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
November 28, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:03 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann to defer approval of the Minutes of the November 14, 2005 Budget Work Session, Town Hall Meeting, and the Board of Aldermen Meeting until the December 12 meeting to allow more time to review the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young administered the Oath of Office for interim Municipal Judge to W. Laird Hetlage. Mr. Hetlage will serve in this capacity until April 1, 2006.
Mayor Young introduced the Girl Scout Troop 3470 from Parkway West Middle School.
BILL # 3378 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR CHAVANEL SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
Alderman Gatton asked for Assistant City Administrator Aiken’s input on this issue. Mr. Aiken said this is essentially the same proposal as previously submitted, but it provides a stub street connection to the adjoining property. This was the main issue with the original proposal. It did not comply with the requirement of the subdivision ordinance regarding a stub street connection to the adjoining property. The revised proposal appears to be in compliance with the minimum requirements of the subdivision and the zoning ordinances.
Alderman Gatton asked about the water retention requirements for runoff. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that this issue is straightforward in the runoff and drainage patterns. MSD standards have to be met.
Alderman Lembke asked James G. Brennan, President and owner of McKelvey Homes LLC, if he would consider putting up a sign in the temporary cul-de-sac indicating that this is a temporary cul-de-sac that will eventually be developed with a roadway extension. Mr. Brennan said he will have no problem doing this. He said they will disclose this to anyone purchasing, but said it would also be a good idea to put up a sign.
Alderman Lembke asked if Mr. Brennan is aware of the signage requirements that no advertising or directional signs be put in off-site areas. Mr. Brennan said he was not aware of that requirement. Alderman Lembke said Ballwin is inundated with developers and merchants putting up such signs. He said that is against the regulations. Signs in the right-of-way are not allowed under the ordinance on weekends or during the week. Mr. Brennan said his company will comply with the existing sign ordinance.
Alderman Pogue said that the proposed sign in the cul-de-sac would not be aesthetically pleasing. He recommended full disclosure of the roadway issue in the sales contracts rather than having an additional sign.
Alderman Lembke said that will be fine for the new owner, but what happens to the subsequent person who buys the house? There is no way of disclosing to them so that in the future if that property gets developed, there could be a group of people telling the Board that they were never told that this street extension was possible. He said it was suggested to him that a sign was a good option. If people want the cul-de-sac to stay in place, this won’t make sense for the property without the stub street.
Alderman Pogue said that he agrees that there should be full disclosure for the entire subdivision, but he is not in favor of a sign in the cul-de-sac. Alderman Terbrock agreed.
Alderman Gatton said that he has seen similar signage in other communities to keep the home owners informed. Alderman Pogue said that he agrees with the reasoning for the suggestion and would like to consider other means for disclosure with the property and not just on the initial owner.
Alderman Lembke asked if this could be written into the indenture. Mr. Brennan said that this could be included. He said if a sign is used, it would be in good taste and also address the maintenance of the sign. Alderman Lembke asked Mr. Brennan to work with staff to accomplish this in the indentures. Mr. Brennan agreed that he would do this.
Mayor Young said that if this is going to be a street extension at some time in the future, why not initially make it a stub street instead of a circle. People will see that it is a stub street from the beginning and nothing else will need to be done. Signs won’t be necessary because it will be evident that this is not a cul-de-sac.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that in Section 25-102 of Sub Section b of the subdivision ordinance, it states, “A temporary cul-de-sac shall be constructed where new streets terminate. Where such street extensions are too short to be of value prior to the subdivision of the adjoining property or when no room exists for the construction of the temporary cul-de-sac, construction of the street, extension, and associated sidewalks may be omitted at the discretion of the Board of Aldermen, provided that adequate right-of-way is dedicated to the eventual construction of the street.”
Alderman Lembke asked about street removal. Director of Public Works Kramer said that we have some stub streets without a cul-de-sac. This requires the plow trucks to back up. He said for snow plowing, it’s easier to drive in, turn around, and come back out. They cannot turn around in someone’s driveway.
Alderman Terbrock said that with the possibility of the property next door not being developed, it would be better to have the cul-de-sac. With a dead end street, it will look like a private drive. Alderman Gatton said that a small sign on a temporary cul-de-sac will look better than a dead end street.
Mr. Brennan said that the lot sizes will allow for the cul-de-sac and complies with the city ordinances on set backs.
Alderman Lembke said that the requirement is asphalt pavement instead of cement.
Mayor Young asked about the Durst property next door. By doing this, will the proposed sewers take the vegetation out of the west side of the property? Civil Engineer Dan Wynn said that the plan requires for more clearing than the initial plan without the stub street. They are planning to save about 1/3 of the trees on the site. The best chance for saving trees is around the perimeter.
Mayor Young asked what is the elevation difference between the street level at the stub street and the Durst property. Mr. Brennan said 6 feet. Mayor Young asked if they are aware that there is a cemetery on the property at the back of Lot 3. Mr. Wynn said he did not know this. Mr. Durst said that this individual burial site is on his property instead of Lot 3. There are no other recorded burial grounds on the site.
Mayor Young asked, if this were a cul-de-sac and not a stub street, where would the sewer lines be placed? Mr. Wynn explained the placement of the sewer lines. There were no questions from the Board. Mayor Young asked how will the Durst property be affected when the sewer line is put in? Are they going to have a terrific amount of runoff on their property? Mr. Wynn said that the only surface water that will run to Mr. Durst’s property will be the rear area of Lots 3, 4, and 5. He said this drainage plan will reduce the amount of runoff that now flows over Mr. Durst’s property.
Mr. Durst said that where the pipe comes out at Windcliff, there is a 30-foot flat area. The water flow should be more concentrated and heavier at times because it’s not spreading out with the new plan. He said he doesn’t think this will be a big issue.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a first reading of Bill No. 3378. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3378 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3378. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3378 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3378 with the following results: Ayes – Gatton, Suozzi, Pogue, Lembke, Terbrock, Fleming, Buermann. Nays – None (Alderman Robinson was not present for the vote due to late arrival). Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3378 approved by a vote of 7-0 and it became Ordinance No. 05-51.
2006 CAPITAL & OPERATING BUDGETS
Mayor Young said that the City of Ballwin has two separate budgets, a capital budget and an operating budget. The revenues and expenditures of each budget have been completely separated since 1998. The total expenditures are expected to be $18,319,178 for 2006, compared with $18,710,320 in 2005. This reduction can be attributed to several factors including implementation of additional cost saving measures, insurance savings, and a freeze on full-time staff at the current levels. On the capital side, proposed spending and revenues are pegged at $800,000 less than 2005, and $1.2 million under our 2005 allocation. Economic conditions are forecast to remain stable for the period and no supplemental funding grants are anticipated. The capital budget is primarily funded by ½ cent capital improvement sales tax, a ½ cent park improvement sales tax, and receipts from the motor fuel tax. By law, these funds can only be spent for major improvements, property and vehicle equipment acquisitions. Proceeds from the parks tax, for example, must be specifically allocated to parks and recreational purposes and cannot be applied to fund other projects such as street improvements. The operating budget is funded primarily from sales tax, merchants licenses and the utility tax. These revenues are used to pay salaries, fringe benefits, insurance, and expenditures such as fuel, road salt, and supplies. We are once again faced with the challenge of struggling to contain costs in light of the continuing sluggish economic conditions. Ballwin is a city which depends upon retail sales to fund the programs and services. We are one of only a handful of St. Louis County municipalities which levy no real property or personal property tax. It is unlikely that we will be able to attain this distinction for much longer without a significant revenue boost or serious reductions in programs and services. 50% of the budget is directly related to business activities. In summary, overall expenditures are in line with projected revenues. Short term, no major changes in programs or services, and no significant changes in the revenue forecast is anticipated.
There were no comments from the audience in attendance, and Mayor Young declared the Public Hearing closed.
Alderman Buermann said this is the budget and if economic conditions warrant, the budget can be adjusted. Just because things are in the budget on January 2, 2006 doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be in the budget at the end of the year if economic conditions deteriorate.
Alderman Pogue asked why are street repairs, equivalent to about $43,000, being done on streets that have PCI scores of 100,. City Engineer Kramer said the PCI is a visual pavement condition rating. This does not include strength testing, integrity evaluation, or aesthetic appearance. City Administrator Kuntz said the problem with this analysis is to separate the esthetics from the structural integrity. He said that microsurfacing is probably the least expensive roadway maintenance application. Fewer streets qualify because the pavement has to be in good condition to start with. It extends the life of streets that are in good condition. If the base is deteriorated in any way, a microsurface does not have enough structural strength to give it any additional life. He said the next time the streets are evaluated, we should have a work session with the consultant prior to express your concerns, and maybe get a different kind of a report.
Alderman Fleming said now there is at $50,000 more for streets. Contracting out the street sweeping is good as is taking $20,000 from the operating contingency fund and putting it towards streets. He said there are other areas of the budget that could be addressed and more money steered toward streets. The statement that the parks money has to be used on parks is not definitively stated in the state statute. He said when the Planning & Zoning Commission voted to reject this budget, he didn’t realize that it made a requirement that the Board must pass it with a super majority. There are a lot of things about this budget that we don’t know and understand. He said he is not inclined to support this budget at this time, but he is happy that an effort has been made to steer more money toward streets.
Alderman Robinson asked Alderman Fleming what is his suggestion for the Board to think about to provide more money for streets. Alderman Fleming made a motion that the suggested 4% pay raise be scaled back to 3.5%, that would generate approximately $50,000 more for streets. The motion did not receive a second. City Administrator Kuntz said that it would generate $50,000 more in the operating budget, not in the capital budget. He said there are no salaries in the capital budget. Alderman Fleming asked if that money can be reallocated in any way. City Administrator Kuntz said that capital revenue goes to capital budget, and operating revenue goes to salaries, fuel, insurance, and operating expenses. He said that not one penny of salaries or personnel costs are allocated to the capital budget. The capital budget is strictly for major vehicle replacements, land acquisition, or public improvement such as streets. Everything else is considered historically, and not just by the City of Ballwin, to be an operating expenditure. There is no salary money going to capital.
Alderman Robinson asked if money that appears in the capital budget revenue column can, in some way be put in the operating budget revenue column to be used in the operating budget and vise versa? Is there a federal or state law that prohibits this? City Administrator Kuntz said that in a limited fashion we did that. He said we put $400,000 in park sales tax for park maintenance in operating. He said if a different legal opinion is desired, or if the Board wants to table this legislation, that can be done, but he has attempted to address every issue and concern that has been raised by this Board, either formally in work sessions or informally through phone conversations or e-mails. He said he doesn’t know what more can be given up and still produce a balanced full service budget. He understands that Alderman Fleming does not agree with City Attorney Lucchesi’s interpretation of the statute, but he has to go with what he was told and what other cities do, which is park sales tax goes to park purposes. By law, money from park revenue cannot go to streets, and, by policy, money from sales tax cannot go to streets. The Board can throw out the philosophy and get rid of the two budgets, which has been done since 1998, but he cautioned that the Board will be risking creditability from a public review standpoint by co-mingling everything into one big pot and putting it where they want. He said this is a far more fiscally responsible and easy-to-interpret manner of administration of the segregation of funding. He said that staff has been as creative as possible with the money that is available to work with.
Alderman Buermann said that overall in a very tight economic condition that exists, and we are dependent upon sales tax for so much, an increase of 14% from last year to this year is a positive sign. The cost of asphalt and concrete are factors because they are petroleum based products. He also recommended having a work session early in 2006 to discuss if the property tax should be reinstituted to bring in more funds, or what services are we willing to forego. He said there’s not a whole lot that can be done with the 2006 budget.
Alderman Lembke said that some Ballwin residents are concerned about the fact that they worked very earnestly to pass the ½ cent tax for Parks & Recreation. He said that one of the challenges that has been presented is the shifting of $400,000 from Parks capital sales tax to operating sales tax. This is a slippery slope that we have seen on the State level whereby the State promised to put all of the money it received from the lottery and casinos into the school budget, and they have done that. What they have also done is dollar for dollar, and in many cases more than dollar for dollar, they have taken away money that had been spent on schools and put it back in the general revenue fund. The schools are in no better shape than they were, or in worse shape, now than they were before all of this money came about. He said his concern is that some people charge that, we were only doing the parks tax to get a new pool. Once we got the new pool, the money would be shifted into other things. He said if we are concerned about the streets, and if the amount that we are putting into the streets isn’t enough, maybe we need to go back and ask for more revenue to give us another big push on the streets. He said we did this in 1990. If we feel that streets is the critical issue and we want to put a lot of money into streets, then it will take a lot of money and we should inform the citizens to make sure they understand. They can vote each alderman in or out, or they can vote to pass the bond issue, sales tax, or real estate tax.
BILL # 3385 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AND ADOPTING A BUDGET OF ANTICIPATED CASH REVENUE AND CASH DISBURSEMENTS FOR THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 2006, AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2006, PROVIDING FOR EXPENDITURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAID BUDGET AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREOF.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3385. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3385 was read for the first time.
Mayor Young said that just because an item is in the budget, the Board must approve certain expenditures. Alderman Lembke suggested that the “Consent Items” be provided to the Board for consideration two meetings ahead of the needed approval date. City Administrator Kuntz said this will be logistically difficult. He said it would be better to either hold an item over or take it off the consent section for further discussion. Every expenditure over $5,000 will be resubmitted for Board approval and subject to formal bid solicitation. The bids are solicited in good faith and following the plan as adopted by the Board, understanding that there are financial uncertainties along the way that can alter a final decision.
Mayor Young said that at the December 12 Board meeting, he would like discussion and a decision on a work session date about the future of Ballwin and how this will be done.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3385. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3385 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3385 with the following results: Ayes – Buermann, Fleming, Pogue, Robinson, Terbrock, Lembke, Suozzi, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3385 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-52.
BILL # 3386 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AND ADOPTING AN OPERATIONS BUDGET OF ANTICIPATED CASH REVENUE AND CASH DISBURSEMENTS FOR THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 2006, AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2006, PROVIDING FOR EXPENDITURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAID BUDGET AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREOF.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a first reading of Bill No. 3386. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3386 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a second reading of Bill No. 3386. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3386 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3386 with the following results: Ayes – Fleming, Pogue, Lembke, Buermann, Gatton, Robinson, Suozzi, Terbrock. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3386 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-53.
BILL # 3387 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO AVIS AUTO RENTAL D/B/A AVIS RENT A CAR, FOR MOTOR VEHICLE RENTAL BUSINESS AND AUTOMOBILE SERVICE.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3387. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3387 was read for the first time.
Alderman Lembke asked Kim Bauer, 21 Marie Drive, Unit 1, St. Charles, MO 63301, representative for Avis Car Rental, if they are aware of the Ballwin sign ordinance. She said yes.
Alderman Robinson said cleaning of the vehicles will not be allowed outside of the facility. She agreed.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a second reading of Bill No. 3387. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3387 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3387 with the following results: Ayes –Robinson, Gatton, Lembke, Pogue, Terbrock, Suozzi, Buermann, Fleming. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3387 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-54.
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 Gatton and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to accept the Consent Item. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Vacancies and Appointments: Mayor Young said that one position is still open on the Planning & Zoning Commission. Ward 1 Alderman Terbrock said that he and Alderman Pogue have someone in mind. Alderman Robinson suggested that someone from another ward be considered for this position. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that there are two from each ward. Mayor Young said that it is open to all members of the Board to present candidates for the Planning & Zoning position.
Mayor Young said that in January, the St. Louis County Municipal League will meet at AmerenUE’s offices. He said we will be able to discuss problems in West County. This is not a citizen event. This meeting is strictly for Municipal League Mayors and Aldermen. Alderman Suozzi said that there is a lack of maintenance before storms.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Board of Adjustment: City Administrator Kuntz said the court needs flexibility on meeting dates. He said it gets confusing when regular meeting dates for the Board of Adjustment are changed.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to move the Board of Adjustment meetings to the second Wednesday of each month, effective in January, 2006. Alderman Lembke asked if all Board of Adjustment members will be able to attend on this new date. City Administrator Kuntz does not anticipate a problem, and there are alternates. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Steering Committee: City Administrator Kuntz said it is recommended that Brian Domijan, a Ward 4 resident, to serve as the second alternate on the Steering Committee. He will add the most diversity of the remaining candidates.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to appoint Brian Domijan as an alternate to the Steering Committee. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Real Estate: City Administrator Kuntz introduced Norm Henninberg, 3667 Utah, NDH Realty Group. Mr. Henninberg said that 534 St. Joseph at Solon Drive was appraised. A list price was established and marketed. It was on the market for approximately 3 weeks. Four offers were received. The highest bid was $73,000 and is recommended for approval with a closing on December 16. This was a clean listing with no zoning or other contingencies other than title search and financing. The buyer was pre-approved. Alderman Lembke asked if this money can be used for streets. City Administrator Kuntz said that it is recommended that this money be set aside in a separate real estate escrow fund to be used, subject to Board approval, for property acquisitions that make sense to this Board in the interest of the City of Ballwin.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept this bid with a December 16 closing date, and deposit the funds in a separate real estate escrow fund. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Alderman Gatton the Dean property was supposed to have been fixed to our specifications by April 15. It has not been started and he asked for a current update. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that Mr. Dean hired an engineering firm that has been difficult to work with. He said MSD has approved the project, and a few adjustments to the plan are necessary. We are withholding the permit on the addition to the display building pending the finalization of the earlier plan for the parking lot. Mayor Young said that he has gotten MSD approval and now it’s just small items that need to be corrected. City Administrator Kuntz said that whoever drew the plans has to seal the revisions, otherwise it cannot be accepted.
Alderman Pogue asked why a substitute for the City Attorney is not present at this meeting. Mayor Young said that the stand-in is out of town and had difficulty with flight connections. City Administrator Kuntz said that under those circumstances, it is better not to have a sand-in than to have a substitute that is not familiar with the issues.
City Administrator Kuntz recommended annual evaluation discussions be held with the City Attorney, City Prosecutor, and Municipal Judge. He said that since the Municipal Court is now part of the Administration Department and not the Police Department, he would like to share proposed legislation with the Judge to get his input regarding enforcement and to make him part of our team. Most of the time, we don’t know what goes on in the court, and the Judge doesn’t know what goes on in a Board meeting. This needs to be strengthened. The court is an important branch of this government and shouldn’t be left to drift until there is a problem and then we want to “harpoon the raft”. He said we should do this regularly.
Comprehensive Planning Steering Committee: Alderman Buermann said it is requested that the Mayor and Aldermen to attend the next Committee meeting on December 19, at 7:00 p.m. at the Golf Club, to speak about the desires for the City of Ballwin.
February Work Session: Alderman Buermann said that a work session should be scheduled. Dates should be discussed and decided upon soon for February.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Gatton to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:46 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator