary. Alderman Finley is there a comparison of one method vs. another, underground or above ground? City Engineer Kramer said other than the fact that it would be hard to get into, there is no functional difference.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3797. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3797 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3797 with the following results:
BILL # 3798 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL OVERLAY DISTRICT APPROVED PER ORDINANCE 09-20 FOR CERTAIN LAND AT CLAYTON ROAD AND HENRY AVENUE IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN, COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE BALLWIN GROVE PLAZA.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3798. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3798 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3798. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3798 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3798 with the following results:
BILL # 3799 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A ZONING CHANGE FROM R-1 AND R-2 SINGLE FAMILY TO PSD PLANNED SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING DISTRICT FOR 628-630 KEHRS MILL ROAD.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Finley for a first reading of Bill No. 3799. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3799 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder for a second reading of Bill No. 3799. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3799 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3799 with the following results:
BILL # 3800 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR THE ENCLAVE AT LUCERNE SUBDIVISION, AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3800. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3800 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3800. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3800 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3800 with the following results:
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. Salt- APWA Coop
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Finley to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Concert in the Park: Mayor Pogue said the concert at New Ballwin Park will be on Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Great Streets Branding: Mayor Pogue said that the City of Wildwood voted not to approve the branding effort at this time, which is part of the Great Streets Initiative. At the Great Streets meeting earlier this afternoon, it was decided to table the issue to perhaps be considered at another time.
Baseball Tournament: Mayor Pogue said the event will begin the first weekend in August and continue in the following week. The number of games are double the amount that were played last year. The same set up and arrangements have been made as last year.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Sign Request: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the request from Missouri American Water for the sign on their water tank. A sign permit could not be issued because the size of the sign exceeds the limits of Ballwin’s sign code. Legislation is required to amend the code to allow this sign, but should be drafted so that a new category will not open the door to numerous other users. City Attorney Jones said that if the sign request is to be granted, legislation should be tailored to meet this particular situation, and perhaps refer specifically to public utilities so that this will not permit unintended signage.
Alderman Harder said it’s his understanding that this request was submitted once the Water Company found out that its sign is in violation. City Attorney Jones said that’s the explanation that was given to us. Alderman Harder said the only way to allow this sign is to come up with a water tank category for the sign code. City Attorney Jones said that guidance will be needed from the Board to determine if this should be restricted only to water towers or if it can be informational signs for public utilities.
City Attorney Jones said that Section 22.52 regarding ground signs already indicates that no more than one ground sign can be erected on any lot or tract of land. It can’t exceed 100 square feet. Alderman Harder asked if the Missouri American Water sign exceeds 100 square feet. City Attorney Jones said yes.
Alderman Fleming said he would like to see any change to be as narrow as possible. Mayor Pogue agreed with Alderman Fleming. Alderman Finley said this is a public utility identifying its property. He doesn’t believe that this is advertising. He also agrees that limiting this to utility fixtures is a good idea. Alderman Dogan believes that this should be restricted to water tanks. We don’t want to see advertising on cell towers. Alderman Harder said this should be limited to the owner of the tank so that the space couldn’t be sold to a cigarette company, a car company, or another type of advertising.
City Attorney Jones said that we don’t allow off-premise advertising. Another company couldn’t use the space on a water tank.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to instruct City Attorney Jones to draft legislation as suggested by the Board. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
New Ballwin Park Cell Tower: City Administrator Kuntz said the problem is the flag becomes knotted around the tower, and it does not fly in the wind as intended.
AT&T wants to eliminate the flag, pay an additional $1,200/year in rent, and amend the SUE and Lease accordingly. The pole would be left in its present configuration.
Mayor Pogue was always concerned about this problem. AT&T can’t seem to solve this problem. He doesn’t feel the flag can be flown properly on this cell tower.
Alderman Kerlagon asked, could a regular flag pole be erected and still be able to have the flag in the park, even though it’s not attached to the other pole? City Administrator Kuntz said it’s a symbolic nature to have a flagpole in a park.
Alderman Harder agrees that a flag pole that’s a standard height could be an alternative somewhere else in the park. Alderman Fleming asked if there is a flagpole anyplace else in the park. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said no, none of Ballwin’s parks presently have flag poles.
Alderman Dogan asked how might new law that was just approved by the Governor affect this? City Attorney Jones said it will greatly restrict local control over telecommunications. Lease rates requires appraisals. It will be a completely different process, but will not affect this pole. There are two bills. This is an existing Special Use Exception. It will change dramatically.
City Administrator Kuntz said Ballwin lease rates have always been reasonable. On the cost side, we’re probably gridded out.
Financial Updates: City Administrator Kuntz said the initial Financial Adviser on the TIF District Bonds was Laura Radcliff from Stifel Nicolaus. He said there were two assumptions used in the submitted analysis: 1) Use the best 3 years average of the revenue collected as a base number moving forward, and 2) provide no adjustment for growth, inflation, or unusual economic activity. This is a bond obligation that the City did not authorize and is not technically an obligation of the City.
Laura Radcliff said the TIF bonds were issued in 2002, and are backed by incremental revenue from the Ballwin Towne Center. The City’s only obligation, in addition to revenues, is to submit a maximum of a $259,000 portion of the revenues it receives from the center to payment of the bonds. Beyond that, there’s no credit pledge, no annual appropriation guarantee, nothing of that sort. There is the do-nothing option. There a couple of options for refinancing the bonds as TIF bonds once again with the same final term of the original bonds, and one for the 10-year extension. There are a couple of appropriation guarantee options, and finally an option that would be tendering the bonds. This would require contacting the bond holders so that they could sell the bonds back to the City at a lower price to enable refinancing. This is based on interest rates of June 24. This analysis is offered as a comparison.
City Administrator Kuntz said that none of these options are recommended.
Alderman Fleming said this analysis is a follow up to research that former Alderman Richard Boerner had wanted made known. At this point we have fulfilled that request. The City is not required to take any action, and the City’s ongoing expenditure is limited. He doesn’t think any additional follow up is needed.
Alderman Harder said that we talk about our exposure as a city. This is posted in our spreadsheets as a debt. Should this be shown in a different way on Ballwin’s books? Ms. Radcliff said that when the rating agencies look at the City’s outstanding debt, they will look at any appropriation debt and general obligation debt. They will not look at this debt.
Finance Officer Keller said that we went through this with the auditors at length during the 2012 audit. The way it’s presented in our audit report is the way it has to be presented.
Ms. Radcliff said the exposure is limited to the amount of those payments. The legal obligation that the City made in 2002 is to make those payments from its share of the new revenues, which are sales tax increments, and a portion of the municipal revenue generated from the redevelopment area. The legal pledge to the bond holders does not go beyond that. The final payment is due on October 1, 2022.
Ms. Radcliff said there is a debt reserve fund that can be applied toward the debt.
City Attorney Jones asked about the practical effect of a default? Ms. Radcliff said you have bond holders who aren’t getting repaid and will be unhappy. There’s a remedy section in the offering document that says that bond holders can pursue any remedy available under the law. That involves bad press, lawsuits; but when they issued the offering document, there was risk language on the front cover and a risk section in the document that outlined all the risk that the bond holders are taking. City Attorney Jones said, so they went into it with their eyes open. She said yes. City Attorney Jones said, default doesn’t change the City’s limited obligation in any way. The City still has its set amount not to exceed in the event revenues are not sufficient. The City still has a set amount that it’s required to pay and not to exceed. Ms. Radcliff said yes.
City Administrator Kuntz said, it’s not likely to be a total stop payment. It will be declining on each year’s economic results. Ms. Radcliff said we didn’t factor in the likelihood that revenues would or would not grow. We only ran scenarios based on revenues received in the past. The City’s losses are limited to designated share of revenues.
Mid-year Financial Statement: City Administrator Kuntz said this has to be published before the end of this month in a newspaper with general circulation, as required by law. This report also contains a staff analysis of budget options to cover the costs of the pay plan. The question was would we be getting further into the reserves to meet the obligation that we took on with the pay plan that the Board approved in April. From what we know to-date, the answer is no. The last two weekends in March, there was snow. Snow, salt, manpower, equals money. Other than that, we’re on target.
Alderman Harder asked if these are savings or work not being done. Finance Officer Keller said the first item is an additional revenue source which is the insurance premium rebate that we’re going to receive, which is $45,000. We’re planning on not spending $90,000 that was budgeted, because of lower securities or fees, we won’t need to spend the entire amount we budget. We’ll save $20,000 from that. The Great Streets project, we budgeted $50,000 and will spend little or none of that.
Pointe Furniture: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a re-bid in an attempt to get more competition. We recommend that this contract be awarded to CI Select. The amount of their bid was $41,935.12.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to accept the recommendation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Budget Workshops Schedule: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a preliminary Budget Workshop schedule for the 2014 budget. We had a good organizational approach last year, when we started with the major projects. We spent time deciding to either move forward or not. One major project for next year is that there will be a recommendation for a major mechanical update. The Pointe is 18 years old and adjustments need to be made to its mechanical systems. We authorized a contract with a firm to come in and review those systems and to look at efficiencies, cost, etc. One of the first major projects is the Pointe HVAC systems. Six o’clock budget workshop meetings prior to the start of the regular Board meeting is suggested.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Solicitor Background Checks: City Attorney Jones presented a draft ordinance revising the application process for solicitation permits. He said that Police Chief Schicker indicated that the information available to the Police Department in reviewing the application is now limited, and suggested that we include the requirement that the applicant obtain a criminal record report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. There is a process to do that. An ordinance must be approved under State law that complies with Section 43.535. He discussed the timing issue involved with this change. Our current ordinance allows that if we have not completed the investigation in five days, the license will be issued, irrespective of the investigation. It could be revoked at a later date on completion of the investigation. Just to get the criminal records check and a report back from the Missouri State Highway Patrol can take up to 15 days. If we enact this requirement, we’re always going to exceed the 5 business days, and some may have to be revoked after the fact. If we’re going to do this, we probably should not do it with just the ordinance, but instead, have a more detailed ordinance that complies with the State law for finger printing and criminal records check. The time period could be slightly extended.
City Attorney Jones said it’s been his conclusion that to make an applicant wait 15 days to get a solicitation license would interfere with first amendment issues. If we make someone wait 2 or 3 weeks to get the permit, it will almost certainly be challenged. He recommended that the time be relatively short so that we are not infringing on freedom of speech. If the Board wants to pursue this recommendation, two ordinances would be needed and more specific, such as finger printing and criminal record checks through the State. We could lengthen the time for completion of the application, but not too much longer than 5 days.
Alderman Finley clarified that one ordinance would address finger printing, and the other would be similar to the draft in the packet.
Alderman Dogan said people aren’t going to be doing fly-by-night solicitations but we have to grant them a license. If we find out later that there is a criminal working for them, then they’re all done. They can come back next year with a different application. City Attorney Jones said this is possible. Without requiring a Missouri State Highway Patrol criminal records check, all we can do is look at a public information system like CaseNet to see if there are criminal convictions or pending cases.
Alderman Dogan asked if there is a data base that we could access that would be quicker. City Attorney Jones said no. There was, but we don’t have the ability to use the REJIS system for this kind of record check any more.
City Administrator Kuntz said this is the reason we are bringing this to the Board. We were fine until REJIS pulled the plug on this. Alderman Dogan asked what might be a more reasonable time frame? City Attorney Jones said he is inclined to keep it short, perhaps seven days. When the results come back and if something is found, we can still process a revocation of the license. That will allow us to try to get the most information possible. If the applicant is paying a fee to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for the record check, we won’t have to raise the application fee.
Alderman Fleming asked how many of these permits on an annual basis are issued? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said it might be 2 or 3 per week. It’s somewhat seasonal and there’s some repetition annually. Alderman Fleming asked if someone who has had a Solicitation Permit in the past could have a shorter time frame than someone who is applying for the first time? City Attorney Jones said probably not. Once we start that, it would be showing favoritism.
Alderman Harder said he asks to see their permit identification when they knock on his door. What system is used by the Police to check solicitors on the street? City Attorney Jones said if they are stopped on the street and don’t have a permit, they are soliciting without a license. They would be told that they are trespassing and could be charged in Municipal Court. I don’t think they would be arrested on the street. They would be warned.
Alderman Harder asked if the Police Officer would ask to see their driver’s license. Mayor Pogue said yes. At that point, the information would be run through the REJIS system and would be a criminal investigation.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to authorize City Attorney Jones to prepare legislation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Financial Transparency: Alderman Harder presented the Mehlville Fire Protection District Transparency Portal as an example for a suggested use on the City of Ballwin website. This allows anyone to search the financials, salaries, and budgets and to identify where payments are made. The search can be done by vendor, dollars spent, date, yearly, quarterly, monthly, rank vendor spending high to low, etc. It is a useful tool for both the Board and residents to determine where funds are allocated. He said that this is being replicated in different cities and fire districts across the area.
Alderman Harder said “United for Missouri”, which is a 501C3 non-profit group, has the software. They are giving the software at no charge to cities, school districts and fire districts, etc.. All they require is a spread sheet from our system. Then they give it back to us in the new system so that it can be loaded onto the website. We’ve done a good job so far with transparency, but this could be the next step.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder to have staff investigate providing this kind of web page availability to review this kind of financial data.
Mayor Pogue said he would like to see what our own software can do to provide this information because this software doesn’t impress him at all. Since 2010, there’s only been two organizations that they list on their website that are current doing this, which is the Mehlville Fire District and Liberty School District. Alderman Fleming said he agrees with Mayor Pogue.
Alderman Fleming said on our City website right now is the most recent revenue and expense statement, auditors report, the April TIF interest payment, the Olde Towne TIF records since 2008. How far do you want this to go? He doesn’t think we should strive to show every transaction.
Alderman Harder said he would like to see published on the website detailed expenses. The uplift is that citizens can see who we are doing business with and how money is being spent. Alderman Fleming said that the list is expenditures is on the Mehlville sample. One expenditure is called business cards for $274,000. There’s a month-by-month statement. Without an associated narrative with each expenditure, it’s almost useless to have this included. Alderman Harder said he agrees. We do have some notations on our software. This may identify a vendor and ask why $9,000 is spent on business cards. If an item was $50, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but $9,000 should include an explanation.
Alderman Dogan said that it’s important for the public to see where money is being spent and who the vendors are. We should protect the employees’ private information.
Alderman Finley said he’s concerned about staff time that’s involved in making this financial information available. How much information does the community want?
City Attorney Jones said he doesn’t see any legal problems with this if they are open records. The functionality of the site is not real good. I would be concerned about consuming staff time that’s necessary to do this.
Alderman Fleming said that he cannot argue about transparency. He said we already do a good job. We should include information that the community is interested in.
Mayor Pogue said that he wants to make sure that this is done correctly. Alderman Harder said that perhaps there are other vendors that provide this software.
Alderman Finley asked is there a large demand by our citizens to do this, or would we be spending time and resources to provide something that the citizens aren’t interested in exploring and utilizing the information? It’s already on our website.
The motion was re-stated by Alderman Harder for staff to research the ability for Ballwin to create a transparency portal using our existing software, and report the findings to the Board.
Creek bed mowing: Alderman Harder said the creek bed on Manchester Road by Dickens Plaza is overgrown to the point that the weeds are taller than the barrier that keeps people from going into the creek. This was investigated as to who is responsible, and there seems to be an issue on this.
City Administrator Kuntz said the specific issue is relative to the area around the culvert in the MoDOT right-of-way. The maintenance is MoDOT’s responsibility. We have creeks that run through the entire community. Most of them are in back yard situations that don’t have curb connection. The City has not traditionally issued violation of weed ordinances since April for creek beds. It’s a tremendous burden for some homeowners. This could affect a lot of property. We have traditionally not enforced mowing vegetation in those areas. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said there’s specific language in the weed ordinance that exempts areas that are too rough to mow. A lot of these areas fall into that category.
City Administrator Kuntz said that traditionally, we have not enforced it. Mayor Pogue recommended that staff ask MoDOT to mow the area being discussed. Alderman Harder said where this is, it is very visible in our business district. It won’t be possible to use a lawn mower, but weed eaters can be used.
5th/3rd Bank Property: Alderman Harder said this property is being used as a parking lot. It was used while construction was being done on the Cadillac dealership. It was supposed to be temporary, but it seems to be parking on a permanent basis. The maintenance of the property is not being kept up. Weeds, mud, and poor surfaces are on the lot. There are at times 25 – 30 cars parked on the lot from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some are there until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.
City Administrator Kuntz said that 5th/3rd Bank has a permit and plans to build on the property. Those parking on the property have taken advantage of the time frame. It is not a permitted use. This is a policy issue. Staff has been told that we want to promote as much business activity as possible. Mayor Pogue said that it’s better to see property being used than standing vacant.
Alderman Leahy asked if there is a time frame as to when they will be building on this property? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said he has been told that 5th/3rd Bank still owes the Federal Government money. The Federal Government won’t let them invest in any capital improvement or let them build until they clean up their financial situation. Until then, it’s an empty lot.
City Administrator Kuntz said they said they are not going to sell it. When their approval process expired, it came back that they still want to build.
Alderman Harder asked does 5th/3rd Bank know and are they allowing cars to park on the lot? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said he assumes they know but doesn’t have any accurate knowledge of this. Alderman Harder asked, is the bank renting the space for employee use? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said he will try to find out, but doesn’t know if he will be able to obtain this information.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR