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 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the November 8, 2010 Special Meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman McDermott to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
The Minutes of the November 8, 2010 Budget Workshop were submitted for approval. Alderman Finley amended page 6, paragraph 7, the word “flush” should be changed to “flesh”. He added the word “presently” to the last line of paragraph 7. A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Finley to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
The Minutes of the November 8, 2010 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. Alderman Terbrock amended page 8, paragraph 8 by changing “said that” to “asked if”. A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Mellow to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
U-Gas Development: Mayor Pogue said that there are 2 Board members absent and he said he asked the Petitioner for the U-Gas development his preference of presentation. The petitioner has asked to hold the item over until the next meeting.
Sue Heath, 106 Denbigh Terrace: U-Gas Development: Ms. Heath said that she was previously on the Planning & Zoning Commission. Ballwin is in need of revitalization and sales tax. She said when driving down Manchester Road, from Ries Road to the Post Office, it’s not a pretty sight. This is an opportunity to have a nice development put on the Rothman property site. It will bring in sales tax revenue, we could use a car wash. There’s a lot of opposition on the Board. She said this is a good thing and we need this development.
Shirley DeBeaux, 388 Newbury Drive: U-Gas Development: Ms. DeBeaux said that she is in favor of the development and that it will bring in revenue to the City.
Bob Offerman, 508 Terrington Drive: U-Gas Development: Mr. Offerman said that he is a C.P.A. for the U-Gas company and is in favor of the proposed U-Gas Development on Manchester Road at Seven Trails Drive. He said that Ballwin needs this type of new and modern commercial development on Manchester Road. East-West Gateway Coordinating Council of Governments approved a grant to study the type of development that is needed along the Manchester corridor. This project would be the first project developed under the requirements of that study and would be a major improvement for the City of Ballwin. If this development does not take place, will Ballwin end up with another vacant commercial property on Manchester Road. He said the Board of Aldermen should consider this. The proposal includes a new modern U-Gas that will market Conoco Phillips Petroleum Products, a convenience store, and a car wash. He said that the U-Gas company is not new to the City of Ballwin. They purchased the Phillips 66 station on Manchester Road next to Taco Bell in 1993. They have operated and continually updated this location for 17 years. They have been a good and responsible business. They deserve the opportunity to make a new multi-million dollar expansion/investment in the City. Mr. Offerman said that on the city’s website, it states: “Ballwin is one of America’s best places to live; continually works to promote and facilitate commercial development while strengthening the relationship between businesses and community.” He said the proposed U-Gas development will help the city meet both these statements about the City of Ballwin.
John Gauthier, 348 Kenilworth Ct.: U-Gas Development: Mr. Gauthier said that Ballwin is a forward looking community. It makes sense that the city should allow this commercial development opportunity to bring tax revenues and the opportunity for other developments on the property with U-Gas. He said he agrees that if this is not approved, there could be another vacant building at the entrance to our community.
Susan Morconi, 800 Cella Road: U-Gas Development: Ms. Morconi said she is not a Ballwin resident but she owns property in the City of Ballwin. She said that previously the perception was that the Manchester Road corridor was great real estate to own and a vibrant area. That reputation is being lost. People who can develop parcels and refurbish structures are going elsewhere. The U-Gas company is a proven operator who wants to put a substantial investment into this community.
Rodney Moentmann, 146 Log Trail Drive: U-Gas Development: Mr. Moentmann said that he is strongly in favor of the development. He does not see any reason to not go forward with the project. He said that too many businesses have closed along Manchester Road. This will keep another out-of-business furniture store from appearing on Manchester Road.
Don Torretta, 655 Crowsnest Drive: U-Gas Development: Mr. Torretta said that U-Gas maintains a great operation. He agrees with everything that all of the previous speakers have said. The car wash would also be beneficial in Ballwin.
Sandy Rose, 235 Highview Drive: U-Gas Development: Ms. Rose said that she is in favor of the U-Gas development. She said that seeing all of the businesses that have closed is not good for the image of this community.
Dan Thies, with Clayton Henry LLC. Mr. Thies said that he will answer any questions about the easement vacation. He also spoke about the dynamic signage/message signs. He is opposed to the 20-minute message change limit.
Ray Kerlagon, 1146 Westrun Drive: Mr. Kerlagon spoke about the Sewer Lateral Repair Program. He said he appreciates the Board’s efforts in providing wise stewardship of the tax dollars supplied by the residents of Ballwin, while attempting to maintain the quality of life we have grown accustomed to. In the Board’s effort to balance expenditures with revenues, the Board discussed at the last meeting, three options concerning the Sewer Lateral Repair Program: 1) Increase a tax per right as Aldermen; 2) Have a ballot initiative to allow voters to approve a tax themselves; 3) Reduce the amount payable for repairs. Mr. Kerlagon said that since most residents are impacted by the level of street maintenance vs. a relative small number of residents impacted by the Sewer Lateral Repair issue, it may be best to have any tax initiative dedicated toward generating additional funds for street maintenance. If the Board passes a tax increase, or if a Sewer Lateral Repair tax is placed on the ballot, whether it is successful or not, will make it much more difficult when they go to the voters with some type of real estate tax dedicated to street repairs. He said he believes that Bill 3652, although it provides only small relief, will allow more flexibility going into next year.
Clark Creighton, 494 Melanie Meadows, Trustee of Remington Place Subdivision: Mr. Creighton spoke about the proposed trail through the backside of The Pointe to Remington Place Subdivision. He spoke in opposition to the project. He said that where the proposed path will be constructed sometimes has 2-3 feet of water over it and 30-40 feet wide. The storm sewers from the neighborhood all go into the water shed, which is where the sidewalk is proposed to be placed. The sidewalk will go through a residential neighborhood. This residents in this subdivision have no desire to have a connection to The Pointe. It is just as quick to walk to Ries, to the stop sign, and then head toward The Pointe. There is also a safety issue for the property owners. Kids will be walking through an unsupervised area after dark.
Steve Ahlbrand, 476 Madrina Ct.: Mr. Ahlbrand spoke about The Pointe connector trail. He said he is a homeowner adjacent to the proposed trail. He is concerned about his property value. The trail will run from the front of his house all the way through the back of his house. He has a privacy issue because there is a large picture window on the back of his house. He is also concerned about vandals and thieves during the night if this trail is constructed.
Cory Ahlbrand, 476 Madrina Ct.: Mrs. Ahlbrand said she is opposed to the Pointe connector trail. She said she has seen the trespassing that takes place already. She has seen vandalism, a lawn chair hanging in a tree, and the water level raises during a drought from 5-6 inches to 2 or 3 feet in 20 minutes. She said her backyard will be unusable. Adding this trail will invite the public of Ballwin to her back yard and to Remington Place. It will no longer be safe for the children to play in the back yard and the privacy will be gone. The trail is very secluded, it is not straight and takes a while to travel.
Mark Kornfeld, Sansone Group, 120 S. Central, 63105: U-Gas Development: Mr. Kornfeld said that Wendy’s International is also interested in participating in the U-Gas development. In economic times when there is business that is interested in the one-acre lot that will be left adjacent to U-Gas, it is a tremendous thing to capitalize on right now. There are so many sad stories of businesses dying and buildings vacant.
REGARDING BILL # 3649: AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING A MANCHESTER ROAD REVITALIZATION OVERLAY DISTRICT FOR CERTAIN LAND COMMONLY KNOWN AS 14799 MANCHESTER ROAD IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND CURRENTLY ZONED C-1 COMMERCIAL; and Bill # 3650: AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR U-GAS BALLWIN SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
Bill Biermann, 1795 Clarkson Road, W. B. Properties: U-Gas Development Bill #s 3649 and 3650: Mr. Biermann asked that this legislation be held over until the next meeting. Alderman Fleming said that one of the key questions at the Planning & Zoning meeting was how is the parcel of land going to be handled that they need by our Government Center to complete the project? He said that city staff has a recommendation slightly different than what Planning & Zoning suggested. He asked for more information about this before the next meeting, or if the information can be supplied during this meeting.
City Attorney Jones said that we have looked at the option of creating 2 easements for the area which would be on the opposite (west) side of Seven Trails Drive. The easements would be for a temporary construction license, which would expire after the landscaping, grading, and retaining wall are completed, and then a permanent easement with a maintenance agreement which would perpetually be dedicated to U-Gas. It would have an obligation for U-Gas to maintain the wall when it is constructed. If they failed to do so, the City would be able to maintain the wall, do the necessary work, and then make demand upon U-Gas for reimbursement, which they would be obligated to pay within 30 days. He said he has exchanged drafts of the easement agreement with attorneys from U-Gas. The last agreement that he sent with his comments was at the end of last week. He said that this sort of arrangement, rather than the City conveying title by sale or by gift, was preferable because the City will still remain the fee owner of the property, but the obligation and the expense for maintenance of the wall will be placed on U-Gas. It’s not a lease agreement, where the City has to be concerned about collecting rent or the other responsibilities that a landlord may have under the situation. He said he believes that since this is a wall that actually benefits the city’s right-of-way for a public street, it’s somewhat different than other situations that we have considered a leasing arrangement or a conveyance arrangement. He said some of the things that we have been concerned about in the past were retaining walls that may have been constructed by the city or with the city’s approval that actually benefitted abutting property owners. In this situation, the largest benefit from the wall is to the public street and the public right-of-way. It seems to make sense to pursue it this way. He said if the Board has other thoughts, he is interested in hearing the comments.
Bill Biermann said that there was language in the proposed agreement whereby U-Gas would agree to indemnify for any liability. This is an insurance provision that would maintain insurance on the wall. Regarding security for the city, the obligations would run with the land so that there would be no worry of the user going away. U-Gas is willing to undertake this obligation.
City Administrator Kuntz said that this agreement does not address the relocation of the city’s message board nor any exchange in compensation. This is strictly to address the legal issue of the wall. He said he would probably have this recommendation in position regardless of the development proposal. It is his understanding that any development of this parcel will involve roadway improvements required by MoDOT.
City Attorney Jones said that they are not going to allow the access in and out of the site without some additional right-of-way. Mr. Biermann agreed. He said the traffic engineer will confirm this.
Alderman Fleming asked between now and the next meeting will there be discussion regarding the Ballwin sign? City Attorney Jones said that this has not been an issue previously in negotiations. Alderman Fleming said that the sign will have to be moved and asked how should this be handled. Mr. Biermann said that the draft ordinance includes working with city staff to move the sign.
BILL # 3649 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING A MANCHESTER ROAD REVITALIZATION OVERLAY DISTRICT FOR CERTAIN LAND COMMONLY KNOWN AS 14799 MANCHESTER ROAD IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND CURRENTLY ZONED C-1 COMMERCIAL.
This legislation is held over until the next meeting.
BILL # 3650 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR U-GAS BALLWIN SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
This legislation is held over until the next meeting.
BILL # 3651 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 21, SECTION 21-8 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN DEALING WITH LATERAL SEWER REPAIRS BY AMENDING SUBPARAGRAPH (j) WITH RESPECT TO THE AMOUNT PAYABLE FOR REPAIRS.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3651. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3651 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3651. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3651 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3651 with the following results:
BILL # 3652 - AN ORDINANCE VACATING AN EASEMENT WITHIN BALLWIN GROVE SUBDIVISION WITHIN THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman McDermott and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3652. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3652 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3652. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3652 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3652 with the following results:
BILL # 3653 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT WITH ST. LOUIS COUNTY FOR COMPUTER-AIDED REPORT ENTRY SERVICES.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3653. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3653 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3653. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3653 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3653 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.)
Mayor Pogue recommended the appointment of Mary Ellen Heldmann to fill the vacated position of Dot Andrews, with a term expiration on December 31, 2013. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to accept this appointment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Ballwin Days Co-Chairman: Mayor Pogue recommended the appointment of Jim Lieber to the vacated co-chairman position of Alderman Pat McDermott, with a term expiration of December 31, 2013.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Street Tree Maintenance Program: City Administrator Robert Kuntz said at the direction of the Board during budget preparations, added to the 2011 budget proposal is a $5,000 supplement for tree removal. A history of the street maintenance program was provided to the Board. He said we are faced with increasing responsibility due to the tree disease that seems to be coming. He suggested that this be discussed in an aldermanic committee meeting so that options can be considered.
2011 Budget: City Administrator Kuntz said that after the budget workshop sessions, all of which were open to the public, legislation is requested to adopt the operating budget and the capital improvement plan. The proposed operating budget is $15,935,244. The capital improvement plan, including the supplement for additional street work, is $3,674,045. A motion to draft legislation for consideration at the December 13 meeting is requested.
A motion was made by Alderman Mellow and seconded by Alderman Fleming to draft the legislation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Pavement Assessment: City Engineer Gary Kramer introduced Mr. Pat Palmer of Missouri Petroleum Co. to report on the pavement assessment study. Mr. Palmer said that he looked at the entire road network with one of the Public Works staff members. The streets were rated on a scale of 1-10, using the PASER method of evaluation that was developed at the University of Wisconsin. The information was put in a data base. This allows for a thorough comparison of the roadway conditions.
Mr. Palmer said the average condition rating was 6.2. It dropped 1/10 of a percent from the last time the streets were assessed. Roads that are rated 6-8 are considered in fairly good condition; 9 is an excellent street, and 10 is a brand new section of pavement.
City Administrator Kuntz asked did anything in Mr. Palmer’s field report lead to changing any recommendations that were already submitted to this Board for that purpose? City Engineer Kramer said that the blended approach is still used and was applied in the 2011 budget preparation.
City Administrator Kuntz said that during the course of the budget discussions, there were questions about the percentage of allocation and also about the formula that would be used to apply the supplemental $789,000 that the Board had authorized on the operating side.
City Engineer Kramer said that many streets do not change much, maybe only 1 point. The blended approach gives time to revise the street list.
City Administrator Kuntz said that at some point, the Board has to determine whether it wants to use what City Engineer Kramer recommended, or to apply the funds in a different manner.
City Administrator Kuntz asked, “How much did the formula change when the streets were re-measured from using the original GPS calculations and fast forwarding it 7 – 8 years, which is about how long we have used the snapshot, and basing it on actual length, in terms of what might need to be adjusted if they stuck with the same concept?”
City Engineer Kramer said the percentage of change was 2% - 3%. Ward 2 and 4 did not change significantly. The largest change in distribution was between Ward 1 and Ward 3. Ward 1 went up to 2% and Ward 3 went down 3%. This includes all of the arterial roadways that are listed in the city’s policy. This also includes streets that are under construction and nearly finished, but have not been accepted for public maintenance.
City Administrator Kuntz said, “Are you telling me, to the best of your knowledge, the correspondence in this packet reflects the percentages based on actual field measurements, and is an actual snapshot, by ward, of the miles of streets in each of the four separate wards?” City Engineer Kramer said, “To my knowledge, that is correct.”
Alderman Fleming said that he received the Excel spread sheet on Friday. He has not had time to thoroughly review it. He asked if there are any significant differences to note between the old system and the new system? Mr. Palmer said that there is a difference. The old system was PAVER, which measures streets on a scale of 1-100. The new system measures on a scale of 1-10. He said that PACER manual can be Googled, and it will give a description of all of the pavement distresses. Alderman Fleming asked if Mr. Palmer makes the same recommendation as he had previously about the blended approach, or are there different thoughts at this time. Mr. Palmer said it’s called proportional maintenance. This is considered the best way to go. All roadway funds should not be put in one category. Alderman Fleming said that he has manipulated it to the point that City Engineer Kramer did, where it went down to the number of feet per ward. He would like to go further per ward. Maybe it would be better to use that on a per ward basis rather than a per city basis. He said we don’t want Ward 4 to receive work on 8 streets using city-wide ratings, but worse rated streets in Ward 4 are not getting any attention. He wants to look at the data to see if there are any trends. He asked if there are any trends related to street repair, construction, and pervious pavement. Mr. Palmer said that there is a pervious surface standard both for concrete and asphalt. Normally asphalt is used for lower volume roadways or parking lots because it is an open graded type of mixture. A dense graded mix takes repeated heavy loads a lot better. There is a process called thin bonded overlay or nova chip. That is an open graded surface with a very thin lift, ¾ of an inch.
Alderman Fleming said that we have to take into account the amount and type of traffic on the streets. Mr. Palmer said that open graded mixtures, full depth asphalt, that’s where there is a low volume condition. The overlays that are around I-270 and I-44 are all thin bonded overlay. St. Louis County recently put a system on Clayton Road from Clarkson to Highway 109. Alderman Fleming said that there is a lot of information and education to be absorbed to understand.
Mr. Palmer said that the nova chip process is expensive. He recommended that this be reserved for arterial roads. City Engineer Kramer said that nova chip is a thin overlay. Alderman Terbrock asked what is the advantage of nova chip. Mr. Palmer said that nova chip is called gap graded; there are voids in it. A traditional dense asphalt has 5% voids, where the nova chip has about 10% - 14%, so that there is automatic drain down. On the highway when trucks splash water off the wheels, with nova chip, this does not happen. There’s no splash up. It can be put down on a thin lift. On a dense graded asphalt, it will be applied 1.5 inches to 2 inches. Nova chip can be applied at ¾ inch so that you don’t lose a lot of curb height. If it is applied to a concrete street with no asphalt, the water will drain down to the inlets.
Alderman Fleming said that nova chip may be more expensive but will last longer. Mr. Palmer said the life is 10 – 12 years. Alderman Terbrock said that when he was referring to the lifespan, he was actually referring to the concrete pavers. The lifespan is longer on concrete than pavement. He said he is concerned that on a deteriorated street, water will go down and lay under the street. About the PAVER system and the pervious situation, as the gravel is stacked, there are voids in the gravel like air space, which doesn’t allow the water to freeze and thaw. If the air space is not in the gravel, the air won’t move through and keep it from freezing.
Mr. Palmer said the best justification for full depth pervious pavement is when you are hurting for detention; the footprint of the site is inadequate for the development and still have a detention basin. The water would be detained under the pavement.
Alderman Terbrock said that he is not quite sure that we should have the streets done with pervious pavement, but more so in the parking lots and low volume situations. If we can educate everyone what can be done with pervious pavement, it would be to the advantage of a developer. If there is a big site development with housing on a cul-de-sac, and a couple of lots must be for a detention basin. It would be better to cut the street down 2 feet and let the water lay under the street instead of losing the 2 lots that could be used for houses.
Mr. Palmer said that also with pervious pavement, it must be vacuum swept at least once each year to keep it cleaned out. The water does not have to stay confined under the pavement. It can be piped out.
Alderman Fleming said that in future developments, perhaps options could be presented such as a rain garden or pervious pavement. City Engineer Kramer said that MSD gives developers credit if they use pervious pavement, but he doesn’t know what the amount of credit is.
Alderman McDermott asked if there is a weight limit on the pervious pavement? Mr. Palmer said that he would discourage full depth of pervious pavement on arterial roads. Thin bonded overlays work great, such as what they put on Clayton Road. On an arterial like Kehrs Mill with truck traffic, loading would be an issue. School buses, trash trucks, or anything above that weight will impact a significant load on the pavement. A car does very little damage in terms of loading on a street. It’s all heavy trucks. Alderman McDermott asked would a 62,000 pound truck with out-riggers be a problem. Mr. Palmer said a higher type pavement design should be considered for that type of vehicle. Alderman McDermott said that if the Fire District sets up a ladder truck on a street, there will be 60,000 pounds off to one side.
Alderman Terbrock said that if options are provided to developers, they will always select the old standby, easy, cheap option to just dig a hole, let the water go into the hole, and make the streets as cheap as possible. He said we may have to set a standard and not provide other options.
Alderman McDermott said we have some streets that are graded very low. He asked about the section of Clayton Road in Ellisville that was recently nova chipped. What grade would be given to that section when the work was performed. Mr. Palmer said that there’s more than just grading involved, but he gave it a 5. A uniform cross slope is necessary because there is such a thin lift. If the cross slope is of a certain angle, there will be areas scratching the surface and in some areas, 1.5 inches will be necessary. If there is a uniform cross slope on a street with a condition level 5, it will work out well. Alderman McDermott said that the goal would be to work on streets before they reach 5. Mr. Palmer said yes.
Alderman McDermott asked when the pervious pavement is vacuumed, is it a hazardous waste or can the materials be dumped in a landfill? Mr. Palmer said it’s not a hazardous waste. City Engineer Kramer said he disagrees. The street sweeping that was done this year had to go to a hazardous waste dump site to empty the materials. There was heavy metal in the debris. Mr. Palmer said that it was probably a controlled waste and not necessarily hazardous.
Alderman McDermott asked if Ballwin is keeping up with its street repairs? This year, at the request of several aldermen, Ballwin has doubled what was done last year. Are we going to keep up with it over the next several years, or are we reaching a tipping point where we are not going to be able to keep up with continuing repairs? City Engineer Kramer said two years ago, the street average was 6.3. Right now, the average is 6.2. Mr. Palmer said that a 1/10 of a percent drop is not bad at all. An overall rating of 6.2 or 6.3 is higher than normal.
Alderman Fleming said that the newly added streets should have high numbers. The streets that should have been taken out that made Ward 3 ratings go down are bad streets. The bad numbers were taken out and some of the new numbers that are included are good. Going down 1/10 might be an understatement. It might have been more of a drop than that, taken into account the other factors. Alderman Fleming said that perhaps a new plan could be agreed upon in early 2011 now that new data has been provided.
Alderman Finley asked about residents who live on streets that are shared by another municipality. He asked why Roland Avenue is not on the list. City Engineer Kramer said that Roland Avenue is in Winchester. The right-of-way line is the city limit line. Winchester takes care of the street, including snow plowing.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Dynamic Signage (Message Signs): City Attorney Robert Jones said a draft ordinance has been prepared and research was conducted regarding constitutional restrictions regulating signs. He reviewed a study that was provided by the City of Creve Coeur and webinar materials. In the draft ordinance, substantial findings are included regarding the public health and welfare and how they may be impacted by dynamic signs.
City Attorney Jones said that from a legal standpoint, the city can impose reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on signs. We have to be content neutral in doing this. For that reason, some of the items addressed in the draft ordinance are font size, brightness, how often the message changes, location of the sign in proximity to an intersection, etc. He said he has tried to incorporate this language into the sign code, but in so doing, there are a number of impacts with the zoning ordinance, and the Ballwin code as a whole. The definition section for the ordinances is found in the first section of the code and then utilized throughout the entire code. This is the reason the new definition of dynamic display signs goes into Chapter 1, not into Chapter 22, which is the sign code.
City Attorney Jones said that it is important to note that once we begin working on this, there will be impacts with other sections of the code. Therefore, care should be taken not to create inconsistencies. He recommended that the Board extend the moratorium for 30 days to allow more time to review the other aspects of the city’s code to make sure inconsistencies are not created that will cause a problem from an enforcement standpoint, and that public health and safety concerns are not watered down. The moratorium was adopted on September 13, for 90 days, which would be about December 13, which is the next Board of Aldermen meeting. He suggested that the moratorium be extended for 30 more days to go past the first of the year. He suggested that the Board review the proposed legislation.
Alderman Terbrock suggested that the moratorium be extended 45 days to give adequate time for review and discussion at the January 10 meeting. A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman McDermott to extend the moratorium to 45 days. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Finley asked what is included in the substitution clause. City Attorney Jones said that the people that prepared the study, as well as some of the case law from other jurisdictions, talked about a typical sign code that says you can put up election signs 30 days before the election, but must be taken down by 3 days after the election. A commercial sign with a commercial message can stay up 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The commentators in some of the case law in other jurisdictions suggested that this is a favoring of commercial speech over non-commercial speech. The idea is that if you include a substitution clause in the legislation, which allows commercial content to be taken down and non-commercial content substituted, you cannot criticize the regulating body of the governmental entity for favoring commercial speech over non-commercial speech. If they can take down the 89 cents for a loaf of bread sign and put up an endorsement of a candidate, then you have probably created a content neutral legislation, at least with regard to that situation.
A representative from Watchfire Signs presented a 5-minute Power Point report on the dynamic signage. He said that there is a proven track record of increased sales as a result of using LED signs. He said a 20-minute hold on a message is, in his view, not reasonable for multiple businesses using the sign. He recommended 3 to 5 seconds per message. This will be more beneficial to the businesses in the city.
Alderman Terbrock said that right now there is only one sign that is exploding with red, white, and blue, which looks like an emergency vehicle. He also said that watching a sign for 3-5 seconds while driving on Manchester Road is not acceptable.
City Attorney Jones said that one of the comments that the commentators raised is that when the message is sequential, and it tells a story, human nature is to watch it so that you see the whole story. If there is something that takes 5 or 6 different displays, it’s more of an impact on the driving public than one or two messages.
Mayor Pogue said that City Attorney Jones will further research this subject.
Telecommunications report: City Attorney Jones said that two different demands from two different telecommunications providers have been received. AT&T Mobility has requested a refund of certain taxes that they allegedly paid between 2005 and 2010, which were improperly imposed upon data and internet services, as opposed to voice services. This is a result of a large class action pending in 45 different states. AT&T settled with their customers by saying that they would send out notices and try to get refunds. If they get refunds, they will be assigned to the customers. Ballwin has received a letter just like 451 other municipalities in the State of Missouri. Unless someone feels different about this, he is going to send a relatively short response that says this refund is not appropriate. It was dealt with in the settlement of the AT&T Mobility case last year, and they did not reserve their right to protest any funds from 2005 through 2010.
Charter Communications: City Attorney Jones said there is a class action ongoing case against Charter. This is similar to the ones that were settled in the last year and a half with regard to voice services. Charter is hedging its bets before it settles like everyone else. That’s my opinion of what’s happening here. We’ll wait and see if they actually file suit to perfect the protest, which they must do, within 90 days.
Greenburg Case: Ballwin became a party to an appeal filed in the Missouri Court of Appeals by Louis Greenburg. He said he spoke with Mr. Greenburg’s lawyer to see if there was some way to resolve these never ending appeals and the on-going issues. As soon as he get more information, he will report back to the Board.
Street Improvements / Pavement Assessment: Alderman Terbrock said “I’m going to get back to the street issue. This will go out to all of the department heads. On September 3 or November 3, I received an e-mail from Gary Kramer about the street length that I asked for. It came out 180,205 feet of streets, without arterials, in Ward 1. Now, in our packet, we get this saying that this wasn’t quite right. There’s actually 33,000 feet less, with the arterials figured into it. This is the kind of thing that I’ve talked about before, about information going out that is incorrect. We lost one Alderman over basically this type of situation. At the last meeting we had another Alderman that was standing up, completely out of order, using curse words over what basically is, in his mind, misinformation. Last year, probably around this same time, I asked in a pretty nice way can we please make sure we start getting information. We as a Board are up here trying to make decisions based on this information that you department heads give us. Not to hold Glenda up, but it seems like when we get this information, we’ve got 13 disclaimers on why it’s actually not correct and bla bla bla bla. I don’t care about that. The information I get is what I asked for. I don’t care about disclaimers. I want the information. I don’t know what the excuse is for this, Gary, but I’m really, really, really upset by this.”
City Engineer Kramer said “It was sent out prematurely. I take the blame for that. It wasn’t as thorough as it needed to be. It shouldn’t have gone out. It was an e-mail that basically was reacting too quickly for a request and not given the time it should have been given.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “I appreciate that, but that’s the blanket thing that we get every time. Oh, a mistake! Nothing’s ever held accountable. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t know if any information in this is correct, and I’m up here making decisions on it. Creditability is starting to go away on all of this information we’re getting completely. It’s periodically one or the other, whatever. I’m really, really, really fed up with getting bad information. In this case, this happened to apply to me where I got pretty excited that I was actually going to get my residents a little bit more funds for the streets, but then again, our report looks pretty good, but it still ain’t right. We go from 29% of the street down to 21% or 24% or whatever it is – lost 3% just on pages of paper. These were supposed to be exact measurements. I’m just dumbfounded by this. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I do not, do not, from any one of the department heads, want any bad information again, or I’ll quit too. I’ll walk out. This is ridiculous. It doesn’t do any d_ _ _ good to be up here. That’s all I’ve got to say.”
Alderman Fleming said, “Based on tonight’s meeting, we really need to do a study to improve our Board room facilities. No one could hear anything with the rain, and we had this gentleman who had to project on a brick wall. I know no one likes to spend a lot of money, me included, but I think we would provide a better meeting for the public and even for ourselves if we looked into upgrading our system so that we could display Power Points. I’ve had Cub Scouts in here and tried to draw on the white board. It’s even hard to draw on the white board it’s so old. I’d just like to make a suggestion that staff try to come up with a plan where the Board room could be upgraded a little bit. We weren’t real productive at the beginning of this meeting and there’s no good place for the projection presentation. I think we maybe need to spend a little money on that.”
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:58 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR