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 July 19, 2010 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. Alderman Finley amended the minutes on page 5 paragraph 7. Alderman Fleming amended page 8 paragraph 4 by deleting the sentence, and page 10 paragraph 5, changing one word to appeal. A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Fleming to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Tabitha Riggle, with Selective Site Consultants: Ms. Riggle requested that that she be allowed to withdraw her cell tower petition for Ferris Park (Bill # 3626) and be permitted to go back to the Planning & Zoning Commission for consideration of a revised petition for an alternate location within the park. The Board agreed. Mayor Pogue said that there will be a new Public Hearing at the October Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.
Alderman Terbrock asked if the lease should be negotiated prior to this going on or is it after the approval. City Attorney Jones said that it has been occurring simultaneously. There is an agreement in principle, but not a signed lease. It must be determined that the Board is in favor of going forward with approval of the tower before a lease can be signed.
William Fox, 626 Nanceen Court: Mr. Fox spoke in opposition to a cell tower in Ferris Park. He is concerned about the property value impact and possible health implications. He requested that the Planning & Zoning Commission process reflect the citizen perspective. He said that property values will be adversely affected. He said that the Special Use Petition was incorrect when it was submitted and did not comply with the Ballwin Code of Ordinances. Residents living in close proximity to these towers can be adversely affected. The green space and residential areas should be protected. He said that before any communications towers are built within the Ballwin city limits, he would like to see the City develop a written telecommunications plan and map. The plan should address location, appearance, timeframes and limits for applying and remediating permits. At present, residents only get the opportunity to address these issues at Planning & Zoning meetings and City Board meetings. After residents have 3 – 5 minutes of comments, the meetings are closed to further public comments. The communications company is allowed unlimited time to fix or address city requirements. He said that signs should specifically address the Planning & Zoning issues being considered. Mailers and door hangers should be used to inform affected residents. The City should require petitioners to produce and distribute signs, mailers and door hangers, as well as bear the cost of those information methods. Mr. Fox said that the residents do not want this cell tower so close to their homes. He said he hopes that this issue will be voted down at the next Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. An alternative location, other than Ballwin parks, should be found for cell towers. He said he would like to be contacted the next time there is a meeting.
Alderman Finley asked Mr. Fox what Code sections does the petition violate. Mr. Fox said that the area surrounding Ferris Park is zoned R-3, Single family. The petitioner did not submit documentation for the location and height of the existing towers, structures or buildings or other possible geographic locations in Ballwin, and if the structures and locations are sufficient height to provide alternate locations other than the tower that the company proposes.
Mary Margaret Meyers-Walker, 511 Charoak Dr.: Ms. Walker said that this tower will negatively impact her property value. She asked if the Aldermen would like the tower built in their back yard.
Connie Oster, 743 Stoney Creek Drive: Ms. Oster s requested a 20-foot front yard setback for the Estates at Hallmark Place. She does not believe that the detention pond should be on the Selvidge property due to the safety of children.
J. C. Hagan, 209 Cool Meadows: Mr. Hagan complimented the Public Works Department on the good job they did on Fawn Meadows. He requested the same work on Clear Meadows. He said that, unknown to many, there is a “homeless” situation in Ballwin. He said the Police should come up with a sensitive approach to dealing with homeless people in a respectful manner.
Todd Bruening, Parking Lot Maintenance Co.: Mr. Bruening said that his company was the low bidder for the 2010 crack sealing project. He said there was not a big difference in the bids. They have done work for St. Louis County, St. Charles County and various State agencies. They do not have any OSHA violations and no injuries. He said that they will make sure the project is completed on time and will help budget-wise as low bidder on the project.
BILL # 3631 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING RESTRICTIONS ON WEEDS AND VEGETATION.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3631. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3631 was read for the first time.
Alderman Boerner asked if there is a dangerous situation, would this apply? He said this ordinance will allow ground cover to be planted. An approved ground cover will not have to have a height restriction. Alderman Terbrock said that an acceptable ground cover should be set out in the ordinance. The ordinance should not be approved and then changed by any Alderman and staff member.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a second reading of Bill No. 3631. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3631 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3631 with the following results:
The Board agreed that this ordinance should be revised and re-submitted as a new ordinance.
BILL # 3635 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH T-MOBILE.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3635. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3635 was read for the first time.
Alderman Boerner questioned the amount to be paid by T-Mobile. City Attorney Jones said that this is a self-reporting tax. The forms that T-Mobile sent in reporting their tax amounts matched their revenue.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a second reading of Bill No. 3635. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3635 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3635 with the following results:
BILL # 3636 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE PRELIMINARY PSD DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND A ZONING CHANGE FROM R-1 AND R-3 TO PSD FOR THE ESTATES AT HALLMARK PLACE.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3636. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3636 was read for the first time.
Mayor Pogue said that the petitioner revised the plan to make the building spacing match the zoning. They had the option to go before the Board of Adjustment to ask for a variance for a different spacing. They elected to change the spacing on their own to meet the requirement of the PSD. The new site plan meets that requirement without a variance.
Alderman Terbrock said that he is not in favor of the current distance between structures. He believes that in order to prevent the spread of fire, no less than 20 feet would be acceptable. He spoke with Metro West Fire Protection District personnel and said that they agree with the 20-foot requirement. He said that there are three lots that could be condensed into two lots, which would be about 12,400 square feet each. This is more in line with the rest of the subdivision. He said that vinyl sided houses should not be built too close to one another and the price range will be upward of one-half million dollars.
Alderman Boerner said he is not comfortable rejecting what the Planning & Zoning Commission has approved. He said that perhaps the ordinance should be changed if the building spacing it permits is not appropriate.
Alderman Terbrock said that in his view, the houses are being built too close together, developable land is smaller, and builders want to construct big houses on small lots.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Mellow for a second reading of Bill No. 3636. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3636 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3636 with the following results:
BILL # 3637 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR THE ESTATES AT HALLMARK PLACE AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
Mayor Pogue said that this Bill is for approval of the subdivision, however, the re-zoning did not pass. The subdivision would not be in compliance with the correct zoning.
Brad Goss, Attorney for the petitioner, said that there were misstatements made that may have influenced the vote of the Aldermen. He said the Hallmark Place Subdivision has lots that are less than 10,000 square feet and it has more lots that are less than 10,000 square feet than does the Estates at Hallmark Place. He said there are five lots at Hallmark Place that are les than 10,000 square feet, ranging from 8,627 square feet to 9,748 square feet. The subdivision that he is proposing has 3 lots that are less than 10,000 square feet. The average lot size in the applicant’s petition in the Estates at Hallmark Place is larger than the average lot size than Hallmark Place. He said he wants to because the Aldermen understand the facts relative to lot sizes in these two subdivisions.
Mr. Gross said that fire hydrants are installed in compliance with the code. He said they meet all of the fire codes, and all of the buildings will comply with the Ballwin requirements. The minimum spacing and side yard set backs under the International Residential Code is a 5-foot side yard setback, which is 10 feet between homes. If the construction is closer than that, there has to be a fire-rated wall assembly. The houses in the Estates at Hallmark Place are 18 feet apart. He believes there was a misunderstanding and asked if Bill 3636 could be reconsidered. The school district will need a detention basin because it is going to expand its facility. Their present detention basin is inadequate. This development is being planned in conjunction with the school district to address a problem that it has. The depth of the detention basin is 3 feet or less. It’s not something that’s going to be a threat. The school district would never allow something to be put on its property that would be a threat. This subdivision will meet MSD requirements, all of the fire code requirements, and will be in harmony with the surrounding subdivisions. It also exceeds the average lot size of the closest subdivisions.
Mayor Pogue asked if the petitioner wished to withdraw Bill 3637 at this time. Mr. Gross said no, and he asked for reconsideration of Bill 3636 so that the problems can be solved. Mayor Pogue asked if any of the Aldermen who voted Nay on Bill 3636 would like to change their vote. Alderman Terbrock said that he won’t change his vote. He does not like closeness of the construction. He said he understands how building materials respond to heat and fire and the fire code is inadequate in this application.
Alderman Fleming said that he wishes he would have read and commented on the section related to the lot sizes and the interpretation of Assistant City Administrator Aiken why he thought it was acceptable. Alderman Terbrock said that he is not pleased with the 18-foot building spacing. If the Board wants to re-open Bill 3636 for consideration, he has no objection.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner to reconsider Bill 3636. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland and seconded by Alderman Mellow to table this bill until the next meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Boerner asked if Mr. Brad Gross, Attorney for the Petitioner, would be willing to attend the next Board meeting on September 13 for further discussion and reconsideration. Mr. Gross said he will do this.
Mayor Pogue said that due to the tabling of Bill 3636, there will be no action on Bill 3637 and will be held over for the next meeting.
BILL # 3638 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE PRELIMINARY PSD DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND A ZONING CHANGE FROM COUNTY R-2 TO PSD FOR SUNSET GROVE ESTATES SUBDIVISION.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3638. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3638 was read for the first time.
Alderman Fleming said that the Planning & Zoning Commission considered the issues of this subdivision and unanimously recommended approval. This plan has the 20-foot building spacing.
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Terbrock that in Section 1A(3), the word “pervious” be added. The petitioner is encouraged to consider “pervious” pavements. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3638. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3638 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3638 with the following results:
BILL # 3639 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR SUNSET GROVE ESTATES SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3639. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3639 was read for the first time.
Alderman Terbrock asked if the water quality area is a detention basin. Mike Falkner, Vice President of Sterling Engineering, said that the water quality feature is a filter before the water enters into the detention area. It meets the new MSD standard rules under the storm water ordinance. It is similar to a rain garden with plantings.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Markland for a second reading of Bill No. 3639. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3639 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3639 with the following results:
BILL # 3640 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A ZONING CHANGE FROM R-1 TO R-2 FOR KEHRS MILL ENCLAVE SUBDIVISION.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3640. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3640 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Mellow for a second reading of Bill No. 3640. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3640 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3640 with the following results:
BILL # 3641 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR KEHRS MILL ENCLAVE SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3641. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3641 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Mellow for a second reading of Bill No. 3641. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3641 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3641 with the following results:
Mayor Pogue said that pursuant to the petitioner’s request to send this matter back to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a new location in the park, there will be no action taken on this bill at this time.
Alderman Terbrock requested that Items A and B be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Mellow to accept the Consent Item C. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Board of Adjustment alternate – Mayor Pogue said that there are 2 alternate positions to be filled on the Board of Adjustment. He recommended the appointment of Jane Suozzi to one of these positions.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to appoint Jane Suozzi to an alternate position on the Board of Adjustment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Salt: City Administrator Kuntz said that several years ago, Ballwin began jointly purchasing salt cooperatively with 14 other municipalities. The benefits to this is a competitive price, but the disadvantage is that the salt is delivered via barge along the Mississippi River. Cold weather occasionally makes meeting deadlines difficult. A secondary supplier was required to meet the needs of the municipalities. In the absence of a business relationship, it was difficult to get a competitive price from the secondary market. It was necessary to cut back on the co-op, which is a more competitive price, in order to keep a supplemental source. It is done in this two-step process to try to hedge the city’s bets to insure that we have product in the critical time when it is needed.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the prices this year are relatively close and the co-op is a little bit less. These numbers have been creeping steadily since, as noted in the report, about 5 years ago, we were in the less than $30 per ton. Today it is over $50 per ton.
Alderman Terbrock asked how much salt has been lost in storage due to the heat. City Engineer Kramer said that there is no washing away since the salt is stored inside a dome. There is no loss due to heat.
Alderman Terbrock said that the dome is full to capacity at 5,000 tons. Since the highest average in the last 5 years is 3,000 tons, why is it necessary to purchase 3,000 tons? Alderman Markland said that we have 5,000 tons stored. The average use in the last 5 years has been 2,000 tons. Two and one-half years is stored in the dome. Why increase the storage to 3 ½ years and spend $102,000 to do this?
City Engineer Kramer said that the price could increase and he is only proposing to purchase what he expects to use. The surplus is available for emergencies and as a cushion against future high prices. Alderman Markland said that the Board is talking about cutting street lighting and leaf collection, and he questions putting $102,000 into something that won’t show up for 3 ½ years. He said there is no good reason to spend this money at this time. City Engineer Kramer said that in the co-op, the orders are taken in May, and the bid has to be provided at that time. When the bid is submitted, we are locked in. Salt is purchased by the barge, which is approximately 30,000 tons per barge. With the co-op, we have a commitment. Alderman Markland asked how is there already a commitment since the Board is voting on it at this meeting. City Engineer Kramer said that with the co-op, the order is placed, then they state how much it will cost. As part of the co-op, you state the amount that you want and we are locked into it, then they get the bid and state what it will cost. They have to know from all 40 cities how much to bid on. If everyone says they can’t make a commitment until they know the cost, they can’t make a bid. Alderman Markland asked why should we order more salt when we currently have 2 ½ years supply inside the dome? City Engineer Kramer said that several times we have come close to emptying the salt dome. Alderman Markland said that this is not according to the numbers provided. The memorandum states that the average salt used for the past 5 winter seasons is 2,140 tons. City Engineer Kramer said that 5 years is the time period of the report. Historically, we have used more. The heaviest use has been close to 4,000 tons.
Alderman Markland said that he believes the $102,000 should be used to fill cracks in the streets. Alderman Terbrock asked if this can be a deferred shipment? If it is not needed it can be shipped later to refill what was used? City Engineer said that the co-op answer to that is, no. With the co-op, the salt is ordered, and it comes in later and we have to take the shipment at that time. Alderman Terbrock said that he is not inclined to spend the money at this time. City Engineer Kramer said the price is only on the secondary supplier and will be honored until the end of March. After that, the supply will have to be bid again. Alderman Terbrock said that since the price is good until the end of March, it can be purchased at that price until the end of March. City Engineer Kramer said that the bid specifications are written so that the salt is delivered in January.
Alderman Terbrock said that if the salt dome is full to capacity right now with 5,000 tons, where will 2,000 tons be stored? City Engineer Kramer said that based on the past 5 years, 1,000 tons will have been used by the end of January. The co-op delivery usually arrives in February or March. Alderman Terbrock said that he doesn’t remember ever being in this position where we have a full dome and wanting to buy more.
City Administrator Kuntz suggested not taking action on the secondary supplier. The worst that could happen is that if we need more salt, it could be re-bid. If the price is higher, the Board will be requested for authorization. This brings the current purchase down to 1,000 tons.
Alderman Markland asked who has the permission to commit the City to 1,000 tons of salt through the co-op? Is that something that we don’t have any approval on? City Engineer Kramer said that this is a 2011 delivery. The 2011 budget has not yet been approved. This has always been a problem because the bid is taken before the budget is prepared and approved. It always has to be ordered before the budget is approved.
Mayor Pogue said that if Ballwin takes the risk of saying that we don’t want the order, it may not be included in the co-op in the following year. City Engineer Kramer said that he doesn’t know what will happen. Alderman Terbrock said that if we are stuck with this order and can sell it to another municipality, that would be acceptable to him. He believes that we do not need the salt order at this time.
City Attorney Jones said that if the order has not been budgeted and approved by this Board, we are not obligated to buy the salt. It may also mean that Ballwin may not be able to participate in the co-op in the future. City Administrator Kuntz agreed.
Alderman Boerner said that at this time, there is 5,000 tons of salt stored in our dome. This additional purchase is clearly something that should be approved by the Board.
Alderman Fleming said that if the Board wants a different procedure for purchasing salt, this could be done in the future, but the 1,000 tons should be approved at this time. He said Ballwin participates in the co-op with other cities. He would hate for anything we do to adversely affect the other members of the co-op. He would not like to be the City that did that to everybody else. He suggested ordering 1,000 tons. A different procedure can be a topic of discussion for the future.
Alderman Markland said that he totally respectfully disagrees. Someone is committing the co-op to 1,000 tons without any discussion. There have been a lot of discussions about purchasing. This seems to fall into that category. He said he is opposed to purchasing any salt at this time because we currently have a 2 ½ year supply on storage.
Mayor Pogue said that we are not locked into this and the proposal can be rejected.
Alderman Markland said that both bids should be rejected.
Alderman Terbrock said this will adversely affect the co-op. He said research should be done as to what will happen if we do not make the purchase. He approves of the suggestion to sell the salt to another municipality in order to not adversely affect the members of the co-op.
City Attorney Jones said that we put items out for bid all the time. Sometimes the Board decides to reject all bids, what seems to be what is happening on this item.
Alderman Finley asked does any salt waste away. City Engineer Kramer said it does not waste away because it is stored in the dome. The salt doesn’t become hard because it is covered. Alderman Markland said that if 1,000 tons was not used by January, the new shipment would have to be stores outside. City Engineer Kramer said that he doesn’t ever remember having that problem. The lowest usage has been 1,500 tons.
Mayor Pogue asked if this decision has to be made at this meeting. City Engineer Kramer said that the letter about the bid results arrived last week and all 40 cities have to place their purchase orders. This takes time.
Alderman Fleming said this may be common practice because some Board, years ago, may have approved participation in the co-op.
Alderman Boerner said that last May, a letter of interest was sent, and now we are required to provide a purchase order. City Engineer Kramer said that this is the direction he has always had. He said the required order that must be placed for 40 cities is 32,330 tons, which is the capacity of one barge.
Alderman Markland said he realizes that in the past, things were done certain ways. Earlier this year, the Board passed the purchasing policy ordinance, which set out how things would be done. The ordinance was passed in April, and this purchase was committed to in May. He said the purchasing policy is being violated by committing to something without following the proper procedures. He said that if City Engineer Kramer committed the City to this purchase, he had no authority to do this. Mayor Pogue said that Ballwin can say no, but we don’t know what the ramifications will be with the co-op for future purchases. We have not made the purchase at this point.
City Administrator Kuntz suggested getting more information and reconsidering this issue on the next Board meeting agenda. He suggested leaving the salt bid out indefinitely as opposed to putting it on the next agenda. If there is a need and the bidder will still honor the bid, it can be brought back to the Board to either award or not to award.
Alderman Boerner asked about the non-co-op bid and how was it stated. City Engineer Kramer said by January 31.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner to reject the bid by North American Salt.
Mayor Pogue recommended that no action be taken because if we get massive snow, this will at least guarantee this price through March. Alderman Boerner said that there is a firm delivery date. He said the bid should be rejected because we don’t need another 1,000 tons of salt.
The motion was seconded by Alderman Mellow. A voice vote was taken to reject the salt bid award as the secondary supplier. Aye: Boerner, Mellow, Terbrock, Markland. Nay: Fleming, Finley. The motion passed and the bid was rejected by the secondary supplier.
Alderman Terbrock asked if we don’t take either one of these, what will be the next possible delivery date? City Engineer Kramer said there won’t be another delivery date with the co-op. If we don’t participate in this order, we will not be able to buy through the co-op. They will honor their price until the end of March. He assumes that sometime in March would be the last possible delivery date. The secondary source could be bid at any time because they stockpile it.
Alderman Fleming wants to know if there is a signed agreement with the co-op. City Administrator Kuntz said that he has never seen a signed agreement. He said about 6 or 7 years ago, he recommended to the Board to split the order in half.
Crack Sealing: City Administrator Kuntz said the recommendation from City Engineer Kramer is to not accept the low bid. The recommendation is to approve the second low bidder. It is also recommended that the quantity be increased to 14.61 centerline miles.
Alderman Markland asked what is our price for centerline miles to do this with Public Works staff. City Engineer Kramer said he does not have that information at this meeting.
Alderman Terbrock asked about bidding on centerline miles. City Engineer Kramer said that all potential bidding contractors pick up a list of streets. Some streets may have more cracks than other. It is the bidder’s responsibility to inspect the streets and determine any appropriate centerline price. The contract cannot carry over from year to year.
Alderman Boerner said that there is a substantial difference between what was bid last year and the unit price this year. Do other bidders know who is bidding on the project? City Engineer Kramer said that sometimes contractors ask who has taken out specs. We don’t post the specs on the website. In case there is an addendum, it will need to be sent to those who have obtained the specs. The specs are free. He said a lot of times, contractors don’t ask.
City Engineer Kramer said that when the bids are open, anyone wanting to attend is welcome to do so. The bids are read and the results are openly stated and posted on the website, and some vendors call for bid results.
Alderman Markland said that when there is only one bidder, the bid price is higher than when there are multiple bidders. He sees no reason in this case to not accept the low bidder. The second lowest bidder didn’t finish the work last year, for whatever reason.
Alderman Terbrock asked if there is someone assigned to oversee the work being done. City Engineer Kramer said that a Public Works employee checks periodically throughout each day on the work being done.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the low bidder. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland and seconded by Alderman Boerner to extend the contract to include the additional mileage that is allowed by the price savings in Table 2. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
2011 Budget: City Administrator Kuntz said a preliminary financial analysis was given to the Board. A budget meeting work session schedule was also provided.
Alderman Boerner said he would like to meet with City Administrator Kuntz to discuss the revenues. He has prepared a revenue schedule to include as a supplement.
Police Services: Alderman Markland said that in July, he suggested considering a zero based budgeting plan. He said this enabled him to look into some of the other areas. He said the biggest item in the budget is the Police Department. He sent his analysis to Police Chief Schicker, and received back a 3-page memorandum of information.
Alderman Markland said that he has no concerns regarding the operation of the Ballwin Police Department, other than it appears that the citizens may be paying up to $1.4 million more than necessary, as it is presently budgeted and operated. He said that there may be a more efficient way to do this. Alderman Markland said that Police Chief Schicker was in agreement that Ballwin has a jurisdiction of 8.95 square miles, while Wildwood has 68 square miles, which is 7.5 times larger. Ballwin’s population is slightly smaller than Wildwood and both have approximately 33,000 residents. On an annual basis, Ballwin has 23 less calls for service than Wildwood. Ballwin had 19,974, and Wildwood had 19,997. He said with an area that is 7.5 times larger, it would be expected that response time would be higher.
Alderman Markland said that Police Chief Schicker stated in his memorandum that Wildwood has 27 police officers patrolling with a total staff of 34. He said the organizational chart indicates that Ballwin has 30 police officers patrolling with a total staff of 61. Wildwood’s police services are provided by St. Louis County. He said that Wildwood’s cost is $3,125,965 for the 27 officers plus overhead. This calculates out to about $115,000 per officer on the street.
Alderman Markland said that the citizens of Ballwin are entitled to a reasonable use of their tax dollars. If one divides the Wildwood cost, of $3,125,965 by 27 officers patrolling the streets, the cost, with overhead expenses, etc., appears to be $115,776.48 per officer on the street. He said while Chief Schicker indicates the Ballwin budget is $5,098,497, he believes that Police Chief Schicker failed to give a credit to that amount for the $232,603 in revenues Ballwin receives for services provided to other municipalities. He said a more accurate budget amount would be $4,854,965. Using this number, divided by 30 officers on the street, the amount is $162,199 per officer. He said that this appears to be a cost difference between Wildwood/St. Louis County and Ballwin of $46,423 per officer; multiplied by 30 officers equals $1,392,685. He said that if there were items that reduced the potential savings by 20%, the savings would still possibly be $1,120,000.
Police Chief Schicker said that Ballwin has 30 officers assigned to the Patrol Unit. He advised Alderman Markland to compare the Field Operations program which is slightly over $3,000,000 to that of Wildwood. He added there are four programs in the budget, identifying each. There are also 11 personnel assigned to Communications. Alderman Markland said that communications is not an officer, this is in the overhead category. He said that this means that there are 11 people waiting for a phone call. He asked if this is necessary and is there another way of doing this because it is a cost. $1.4 million in potential savings may not be the exact number, but should be looked at because there is a sizeable dollar difference that needs to be justified.
Alderman Markland said that Ballwin is struggling to figure out how to pay for road repairs and if street lighting or leaf pickup should be eliminated. He said that a saving between $1 million and $1.4 million or more could be used on these repairs. The actual amount won’t be known until St. Louis County is asked to provide a dollar amount to provide police protection for Ballwin. After that, a decision can be made. He said that now is the time to do this so that the budgeting process is not too far advanced to make changes. This would not affect the $981,000 that comes in to Ballwin through traffic citations, summons, and arrests. Alderman Markland said that it appears to him that these numbers should be investigated.
Alderman Boerner said that from an economic standpoint, the comments of Alderman Markland have merit. When St. Louis County takes over an area for police coverage, the price will include communications, etc. He said that when St. Louis County Police picks up a person for retention in jail, they are taken to Clayton. This could be an issue that is different than the service Ballwin provides. The citizens approve much of the funding in terms of sales tax and gross receipts taxes. He said that this should be considered by the Board.
Police Chief Schicker said the analysis that he made was based on Alderman Markland’s request. He said he compared the level of service by the Ballwin Police Department with St. Louis County. If St. Louis County is going to be asked to provide the same level of service, that level of service will cost more. He said there are 51 police officers within Ballwin’s department. Their assignments are divided to the field operations, traffic enforcement unit, specialized enforcement unit, COPS unit, and criminal investigations. He said to request a price for just a straight call responsive unit with limited services, a cheaper model can be presented. In doing this, services will be compromised.
Police Chief Schicker said this was the discussion in 2008 with regard to an economic crisis exercise and 3, 5, and 10 percent cuts where analyzed in the workshop. He said 88% of the cost is personnel to run our police operation. The most drastic cut of 10% would have eliminated 8 police officers. Cutting back on personnel will eliminate different types of specialized service. The call response time will vary somewhat, but a lot of services will be eliminated. He said that it’s possible to remain with a local police department without contracting out and still have the local control. A decision must be made as to what level of services is expected by the citizens of Ballwin and what this Board wants to provide for the citizens. Police Chief Schicker said that another item that must be considered is officer safety. He said he will not compromise officer safety.
Alderman Boerner said that perhaps this should be discussed at a later time or at the beginning of the budgeting process. Response time and protecting the citizens is most important. He said he is not taking a position either way at this time.
Alderman Markland said that his reason for bringing up this issue is that there are numbers that should be verified. He said he is not guaranteeing that his numbers are 100% accurate. It should be investigated. There is a potential difference. When the actual numbers are known, then a decision could be made. He said that $1 million plus could go a long way for street repairs. It is not his purpose to provide poorer police service. Sometimes shared responsibilities can save money.
Alderman Fleming said that he is not inclined to get pricing from St. Louis County for police protection at this time. There are two Board members absent from this meeting and should be discussed by the entire Board. He said he does not recommend going down this road at this time. If a detailed comparison is made of the numbers that Police Chief Schicker can provide and the information provided by Alderman Markland, he believes there will be hidden costs that will bring the numbers closer together. He said the question will then be what kind of police services does the Board want to provide. He said that previously he lived in an area that was St. Louis County, and then was annexed into the City of Ballwin. The police service in Ballwin is superior to the service that was provided by St. Louis County. He said he can walk right into this park and find a member of the Police Department and talk to them. He can’t do that with St. Louis County. There is not that same type of relationship with the community.
Alderman Fleming said that some residents might ask why is the Police Department being cut back when there is $9 million in reserves. He said if the Board chooses to go down that road, we will be tire kicking with people’s livelihoods and community safety. He said he will never be opposed to studying options and looking at the numbers on services; however, this is not a good idea at this point in time.
Alderman Terbrock said he agrees with Alderman Fleming. He said that tire kicking with people’s livelihoods and community safety is exactly what this study would be. He said there was a ridiculous uprising to cutting leaf collection. If this Board puts the safety of our citizens into an unknown realm when we can’t even get rid of leaf collection, this would be a bad decision. He said that he has known the names and some of the faces of Ballwin police officers even before he became an Alderman. This will not happen with St. Louis County. He said that it is mindless to even think about losing the community involvement with our Police Department like we have had in the past, present, and future. You get what you pay for, and in this situation, we absolutely get what we pay for.
Alderman Markland said that we might be paying more than what we need to. We won’t know until we ask. Alderman Terbrock asked Alderman Markland if he wants to take that chance with his safety. Alderman Terbrock said he does not want to take that chance. Alderman Markland said that when he goes to Wildwood, he takes that chance.
Alderman Markland said that there has been the issue raised of safety. He said he would not put his people in an unsafe condition. He said he can’t believe that St. Louis County sends their people out everyday unsafe. There’s a standard that makes a big deal and sounds important. If we have 50 people on our streets, we should get a price for 50 police officers on the street. When evaluation is made of the overhead staffing, and this is what zero based budgeting is all about, what do we really need? How many people are needed? He said that St. Louis County police has a Captain. Ballwin has a Chief, Assistant Chief, Major, etc. He said we are paying for this. If we can take dollars and put it into street improvement, let the public decide whether they want well maintained streets or a very expensive police department. He said, again, we don’t know what the cost differential will be, or if there is any. He can’t guarantee that his numbers are exact. The only way to go a step farther is to ask for a quotation. He asked that the Board proceed in this direction.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland to obtain a proposal from the St. Louis County Police Department to provide the police services similar to what Ballwin currently has. There was no second to the motion. The motion died for lack of a second.
Budget Work Session: City Administrator Kuntz recommended that a Budget Work Session be conducted at 6:00 p.m. on September 13, with the Board meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. The Board agreed. City Administrator Kuntz offered to help the new aldermen to understand the budget preparation process.
Policy Manual: City Administrator Kuntz recommended that the review of the Policy Manual be postponed until all aldermen are present. The Board agreed.
Deer Update: Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that last winter some residents addressed the Board regarding the multiplying deer population. In March, a seminar was held at The Pointe, with representatives from the Conservation Department talking about living with wild life. The residents’ concerns were discussed regarding health and safety issues regarding deer and traffic accidents. She said in July, she attended a meeting at Powder Valley Nature Center. There were representatives from the Department of Natural Resources, Director of Castle Wood State Park, Director of Babler State Park, and St. Louis County representatives. There were also representatives from the City of Ellisville, Creve Coeur, and Town & Country.
Ms. Bruer, City Administrator Kuntz and Police Chief Schicker met with our regional Wild Life Biologist, who is a Ballwin resident, talked about what can be done as a community and with the neighboring communities. An effective approach in Clarkson Valley and Chesterfield has been to allow for controlled hunting on private property. This would allow subdivisions that are very concerned can do something of this nature on private property, with the help of the Missouri Department of Conservation. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is a regional issue, not just a Ballwin problem.
Alderman Boerner said that the State representatives at the meeting at The Pointe only has jurisdiction over State lands. Therefore, the policies in place only apply to State lands. Ballwin is not bound by those policies. He said we would not want to authorize people go out with rifles and kill deer. He asked if there are any meetings planned in the near future on this subject.
Alderman Boerner said that not all vehicle accidents involving deer are reported due to insurance deductible amounts. He asked it be publicized to the residents to report these incidents to the city so that data can be obtained. Police Chief Schicker said that this has been done and some people call, but do not report it to their insurance company. They are wanting the police to be aware in case the deer is injured along the road. This becomes a documented report but not an accident report that would go to the Highway Patrol and the data base. He said that this can be put on the website. Police Chief Schicker said that comprehensive insurance on the policy covers 100% of the accident. He said that a deer ran into the side of his personal car, and the insurance covered the damage. The insurance company considers it an act of nature, just like hale damage. Alderman Boerner added that this information is another reason to have our own Police Department.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Litigation Update: City Attorney Jones said the City is still involved in the Greenburg case, although it is now in its newest life form. A motion was filed to allow an appeal out of time. The previous attempt to appeal was dismissed. The motion was filed to permit a late file to appeal, which was denied by the court. Mr. Greenburg has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus (unlawful detention). The City of Ballwin is not technically the defendant in that case. The corrections officer, who is given the task of obtaining Mr. Greenburg is the one who is the defendant. At some point, St. Louis County will probably make demand upon the City of Ballwin to defendant in the habeas corpus action. He does not recommend any action until this is received from St. Louis County and a request is made.
The Sewer Lateral case, Adams vs. Vergonza, was appealed. The appeal is being perfected and they will have to produce a copy of the legal file. Eventually, Ballwin will be called upon to write a brief, which will be done with the other cities, in completing that task.
The Bezecheck case is still under submission to the Judge without a ruling.
Police Services: Alderman Fleming said that he doesn’t want Alderman Markland to feel that he was being critical of the suggestion to get a bid from St. Louis County. He agreed that more money should be applied to streets. The first place to look for those funds is the money in the bank. He will be interested in discussing this avenue, but he does not want to move toward removing the things that make Ballwin an exceptional city. The Police Department is one of those items. Previously some people suggested selling the golf course. That is another gem that the City has. He said there is a number of things that the City has that makes it exceptional, and the Police Department is one of them. He believes that more money for streets is in the bank account.
Provisional Judge: Alderman Fleming said that Don Anderson, Provisional Judge, was recently names the new President of the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
Accounting Software: Alderman Fleming said there was a 3-hour presentation by another possible vendor. The intention was to decide if this was to be budgeted for 2011. The project is not that far along to include this in the 2011 budget. Our current system may not be keeping up with what everyone else is doing. It may be necessary to make the change at some point in time, but this will be a very large expenditure. This projects requires a continued study and information gathering. There are other steps being taken to see what other cities are doing in this regard.
Incomplete Street: Alderman Fleming said that in Ward 3, there is a subdivision that the developer has not put in a street for 8 years. The residents of this small subdivision are disgruntled to the point that they would like the money that they provided at the start of the subdivision to be released to complete the street. It was decided that the City would give the developer until September. It’s possible that the Board will be asked to take action in this situation.
Frequent Offenders: Alderman Fleming said another situation came up recently where there is tall grass and junk in the driveway. This is the 12th citation for the same offense at this address since 1999. It doesn’t appear that any fine was ever paid for this offense. This takes the time of our Code Enforcement personnel. The process should be shortened. The neighbors have to wait for a timeframe to kick in every time. The offense is repeated over and over again. Mayor Pogue suggested that the Public Health & Safety Committee review this and make a suggestion to the Board.
Salt: Alderman Finley said he would like to explain his vote against Alderman Boerner’s motion on the salt issue. He said that he voted Nay because he didn’t want to take any action on the issue, as Mayor Pogue and City Attorney Jones had proposed.
Homeless: Alderman Finley asked Police Chief Schicker to provide information on this subject. Police Chief Schicker said he will research the information on the latest incident referred to by Mr. J. C. Hagan. Chief Schicker said that he is attempting to get a count of the homeless regionally. This is an ongoing issue within St. Louis County and the region. He said he will have the information as soon as possible.
Bill # 3636 Estates at Hallmark Place (Rezoning): Alderman Finley asked if City Attorney Jones should plan to make amendments regarding the setbacks before reconsideration of the Hallmark situation. Mayor Pogue said that any change now would not affect this petition, unless it will be sent back to the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Health Condition: Alderman Terbrock said that Planning & Zoning Commissioner, Mike Utt, had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago. He is doing well and has returned home.
Concert: Alderman Terbrock said the August 3 concert in the park was cancelled due to the oppressive heat. It will be rescheduled, hopefully in early September.
Quarterly Financial Information: Alderman Boerner said that the financial format could be done on a quarterly basis. He asked for any comments from the Board. Alderman Fleming said that the semi-annual financials were approved under consent items at the last Board meeting.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Mellow to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR