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.
October 25, 2004 - 2005 Capital Budget Work Session
Minutes from the October 25, 2004 - 2005 Capital Budget Work Session
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 5:28 p.m. in the Board room at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center at 300 Park Drive. The meeting was open to the public and notice was posted in the 24-hour lobby of Ballwin Police Department, the Government Center, and The Pointe on the Friday preceding the meeting. Those in attendance were Mayor Jones, Aldermen McDowell, Pogue, Suozzi, Robinson, Fleming, Gatton and Lembke. Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, Public Works Director Kramer, Deputy Director Levoy, Police Captain Saulters, and City Attorney Lucchesi.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the budget reflects less financial commitment this year than last year because there is only one grant which is the Manchester Road sidewalk project. 37% of the total budget is earmarked and legally set aside for debt retirement to pay the bonds for the street improvements, The Pointe and North Pointe. The remaining discretionary funds are for equipment and vehicle replacement to give the employees the tools that they need and safe work conditions to perform their jobs, and to set aside funds for street improvements. He said the sales tax revenues is steady but not climbing the way some economic forecasters predicted.
Public Works Director/City Engineer Kramer gave an overview of the Public Works 2005 budget. He said in 2005 a re-assessment of the street rating will take place. The average from 2001 – 2003 went from 71 to 74. The Kehrs Mill/Holloway Road intersection and signal plans with engineering work has been done. No funds have been budgeted in 2005 for construction of the intersection. On Kehrs Mill Road, 1/3 of the curbing will be replaced in 2005. The project will continue for the next 2 years. At the maintenance yard, a guard rail will be installed between Kehrs Mill and the concrete fence. On the yard side of the concrete fence, there is a 10-16 foot vertical drop. The concrete fence alone will not prevent a car from going through the fence and over the vertical drop.
City Engineer Kramer said that all areas will be paved this year. The old asphalt will be resurfaced in 2005. The 4-foot high timber wall will be designed next year and built in phases. An enclosed shelter or carport for the trucks needs to be constructed. This will create a buffer for the condominium residents.
The salt dome debt of a little over $103,000. There is a 3-year loan on this. 2006 will be the last payment for the salt dome.
All of the right-of-way has been acquired for the Manchester Road sidewalk. He is in the process of getting the plans approved by MoDOT. Early next year he will request bids for construction. 70% will be federally reimbursed, and 30% will be the City’s matching cost. Alderman Suozzi said that the reimbursement money has to be spent and the project cannot be postponed or the funds will be lost. City Engineer Kramer said that the construction bid must be approved by MoDOT before September.
There are two locations on Henry that have no sidewalks. These are proposed to complete sidewalks along the entire roadway. Construction and design is yet to be done.
The Public Works garage roof is leaking and is 20 years old.
On Pine Hollow there is creek erosion on the west side of Ries Road. The budget is only for engineering. There may be some State storm water money available toward the end of 2005. If so, he will apply for funding for the construction part of the project.
City Engineer Kramer said that replacement of one snow plow truck is in next year’s budget., This was not done in 2004.
The pavement repair crews need to be expanded because of increased calls about street deterioration. Currently there are two crews and he wants to expand to 3 crews. Another skidsteer should is necessary for this work.
Alderman Fleming asked if we could repair rather than reconstruct Pleasant Grove and Dutch Mill. If this process works on these two streets, will there be savings? City Engineer Kramer said if the process works, more of Dutch Mill can be repaired.
City Administrator Kuntz explained that in the 1980s, overlays were used extensively on older concrete streets. The problem with overlays is that they are only as good as the underlying surface. On Lakewood and perhaps several other streets, there may be a defective concrete base. When heavy equipment is used and you peal off the asphalt, it damages the concrete base to the extent that you cannot put new asphalt on top of it. You can’t place another overlay because the gutters will be lost and there won’t be any drainage If the joints were not sealed and it is crumbling or deteriorating concrete, while it is exposed, it must be taken out down to the base and start over. Whenever we do a reconstruct street, we budget for the worst case scenario.
Alderman Fleming said that he is concerned that if restructuring Dutch Mill in Ward 3 is going to be stretched out to 3 years, not many additional repairs will be done until 2009 in the ward. City Administrator Kuntz said that it can be done in 4 phases instead of 3, or Dutch Mill could be taken off the list, and the work done on 5-7 streets and still be within the consultant’s recommendation. The most complaints received were about Pleasant Grove and Dutch Mill.
Deputy Director Levoy said that on Dutch Mill, because of the raised joints and the washboard ride, the concrete joints underneath are probably badly deteriorated. City Administrator Kuntz said that Ballwin has 110 miles plus of streets that have to be serviced for potholes every year. Additionally, every street to be microsurfaced must be prepped. Significantly increasing the number of streets that get microsurfacing would be an issue from the perspective of staff time available. Mayor Jones said that more should be done in Wards 2 and 3. Alderman Robinson said that a big chunk of Ward 3 money will be used to work on a street that is used by a lot of people in other wards. Mayor Jones said that street repair is one of the most visible thing that the City does. If 30 streets can be repaired instead of 20 streets, everyone benefits from this. City Administrator Kuntz said the street list is not ward sensitive to the dollar due to the nature of street work and eventually every ward will experience this. Alderman Fleming said that he and Alderman Robinson can talk about Dutch Mill, but as far as the sidewalk is concerned, he would prefer to see that money go somewhere else. There are people on other streets that have constantly called regarding street repair, and perhaps money should go to that instead of a sidewalk.
Alderman McDowell asked what can be scaled back. If things don’t line up the way we want them to line up, there could be budget problems. City Administrator Kuntz said that if the Board cuts back on the equipment to maintain the streets, this could cause problems. If you cut back on $90,000 for a truck, it won’t be there when you need it during the snow season or for leaves. These things are all inter-related. It’s not a stand alone scenario. If you are willing to accept a lower standard, then it won’t be on just streets, it will also be on snow removal, leaf collection, etc. City Engineer Kramer said that we have 9 leaf vacuums. If one is replaced each year, they will age 9 years before they are all replaced. There is one backup at all times. The same is true of snow removal. If one truck goes down, the service level of snow removal goes down.
Captain Saulters gave an overview of the Police Department budget. They have budgeted for 4 patrol cars. City Administrator Kuntz said we are going to apply for a Homeland Security Grant to try to purchase an SUV to haul equipment. Captain Saulters said that the officers now have to take the spare tire out of the cars to give more space for equipment. The SUV will solve this problem. The traffic car must be a full size car because it has a lot of equipment inside and out. Ten cars have in-car computers. On a full shift, 7 cars are in use. Mayor Jones said he would like to see the in-car computer program completed. City Administrator Kuntz said that all efforts are being made to obtain grants whenever possible.
Captain Saulters said the photocopy machine needs to be replaced since there are well over 1 million copies logged on the machine. The new copier will interface with the computer system, and the current copier can be used in another area of the operation.
The radio system is 25 years old and needs to be replaced. It’s functioning but is obsolete and no parts are available if it breaks down. When the system needs repair, St. Louis Electronics looks in their spare part bin and patches up the problem. With the new radio system, a third active working station in Dispatch would be available. Currently there are 2 work stations. A breakdown of the radio system will disrupt service and affect police officer safety.
Alderman Fleming asked how much money comes from drug seizure assets to compensate for the lack of funding for necessary and unbudgeted items, and will a downturn in this source have a negative effect. City Administrator Kuntz said that the budget is not dependent on this revenue although it is helpful.
Parks and Recreation
City Administrator Kuntz said that there is $1,847,000 that comes from the half cent Parks Tax that must be spent in the Parks Department. A large portion of this is funding for debt retirement. If you take the $5 million total capital budget and take $1,847,000 of it for recreation, one can see why so many street projects had to be left on the table this year. He said we are trying to fulfill the commitment that was made to the taxpayers when they voted for the park tax, which was for the pool and park improvements and maintenance.
Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer gave an overview of the Parks and Recreation budget. She said most of the major projects are complete that have been in progress, except for the tennis courts. The total capital budget is $90,000 less than it was in 2004. $985,000 is for the bond payments for The Pointe and North Pointe. The other major expenditure is $381,000 to make the roof repairs at The Pointe. City Administrator Kuntz said the $195,000 settlement money for this was received in 2004. Rather than escrow these funds, we carried them forward in 2005. By applying the settlement as a balance forward because it was a 2004 receipt, we were able to come up with another $195,000 in the capital fund to be applied to streets. Mayor Jones said he does not see this anywhere in the revenue for 2004. City Administrator Kuntz said that at the bottom of the revenue sheet, it says utilize fund balance, $197,863 is equivalent approximately to the settlement. Alderman Suozzi said that the settlement went into the fund and now it is being taken out and applied to 2005. City Administrator Kuntz said that the money was not spent this year. A couple of weeks ago, $195,000 in settlement was received, and it was treated like any other receipt. It was not going to be used as an expenditure, so the year will be ended in theory with more in revenue than there will be expenditures. He said we are not tapping any of the money in 2005 except the settlement money. We applied it as utilized fund balance in 2005. There will be approximately $195,000 more to use for streets. Alderman Suozzi said there are two amounts on that line and the 2004 amount, there are two utilized fund balances. City Administrator Kuntz said the utilized fund balance in 2004 is the amount from 2003 that was not used. Because of the way the bids came in, there was a lot of street work that did not get done that was budgeted in 2003 so revenues were not spent. We were able to apply those unspent revenues to 2004 street improvements. In 2005, the only unspent 2004 revenue that he was certain of, in September when this was prepared, was for $195,000 from the settlement. He said that can be safely applied towards 2005 projects, and that is what was done in the budget.
Parks and Recreation Director Bruer said that most of the other capital items are for equipment replacement, infrastructure repairs, recoat and restripe the Holloway tennis courts, and reseal the walking path in Vlasis and New Ballwin Parks. At the golf course, one of the original bridges needs to be replaced, rebuild #9 tee box, rebuild the bunkers, continue the commitment to the school house project, apply for a grant for another chipper and tub grinder with the City of Manchester. Working with Ellisville and Manchester to do a comprehensive trail plan is considered. There are not a lot of grants for planning but there are grants for construction. Manchester is in on the plan but Ellisville has not made a decision if it will participate. A city-wide street tree inventory of about 50,000 trees is planned. A lot of the trees are between 40 and 50 years old and are beginning to age out. She said we have been taking them down in record numbers for safety. An inventory of the trees would help manage the resource better in terms of the hazardous trees and to come up with a plan for replacement. A grant is available for partial funding.
Mrs. Bruer said that at North Pointe, windows will be added to the concession stand. She said the facility is wide open and needs to be air conditioned not only for the employees, but also for the equipment. The hot temperature puts wear and tear on the equipment. Alderman Lembke said that this was discussed when it was originally built and we opted to go the least expensive way and put in the windows later.
Alderman McDowell asked if the school house is going to be turned over to someone else. City Administrator Kuntz said this is city property and is being coordinated with the assistance of the Historical Commission. The long term goal is to make the school house into their headquarters where they would have their meetings. It would be a functional building on one side and the other side would be a classroom where the Historical Commission members would give tours and tie it into the early education of the history of the community.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken gave an overview of the Administration Department budget. He said the first item is consulting services. The Government Center entrance ramp is deteriorating substantially. An architect looked at it and they are not sure at this point if it can be repaired or should be replaced. This item is to do a thorough study and make a recommendation, including design.
The study consulting services for $75,000 is for half of the Comprehensive Plan. The old plan was adopted in 1997 and many changes have taken place since that time.
Building construction remodel is relatively small. The retaining wall that supports the generator and the fence around it is deteriorated. The roof over Finance Officer Loehr’s office holds water and needs to be repaired.
Automobiles: This will be the last of the old vehicles. All of the old vehicles will have been traded out. It should be at least 3 years before another vehicle will have to be replaced.
Street lights: This will pay for about half of the remaining petitions that we have. AmerenUE changed their requirements which tripled the cost of a street light. The Public Works crews don’t have time to do the trenching and installing conduit.
Furniture: With the installation of the fiber optic system connecting all of the computers together, it allowed us to relocate the servers to the Government Center near the Information Systems staff. This system will allow all of the equipment to be placed in the computer room.
TIF Revenue Bond: This is TIF funding. The bottom half of $250,000 that the City agreed to have available if needed. This is the administrative budget portion. It doesn’t mean it will be spend but has to be budgeted.
Software: This is for the telephone voice mail system that serves all of the operations. The system is 7 years old and no longer manufactured or supported. If it goes down, it’s gone. It’s best to get a new system now rather than wait for it to go down and not have a telephone system for a period of time.
Microsoft licenses: 25% of the computers are replaced every year, which is about 20 units.
Alderman Gatton suggested that the Board members look at the Government Center ramp. He said it does not look good.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Fleming to adjourn. There was no further discussion and the meeting adjourned at 7:03 p.m.
Robert E. Jones, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator