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
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 June 13, 2011 Board of Aldermen meeting and closed session were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Candidate Certification: Alderman Fleming said that City Attorney Jones wrote a letter and sent a letter to the Board of Elections, to which we’ve never received a response. City Attorney Jones said that is correct. Alderman Fleming said that Alderman Boerner submitted additional information for a letter. He said he has combined the draft letters prepared by City Attorney Jones and Alderman Boerner to be sent to the Secretary of State, asking for guidance. He said another point will be to agree how this will be handled. We need someone to follow up to the Secretary of State’s office for a response.
Alderman Boerner suggested that the “Attestation” form from the Election Board certifying the candidates be included with the letter to the Secretary of State. Alderman Fleming agreed and also suggesting adding to paragraph 9, the following: “A copy of the candidate attestation form is enclosed”. Alderman Boerner agreed.
Alderman Boerner said that RSMo Section 79.70 is also an issue regarding age and residency for verification. He said this should be added to the first paragraph. Alderman Fleming said he will make these changes in the letter.
Alderman Boerner said he believes the letter should be more assertive on the Board of Aldermen position on this issue, and ask the Secretary of State to respond to our plan for verification. The fundamental issue is if we should be doing anything other than signing the form without doing any research for certification. The other issue is with Section 115.346. He believes we should be abiding by this because it’s not fair to wait until election day to determine if a candidate is qualified, or if they should be on the ballot. He said the letter should define what we want to do and ask them to respond.
Mayor Pogue said that the proposed draft letter asks if we should be doing anything, instead of telling the Secretary of State what our procedure is going to be. We need to know if this is our responsibility or the St. Louis County Board of Elections authority. That’s what the current draft letter represents. The election authority is the St. Louis County Board of Elections. Alderman Boerner said certify means to attest authoritatively, to inform with certainty. What we are doing does not rise to that level. The issue is if we should be doing this.
Alderman Finley asked City Attorney Jones, “If we send this letter and get a response from the Secretary of State, we could come up with our position based on that reply, should a follow up letter be sent depending on the response we receive from the Secretary of State.” City Attorney Jones said, “Hopefully we would get enough guidance from the first response to then consider as a Board what forms we want to require of our candidates before attesting to their qualifications and sending it to the Board of Election Commissioners. There’s time to do this, but I don’t think we will get any response at all.”
Alderman Harder referred to the paragraph that states, “If we do not receive your reply by August 31, 2011, we will assume that you concur with our interpretations described above.” He asked, “Do we run the risk of them sticking this in a drawer and taking the easy way out and not getting involved in this if we leave that open? Should we say that we would like a reply by this date, and not give the option not to respond?”
Alderman Fleming said, “I want someone to call the Secretary of State’s office every other day to press for an answer. There have been other municipalities that have had candidate, election issues.” Mayor Pogue suggested that the letter be sent Certified / Return Receipt. The Board agreed that City Attorney Jones should call the Secretary of State’s office every other day regarding an answer to the letter.
City Attorney Jones asked who will sign the letter. City Administrator Kuntz recommended that the Mayor sign the letter on behalf of the Board of Aldermen. Alderman Fleming suggested that the signature be shown as Mayor Tim Pogue, with unanimous consent of the Board of Aldermen. The Board agreed.
Senator Jane Cunningham said that if she is copied on the letter being discussed, she will be glad to assist in contacting the Secretary of State’s office for a response. She also said that this year, HB 142 was passed. With voter approval, the city can charge up to $1.00 per month on all residential properties. Residential properties are defined as 4 or fewer dwelling units. This money can be used to repair or replace water lines from the main water line to the dwelling. This would go on the tax bill. Also, the city can recover cost associated with enforcement of property maintenance and nuisance maintenance. If someone is not keeping up their property, and the city would have to participate in the cleanup, the cost could be recovered. This would be by voter approval for the $1.00 per month fee.
City Administrator Kuntz said, “The Board of Aldermen, at the last meeting, authorized us to participate in a bid process for the surplus State property that fronts on our municipal New Ballwin Park. It was a sealed bid process, and we were called back to invest in a final offer. I appreciate your assistance. In the next couple of weeks, we should hear the result. We’re hoping for the best.” Senator Cunningham asked for this information to be forwarded to her.”
Robert Klein, 2452 Capitol Landing: Mr. Klein spoke about openness in government. He said recently a citizen suggested that it’s a better protocol for the Board of Aldermen to resolve their differences behind closed doors. It sounded like he was suggesting that we should have a less open government. He said he talked with many people in Ward 2. He said he has never heard one citizen tell me that they want a more closed government, a more secret government. They applaud the effort of having a very open government. He asked that the Board continue to bring things into the open and having a more open government in Ballwin.
Mayor Pogue said, “The dialog that was given was that if there is a personal difference between two of the aldermen, that they discuss it privately instead of making it a personal vendetta in the Board room. A private matter, not government issues, should be handled outside, is what the citizen was talking about.”
BILL # 3680 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE APPOINTMENT OF CHRIS GRAVILLE AS
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3680. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3680 was read for the first time.
City Administrator Kuntz said, “The per meeting stipend is the same as it has been for the prior Prosecuting Attorneys. The hourly rate for certified cases is less than we were previously applying as a compensation rate. The City Attorney and I drafted this in such a manner so that there is no confusion regarding attendance and representation at court. It’s a per session amount and should the backup prosecutor serve in that capacity, then that fee is applied as appropriate.”
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a second reading of Bill No. 3680. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3680 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3680 with the following results:
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3681. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3681 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a second reading of Bill No. 3681. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3681 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3681 with the following results:
BILL # 3682 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO SPIRIT WEST MOTOR CARRIAGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE AND MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE AND REPAIR FACILITY INCLUDING BODY WORK AND PAINT.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a first reading of Bill No. 3682. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3682 was read for the first time.
Mayor Pogue said, “One of the requirements of the Planning & Zoning Commission was an enhanced landscaping plan.” The Petitioner was present and presented the landscaping plan.
Alderman Harder asked about the appearance of the building. The petitioner said the plan is to install a more modern roof. The doors will be trimmed and there will be artificial plants at the doorway. Alderman Harder asked if the building will be painted. The petitioner said, “That would deter from the type of brick that is on the building. It has a stone look.” Mayor Pogue said, “One of the conditions that you agreed to was to repair the roof and paint the building, in Item #16.” The Petitioner said, “I don’t know if the landlord would allow me to paint the building. The style of concrete block is very pleasant to the eye.”
City Attorney Jones said, “That was from my notes, that the building was to be painted. I may have misunderstood, but I thought that was one of the points that the Planning & Zoning Commission raised at the meeting.” The Petitioner said, “It’s a natural color that looks good and requires no maintenance. The roof is the deterrent for the property. We added a small island at the front of the building with low landscaping.”
City Attorney Jones said, “This Board can disregard the approval recommendation of the Planning & Zoning Commission, and vote negatively. Any portion of the recommendation can be disregarded or amended.”
Alderman Harder asked about the garage door. The Petitioner said, “We can paint the garage door. We plan on replacing the side door. The lighting onto the parking lot will also be replaced into a downward focus.”
Alderman Finley corrected the address to be 14643 Manchester Road instead of 14767 Manchester Road.
Alderman Harder asked if the current sign location will be staying. The Petitioner said he will get a new permit to update the sign and it will stay in that location.
Alderman Finley said it was suggested that perhaps the fence could be similar to the one at Johnny Mac’s. The Petitioner said they have already done that. Alderman Finley asked about the exhaust system. The Petitioner said, “They are preparing to use charcoal re-circulating equipment which will not exhale anything into the air. It has a meter and filters. The first filter removes about 98% of the fumes. We’re planning on using water-born paint with sole solvents used in the top last coat. He said the VOCs are in the base coat, not in the top coat. Any major refinishing will go to our Manchester store which is 3 blocks away.”
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Leahy for a second reading of Bill No. 3682, as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3682 was read for the second time.
Findings: A vote in favor of the bill finds that the Petition, as submitted, would not substantially increase traffic hazards or congestion; would not adversely affect the character of the neighborhood; would not adversely affect the general welfare of the community; would not over-tax public utilities; would not adversely affect public safety and health; is consistent with good planning practice; can be operated in a manner that is not detrimental to the permitted developments and uses in the District; and can be developed and operated in a manner that is visually compatible with the permitted uses in the surrounding area. A vote against the bill means that one or more of these findings are absent.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3682 with the following results:
BILL # 3683 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE FINAL PSD DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR ESTATES AT HALLMARK PLACE SUBDIVISION.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a first reading of Bill No. 3683. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3683 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3683. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3683 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3683 with the following results:
BILL # 3684 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING A MANCHESTER ROAD REVITALIZATION OVERLAY DISTRICT FOR CERTAIN LAND COMMONLY KNOWN AS 15110 MANCHESTER ROAD IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN AND CURRENTLY ZONED C-1 COMMERCIAL.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3684. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3684 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. 3684. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3684 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3684 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. Chavanel Streets – Draft legislation for next meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Board of Adjustment: Mayor Pogue said, “There are two alternate positions. I plan on asking the Board to move one of the alternates into a full-time position. At this time, the Board of Adjustment does not have Ward 3 representation. I would like to see one of these alternate positions filled by Ward 3.”
Ward 2 Alderman: Mayor Pogue said, “I will have a recommendation at the next Board meeting. I have received 5 names, and I will be contacting the candidates next week.”
Policy Manual: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a continuation of the Policy Manual review. He suggested. Mayor Pogue suggested starting the review before budget preparation begins. This review can continue at the next meeting in August. The Board agreed.
Speed Humps: City Administrator Kuntz said, “As you recall, it was requested by a condominium complex in Ward 2 that the main street have speed control by the erection of speed humps or speed bumps. This was a specific request from the property manager, not from a resident, more research was done. City Engineer Kramer contacted the three fire districts to get clarification. There’s no consistency from the three districts as to what they would or would not accept. The city-wide standard seems to be a difficult thing to implement. The City of Maplewood has them on a limited basis. The Maplewood template could not be used on the street requested. Board direction is requested.”
Mayor Pogue said, “I would like to see more research done, even if a stipulation was used that it has to be approved by the associated fire district. This will give staff an additional tool when asked about different speed calming devices. Metro West has one installation that they accept. He recommended that the Aldermen look at this as a sample. It’s in the Cherry Hills Subdivision.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “We can tell the property owner that this one cannot be considered, but if there are future requests, in our discussion, it would be brought to the Board as an option, depending on conditions, as well as the fire district.” The Board agreed.
City Attorney Jones said, “From Monarch, there is an e-mail that indicates that they would not approve the installation of speed humps. From Metro West, there is a letter that indicates that they would approve speed humps with cut out. What was the response of West County?” City Engineer Kramer said, “I don’t think they fully understood the cutouts. West County is worried that their trucks will twist, partly up, partly down. Actually, the vehicle doesn’t know it’s there.”
Alderman Boerner said, “If they have some regulation on this, it would be better for us to have it on the front end to know what to expect on the back end when a request is made, and to know if we should be spending our time on this or not in terms of making the request in the beginning.” Mayor Pogue said, “The fire marshal would be the authority of jurisdiction for Metro West.” Alderman Boerner asked, “Wouldn’t they have to do it in the context of a regulation or something? Unilaterally, they don’t have authority to make policy. It would be desirable to have this in our hand before we spend more time on this. I suggest that we see what they have.”
Alderman Harder said he agrees with Alderman Boerner. He said that speeds bumps won’t be installed on Mimosa because it is a collector street. The question is what will the fire districts approve in the future if we want to use the speed bumps? He said he would like to see something in writing that has been determined by their Board. Alderman Boerner said, “I don’t understand doing this on a case-by-case basis when it can be all encompassing and cover every situation that comes up.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “I don’t think this is a statutory thing that they got out of a code book at the State level. I’ll check on this. For now, we don’t need to do anything tonight on this request.”
Fee Waiver Request: City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is a request from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It’s a refund of the building fee, as well as the Contractor License requirement. The recommendation is to waive the building permit fee, but not the contractor license, for the reason that the contractor license is a license that allows the contractor to do other business within the city for a 12-month period. There was a similar request a couple of years ago in a charitable situation to retrofit a house. The same kind of guideline was followed.
Alderman Finley said, “In your letter, you mentioned that this type of exception is rarely granted. Would it be possible to mention this to the local charitable organizations to see if they wanted to pay for this instead of this Board taking any action?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “I can only recall one other example in 23 years. Staff does not have the administrative authority to waive it. It’s only about $50 on the building permit side. It is a case-by-case and is rarely granted.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “I’m inclined to return the fee for the contractor’s license because if he wants to work in Ballwin in the future, he will have to get another permit at that time.”
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming to return the building permit fee and the contractor’s license fee, as requested. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to accept the Financial Report. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Boerner said, “Would Finance Officer Loehr please comment on the unrestricted cash and investments by month, in terms of the growth of the cash position, coming down on the investments, and what we’re planning to do with the cash.” Finance Officer Loehr said, “Right now there’s a holding pattern to pay off the debt that has been transferred to the Trustee. The debt payment will take place on September 1. We have a May 9 street repair that will be coming out this summer, possible land purchase that will keep liquid cash right now and not as much in investments. Also the rate is very low. The amount that we’re going to pay to redeem the debt is $2.7 million.”
Alderman Boerner said, “Every year, the top number is the current year. That means that every year, we are increasing our cash possession. It’s a very substantial increase in the current year.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “We intend to increase our cash position at the end of 2011. The reason is that the amount of retained reserve for bond payments will be significantly reduced and freed up because you’re paying off half of a bond that you don’t have to hold a reserve for. That amount on March 1, 2012 will have to be tracked as revenue. That’s $623,270 new dollars. That position, as a result of the pre-payment of debt will be adding to our reserves. For that reason, coupled with the comprehensive review that we’ve done of our financial software, and the price structure that we have in today’s market vs. the unknown price in the future, we would like to recommend that this Board consider going with the New World software upgrade. This is recommended by the Finance Officer, staff, and Alderman Fleming. They have reviewed, compared with other cities, done extensive reference checking and demonstration, and recommend it to replace our current outdated finance package. If it takes a re-appropriation to do this, I’m confident that this expenditure will less than if it was deferred into 2012.”
Alderman Fleming said, “The current vendor does not seem to be moving their software to the next level. It’s not web-based, and they don’t have any plans to do this, as far as we can tell. Other vendors and programs were reviewed and considered. We visited the City of Chesterfield to see how they were using the system. The price is less than we expected when we started this research. With the good news that City Administrator Kuntz has just shared, this purchase will be non-impactful to our current budget. I don’t see any point in waiting. I think this is a very good use of our money, and is something that we will eventually need to do. I concur with the recommendation to move forward at this time.”
Alderman Fleming explained the different modules in this software package, such as financial management, payroll, human resources, and community development which is what the inspectors use, etc. He said, “There will be systems that are all tied in together instead of a grouping of different vendors. Reporting will be easier and everything will be centralized. There are only a couple of serious vendors in this type of software. The New World system suits our needs best, the most responsive, the most favorable references. The City of Lee Summit is moving away from this system because they have used it for 25 years, and they finally outgrown it because their city is approaching about 95,000 people. I think this system will be rock solid for us for many, many years. The system they are replacing it with costs about $4 million. This is the least expensive alternative to suit our needs. If Ballwin grows to 90,000 people 25 years from now, and we’re looking to replace it, it will have served us well.”
Alderman Harder asked if there is anything that the New World software doesn’t do that we would like it to do. Alderman Fleming said, “There are modules that we chose not to purchase. We didn’t choose to purchase anything related to Parks & Recreation because we have RecTrac, and is working very well. It still has the ability to pull in some of that information so it still can be reported on. This is a compre-hensive thing and will be after January 1 before it’s up and going.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “This company specializes in municipal finance, which is unique in the whole computer realm to fine someone who speaks knowledgeably about municipal finance. Other companies can talk about finance packages, but not municipal finance. There’s a big difference. Chesterfield is very satisfied with this software.”
Alderman Fleming said, “Even the city that is moving off of this software had nothing but good things to say about it. The only reason they are moving off of it is because they now have about 95,000 people, and have to now spend $4 million to keep up with that size population. It’s a very well designed product, and also is suited for our type of municipality. There is no contractual obligation with our current vendor. Also, PDFs can be attached. Training will be provided over an extended period of time so that staff is not overwhelmed and time will not be wasted in the transition.”
Alderman Harder asked if this will be interactive with the Police Department. City Administrator Kuntz said, “That module was not discussed because they are adequately covered.” Police Chief Schicker said, “The Police Department has two systems, the Criminal Justice Information sharing with REJIS, but the reports as mandated under State statute, require every municipality to report crimes to a central depository, which is, in our case, St. Louis County. St. Louis County has a reporting system that we are allowed to tap into, and we’re doing that at no cost other than the interface for us to be able to do that. It’s not compatible at all with this discussion.”
Alderman Boerner said, “The annual maintenance is going to be $47,520 annually.” Alderman Fleming said, “That is correct. The industry standard for enterprise software annual maintenance is usually anywhere from 10% to 20%. This is in that range and is an industry standard. If the versions are change, we will get the change automatically and any service pacs they release throughout the year, and a certain amount of technical support over the phone. We pay a maintenance cost to our current provider each year and several other vendors. I anticipate those maintenance costs for the existing vendors in a future budget will drop off.”
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming to re-appropriate the budget in the amount of $396,840. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy to direct staff to enter into this agreement for the New World software. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Solar Panels: City Administrator Kuntz said, “Code Enforcement Supervisor Jerry Klein is the coordinator of this energy grant, which involves lighting upgrades, mechanical system upgrades, and several key components. The most economical and beneficial item is the rooftop system that will be mounted on the Government Center and will have the most direct and significant impact on our monthly utility cost. We are recommending the low bid by Brightergy Solar Solutions for their 11.760 kW system. It has the most generation potential. We are reasonably comfortable that we will be able to, through our application, reconfigure the grant and remain whole. Some of the items that we’ve purchased out of this grant were under budget, and this one is a little bit higher, but we have reasonable assurance that the overrun will be absorbed.”
Code Enforcement Supervisor Jerry Klein said, “In May, we had the bids for the insulation for the Police Department building and the Government Center. We’ve asked the State to transfer that money over to the solar part of the project.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “Each of the perspective bidders had the pre-knowledge in the spec that the owner, the City, would use the unit kilowatt price to expand the size, so whatever you bid, you knew that your chance could be for the minimum or could go up to the maximum.”
Alderman Harder asked, “What percentage if the building will be powered by this system?” Code Enforcement Supervisor Jerry Klein said, “In the summer when we’re getting our highest level of solar energy, we should be able to cover most of the Government Center. Other times of the year, it won’t come close. When the highest amount of solar energy that we’re producing is coming in, we are going to be using it on air-conditioning and other things.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is a big step for a city to do this. I’m very excited that this Energy Efficiency Initiative is available because it shows everyone that we’re serious about energy conservation.”
Alderman Harder asked, “How much of the City’s money is involved in the $57,388? Code Enforcement Supervisor Klein said, “It is 32% of the $57,388, when the State transfers the $27,000.” Alderman Harder said, “So, our part will be about $8,300.” Mr. Klein said, “That was for the 8kW. 11.760 kW will be a little higher than that and is budgeted. There’s a one-year warranty on the contract that we will sign, and after that we will hire our own contractors to make repairs, just like we would hire someone to repair and maintain a rooftop air conditioner.” City Administrator Kuntz said that as long as the panels are clean, it should operate efficiently.
Alderman Harder asked if this will change anything on our insurance. If there is a hale storm that does damage, could this affect the insurance coverage? Mayor Pogue said that MoDOT has installed quite a few on their maintenance buildings throughout the state.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to accept the recommendation with the instruction to staff to inform our insurance company that we will be making a physical improvement to our building for insurance purposes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
In-Car Computers: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the annual installment of 8 in-car computers. This is for mobile data computers from a vendor that we had solicited. The technical issues were addressed by Information Systems Manager Paula Reeds and the recommendation memo by Police Chief Steve Schicker is provided.
Police Chief Schicker said, “The budgeted amount was $25,000. These will be the final 4 computers that need to be purchased. The expected life span is about 7 years. The warranty is for 39 months.”
Alderman Harder said, “I spent time on the unit today. The software does the same thing on both units. The big difference is the hardware and how it mounts in the car. The recommendation is that because it doesn’t have an internal fan, it has to be in front of or close to the air-conditioning vents of the car to keep it cool. The car has to do the work of the computer, or what the computer should be doing for itself. The 911 data is more user friendly. With the Datalux Tracer model, if it’s mounted, there’s not much room for a radar detector.” Police Chief Schicker agreed.
Police Chief Schicker said that there were 5 bids requests sent out and 2 responded. There was a 3rd response from WWT, but it was an e-mail quote the day before the bid packet opening, which was not consistent with the RFP requirement. Two companies opted not to bid.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Leahy to accept the purchase as recommended by staff. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
City Attorney Jones said, “Since the last meeting, there have been two appellate rulings involving the City of Ballwin which were fairly significant:
Sewer Lateral Case: Adams vs. Fergonza: The Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals denied the plaintiff’s motion for re-hearing an application for transfer to the Supreme Court. Finance Officer Loehr has been assembling some data with regard to properties which may be served by septic systems or may have too many units to qualify for our sewer lateral program as condominium units and we’re hoping that we will be able to come back to the Board with some suggestions for possible rebates and some properties that should be stricken from the list, and notify St. Louis County so that these property owners won’t be billed again in 2011.
Greenburg Case: The Supreme Court denied Mr. Greenburg’s application for transfer. The Court of Appeals dismissed the final pending appeal. That case is now over. If something surprising happens, like perhaps the United States Supreme Court accepting the case, but nothing has been filed to that extent, I would have to think that this litigation is over at this time.”
Alderman Harder asked, “With the Greenburg case, he’s not pursuing anything against us?” City Attorney Jones said that’s correct. Alderman Harder asked, “And we’re not pursuing anything more against him?” City Attorney Jones said, “That’s correct. It’s my understanding that there is no pending enforcement action that the City of Ballwin has filed in this report, and all the litigation that he has filed has now been disposed.”
Alderman Harder asked, “The artwork that he has is now in the easement. Is there any recourse about this because he’s out to the street with things? If we’re responsible for the easement, are we going to enforce the easement?” City Attorney Jones said, “I suppose that’s something that will have to be determined by the Code Enforcement official and the Prosecuting Attorney.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “We have not, because of all of the pending litigation, further clouded the issue, by design. We’ve spent 3 – 5 years and the condition is as it was when the case was initially filed. I would think that I would need legal guidance and political guidance from this Board. To file at this point, almost certainly result in the resumption of the legal process. If you really want to do that, you have the right to discuss this, as a closed session topic.” City Attorney Jones said, “I think so, although civil litigation is not something that the City would pursue. It would be enforcement action in the municipal court, which is really a function of the prosecuting attorney and a code enforcement official.”
City Attorney Jones said, “When a group of citizens from Mr. Greenburg’s subdivision came to the meeting in 2007, we spoke with them about a civil action for a private nuisance, which would be available to those property owners, and still is. At this point, they have chosen not to pursue that. The question is whether the City feels like some portion of the display, either the area that’s in the City’s right-of-way or some other dangerous condition would be important or dangerous enough to pursue enforcement again. That’s a discussion that the code enforcement official should have with the prosecuting attorney.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “It’s not without political sensitivity implications, and I would want to include the Board of Aldermen in that discussion before we charge blindly forward. We could jump back on the merry-go-round and 4 years from now, nothing’s changed. The municipal court does not have the remedy to abate.”
Alderman Harder asked, “What Mr. Greenburg is doing in the easement, does that set a precedent for anybody to do a lot of different things that in the past we did not approve?” City Attorney Jones said, “It’s a matter of degree. Everyone has a private mailbox in the City’s right-of-way, some mailboxes are masonry structures, or a ring wall with flowers.”
Outdoor Sales: Alderman Harder said, “A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about business displays in Ballwin. This is the final update. City Planner Aiken stated the following in his memorandum:
Through the efforts of Business Resource Officer Rob Rogers, a meeting with local businesspeople was scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. at the Ballwin Government Center to discuss concerns and issues related to Ballwin’s current regulations limiting the outdoor sale, display and storage of merchandise. This meeting was held pursuant to Officer Rogers interviewing Ballwin business representatives regarding this issue.
Ballwin’s current regulations severely limit the type of merchandise and businesses that can engage in this activity. The activity requires the issuance of a special use exception through the Planning and Zoning Commission. This is an expensive, time consuming and difficult process that may have served to limit the number of businesses that are involved in this activity. Additionally, the process only allows the outdoor display and storage of gardening supplies, nursery stock and motor vehicles.
PO Roger’s spoke primarily with retail businesses that would presumably consider this type of merchandising. His preliminary discussions lead to the conclusion that most businesses believed that this type of merchandising should generally be allowed with limited interference or regulation from the City. On the basis of the preliminary feedback, it was determined that a focus group meeting with some of these businesspeople would be useful to facilitate an understanding from all parties as to the concerns and limitations that should be in place relative to the activity.
Ralph Cobb from Johnny Mac’s, Kathy Mueller from Arco Lawn, Scott Dyer from Once Upon a Child, Jeremy Street from Michael’s Crafts, Craig Taylor from U-Gas, Sherri Martin from QuickTrip and John Sullivan from Pet Supplies Plus all agreed to participate in the meeting at the designated time and place. Alderman Harder, Alderman Finley, Rob Rogers and Tom Aiken represented Ballwin. Unfortunately only Sherri Martin and John Sullivan were able to attend from the business community.
The group agreed on the following general principles to govern to outdoor display, sale and storage of merchandise:
1. Only businesses licensed in Ballwin to do business on the premises should be allowed to conduct this activity.
1. Outdoor display should be allowed in all commercial districts at all times without the need for permits for this activity.
Solar Panels: Alderman Terbrock said “This is obviously an 11 kW system, which is typically 40 panels. You’ll get eleven kW of power per hour produced in the panels with perfect conditions of direct sunlight. The system will get 10.9 kW hours of power for direct sunlight and perfect environmental conditions. It works out to about $5 an hour. The 11 kW per hour system will power an average residential house, which is enough to take an average home off the grid, except during brutally cold winters or blazing hot summers using electric air-conditioning.”
Thank you: Alderman Fleming said, “I’d like to thank the Board for approving the software expenditure. We’ve done some good things to focus on the future in the past couple of months, such as finance – the City will be debt-free relatively soon. We’re going to modernize the software, start going solar. We’re doing a lot of things to focus on the future. Everyone should be commended for being forward looking instead of getting caught up in the everyday details, which we sometimes do. Let’s try to update the Board room speakers also.”
Speed Bumps: Alderman Finley said, “I’m against speed bumps. I think they impede a free flow of traffic. When I’m driving, I want to focus on a clear road. I’ve done some research and it shows that a drive can be distracted by a speed bump and take their focus away from a child on the side of the street. Instead of focusing on the child, the driver has to focus on the speed bump. There’s a safety issue that most people are not thinking of. There can be vehicle damage. This is another way of government intruding into day-to-day lives of people. I’ve talked to some residents on Mimosa that felt that they don’t need this. If there are concerns about speeding, we have our Police Department.”
Adjourn to Closed Session: A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Finley to adjourn to closed session to discuss the annual review of the City Attorney, under State Statute 610.0213. A roll call vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Aldermen Boerner, Fleming, Leahy, Harder, Terbrock, Finley. Nays: None. The motion passed unanimously to adjourn to closed session at 9:25 p.m.
Mayor Pogue opened the discussion by asking the Board if there were any specific questions or concerns. Alderman Boerner mentioned the ongoing issue of election certification while Alderman Harder commented on Mr. Jones keeping the Board informed on pending legal issues. Alderman Findley mentioned that the City Attorney provided a wide range of services and that his fees were competitive and reasonable. Mr. Harder asked Mr. Jones about a succession plan, and other minor topics were briefly touched upon in the course of the exchange. No votes or official action was taken.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the closed session at 10:27 p.m. The Board reconvened in open session at 10:28 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming, and seconded by Alderman Leahy to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR