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 NOTICE - Finance & Administration Committee
The Finance & Administration Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 10, in the Board Room at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center, 300 Park Drive.
The purpose of this session is to discuss employee compensation and conversion implications from the Police pension plan.
This meeting and all other meetings are open to the public and the building is handicapped accessible.
Robert Kuntz, City Administrator
Residents of Ballwin are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the programs and services of the City of Ballwin regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, national origin or political affiliation. If you are a person requiring an accommodation, please call (636) 227-8580 (V) or (636) 527-9200 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2966 (Relay Missouri) no later than 5:00 P.M. on the third business day preceding the hearing. Offices are open between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.
MEETING NOTICE - Closed Session
There will be a closed session on September 10, 2012, to discuss personnel related issues regarding the vacant Finance Officer position. This closed session will take place immediately following the Board of Aldermen meeting at 300 Park Drive.
Meeting Agenda click here
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:12 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
Greg Krutewicz, 383 Marywood Ct.: Mr. Krutewicz asked if Twigwood is on the list for street repair. City Administrator Kuntz said an overview will be presented at this meeting for allocation or recommendation for 2013 street improvements. From that, a list will be prepared. We will try to equalize the dollars city-wide among the 4 wards. The document that lists street repairs is published during the budget cycle. Twigwood has been discussed for upcoming repairs.
J. C. Hagan, 209 Cool Meadows Drive: Mr. Hagan said he saw an article in the newspaper that the City of Ferguson was considering passage of an anti-discrimination status. There are at least 4 other cities that have approved this. He is not aware that the City of Ballwin has legislation of this type. This would cover race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual preference. He said these are rights that everyone should have without discrimination. He suggested that the Board instruct the City Attorney to prepare legislation on this subject so that Ballwin can be viewed as believers of human rights and that we don’t discriminate.
Sandy Daugherty, 260 Pine Tree Lane: Mrs. Daugherty said she and her husband have lived at this address for 32 years, and they don’t want to live anywhere else. They have always felt safe in their home and neighborhood. She said there is now someone in the neighborhood who is a criminal and is wearing an ankle bracelet. Since this person cannot go out, the cul-de-sac in front of her house and the neighbor has turned into a party zone. She has found used condoms, empty vodka bottles and beer cans, trash, human feces, human vomit in the gutter, curb and in her yard. There has been lots of speeding. She said she almost got hit by one of the speeding vehicles last Saturday at about 6:30 p.m. She was walking her dog, and a blue car came down the street and almost hit her. She and her husband were assaulted. They have bruises, scrapes, and her leg is injured. In the audience were neighbors who support the Daugherty family in this situation. She and her husband have had threats on their lives to the point that they had to take action. They are scared and this is disrupting the family and the neighborhood. There are elderly people and young families. She asked for help in solving this so that they can feel safe going outside.
Michael Clutts, 263 White Tree Lane: Mr. Clutts said he is president of the subdivision. He has seen the unacceptable things that Mrs. Daugherty has described. They have never had a problem like this until now. The neighbors are showing support and asked what can be done.
Mayor Pogue said that he has spoken with some of the residents, and Police Chief Schicker is going to talk with the residents about this. Police Chief Schicker said he has talked to Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty and gave them his contact information. He will be present at the next subdivision meeting to assist the neighborhood.
Alderman Boerner asked if there were any assault charges. Police Chief Schicker said there were charges with regard to the incident that happened on Saturday. Those charges will be pending on the Ballwin Municipal Court. A trial date has been set.
City Administrator Kuntz said an estimate has been given for budgeting purposes. The difference in cost and technology will have options as the construction moves forward. The JEMA representatives, or someone, will have to be utilized to make sure it remains construction-ready. This cost is not included at this time. Mr. Mueller said that the current fee with the City for the design, would be subtracted from the fee that would be charged for construction documents and construction administration.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the Board room has not been changed in at least 24 years are longer, other than seating for 2 additional aldermanic positions, and new chairs. There are frequent complaints about acoustics. He said that the JEMA team has done a very good job in preparing and presenting plans to increase the effectiveness of the Board room. Mr. Mueller said that this was their goal because this room is used by the Board of Aldermen, Court, Commission meetings, and by the citizens of Ballwin. The facility will become user friendly for everyone.
City Attorney Jones asked, in designing the audio-visual system, have the needs been considered for the presenter, city staff, and the elected officials? He said it is suggested to have flat screen monitors at each aldermanic position, and the center mounted main viewing screen makes it necessary for the aldermanic positions to have this feature in order to see the presentation. There also needs to be technology that is easily accessed by someone who is making a presentation. It won’t always be a PowerPoint presentation. Sometimes it will be a regular document. A projector that someone can put a document on it without having to load it would be helpful. This would be used by the Board of Adjustment and Planning & Zoning commissions and Board of Aldermen, especially regarding land use and planning, that we would like to have the opportunity to have staff generate a GIS map at the same time and show the people in the audience where the property is located, what the surrounding uses are, because we have never been able to do that. He said this is needed in this meeting room.
Government Center: Mr. Mueller said to solve the access issue is to keep the existing stairs, but to locate an elevator adjacent to the stairs. In the grass area next to the ADA parking spot, the suggestion is to create an entry plaza. The elevator would be housed in glass. The new glazing system would face Manchester Road. This will achieve a new lobby, public restroom, and ADA accessibility to the upper and lower levels.
Mr. Mueller described the arrangement for staff to have more natural light coming into the work areas. The plan also allows for three new work stations that are occasionally needed.
The new reception area will have two customer windows for court and two for code enforcement and inspections. It will also give more visibility from Manchester Road to see people using the Government Center. The work room size is increased. The court office will have more security and can be closed off at any time. The existing central conference room will stay at its current position, with a flat screen for viewing presentations.
Mr. Mueller said the exterior improvements, which is the elevator, new entrance lobby, glazed wall, new foundation for the elevator, which will bring the Government Center up to ADA accessibility and meets code requirements, is $411,000. All interior improvements is $493,000. Audio Visual is $25,000. Furniture is $130,000, and interior sprinkler is $94,000. The glass office front is $37,000. This is the price estimate to address the seven points.
Alderman Fleming asked about the current chair lift being ADA compliant. In the past, an elevator was cost prohibitive. City Administrator Kuntz said the ramp was in very bad condition, and something had to be done for safety. The chair lift is ADA compliant, but has problems. Mr. Mueller said an elevator is a good investment for the immediate future and long term.
City Administrator Kuntz said there are ways all of this can be accomplished, and it may have to be in phases. Cost alternatives will be critically reviewed in the bid process. Mr. Mueller said the project will cost less if it is done all at once. Additional mobilization charges by a general contractor will not have to be charged.
Alderman Terbrock said, in his opinion, the front conference room is space that is not necessary. People can always be brought back to the central conference room. He asked if it would be a cheaper option to relocate the elevator within the foundation and walls of the area that is the front conference room? Mr. Mueller said that proposal was drawn up. The issue is that the landing is at mid-floor, it’s mid-level. The elevator at that location will accomplish internal connectivity; however, the person coming into the facility, will have to use the chair lift to go up the stairs. The chair lift is difficult to operate, sometimes breaks down, and some people that need this type of help, don’t want to be so visible using a lift. There is a level of discomfort for people and being exposed to Manchester Road. These are the reasons for the external elevator. Another option would be to raise the grade of the landscape to go straight into the building at the first floor level. This was discussed with staff, and it was believed that it would be too costly to do this. City Administrator Kuntz said that the design is still open for discussion.
Alderman Harder asked if there has been any consideration given to relocation of staff during the construction? Mr. Mueller said the lower level can be used or phasing the construction stages. This will have to be discussed with the city and the contractor. Doing the construction in stages will add a couple of months to the project. The staff will have to be separated from the construction zone. Alderman Terbrock asked how long would the construction take if staff was cleared out to a different location during that time? Mr. Mueller said approximately 7 – 9 months.
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 – Holy Infant Catholic Church Fall Festival
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the Consent Item. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Terbrock, Dogan, Harder, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner, Kerlagon. Nay: Finley. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Mrs. Chiravollatti addressed the Board, stating that in January, she retired from the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office to be home with her 10-month old daughter. She is now involved with part-time criminal defense practice. She makes many municipal court appearances, along with her husband, who is also involved in law and court representations. She said she enjoys working with the public.
Alderman Finley asked, how would you describe your transition from being on the prosecuting side to the defense side? Mrs. Chiravollatti said that she has been involved with defense attorneys in the prosecutor’s office. If you were to talk to a number of the criminal defense attorneys in St. Louis and in the State of Missouri, they would say that she worked very well with them, and was cooperative and negotiated cases very well. She said that she teaches trial advocacy at the law school, which is from both the prosecution and defense sides. That knowledge has translated well into the court room. Her experience as a criminal defense attorney is not extensive, but it has been a seamless transition.
Alderman Finley asked, if cases were to go into the circuit system to the point that we need these services, what percentage would be a bench trial, as opposed to a jury trial? Mrs. Chiravollatti said this is hard to speculate, but any good attorney will try to negotiate a case before it goes to trial. She said she would encourage a bench trial before going through a jury trial. It is a constitutional right to a jury trial, and sometimes an individual wants to utilize that right. She said she is very good at getting cases resolved before it goes to trial because it’s an added expense and time commitment. Many times a favorable resolution can be reached for both sides. This would be her main goal as a Public Defender for Ballwin.
City Attorney Jones said that we already have an ordinance establishing the position of Public Defender, therefore, the appointment can be made without an additional ordinance.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming to appoint Mrs. Nicole Chiravollatti as Ballwin’s Public Defender. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Terbrock said some residents that live up the hill from Big Bend and Ries asked him when they will be annexed into Ballwin. They were having vandalism in their neighborhood and felt they were not being provided adequate police protection.
Alderman Harder asked, if we annex the area that has been submitted, will that create a Ward 5? Mayor Pogue said, if we were to annex everything that is in the plan, the population increase would be about 5,000. This would require a re-districting of wards, but not the addition of another ward. City Administrator Kuntz said, we would have been faced with re-districting if the census results had been different. There will not be enough population impact to create a Ward 5.
Mayor Pogue said that all of our recreation facilities have been designed to accommodate a population of 50,000.
Department of Natural Resources Meeting: Mayor Pogue said the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 12, has been cancelled. No reschedule date has yet been set.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
New software has been installed and training is ongoing at this time. At this time, the Finance Officer position has not yet been filled. It is the intent to present a status quo budget, which is to have expenditures at about the 2012 level. There are no significant personnel increases. There are extra finances that are no longer required for debt payment. After next year, there will be no debt payment. That’s $715,000 that will not have to be budgeted after 2013. There is about a 2% overall increase anticipated in revenues for 2013. This is based on the numbers that have been received so far, which are right on budget. Expenditures are at the level they should be. If there are no unforeseen circumstances, we will meet our obligations for 2012. In 2013, we will see some economic impact that was not calculated in revenue for 2012. There is a grocery store opening, a fully-occupied plaza, a re-defined plaza where the Red Lobster was, and other encouraging developments that have been coming into the city on an incremental basis. We have not heard of any major planned exoduses. There is a slightly positive outlook towards revenue for 2013.
Administration: City Administrator Kuntz gave the following report:
A major project for consideration is the remodel plans for the Board room and Government Center. This will cost approximately $1,700,000 by the time both projects are complete, and includes professional fees and inspections. This is a higher cost than we expected, which gives us options. One option is to move forward in 2013 making the changes to the Board room. In 2014, when the last debt payment is retired, to consider the renovation to the Government Center in 2014. He does not recommend paying with cash and depleting the reserves. He recommends, before the end of 2012, amending the reserve fund policy, and have a less ambitious goal of 18% to 20% of unrestricted reserves, which is consistent with the GFOA standard, and that anything in excess of that be applied to a restricted reserve fund account. By restricted reserve fund account, he recommended that excess dollars that are available today and in the future, be put into an infrastructure fund. It would only be used for major projects or opportunities, specifically for a grant. If we were fortunate to successfully apply for a grant, similar to what we did for Kehrs Mill repairs, it would be transferred from the restricted policy/pot to the budget. It would be a transfusion from the restricted fund. It could be land acquisition, a major roadway project, or a potential park improvement grant. We would use those monies outside of the budget, apply it to the project, when reimbursed, the money would go back into that fund. There would not be money set aside for no apparent purpose. It would be a plan for the City’s future, and only for the City’s infrastructure future, as opposed to not knowing what to spend it on.
The second option of the renovations is to do this in phases. The Board room renovation is the least expensive, has the most immediate need, and less disruptive. Meeting schedules could be adjusted or even held at another location. Using the reserves for this purpose is not recommended.
The third option is a Certificate of Participation. We would go out to the market, with favorable interest rates, and collateralize with a firm, such as Stifel Nicholas or A G Edwards, etc., our payment for an improvement. Either the Police building or the Government Center would be a collateralized obligation, and we would pay back over the 3 or 5 year period with interest. We could borrow $1,500,000, with payments of $500,000 per year and then cash out the rest. This option can be explored if there is interest.
The Technology Plan is submitted by Information Systems Manager Paula Reeds. It’s a blueprint for the future with technology. This is a significant investment on an annual basis. Mayor Pogue said that this information is a great addendum to the Administration portion of the budget review.
Alderman Harder asked if a bond issue would be helpful. City Attorney Jones said, if we didn’t have the 1% capital improvement sales tax, a bond issue would be a good method. City Administrator Kuntz said we have been encouraged to adopt the ¼ cent tax. City Attorney Jones said this is a low number to ask for a bond issue and with the issuance cost. It may not be worth it. The voters would have to approve an extension of the existing one or pass a new one.
Alderman Harder asked for a presentation from Mrs. Reeds including a dollar amount for the three years. City Administrator Kuntz said that this would be current amounts, but a better estimate can be made in 2013. This will be included in the follow up presentation.
Alderman Terbrock said that technology will continue to grow. Some items that are on a “wish list” now, may become a necessity in the near future.
Alderman Finley asked if the Board room could be used as a revenue stream for rental. City Administrator Kuntz said that meeting rooms can be rented at The Pointe and the Golf Clubhouse. The Board room is used by subdivisions, Ballwin Athletic Association Board, whenever there’s a group that has a staff member with them in attendance on a no-fee basis. A political caucus was held in the Board room. If a Congressman wants to have a town hall meeting, this can be done. It has to be for a community purpose. Mayor Pogue said that State Representatives have used the room for town hall meetings in the past.
Public Works: City Engineer Kramer gave the following report:
We are on track to reconstruct Rojean in joint partnership with the City of Elllisville. Debula and Reinke was completed and served both cities. This will complete the partnership repairs for a long time.
Regarding new sidewalks, consideration is being given to constructing a sidewalk on the south side of Ballwin Commons from Old Ballwin to The Pointe entrance. This will require an easement. The right-of-way line is about 3 feet from the edge of the pavement, and in some places, less than that. The new sidewalk will be subject to acquiring this easement.
Kehrs Mill will be completed this year, and moving on to the Holloway Road culvert. We do not have official funding approval because East-West Gateway tabled it. They are scheduled to meet during the last week in September. All indications are that we will be funded. Qualifications have been solicited from engineering firms to do this work. The engineering will be for 2013, and the funding will not be available until 2014. There are no easements required, which will eliminate a delay.
The 6½ week leaf program will remain the same. Several Parks employees help with the program, in addition to all Public Works crews, and temporary personnel. There is no planned increase in personnel, and will continue utilizing part-time help during the summer and leaf collection. There is a possibility that there may be a maintenance worker retirement in 2013.
Truck mounted GPS is under consideration to help track the vehicles during snow removal. There are systems that will show where a truck has been and where it is at that moment. This will also help with tracking the trucks during leaf collection. Replacing two dump trucks is also in the 2013 budget.
Alderman Fleming asked what is the budget cost for gas? City Administrator Kuntz said that the same number, $3.50 per gallon, will be used by all departments. We may use $3.75.
Alderman Leahy asked, do we pay federal or state gas tax? City Administrator Kuntz said that we pay it, but we get it back.
Alderman Fleming asked for the street map to be updated for repairs. That will give a report of what has been completed and what has not. City Engineer Kramer said, the biggest costs are the concrete streets that have the old overlays. The life expectancy is 12-15 years. There are some that are past that time. Twigwood will most likely be a two-year project.
Alderman Boerner asked how many dump trucks and heavier vehicles do we have? City Engineer Kramer said we have 18 dump trucks. Alderman Boerner asked if any consideration has been given to using natural gas as a fuel? City Engineer Kramer said, the problem is the engine must be a special engine. You must have specially trained mechanics to service the natural gas vehicles and a fueling station. Fueling can take 15 to 30 minutes. All trucks could not be fueled over night, and someone would have to be present to monitor and disconnect the fuel stream. He said right now there’s only 1 public natural gas fueling station. Laclede Gas had one on I-44. We would need to have our own way of putting natural gas into the vehicles. They are all special trucks. Once they are natural gas, they remain natural gas. The natural gas tank is large. On a dump truck, it might be possible to put the tank between the bed and the cab. He doesn’t know of anyone in the St. Louis area uses natural gas. Perhaps in the future this will be possible.
Alderman Boerner said that in the past regular pickup trucks could be adapted for natural gas. City Engineer Kramer said that in Kirkwood, the tank takes up a large part of the bed. They have a quick connect. They don’t have dump trucks using natural gas, only pick-up trucks. It’s reported that we have an endless supply of natural gas, but not petroleum. He said he doesn’t think one day natural gas could be used, and then another day switch to diesel. It’s one or the other. Alderman Boerner said he doesn’t think this can be done. City Engineer Kramer said that because natural gas is pressurized, it takes special training to use it. This is why natural gas is not being considered at this time. The shuttles at the airport have natural gas on their busses. There are two tanks under the seat in the back. They also have a $1,500,000 or $2 million fueling station.
Parks & Recreation: Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer gave the following report:
Application will be made for a St. Louis County Park Grant this Fall. The maximum that we can apply for this year is $310,000 for a city the size of Ballwin. This will have to be budgeted as an expense, but we will receive reimbursement for that amount on the revenue side.
A contract was recently approved with O’Toole Design for work at The Pointe, which is in its 18th year of operation. We will be debt free next year. Plans are to do updates to the interior to freshen up the facility over the next 2 – 3 years. It is expected that the plan will be received by the end of September.
Updates are needed for the HVAC, electrical equipment, lighting in the building, and to replace the items that are headed to the end of their life cycle. There are major mechanical systems at The Pointe that are 18 years old. They don’t have to be replaced all at one time. When these systems are replaced, The Pointe will be more energy efficient.
The Golf Course will need repairs to the parking lot due to safety hazards. The irrigation system is on the list, but not a priority for next year.
Significant time and money is spent on community beautification on street trees. There isn’t an overall plan for this program. This might be a project to review in the future. The 2013 budget will be similar to this year.
The last time a Park Master Plan was done was in 1992. Possibly in the next few years, we might want to consider an updated Park plan for the whole city in order to prioritize some of our future infrastructure improvements.
Mrs. Bruer said that regarding community walkability, an attempt was made to do a connection this year, but it didn’t work out. The community is in favor of this to connect points of interest and working with the neighboring communities.
Alderman Harder asked about the damage on The Pointe roof during installation of the solar panels. Mrs. Bruer said the solar panels are on the roof. The control panel that monitors the HVAC system within The Pointe is in the mechanical room upstairs inside the building. They had to make a connection between the solar panels to the control panel of the HVAC system. They drilled a hole in the roof to make the connection, and used a very temporary roof sealant to seal the hole. We had a heavy rain storm the weekend after they did this. They intended to have a roofer come out the following week and appropriately seal the hole, however, rain came in the hole. The control panel was located directly beneath the hole. The rain saturated the control panel. The cooling system had to be run manually. Straight Up immediately contacted their insurance company. They agreed to pay for a new control panel, which has been installed and back to normal use.
Alderman Harder asked if the project is complete. City Administrator Kuntz said we are waiting for an Ameren meter. We took the opportunity to upgrade to a more efficient model and we expended $4,000 in additional charges with the replacement. Everything is done except the Ameren part. We met our deadline.
Vehicles will be evaluated regarding mileage and condition of the vehicles. We received positive feedback from Chevrolet that they will make the Impala Police package in 2013, which is about a $4,000 savings compared to the Caprice, Ford Taurus, or Chrysler.
The laptops rotation was completed this year. The rotation will begin again after about 7 years.
There is no request to increase staffing. The major asset is the employees. Our emphasis will be on quality recruitment to fill vacancies as they develop. Focus will also be on retention and motivation of staff. This will be accomplished by a cooperative effort of administration and police administration, to develop a comprehensive pay structure. This can be accomplished by bringing salaries up to a competitive level in comparison with other municipal agencies, while also resolving the compression issue in salaries.
There is an aging work force, retirement concerns, and trying to stay competitive in order to attract the best possible applicant for a position.
For public safety, an analysis will be made of crime trends, training requirements, and budget training funds. All dispatchers and police officers are DPS post certified and is required in the State of Missouri.
The building has received a number of renovations over the years. The most extensive was in 1998. During this fiscal year, we removed all of the wall coverings, painted the interior and exterior, replaced the UPS system, which dictates the maintenance and control of the dispatch center to keep continuity of operations during power failures. It is proposed to replace the floor covering throughout the building. That is the only major expenditure for the department.
The possible renovations for the Board room are supported by the Police Department for the security value.
Alderman Fleming asked if we are still contracting with the City of Manchester. City Administrator Kuntz said this will be known before the next Board meeting. Police Chief Schicker said that we will not be contracting with Clarkson Valley with the current Board. It would be more practical to have a dialog with the City of Winchester. They have another year on their contract.
Alderman Harder asked how many cars will be replaced. Police Chief Schicker said the rotation will be 6 vehicles, possibly 5. This is based on needs, not wants. He said that City Engineer Kramer has talked with Enterprise Leasing regarding government vehicle leasing. Certain vehicles are not subject to the constant use as patrol vehicles. There is no plan to replace those vehicles at this time.
Alderman Boerner asked about the miscellaneous section with 5,837 actions. Police Chief Schicker said those are incidents such as debris in a roadway, dog complaints, and minor type of incidents. The incidents don’t fall within the NCIC classification to review for statistical reasons.
Alderman Boerner asked for an overview of what can be expected in the new software. City Administrator Kuntz said there are different ways to format the budget. Historical tracking will be easier. If someone asked what would the impact be if we added 2%, the software will be able to show this. This was a manual process in the past. The Board is comfortable with the cash flow basis remaining the same.
Alderman Boerner said, “I would like to see the exception, what we’re doing differently, what expenses were incurred. I know that in the past, Parks and Recreation would be inordinately higher, but then the answer was because what was budgeted last year is going to be in this year’s budget because we didn’t have a chance to do it last year. If it’s the same routine items that we did the prior year…..” City Administrator Kuntz said, “This year is a small example. Chief Schicker had some money in the budget for wallpaper removal, to go through the entire administrative offices because some of it was pealing. You’re not going to see that again. It was done. There’s a big number for Kehrs Mill. You’re not going to see that number again. Let’s give you the exceptions, but also what’s new that we are proposing that is not routine for 2013. We’ll use the same format, under Staff Reports on the next agenda.”
City Administrator Kuntz suggested that the Board might want to consider conducting another Citizen Survey. The last time this was done was 4 or 5 years ago. The annual retreat could be held in January.
Alderman Fleming said, “Will it be possible to give a big picture number? To decide what options to choose for the Government Center and Board room renovation, I need more information on reserves.” City Administrator Kuntz said he will do this at the next meeting. Alderman Fleming said, “I need to know how much we have now, how do we allocate the reserves, what do the new numbers look like, what’s a good way to fund improvements. “ City Administrator Kuntz said that last month’s utility tax from Ameren was the biggest amount ever received. We can’t budget that amount every year.
City Administrator Kuntz said that more street lights will be taken off the grid. He said he discussed with Mayor Pogue about seeing if some of the apartment complexes would go private with their lights to get these off the grid. The development at the old Rothman site is now off the grid. He said he would like to take New Ballwin Park, and any city facilities that have Ameren street lights in them, have the lights removed and install our own lights. This cannot be done city-wide, but we can do this on our own property.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
City Attorney Jones said, we’re all under the misconception that we can’t be more restrictive than State law, but in actuality, the cases say we can’t be inconsistent with State law. We can be more restrictive, as long as we’re not inconsistent. When you look at the decisions, they are all over the place. Do we want to consider what Chesterfield has done, because if you look at Assistant City Administrator Aiken’s 2003 memo, he points out the various time limits that we have for notice and compliance under all of our various codes. Dangerous buildings, which we’ve been dealing with lately, that’s a 30-day time period. Chapter 13, deals with rodent infestations is a 72 hour period. Chapter 13 Section 53 is standing water and is 10 days. They are all different. Do we want to try to get into more than just weeds and vegetation?
City Attorney Jones suggested that we re-visit the list of invasive plants and noxious weeds. When we wrote Weeds and Vegetation in 2010, Code Enforcement Supervisor Jerry Klein had developed a list, and we decided not to get that involved because it was extensive. There is a list of invasive plant species that is on the Missouri Department of Conservation website, and there are others that have been determined to be so by the Department of Natural Resources. He felt that this is the basis for the Chesterfield ordinance. He suggested that this is a good way to start. He said we should look at the philosophy of enforcement. Do we want to continue to be guided by a complaint-driven philosophy, or do you want to encourage staff to be more pro-active. That’s not something we can write into an ordinance. It’s more of a philosophy. He asked the Board for their preference to continue.
Mayor Pogue said, in the case of a repeat offender, we would not have to post a notice, that we could go in and abate, as long as it’s within the same growing season? City Attorney Jones said yes. Mayor Pogue said that there are a lot of one-time offenders. City Attorney Jones said, he is seeing cities using the statutory framework of 4 days notice, then a hearing, then abate within 5 days. On a second violation, they are giving a 5-day notice, no hearing, the city just goes in and abates, if it hasn’t been cleaned up after 5 days. The next violation will have no notice, just simply go in and abate. He thinks that we should take them to court, and not just on the property and deal with the issue.
Mayor Pogue asked, do we want to set this as an ordinance and not give the flexibility to staff, in the event someone is ill or elderly. He said he would prefer doing this philosophically and give more of a direction to staff and to follow this at their discretion. Alderman Harder said that there’s currently flexibility in the time frame.
A motion was made by Alderman Harder to draft legislation for consideration to change the notice and abatement provisions for weeds, vegetation, and accumulated debris.
Alderman Boerner said he understands that it will not be the same for occupied property as it is for vacant property. City Attorney Jones said he prefers to make that distinction in terms of mandating. Alderman Boerner agreed. Mayor Pogue asked, is that going to create a gray area of a non-property owner? City Attorney Jones said, if the property is occupied, you can always take them to court. If it’s vacant, that’s the problem.
Alderman Kerlagon asked, what if the homeowner isn’t at home and have taken an extended trip? City Attorney Jones said, the timelines are a 10-day notice, then a hearing, then 5 days to abate, then the city goes in and cuts the grass. That will take in a 2-week vacation. City employees are not used to cut their grass. It will continue to be that way. We will just shorten the period. The bill is sent to the homeowner after doing this.
The motion was seconded by Alderman Fleming. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE MEETING SUMMARY
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to repeal Ordinance #2560, the old salary plan. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, and the motion passed.
Chairman Fleming said Ordinance #2560 will be replaced with “to be determined”. He said that the committee gave City Administrator Kuntz and Human Resource Coordinator Morrison parameters to work with.
Police Pension: Chairman Fleming said the committee asked City Attorney Jones to look into the State Statute. General options were requested, consisting of adjusting salary ranges, doing something for the police, not doing something for the police, or doing something universally for all employees, such as moving from one LAGER stage to another.
Pine Tree Lane: Alderman Finley asked if there is something that the Police Department can do to assist the residents regarding the issue discussed under Citizen’s Comments? Police Chief Schicker said, in all types of incidents, citizens don’t fully understand the actual scope of what law enforcement can do. They don’t understand the procedures, why the person wasn’t held longer than they felt, why charges are brought to the municipal court vs. state court. We’re also dealing with probation and parole, an ankle bracelet and why we aren’t monitoring it. It’s not our ankle bracelet. There are issues that are more educational to them trying to find out how we can improve the level of service based on their complaints, things that they need to do differently as far as calling us as incidents are developing instead of waiting until they become full blown.
Alderman Harder asked if a meeting date has been set up with Pine Tree Lane residents. Police Chief Schicker said, the residents are coordinating this meeting and the Board room has been offered for their use. One of their representatives has been in contact to set up the meeting with the Police Department.
Adjourn to Closed Session: A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Boerner to adjourn to closed session under Section 610.0213 of the Missouri Statutes to discuss personnel. A roll call vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Aldermen Boerner, Kerlagon, Fleming, Leahy, Dogan, Harder, Terbrock, Finley. Nays: None. The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 9:45 p.m.
A brief discussion was held regarding the status of the vacant Finance Officer position. No action was taken.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 10:08 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 10:10 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR