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 Retreat
A Board of Aldermen Retreat will be held on February 8, 2014 at 8:00 a.m., in the Board Room of the Donald “Red” Loehr Police & Court Center, 300 Park Drive.
The session will focus on policies and future directions in 2014 and the next 5-year period.
All meetings are open to the public and the building is handicapped accessible.
Residents of Ballwin are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the programs and services of the City of Ballwin regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, national origin or political affiliation. If you are a person requiring assistance, please call (636) 227-8580 (V) or (636) 527-9200 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2966 (Relay Missouri) no later than 5:00 P.M. on the third business day preceding the hearing. Offices are open between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.
CITY OF BALLWIN BOARD RETREAT AGENDA
1. Call to Order --- Mayor Pogue
2. Deer Control
Break 10:00 a.m.
5. Ballwin Days Overview
6. Future Improvements --- Needs and Wants
7. Future Finances
9. Adjourn --- Noon
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN RETREAT
THE MINUTES ARE PREPARED IN SUMMARY TO REFLECT THE OVERALL DISCUSSIONS,
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 8:00 a.m.
Also in attendance were:
Deer Control: Mr. Lou Salamone, from Suburban Bow Hunters gave an overview of Ballwin’s municipal hunting program, after a full year of experience with the program. He said in 2013, 45 deer were killed. In the unincorporated area south of Kiefer Creek, 4 deer were killed. In 2012, there were 28 deer killed, which was half of the hunting time that was allowed in 2013. He said that right now, they are in the reduce program, which is a lot of work. After that, it becomes a maintenance program, which becomes fun. The goal is to reduce the deer population. In a couple more years, the maintenance phase will be started. The deer meat is donated to the Bethel Church.
Regarding the deer hunter harassment laws, Mr. Salamone said that other competitive hunters could be interfering with the process. Some people may have been hunting in the area for years, and now, the Suburban Bow Hunters are authorized to hunt in the same area. As a result sometimes they steal equipment. Some kind of awareness publication would be helpful.
Alderman Boland asked how many deer should be killed each season to start with the maintenance program? Alderman Terbrock said that when one doe is killed, that removes 3 next year because she will most likely have twins. Mr. Salamone said after a couple of years, the deer population will be at a manageable number, especially if they can hunt in the Castle Pines/Woodside Trails area. There are a lot of woods in that area. It’s estimated that at least 50 deer per year will be killed for the next 2 years. Not all deer are being killed.
Alderman Harder suggested and Alderman Dogan agreed that identification should be issued to the authorized deer hunters. Mayor Pogue asked if the registered hunters are required to carry authorization in case they are asked about this. Police Chief Schicker said it is recommended that they do this. Mr. Salamone said he has instructed his hunters to carry the authorization with them, as they must do in Wildwood.
Snow Removal Policy: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is the first year that we have gotten aggressive regarding parked cars on streets during snow events.. Alderman Harder asked how many tickets were issued due to parking on streets during snow storms. Police Chief Schicker said there were 42 citations issued during the last snow storm, and 63 citations issued for parking over 24 hours. These were issued 2 days after the event. He said that as much as possible, residents are contacted to move their cars off the streets. They focus on steep grades and curves that would create a hazard, rather than cars parked on straight roadways. Residents that agreed to move their cars, only received a verbal warning. Those that refused to move their cars were given a citation. Some didn’t answer the knock on the door and therefore received citations. It’s difficult to knock on everyone’s door and tell them to move their car. For years, articles have been placed in the City newsletter regarding street parking during snow accumulation of 2 inches or more, it’s on the City’s website, and e-mails are sent to those on the notifica-tion list. Public Works estimated that over 500 cars were parked on the street during the last large storm.
City Administrator Kuntz said that perhaps the 2 inch criteria should be reduced to 1 inch because by the time the snow depth reaches 2 inches, the Police are already receiving calls. Police Chief Schicker said that at this time, tickets cannot be issued until there are at least 2 inches of snow on the ground. By that time, they are very busy receiving and responding to other storm-related calls for service.
Mayor Pogue said that the number of residents parking on streets during snow has increased in all sub-divisions. Police Chief Schicker said that it’s easier and much faster to issue tickets than to get out of the car, knock on doors, and attempt to notify the resident to move the car. Some people have 2 or 3 car garages, no cars parked in the driveway, and 1 or 2 cars parked on the street. Historically, a soft approach has been used on this issue, but that is no longer possible because it is not working.
Alderman Fleming said that issuing tickets has become the right approach. He asked that the parking distance in relation to an intersection at all times, not just during snow storms, should be added for consideration. City Attorney Jones said the distance established by the ordinance is 15 feet.
City Administrator Kuntz said that a revision to the policy regarding street parking during snow storms can be prepared for Board consideration.
Government Center Options: City Administrator Kuntz said there is no longer a commercial interest in the Government Center and the JB Automotive properties. The economical best decision is to make the necessary improvements to enable us to have a more efficient building. The Board is being asked to authorize staff to move forward to engage proposals for architectural services, cost estimates, and report back to the Board with a plan for 2014-2015 construction. The JEMA proposal is not the only proposal available. There are other alternatives.
Alderman Kerlagon said she has noticed how much of the lower level is not being used. City Administrator Kuntz said that there have been tenants in the front spaces in the past. There are limitations to accommodating outside tenants, but it is an option.
Alderman Fleming said that he doesn’t see any good options at this point. He’s skeptical of the JEMA plan because of the previous Government Center estimate. He said the questions to be answered are: Is being on Manchester Road important to us? If we decide to relocate somewhere else, is there a market for the current Government Center parcel or building? There doesn’t seem to be right now. He asked about expanding on to the front most western part of the building. City Administrator Kuntz said that the western side of the building is close to the western property line. The available ground is east. An architect could consider all options.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said the building is built into a hillside. An elevator would have to utilize 3 stops to maintain the front parking lot. This was considered but the cost was over budget.
Alderman Fleming asked if it is a good, sound building. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said it needs a new roof. The roof leaks and there is standing water on the roof. The building is structurally sound. The roof has been replaced once since Ballwin has owned the building. Deputy Director of Parks John Hoffman said there’s a leak somewhere in the basement and a steel beam is rusting. Everything has been caulked, but after a hard rain, water is coming into the basement.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that renovation of the building could most likely be done for the same price of a new addition.
Alderman Leahy said that the Ballwin Government Center being on Manchester doesn’t mean anything. He has concerns about throwing good money after bad. He wants to know about the options of building an up-to-date facility on a piece of property that Ballwin already owns. The current location has a value.
Alderman Harder said he agrees with Alderman Leahy. A new building could include all of the efficient plans for operation. City Administrator Kuntz said that reducing the size of a new building could be beneficial; however, the Government Center property is the front door to Ballwin’s major park. Selling the site for commercial purposes could have a negative impact on the park and its visibility from Manchester Road.
Alderman Leahy said the two property options are the Golf Course and The Pointe. Does The Pointe have enough property to build a Government Center? Director of Parks & Recreation Linda Bruer said that would be difficult because 100 geo-thermal wells are being installed on the field. Alderman Harder asked if a second floor on the Golf Clubhouse would be an option. City Administrator Kuntz said that would interfere with the banquet center, which would be lost in the new design. Additionally, a golf club house / government center would be a bigger and more expensive building, and there would be demoli-tion costs and parking issues. The parking lot is already too small.
Mayor Pogue said that not increasing staff levels was mentioned. If we pursue future annexation, would staff need to be increased? City Administrator Kuntz said that efficient utilization can give more space. The current design is not efficient. It’s an inherited layout. In terms of annexation, most of the impact would affect Public Works and Police. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said if there is a population increase of 50,000, another inspector would be necessary.
Alderman Boland said that he agrees with Alderman Leahy that it’s not necessary that the Government Center remain located on Manchester Road. The property is valuable. He said we should look into moving the Government Center to another city property.
Alderman Fleming said he is leaning toward staying at the current location and making the repairs and renovation. Plans that are considered good, better, best should be developed. Alderman Dogan asked if the option of demolishing the current building and construction a new building on the property has been considered. City Administrator Kuntz said that has not been considered. Alderman Dogan said the current building is outdated.
Mayor Pogue said he likes the suggestion of a tear down, rebuild. A temporary location for the Government Center would have to be provided. Alderman Dogan said that having the Government Center on Manchester Road shows that it’s located somewhat in the center of the city and is a good location for accessibility.
Alderman Fleming suggested getting professional service information on the tear down, rebuild option.
Ballwin Days Overview: Co-Chairmen Jim Lieber and Darryl Holman provided an update of the major changes that are proposed for the 2014 festival. The 250th anniversary of St. Louis’s founding is this year. This will be a joint theme of the festival, and specifically the parade. Mr. Lieber said the parade gives an opportunity for schools and scout troops and businesses to participate in the event, even if the parade is not on Manchester Road. Alderman Fleming said he agrees that the parade is important. City Administrator Kuntz said that the City of Manchester no longer has their parade on Manchester Road. MoDOT has said that the policies from Jefferson City for Manchester Road has tightened up regarding traffic control and permitted activity. Our permit was denied because Manchester Road is actually State Route 100. The District Engineer has stated that they will not approve even a partial closure of Manchester Road. Police Chief Schicker said that the islands on the roadway have made a major impact. Mr. Holman said that other routes are being considered for the parade, such as Holloway or Kehrs Mill.
Mr. Lieber said they are suggesting a soft opening on Thursday evening. Wrist bands could be purchased for $20 for the rides, perhaps from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. There won’t be large crowds like on Friday night when there’s entertainment.
The Scouts want to have a camp out and a Scout display. This could be limited to 200 families with necessary facilities. The Scouts policy is to leave the area better than they found it. This is a good event for the festival. They have also offered to do volunteer work for Ballwin Days.
Darryl Holman said last year Dock Dogs was a successful event. Due to a scheduling conflict to repeat this event, Purina Farms are going to put on a show called Canines in Flight, which is affiliated with the Purina Incredible Dogs. This is scheduled for all three days. There will be two acts on Friday, and three on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a high energy performance and very entertaining. Soda and water will be sold in the area of the Purina dog show, which wasn’t done last year.
Mr. Lieber said the revenue generated over the years for Cardinal Glennon Hospital via the Pretty Baby Contest has been noteworthy. Perhaps an announced donation can be held during the festival where the festival attendees can contribute. More banners and recognition for Cardinal Glennon Hospital would be helpful.
Entertainment: Mr. Lieber said the committee wants the people to know that Ballwin Days provides great entertainment. The bands who will be entertaining are Jeremiah Johnson and the Sliders, the Matt Kennon Band from Nashville, Younger Than Yesterday, Nehaus & Rogers. The entertainment will be outstanding.
The next Ballwin Days Committee meeting is Wednesday, February 26 at The Wolf.
The computer and telephone systems are in good condition. Regarding Bandwidth, if we move toward use of the cloud for data storage and software, we will need much more upload capacity that we currently have. The current bandwidth is 100 mgb download and 7 mgb upload. We should go up to 100 each way, which will add approximately $10,000 per year to our cost to have internet access.
The biggest concern about the telephone system is that our whole system operates off of a single piece of equipment. There’s no backup. Our telephone system is critical for the Police Department. It is suggested that we buy a second one so there is an automatic fail back if one goes down. There is a substantial cost to a second PBX unit.
Data storage capacity and redundant hardware are other concerns. Up to this point, various functions have been housed on individual servers. The server holds the programming for that function, but also all of the associated data. As the servers get old, we usually buy a bigger server to replace them. It is suggested to consider buying a dedicated data storage piece of equipment for the data, thereby allowing the purchase of smaller servers.. Parallel servers are suggested so that if one goes down, the other one is ready to run. This would be $10,000 - $15,000 for each piece of equipment plus the software to run it, but being without a major function such as e-mail or finance for a week waiting for a replacement server to be delivered would be a serious hardship..
Inspection Vehicle Fleet: Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that if energy efficiency is what Ballwin wants to explore, hybrid type vehicles, or even electric vehicles might be worth considering. The hand-me-down police cars are probably more economical, but the energy efficient vehicles would certainly reflect a sustainable philosophy.
Sewer Lateral Find: Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the 2013 funds, which were generally received in December of 2013, were fully promised in March of 2013. The 2014 funds, which will be received in December of 2014, are now fully promised. Anyone applying for funding through the rest of 2014 will be told that they will not receive a payment until receipt of the 2015 revenues, which will not be received until December of 2015. It may be time to place an increase on the ballot. The law allows the rate to be set as high as $50. Ballwin is currently at $28.
Mayor Pogue said that Wildwood will be putting this on the ballot and are considering a $50 fee. Alderman Dogan said that if the Ballwin fee is increased, notification should be given to the residents so they are not surprised when they receive the property tax bill.
Parks & Recreation Department
The Pointe: The 2014 plans call for the replacement of track surfacing, painting the gym and fitness areas, and re-plastering the pool, which could take about 2 weeks. In 2015, will be the replacement of pool slide stair tower and locker room updates.
Golf Course: The greatest need at the golf course is the replacement of the original irrigation system that does not provide adequate coverage and demands a lot of maintenance. The last pro shop update was in 1990. New cabinets, countertops and flooring are needed. Application will be made for grants.
In-Car Video System: Chief Schicker said the current system equipment has become increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain, the technology is obsolete and none of current system components are upgradable or compatible with the new technology. Researching the options for a complete system replacement to include a wireless-download storage server is an estimated cost between $79,000 and $100,000. This will equip the entire patrol fleet.
GPS Technology: Chief Schicker said to increase efficiency, effectiveness and officer safety, the estimated cost for the upgraded technology is between $50,000 and $75,000, depending on software compatibility to our current dispatch system.
Patrol Vehicle Options: Chief Schicker said the availability of the current vehicles in future years is uncertain. Major vehicle manufacturers are downsizing for efficiency, which is reducing the passenger compartment and trunk space. Forecasts need to be made in the event the model/make of patrol vehicles change, limiting the options for the heavier police package models.
Facilities: Chief Schicker said the construction of a durable carport over the police fleet would provide protection from the elements of the 26 vehicles. This will prolong the life of this equipment. In winter months, vehicles will be ready for patrol.
Public Works Department
Salt Brine: Salt brine uses less salt and can be applied during normal work hours. Currently, salt spreading begins four hours prior to the predicted start of snow. Those using salt brine are Webster Groves, St. Louis County, City of St. Louis, and MoDOT. Liquid salt brine does not touch the vehicle at all. Rock salt is in the truck and comes out of the truck. Once it starts snowing, salt brine cannot be used because it will freeze.
Sidewalks: There are 1,050 curb ramps that do not meet current ADA standards. Each ramp repair costs about $1,300. Federal regulations require that when a street is improved, the curb ramps are to be upgrad-ed and replacement of sections exceeding 2% cross slope. The costs are limited to streets budgeted each year for improvement.
Fleet Replacement: There are eight dump trucks that have had repairs in excess of $10,000 which should be replaced in the next three years. The one-ton dump trucks cost about $65,000 and the 2-ton truck cost about $150,000.
Future Finances: City Administrator Kuntz said that it’s obvious that we have more needs than resources. Our revenues are fairly flat and inflationary driven. Between the utility tax and the retail sales tax, this is the core of our budget. There is an option to use a supplemental half-cent capital improvement tax. The challenge will be to stay within an expenditure plan that’s 1% less than our projection for revenues.
Use Tax: If this tax is not approved by the end of 2015, it will be lost. We shouldn’t wait until that deadline because if it doesn’t pass the first time, we may have to ask a second time. City Attorney Jones said there are two issues. The statute had to do with preserving the sales tax on vehicles purchased from other than Missouri dealers. That needs to be placed on the ballot sometime before November, 2016. It wouldn’t do any good to put a use tax on the ballot now. We should put the sales tax on foreign vehicles on the ballot before November 2016. The use tax previously discussed is on vendors from outside the State of Missouri that exceed $2,000 in any calendar year. We don’t have the use tax at this time. This is not just on internet sales; it’s any vendors outside the State of Missouri when cumulatively in any calendar year, it’s more than $2,000. A use tax return should be filed. This is an existing statute. We have not had it approved by the voters so that we can charge the fee.
City Administrator Kuntz said that a lot of cities are putting both initiatives on the same ballot because while they are separate, they are related. They both have to do with out-of-state purchases. Instead of trying to get acceptance twice, if cars and all other consumable goods, it still includes out-of-state purchases brought and consumed within the State of Missouri. From that standpoint, it may be a better strategy to ask two questions as opposed to putting a tax ballot on every issue. The ballot issue about the car is stated negatively. The second question is in the positive, yes being in favor, no is against. People living in the City of Ballwin will have to self report. Des Peres is receiving a quarter million dollars per year from the use tax.
Alderman Fleming asked for information in the near future on the supplemental capital improvement tax.
Annexation Impact: City Administrator Kuntz said the Plan of Intent was approved by the Boundary Commission. They are accepting petitions until 2016. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said in the past, the annexations that we’ve done, have looked marginally positive on the short term, but not so much for the long term because of the cost of capital improvements, mostly the streets. If we are just maintain-ing them at current annual expenditures, the revenues that come in out of the pool are close to covering it. When there are major renovations, the money isn’t there. In Castlewood, the streets are all substandard by our requirements. There are no curbs and gutters. This would be serious roadway expenditures.
Alderman Boland said that in the past, the people living in Castlewood were not favorable to annexation. Alderman Terbrock said at this time, they still feel the same way. They are adamantly opposed to annex-ation.
Alderman Fleming said that we had included some areas that made geographic sense. Is there any value in continuing with this? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that there are some logical line adjust-ments that would make sense. It costs $10,000 to put something on the ballot, so making good sense is critical. Even a simplified procedure must go through the Boundary Commission.
City Administrator Kuntz said that more information will be provided for further consideration.
Other Issues: None.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Boland to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR