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
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
January 12, 2009
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:02 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the December 8, 2008 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Fee Waiver Request: Mayor Young introduced Chris Ferrari, contractor, and representing Mike and Kate Treese, on 207 Lark Hill. Due to a serious paralyzing and progressive illness, modifications must be made to the house so that Mike can continue to live at his residence for as long as possible. He said that all of the construction, materials, and labor are being donated. Recently, funds for their medical expenses were raised at Holy Infant Church. He said that permits have been submitted and a side yard variance for a covered parking area will be necessary. He asked that the $500 variance submittal fee and all permit fees be waived.
Alderman Suozzi said that newspaper publication is required for Board of Adjustment petitions, which is one of the reasons the $500 fee is charged at the time of filing. She asked if fees can be waived in this situation. City Attorney Jones said that the Board can waive the fees with proper cause. He said that if the $500 fee is waived, Ballwin will be paying for the ad which must be published 15 days before the meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to waive the $80 fee for the building permits and Board of Adjustment petition fee.
Alderman Lembke said that the total amount of fees in three phases being waived would be approximately $660.
Alderman Pogue amended the motion to waive all fees for this project. Alderman Terbrock seconded the amendment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
BILL # 3558 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 18 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN FEES.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3558. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3558 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a second reading of Bill No. 3558. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3558 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3558 with the following results:
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3559. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3559 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. 3559. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3559 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3559 with the following results:
BILL # 3560 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION OF OVERLAY DISTRICTS WITHIN THE ZONING ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a first reading of Bill No. 3560. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3560 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3560. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3560 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3560 with the following results:
RECOGNITION: Mayor Young gave recognition to Drew Ketting and Peter Ketting, Troup 67 and Troup 627, Holy Infant Church, who are working on their Communications and Merit badges.
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. Police Vehicles (Replacement of 5 police cars – low state bid - $96,500)
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Closed Session – Personnel: Mayor Young said there will be a Closed Session after the Board meeting to discuss personnel.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Refuse Collection Update: City Administrator Kuntz said that Allied Waste is still working on their proposal for refuse collection. Ballwin is still paying the 2007 rate at this time.
Employee Health Insurance: City Administrator Kuntz said that effective April 1, there will be a 4.83% rate increase. He said that the Board previously authorized budgeting 6%.
City Clerk: City Administrator Kuntz recommended that legislation be drafted to transfer the City Clerk designation to Marie Clark, who currently performs most of these duties. She will also coordinate the City’s Liquor Licenses and renewals. City Administrator Kuntz and Assistant City Administrator Aiken will serve as deputies under this plan.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke to draft legislation to transfer the City Clerk designation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Board Retreat: City Administrator Kuntz recommended a work session, which is traditionally conducted in January or February, regarding fiscal planning for future economic emergencies. The Board tentatively agreed to conduct the session on February 7. City Attorney Jones said that most of the topics at a work session are conducted in an open meeting. If real estate or personnel is discussed, a closed session could be used at that time.
Alderman Terbrock said that this is an opportunity to save money. He recommended purchasing a certified pre-owned trade-in from a lease contract with approximately 25,000 miles. He said that the Chief’s car is a commuter car that is not used in strenuous police activity. The savings could be $4,000 - $5,000. He said that by purchasing a pre-owned, certified, GM car, there is an extra 12 months on the warranty with an extended factory warranty. He said the vehicle from the State bid, is a strip-down basic car. The pre-owned certified car will most likely have more comfortable features with the cost savings. Alderman Terbrock said that it would also show community support to purchase a vehicle from a dealer in the City of Ballwin.
Alderman Terbrock said that ELCO Chevrolet has a certified pre-owned vehicle for $11,900. He said the maintenance and condition of the car meets a certain standard in order to be sold as certified.
Alderman Suozzi said that the vehicle to be purchased should also provide good gas mileage.
Alderman Lembke suggested that the vehicle have less than 30,000 miles, be certified, and sell for approximately $12,000, and be purchased locally.
Alderman Boerner said he agrees with Alderman Terbrock’s suggestion. There is an Enterprise Leasing vehicle for $11,300, which is a substantial difference in price from the $17,027 new vehicle.
Alderman Robinson recommended that if Chief Schicker finds a good deal on a pre-owned, certified car, he should not have to wait until the next Board meeting for approval and possibly lose the good deal on the car. City Attorney Jones suggested that a maximum limit on the purchase should be decided.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Lembke to authorize local purchase of a pre-owned, certified, vehicle with a cap of $13,500. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Street Assessment: City Administrator Kuntz recommended that the author of the Street Assessment make a presentation to the Board and answer questions, since there are different interpretations of the report.
Alderman Fleming suggested that this presentation be made at the next Board meeting. If further discussion is necessary, another presentation could be made at the work session. The Board agreed.
Brush Pickup: City Administrator Kuntz recommended that the curbside Spring brush pickup be discontinued. He said this is a labor intensive project for a full week. There is a need for the supplemental assignment of personnel from Public Works. The program is coordinated by the Parks Department.
Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that additional equipment does not have to be rented because the equipment is shared with the City of Manchester.
Alderman Suozzi said that she and the neighbors on her street love this program. The utility tax was increased to cover the expense of some of the services that the residents enjoy. She said that senior citizens benefit from the leaf vacuuming. Leaf removal is more difficult for them than removal of a Christmas tree.
City Administrator Kuntz said that he is not suggesting the elimination of storm clean up. This is an act of nature that occurs suddenly, with structural issues, and creates a hardship.
Alderman Robinson said that storm brush pickup should not be done at all because some people abuse the service by adding brush and limbs that were not part of the storm damage. He said that residents can use private enterprise to remove storm damage. He said that Ballwin cannot afford to provide this service any longer. He said that we cannot afford to purchase a new car for the Police Chief; the real estate tax did not pass; a substantial amount of the utility tax is being used for the sub-grade streets. There’s going to be a price increase in the trash collection. He said that we must cut back somewhere. Cutting back the brush service should be done.
Alderman Buermann said that a lot of people use the Spring brush pickup, but he agrees that the Christmas tree pick up is a duplication of service and should be eliminated. The residents should be reminded of the guidelines for the brush pickup so that it is not abused. He said the brush pickup should be continued. He is having a difficult time explaining to people why Ballwin increased the utility tax, but is still trying to cut services.
Alderman Boerner said that if there is going to be a savings on the brush pickup, the number of people doing this job would have to be cut.
City Administrator Kuntz said that discontinuing the service is eliminating duplication. He said this is more symbolic than offering an actual dollar savings.
Alderman Fleming suggested keeping the program. He noted that the personnel are working on other projects when the brush pickup is not being conducted.
Alderman Lembke said that the brush pickup is a non-essential service, a duplication, and should be eliminated. He said that the Board has been making cuts for seven years, and hardly anyone knows what those cuts are. The real estate tax failed and people said we have too much money. He said that cuts should be made where it shows.
Alderman Pogue said that significant cuts have not been made. A question that someone asked at a subdivision meeting was why does Ballwin still do the leaf pickup? A resident responded, “Because we are Ballwin; we are not like the rest. These services make Ballwin who we are.” He said that a great savings is not going to be accomplished by eliminating the brush pickup. This is a good service and highly utilized, and the service should continue.
Alderman Boerner said that if a service is going to be discontinued and advertised as a savings, it should be that dollar amount savings and not just symbolic. He said if a service is eliminated and the same amount of cost is still there, this does not make sense. If it is stated that $250,000 is going to be saved by eliminating the leaf collection program, and it equates to zero savings, he said this is not acceptable.
City Administrator Kuntz said that over the years, cost savings has been accomplished by cross training personnel. He said $250,000 is only going to be saved if the people that are hauling the leaves away, bill the people who use the service and reimburse the City for the money. The cost is transferred from the general fund. A revenue source of $250,000 offsets the expenditures.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann to maintain the brush pickup program, and eliminate the Christmas tree pickup program. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Buermann, Suozzi, Fleming, Robinson, Lembke, Boerner. Nay: Pogue, Terbrock.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Case Update: City Attorney Jones said that this afternoon an answer was filed in the Halloween sexual offender restrictions lawsuit. About two hours later, the plaintiffs dismissed the case. “John Doe” moved out of the City of Ballwin.
Ballwin is being sued by T-Mobil regarding the cell phone gross receipts tax. This is still being litigated and there is a settlement conference set for January 30. The case is set for trial in November, 2009. More information will be available at the February 9 Board meeting. T-Mobil has chosen Ballwin and about 20 other cities because they think there may be some irregularities in the ordinances that were enacted.
Jefferson City: Alderman Pogue reported that he and Alderman Robinson met with some of the State Representatives and Senators. They discussed with Senator Jane Cunningham the issue regarding street lights and the discussions that were held with AmerenUE.
Local Vendor Discount: Alderman Pogue said in the past, the purchasing policy gave a small advantage to local vendors. When the bid process was conducted, the local vendor could have a higher price and still be awarded the purchase due to the local percentage advantage. Alderman Pogue suggested that the Chairman of the Finance & Administration Committee discuss this at a future meeting of the committee. Alderman/Chairman Suozzi agreed.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:45 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 9:30 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 9:32 p.m.
Mayor Young announced that the Board met in closed session to discuss the performance evaluation of the City Administrator and other appointed officials. No votes were taken.
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 9:34 p.m.
WALTER S. YOUNG, MAYOR