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
CITY OF BALLWIN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING AGENDA
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:04 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the March 24, 2008 Board of Aldermen meeting and closed session were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Ken Buermann thanked the Committee For A Better Ballwin for their efforts to pass Proposition B on April 8 and made the following statements:
I would also like to thank the many city employees who volunteered their personal time, especially the Ballwin Police Department for sponsoring a barbecue to help raise funds and awareness. In addition, the Board of Aldermen functioned as a cohesive group in their support of Proposition B. A special thanks to incumbent Alderman Tim Pogue, Jane Suozzi, and Frank Fleming for their strong commitment during their election bids. The entire Board was 100% in support of Proposition B, which was reflected by their many hours of work.
The Committee For A Better Ballwin worked very hard to pass Proposition B. I want to thank everyone for their individual contributions and giving their personal time and working toward obtaining a secure long-term financial solution for Ballwin’s future. In the future, I hope we can count on this committee to continue their efforts in educating the citizens of Ballwin on Ballwin’s financial issues.”
Alderman Jane Suozzi made the following statement to the Citizens of Ballwin, the Committee for a Better Ballwin and her fellow Aldermen:
As many of you know, I could speak for hours, even days, on why I feel Prop B failed. I’ll spare you that pain. I do want to address the false perception that “Ballwin is running businesses out of town with the smoking ban or that businesses are leaving because Ballwin won’t work with them”. I heard both comments from many ‘NO’ voters on Prop B.
As with my vote Tuesday, I voted ‘Yes’ on our Clean Air Ordinance. I voted my conscience. I appreciate many want to make it a ‘rights’ issue but it is one which should only be considered on the basis of health. Others want any Missouri clean air legislation to be enacted statewide and I don’t disagree. History tells us, however, that most statewide clean air laws are preceded by local city ordinances.
I’ll give you an example of the current climate in Jefferson City in regard to statewide smoke free legislation. In addition to the tobacco lobbyists efforts to slow progress of statewide clean air legislation, we have, right here in our own backyard, a Senator who tried to undo our important health and safety measure. Senator Loudon’s introduction of amendments to House Bill 1030 in the spring legislative session of 2006 fortunately failed and Ballwin’s Clean Air Ordinance is alive and well today. I voted for Ballwin’s health, not just for our citizens but also for the employees that work in our fine city.
I encourage you to look within the city limits of Ballwin and consider our current restaurants and bars and ask yourself these questions. If our ordinance was chasing away businesses, would Applebees still be in Ballwin while Chesterfield and Wildwood lost theirs? Would Senor Pique relocate to Ballwin from Manchester? Would the Sushi restaurant owner have chosen Ballwin for his location? The man who replied, “Smoke makes food taste bad” when asked if our ordinance affected his decision to place his restaurant within our city limits? How about the proprietor of the Sky Music Lounge in the Barn at Lucerne? The man who embraced our Clean Air Ordinance from day one and whose business is thriving today?
Plans are well underway for Clubhouse Pizza, a family style pizzeria in the old Red Lobster building. Buffalo Wild Wings sales increased, and continue upward. Ask Jose at Mi Lupita about the CAO’s positive effect on their business. They moved into a larger space after the Ordinance took effect. Even the French Quarter Bar & Grill, quoted in Saturday’s Post Dispatch, says they’ve experienced a 60% increase in their business.
Finally, on the clean air topic, let’s give credit to the restaurants operating smoke free before the CAO. They are Charlotte’s Rib, Clancy’s, McAllister’s, and Fortel’s in addition to several of our fast food establishments. From where I sit, Ballwin’s Clean Air Ordinance is a “patron magnet” not the other way around.
I’ll now address the struggling economic climate existing along Manchester Road today. Our primary revenues are from sales tax and utility tax…not property taxes, as we asked for with Prop B. If businesses are leaving the city limits of Ballwin and moving to greener pastures, can Ballwin be blamed for their exodus? In the fall of 2005, a Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee was formed consisting of Ballwin residents and planning professionals. This committee spent the next 22 months meeting, researching and then drafting our Comprehensive Plan. This plan, finished and adopted last fall, recently won a Missouri American Planning Association award for its community inclusiveness. While the plan addresses all levels of development within Ballwin, a large portion is dedicated to our retail areas, specifically the economic development of the Manchester Road corridor.
From discussions during this process came regional dialogue with the West County Chamber of Commerce and our four neighboring cities along Manchester. With their blessing, a “Great Streets Initiative” grant was sought and recently awarded to our group by the East West Gateway Council. Out of 36 applicants, we were awarded one of four grants. The goal of the Great Streets Initiative is to spur responsible, community-oriented economic development and vitality within the West County Manchester Road Corridor.
Implementation of our Comprehensive Plan and the Great Streets project are both fresh and ongoing. Ballwin is working toward economic development, not chasing it away. Why, then, are commercial tenants leaving for the ‘one stop shopping’ that exists in the new retail areas like Chesterfield Valley today? It is simply about spacing and location. These businesses want to be located near an interstate or major intersections. They also want to have appropriate spacing. In the retail world, there exists a herd mentality. Many large specialty retailers, like Best Buy, want to be in a retail hub. Best Buy will be moving to the Manchester Highlands when complete as will Bed Bath & Beyond. On the contrary, hardware and grocery stores want to be within the heart of a community as does Walgreens.
Would Walgreens have stayed within Ballwin’s city limits had Pace Properties not facilitated a new building and invested 10 million dollars in the Central Plaza property? Walgreens doesn’t see city limit lines – they see corners and they wanted the New Ballwin/Manchester corner. They could have moved across the street into Ellisville and the sales tax generated would be theirs.
Some of our smaller properties are being replaced with no or low sales tax generating, service-oriented businesses such as financial institutions like Check into Cash and banks. Property owners are left to choose between banks and minor sales tax generators or have their properties sit vacant until the next temporary Halloween store comes around. While automobile dealers are certainly necessary, they generate next to nothing in revenues for Ballwin. The Chesterfield family buying their SUV at Dick Dean pays their sales tax to Chesterfield and the State of Missouri. Ballwin receives zero. A mere business license is what Ballwin collects.
Money Magazine has rated Ballwin as one of the top 100 cities in the nation in which to live. I rate our city as NUMBER ONE. To those who share my views, I ask your ongoing support as we go forward through these challenging economic times. To those who feel a need to Bash Ballwin, please reconsider your negative path. I am a proud supporter of Ballwin’s Clean Air Ordinance and Prop B.”
Alderman Ray Kerlagon made the following statements:
I thank the citizens who come to the aldermanic meetings on a routine basis, who listen to the facts, who go in the internet periodically and look at the numbers, who try to make informed decisions. It is so frustrating to be working one of the polls, handing out literature, asking someone if they feel they have all the information they need, and their response is “oh yeah, I always vote no, or every third candidate’. That’s not being informed on the issues. When we give someone an exam when they first get a driver’s license, and then another test when it’s renewed. There’s no test to vote. How many men and women died over the last 200 years so that we can have the freedom and right to vote, and people fail to exercise this right or fail to exercise it using research to support the issues. For those who come to the Board of Aldermen meetings and those who are not able come but do the research, I give my heartfelt thanks.
My disappointments: There’s a small percentage of the people who vote. We know that. The sad part is we have gotten to the point that we expect this. It’s a sad commentary that our expectation gets fulfilled. My other disappointment is regarding the anonymous letters to the editor in the newspaper, with misstatements of facts, not based on anything. My other disappointment are the e-mails going back and forth with suggestions that are so far off base because they are not based on any type of reality. No one’s done their homework.
My hopes: This is my last evening here as an alderman. My fellow aldermen will still be here continuing to work and the alderman who will be replacing me. I hope that the Nay sayers, the people that Alderman Suozzi was addressing, will choose to be involved. Get the facts. Offer to work on these committees. I have had the privilege of meeting many of the people who worked on these committees. They are dedicated, hard working people who have jobs, some are retired, but they go out of their way to work on these committees to make our city a better place to live. They give of their time and efforts. We need to be supportive of them, rather than signing anonymous letters where we don’t have facts and figures that support them. We need to work for solutions and not throw stones.”
Lynn Goetz, 504 Kenilworth Lane: Mr. Goetz addressed Alderman Suozzi saying that the smoking ban has created a whole lot of animosity and negativity from both sides. He said it could be laid to rest by letting the Ballwin citizens vote on this issue.
Mr. Goetz also spoke about Proposition B. He said a few weeks ago, this Board passed a measure to spend approximately $3,000 on surveillance equipment in response to the massacre in Kirkwood. He said the people he has spoken to have said that there will be pictures but it won’t prevent anything. Why did they spend that money? He said when people have that perception before being asked to vote for a tax, it doesn’t help.
Mr. Goetz said a couple of years ago, this Board passed an ordinance to require people under the age of 18 to wear a helmet when riding 2-wheel vehicles in Ballwin city parks. The parents that he spoke to have said that they will raise their kids and the city should fix the streets. He said that does not help the city to get a tax increase. He said in the future, the Board will ask for another vote for a tax increase. He said it will help the cause if the Board will keep things like this in mind.
Press McDowell, 298 Portwind Place: Mr. McDowell said he is a former alderman is speaking regarding Proposition B. He said he was in favor of Prop B. The future of Proposition B was heartbreaking. He said that he thought it was going to pass after seeing all of the signs around the city. He said it’s important that the elected officials use wisdom in light of this situation. The first inclination will be to make drastic budget cuts or make rash decisions to cut, cut, cut. He cautioned to use wisdom and take time to take a firm look at the situation. He encouraged the Board to unite as a result of this situation. Despite of the fact that Proposition B failed, the Board still has an elected duty, and that is to represent the citizens of Ballwin. Despite any personal grievance, the burden is still upon the Board to give the best representation to the citizens of Ballwin.
Mr. McDowell suggested that the citizens be brought into the process of considering what major cuts to make. He said we live in a democracy whether we like it or not, the citizens will make some decisions that we do like or don’t like. There are a thousand reasons why Proposition B should have passed, but the citizens have spoken. We all must live by those rules. He recommended bringing the citizens in to let them know what has taken place. He cautioned that the Board shy away from rhetoric such as cutting the Police Department or drastic cuts in things of that nature, things that have not been discussed or mentioned in an official capacity by the Board. Those things have a more devastating effect than the reality of it.
Mr. McDowell said that he was looking for Mayor Young’s leadership. He said that Mayor Young should step forward and take leadership in this situation. This is a situation that the City of Ballwin, despite the hard work that was done in previous years, requires more than ever, the leadership to unite and not divide the Board; the leadership to unite the city and not divide the city. The leadership and wisdom to make a decision so that when people now and in the future can enjoy the City of Ballwin that we have grown accustomed to enjoy. He said that this is the time for leadership. He said as a citizen, he challenges the Mayor and all of the Aldermen to step out and unify the city and the Board, and exercise wisdom and caution in this situation.
Mr. McDowell said that someday there may be another Proposition B. He said that there are necessary moves that the Board can make such as certain taxes that they can implement. It is plainly clear that the City has a dire need for additional funds. He said there are some moves that require the Board to choke up, tighten the belt, and make decisions. He said there are certain taxes that the Board can implement. Those moves need to be made and needs to start with the Mayor on down. The citizens are watching what the Board will be doing and he is watching also.
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. Grant Applications
Alderman Pogue requested that Item H (Concrete Sidewalks) be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to accept Consent Items A, B, C, E, F, and G. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
BAA Liquor License Application: A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Liquor License for the Ballwin Athletic Association. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Ballwin Historical Commission: Mayor Young said that during the last fund raiser at McAllister’s, $105 was raised. At the Book and Bake Sale, almost $500 was earned. In 4 events, the Historical Commission earned about $1,200.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Consent Item D, Golf Course Bridge: Assistant City Administrator Aiken asked Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer to give a brief explanation. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that this is part of the infrastructure improvements at the Golf Course. The golf course is 45 years old and some of the original components of the course need replacement. This was a bid to replace the bridge at Hole #6. The proposal is to accept the low bid of $19,130 for the bridge and installation.
Alderman Terbrock said this purchase is considerably under the budgeted amount for this project. He asked if it would be possible to get two bridges for the budgeted price. Perhaps Public Works crews could assist with some of the work.
City Attorney Jones said that from a legal standpoint, the typical process would have to be used to reject all bids, and accept bids again for 2 bridges, and use city staff as opposed to paid contractual workers. He said the proposal would have to be reformed, and then bid the project again.
Alderman Terbrock asked if it would be possible to accept the proposal with a change order. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that the bid price would still include the installation. Alderman Terbrock said that the money saved by using our Public Works Department could be applied to a second bridge. City Attorney Jones said that if the contract is awarded and then negotiate a change order, this is acceptable. Alderman Lembke said he is concerned that delaying this project will cause higher prices and a conflict with other projects.
Alderman Terbrock said that this contract can be accepted but checking into obtaining two for almost the price of one is beneficial. Alderman Lembke agreed.
Alderman Buermann asked about the time frame for the bridge and downtime for the golf course. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said there isn’t much downtime of this is similar to other bridges previously installed. It will take 4-6 weeks for the bridge to arrive.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Robinson to accept the recommended bid and direct the City Administrator to pursue a proposal for the second bridge up to $30,000, with the site work being done in-house. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Ayes: Terbrock, Buermann, Suozzi, Fleming, Robinson, Lembke, Kerlagon. Nays: Pogue. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Concrete Sidewalks: Alderman Pogue asked that the Board defer rewarding this contract because this is not a residential area. He wants to see more sidewalks in subdivisions and residential areas instead of commercial areas where there is not as much pedestrian traffic. Most of the businesses in this section are offices that can be driven up to and not necessarily pedestrian traffic.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann that the Board decline all bids for this project. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Service Cuts: Assistant City Administrator Aiken said some of the suggested budgetary adjustments for consideration, to offset the failure of Proposition B are: 1) elimination of the curbside brush collection program, including storm clean up; 2) indefinite suspension of the leaf vacuuming program, with the funds from that program being re-allocated to roadwork in the form of crack sealing; 3) cancellation of the goose program in the parks; 4) elimination of mosquito fogging and contracting with St. Louis County to handle on a complaint basis; and 5) initiation of negotiations with AmerenUE to disconnect the street lights.
Alderman Buermann said that the Board should not make rash decisions. He recommended that a work session be scheduled to discuss the different options that are available. He said there are options other than these. At this time, there is a balanced budget for 2008 and focus should be on the 2009 budget for cuts. There will be difficult decisions to face in the upcoming months. The options for consideration at a work session could be the 5 herein mentioned, and any others by the aldermen or Ballwin citizens.
Alderman Terbrock said that he does not consider any of the 5 mentioned cuts as rash suggestions. All of these items have been discussed at budget time. He said that changes need to be made, but does not have to be done at this meeting. He said he approves of the proposed cuts except for #5. He does not want to put the safety of the citizens and Police Department at risk on the streets without proper lighting. He asked if the city was to eliminate payment of streets lights, does it mean that the lights on city property would continue to be paid for with city funds? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the lights on city property are billed differently than other lights. The lights on the streets are standard AmerenUE street lights and have a scheduled tariff. If a light is damaged, it is repaired with no extra cost. The lights in Vlasis Park and the City facility parking lots are operated off of a meter. They are not AmerenUE lights and not subject to the same tarriff. They are funded differently.
Alderman Terbrock asked if the street lights could be reviewed to see if some are too close together and some could be eliminated. Mr. Aiken said that this was done in the past.
Alderman Suozzi asked about the goose program. She asked if the grant application is still available for a goose roundup. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said she will check into this. Alderman Fleming said that as recently as 30 days ago, he asked this question and the response from the Missouri Department of Conservation was that there is still time for this. He asked if a subdivision could apply for a roundup on their own, and their answer was there was not any thing prohibiting this. The goose roundup on city property will not alleviate a subdivision problem.
Alderman Lembke said that the elimination of city-payment for street lights would save about $430,000. That amount is expected to increase 15%. He asked how many streets were brought in by annexation where there are trustees and indentures that the city accepted the lights from them and perhaps could be turned back to the trustees. Unless the subdivision takes over the lights, they will be turned out. Some subdivisions that were originally built as part of the city do not have trustees or an organization to take over the street lights. What would happen in these areas?
Alderman Lembke said that in his opinion, the goose program has been less than successful. GeesePeace promised that if certain things were done, the problem would go away. All we have done is move the geese off of city property and moved it into subdivisions. He said this is not a successful program. He believes the city should stop the program immediately.
Alderman Fleming said he agrees with Alderman Buermann that the Board should have a work session to discuss these items. He suggested that city staff investigate which of the existing programs could become fee-based. Perhaps brush pick up and leaf vacuuming could be fee-based services for houses that want it. He said it costs about $15,000 for mosquito fogging. Perhaps a subdivision could be provided with the price to spray that subdivision. He said such possibilities should be considered before a program is eliminated.
Alderman Robinson said that he is in favor of a work session to discuss options. He asked Mayor Young how he feels about the five proposed areas of cuts. Mayor Young said that there is not enough information at this time. All of the avenues should be considered before a decision is made. He said that anything at this point is a rash decision. He said the Board may plan to go back to the people for a property tax later on.
Alderman Suozzi asked when does the Election Board require submission for the August 5 election? The Election Board calendar states May 27 as the deadline. The deadline for the November 4 election is August 26. She said if the property tax is put on the ballot again in August, that would be enough time to send notification, if it passes, to St. Louis County for collection on December 31 of this year. If it is on the November ballot, it will be another year before collection can be done. She said one of the reasons why this Board elected to put the issue on the April ballot was that the issue required a simple majority. There is a 4/7th majority required on the August ballot. She said a special fee did not have to be paid to put Prop B on the April ballot because it was a municipal election. She asked if there are fees for the August and November election. City Attorney Jones said he will check into this.
Alderman Robinson said that when a proposition loses by the margin that Prop B lost, the message from the voting residents is clear. He believes the same people will vote the same way in any election. He said he is not in favor of discussing when this can be put on the ballot again. He said the message he received is very clear – no more spending, no expansion of city government and services. The residents are saying that they don’t need these services and they don’t want them. They want the streets fixed, cut other services, and cut personnel. They want it done now. He said, as their Alderman, that’s the path he intends to follow.
Alderman Suozzi said the number of residents voting in the April 8 election was less than when she ran for election 12 years ago and her candidacy was the only item on the ballot. She said people are telling her to cut the services, but to ask them again. She said since the city genuinely needs the funds, waiting another year is not prudent. The residents have been told that the Board and staff has made cuts over and over again. Everything has been done that this Board can do and have been doing this for 7 years. She said she respectfully disagrees with Alderman Robinson.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
City Attorney Jones clarified the vote of the Board on Item B in the Consent Items. This is a proposal to draft an ordinance for the next meeting to change Section 15. The Board agreed.
Sky Bar Banners: Mr. Dave Stolz, legal representative for the Sky Bar Lounge, said that he contacted AmerenUE about putting up the banners on the poles between Manchester and Clayton Road along Kehrs Mill. There are 15-18 poles along the designated area. The proposal is to have two banners, one with the Sky Bar logo and the other that says City of Ballwin, and inter space the banners. He said they are willing to pay for all of the banners to be made and installed. He does not think that Sky Bar can apply to AmerenUE for this proposal. It must come from the municipality.
Alderman Robinson said this is a great idea. This is doing something pro-active to help a Ballwin business, and this will distinguish Ballwin from the surrounding municipalities.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson to direct Staff to begin the process with AmerenUE for the necessary permits and directives to get the banners installed as soon as possible.
Alderman Suozzi amended the motion that there is fairness applied to other businesses with the same request. She said that Ameren may want legal indemnification. Mr. Stolz said they will sign whatever Ameren needs. Alderman Robinson said this is nothing different than what was done for the Community College banners. Mr. Stolz said they will assume liability if a banner falls or any other liability. The current banners can be replaced with the new banners advertising the new business instead of the business that moved out.
The motion was seconded by Alderman Suozzi.
Alderman Terbrock asked if this has been discussed with any other business owners at The Barn At Lucerne. Mr. Stolz said no. The discussion has only been with the City of Ballwin. He suggested that perhaps other businesses at The Barn could share the cost and participate. Mr. Stolz said he has no interest in doing this at all. He said that it is their idea and are paying for all of the banners. Some of the businesses have been at that location for a long time and have done nothing like this and have not been pro-active. They are doing their own advertising without including Sky Bar. This business is tucked away and needs some visibility for those who don’t know it’s there. To coordinate this with other commercial tenants would be a tough sell, and he said he is not interested in doing this.
Alderman Pogue agreed with Alderman Terbrock to offer the idea to other commercial businesses at that location. He asked if Mr. Stolz would be willing to not use all of the 17 or 18 poles, and leave some for other businesses to use for banners. Mr. Stolz said that the other businesses won’t pay the money for this kind of advertising. Soliciting partners will turn into a long-term mess; how long should the solicitation go on, how much do they contribute, who will pay what amount, who will maintain the banners?
Alderman Suozzi said she does not have a problem with all being the Sky Bar banners, as long as this is a legal approach. City Attorney Jones said that unless there is something in AmerenUE’s proposal or standard contract where the City has to accept some responsibility, this can probably be done. We should know what AmerenUE will expect from the City.
Alderman Lembke said the Junior College was a non-profit organization. Approval of the banners is now requested for a for-profit business. Removal of the banners could be an issue if the business moves someday. He said there is an ordinance that states no off-site advertising. The ordinance would have to be amended to allow for off-site advertising banners. He said the city has to maintain fairness to all Ballwin businesses without showing preferential treatment.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the Junior College was not given a permit to put up their banners. They put up the banners without permission from Ballwin. The City of Ballwin put up the brackets on the poles years ago in conjunction with a Ballwin Days event. At that time, AmerenUE was willing to allow the city to do this. Approximately 5 years ago, AmerenUE had a dramatic change of attitude relative to the indemnification issue. Up to that point, it was allowed without any special provisions. Unless they have changed their policy, his last knowledge is that cities need to indemnify AmerenUE to the total extent of any loss that could come about as a result of these things being put on the poles, which means abrogating our sovereign immunity protections that we have under the law, and exposing ourselves to potentially a lot more loss than could be experienced as a municipality. It was an issue that we felt we couldn’t afford. That’s why Ballwin no longer has banners. If AmerenUE doesn’t want the brackets on the poles, they could take the down.
Alderman Robinson said his motion asks the Board to direct staff to proceed with the process. He said we can always think of reasons not to do things. He suggested thinking of ways to do things that will help the Ballwin businesses. Last month, the Board agreed to consider changing an ordinance to assist a Ballwin business. They should be allowed to put up banners, and to distinguish Ballwin from the other areas along Manchester Road. He said Mr. Stolz knows how to prepare an indemnification agreement and most likely Sky Bar will be glad to sign it. They agreed.
Alderman Suozzi said that part of the “Great Streets Program” is making a street look more community oriented, more inviting with a sense of identify. The banner request joins with that process. Ballwin can be the first to embrace this proposal.
At the request of Mayor Young, Alderman Robinson restated his motion as follows: The motion was restated by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi that staff be directed to begin the process with AmerenUE to implement the plan as proposed by Sky Bar.
Amendment to the motion: Alderman Fleming said that based on the re-statement of the motion, he said he will vote Nay. He supports the idea, but he does not agree with “implement the plan as proposed by Sky Bar”. He suggested that staff study the proposal, and bring back a recommendation to the Board. It should not be approved and a done-deal at this point. Alderman Robinson accepted Alderman Fleming’s statement as an amendment to the motion, and he accepted the amendment. Alderman Suozzi and the rest of the Board agreed to the amendment.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, and the motion passed.
Meadowbrook Streets: Alderman Robinson said that the Meadowbrook Trustees have taken the initiative to fix their streets. Jack Hanley, Meadowbrook Trustee, said that in December, the proposal was approved by the subdivision that a self-assessment and collection be in effect to repave the subdivision streets. He said they were given two options by the Board of Aldermen: 1) pay the city to pave the streets, but the cost could go up. The Meadowbrook Trustees turned this down. 2) The city could vacate the streets to Meadowbrook, the subdivision would pave their own streets and apply to return the streets back to the city after repaving.
Mr. Hanley said the resident’s question was what services does the subdivision lose if the city does not accept the streets back? He asked for a written statement from the city as to what services will be affected if the streets are not accepted back by the city. City Attorney Jones said that this is a request for a list of the difference between a private street and a public street. Mr. Henley said yes.
Mr. Hanley said their lawyer and City Attorney Jones suggested an unconventional NID (Neighborhood Improvement District). With an NID, the city floats a bond which gives the money to the taxing body, (the district), they fix the streets, then taxed accordingly to pay the bond back. No bond is needed or a taxing authority because they will already have the money. They can use the shell of the NID to allow them to fix the streets while the city retains ownership and meets State laws.
City Attorney Jones said that there are two methods that the NID can be enacted: voter approval or petition of 2/3 of the property owners by area. Mr. Henley said they can produce this. This project will be fully funded up front. City Attorney Jones said there is an annual assessment for maintenance cost in the statute. He said he does not know how the up front payment, as opposed to a bond, affects that requirement. The annual maintenance cost, plus 25%, can be built in to the assessments under a Neighborhood Improvement District. If the entire assessment has been collected up front, there is no opportunity for annual maintenance cost to be collected on an ongoing basis. He said he will do further research.
Alderman Lembke asked if the prevailing wage issue is a non-issue. City Attorney Jones said that is correct.
Mr. Hanley said that they can move forward if the city will answer their questions and they can then choose which route to pursue.
Alderman Pogue said that he wants to be sure that the city is not liable for any prevailing wage issue. City Attorney Jones said that the NID is a separate legal entity. The city is not hiring the contractor or completing the work. It is not being sub-contracted that the city would have to comply with prevailing wage laws.
City Attorney Jones said that the petition that Meadowbrook submits has to be approved by the Board of Aldermen for the formation of the Neighborhood Improvement District, and it details the work to be done. After that has been done, the NID will be adopted by ordinance. The work will be done to city standards.
Alderman Terbrock asked if the city will have jurisdiction to do inspections as the work progresses. City Attorney Jones said yes. Mr. Hanley agreed. Alderman Lembke said that Ballwin keeps possession of the right-of-way, therefore, the streets still belong to Ballwin.
Alderman Fleming said that at the next meeting, a list of service alternations will be given to Mr. Hanley and the NID information. City Attorney Jones agreed.
Proposition B: Alderman Fleming said he does not interpret the failure of Proposition B as the voters saying to cut services or people. He said the voters are saying that the City should do the best with what we have. Over the past several years, the Finance & Administration Committee went over expenses very methodically. Every expense was reviewed and cut wherever possible. Every possibility for new revenue was considered. A vote was taken to increase the utility tax, and it lost by a vote of 5-3. The sales tax was discussed and decided not to attempt to increase this because it would not welcome new businesses. Proposition B was on the ballot and it failed. He said we are doing everything that should have been done. We have considered everything once. Now, the second time that we look at expenses should be a faster process. He advised to move forward, make small changes a little at a time, and don’t be inclined to over-steer the ship. He said that people were not saying to cut all of the services. We have been doing the best with the revenue we have.
Alderman Fleming said that last year, the budget price to repair Windmill was $40,000. City Engineer Kramer found an alternative method. As a result, the streets repaired were Windmill, Gardenway, Green lantern, and couple of other streets for just a bit more money. Staff found a way to get more done with less money. He suggested that fee-based services be considered. He said that drastic cuts will alarm people more than anything else unnecessarily.
Alderman Kerlagon recognition: Alderman Buermann thanked Alderman Ray Kerlagon for his service to the Board and the citizens of Ballwin. He said that Alderman Kerlagon has probably been educated more than he realized on the fine workings and difficulties of the City. He expressed appreciation for the good job he has done as a Ward 4 Alderman.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.
WALTER S. YOUNG, MAYOR