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 and Briefs
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN
300 Park Drive
March 13, 2006
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:02 p.m
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the February 27, 2006 Parks & Recreation committee meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
The Minutes of the February 27, 2006 Board of Aldermen meeting and closed session were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Robinson to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
The Minutes of the February 27, 2006 Public Health & Safety committee meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
PRESENTATION – CERT TRAINING: Representatives from the Metro West Fire Protection District gave a brief overview of the CERT program. The CERT concept was started in 1989 on the West Coast due to the earthquake issues to help the community become more prepared. The fire district has partnered with all law enforcement agencies and the cities. The program also helps businesses so that in the event of a disaster, the number of businesses closing will be reduced.
The CERT training teaches citizens how to be prepared and to fill the gap in time when emergency crews and equipment are delayed. CERT volunteers are trained to turn off utilities, extinguish small fires, to help prevent large fires, treat life threatening injuries, take care of wounds, safely remove objects off of people, conduct search and rescue, and help relieve survivors of their stress. There is a component of disaster psychology that CERT volunteers will utilize. They are taught how to work together as a team. The program is designed to keep the citizens safe, to help them prepare, and to help them become more resilient in the event of a disaster.
Anyone interested in becoming a CERT volunteer can call the Metro West Fire Protection District or use the website to register.
Patrick O’Driscol, 449 Ivywood Drive: Mr. O’Driscol asked if the City of Ballwin charges an extra $1 fee to be contributed toward head injuries or the battered women’s shelter. City Attorney Lucchesi said Ballwin charges an extra $1 for this purpose to be donated to the battered women’s organization and incarceration. City Administrator Kuntz said there are a lot of causes that request additional fees. As the requests are received, they are evaluated by the Police Department and submitted to the Board for consideration.
Joe Schulte, Gas Workers’ Business Representative: Mr. Schulte asked the Board of Aldermen to pass the Gas Safety Resolution. If Laclede Gas Company is allowed to eliminate the safety inspections, there may be hazards left undetected.
Neil Gilb, Charter Communications representative: He spoke about Senate Bill 816. He said that this bill was introduced for statewide franchising. The phone companies want to provide video services in the communities. This bill is opposed by cities in the Missouri Municipal League, St. Louis County Executive Charley Dooley, AARP, and others. It is being requested that the phone companies wanting to provide cable TV service operate by the same rules that are required of Charter Communications, which are the FCC rules through the Cable Act. These deal with issues such as customer service requirements, build out requirements, peg channel requirements, local authority police powers, and how to use the rights-of-ways. He said that all of these items are not in SB 816. If this bill passes, it will take away local authority and delegate it to the State. If they get a statewide franchise, they could designate which neighborhoods in Ballwin they will or will not serve. In the cable franchise, Charter Communications serves all of the community. He said there’s no provision for an emergency alert system in SB 816. He said there’s no need to write a special interest law because the cable TV franchising under the cable act works. It’s about being fair to the communities and consumers. He said this is not about competition. He said that the peg channels (Public Education Government Access Channels) are throughout many communities. There’s no requirement in SB 816 for the phone company to provide these channels. He asked for the Board to oppose Senate Bill 816 because there will be major implications for the local authorities and cities. He said the website for information and to express public opinion is keepitlocalmissouri.com.
Alderman Lembke said that he was promised three years ago that DSL would be installed by the end of 2004, then by the end of 2005, and now by the end of 2006. He said he recently called to check on this and was told that it doesn’t look like this will be installed in his area. He said he will be disenfranchised by Senate Bill 816.
Mayor Young said that the Board has been provided with a proposed resolution in opposition to Senate Bill 816 for discussion at a later date.
Mayor Young said that the West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce has sent out another letter saying that the City of Ballwin supports this bill. They have been told not to include the City of Ballwin in their correspondence as in favor of this, however, they have done this. He said that the State Chamber has instructed them to support this bill.
Alderman Suozzi asked what other cities have passed this resolution. Mayor Young said that O’Fallon, St. Charles, Wentzville, Lake St. Louis, St. Charles County have passed this resolution.
Mayor Young said that the City of Florissant Mayor has agreed to address the public about Senate Bill 816. Ballwin could also do this if the Board approves. He suggested that a copy of the Resolution if approved be given to the State Representatives showing opposition to the Senate Bill 816.
Alderman Robinson said at this time he is uncomfortable further discussing Senate Bill 816 because this was not on the agenda and there may be citizens who want to speak in favor or in opposition to this bill. Action is being requested at this time, and he said he is not comfortable doing this.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the legislative update can be monitored. It’s hard to take a position at this time because it is a work in progress. If there is a need to bring this back to the Board for further consideration, this could be done at that time.
Alderman Lembke asked that this be on the next Board meeting agenda. Alderman Robinson said that those in opposition should also be allowed to speak on this issue. Alderman Fleming suggested that at the Friday Lafayette Area Mayors’ meeting, the statement should be that the City of Ballwin does not have an official position at this time and are reviewing the issue. City Administrator Kuntz agreed with Alderman Fleming on this suggestion.
BILL # 3405 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING THE ELECTRICAL CODE OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY, AS AMENDED, AS THE ELECTRICAL CODE OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3405. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3405 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3405. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3405 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3405 with the following results:
Ayes – Pogue, Gatton, Suozzi, Robinson, Buermann, Terbrock, Fleming, Lembke. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3405 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-17.
BILL # 3406 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AN OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAM FOR PREVENTION AND REDUCTION OF POLLUTION IN STORM WATER RUNOFF FROM MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3406. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3406 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3406. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3406 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3406 with the following results:
Ayes – Suozzi, Lembke, Fleming, Buermann, Pogue, Gatton, Terbrock, Robinson. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3406 approved and it became Ordinance No. 06-18.
A RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE REDUCTION IN INSPECTIONS, METER SAMPLING, METER READINGS, HOT METER CHANGES, ETC., IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN, AS PROPOSED BY LACLEDE GAS COMPANY TO THE MISSOURI PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
Alderman Lembke asked if a representative from Laclede Gas is present. City Administrator Kuntz said that Laclede Gas Company was contacted but indicated that they would most probably decline. He said that for Laclede, this is an after-the-fact measure that has been approved. In some parts of the community, the program has already been implemented.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Robinson to adopt the Resolution and send a copy sent to the Public Service Commission. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
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 motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Community Video: Mayor Young said that this is a marketing tool for the City of Ballwin that could focus on various city facilities. The company will produce the video with a speaker to give an overview of the City. When the video is ready for viewing, we will be contacted for approval before putting it on the website. There are some cities in St. Louis County that are using this video format.
Mayor Young said that the company will put up and maintain 25 street banners designed by Ballwin. At the bottom of the banner is space for companies in the city of Ballwin to advertise. The banners would also show the Ballwin website for more information. The advertising company could also include their website information. The banners are good for 3 years and will be maintained by the company at no cost to the City.
Alderman Fleming asked about sponsorship fees starting at $445 per banner for a 12-month period. For that fee, a company will have their name on a banner for 12 months. It can be renewed every year. Mayor Young said that this transaction would be between the company and the local business. He said he has not spoken to any business about this until the Board approves. There have been cities in which the sale of 25 banners are doubtful. In such cities, 130 banners were sold.
Mayor Young said that this type of advertising will promote Ballwin, but we don’t have to maintain it. Information Systems Manager Paula Reeds said that a link on the website will not be a problem. She has reviewed the connection and believes there’s nothing wrong with this at this time.
Alderman Gatton said that the user is transferred to the host of the website, therefore, it will not cost the City anything. He said that he approves of enhancing the website because the internet is a powerful tool. He noted that there aren’t a lot of utility poles that Ballwin controls on which to hang banners. City Administrator Kuntz said that the company would need to enter an agreement with the utility companies. Mayor Young said that the major roads such as Kehrs Mill, New Ballwin, etc. have a number of light poles which could be used for this, with approval from the utility company.
Alderman Fleming said that $445 is a lot to pay for the bottom fourth of one banner. This is an opportunity for the company to sell the additional package advertising to the business. He said that Montgomery, Alabama is pleased with this program in their city. He said that this company has some Better Business Bureau claims against it in Rochester, New York, where it is located. He said he would like to investigate this further and talk to other communities that have used the banners.
Alderman Pogue said he prefers waiting until City Attorney Lucchesi is fully comfortable with the contract before proceeding. Alderman Buermann asked for a sample of the banners to determine size. Alderman Fleming said that there are pictures on the website. The banners and the videos look good, and he has no concerns in that regard. He would like to check references before proceeding. He is reluctant for the City to benefit from this and then turn a company loose on the businesses to try to sell advertising to them. He also suggested getting input from the Ballwin businesses.
Alderman Fleming said he would like a list of references and asked staff to provide this information to the local businesses to get feedback. Alderman Lembke said he likes this proposal to promote the City of Ballwin.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Fireworks: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the city’s July 4th fireworks commitment. He recommended that the city use its contingency for the 50% to fund at last year’s level. He requested direction for 2007 and beyond.
Alderman Buermann said that the BAA doesn’t seem interested in hosting the event any longer. City Administrator Kuntz suggested a rotation basis with another city. He said this event is a classic for a regional event. He said the BAA plans on hosting the event this year, subject to City of Ballwin funding, but they have no inclination to come up with the other 50%.
Alderman Fleming said he doesn’t think they have any complaints about hosting the event. He said they were pointing out that they provide the location and clean up. They are not-for-profit and after their budget was prepared, they can’t put this expense into their cost structure. He said that rather than not have fireworks this year, he is in favor of using the contingency funds. He suggested talking with other cities to consider a rotation. Alderman Gatton agreed and this could be a cost sharing event.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Gatton to use contingency funds for the remaining fireworks balance in 2006, and to direct staff to investigate cooperation with neighboring cities for future fireworks displays. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Sales Tax Holiday: City Administrator Kuntz said Ballwin not participating in the holiday is a matter of consistency of information that is conveyed to the public. Since sales tax revenues are a significant portion, it should not be exempted when there is an opportunity. According to Finance Officer Loehr, participation will not have a substantial impact on the budget.
Alderman Gatton asked if there has been input from the major retailers in Ballwin. City Administrator Kuntz said no. He said that he believes that this concept was initiated by a Missouri department store chain that is no longer Missouri based.
Alderman Fleming said that there aren’t any economic reports that say this is a big looser for a city. He said not participating in the sales tax holiday is not encouraging people to shop in Ballwin. People also shop in other departments on this holiday, which will produce more sales tax. He does not want Ballwin to continue to opt out. He said the loss will be less than 2/10 of 1% of the total for the entire year of sales tax revenues. This will be a benefit for the City and sends a message to shop in Ballwin instead of going elsewhere.
Alderman Robinson said he views the sales tax holiday as another State initiative. This doesn’t cost the State anything, but it costs the cities. The City of Des Peres lost $75,000. He doesn’t think the State should interfere with city business.
Alderman Pogue asked for an estimate of what opting out will cost the city. Finance Officer Loehr said that she compared 2002 with 2004 when the sales tax holiday started. She said there’s not much difference.
Alderman Terbrock asked what has been the reason for opting out. Alderman Robinson said the reason is the loss of tax revenue. Alderman Fleming said that only school items are exempt, but while people are in the store, they purchase other items that make up the difference.
City Administrator Kuntz said that a decision is reversible. The decision can be changed later, according to the legislation. If we opt out and do nothing forward, we’re out of it. If the Board changes its mind and decides to opt in, this can be done.
Alderman Lembke said that if we don’t opt out of the sales tax holiday, we will have to explain why we are approaching the residents asking for more money. He said he has a problem with explaining this in the future. He said he is concerned about sending the wrong message to the State legislature that they can continue to play in Ballwin’s sandbox without paying back. They made a decision for the whole state that doesn’t cost the State anything.
Alderman Robinson said that if anyone on the Board is upset about Senate Bill 816, and the State telling cities what they can do relating to SBC and Charter Communications, that is exactly what this sales tax legislation does. The State looks good by saying there are no taxes on this day, but the cities have to make the hard and unpopular decision to say no to this legislation. It would be inconsistent to be upset about Senate Bill 816 and not about the Sales Tax Holiday.
Alderman Lembke said that this idea was conceived after September 11, 2001. The State legislature finally implemented it two years later to help the economy. They waited too long to give the economy a boost. This was done strictly for political means. He said we don’t need an economic boost in the State of Missouri for one weekend or one day at this point in time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to hold over the legislation to the next meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Gatton asked that staff contact a couple of our major retailers, such as Target, to get their viewpoint. He said he would like to know their thoughts on this issue.
Park Path Signage: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the paved path next to the fire station that is parallel to the old Rock Road. He suggested that a street name sign be placed at each end of the path to raise public awareness that it is there.
Alderman Gatton asked if there was any comment from Metro West Fire. Fire Chief Vincent Loyal said that they have no problem with this. It is a natural pathway into the park from Manchester Road.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to designate the pathway as a pedestrian usage and mark it as “Ballwin Days Trail”. A voice vote was taken with Aldermen Lembke and Gatton voting Aye, and Aldermen Pogue, Terbrock, Buermann, Suozzi, Fleming, and Robinson voting Nay. The motion failed by a vote of 6-2.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to designate the pathway “Vlasis Trail” and post signs at each end of the pathway. A voice vote was taken with 7 Aye votes, and Alderman Fleming voting Nay. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Truck Cab & Chassis: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is a recommendation for acceptance of the Truck Center bid for the Public Works Department. He said the reason for the recommendation of the second lowest bid is that the low bid is non-responsive.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to accept the recommended bid. Alderman Lembke asked if this is a complete purchase. City Engineer Kramer explained that once the cab and chassis are selected, then the specs can be prepared for a bed that will fit. He said that Ford and GM do not make the beds for the trucks. Alderman Lembke asked if it would be better to present bids for all three at the same time. City Engineer Kramer said this is not possible because the cab and chassis that is selected will determine the specs for the bed and snow plow. The chassis are different dimensions. He said the specs for the bed have to be focused around the cab and chassis.
Alderman Gatton suggested using the bid for the Freighliner, and depending on how the bids come back, he doesn’t want to be locked into the Freighliner, and then find that the bed will take the purchase out of budget. This could be used as specs but not write an order. City Engineer Kramer said this could be done. He said the longest delivery is for the cab and chassis. It could take as long as December for delivery. Alderman Gatton said that he wants to be sure we stay within the budget.
Alderman Fleming said that he supports Senior Mechanic Chuck Loyd’s recommendation. He has extensive knowledge of this equipment. City Administrator Kuntz said that he agrees 100% with the assessment of the senior mechanic. Mr. Loyd has been with the City for 27 years and is a very dedicated employee who is cost conscious and wants the equipment to work so that he doesn’t have to fix it.
Alderman Gatton recommended his suggestion as an amendment to the motion. Alderman Robinson said that the Board is trying to micro-manage staff on the bid process and equipment. He said for now, he wants to get this equipment purchased so that the price doesn’t go up after a delay on Ballwin’s commitment.
Alderman Lembke said that by purchasing part of the equipment now and the other part later could cause challenges and limit the options.
Voice Vote: City Administrator Kuntz said that Alderman Robinson’s motion was to accept the bid as recommended by the senior mechanic. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result.
Mulberry Street Vacation: City Administrator Kuntz said that this does not require the Board’s further action.
Dispatch Furniture: City Administrator Kuntz said this was very carefully researched and recommended. Alderman Gatton said that this furniture will be kept for 20 or 30 years. He said that lack of ventilation is destructive to computers. The low bid has poor ventilation. The preferred bidder equipment is properly vented for IT equipment. He said that this alone will make a difference in cost over the years. City Administrator Kuntz said that the dispatch furniture gets a lot of intense use every day of the year, 24 hours per day.
Alderman Fleming said that Ballwin sells some of our police services to other communities. Occasionally they visit the dispatch area, and they expect to see an efficient, well run department.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to accept staff’s recommendation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, and the motion passed.
Helmets: City Administrator Kuntz said that this recommendation for an ordinance was only for only in city parks, ages 17 and under.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming, and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adapt the St. Louis County ordinance for use in Ballwin. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Candidate Forum: City Administrator Kuntz noted the Candidate Forum on Tuesday, March 14, at the Golf Clubhouse, sponsored by the St. Louis County League of Women Voters. This is open to the public and has been advertised in the Ballwin website and in the “Press Journal”.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Street Funding: Alderman Fleming said that in the budget, there is $200,000 allotted for a property acquisition. It has been decided not to pursue the purchase.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Lembke to re-appropriate the $200,000 toward street repairs.
Alderman Pogue said he prefers to put some of the additional revenue put into reserves to insure retention of the present bond rating. It can be used at a later date. Alderman Gatton suggested this as an amendment to the motion.
Alderman Fleming said that he was agreeable to amended the motion to spend $150,000 on streets, and hold the other $50,000 in reserves.
City Administrator Kuntz said that any budgeted amounts that are not expended become reserves. He said this is the capital fund. The reserves that were referenced for bond rating purposes was the operating budget reserve.
Alderman Fleming said he is trying to avoid having a large sum of money in the budget that has not been designated for a particular use. He said there is nothing more important than the streets.
Mayor Young said that this much money has never been dumped into a particular area in March. He said we always waited until June or July to see how revenues and expenditures were going. He recommended waiting until later in the year to designate the use of these funds.
Alderman Buermann asked City Engineer Kramer when does he need to know if the money is going to be reapportioned to streets, and what would be his recommendation. City Engineer Kramer said that microsurfacing is usually done in June. Slab replacements need to be done by mid June. He said that slab work and overlays could not be done with that amount of money.
Alderman Gatton said he would like to have sidewalks included in the project. Alderman Fleming said he recommends a decision be made at this meeting so that the funds are not just sitting in the budget.
Alderman Fleming restated his motion to put $150,000 into streets and sidewalks, and $50,000 into the reserves. The motion was seconded by Alderman Gatton.
Alderman Terbrock said that $200,000 applied to the reserves will keep Ballwin’s rating from falling. If the rating falls, the investors will be hurt. He is opposed to applying this to streets at this time.
Alderman Robinson asked what reserve percentage is recommended by the financial advisor. Finance Officer Loehr said that the city is at 12% and the recommended amount was 30% - 40%. She said we would need to at least double the current reserve amount. That amount was predicated on a community with a single source tax base. In communities that have diversification and a flow, the reserve does not have to be so large. Because Ballwin relies almost exclusively on sales tax, it needs to keep a healthier and higher reserve than if there was a property tax. The City needs between $3 million and $4 million unencumbered in the bank.
Alderman Suozzi said that it will be easier to explain fixing roads than increasing the reserve. It’s hard for the residents to grasp that we don’t have enough money in the bank if there is a need for it. She recommended a couple more weeks to evaluate the issue.
Alderman Fleming said that we have not dipped into the reserves in the last two budget cycles. He said there’s nothing wrong with putting some money toward reserves and streets. Alderman Robinson suggested waiting for an evaluation from City Engineer Kramer about how extensive street repairs can be with a certain amount of dollars.
Alderman Fleming again restated his motion, and seconded by Alderman Gatton that $150,000 be put into street improvements, and $50,000 to the reserves. A voice vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Aldermen Lembke, Gatton, and Fleming. Nays: Aldermen Suozzi, Robinson, Pogue, Terbrock, and Buermann. The motion was defeated by a vote of 5-3.
Alderman Buermann requested that by the next Board meeting, City Engineer Kramer provide analysis of what streets can be repaired with $150,000.
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 8:53 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator
These Minutes were signed and approved by the Board of Aldermen on March 27, 2006.