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
November 10, 2003 - 7 p.m. Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
November 10, 2003 - 5:30 p.m. 2004 Operating Budget Workshop
The Ballwin Board of Aldermen will meet in a workshop session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 10, prior to the regular Board of Aldermen meeting, to discuss the Operating Budget for 2004. This meeting will be held at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center in the Board room at 300 Park Drive. No official action will be taken at this meeting.
Operating Budget Workshop Agenda
This meeting and all other meetings are open to the public and the building is handicapped accessible.
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The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:03 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the October 27, 2003 Capital Budget Work Session were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Anderson 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.
The Minutes of the October 27, 2003 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Patrick O’Driscol, 449 Ivywood: Mr. O’Driscol thanked Police Chief Biederman for the outstanding Citizen Police Academy. He said it was a worthwhile experience.
Dean Whitworth, 209 Oakwood Farms Ct.: Mr. Whitworth asked about the proper procedure to file a complaint with the Police Department. Mayor Jones said the complaint should be filed with the police officer.
BILL # 3269 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AND ENACTING THE ELECTRICAL CODE OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY, AS AMENDED, AS THE ELECTRICAL CODE OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3269. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3269 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3269. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3269 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3269 with the following results: Ayes –Lembke, Buermann, Robinson, Easter, Anderson, Suozzi, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3269 approved and it became Ordinance No. 03-64.
Mayor Jones asked that Item A be removed for further discussion.
Alderman Buermann asked that Item E be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Gatton to adopt consent items B, C, D and F. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Alderman Buermann said, regarding Item E, Family Leave Act (FMLA), it sounds like the current policy has raised some unintentional privacy issues. He asked if the City is still in compliance with the HIPAA regulations. City Administrator Kuntz said reverting back to the former policy, which is that all leave be applied consecutively with FMLA as opposed to concurrently takes 95% of the issues off the table. It has so far only come up in rare cases when employee have exhausted everything then need to apply for FMLA. The majority of Ballwin employees would not abuse this situation and to revert back to the former method is easier for everyone.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Anderson to accept Consent Item E. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Mayor Jones said, regarding Item A, DWI ordinance, it should not be prescribed in the ordinances what sort of arrest is lawful and what sort of arrest is unlawful. This should be left up to the defense attorneys to challenge the arrest. There are no other ordinances that say they have to be served by warrant or by summons, based upon whether the police officer witnesses the conduct or if somebody else witnesses it and an investigation ensues. He said it is not necessary to do this and he recommends not changing the ordinance. City Administrator Kuntz said that what is done by practice should not be dictated by procedure in the form of legislation. Adopt the practice as it would be done to keep up with any law enforcement trends, but don’t be tied down on a municipal ordinance that if it is not followed properly or is omitted, there is a no-way-out situation. Police Chief Biederman said that the only concern is that when the officers make the arrest within the 90-minute period, they would have to take the case to State court vs. the Municipal court. Mayor Jones said the State statute that says it can be done by warrant within 90 minutes is only a presumption. It doesn’t say it can’t be done if its not within 90 minutes. It should be left up to the defense council to raise. City Administrator Kuntz recommended further consideration of this issue. The Board was in agreement and no action was taken on this issue.
Commission Vacancies: Mayor Jones nominated Frank Karr, 457 Westglen Village Drive to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Mr. Karr is a Ward 4 resident and graduated from the Citizen’s Acacemy last Spring. He has served as a trustee in the Castle Pines Subdivision. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the nomination was approved.
Mayor Jones nominated Patrick O’Driscol to fill the vacancy on the Historical Commission. Mr. O’Driscol is a Ward 3 resident at 449 Ivywood Drive. He is a recent graduate of the Citizen Police Academy. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the nomination was approved.
Alderman Anderson said the Board had agreed that they wanted to meet with the Historical Commission at one of the upcoming Board of Aldermen meetings. Mayor Jones said he will invite Chairman Dot Andrews or another commission member to make a presentation before the end of the year.
TIF District: Mayor Jones said a letter was received from Bernard Izsak and Nathan Goldstein, owners of the former Ballwin Furniture Store at 14918 Manchester Road, which is part of the TIF district but was not part of the first phase that was developed as the Olde Towne Shopping Center. Mr. Izsak and Mr. Goldstein have asked that the Board consider vacating the TIF designation with respect to their property because they are having trouble getting long-term tenants and the other reasons set forth in their letter. Now that a large area has been developed, perhaps the TIF assistance for the other area is not necessary. Mayor Jones suggested that this be referred to a committee. Alderman Suozzi asked if the TIF Commission would have to reconvene to alter the TIF district. City Attorney Lucchesi said he does not believe that the Board of Aldermen is empowered to move properties in and out of the TIF district. He said this should be researched. Alderman Easter asked about the balance of the TIF district. Alderman Gatton said that this is not a good time to issue another Request for Proposal because the economy is not strong enough and there has been a lot of retail space created with the new Mills mall.
Mayor Jones asked City Administrator Kuntz and City Attorney Lucchesi to investigate what would be required to alter the TIF designation and give a report at the next meeting.
Blimpie’s Special Use Exception Transfer: Mayor Jones said this is a request to transfer the Special Use Exception from Blimpie’s restaurant to Penn State Subs, which is purchasing the Blimpie’s restaurant at 15250 Manchester Road in Dicken’s Plaza. The representative from Penn State Subs said the operation would be similar but with a slightly different style of sub. The hours will be 10:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Sundays.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Easter to approve the Special Use Exception transfer to Penn State Subs. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Ballwin Plaza Special Use Exception Transfer: Mayor Jones said that Weingarten has agreed to construct the sidewalk in front of Ballwin Plaza and the right-in, right-out turn movement. Alderman Buermann said this is a good example of how well the businesses in Ballwin work with the City. Alderman Gatton asked if approval has been obtained for the changes to the traffic signal to create two left turn lanes. City Administrator Kuntz said the existing signal cannot be modified. MoDOT has asked that this work be deferred until the impacts of the left turn limitations at the center island can be evaluated.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the Special Use Exception transfer to Weingarten Realty. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Manchester Road Sidewalks: City Administrator Kuntz suggested that the Board designate O.R. Colin as the right-of-way acquisition agent. This is a professional service contract. They have a successful track record in working with the City on the Ries Road project. They have an excellent reputation in right-of-way acquisitions. They are aware of the time constraints and deadlines. If this appointment is approved at this meeting, the MoDOT deadlines can be met to keep this project funded.
Alderman Buermann said that monthly progress reports should be provided to the Board. City Administrator Kuntz said that this will be done and he and City Engineer Kramer will be meeting with MoDOT weekly to receive a status report.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Robinson to appoint O.R. Colin Associates as the right-of-way acquisition agent for easements. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative vote and the motion was declared passed.
Surplus Property: City Administrator Kuntz explained that Ballwin owns a piece of surplus property at 202 Highview Drive. This property was transferred to Ballwin via a Trustee’s Deed in 1985. Ballwin used a portion of the site for a storm sewer project. This is an unbuildable lot and serves no public purpose. The property is on the edge of the creek. Mayor Jones said that the property is over ½ acre. City Administrator Kuntz said this property was a staging area for the construction and the City retains the gabion storm water right-of-way. Alderman Buermann said there are 9 property owners that abut this property. City Administrator Kuntz said that an adjoining property owner has tentatively approached Ballwin about obtaining a portion of this property.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton to authorize City Administrator Kuntz to proceed with notifying the abutting property owners of the offer for sale of the property known as 202 Highview and to post a “for sale” sign.
North Pointe Fee Adjustment: City Administrator Kuntz it is understood that these changes require an ordinance to amend the fee schedule. Mayor Jones said that the proposed policy of opening the North Point 15 minutes early to residents so that they can have first opportunity to use the lounge chairs is probably not going to be successful. This will become a troublesome situation for the staff. The North Pointe is available to non-residents and the opening time should be the same for all users. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that 30 additional lounge chairs will help with the situation. Alderman Robinson supports an early opening time for residents to reserve a lounge chair.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Anderson to approve the fee adjustments proposed for North Pointe. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
City Administrator Kuntz thanked Staff for the budget preparations. A third budget work session will not be necessary. A motion for legislation to draft the appropriate ordinances for the capital and operating budgets for 2004 will be needed, and an overview of the capital budget will be presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission at the December 1 meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to draft legislation to adopt the capital and operating budgets for 2004. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Property Tax: City Attorney Lucchesi said it is clear in the Hancock Amendment that the city is entitled to reinstitute the property tax rate that it had prior to the institution of the Hancock Amendment. The limit is an amount spread over the new tax base. If $10 was being collected at the time the Hancock Amendment was passed, the limit at this time is still to collect $10 spread out over a larger base even though the tax rate was approved at X%. Perhaps the same tax rate could be used over the property because it’s the same property just more of it. Whether that, in view of the annexations, will come about is a question, unless they had voted on a property tax prior to the time they were brought into the City. If that happened with the annexations, that vote could be used as a basis for imposing Ballwin’s tax rate.
Mayor Jones asked what was the tax base in 1980 when the Hancock Amendment was enacted. City Administrator Kuntz said in 1988, the tax was 27¢ and brought in approximately $240,000. If 27¢ is applied on today’s assessed valuation, it would be in excess of $1 million, therein lies the issue of the interpretation. Is the City only allowed to collect the aggregate that was in place, or allowed to apply the percentage creating a much larger base?
Mayor Jones said that Ballwin is 1 of only 16 out of 96 municipalities that do not collect a property tax. City Attorney Lucchesi said the 100% correct and indisputable way to impose 27¢ over everyone is to have another election.
Alderman Anderson asked about a committee to review Ballwin’s financial situation and the need for an outside objective analysis. Alderman Gatton agreed that a financial review citizen’s committee would be helpful. Mayor Jones asked that the aldermen make suggestions for committee members from their wards. Alderman Easter asked what qualifications are necessary for the committee members. City Administrator Kuntz said resumes with a thorough background in finance, investment, banking, etc. would be helpful. Mayor Jones said the candidates would have to understand how Ballwin’s expenses and revenues interact. City Administrator Kuntz said candidates would have to understand big picture concepts, trends, revenue diversification, creating a business plan. It’s a higher level of discussion. Alderman Buermann said that the City currently pays professional people in the A.G. Edwards company to do this for the City. Perhaps we are not taking full advantage of their services that we are paying for.
Mayor Jones said that one of the options is to cut services. In the bi-annual telephone survey, it was clear that residents did not want any services cut. If services are not going to be cut, then new revenues must be found. City Administrator Kuntz said that the retail economy is fragile and difficult to project long term. Alderman Anderson asked that a set of specifications be prepared for the next meeting outlining the criteria that will be used to select the committee members. A time table for the committee’s reports and suggestions should also be included.
A motion was made by Alderman B and seconded by Alderman E to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 7:54 p.m.
November 10, 2003