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 7:04 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
OATH OF OFFICE
George Wrather, 560 Goldwood: Mr. Wrather spoke about backyard chickens. He asked if this is allowed in Ballwin, what requirements, penalties or fines for not doing what is required, how will the ordinance be enforced, will the chickens have to be kept in an inside pen, how often will the pens and hen house have to be cleaned, and, if the chickens get out and into a neighbor’s yard and a dog kills or injures a chicken, and for safety of children, how will all of this be enforced? He said he opposes any ordinance to allow backyard chickens.
Mr. Wrather also spoke about trash at the intersection of New Ballwin Road and Manchester Road. He said this is a safety hazard to drivers and is a disgrace to the City of Ballwin. He requested that a letter be sent to the authorities in charge of sweeping the roadway.
Lynn Goetz, 504 Kenilworth Lane: Mr. Goetz spoke about the Building Code. He said that previously, someone on the Board stated that progress was being made to adopt the 2012 building code. He said that this may not actually be progress. Two weeks ago, he was helping a friend build a new deck. The outdoor outlets had to be used, which were served by a ground fault interrupt breaker in the basement. There were a lot of trips to the basement to reset the breaker. The arch fault interrupt circuit breaker that is required by the 2008 regulations seems to be a solution to a problem that does not exist. He said a universal motor is an electric motor that has brushes on a commutater. When it operates, there is an arc between the brushes and the commutater. Vacuum cleaners have universal motors. When attempting to plug into a circuit with an arc fault interrupt, the vacuum cleaner cannot be plugged into the bedroom or any other room outlet because it is served by an arc fault breaker. He said he does not know why the unelected bureaucrats came up with this idea. He said he was told that if a child pulls a chord and it tears, the circuit breaker will break. A regular circuit breaker, if there’s a short circuit, will trip. It’s something we don’t need. He said he will appreciate it if the elected bureaucrats will consider very carefully this portion of the 2008 Electrical Code, and see if it needs to be in this code to be enforced.
Mr. Goetz said that regarding backyard chickens, he has never had a hen bite him, and no one has ever walked their hen in his front yard and had to clean up after it. He has never been awakened by a hen barking in the middle of the night.
Daniel Kirby, Streib Electric Company, 11011 Lin Valle Drive: Mr. Kirby said Streib recently submitted a bid on the UPS System for the City of Ballwin Police Department, which is RFP # 12-32. He said the first bid that came out several weeks ago was for a 10 kva system. He said he was the low bid in the amount of $13,126. The second bid was $16,500. He received an e-mail asking for a second bid for 15 kva system. He said that once a bid goes out, everyone is privy to the numbers. He was also the low bidder on the second bid for the 15 kva system, which was $17,682. The next contractor’s bid was $17,900. The sticking point was the references that he submitted. He said he has an experienced electrician that has installed at lease a dozen UPS systems, but that electrician’s experience was not included in the references Streib provided. The references he provided was for generators. A UPS system is an alternative power source, as is a generator. His electrician has installed over a hundred generators, which is also an alternative power source; he also installed 5kv systems, motor control centers, and variable frequency drives. He said that this discussion is about landing wires on a set of lugs which his electrician has about 20 years of experience. He asked that the Board consider hiring Streib Electric for this job.
Carl Essen, 520 Kehrs Mill Road: Mr. Essen said that Streib Electric Company can do this project. Rusty Gibson is a manufacturer rep. Mr. Essen said that he designs UPS systems. He has known Rusty Gibson for over 30 years, is a member of the Electrical Board of St. Louis. He said that Streib should be considered to be awarded the bid on the UPS system.
James Knowles, Waste Management, Area Manager for Public Contracts: Mr. Knowles asked the Board to put the proposal out to bid so that the industry can compete, and so that the City can benefit from the competition to find the best deal possible. He said that Allied Waste gives great service and Tony Lamantia, is a very good representative for the company.
Mr. Knowles said that until companies compete for providing this service, the City cannot know for sure if the citizens are getting best price and service. The waste disposal industry is changing and pricing is becoming very competitive. He said if the city is locked in to a contract for 10 years, many opportunities will be missed.
Al Heinermann, IGSI Waste Systems, Municipal Marketing Manager: Mr. Heinermann said that competition is beneficial. IGSI owns a landfill in St. Louis and has a good recycling processor. They are prepared to share revenue with regard to recycling volumes. Extending for such a long period of time could limit some of the opportunities that are available. He said that since the current contract will end in three years, he asked that the Board go out to bid at that time. The numbers that were given to Ballwin indicate a 10% increase in the first couple of years, and then there are small increases. He said that he guarantees that the price IGSI will offer is less than what will be paid under the new agreement. He asked to be able to submit a bid when the contract is ending, and not to extend for such a long period of time.
Carol Maguire, 487 Ironwood Drive: Ms. Maguire said she is not necessarily opposed to a long-term contract, but she has some concerns: She said her family puts out a lot of trash. Their recycling items are more than what fits inside the container. She’s concerned that the amount of trash that her family puts out will overflow a 90-gallon container. She asked about awkward shaped items that won’t fit inside the container. Will the trash collector get out of the truck and pick up the items that are not in the cart?
Ms. Maguire said she does not pay according to the amount of trash they put out. One bag a week or 10 bags, the cost is the same. She said her family uses trash bags instead of carts. When the bags are picked up, the area looks clean. After the carts are emptied, they are left at the curb until the resident gets home from work. She believes that this is not the best look for Ballwin.
George Wrather, 560 Goldwood: Mr. Wrather asked why is the pick up schedule changed almost every year? He said that the automated trucks should produce reduced rates for customers instead of an increase. Long-term contracts lock out competition and insure rate increases every year. He said the contract should be opened for bids, and then for the Board to decide if the lowest bidder is the best qualified.
Gary Krueger, 513 Lering Ct.: Mr. Krueger said he is opposed to extending the Allied contract at this time without going out for bids. This is not just about trash. It’s about the quality of life in the neighborhoods and financial responsibility on the part of the City. He said a 10-year contract is way too long. He doesn’t see any benefit to Ballwin or any loss in having shorter contracts and allowing other companies to bid. He said he has disagreements regarding the way the program is currently handled. When thinking about a 10-year contract, not everyone on the Board will be in those positions when the contract runs out. The Board is talking about locking in Ballwin and the residents to a proposal that can’t be altered.
Mr. Krueger said he is opposed to 1) the longer contract; 2) pre-paid services. The residents are paying before the services are provided by a quarter of a year. Do people go to the grocery store and pay for items that they will get 3 months later? Of course not. What is the point of paying in advance for trash and recycling collection? He said there’s no benefit to Ballwin. It only benefits the contractor. If the company goes bankrupt, the residents have paid for 3 months that no service will be provided. He said this is an unconscionable way to handle this business; 3) larger trucks. He said the current trucks are too large for most of the residential streets. In the course of the trash pickup, the trucks run across the cul-de-sac, breaking the curbs if they can’t make the turn. The weight of the truck breaks various places in the street that have been repaired with asphalt, as opposed to concrete. The size of the trucks is already so large that they pull limbs out of trees. When this happens, the driver doesn’t pick up the limbs. The homeowner has to do this; 4) automated trucks. It’s wonderful for business, they are trying to provide the service as quickly and efficiently as possible, from their perspective. When the truck picks up the cart and tilts it toward the truck, if it’s a windy day, the trash blows down the street. The person driving the truck is not going to get out of the truck and pick up the mess they left; 5) containers. Where is the large cart going to be stored? It won’t fit in most garages. If it does fit, the car has to be moved in order to bring out the cart to the curb. He said more large containers means that they can’t be kept in the garage. Do the carts have to be stored on the side of the house, behind the house where people’s patio’s are located? He said this is not an enhancement of the way of living in Ballwin. The large wheeled containers are difficult for the elderly to move to the curb, especially when there’s snow or ice on the ground.
Mr. Krueger said as far as he can see, there’s no benefit to the City and no benefit to the residents to having a long contract and this kind of service.
Olivia Pieknik, 385 Walnut Point Ct.: Ms. Pieknik said she said she canvassed her neighborhood and spoke to approximately 20 residents. It’s important to keep in mind that whatever proposal the Board approves, the Board will also be receiving the same service as the other residents. The neighbors shared with her the following concerns: 1) The neighbors believe that a 3-5 year contract would be more acceptable; 2) Fuel costs have impacted businesses. What would Allied be asking in a “good faith” discussion when fuel costs exceed $5.00 per gallon? She said she is not going to be able to talk to her boss in a “good faith” discussion when she has to pay more for gas; 3) Ms. Pieknik asked for clarification on what Allied means by “unlimited one-year extensions at the end of the new agreement”; 4) During spring cleaning, if she one time needed a second container, will Allied charge just $5.00 for the extra container, or $35 for pickup of a second solid waste container?
Ms. Pieknik said her 85-year old neighbor wants to know if she has the option to continue using her current trash can?
Ms. Pieknik said that the Public Hearing notice was published in the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” and “West Newsmagazine”. She said of all the people that she spoke to, only three were aware of the Public Hearing. She said it would have been courteous for Allied to send a post-card to the Ballwin residents informing them about the Public Hearing, since not many people knew about it.
Bill Gorman, 329 Gateford: Mr. Gorman said his family likes the big trash carts. On Gateford, every residence that has a small trash can, not one was at the curb; all were in the yard. He said that Allied does a good job. His parents live in unincorporated St. Louis County. They pay $11.50 per month with one can for trash and one for recycling. He has friends in Wildwood who pay less than $16 with unlimited trash pickup. Anything put out is picked up at each pickup. He asked the Board to consider why do Ballwin residents have to pay more for this service. He said he does not understand the economics of the entire contract. Why do Ballwin residents pay $22 when others are paying $11.50 or $16? He said this does not make sense.
Since there were no other citizen comments, Mayor Pogue declared the Public Hearing closed.
Allied Waste Municipal Account Manager, Tony Lamantia, 12976 St. Charles Rock Road, Bridgeton, Mo.: Mr. Lamantia addressed the concerns of the residents that were expressed during the Public Hearing. He said that bulky trash will continue to be picked up as is presently done. A separate truck is used. Bulky trash can be set out and picked up on the same schedule that is currently being used. He said that with the new system, everything is containerized, the lid is connected to the container and does not blow off. The trash does not blow everywhere. The container is opened over the top of the truck with a device that keeps the trash from blowing away in the wind. Mr. Lamantia said the cost savings is very good and they have gone into the future. Natural gas trucks will be used which is more efficient and the cost savings will be passed on to the residents.
Mr. Lamantia said that comparing the current 2015 contract and what is being presented, there is a significant cost savings. He said there is a 30-day out clause in the contract. If the Board does not like the service, the clause can be exercised, with either re-negotiation, or going out to bid. The option is always in place.
Billing in advance: Mr. Lamantia said that there are a lot of people who don’t pay. If Allied picks up the trash and then bills, there will be even more people who will not pay. The purpose is to make sure payment is made so that Allied can keep costs down, stay in business and provide the service.
Trees: Mr. Lamantia said with the automated system, the trees must be a proper height to remain clear of the truck.
Larger trucks: He said smaller trucks will be used under the proposed agreement. There will be less wear and tear on the Ballwin streets.
Container does not fit in a garage: Mr. Lamantia said that the carts have been tried in several municipalities. Some people complained, and after the first month, they like the system and no one has complained after that.
$5 additional container: There’s no additional charge beyond the $5. If people are recycling properly, there won’t be a lot of excess trash. Some people have larger families, which is the reason the extra container is offered at $5.
Notice of Public Hearing: Allied Waste was not involved in this, and Allied did not host the Public Hearing.
Mr. Lamantia said the 90-gallon container is $22.03. The middle container is 65 gallons and is the same size that is currently used for recycling is $20.03. The 35-gallon container is $18.03.
Alderman Harder asked if we go to the automated system, if someone has extra trash in bags, will those be picked up and will there be an extra charge? Mr. Lamantia said the items will be picked up. The driver will dump the container and then refill the container with the extra materials and dump it again. If this is a consistent procedure at a specific address, the resident will be contacted and asked to rent an additional container. If it’s occasionally happening, it will be picked up.
Alderman Harder asked if the cans are available in other colors? Mr. Lamantia said that blue is the Allied color. A gray lid is for recycling, black lid for trash, and a blue lid for yard waste. Alderman Harder asked if people should keep the carts that are currently in use. Mr. Lamantia said that the current carts with blue lids can be used for yard waste provided a yard waste sticker is on the cart. The bags of yard waste will continue to be picked up. Yard waste pick up is not automated.
Alderman Boerner asked about the lower rate in other cities. Mr. Lamantia said that an $11.50 rate may not be covering all of the services included in the Ballwin agreement. It may be just trash and recycling. The leaf collection gathers a lot of curbside material. This service and disposal are free. Containers are provided and emptied free of charge.
City Administrator Kuntz said that a survey was conducted preceding the last renewal. It was determined that there was no other place for disposal. As long as the Board wants to continue the curbside leaf collection program, the disposal factor is about $120,000 annual cost. That was consciously rolled in to the contract when it was renewed with Allied the last time. To include and absorb that cost is a large number of huge containers. We haul it to the Public Works yard. A backhoe puts the leaves in containers, and Allied hauls it away. He said that a lot of other cities don’t pick up leaves and that cost won’t be reflected in other comparisons. It’s part of the bill but not a supplemental charge.
Alderman Boerner asked if City Attorney Jones has read the proposed contract. City Attorney Jones said that he has read the contract. He sent a couple of questions to Mr. Kuntz. City Attorney Jones said that he did not see in the contract a 30-day opportunity for termination, except under impossibility of performance. Mr. Lamantia said that was in the original contract. There have been extensions of the original contract. Mr. Jones said it’s not in the amended contract. Mr. Lamantia said that this will be added to the contract.
Mr. Lamantia said that Allied is open to the possibility of a 7-year contract with a 3-year option. Street sweeping debris was also mentioned. If you are willing to go with a 10-year contract, Allied is willing to add the removal of the street sweepings with the containers and the hauls for the leaf collection. That would be of no additional charge. Mr. Jones said that he didn’t see the 30-day cancellation in either the existing contract or the amended contract. Mr. Lamantia said this will be added.
Alderman Dogan asked about fuel price increases. The hauler will deal in good faith if the price of diesel fuel goes above a certain amount. He asked what does this mean? Mr. Lamantia said all that does is allow him to come back to the Board to discuss the possibilities of the Board providing additional money. He said the difference is that Allied won’t be using diesel fuel. That is only if the trucks had to go back to diesel fuel. Natural gas will be used in the trucks. The chances of Mr. Lamantia having to come back to the Board on this issue are not likely. Mr. Dogan asked why was this included? Mr. Lamantia said this was included in the event the vehicles had to go back to diesel fuel.
Mayor Pogue asked if Allied is using natural gas trucks in other areas of the country. Mr. Lamantia said yes, and this has been done for the past 2 years.
Alderman Dogan asked, since this is presented as a lower cost and better service, if lower costs are being offered now, why can’t lower costs be offered in three years? Mr. Lamantia said he doesn’t know what’s going to happen in three years. Diesel fuel is increasing in price. He said that Allied is going into the future and he is trying to pass the cost savings on to Ballwin. Natural gas costs a lot less than diesel fuel. No one knows what it’s going to cost in three years. He said he is offering Ballwin a contract that will be honored whichever way costs go. With this contract, the Board will know what the increases will be, even though natural gas and diesel fuel costs may increase.
Alderman Boerner asked if there is an option to convert the trucks back and forth on fuel usage. Mr. Lamantia said yes. Alderman Boerner asked who is rebuilding the trucks to convert to natural gas. Mr. Lamantia said the trucks will be new, not re-built. The natural gas facility is being built in Bridgeton by Laclede Gas Company.
Since there was no more discussion, Mayor Pogue continued with the next agenda item.
(See further discussion in City Administrator’s Report: “Refuse Collection Discussion Continued”
BILL # 3745 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO AMEND THE BALLWIN POLICEMEN PENSION PLAN TO CHANGE THE CITY’S CONTRIBUTION THERETO.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3745. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, the motion passed and Bill No. 3745 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Finley for a second reading of Bill No. 3745. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3745 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3745 with the following results:
BILL # 3746 - AN ORDINANCE DECLARING THE POLICE OFFICERS IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE LAGERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3746. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, the motion passed and Bill No. 3746 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon for a second reading of Bill No. 3746. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3746 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3746 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.)
President of the Board: After Mayor Pogue’s recommendation: A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Leahy to re-appoint Alderman Frank Fleming as President of the Board of Aldermen. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Committee Assignments: Aldermanic committee assignments will be made at the next meeting and to serve on the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Ellisville Deer Management: The Ellisville Board of Aldermen voted to work with Ballwin for a regional approach on deer management. Information will be presented to both Boards.
Prescription Drug Take-Back: This will be on Saturday, April 28, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Ballwin Police Department. The drugs will be properly disposed of by law enforcement agencies.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Highway Safety Grant: This is a request from Police Chief Steve Schicker asking for authorization to participate in future highway safety grants that come up from time to time for enforcement related projects. In the event that an eligible program becomes available, the Board will be consulted. The Board agreed to authorize research and permit apply for grant opportunities provided by Missouri Traffic Safety.
Alderman Fleming provided a review of how the process works. JEMA was the firm that best understood the requirements of the operations and had the best chemistry to do the job with the most direct hands-on experience. They were told that the scope of the project would be limited to the budget cap. The company will present alternatives with cost estimates before moving into the next phase.
Alderman Boerner asked if this project is required to go out for competitive bidding. City Administrator Kuntz said State law does not allow the bidding of professional services. Firms are to be interviewed and selected on the basis of credentials. Once selected, a fee is negotiated. If a fee cannot be agreed, the second best choice can be used.
City Administrator Kuntz further explained the process. Everything JEMA presents must be compliant with all regulations. The Board is not being asked to approve a three-phase contract; only the first two phases. City Attorney Jones will be consulted to make sure that the contract only goes through phase two, but there is a mutual option to go further.
City Attorney Jones said that JEMA should submit a contract document with detailed terms and conditions to determine the full scope of their services.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to proceed with the authorization of the contract for Phase 1 of the architectural service agreement, subject to review by the City Attorney. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Supplemental Street Improvements: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the utilization of funds that were set aside for road salt purchases that were not necessary due to the mild weather conditions. There is available for that purpose almost $150,000 that can be applied toward the supplemental street improvements for 2012. The funds would be distributed as equitably as possible in the four wards. It was also based on need, citizen input, and field inspections. Since all of the 2012 street contracts were awarded on a unit price bid, it would be possible to expand the scope of the contracts with the low bidders to include these extra work elements.
City Engineer Kramer said, since 1996, the worst winter required about 4,000 tons of salt to be used. Next year’s purchase will be approximately 800 – 850 tons through the co-op to replace what was used in 2011. The salt dome holds 5,000 tons.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the re-appropriation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative vote and the motion passed.
Surplus Property: A representative from St. Louis County approached the City about the possibility of Ballwin taking ownership of a parcel of land for which the county is a trustee. The parcel is adjacent to the north property line of Ferris Park. It is a 15-foot wide by approximately 215 feet long strip that begins at New Ballwin Road and runs eastwardly along the north line of the park. It is heavily overgrown with vegetation. Since it is adjacent to the park, it recommended that the Board pursue the transfer by Ordinance.
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Harder to draft legislation to acquire this parcel. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Petition / Approval Requests: City Administrator Kuntz said at times, requests and petitions are received for different considerations. A Chesterfield example is that there was a cell tower petition. The Chesterfield Board refused to grant the consideration because the company making the request was not current on its back gross receipts tax ordinance that was approved by the city. The two issues were connected and the petition was tabled, pending resolution of the other issue.
Applying this scenario to the City of Ballwin can be reviewed by the City Attorney. If a petitioner makes a request of the Board, they should have all other ordinance requirements and legal issues complete and up to date. If a Ballwin business has a code violation, a sign violation, or illegal front yard parking in violation of their special use exception, and they request a liquor license, should all other violations be corrected before the license is issued? Alderman Harder said this has merit and should be pursued. City Attorney Jones said it seems that this is almost like doing a zoning review when a petitioner comes to the Board on an unrelated matter; a liquor license is a good example where there may not be zoning compliance. This happened at the last meeting when a Ballwin business was requesting a liquor license, but they were not following the terms of their special use exception. Legislation needs to be very clear on this issue.
Attorney Jones said that if this is going to be done, an ordinance is required, not just a paragraph in the Policy Manual. Alderman Boerner said that there seems to be an obligation to not grant a liquor license because of other violations, but there are people who can serve on the Board of Aldermen that have been delinquent in paying their tax bill.
City Attorney Jones said that when a business license is renewed, they have to present a State tax paid letter, or the license will not be renewed. The gross receipts tax and sales tax must always be paid or we won’t renew their business license. City Administrator Kuntz said that the opposite is required regarding renewal of liquor licenses. They can’t get a State license if they don’t have an approved municipal liquor license.
Alderman Fleming said that for years the Board has been trying to get a particular business to address a parking lot situation. When they wanted a liquor license, they wanted it approved right now. Basically we are saying don’t ask for anything new until you do what you say you’re going to do. The City Attorney can prepare such legislation.
Alderman Boerner said he is in favor of this, but not regarding sales tax or gross receipts tax. City Administrator Kuntz said that those taxes are already addressed separately.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to authorize the City Attorney to further review this topic. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Refuse Collection Discussion Continued: City Administrator Kuntz asked if there is any further direction regarding the proposal that was presented by Allied Waste.?
Alderman Harder said he would like to see this evaluation go to committee and perhaps out to bid. This should be discussed in more detail.
Alderman Fleming said that as a result of reviewing the surveys of other cities, our pricing is very favorable. We have had a good relationship with Allied Waste for many years. They are the only haulers who can take on a city the size of Ballwin. He doesn’t think a more competitive bid will be received that provides the large containers for the leaf vacuuming. This is a financial benefit. The 30-day out option to be added in the contract makes this a low risk proposition.
Mayor Pogue said that under the current contract, there will be a 12% increase over the next 3 years. Under the proposed contract, the increase would be 7.5% increase. This would be a less percentage of increase over the next 10 years than what we will have under the next 3 years under the current contract. There is lead time with the automation. The trucks have to be ordered to use natural gas.
Alderman Harder said he still thinks more information should be provided. This probably is a good bid, but it’s not known for sure until we ask for competitive bids.
Alderman Dogan said that he believes that the reason Allied is asking for an extension three years before the contract ends is so that they can lock us into ten years before we know what else is available and what the other companies costs are going to be three years from now. That shows a certain amount of fear from their perspective. If it turns out that everyone’s costs are going to be lower three years from now, we should wait to see what the costs are going to be, rather than locking it in right now. If the costs go down, we will be missing out on a huge savings at that time.
Alderman Finley asked City Attorney Jones about the 30-day opt out option. City Attorney Jones said that it is his understanding that the city has an absolute right to terminate the contract at any time with 30 days notice. That language is not in the existing contract or the amended contract. There is a provision for a 30-day cancellation by the city when there is non-performance. The language should be and will be put in the contract.
Alderman Boerner asked if the city should be given the option of 60 days or 90 days notice because the intent is to put the contract out to bid? Mayor Pogue said he would be reluctant to state that the contract is going to be put out to bid, which could mean cancelling the contract. Before the contract expires, we could put it out to bid.
City Administrator Kuntz said that Allied’s position is that they are here now because they will need time to provide the equipment for the technology being offered.
Alderman Leahy said that Allied provides a service that no one else offers which is the leaf hauling after the city vacuuming. If the leaf pickup is discontinued, there will be a lot of people here to address the Board on that issue. Alderman Fleming said he approves proceeding with Allied. Alderman Harder disagreed. He said he cannot defend this to his constituents with only one bid. Alderman Fleming said with the 30-day out option, this does not tie the city down to an obligation. Also, Allied would not actually do street sweeping. They would haul and dispose of the debris.
City Administrator Kuntz said there are a few holes in the amended contract. That’s the reason the legislation is not being voted on at this meeting. The only purpose at this meeting was for discussion.
Alderman Dogan said a 7 year contract is more reasonable than a 10 year extension. Mayor Pogue and Alderman Finley agreed.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to have Allied resubmit the contract for 7 years, with the 30-day out option with legislation.
UPS System: Police Chief Schicker said after the last scheduled preventive maintenance in July, 2011, Schneider Electric stated that they would no longer be able to maintain or support the current uninterruptable power supply unit. The unit battery line was failing and parts are no longer available for the system. They stated that we should update the UPS system in the near future. RFP 12-32 was sent to 18 companies. Four sealed bids were received.
The Police Department needs for this equipment for public safety were reviewed. The UPS backs up all electronic equipment in the communications center, holdover area, and the city’s phone system. One week prior to the RFP opening, there was a failure in the old unit. As a result, it was discovered that there was an unbalanced load. This has been corrected.
Four bids were received for a 10 kva akw UPS system, with maintenance agreements. The discussion regarding consideration of a more global approach occurred the day prior to the bid opening when the old unit failed. An addendum was placed out for bid to the three lowest bidders which were Streib Electric, RJP Electric, and Engineered Power. The addendum was issued on April 5 and was opened on April 17.
The Board has been provided with copies of the four bids for the 10 kva and three bids for the 15 kva. In the RFP, we asked for referances for previous UPS installations by the bidders. References were received from RJP Electric, Engineered Power, but none from Streib on the initial opening of the RFP. Captain Boswell talked to Mr. Kirby, of Streib, regarding not obtaining or receiving the referrals. He advised that they had provided a list of generator installations. He replied to Captain Boswell that they had only completed one UPS job in the past and he was unable to supply a name. At the time of the second bid opening for the addendum, Mr. Kirby could have provided a list of references at that time for any UPS installations they had done, but he didn’t provide that information at the second bid opening either. He was present. Based on the information received and the bids reviewed and evaluated and discussed by administration and IT, my recommendation is to go with the 15 kva 12kw UPS system, and award the bid to RJP Electric for $17,900. They also provided an annual two-year maintenance agreement of $2,410 annually, that’s two annual maintenance inspections per year. This was part of the RFP requirement and was submitted by every one of the bidders.
Alderman Fleming asked for additional explanation about the discovery of an unbalanced load. Police Chief Schicker said there was a system failure. We tried to reset the alarm. Because of the unbalanced high peak period of the day, the system failed. We found that there was too much load on one phase of the equipment. That has been balanced.
Alderman Fleming said the reason he asked about this is that as part of the annual maintenance, he assumes that this should have been checked. Why were we not aware that there was an unbalanced load? Police Chief Schicker said that we were made aware that there was an unbalanced load, but the extent of the inbalance was not clear until the failure experienced on that day. The unbalanced load was based on an additional server being plugged into the circuit.
Alderman Fleming said that on the addendum bid going up to the 15 kva, Streib wins on price, with a difference of $218. On the annual maintenance charge, the difference is $207 higher. He said that Streib has an A+ rating and no complaints to not want to do business with them.
Alderman Dogan said the quoted maintenance cost is $2,600 from Streib, and $2,400 from RJP. He asked if this is each year over the lifetime of the unit, or does the quote cover the entire lifetime of the unit. Police Chief Schicker said this is a yearly price. Alderman Dogan said that the maintenance costs are greater than the cost of installing the unit if the lifespan of the equipment is about 8 years. Police Chief Schicker said that we experience that on any electronic product. The two annual inspections will insure that the unit is functioning properly and that the batteries are in a well-maintained order.
Alderman Dogan asked, at the end of 8 or 10 years, is the RJP bid cheaper than Streib? Police Chief Schicker said he assumes this is correct. The current unit has been used for 14 years. There are no replacement parts for this unit. The situation with the unbalanced load was a matter of a lack of communication between departments internally as to what equipment was going in that room and what circuits it was being plugged into. That has been addressed.
Police Chief Schicker said as part of the process, all the bidders were checked with the Better Business Bureau, and the references for UPS systems that they had installed previously. Streib didn’t do that as part of the RFP requirement. Mayor Pogue said it’s also his concern that after discussion with staff asking specifically, they said they were not able to produce it.
Alderman Finley asked what types of references were required. Police Chief Schicker said general referenced were requested. Streib provided references for generators but not for UPS installations. Alderman Finley asked about the referenced provided by other bidders. Police Chief Schicker said their references included everything we had asked for.
Alderman Finley said that it sounds like there was confusion on the part of Streib regarding the references. Police Chief Schicker said that he doesn’t believe there was confusion because Captain Boswell asked specifically for UPS installations references. The RFP was for a UPS installation. This was on the form. Mayor Pogue said that Captain Boswell called and Streib said they could not produce references.
Alderman Fleming said at this point he recommended following Police Chief Schicker’s recommendation to award the bid to RJP Electric. Police Chief Schicker said that right now, the batteries are low on the system and the units working on borrowed time.
Alderman Finley said he appreciates the Streib representative addressing the Board on this issue. If he were coming to us to supply electronics for the Administration building, this would probably be a different situation. This is actually concerning our Police Department and emergency response. He recommended approving Police Chief Schicker’s request.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to accept Police Chief Schicker’s recommendation for the UPS system. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Kerlagon, Boerner, Leahy, Fleming, Dogan, Finley. Nay: Harder. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Backyard Chickens: City Attorney Jones said he used the Creve Coeur ordinance as a guide, along with information from the Minutes of the previous Board meeting that were prepared by the City Clerk. He said he changed the parcels in which backyard chicken hens would be appropriate in Section 2A. The draft ordinance is for discussion purposes.
City Administrator Kuntz said that enforcement of an ordinance is important to consider so that there is peace and harmony in trying to accommodate all residents.
Alderman Harder said that he likes some of the provisions of the Ellisville ordinance. It contains a lot of detail about permits and fees, the number of chickens allowed, enclosures and containment requirements. This should all be considered. There is an application fee, no more than 4 hens are allowed for each single-family dwelling, no roosters are allowed, chickens are not permitted to run at-large and must be kept in a habitable area, and there is a minimum square footage per bird. The Ellisville ordinance has more detail than the draft being considered.
Alderman Finley said he has not received any comments from residents in his ward, other than the individuals who first brought this to the attention of Alderman Terbrock and himself.
Alderman Kerlagon said she sent out e-mails to people in her ward. The results she received were 96% opposed, and 4% in favor. There were 27 responses. She said she will be voting against this subject.
Mayor Pogue said that Alderman Terbrock previously said that this is something that is very trendy right now. Trends end. If I wanted to live next door to chickens, I would have moved to the country. If you ask a child where do you find chickens, they would say on a farm, not in Ballwin.
Alderman Dogan said that Alderman Harder sent out information to subdivision trustees in Ward 2 asking for their feedback. There was no response.
Alderman Boerner asked if it would be possible to draft legislation requiring approval from the homeowner’s associations? Mayor Pogue said there are a lot of areas in Ballwin that do not have homeowner’s associations. Alderman Boerner said that he believes that there are enough homeowner’s associations in Ballwin that this could be done. Mayor Pogue said that if a homeowner’s association does not currently have this in their by-laws, and they decide not to allow this, they would have to change their by-laws. That can be a very lengthy process, depending on how the by-laws are written. If the city allows this and the trustees say they don’t want this in their subdivision, they would then have to change their by-laws, which could be very expensive. Some indentures require a 100% vote, some require a quorum at a subdivision meeting. One subdivision has taken 3 years trying to change their subdivision indentures.
Alderman Leahy said he lives in Plat 1 of a subdivision. If the Plat 2 decided to allow backyard chickens and Plat 1 did not allow this, a resident in Plat 1 could be living next door to a situation they consider undesirable. There needs to be a universal standard. It sounds like the feedback is no. He said let’s just let the chicken lie.
City Attorney Jones said he is also concerned about enforcement. This would be a difficult burden to put on the city staff. City Administrator Kuntz said this would not be the responsibility of the Police Department. The City Code Enforcement Inspectors would have to deal with this. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said he sees many potential issues. If there’s no provision for a permit, and criteria is established such as minimum square footage per animal, lot size, housing criteria; there’s no way to enforce these things. The inspector will have to attempt to validate the violations, but they can’t go on the property without owner permission. How will the coop be measured or the chickens counted, etc. Then there’s the issue of smell or sanitation. At what point is it too foul? This becomes an enforcement issue and a possible civil matter between residents. What happens if a neighbor’s cat kills a chicken? He said there are all kinds of potential enforcement pitfalls. He said we go through this all the time with people not cleaning up after their dogs. He said the Health Department will not be of any assistance. They will not respond to this situation because it is not a county regulation.
Alderman Finley said he does not want to have the staff having to deal with this.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Boerner to end all consideration of the draft ordinance. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Finley, Dogan, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner, Kerlagon. Nay: Harder. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1.
Non-Intoxicating Beer Sales: City Attorney Jones said the Liquor License application has different types of licenses that include 3.2% and non-intoxicating beer and beer which is over 5% alcohol. In 2009, the entire statutory framework for non-intoxicating beer was repealed by the Legislature. An intoxicating beverage is with 1% or more alcohol by volume. There are two sections of our code that need to be changed. We don’t have anyone who has only a non-intoxicating beer permit. As we are coming up with the next round of liquor license renewals, we should repeal that section and change the application.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Dogan to draft legislation to repeal the non-intoxicating liquor section of the code, and re-define using the percentages in the State Statutes.
Kehrs Mill Sidewalks Condemnation: City Attorney Jones said there were four parcels of land involved in this. Three have been settled. The fourth parcel is still outstanding. Commissioners have been appointed and will determine the value. He will report back to the Board.
St. Louis County Household Hazardous Waste Event: Saturday, May 5, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley Campus – Also Saturday, June 16 at the South County Center. There’s more information on the St. Louis County website. Mayor Pogue asked that this information also be provided on the City of Ballwin website.
Commercial/Residential Fences: Alderman Dogan said there was a meeting held between Desco and the residents of the neighborhood near the Schnuck’s development. The residents and Schnucks agreed to add berm height where appropriate and to modify tree placements. It was agreed that if 2 or 3 years down the road, if there’s not substantial screening for the residents, and if they are still seeing a large portion of the store, they will revisit the vegetation screening issue at that time. Schnucks agreed that with the conditional understanding that it would not require going back through Planning & Zoning. He said he discussed with Mr. Aiken and Mr. Jones the fencing that was approved and what our current ordinance allows which is a 6 foot solid height, with two foot lattice, which is 8 feet total. With the current configuration, there’s not much screening for some of the homes. The residents asked for, and Schnuck’s agreed, if we could do this with just the Board having to do this and not going through P&Z, we would be able to allow a 10-foot solid fence to be built. This could be achieved by ordinance and saying that we could amend the ordinance to say that 10-foot fencing can be allowed in residential zones that are abutting commercial zones. This is not to allow everyone to built 10-foot fences in their back yards.
Mayor Pogue asked if anything of this nature has been received from Schnucks and was this included in the submitted plan for landscaping approval? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said no, not that he is aware of. City Attorney Jones said the ordinance would have to be changed that deals with the restrictions on fence height. That’s not part of the zoning ordinance. It would not require to be heard first by Planning & Zoning and have a recommendation. There is now a 6-foot solid fence restriction. Eight feet if it’s a shadow box or lattice that you can see through. We should make the ordinance apply to certain situations. It could be worded “residential property abutting neighborhood commercial overlay districts in excess of 4 acres”.
A motion was made by Alderman Dogan and seconded by Alderman Boerner to draft legislation allowing 10-foot tall solid fences in areas where a commercial zone of more than 4 acres abuts a residential zone.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 10:09 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR