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
Meeting Agenda click here
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:02 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the February 8, 2010 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Schmer to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
The Minutes of the February 22, 2010 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Great Streets Initiative: Kurt Culberson, with Design Workshop, provided a brief overview of the study for redevelopment of the Manchester Road corridor from Hwy. 141 to Hwy. 109. The study of this area began on October 1, 2009. Public meetings were held in November, December, and the first week in February. There will be three public meetings this week. Meetings with private property owners have been held to discuss concerns, objectives, and visions for the corridor. He said that approximately 20% of the floor space within the corridor is vacant, and 40% has been converted from commercial uses to service and other labor usage. Many of these are not generators of sales tax revenue to the communities. He said a study is being made to determine the implications of the changes in the corridor to the financial health of the communities. The market study is aimed long term at the next 20 – 30 years. Many of the buildings that are currently along the corridor will no longer exist, be redeveloped in another way, or transformed into a different use. The design should also accommodate transportation movement.
Mr. Culberson said that the plan is a combination of what the public expressed as its desires. The public has expressed a desire for a traffic speed of 40 – 45 mph. This will affect driveway placements. Some expressed a desire for a boulevard with a center median . Connected parking lots to allow people to circulate from business to business without traveling on Manchester Road is something that many people would like to see happen. He said that back streets have been suggested to allow people to travel parallel to Manchester Road. The recommendation includes a series of 3 – 5 Town Center nodes of development along the corridor.
A cost estimate is being formulated and what will be paid by MoDOT, the Federal Government, St. Louis County, and the cities. They are also researching zoning and other incentives that may be available to encourage the plan to happen. He said that the sessions in May will primarily focus on implementation.
Alderman Fleming asked what is the time line for the transformation of the corridor, and what guidance can be provided for the cities to work together. Mr. Culberson said that now is the time to start. An advance analysis has been done regarding land use, signage, drainage, lighting, etc. The cities all have similar retail zoning. He said that cities may want to review this zoning to allow more versatility in allowed land uses. The corridor is essentially zoned for retail uses with approximately 1,500 acres. This is a lot of retail land. He said it may be more appropriate to encourage the creation of mixed use zones.
Mr. Culberson said that MoDOT has said they will repave Manchester Road in 2012. That would be a good time to start coordination work. There may be some federal dollars available for this kind of work. Cities could work together on this instead of separate applications.
Alderman Fleming asked how often does a preferred plan become reality? Is this plan feasible? Mr. Culberson said that plans need to be flexible and reasonable about what is being recommended but nothing is being proposed that cannot reasonably be accomplished.
Alderman McDowell asked how the Great Streets program ties into regional transportation plans? This should not be part of a larger transportation system or development. Mr. Culberson said that Light Rail is not in the future of the corridor. It is extremely expensive. Bus Rapid Transit is more likely. He said this is part of the planning process and the thinking at Metro, but it is hard to do with the limited right-of-way availability. Bus Rapid Transit could be extended all the way to downtown St. Louis.
Walt Young, 634 Lemonwood Drive: Mr. Young said that the Drug Take-Back program has been very successful. At the last event, 118,171 units of medicines (pills, tubes, etc.) were turned in, along with 3,719 items such as bottles, inhalers, ointments, etc. 348 people dropped off medicines at 5 locations. The next Pill Take-Back event is on April 17. He said that Missouri American Water Company is going to send out 50,000 sheets along with the water bill, telling about the Drug Take-Back program. Those participating were Walgreens, Dierbergs, Schnucks, CVS and others.
J. C. Hagan, 209 Cool Meadows: Mr. Hagan said he is very pleased with the remodeling of the Golf Clubhouse. He spoke in favor of the Great Streets Initiative. Regarding the vacant properties, he said the deed restrictions need to be eliminated. A commercial property tax that would be credited based on sales could be considered. This would give the property owners an incentive to get commercial tenants in these vacant buildings that will generate income for the City. The businesses that are generating no income for the city, could be included since they are receiving the Ballwin services. He said that by giving a rebate, it does not do anything other than charging them a price for letting the property sit vacant. The property could be generating revenue. The filled spaces will eliminate the look of a war zone. He believes that if Ballwin took this approach, the other cities would do the same.
Michael Finley, 50 Roland Avenue: Mr. Finley said that the issue has been brought up as to whether or not the Board is obligated to receive comments regarding pending litigation or even allow comments at the meetings. He said that he is an attorney. He said in his research, he could not find any legal precedent on this matter. He said the most relevant law or standard that he found was the Missouri Rule Of Professional Conduct. If the City’s attorney advises not to speak about pending litigation, that seems to be appropriate. He said that if the resident who challenged this procedure has citations, cases, or statutes, he said he would like to see this.
Ron Markland, 15908 Wetherburn Road: Mr. Markland spoke for Williamsburg Green Subdivision, as Trustee. He said that Wetherburn Road and Chowning Court are desperately in need of repair. Chowning Court is almost impassible. He said that one of the residents who immigrated from Albania told him that the roads in Albania, a third world country, are better than the Ballwin roads. His reports to the Ballwin Public Works website have gone unanswered.
Mr. Markland said that he believes he once heard a Board member state that to totally repair all of the streets in Ballwin it would take $4,000,000. The city presently budgets close to $1,000,000 per year for road repairs. He said as a result, the roadways are inferior and are like a patchwork quilt, with the patches constantly being repaired with more patches.
Mr. Markland asked if the city has ever considered getting out of the road repair business. He suggested that the City borrow $4,000,000 at an interest rate of 4% and immediately spend that on road repairs. This could be paid back over 7 years. The City would only be spending $656,000 per year. This would allow an additional $344,000 to be spent on sidewalks, etc., and still be less than the $1,000,000 that is currently being spent. He said that if $4,000,000 is inadequate, the amount could be increased to $6,000,000 and still only spend $1,018,000 per year for seven years. At least Ballwin would have an acceptable road system. This is approximately the amount that the city is now paying for road repairs. He asked that the Board consider this suggestion.
Mayor Pogue said that consultants have advised the Board that $2.5 million to $3 million should be spent on the streets per year, every year to keep the streets at an acceptable level. Mr. Markland said that constantly repairing patches is only a temporary fix.
Jim Nelson, 15961 Downall Green Drive, Williamsburg Green Subdivision: Mr. Nelson spoke about legal expenses and revenue. He said in May, 2009, $5,287 was paid to the firm of Jones, Bick, Kistner & Jones. In August, 2009, $9,207 paid to Jones, Bick, Kistner & Jones. In December, 2009, $17,192 was paid in legal expenses to the same firm. In January, 2010, $11,192 was again paid to the same firm. He said since June of 2009, the City of Ballwin has paid over $100,000 to one firm for legal expenses. Mr. Nelson said that the residents of the Williamsburg Green Subdivision are looking out for the safety of their children, for increasing traffic in the neighborhoods, expressed concerns about their property values which are going down because of the Board’s actions. He said that there is a large number of people who have said that they are boycotting Ballwin businesses because of the actions of the Board. He said that Ballwin businesses are losing business because of the actions of the Board.
BILL # 3617 - AN ORDINANCE ACCEPTING VICTORIA POINTE COURT FOR PUBLIC MAINTENANCE AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3617. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3617 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3617. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3617 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3617 with the following results:
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. Vehicle Replacement
Alderman Boerner requested that Item “C” be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Schmer to accept the Consent Items A, B, and D. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Historical Commission: Book and Bake Sale was a success and slightly over $1,300 was raised.
Energy Efficient Grant: Ballwin has been accepted for a grant for energy efficiency retrofits in conjunction with the City of Manchester for 4 buildings. This will be for the Ballwin Government Center, Ballwin Banquet Center, and the Manchester Police Station and City Hall. The amount is $121,650.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
LED Street Lighting: City Administrator Kuntz said this was a pilot project to test the new LED technology at the intersection of Baxter to Country Creek. This was initially approved by the Board as a demonstration. He said he asked for an energy only rate with a separate bill specifically for these fixtures. There should be no question in tracking effectiveness regarding cost and energy consumption. The monthly rate will result in a significant cost reduction based on the rates currently paid for standard post top fixtures, as well as the cobra high intensity fixtures that are located at the major intersections. AmerenUE has received a grant to cover the cost of acquisition and installation.
Alderman Boerner said that induction lighting is cheaper and has a longer life with similar cost of operation. City Administrator Kuntz said that this test is nominal in cost and will allow a comparison between LED and induction lighting.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the contract for LED street lighting. A voice vote was taken with an affirmative result and the motion was approved.
Oaths of Office: City Administrator Kuntz said that the Oaths of Office will be administered on April 26, after the results of the April 6 election are certified. He suggested that the Municipal Judge administer the Oaths of Office. This is being done in other cities. All of the Board members agreed.
Load Weighing System: City Administrator Kuntz said one bid was received for the load weighing system. This is a system that mounts to the loader and monitors the amount of salt that is used. This technology is necessary to monitor and report salt usage. The same company bid the equipment under the State of Missouri contract for a lower price. He suggested rejecting the one bid that was received and award the equipment purchase under State bid to the same company in the amount of $8,942. This is a $300 savings.
Alderman Terbrock asked if the bid specifications were too restrictive for other companies to submit bids. City Engineer Kramer said that the requirements were generic enough that any company could have submitted a bid. Alderman Schmer said that if a contractor cannot match or beat the State bid, they may not take time to submit a bid because they think we will take the State bid. City Engineer Kramer said that on certain types of equipment, this is the probable cause of contractors not submitting bids.
Alderman Terbrock said that he is concerned that Ballwin’s bid specifications are not flexible enough to allow competitiveness in the bidding process. City Administrator Kuntz said that the specification language can be reviewed in the future to make sure this is not the reason for a lack of submissions.
Jim Link, Superintendent of Streets, said that when the load weighing systems were bid to the State, three vendors submitted bids. Two of the vendors did not meet the ISO 9001 standard. Mr. Link also described the specifications for the roller that was previously bid. A roller can be purchased that doesn’t have a protective rollover protection structure, a back up alarm, and roller mats. The price could be $14,000 vs. the $16,800 that was recommended. He said the roll over protective structure and the back up alarm protects the employees using the equipment, and the mats help preserve the life of the drum. It keeps the drum wet as it rolls the asphalt off of it. It prevents the employees from having to use diesel fuel on the drum to remove the asphalt. He said these kinds of specifications have value. They are not superfluous or a luxury.
Alderman McDowell agreed that some small bidders don’t want to deal with the complexities of bidding on government projects.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming to reject the one bid that was received and award the equipment purchase to the same company under the State bid in the amount of $8,942. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Temporary Signs: City Administrator Kuntz said that the temporary sign ordinance was reviewed with recommendations for change. The recommended changes were referred to City Attorney Jones for review. City Attorney Jones said that he saw no issues with the proposed changes to the code, but he believes that the suggested fee increases would have to be submitted to the voters for approval.
Alderman Schmer said the code is being loosened, not tightened. He asked if the new regulations should be advertised and the businesses notified of the proposed changes. Alderman McDowell said that the sign code has an impact on Ballwin businesses. He suggested that a meeting be held with the Ballwin business owners. Mayor Pogue said that a hearing could be held before the Board meeting to explain the changes. Alderman Terbrock suggested announcing the changes through the Chamber of Commerce.
Alderman Fleming suggested polling some of the businesses that have gotten permits in the past and ask how they feel about the changes.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Schmer that the matter be sent to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a public hearing after the business community be notified. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Schnuck’s Litigation: City Attorney Jones said this morning, the trial judge on the rezoning case granted a motion to quash a subpoena that was sent to the Summit Development Company, the development entity that built the Schnuck’s project in Des Peres. The judge ruled that this information was irrelevant to the case. He said on April 6, at 9:30 a.m., the oral argument will take place in the Missouri Court of Appeals at the facility downtown at the old Post Office building.
Barn At Lucerne: Alderman Schmer said that at the last meeting, the Board was approached by Ms. Pino, from the Barn At Lucerne, regarding a Farmer’s Market at that location. He said that apparently, Ms. Pino didn’t know that Ellisville was continuing their Farmer’s Market, and she decided not to move forward with the proposal.
Alderman Schmer said that some aldermen had expressed interest in the revitalization of the Barn At Lucerne. He suggested putting on a concern or movie night at The Barn. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer and Officer Heldman agreed that this could be an attempt to revitalize The Barn by doing these types of events. This could be done with no cost to the City of Ballwin. Sponsors could be contacted for support and it could be moved to different locations so that different businesses could benefit such as Clancy’s, Sky Bar and The Loft. He said this could be beneficial to the City. He asked the Board if they are interested in this approach. The Board agreed.
Business Appreciation Event: Alderman Schmer said previously a Business Appreciation event was held for the local businesses. He asked if this should be reinstated. City Administrator Kuntz said that the City is interested in promoting all businesses. This is in the interest of future economic vitality and the community. He said the partnering with the businesses needs to come more from the private side for sponsorship. Alderman Schmer said that city sponsorship could include providing the facility and manpower for setup, and working with some of the businesses for sponsorship. City Administrator Kuntz said that this concept will be reviewed on staff level and a specific proposal will be presented to the Board.
Alderman Terbrock suggested that the business owners could share with each other what their business is so that they could communicate with each other. Basically the businesses could run the event without the city being in total control.
Golf Clubhouse: Alderman McDowell thanked the Parks & Recreation Department for the excellent job on remodeling the Golf Clubhouse.
Renaming Clubhouse: Alderman Schmer suggested renaming the Clubhouse to Banquet Center. The Golf Clubhouse is actually used as a banquets and receptions. He believes that this would be a more appropriate name.
Money Market: Alderman Boerner asked about the interest rate on the money market account. Finance Officer Loehr said at this time it is earning approximately ½ %. She said the payroll is about $250,000 every other week. The capital operating fund is one cash account. Bond payments and all payroll expenses and invoices are paid from the operating fund cash account. City Administrator Kuntz said that different institutions have been compared for CD rates. The Finance Officer is being sensitive to the concerns of the Board. There is an investment policy in place but might not go as far as the Board might want to take it. Alderman Boerner said that the policy explains where the money will be invested, but it doesn’t describe looking at the cash flow and making sure that the CDs mature at a certain time. City Administrator Kuntz said this is in progress. Alderman Boerner said he wants to see where all of the money is invested, including the money market funds. City Administrator Kuntz said that more details will be provided.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Schmer to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR