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
Meeting MinutesMINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
May 9, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:03 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the April 25, 2005 Parks & Recreation Committee meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Lembke 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 April 25, 2005 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. Alderman Suozzi amended page 8, under New Ballwin Road, paragraph 4 as follows: “The cost of this project is significant. The project was projected to be about $8 million.” A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Tom Hall, 35 Arrowhead, Chesterfield: Mr. Hall said he is prepared to answer any questions the Board has regarding the proposed definition of funeral homes. He is the architect for the project at Schrader Funeral Home. He said the project has been designed to accommodate two crematory retorts inside one room, however, at this time only one unit will be installed. The retort is the actual heating unit and is placed inside a fire-enclosed room. Alderman Gatton asked about EPA or County laws that would apply. Mr. Hall said that because the emissions that come out are almost zero, there are few regulations. Most of the regulations are regarding the design of the unit and the criteria to which the unit is built. Alderman Fleming said that St. Louis County has an inspection process for the retorts. If someone is a licensed funeral director, they are also licensed to provide this service. Mr. Hall said this is correct.
Alderman Robinson asked if the surrounding residential areas have been notified that this service will be performed at Schrader Funeral Home. Mr. Hall said that all of the immediate neighbors have been contacted by the Schraders. None of them have expressed any concern.
RETAIL RETENTION AND EXPANSION
Tim Root, Buxton’s representative in the State of Missouri, said that Buxton is a retail expert and has been in operation for 11 years. He said the product being proposed is called Community ID. He will start with a list of 4,500 potential retailers. The list will be reduced to the 20 best matches for Ballwin based on their research. There will be a comprehensive report on these 20 retailers. They will be matched to the shopping tendencies of the customers in and around Ballwin. This will give Ballwin the tools to attract the retailers. Alderman Lembke asked if this includes Ballwin buying area and not just Ballwin residents. Mr. Root said that the customer profile will extend outside the Ballwin city limits. On-going support will be provided as to how to use this information and deal with these people in their terms and language. He will train in how to market Ballwin.
City Administrator Kuntz asked about a guarantee of success. Mr. Root said that Buxton cannot guarantee that any of the 20 retailers will come to Ballwin. Too many things are out of their hands to control this.
Alderman Robinson asked what the guarantee includes. Mr. Root said that Buxton guarantees that Ballwin will get the report that will specify 20 businesses that are good fits for Ballwin and all of the evidence necessary to persuade them to come to Ballwin. Buxton will send them a letter informing them that they have been identified as a match for Ballwin. At that point it is up to Ballwin to act on the information. The price for this service is $70,000. Alderman Robinson asked if a representative from Buxton communicates with the retailer other than by letter. Mr. Root said that if the retailer has questions about the methodology, Buxton will talk with them. He said he cannot pro-actively work on behalf of Ballwin. He cannot be a specific advocate for an individual city.
Matt Montgomery, Executive Director of the Western Region for Buxton, said that all of the sources of data are cited in the report. Information is pulled from over 185 data bases.
Alderman Pogue asked what is Buxton’s success history. Mr. Root said that this depends on how well the client uses the information provided to them by Buxton. When a client takes the information and puts it on a shelf, the success rate is zero. McKinney, Texas has landed 10 of the 20 retailers on the list and added $1 million of revenue in one year. Elco, Nevada landed Home Depot and Walmart off the list within 1 year of obtaining the information. An ongoing dialog is necessary to make sure the client gets results.
BILL # 3354 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 1, SECTION 1-2 ENTITLED DEFINITIONS BY THE ELIMINATION OF SUBPARAGRAPH 7 UNDER THE DEFINITION OF GROSS RECEIPTS.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill No. 3354. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3354 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3354. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3354 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3354 with the following results: Ayes – Gatton, Lembke, Pogue, Terbrock, Suozzi, Buermann, Fleming, Robinson. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3354 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-23.
BILL # 3355 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 1, SECTION 1-2 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES ENTITLED DEFINITIONS BY THE ADDITION OF A DEFINITION FOR A NEW TERM “UNDERTAKING ESTABLISHMENTS”.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3355. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3355 was read for the first time.
City Attorney Lucchesi recommended that a motion be made that this legislation be amended after “including”, insert “crematory services associated with one particular location of the business” as opposed to what is presently in the bill. The motion to amend was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Lembke. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Robinson requested more information be provided to the Board about the cremation business so that the Board can make an educated decision on this legislation. He is not ready to vote at this time. Alderman Gatton agreed and said that this Board is not sufficiently educated on this matter in order to vote on the legislation. Alderman Fleming said that he is satisfied with the issue at this time. St. Louis County has an inspection process.
Greg Bryant, Behrens Design & Development, consultant for Schrader Funeral Home, said that he can have a representative from the company who manufacturers the retort units attend a future meeting to answer questions from the Board. He said the retort burns at such a clean level that the emissions are less than the emissions from a truck traveling on Manchester Road. No smoke or any colored discharge will be emitted; only heat displacement would be seen. Mr. Bryant gave a summary of the cremation process.
Mayor Young asked how many cremations have had to be sent out due to not having this capability. Mr. Tom Hall, said that between 125-150 per year are requested. Shaffer Mortuary Service in Jefferson County is used for this purpose. There is a retort by Bellerive Country Club, Memorial Park Cemetery in north county, and Oak Grove Cemetery.
Alderman Gatton asked if there is any odor associated with this process. Mr. Montgomery said no. Alderman Suozzi asked if this service will be available to other funeral homes. Mr. Hall does not anticipate this happening because they are competitors.
Alderman Robinson asked for this legislation to be re-written to provide language regarding restrictions on visibility of emissions, noise levels, odor, etc. The ordinance should address these concerns.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that this ordinance only addresses the issue of defining the term funeral home. The additional regulations should apply to an amendment to the zoning code and will have to go to the Planning & Zoning Commission for approval. This ordinance is not the appropriate document to address these other issues. Under such an approach, Schrader Funeral Home will need a Special Use Exception. Alderman Gatton said that he would like to see this first as a Zoning regulation.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue that legislation be drafted to change the Zoning Code to allow crematories in Ballwin with certain controls. Alderman Robinson said that a second reading of the bill is not necessary at this time. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the Zoning Commission will meet in August. Alderman Gatton said that the July Planning & Zoning Commission meeting was cancelled due to the July 4 holiday.
Alderman Lembke said that he would like to see odor, emissions, noise, and unlimited expansion addressed in the Zoning Code.
Alderman Buermann said he is satisfied with the information that has been provided. If this is going to go to Planning & Zoning, a representative from Schrader’s should be present.
City Administrator Kuntz said he believes that a more effective tool would be a Special Use Exception because the Board is not prepared to address the technological issues. He advised not getting too technical or comprehensive with regulations that go far beyond the knowledge and skills of City staff.
City Attorney Lucchesi recommended holding over this legislation at this time and he will provide an alternate ordinance for consideration.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Robinson to hold over this legislation, and authorizing the City Attorney to prepare an amended version, and obtain information from Planning & Zoning. A voice vote was taken with 6 yes votes and Aldermen Fleming and Terbrock voting no.
Mayor Young said that the legislation will be held over until the May 23 Board meeting. A new bill will be drafted in order to include the Planning & Zoning aspects, which could then be sent to the Planning & Zoning Commission for review. This will require a special Planning & Zoning meeting in July. Mayor Young asked Assistant City Administrator Aiken to contact Commission Chairman Boland to schedule the July meeting.
BILL # 3356 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 15-487 DEALING WITH YIELD INTERSECTIONS.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3356. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3356 was read for the first time.
Alderman Lembke said that this is a multiple stop for the children and residents in the subdivision. Some of the residents are not exercising enough caution at this intersection.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3356. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3356 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3356 with the following results: Ayes –Buermann, Fleming, Pogue, Robinson, Terbrock, Suozzi, Lembke, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3356 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-24.
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 Buermann to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Recognition: Mayor Young said that at the next meeting, he wants to have special recognition for Mayor Jones, Alderman McDowell and Judge Wagner and present each of them with a plaque of distinction for their time and service to the City.
Closed Session: Mayor Young requested a closed session following this meeting to discuss a personnel issue.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Retail Retention and Expansion: - City Administrator Kuntz said that a determination needs to be made regarding the proposal and clarification that was presented at the start of this meeting. Alderman Fleming said he is opposed to the proposal. This is not a budgeted item and he believes that the property owners are doing a good job marketing their own properties. These are not properties that Ballwin owns that we are wanting to promote. This would be spending public money on something that will benefit a property owner although Ballwin will also benefit from the sales tax generated. The property owners have not asked for our help. He feels that this is not an appropriate use for our money and is not convinced that we would get a good return for the money spent.
Alderman Robinson asked in a point-of-sale setting, how much business would a new business have to generate in order to produce enough sales tax to cover the $70,000 for the Buxton service? City Administrator Kuntz said that 1% is from the basic sales tax, ½ cent Park tax, and ½ cent capital improvement tax, therefore, 2 cents on a dollar. It would be significant but not all at one time. Alderman Robinson asked what businesses in Ballwin currently generate $70,000 in sales tax for Ballwin? City Administrator Kuntz said that Target, a grocery store, a successful restaurant, a computer store. Alderman Lembke said that at 2% to the City, it would require $3,500,000 in taxable sales. Alderman Robinson said that if we attract one business of this stature, after the first year, we could be making money on the investment through Buxton. Alderman Fleming said a business could be attracted without Buxton. He asked if any of the business property owners have asked Ballwin to help them market their property. Alderman Robinson said he wouldn’t know who to contact if they did ask us to assist. Alderman Fleming believes that we can do this on our own without spending $70,000, and the property owner may not want the type of business that would be recommended as a result of the Buxton survey. Without input from the business property owners, we should not assume that they want our help.
Alderman Buermann said that he doesn’t believe that a large business will relocate to Ballwin because they seem to now prefer the larger malls. More smaller business will be in Ballwin than we have ever had before. Everything is moving farther west to Wildwood. Chesterfield Valley and Gravois Bluffs are getting the large stores. He said we will be very fortunate if any more large stores come to Ballwin. Alderman Robinson disagreed and believes that Buxton would do a better job than we could do because this is their expertise.
Alderman Gatton said that if we don’t spend the $70,000 and don’t attract any new businesses, we will be faced with either cutting services or implementing some other form of revenue. If this is more palatable than trying to reach out to business and bring them in, then vote no. We are better off trying to bring in more appropriate businesses, because banks and insurance companies don’t generate a dime to help run the City. If you want to re-institute the property tax, then vote against the proposal.
Mayor Young said that he has talked with an individual who operates a commercial real estate leasing company in Ballwin. This individual stated that Ballwin will never see another big store because they are following a location scenario in West County. Manchester Road is not even on the radar screen. He said in the future, Manchester Road will be in the next level down. Small business will use Manchester Road because they find that is a good location. This individual felt that for us to take the time, effort, and money to market, he suggested that Ballwin support businesses like his and advertise the Ballwin area. Mayor Young said that unless the $70,000 is in the budget, where is the money going to be taken from to pay for it. Something that is currently budgeted will have to be cancelled. We cannot go into the reserves to pay for this item. He advised that if you want to take on this expenditure, it should be included in next year’s budget.
Alderman Lembke said that we spent 2 years and $10,000 - $15,000 each time to promote the TIF and the marketplace is not responding. He said we cannot force a property owner to lease to a business that we recommend as a result of the Buxton survey. If we don’t do something pro-active now, we are going to be in need of a real estate tax, or commercial business tax. The costs of running the City are increasing. We have spent wisely and done very well with the money that the citizens have given us. We have asked staff for several years to turn over every stone, and now every rock and pebble to squeeze out every dollar. They have done that very well. One year we were so delighted with the result that we favored them with no increase in salary. A TIF isn’t going to work. We can pay Buxton $70,000 and get our bang for our buck now, or play around with the TIF and use up $10,000 - $15,000 worth of staff time. There is still one vacant unit at Olde Towne that has never been rented. He said he is afraid that in the near future someone is going to approach the Board and want to use another piece of property in Ballwin to park cars with no business license or sales tax. This is point-of-purchase land that Ballwin needs for revenue generating. He wants to be sure that Ballwin has done everything we could possibly do to insure that we have maximized the revenue stream before requesting a property tax in the future. If all of the businesses that we approach as a result of the Buxton information refuses the offer to locate in Ballwin, and Ballwin cannot support itself on sales tax revenue, this will be proof and evidence to the citizens that we must seriously consider a real estate tax. Alderman Lembke said that the $70,000 for the Buxton service is a good investment.
Alderman Suozzi said that the vacancy signs along Manchester Road are advertising for retail. They are not advertising for office space. Alderman Lembke asked how did Ballwin end up with 3 cellular phone businesses on Manchester Road within a 1½ mile area. Alderman Suozzi said that the property owners are having difficulty leasing their property. She believes that the Buxton approach would be very helpful. She asked if there is an option to pay Buxton half now and half later.
Alderman Fleming said that for $70,000, we will get a list of 20 companies that may or may not want to come to Ballwin. We then give the information to the property owners and they may not want to rent to those companies. Ballwin bringing in someone else to express an interest in the same spot, we would be interfering with the contract negotiation. Alderman Robinson disagreed.
Alderman Terbrock said that Ballwin is slowly being eclipsed by the westward area. We need to reinvent the City. The twenty businesses that Buxton will present will show us what we need to do to reinvent the City at this point. We are no longer the retail center that we have always been. It’s gone. He said he has reservations to spend $70,000 on one report, but we have to be pro-active or we will end up 20 years behind and will have taken all of the services away from the residents because we don’t have any money. After the names of 20 companies have been provided, it will then be up to staff to make the contacts. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the money doesn’t have to be spent this year. This could be done in the next 2 years.
Mayor Young asked if we are getting on private property if we approach commercial property owners with suggestions as to who should rent their property. City Attorney Lucchesi said that under state law, the City is not allowed to spend money on things that will benefit private property owners. One perspective is that all we are doing is giving information.
Alderman Gatton said that Chesterfield has a 3-person full time City Development Council that is funded and going out to businesses and trying to lure businesses in. All we would be doing is designating someone on our staff to hire a consultant to assist in developing a marketing plan.
Mayor Young said that after the information is obtained from Buxton, we will have to hire someone to do the work of contacting the businesses because staff cannot be expected to market, call on the businesses, and do their other jobs. Alderman Lembke said that City Administrator Kuntz is currently doing this and keeping a list of businesses. Mayor Young said that if we pay $70,000 to receive a list of 20 companies, Mr. Kuntz will feel more pressured to spend more time on just this to satisfy the Board that he is making good use of the information received from Buxton. Mayor Young said that he does not want to have to hire someone to process this information.
City Administrator Kuntz said that part of the Buxton selling point is that their information will help cut through other issues and primary contacts are prominent. This is a more efficient method. We don’t know at this time if it will be a waste of $70,000 or if it will be a jackpot for the City. If we are going to spend $70,000, we should maximize the return.
Alderman Gatton said that a single person should be designated as the contact person for Ballwin in the processing of the information and contacting commercial property owners. Mayor Young said that he wants to be sure this is considered so that if the money is spent, and then City Administrator Kuntz have other important projects and duties that he doesn’t have time to spend on the project.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Lembke that the City Attorney study the legal issues that were presented, which were interfering in a contract and public use of money on private property, and that the City Administrator propose what cuts might be possible to pay for the Buxton service. Alderman Robinson added that we meet with the Buxton representatives to possibly renegotiate the terms of the proposal regarding payment. Mr. Root said that in order for Buxton to begin work, 50% of the price will be required as a down payment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Youth Advisory Commission: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is a courtesy and he recommended that the draft legislation be considered at the next Board meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Pogue to introduce the draft as legislation at the next Board meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Seven Trails Apartments Property Dispute: Alderman Fleming removed himself from any discussion and vote on this issue due to a conflict of interest. Mayor Young said that he has made an appointment to meet with the property manager on Wednesday, May 11, to discuss and hopefully get this resolved. Alderman Buermann said that if this involves anything near Manchester Road regarding a sign, the Board has said many times that this is not a negotiable item. We would want a sign for Vlasis Park where Mr. Baumann wants to place a rental property sign. The Board has voted this down twice. Alderman Gatton said the proposed sign is against City code. Alderman Suozzi said that it is a non-conforming use as it stands. We cannot offer other property owners a similar situation. Mr. Baumann has failed to recognize that his property has a city-maintained access. We have saved that property many thousands of dollars by maintaining a roadway. The proximity of Vlasis Park also enhances his property. She said that she is insulted that we are being accused of treating this property owner in a bad manner. We have provided amenities that have increased the marketability of his property.
City Administrator Kuntz said that if Mayor Young can resolve some of the issues, this would be good. Mayor Young said that Mr. Baumann has had a sign at the entrance to this property since 1966. Nothing has been done all this time to remove the sign. Alderman Lembke said that Mr. Baumann was wanting to move the sign closer to Manchester Road and make the sign larger. The Board agreed to listen to any new suggestions that Mayor Young may bring back to the Board after another discussion with Mr. Baumann. Mayor Young also stated that he will review the sign ordinance before meeting with Mr. Baumann.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn to closed session, according to the provision of the Missouri statutes for the purpose of discussing a personnel issue. A roll call vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Pogue, Suozzi, Fleming, Gatton, Lembke, Robinson, Buermann, Terbrock. Nays: None. The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:55 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 9:00 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 9:28 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 9:29 p.m.
Mayor Young announced that the Board met in closed session to discuss personnel. He would like to reappoint G. Richard Fox as Prosecuting Attorney and he discussed his meeting with City Attorney Lucchesi.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:31 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator