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 Budget Work Session and Meeting
Aldermen Budget Work Session and Meeting Agenda
City of Ballwin
The Budget Work Session for 2009 was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Mayor Young. In attendance were Aldermen Pogue, Terbrock, Buermann, Suozzi, Robinson, Lembke and Boerner. Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Chief of Police Schicker, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, City Engineer Kramer, and City Attorney Jones.
Alderman Lembke suggested considering the timing of the HVAC work to minimize damage to the new roof.
Alderman Terbrock suggested looking at DNR funding sources for alternate energy and on-site generation.
Mayor Young said there is a heat gain issue with the barrel / vault window at the Government Center. He said this needs to be addressed. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said this has not been included within the 5-year horizon of the Capital Improvement Plan.
City Administrator Kuntz said that there is a $100,000 contingency in each year to help address issues of cost overrun on a project.
Alderman Pogue believes that the full blown pedestrian activated signals along New Ballwin Road are too expensive and should not have been included in the Safe Route To School grant application. The less expensive solar powered units are all that he ever thought was necessary.
Alderman Boerner believes that Ballwin should allow the grant application to stand and move forward if the grant is approved. He suggested using the less expensive equipment as a fallback.
City Administrator Kuntz said that if there was an error and the Board wants to withdraw the proposal, he asked that the Board move accordingly tonight because the time frame for withdrawing and substituting an alternate proposal is very short.
Alderman Buermann asked, can the Public Works building/wall work be staged over time. City Engineer Kramer said yes, it could be done.
Alderman Terbrock asked, if the Holloway Road culvert deterioration is only related to the floor of the structure? City Engineer Kramer said the rebar must be repaired and a new floor poured, but the walls are not yet deteriorating. He said they would have to dam the creek and pump the water over to the other side to allow for construction.
Alderman Suozzi recommended that Ballwin investigate amending the “safe routes to school” proposal. City Engineer Kramer said he does not believe this could be done at this late date.
Alderman Lembke said he hopes to see more than a 30% increase in road work funding in 2009 over 2008. He would like to see the contingency reduced to increase expenditures.
Alderman Suozzi asked when Oakwood Farms streets will be on the list for improvements. City Engineer Kramer said 2011 is the target year at this point. Alderman Suozzi said she has a problem with Oakwood Farms Drive, much like Ward 3 had with Dutch Mill. She said this is too big of a project for one year.
Alderman Boerner said he agrees that the increase in funding for streets is smaller than he had expected. He suggested putting all of the new utility tax revenues into streets and reduce the amount later as the Operating budget needs are revealed.
Alderman Lembke said that Alderman Fleming would like to have more money put into streets.
Alderman Robinson said that staff should be informed now that the Board wants $400,000 - $600,000 more put into streets in 2009 and the Operating budget be adjusted accordingly.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the Operating budget cannot be cut by those amounts. It would require significant layoffs and associated service reductions to achieve this goal. The revenue sources are trending down. The increase in the utility taxes will have to affect this trend before the funds can be spent on new capital streets work.
Alderman Buermann said that there is really not much new money coming in. The increase in utility revenues will barely offset the declines in other revenue and the increases in operating costs.
Alderman Suozzi said that the issue is still revenues. There is not enough money to do the roadwork that the Board and community want
Alderman Lembke said he is curious about where the new money will be going in the Operating budget. He asked, will an extra $400,000 be enough to hold our own against the deterioration of the streets.
Alderman Robinson asked how much money is the Board asking to be cut from the Operating budget. He said that he does not want to cut people’s jobs for a small dollar amount.
Adjourn: The Work Session adjourned at 6:58 p.m., until after the regular Board of Aldermen meeting.
Alderman Lembke asked if the carport would be for all cars. Police Chief Schicker said this would be for 20 police vehicles.
Alderman Terbrock asked where the garage building would be placed. Police Chief Schicker said on or near the parking lot along the south edge.
Alderman Boerner asked what is the present maximum capacity of the holding facility. Police Chief Schicker said it presently accommodates up to seven adults.
Alderman Lembke said there could be some objections from the community to bringing in and housing undesirables from other jurisdictions.
PARKS & RECREATION
Alderman Terbrock asked if the pump is part of the irrigation system replacement for the Golf Course.
Mayor Young asked if there are any trail expenditures that have a potential for grant funding. City Administrator Kuntz said yes. There will be more grant funding for construction than for planning.
Alderman Boerner asked if the Golf Course fees are adequate to cover the costs of the proposed improvements. City Administrator Kuntz said not completely. Fees have to be kept competitive or play drops off.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
October 13, 2008
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:03 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the September 13 Ballwin/Ellisville Joint 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.
The Minutes of the September 22 Budget Work 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 passed.
The Minutes of the September 22 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. Alderman Suozzi amended page 5, paragraph 4 to eliminate her reference to 110 people. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Lembke said that Richland Meadows Drive was originally designed to have a security gate, which was promised by the Jones Company and approved by St. Louis County. He said that Richland Meadows was never intended to be a through street. When the Jones Company came back, they forced the issue and St. Louis County, against the subdivision’s and our recommendations, were told that this street could not have a gate. The Jones Company was told that Richland Meadows would have to go down to Kiefer Creek to be 39 feet wide. They said no because they would lose too many houses. He said that lots of people use Richland Meadows as a means of driving from New Ballwin Road to Kiefer Creek.
Police Chief Schicker said that traffic counts were conducted in this area in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. He said the average speed is 23 – 24 mph. City Administrator Kuntz said that since this problem and request is based on current conditions, he suggested that a new traffic study be conducted.
Alderman Robinson suggested reducing the standard speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph. He said that this is the responsible thing to do to show the residents that we are responsive to their needs. Police Chief Schicker said that in addition to traffic counts, other items considered are enforcement history and accidents involving pedestrian/motor vehicle data. The information is combined to form the final result. He said that if the speed limit is changed to 20 mph on Richland Meadows, the rest of the subdivision streets will have to be considered. Alderman Robinson said that if other subdivisions request their speed limit reduced to 20 mph, this can be done. He said there’s no harm to Ballwin for being responsive.
Alderman Lembke said that recently, Richland Meadows was designated as a double-fine zone. He asked what time of day do most of the problems occur. Mr. Dunn said that it is most prominent in the morning when the teenagers are going to school between 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., and then again between 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mr. Dunn said that this is not only teenagers, but also adults.
Alderman Lembke asked about the distance on Richland Meadows that Mr. Dunn is representing. He said that Westbrooke Woods starts at 1134 Richland Meadows and goes to the termination at Kiefer Creek. The balance of Richland Meadows consists of 5 or 6 houses and is part of Deer Creek Subdivision.
Alderman Lembke suggested a program of strictly enforcing the 25 mph speed limit. A ticket will be issued for any speed above 25 mph. Mr. Dunn said that, considering all of the factors, 20 mph is a safer speed. He said that the subdivision is considering installing their own automated speed reminder signs.
Dave Benedick, 1427 Richland Meadows: Mr. Benedick said that when the speed warning sign is present, everyone is driving slow, therefore, this is not a valid measurement of vehicle speeding. When a police officer was present in his vehicle, there was no problem with traffic. As after he left the area, the traffic problem increased again. Some cars are driving faster, until they see the sign, and then slow down.
Police Chief Schicker said that the traffic timing is done by a tube type counter without a radar device being used. There is a count of every vehicle that travels a specific route with the time, date and speed of travel in both directions. Radar trailers are Public Relations devices that have a wider angle because they are in the roadway and have a better angle of view. When an officer is sitting in a driveway or a side street, the angle is reduced and the distance to track that vehicle will be different, but the speed will be accurate. The traffic counter is the most accurate mechanism for measuring vehicle speeds.
Joy Strathman, 1134 Richland Meadows: Ms. Strathman said that even though the average reported speed may be 23 mph, some cars may be going 30 mph. She thanked Alderman Robinson for suggesting trying the 20 mph speed limit. She asked to not let the bureaucracy get in the way of doing the right thing.
Alderman Terbrock said that when he first became an Alderman, the Board was asked to reduce the speed limit on Valley Manor Drive. He said he was in favor of trying this. He asked if a city of the fourth class can arbitrarily pick the speed limits on its own streets. City Attorney Jones said yes. He said that he agrees with Alderman Robinson to give it a try to reduce the speed limit on Richland Meadows to 20 mph.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Boerner to draft legislation to reduce the speed limit on the entire length of Richland Meadows and Alverston Ct. from 25 mph to 20 mph.
Mayor Young said that an Alderman has asked that each Alderman be given the opportunity to speak on this issue.
Alderman Suozzi said that Richland Meadows is a double-fine zone street. What is the estimated number of streets in Ballwin that are double-fine zone streets that might also make the same request? City Administrator Kuntz said he believes that this won’t be limited to the double-fine zone streets, but will apply to every street in the city. Police Chief Schicker said that recommendations are set based on enforcement history and actual data from traffic studies. The historical data do not show that there is a speeding issue on this street. He said it is a double-fine zone and radar is used on a regular basis.
Alderman Suozzi asked on how many other streets could residents make this same request. She said there is a perception that the trailers are used as the speed counters. She said parked cars on a street are a benefit in slowing the speed because the pavement is more narrow and this is a form of traffic calming. She said that people also feel that a stop sign slows down traffic. What actually happens is that people drive fast, stop, and then race off. She cautioned the Board that this is a process that has been used for many years to conduct the traffic and speed counts. She said to reduce the speed limit to 20 mph and expect the officers to enforce it, is putting the cart before the horse.
Alderman Buermann said that he agrees with Alderman Suozzi. He said if the speed limit is going to be changed to 20 mph on Richland Meadows, it should be changed throughout the whole city. He said that 25 mph is standard throughout the community except in school zones. He requested data from the Police Department regarding Richland Meadows. He said that if a lot of street lights are going to be turned off, we may have to reduce the speed to 20 mph because driving will be more difficult.
Alderman Pogue said he believes there is a sign at the city limits at Baxter and Holloway that states the speed limit is 20 mph unless otherwise posted. City Engineer Kramer said he believes the sign states 25 mph unless otherwise posted.
Alderman Terbrock said that he can ride a bike down Richland Meadows at over 25 mph without pedaling. He said that this street is different than any other street in Ballwin because the grade is quite steep and long. He said that if the residents on Richland Meadows say the situation is dangerous, it’s probably dangerous. He said it’s even dangerous to ride a bike on that street. He suggested using Richland Meadows as a study. This does not have to be done on every street in Ballwin.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed to draft the legislation for consideration.
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. Water Tap
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Robinson to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Planning & Zoning Commission Vacancy: Mayor Young reported that Anna Hunter, from Ward 2, has resigned from the Planning & Zoning Commission. He said she worked on the Comprehensive Plan and has done a good job on the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Ward 2 Aldermen will make a recommendation for this position.
Historical Commission: Mayor Young said that the Commission raised $927 at the Barbeque Bash. At McAlister’s, $150 was raised for the school house. On October 25, the Commission will hold a book sale at The Pointe from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. to help raise funds for the school house. On October 29, Callier’s Deli will participate in raising funds for the school house from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Ellisville Pool Dedication: Mayor Young said he attended the Ellisville Pool dedication and Fall Festival. This was a very successful event.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Smart Lighting: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is a street light reduction plan that eliminates some of the mid-block fixtures but keeps the intersection and cul-de-sack lights. He introduced Ken Schmidt, with AmerenUE. Mr. Schmidt introduced Ameren’s Office Supervisor Debbie Bore, Engineer Adam McAlister, and Supervising Engineer Vernal Stocka.
City Administrator Kuntz said that staff divided the city into 10 zones. In the first section, there are 193 post top residential street lights. He said 105 were recommended for removal. The Police Department investigated and recommended that 10 of these lights be retained for safety considerations. If the Board approves this plan, there will be an informational meeting so that the residents can view the map. This would not be a Public Hearing, but just an information session to answer questions. A motion by the Board will be required to go forward. Before the end of the year, Ameren would disconnect the photo cell, but the fixture would stay in place for 2 or 3 months. Unless the residents or subdivision decides to pick up the monthly fees after that time, the fixture would be removed. The first phase would save the City about $1,548.75 per month, which is $18,585 for the year. Multiplied by 10, the City would save approximately $185,000 on the street light bill.
Alderman Robinson said that the City is paying each month for the pole. Mr. Schmidt said that the charges are standard charges. Alderman Robinson said that we have more than paid for the cost of the pole. We are paying for the electricity, but why is Ballwin still paying for the pole? Mr. Schmidt said that Ballwin does not have to pay if anything happens to the light. Ameren makes the repair.
Alderman Robinson said that it would be cheaper for Ballwin to make the pole repair or replacement if a pole is damaged instead of continuing to pay Ameren monthly for the pole. City Administrator Kuntz said that all of the poles are over 10 years old and would be removed at no cost to the City. Mayor Young said that Ballwin has paid for the poles, therefore, the poles should not be taken out. Alderman Lembke said that we have been only renting the poles. The poles were not paid for by the developer or subdivision when they were installed. UE laid the cable and installed the poles with a charge per month for each pole. Since the City took over the streets, the City has been paying rent for the pole for 30 or 40 years.
Alderman Robinson said that once the pole has been paid for, it should stop. He said that AmerenUE is getting a windfall. This is not fair to the City.
Mr. Schmidt said that there are 131 ornamental poles. There are 1,800 post-top lights consist of the light fixture, bulb, eye. He said the only pole charge are for the 131 ornamental poles. Part of the cost is the initial installation, maintenance, or replacement of the pole. If it is possible to determine who hit or did damage to the pole, that individual’s insurance company would be responsible to pay for the damage.
Alderman Lembke used the light in front of his house as an example. For 19 years, the price has been $18 per month for the light pole. Electricity costs about $5, the pole has never been hit, the bulb was replaced one time in 19 years. This fixture is fully amortized and paid for. The payment now is for electricity, a bulb every 9 or 10 years, and very expensive insurance that if the pole is hit and our Police Department cannot provide the name of the person who knocked it over, Ameren will have to cover the cost of the pole. Alderman Lembke asked if this is correct. Mr. Schmidt said yes. Alderman Lembke said that Ameren’s prices are way out of line.
Alderman Lembke said that when a pole is installed, a contract should state that for the first 10 years, $18 will be charged. When it is fully amortized, the price will be reduced to $9 or $7. He said if Ameren does not want to do this, Ameren should sell the poles to Ballwin. We will buy the electricity from Ameren and make all of the repairs. He said that we cannot continue to pay $430,000 per year for street lights. We are also told by Ameren that there is going to be a $40,000 increase in 2009.
Mr. Schmidt said that some poles are replaced repeatedly. Some damage is by storms or trees. He said that Ameren’s cost for street lighting, consisting of poles, fixtures, eyes, bulbs, is taken to the Missouri Public Service Commission. Expense and charges are provided in the report. The upcoming rate increase proposal is for 12%. Ameren has gone over 20 years without adjusting any of these prices. Last year’s 3% increase was the first one in 20 years for street lighting. This is an increase across the board. He said that the Missouri Public Service Commission will not allow Ameren to receive a windfall.
Alderman Lembke said he would like to see the date that was submitted. It cannot be justified charging the same price of a fixture installed a week ago and a fixture installed 19 years ago with only one bulb change. Mr. Schmidt said that some are like that and there others that require constant maintenance. He said that no mater where the light is located in Ameren’s territory, it’s the same price. Mr. Schmidt said the actual post top price is $14.75 per month, including the electricity.
Alderman Suozzi said that it costs the city over $430,000 to operate the street lights. She said that the Board has asked AmerenUE over the last several months in correspondence for help in addressing this expense. Ameren has a captive audience. We can only receive these services from Ameren. She said that Ballwin cannot continue to provide this service at this high cost. She said there has been no flexibility on Ameren’s side to try to help municipalities. We want to have the streets lit, but this cannot be done at the cost of $430,000 per year. This is the reason that the plan to turn off street lights is being presented. We did not get a response from Ameren, no solution regarding solar lighting, or energy efficient lighting. The response was basically, this is what we have, this is what you will pay for. She said the only way to cut the budget is to come up with a plan that the residents will say, despite the reality, Ballwin is turning off their street lights and the resident is not happy about it. She said that when residents were annexed into the City, we paid for the installation, not Ameren. Ameren even made it more difficult by saying that the wire had to be put in the ground in conduit, which increased the cost by three times. She said this Board is angry and frustrated because we need $3 million to repair the streets, and we are spending $430,000 to light the city, and Ameren isn’t talking to us.
Mr. Schmidt said he respectfully disagreed. He said he has been talking to City Administrator Kuntz. Several different options were considered. The up front cost to install LED lighting outweighs any savings you would get for the lower usage. Distributors were consulted. He said he provided a report on a pilot project on the west coast. He said if you want to install solar lights, Ameren will gladly remove their lights. The technology is not quite ready for this. He said he is not using the Public Service Commission as a crutch. They watch Ameren’s expenditures because Ameren is a monopoly and you don’t have a choice of another power company.
Alderman Suozzi said that perhaps City Administrator Kuntz should contact the Public Service Commission. Mr. Schmidt said this can be done. Alderman Suozzi asked about selling the poles to the City. Mr. Schmidt said that if the city would like to install the lights in a subdivision, Ameren can remove their poles, Ballwin can install their own, and Ameren will meter. He said that the upfront cost is high.
Alderman Suozzi said that Mr. Schmidt repeatedly refers to the lights as Ameren’s lights. On paper, that’s true. She said that because Ballwin has paid for the lights over and over again, they are actually Ballwin’s lights. If they aren’t, the lights should be sold to Ballwin for a minor cost.
Alderman Terbrock said that the proposed plan is about redundancy. If two lights are too close together, one can be eliminated. He said that we have asked AmerenUE to help with this situation, and the response was that it was going to cost to eliminate the lights. There was a cost to install lights that was higher if Ameren did this, and less if Ballwin installed the lights. He said that this price should cover purchasing the light and installation.
Alderman Terbrock said that in Coachlight Subdivision, the lights are decorative. Mr. Schmidt said that the developer installs the conduit, and Ameren sets the pole and light fixture. The pole belongs to Ameren unless it is an ornamental pole, which he will check into this.
Alderman Boerner referenced a report by an Ameren partner that LED lighting is coming into its own and has become economically feasible. The LED can save 50% on the electricity. The bulbs cost three times as much. The payback would take a short period of time. He suggested spending $4,000 or $5,000 to hire a knowledgeable Ballwin advocate for an analysis and report to provide options to the Board for a decision. Mr. Schmidt said that there are some municipalities that have lighting that they have installed and maintain. Ameren does the metering. Alderman Boerner said that spending money to become informed regarding the options would be a worthwhile expenditure. Mr. Schmidt said there are limits to what he can do and there are rules and regulations that he has to abide by.
Mr. Schmidt said that there are 1,833 post top luminairs at $14.75 per month, including the electricity. There are ornamental pole charges, there are 2,500 high pressure sodium directional lights, open bottom lights, 108 9,500 high pressure sodium enclosed, 178 6,800 mercury vapor post top lights, etc.
Alderman Robinson said that when Ameren has finished amortizing the value of a pole, the charge should stop. To continue paying for a pole that has been there, other than replacement charges and maintenance, is not acceptable. The cost of removing the pole will exceed the value of the pole. He asked for a solution to reduce the unit cost.
Mr. Schmidt said that the prices charged are the prices that are posted state-wide. Alderman Robinson said that Ameren can charge less than the current price. Mr. Schmidt said that the fees have been reviewed and all conditions combined when the fees are determined. This is designed to recover Ameren’s cost with a component for profit. He said he can provide a report showing this information. Alderman Robinson asked if this is a commitment to provide this information. Mr. Schmidt said yes. Alderman Robinson asked for a timetable. Mr. Schmidt said he needs a couple of weeks or 30 days. Alderman Robinson agreed.
Mayor Young asked for legal council to explain why the poles can’t be given or sold to Ballwin, or maintained by Ballwin. He asked to see this in writing.
Alderman Lembke asked that the Ameren staff consider a menu of options that may commence after a certain number of years. After a fixture has been in place for 10 years, the City be given an option for the price of the power only. The City would be responsible for the fixture, photo sensor, bulb, or the pole being knocked down, and a price for the power. A car can be leased with various options, and street lights should have a similar menu. He said that street lights in Ballwin are being lumped together with 60 – 80 year old fixtures in other places. Ballwin is subsidizing those fixture because they need frequent maintenance, or fixtures that were recently installed in other areas that had a large installation charge. The 20-year old lights in our area are probably already paid for.
Mr. Schmidt said this is correct. Ameren’s rates, approved through the State, combines all of the street light costs together. It is not based on an individual light. It’s all of the lights and cost put together to come up with a monthly rate. Alderman Lembke said that it is not fair for the city to be subsidizing someone else’s ability to have street lights. He said that if someone at AmerenUE wanted to address this issue, they would meet with the Public Service Commission and figure out a way to do this.
Mayor Young said that an Ameren report will be provided for the November 10 Board meeting with Ameren representatives present. Mr. Schmidt agreed.
Alderman Boerner said that this is a $472,000 issue. He again suggested paying a consultant to review the options, who will provide all of the information in order for the Board to make an informed decision. He said that the City cannot rely on the information received from Ameren.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner to hire a consultant to evaluate an analysis, perform a cost study, and present the options to the Board. The consultant would negotiate on our behalf with Ameren.
An amendment to the motion was suggested by Alderman Lembke to direct staff to develop specifications and request proposals from contractors or consultants that will provide the needed information with a cost-analysis study. Alderman Boerner changed his motion accordingly.
City Administrator Kuntz said that he has been in touch with the referenced consultant. He intends to meet with him as soon as possible. City Administrator Kuntz said that after the current information is provided to the consultant, that the consultant provide a proposal, which will then be submitted to the Board.
Mayor Young said that there is no need to go out to bid for a consultant since City Administrator Kuntz is already in the process of doing this.
The motion was seconded by Alderman Lembke.
Mayor Young restated the motion for clarification, which is to draft information and put out for a proposal, and continue waiting for two or three meetings before the information is received from these companies to be presented to the Board for consideration.
Alderman Boerner said that the Ameren representative is not the City’s advocate and he has been instructed to bring proposals to the Board. He will not present solutions that are in our best interest. He said he wants our own consultant to provide answers with a cost analysis so that an informed decision can be made as to what should be done.
Alderman Terbrock said it is his understanding that the Board has all of the information and has made a decision. He asked if he is wrong in this understanding. Alderman Boerner said yes.
A voice vote was taken with the following result: Ayes: Boerner, Lembke, Robinson. Nays: Pogue, Terbrock, Buermann, Suozzi. The motion failed by a vote of 3 – 4.
Intergovernmental Agreement: City Administrator Kuntz said this is the cost sharing agreement that was discussed at the Ballwin/Ellisville Joint Meeting on September 13. He said that Ballwin’s share is 29% of the 20% match, which is $46,400. He suggested that this be a cap with the five participating cities.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann to proceed with a participation of $46,400 and not to exceed this amount.
Alderman Lembke asked if it was agreed to give equal weight to both the linear footage and the population. City Administrator Kuntz said he was directed at the meeting to meet with the other City Administrators and come up with a recommended formula. It seemed that a blend of population and linear benefit footage was the most equitable. This was the combined recommendation.
Abstain: Alderman Suozzi abstained from the discussion and voting on this item.
The motion was seconded by Alderman Lembke. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Alderman Suozzi abstained from the vote.
Sign Upgrades (Park Signs): City Administrator Kuntz said that Alderman Fleming had asked that digital signs be investigated. City Administrator Kuntz recommended that digital signs not be purchased due to the high cost.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to accept staff’s recommendation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Vehicle Replacement: City Administrator Kuntz said that City Engineer Kramer has recommended the purchase of a certified pre-owned 2006 Ford Escape (20,546 miles, $15,300) with trade-in of the 1996 Jeep Cherokee. Extensive research has been done on this item. Alderman Robinson asked about the purpose of the vehicle. City Administrator Kuntz said the vehicle is used on inspections of grading and construction sites. City Engineer Kramer said that the vehicle has enclosed secure storage for equipment and drawings. Alderman Robinson doesn’t think another 4-wheel drive vehicle is needed.
Alderman Buermann asked about the warranty coverage. City Engineer Kramer said that the warranty is 3 years, 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the staff recommendation for the purchase of the vehicle. A voice vote was taken with the following result:
Mini Surveys: City Administrator Kuntz said that the suggestion is to initiate a customer feedback section in the Resident Newsletter. He said the first topic could be the mosquito fogging program to find out how the program was perceived in the city. The results of the survey could then be published in the next Newsletter. The next question could be about the use of 3 eight-hour shifts instead of 2 twelve-hour shifts for snow plowing. What is the public perception, what is their reaction? He said that the mini surveys would also be published on the website.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to publish the mini surveys in the Resident Newsletter and website. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Lawsuit: City Attorney Jones said that a lawsuit was filed by the ACLU of Eastern Missouri to challenge a part of the overhaul of the registered sex offenders statute in the State of Missouri. This amendment requires a registered sex offender to turn their lights off on Halloween night, post a sign that says there are no candy or treats available at this residence, and also to refrain from any Halloween related activity. The City of Ballwin is one of the communities that houses one of the registered sex offenders. Police Chief Schicker was named as a defendant since he is in charge of enforcing the laws within the City of Ballwin. Maryland Heights is the other St. Louis Community named. He said the plaintiffs have asked for an expedited briefing schedule. If Ballwin does little or nothing, the Attorney General’s office and the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office will adequately brief these issues. He said he can piggyback onto those filings, or take a more active role. He asked for Board guidance of its position in this lawsuit. He said that the law must be enforced as written. He said that he believes he can limit his work and monitor the situation to make sure that what needs to be done is done. The Board agreed.
Meadowbrook Streets Inspections: Alderman Robinson said that it is the perception by the Meadowbrook Country Club Estates residents that Ballwin will take the streets back after they have been repaired. He believes that the street work needs to be inspected and certified to meet minimum standards before Ballwin take the streets back. He said that 10 years from now the Board could be dealing with streets that are falling apart because it should not have accepted them back. The only way to determine the quality of repairs being done is to have an inspection process. He said that City Attorney Jones has stated that we do not have any authority to do this on private property, and has recommended against this. Alderman Robinson suggested forming an agreement to select an independent contractor that is paid by Meadowbrook so that the Board can review the report when they petition the City to take the streets back.
City Attorney Jones said that this is a different situation than a developer constructing the streets in the beginning. When a subdivision plat is adopted, it contains a statement that these are to become public streets and a set of specifications that are to be followed. There is an expectation and interim inspections are performed. If the Meadowbrook Trustees provided a directive in writing that they intend to offer the streets back to Ballwin, and a willingness on the Board’s part to consider the acceptance of the streets, then this can be treated much like a developer that is installing a new street, with the interim inspections. Without those documents, their request and the Board’s willingness to consider it, he said we should not be inspecting the Meadowbrook streets.
Alderman Robinson asked if this process can be initiated. City Attorney Jones said that staff can be directed to contact Meadowbrook and say, “tell us that you want us to someday consider taking back the streets”. City Administrator Kuntz said that Meadowbrook did not include this in the negotiations. He said that the work being done at this time was discovered simply by driving by.
City Administrator Kuntz said that if Meadowbrook hires an inspector, the inspector will be working for Meadowbrook, not for the City. The city cannot send public people on private property. To obtain an objective assessment, is to pay for it and not have Meadowbrook pay for it. Unless there is an expectation, how do you justify spending public funds on private property.
City Attorney Jones said that he would prefer city staff do the inspections if there is a request from Meadowbrook to take the streets back in a definitive document that says “We intend to reconstruct these streets to city standards. Assuming we do that, we are going to offer them back to the City of Ballwin.” The Board then says that we are willing to consider those streets, assuming that we can inspect the streets intermittently throughout the process. He said if this happens, the streets could be treated like a new development with private streets that are to become public.
Mayor Young asked how this can be done since the work has already begun. City Attorney Jones said that he hopes it’s not too much.
Alderman Terbrock said that the perception of the Meadowbrook residents during the negotiations with the City was that Ballwin was not willing to work with them, and they probably feel that we are not going to take back the streets. The Meadowbrook streets are not built to Ballwin standards. If what is currently there is repaved without proper rebuilding of the base of the streets, it won’t work. City Administrator Kuntz said that they are microsurfacing and milling. In order for milling to be effective, replacement of defective slabs is necessary. Covering is quicker and cheaper and when covered, defective slabs cannot be seen.
Alderman Terbrock said that if this was a new subdivision, Ballwin would not accept the streets because they are not Ballwin standards of width and curb and gutters. Resurfacing the current streets will not meet the criteria for acceptance.
City Administrator Kuntz said that we made the interpretation that if they were to resurface the streets and stay within the existing parameters, it was maintenance rather than reconstruction. If they reconstructed the streets, they would have to totally eliminate, down to dirt, reconstruction based on current city standards, which means they have to be made wider. He said that City Attorney Jones could be authorized to make contact with the Meadowbrook Trustees, or City Engineer Kramer can contact them. If they are agreeable, pre-authorization can be given. If they say no, they do not want Ballwin inspections on their streets, there’s nothing that can be done. City Attorney Jones agreed.
Alderman Terbrock said that he does not want the Meadowbrook residents to think that we are interfering and telling them how the repairs should be done. If we send an inspector to inspect the streets, we are merely taking information and not giving instruction. Alderman Robinson said that if they are not told that if certain slabs are not replaced, the City cannot accept the streets back, this will take us back to 1997.
City Attorney Jones said that if 50% of the slabs need to be replaced, and they decide to only replace 20% of them, this will have to be considered at the time the petition is presented to take the streets back.
Alderman Pogue said that if Ballwin inspections are made, any deficiencies can be noted in the report. This information can be referred to if Ballwin is asked to take the streets back. The slabs that may be covered already, we won’t know. If the inspector notes slabs that should be replaced, and the slabs are quickly covered over, it will be obvious that the slabs were not replaced. City Engineer Kramer said that they will not replace a slab one day and then pave the next. They must wait for the concrete to cure.
Alderman Lembke said that he believes that the Meadowbrook Trustees will ask for the street to be accepted back into Ballwin. It was based on our good faith agreement with them that we had every intention to do this. He asked how evidence will be provided that the work was done properly and in a workmanship way? He said there’s only one way and that is for inspections to be made. At this point, the Meadowbrook Trustees should be made aware that we are uncomfortable with this, a report should be made, or be allowed to use our own inspectors. It won’t cost them anything to have our inspectors make detailed reports with photographs. If we don’t have this, as much as he was 100% committed to accepting the streets after their work is done, he said he may not be able to vote in favor of accepting the streets.
Alderman Lembke said that someone should make contact with the Meadowbrook Trustees as soon as possible and ask them what evidence are they going to present to the Board that all work was done to Ballwin standards, if they expect the Board to accept the streets back.
City Attorney Jones said that the problem was that we did not want to commit this Board or future Boards to taking the streets back after they were reconditioned. Therefore, it was impossible to put that mechanism into the agreement. He said we knew this would become a problem, but this is the reason it was not put into the agreement. He said that we should make them aware of the fact that they need to do whatever they can to make the Ballwin city staff comfortable about the quality of the streets or the recommendation from staff to the Board will be negative.
Alderman Lembke asked, can we tell them that if they will allow our inspectors, at no charge to them, to be witnessed to and document what they are going, that will provide us with a level of comfort. City Attorney Jones said yes.
Alderman Buermann asked, can we spend our employee’s time on a street that is not ours? City Attorney Jones said we can if they state affirmatively that they are going to bring the streets to us for acceptance. It’s no different than a developer who is putting in private streets and offering them to the City for public acceptance. Alderman Robinson said that the Meadowbrook Trustees did that in various meetings. He said the question is if this should be in writing. City Attorney Jones said that he would rather have it in writing.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to follow the advice of legal council, and have staff contact the Meadowbrook Trustees regarding the inspection process. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Street Complaints: Alderman Buermann asked that the Board be furnished with documentation of all street complaints, since difficult decisions will have to be made in the future. This is not regarding Meadowbrook streets. City Engineer Kramer said that Public Works has most of this information. Alderman Buermann said that he does not get lots of calls reporting that the streets are terrible. He asked that the report be provided to the Board.
FEMA: Alderman Suozzi said that if anyone hears anything about FEMA providing any sort of relief from Hurricane Ike, this would be helpful. There is one section of the city that MSD has declined assistance. There was an overcharged sewer. MSD said it was storm water that caused the problem. The resident has been told that the City cannot provide assistance, but perhaps FEMA can. Mayor Young said that University City and Ladue has had contact with FEMA as a result of Hurricane Ike.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn to complete the budget meeting. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:26 p.m.
WALTER S. YOUNG, MAYOR