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.
The Minutes of the April 23, 2012 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Finley to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mr. Gratza said internal control over financial reporting was reviewed and there were no instances of material noncompliance to the financial statements identified. There were two deficiencies related to the year-end financial statement preparation process. Those deficiencies were not considered to be material weaknesses. It represents opportunities to strengthen internal control over the financial statement preparation area. There were no instances of non-compliance with laws, regulations, grants, or contracts that would be considered material to the financial statements.
This year, the City adopted GASB Statement No. 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions. The terms “reserved” and “unreserved” have been eliminated and replaced by five new classifications, described in Note A9 to the Financial Statements.
There were no transactions that lacked authority in guidance or consensus. Accounting estimates are an integral part of the financial statements prepared by management. There were no sensitive accounting estimates included in the financial statements.
Mr. Gratza said there were no difficulties in performing the audit. There were no disagreements with management regarding any auditing or accounting matters. Any disagreements would be presented to the Board at this time. All adjustments that were proposed were corrected and reflected in the financial statement. He said management did not consult with any other independent accounts to get a second opinion on any accounting or auditing matter.
Alderman Dogan asked about the two deficiencies that Mr. Gratza referred to. Mr. Gratza said this is documented in a report called “Government Auditing Standards Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting”. The City presented financial statements using a series of various funds. One is called the Debt Service Fund. When a fund is large enough, the governmental accounting principles require that the fund be presented on the face of the financial statement so that it can be distinguished from the rest of the City’s funds. This was originally presented as a non-major fund. They were aggregated with other small funds of the City. This was broken down and presented separately in the basic financial statement.
Mr. Gratza said that there were identified a couple of audit adjustments that were needed to correct the financial statements. Management accepted the corrections and made the changes in the year-end financial statements.
Alderman Dogan asked about the TIF property taxes receivable and deferred revenue. The amount is $413,000. Is this the error margin or the corrected number? Mr. Gratza said that is the audit adjustment, so that we increase property taxes receivable by $413,000. Those taxes were protested. By audit time, they hadn’t been paid over from the County to the City. This is how it was initially missed. A confirmation was sent to the County, and the County said they are holding $413,000 for Ballwin under protest.
City Administrator Kuntz said that regarding the Debt Service, this is shown on the budgetary cycle and is applied under each department, the allocation of percentage of debt to a particular activity. A portion of the debt service that related to the bond issue for The Pointe at Ballwin Commons was put into the Parks Department budget. An applicable percentage of street improvement related debt is in Public Works. This is intended to present to the public an accurate reflection of operating expenses, capital expenses, and debt expenditures. It didn’t take into account the accounting significance. The number didn’t change. The point was where it was applied on our books. The numbers are good. It just needed to be changed to be acceptable to the auditors.
City Administrator Kuntz said that prior to the 2011 budget cycle, the reserves was at 67%. This will be built back up to that amount and is well in excess of 25%, which is the reserve fund policy that is to remain unrestricted at all times. A suggestion for the next budget cycle is to mark a portion of those reserves for restricted purposes so that they can’t be used arbitrarily. Perhaps it could be a grant opportunity fund or vehicle replacement fund, or for unexpected opportunities.
Mr. Matlock provided photos from inside and outside the abutting homes. He said there was a full-size sample of the current approved fence and the proposed 10-foot solid fence located at the property line for comparison. The last meeting with Schnucks was on April 16. Alderman Dogan attended the meeting, and also Schnucks Attorney Jim Mello. Mr. Matlock asked that the Board approve the ordinance for the 10-foot fence. It is very much needed.
BILL # 3747 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO ACCEPT A DEED FROM ST. LOUIS COUNTY FOR CERTAIN PROPERTY ADJACENT TO BOB FERRIS PARK.
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Harder for a first reading of Bill No. 3747. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, the motion passed and Bill No. 3747 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Finley for a second reading of Bill No. 3747. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3747 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3747 with the following results:
BILL # 3748 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE SALE, MANUFACTURING AND LICENSING OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3748. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3748 was read for the first time.
Alderman Finley asked if there is a definition of light wine in the State or the Ballwin Code? City Attorney Jones said, 14% or less of alcohol by volume.
Alderman Finley asked, in Section 23, what is being referred to as an amusement device? City Attorney Jones said this would be a video game, pool table, etc. There is a definition of an amusement device in Section 1-2.
Alderman Terbrock asked, if there were previously changes in this section. City Administrator Kuntz said that it was discussed because this particular type of restaurant establishment was to cater to youngsters and was to include a certain number of diversionary devices. Before it got to the final stage, the petitioner was not able to follow through. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said there used to be limitations on the number of amusement devices a business could have. This has been changed. City Attorney Jones said that it appears that Section 23-1 was changed, which now allows one amusement device for every 300 square feet of floor area. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that formerly they were allowed to have a total of three. This had nothing to do with the alcoholic beverage sales.
Alderman Kerlagon asked if a license is being eliminated for non-intoxicating beer. City Attorney Jones said yes, that is the primary purpose, because the State has lowered the limit of alcohol by volume to be considered intoxicating liquor. Anything over ½ of 1% alcohol by volume is now defined by the State to be intoxicating liquor. There is no longer any such thing as non-intoxicating beer. There’s no beer that is less than ½ of 1% alcohol by volume. That term “non-intoxicating beer” has been eliminated. He said we had a chapter that separately licensed non-intoxicating beer, which is being repealed in its entirety, which is Section 5 of the new ordinance, Chapter 3, Article 3. Also the distinction between 3.2% and 5% beer has disappeared. All beer will now be intoxicating liquor and exceeds ½ of 1% alcohol by volume.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Finley for a second reading of Bill No. 3748. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3748 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3748 with the following results:
BILL # 3749 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON FENCES IN CERTAIN ZONING DISTRICTS.
Mayor Pogue said that Ballwin has been asked by an agent representing Schnucks to hold over this legislation until the next meeting.
Alderman Dogan asked City Attorney Jones to give an update on this matter. City Attorney Jones said he received a phone call from the Council for Schnucks indicating that the management team at Schnucks had not had an opportunity to meet and consider the willingness of Schnucks to construct such a fence, if it was allowed by Ballwin ordinances. He did not anticipate a problem, but indicated that they would meet later this week. They are going to be before this Board regarding the public art display feature, which is part of the Neighborhood Commercial Overlay District ordinance, at the June 18 meeting. A representative will at that time be able to express their position. They requested that the ordinance be held over to the June 18 meeting.
Mayor Pogue asked about the approving ordinance 09-18. He said that even with this Bill #3749, an amendment will still have to be made to ordinance 09-18 because one section specifically describes the size of the fence, as well as the location and construction material. By amending this with Bill 3749, how can a fence permit be issued, because it will be in violation of Ordinance 09-18. City Attorney Jones said, in reviewing Ordinance 09-18, he reviewed subsection 5 of that ordinance. It’s description of an 8-foot fence, 6 feet solid above ground level with a 2-foot lattice, as just being a reiteration of the existing height restrictions. It was re-stating what was already in the ordinance. Now, when they are applying for the fence permit, if Bill 3749 is adopted as an ordinance, it will change the height restrictions, allowing a higher fence. This will be a substantive change to Ordinance 09-18 and could therefore be approved in an administrative granting of a fence permit. This is what the petitioner and property owners are looking for. The process of amending Ordinance 09-18 would be approximately a 90-day process at minimum.
Mayor Pogue said he wants to be sure that staff is not going to be in a situation where they are issuing a fence permit that would be against an ordinance, and if this ordinance should be amended. He said he would rather do that instead of setting a precedence putting them in a situation; this doesn’t say that under the current standard of the fence, that it specifically states 6 feet with a 2-foot lattice. City Attorney Jones said that this is true, but Section 5 also incorporates by reference the landscape plan. The plantings have often differed from the improved landscape plan. There is some opportunity for the developer to work with staff in creating a buffer that meets or exceeds the approved landscape. They are changing the species of some trees and proposing a fence that exceeds the buffer that was originally approved in this ordinance. If it was going in the other direction, that would decrease the amount of buffer, he would have a bigger concern about the nature of the change. Since Bill 3749 will probably be adopted as an ordinance, and a fence permit is granted, that’s a proper progression.
Alderman Harder said his interpretation of Bill 3749 is that the Board will allow them to use a 10-foot fence, but that doesn’t mean they must do this. City Attorney Jones said this is correct, and the fence in this instanced and any other that might qualify in an NCD parcel over 4 acres. The fence must be constructed on the commercial parcel, not on the residential parcel. In this case Schnucks will need to confirm willingness to construct this fence, and do this on their parcel. It won’t be up to any of the adjacent property owners to erect a fence. They won’t be allowed to do this.
Mayor Pogue asked what could be the result of someone challenging this in the future. City Attorney Jones said that he believes the City would not have any exposure, but the property owner, Schnucks, might have to remove its fence, if there was a challenge to the new ordinance, and if it was successful, the fence could have to be removed and constructed at the height it was originally approved in Ordinance 09-18. Exposure is limited to replacement with a shorter fence.
Alderman Dogan said he is in favor of accommodating Schnucks and he understands their desire to delay this for another meeting. He said he is concerned that we are able to do this on their timetable the right way. It’s his understanding that they have sent assurances to the residents and City Attorney that this will not prevent them from completing the fence on time.
Alderman Harder said that if the City was challenged, it would be the residents stating that the fence is too big. He said he doesn’t think that will happen because the residents want the fence to be as tall as possible. City Attorney Jones said that he can’t rule out a challenge from an unrelated third party. This is possible.
Alderman Finley asked, could Mayor Pogue’s concern be related to the fact that in Section 2, there is a general phrase that all ordinances or parts thereof in conflict, are to the extent of such conflict repealed, because of the fact that the new one being proposed as 10 feet, would that replace the 8-foot section? City Attorney Jones said it’s possible. Typically if the Zoning Ordinance was going to be amended, we would do this with the zoning process and a Public Hearing. He said that since we are not scaling back the buffer, instead exceeding it, it’s possible that no one will challenge this.
A motion was made by Alderman Dogan and seconded by Alderman Harder for a first reading of Bill No. 3749. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3749 was read for the first time.
Mayor Pogue stated that Bill #3749 will be held over until the next Board meeting on June 18.
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. Liquor License – Rotary Club for Ballwin Days, Ballwin Recreational Complex, Schnucks (2 locations)
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Harder to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Committee Assignments: As an annual process, Mayor Pogue re-assigned the following Aldermen to the Board sub-committees:
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION: Alderman Fleming, Chairman; Aldermen Boerner, Dogan, Finley.
Mayor Pogue appointed Alderman Boerner as the Board representative on the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Board Meeting Schedule: Mayor Pogue reminded everyone that the Board meeting schedule as follows:
Award Presentation: Mayor Pogue said that the “John J. Macatee Award” will be presented to Police Officer Derek Waffel on May 16, by the “Mental Help America” of Eastern Missouri, for demonstrating compassion, patience, and understanding when dealing with persons in psychiatric crisis.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Fitness Equipment: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a routine partial replacement on a rotating basis of some of the equipment at The Pointe. Director of Parks & Recreation Linda Bruer said that we own all of the weight equipment. When The Pointe was opened 16 years ago, everything was purchased. After 5 years, equipment had to be replaced because it was breaking down. With the Lease program, there is a fresh look in the fitness area every three years. This keeps the equipment reliable and up to date, and provides equipment that all age segments of the community can use. Based on the bids, we can purchase 26 pieces of equipment and sell 30 pieces. The last time equipment was sold, there was an auction at The Pointe. The average sale price is between $400 and $500 per piece of equipment. The total cost of the recommended purchase is $125,690. The budgeted amount was $128,000. It’s recommended that this be financed over a 3-year period.
Ms. Bruer said that some of the equipment to be sold has been at The Pointe for 9 years. Not all equipment to be replaced is 3 years old. Last year, one of the treadmills was moved to the Police Department.
Alderman Harder asked who picks the type of equipment that is recommended for purchase? Ms. Bruer said three years ago, a survey of the members was considered. Demo equipment is also brought in and feedback is received from the users of the piece. Hours of use per piece can be tracked on some of the pieces, but not all. Treadmills are used a lot.
Alderman Harder asked if there is a maintenance advantage when leased compared to buying. Ms. Bruer said there is a 3-year warranty on parts and labor. If the equipment is kept more than three years, we have to make repairs.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Finley to authorize staff to enter into an agreement with Commerce Bank for purchasing the fitness equipment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Financing of Fitness Equipment: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a recommendation to accept the Commerce Bank bid of 2.15% interest rate for the 3-year period for the financing of the fitness equipment, so that it can be purchased from the manufacturers and pay the monthly charge to the bank for financing.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to accept the Commerce Bank bid of 2.15% interest rate for the 3-year period for the financing of the fitness equipment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
City Administrator Kuntz said present at this meeting is a representative of the architectural firm, JEMA, that the Board has approved for the changes to the Board room. He will present a report to the Board on June 18.
Radios: City Engineer Gary Kramer said this is regarding replacement of all of the Nextel radios in the Public Works Department and some in the Parks Department.
Alderman Finley asked why Sprint was not chosen. Mr. Kramer said that Sprint bought out Nextel. Nextel is almost a duplication of what Verizon is providing. Sprint is okay from a service perspective, but the problem is the group sizes. In Public Works, there are 35, and altogether there will be about 50 system users. With Verizon, their system will allow one person to communicate with all at one time and not have to keep repeating the message to other people. Sprint’s system only allows 20 members to do this. In the winter, everyone is issued a radio to take home for communications to everyone all at one time. This is used to inform the employees of the work schedule.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Dogan to accept staff’s recommendation of Verizon for the radios. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Consent Items Form: City Administrator Kuntz asked the Board for feedback on the use of the Consent Items form that Alderman Fleming suggested and was used for the first time at this meeting.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Pending Legal Issues: City Attorney Jones said there is another dangerous property that has been addressed with the administrative process. The property is at 337 Meadowbrook. There was a house fire two years ago in August. It’s now a foundation covered by a tarp. There will be a hearing on May 22 at 9:00 a.m. at the Government Center conference room, with the property owner and lender. Everyone has been notified. He anticipates that some of the neighbors will also attend.
City Administrator Kuntz said he will listen to the testimony from the Ballwin Inspectors who will certify the condition of the property. City Attorney Jones said this hearing will be for a determination to demolition or an order to repair. There are three choices under the ordinances: either vacate, repair, or demolish. It’s already been vacated. City Administrator Kuntz said if they came in with a building permit and certified set of plans, we would have to give that option consideration if it’s reasonable.
Alderman Terbrock asked for an official definition of vacate. City Attorney Jones said this means to vacate and not occupy. Ballwin can’t take ownership of the property through this process.
Ferris Park: Alderman Harder said last week he attended a public planning meeting about Ferris Park held by the design staff. There were about 35 or 40 residents present. Preliminary drawings of the park were discussed.
Deer Control: Alderman Harder asked what is the current situation regarding deer control and working with other cities? City Administrator Kuntz said discussions will be held with Ellisville representatives. They asked for a follow up meeting and a workshop on this subject. The workshop date has not yet been set. The City of Manchester had a presentation from the Department of Conservation. The Mayor of Manchester has also been invited to participate and attend.
Great Streets: Alderman Harder asked about the progress in this program. Mayor Pogue said the Ellisville Board has appointed Matt Pirrello to serve as its representative. The new Mayor will also be sitting in on those meetings. A brief meeting was held last week with MoDOT to make sure everything was progressing and to get answers to engineering questions.
Refuse Contract with Allied Waste: Alderman Dogan said Allied Waste has made a proposal to extend their current contract, which is scheduled to expire three years from now. The way it stands now, that proposal is a no-bid contract proposal. He said that some of the residents that spoke under Citizen Comments were opposed to renewing the contract for 10 years, which was the proposal that Allied originally made. What is it that made these people react that way to a no-bid contract? He said he was in Washington, D.C. working on the Senate staff of Senator Talent in the 2003-2004 timeframe when the Iraq war started. One of the things he recalled was that one of the first cracks in the people’s support for that war was the fact that the government was giving out no-bid contracts to defense contractors, with the justification that they were the only ones that could provide the services. That turned out to be false. The Federal government considers it to be a bad government practice to award no-bid contracts. They have a certain set of circumstances where they are allowed to award no-bid contracts. Those circumstances are 1) if the source is the only one that’s able to provide the service; 2) if awarding it elsewhere would result in duplication of costs or unacceptable delays in the project; 3) for purposes of industrial mobilization; 4) if there is an international agreement requiring that contract to be no-bid; 5) if there’s other laws that intervene, such as minority contract issues, veteran issues, or disability issues where the contracts have to be awarded to certain segments of the population that are disadvantaged; 6) if there’s a national security interest; 7) the public interest – if somebody at the agency determines that the public interest would be advanced by doing a no-bid contract. The value of Pentagon no-bid contracts has tripled since 2003. Right now, the Department of Defense reports that only 61% of their contracts are bid out at all. That means 40% of their contracts are no-bid. He said he wants Ballwin to be held to a higher standard than the Federal government.
Alderman Dogan said at the local level, Metro paid $20 million for a garage in Brentwood that’s half empty. This should not have been done. They decided that they needed to buy the garage; they were only going to consider buying it from the people that had developed that property rather than constructing their own. That developer was one of Charlie Dooley’s supporters. The property is half used and they’re not going to make money from it. That’s an example of bad government. Ballwin can do better than this.
Alderman Dogan said that the Ballwin Board has been very accommodating to the residents. When large numbers of people express their point of view at Board meetings, it has a greater impact than one or two e-mails. The topic of back yard chickens is an example of this. At this meeting, we are considering five contracts. Those bids ranged from $9,000 in aggregate to $125,000 for the fitness equipment. All contracts were bid in. It involves the three companies that have expressed an interest in bidding the trash hauling contract – IESI, Waste Management, and Allied Waste. He said if Allied had to bid on this one-year, one-time contract for $10,000 or less, why would we not make them bid for a 7-year, seven figure contract? He said it doesn’t make any sense. Allied might offer the best bid. The good government decision is to bid it out. Allied is not the only company who can provide trash service. There is an ordinance that prohibits no-bid contracting that was passed in 2010, except for certain special circumstances. There’s clause in Section 2-4.6 that states that one of the only ways we can waive the requirements of our no-bidding ordinance is if in the previous 12 months, the successful bidder is willing to furnish the service at the same or a more favorable price, terms and conditions as those provided under the previously awarded contract. If someone made a bid and then circumstances changed within a year, they would be able to submit another bid that was lower. We have had three years under this contract and three years left. There has been lots of interest from other contractors claim to be able to provide this service. He said he sees no reason not to bid it out. This is the American way and good government. He asked the Board to take this under consideration.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Finley to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:21 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR