Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Meeting
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:03 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
In Memory: Mayor Young expressed sympathy for the tragic event and loss of life on February 7 at the Kirkwood City Hall.
The Minutes of the January 26, 2008 Winter Workshop, and the January 28 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
PRESENTATION: City Engineer Kramer introduced Jim Link, Superintendent of Streets, formerly with the City of Kirkwood.
BILL # 3519 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO AMEXJA GROUP, LLC, FOR SALE OF ALCOHOL BY THE DRINK WITH ON-SITE CONSUMPTION, A RESTAURANT WITH CARRYOUT AND ENTERTAINMENT.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3519. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3519 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3519. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3519 was read for the second time.
Findings: A vote in favor of the bill finds that the Petition, as submitted, would not substantially increase traffic hazards or congestion; would not adversely affect the character of the neighborhood; would not adversely affect the general welfare of the community; would not over-tax public utilities; would not adversely affect public safety and health; is consistent with good planning practice; can be operated in a manner that is not detrimental to the permitted developments and uses in the District; and can be developed and operated in a manner that is visually compatible with the permitted uses in the surrounding area. A vote against the bill means that one or more of these findings are absent.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3519 with the following results:
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
A. Street Components: Asphalt Overlay, Cold Milling, Contractual Slab Replacement – Approved
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept the Consent Items as recommended by Staff. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Liquor License for Senor Pique Restaurant: A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the Liquor License for the Senor Pique Restaurant. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young announced that on February 12, McAlister’s Deli will donate 15% of all receipts with the returned flyer to the Ballwin Historical Commission to help promote the School house.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Closed Session regarding Personnel: City Administrator Kuntz said that due to the inclement weather, the 6:30 p.m. closed session regarding the annual personnel review of the Municipal Judge was cancelled. He recommended that the annual review of the City Prosecutor be scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on February 25, and the annual review of the Municipal Judge be held in closed session on March 10. He hopes to announce the appointment of the new Police Chief on March 10 as well.
Double-Fine Zones: City Administrator Kuntz said if the double fine zones are city-wide, this will be an upgraded fine schedule and not an enforcement zone. Each year the schedule could be reviewed by the Board after an update from the Police documentations and changes made based on situation and circumstance changes since the previous year. Alderman Fleming recommended that Clayworth be added to the list due to previous requests for a stop sign to reduce speeding on this street. He said that if petitions for stop signs were not considered when the list was prepared, these streets should also be added. City Administrator Kuntz suggested further evaluation. Alderman Terbrock agreed. City Administrator Kuntz said that the Board will have to pass an ordinance to establish this schedule.
Alderman Lembke said the purpose of this ordinance is to bring about compliance with the speed limit, and not to collect additional funds.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to hold over this issue until the next meeting for aldermanic feedback. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Facility Usage: A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept the new policy regarding use of the Board Room.
Alderman Terbrock asked where the prevailing rate of $25 came from since there was not a previous charge for using the Board room. Alderman Fleming said that he added the $25 to the motion because that was the yearly permit fee for processing a ball field reservation.
Alderman Terbrock said that maybe Alderman Pogue’s amendment is written incorrectly because he didn’t state the prevailing rate of $25. He just said the prevailing rate, which is zero. He said the fee may be $25 for a field, but for this room, it’s zero.
Alderman Pogue said he did not state a rate amount, just a prevailing rate.
Alderman Lembke asked if Alderman Terbrock is wanting the policy to say the prevailing rate, period; or is it his intention to make the rate $25. Alderman Terbrock said it is his intention to make it state how it was said ending with the prevailing rate, period. This would make the prevailing rate zero because this room doesn’t have a charge. He said the $25 should be thrown out. He said he does not believe that Alderman Pogue meant for the rate to be $25.
Alderman Pogue said he did not mean to set any rate at all. There was no established rate and the Board had not set a rate. He said he does not have a problem making this a policy and setting this as the prevailing rate with this policy.
Alderman Fleming said that subdivisions should be able to use the room free, but for an elected official who might be handing out campaign literature, collecting the $25 fee would give a better record of the event.
Alderman Suozzi asked if the word “prevailing” should be used. Alderman Lembke said that if $25 for 2 hours is acceptable, because there has not been a rate established, the word prevailing should be eliminated and state “unless the rate of $25 for 2 hours is paid in advance” or if our intent is to allow people to use the room for free, even in the event that it will be turned into a political meeting, then leave the wording prevailing rate. He said the prevailing rate is zero. Everyone will use the room for free whether or not they are handing out political literature.
Mayor Young asked if nothing is going to be charged, why is this being discussed? Alderman Terbrock said that it was covered in the original policy.
City Attorney Jones said that he was under the impression that the Board wanted to differentiate between subdivisions and not-for-profit organizations and the political use of this room by charging the latter but not charging the former for its use. Alderman Suozzi said that’s correct. City Administrator Kuntz said that was also his understanding. City Attorney Jones said that the new policy, whether or not called the prevailing rate should be established. He said that $25 sounds reasonable. He said the motion, as he recalls it, was to differentiate between those two and charge the ones that were aimed at campaign literature or for-profit activity.
City Administrator Kuntz said that it will take 6 votes to change the policy. If it doesn’t get 6 votes, the motion fails and the policy stays the same. If it stays the same, the Board just approved a request with no fee for that use. By practice, it’s extended.
Alderman Pogue said that he was allowing the Board to set a rate and did not state what the rate would be because the policy would have to be changed and the rate could be set at that time. He said he has no problem setting a rate.
Alderman Lembke asked if Alderman Pogue prefers to establish a rate after passage? Alderman Pogue said it would have to be passed with this because this will be the new policy setting the rate. Alderman Lembke said that another policy would have to be passed setting the rate. Alderman Lembke asked if Alderman Pogue will consider a friendly amendment to remove the word “prevailing”. Alderman Pogue said that no motion has been made.
Alderman Lembke said that this is Alderman Pogue’s wording. Alderman Pogue said this is not his wording, but the suggestion of the staff to change the policy. He said he has no problem with this as it is. City Administrator Kuntz indicated that this is not a staff recommendation.
Mayor Young asked how will anyone know what’s going on in the meeting. Alderman Suozzi said that this is a deterrent. Mayor Young said that $25 is not much of a deterrent. Alderman Suozzi said that the same situation previously existed regarding Aldermanic use of the golf course free of charge. Now nothing is free of charge. She said she does not have any problem with the $25 fee.
Alderman Terbrock said that he does not like the rate, he does not want to differentiate between a subdivision and a political organization. He said it’s discriminatory. He said he does not want to go to Jefferson City to talk to someone regarding an amendment on a bill that may have an issue with Ballwin because they had to pay $25 to use the Board room. He said there are numerous other places that they can pay to use. Staff should not have to worry about what’s coming into the room and collecting the money and posting someone outside to make sure that those who are using the room for free are using it correctly.
Alderman Lembke asked City Attorney Jones, if the policy is approved with the wording “unless the prevailing rate of $25 for 2 hours is paid in advance”, does this establish the prevailing rate at $25? City Attorney Jones said yes. He said the word prevailing becomes meaningless when $25 is stated.
Alderman Suozzi said that the discussion was centered around elected officials using the Board room. If political literature is not addressed, this could mean that anyone from another city could use this room free of charge. There’s nothing to preclude someone who is not a resident of Ballwin from using the room. She said the only restriction is that if it’s tied to a political function with campaign materials, that there is a charge. Mayor Young said that the issue about another city using the room has not been addressed. City Administrator Kuntz said that the room is for Ballwin residents to use.
City Administrator Kuntz said that there was a request, that was somewhat sensitive, that was taken to the Board. He said the Board gave an interpretation and then asked for a policy. Based on the conversation and Minutes, the Board has been asked if they want to change the concept, 6 votes are needed. If we are going to stay with current practice, which some have said they want to do, no action is necessary and we will proceed with the current policy.
Mayor Young said that voting in favor, will modify the policy. Voting no will leave the policy as it stands.
Mayor Young said that a motion and a second has been made. Those in favor of modifying the policy, signify by saying Aye: Lembke, Suozzi, Buermann, Kerlagon. Against: Nay: Terbrock, Fleming, Pogue. Mayor Young said the motion failed (due to 6 votes being necessary for passage).
Alderman Fleming suggested that the current policy be amended to add to the last sentence “except with the permission of the Board”. He said it will then be up to City Administrator Kuntz to determine if a use request should be approved by the Board. Mayor Young said that the City Administrator can make the decision without involving the Board. Alderman Fleming said that with the current wording, the City Administrator has to do this anyway. If ABC Company asked to use the room, the answer would be no. If a political candidate asked to use the room for a town hall meeting, this could be considered a private purpose. City Administrator Kuntz said that by practice, Alderman Fleming has just stated that this is community information. If a candidate wants to have a pep rally to kick off his/her campaign and solicit donations, the policy does not allow this. If the applicant does not like the answer, the Board will have to be consulted.
Alderman Fleming asked City Administrator Kuntz as the policy reads, does he feel that he has the discretion to say that? City Administrator Kuntz said that as the policy now reads, based on the last approval that the Board granted, that it falls under the guides of community information, and not political campaigning. He said this is acceptable to him. Alderman Fleming asked if this is acceptable to the Board. There was no verbal comment from the Board.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the family of the deceased police officer will be using the Golf Clubhouse preceding the funeral on Tuesday. There has not been a formal request. He asked if the Board would like to extend a waiver of the fee for that purpose. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to waive the fee for this specific event. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Corporate Memberships: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding a corporate membership structure at The Pointe. This will require an ordinance. Mayor Young asked where the concept came from. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that in the past, in order give a corporate discount, there had to be a certain number of people. In Ballwin, there aren’t big companies to join the Pointe. She said that Ballwin businesses don’t have to have a group to get a discounted rate. They pay 20% more than a resident. A business in the West County Chamber area could also receive a discount if their company puts some additional in so that promotion can target the Manchester Road group. She said there is a new facility that is going to open at Clarkson and Clayton, and The Pointe would like to offer a cooperative competitive membership.
Mayor Young asked if the corporate rate is for the corporation and each individual pays their own fees. Alderman Lembke said if there is a business outside of the city limits of Ballwin and they have up to 10 employees, the corporation would pay a $250 per year fee to allow any of their employees to join at a 20% premium. Any business operating within the city limits of Ballwin would not pay $250. Their employees, even though they are not residents, would be allowed to join at a 20% premium. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that’s correct.
Alderman Lembke said this is a program that has been very successful at the Center of Clayton and at The Lodge in getting people to join their facilities. They have gained memberships and good community feelings.
Alderman Suozzi said that there are no different hours for these memberships as compared to regular memberships. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that’s correct, with the same benefits.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to draft legislation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Pool Use: City Administrator Kuntz said the City of Ellisville has requested a half-year extension on the pool use to give them coverage until their new pool facility is open and available to their residents. He said no other changes are requested.
Alderman Lembke said that this has been beneficial. If there are any delays in getting their pool open, he suggested that an extension be granted for the entire season. Alderman Terbrock suggested granting permission for pool usage for the whole season, without a cut-off date, in case there are delays. City Administrator Kuntz said that Ellisville may not want to offer its residents a full season at the Ballwin pool so that it can get a half season of revenue on its new pool. Mayor Young said that the full season can be offered, and Ellisville can use it to meet its needs.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to extend to Ellisville what they have asked for. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Financial Institutions: City Administrator Kuntz said that after discussion with the City Planner and City Attorney, he asked the Board for a motion to adopt a 6-month moratorium on all new applications for any financial institution within the city. He explained that this is partially generated by the discussion at the Winter Workshop on January 26, and the input from Acting Police Chief Schicker regarding some of the issues, and some of the things that are not in place at this time to govern and regulate this type of business in our community.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Suozzi as City Administrator Kuntz suggested.
Alderman Terbrock asked if this affects the bank that was recently approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission or would it only affect the most recent request? Alderman Suozzi asked if will affect the current request since the request has already been received? City Administrator Kuntz said it was an inquiry.
Alderman Fleming asked what does financial institutions mean? Are banks included in the definition? City Administrator Kuntz said all financial institutions are included by category. He said we can’t single out a particular targeted industry.
Alderman Terbrock asked if this will affect any banks coming up for renewal? City Administrator Kuntz said no.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the review of the Special Use Exception guideline that the Board recently authorized is interwoven with this issue.
Mayor Young said that Hazelwood has put in an excellent ordinance where they take care of these pay day loans and they can’t come into the city. They have almost eliminated them from being in that city. He asked City Administrator Kuntz to provide more information for consideration with City Attorney Jones. There are seven currently in Ballwin and another has discussed locating into Ballwin.
Alderman Terbrock said that he would not like to see this happen. He said that while many have been led to believe that they are thieves, it’s the banks that are the thieves. These provide a service to help people get through the fees that the banks lay on these people. He said that he was recently discussing this issue at his bank on how much overdraft fees they collect. The amount is staggering. The smaller financial institutions being considered are trying to help people keep their heads above water and offers a good service. He said that he is not on board with trying to keep this type of financial institution out of Ballwin.
Mayor Young said that the fees are much more than is known. Alderman Terbrock said that this information is wrong. Mayor Young said that he has been there and has looked at the regulations. Alderman Terbrock said that he has also.
Alderman Suozzi said that it’s not what is being charged or what is being provided, the issue is that it costs the City an exorbitant amount of police time and effort when they have an incident at one of these places. She said the issue is similar to the one that led to the car dealerships moratorium. Is Ballwin getting back out of these places what is being put into them in terms of services.
Alderman Terbrock said that the banks should be in the category. Alderman Suozzi said they are. Alderman Terbrock asked if banks are going to be limited in Ballwin. Mayor Young said there are two different discussions. He said the current motion is to put a 6-month moratorium at this time for any financial institutions. City Attorney Jones said this is correct. Mayor Young said that this must be voted on to approve the moratorium so that the issues can be addressed and then go forward. There are major issues with the cost when they have robberies. The cost to the police department was not recovered by the fees from that type of financial institution.
Alderman Fleming asked for a definition of financial institution. City Attorney Jones said a financial institution is any entity that is regulated by the Missouri Division of Finance. He said this would include Pay Day loan stores, resident banks, national banks, and credit unions. This will not affect the brokerage houses.
Alderman Lembke said he accepts this as an amendment. Alderman Suozzi also accepted the amendment. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Buermann, Suozzi, Lembke, Kerlagon. Nay: Terbrock, Fleming, Pogue. The motion passed by a vote of 4 – 3.
Mayor Young said that this is only a moratorium. Alderman Pogue said that he does not agree with restricting a property owner from developing their property for a certain business. He said he voted the same way on the car lots.
Alderman Lembke said that his concern is for the safety of the residents. All financial institutions in Ballwin should have the same rules and minimum safety and security standards. He said there’s nothing that presently says there has to be security windows, alarm systems, or even a safe. In the history of Ballwin, there has been only one bank robbery, and that person was caught within hours. The details of the recent robbery indicates that this person was desperate to get money. He does not want his family on the streets knowing that this is a possibility. He said he wants to look more closely into this moratorium.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Cash Reserves: Alderman Buermann said he is trying to help the Committee for a Better Ballwin, to come up with an allocation where new funds would go. He asked for input to come to an agreement to pass on to the Committee.
Alderman Suozzi said there was concern that the 8% would not be sufficient for even giving raises etc. City Administrator Kuntz said that current services cannot be maintained with 8% due to high fuel costs and insurance. Alderman Suozzi believes that 80% for streets is too high. Mayor Young said that the consultant said that we should be spending $3 million on streets. Until the debt is paid off in 2012, eighty percent is needed to be close to the $3 million. After that, it could be adjusted. City Administrator Kuntz explained that $2 million of the projected revenue to be spent on streets will bring the percentage to 80%. He said the goal is to apply the balance of the remainder to operations and to supplement reserves. This will be considered annually on that year’s budget. He recommended a target without a promised absolute dedicated amount.
Alderman Suozzi asked if street maintenance would still fall under operations. City Administrator Kuntz said not necessarily. She said that some street projects don’t fall under capital, but are maintenance. City Administrator Kuntz said that street improvements are anything beyond a pothole repair that has a structural benefit to a street. He said with $2 million more, there will be 3 times more street work than is being done today. Alderman Suozzi said that she hopes that if $2 million more is put into streets, that it will reduce some of the street maintenance cost that falls into the operating budget.
Alderman Buermann said that if 2% is put toward reserves over a 5-year period, we can get more cash assets. He asked what the Board thinks about a Capital Budget reserve. City Administrator Kuntz said that when the average person votes, they have no understanding what a reserve is. Alderman Suozzi said it’s a rainy day fund.
Alderman Fleming said that Alderman Buermann is asking for a non-binding general consensus. It’s best intentions at this point in time.
Alderman Lembke said that we are not legally allowed to tie the hands of future Boards. To say that 80% of the money will be used for streets cannot be guaranteed or promised. He said the projected use of this money would be 80% probably going towards roads, a couple of percent to build reserves so that there is financial stability etc. He said that people want something specific. Someone asked why Ballwin can’t get by with 34 cents per $100 assessed valuation while Manchester can do this with 34 cents. He said the real property tax is an opportunity to invest in this community. If someone feels that $3 or $4 per week is excessive, they should vote against it. For the last 20 years, no one has said much of anything about city operations. He said our staff has done a good job. Now we are not being trusted. This is an investment in the community and individual homes.
Alderman Buermann said that 80% capital, 20% operating seems to be the consensus of the Board. Alderman Lembke said that when the money is available, staff will come to the Board and tell down to the penny how they see fit to best spend the money. It will then be up to the Board to oversee that as has been done for the last 50 years. Alderman Fleming asked if anyone on the Board has a problem with this. The Board was silent. Alderman Fleming said that the silence indicates that agreement. Mayor Young said that he has a problem with this. He said that 2% gives $46,000. According to what the Jones Group stated was that we should be concerned about our bond rating. $46,000 over five years is only $230,000. That will not increase to 25%. City Administrator Kuntz said that a city with a single source revenue stream, should have a higher reserve rate than if their revenue stream was more diversified. The Board is attempting to address the diversification, that they have always said should be done, with a property tax. He said that cities without a property tax need to have more money in the bank. It is not so critical if there is a diversified revenue stream that is not totally retail, totally utility, or one industry dependent.
Alderman Lembke said that if a certain State legislator gets his way and tries to take money away from everything that we try to do, our total pot will be a less. He said we cannot earmark every penny before it is voted on because that will take it away from the hands of the future aldermen. He said the general guideline of 80% and 20% seems reasonable.
Alderman Pogue said that an 80/20 split would still fall in line with what Mayor Young’s suggestion was with a 20% split between operating expense and reserve building. This would follow the same general plan that Mayor Young suggested.
Ramsey at Manchester – Alderman Terbrock: Alderman Terbrock deferred this discussion to the next meeting.
Goose Control – Alderman Robinson: Mayor Young said that since Mr. Goose Poop is not in attendance to discuss goose control, and has not provided any information for discussion, this will be deferred to the next meeting.
Real Estate Tax – Alderman Kerlagon: Alderman Kerlagon said that the “St. Louis Realtor Report” is very supportive of the proposed real estate tax. The article states: “The Ballwin Board of Aldermen plans to ask voters to support a residential and commercial property tax on the April 8 ballot. Ballwin residents have not paid a property tax in over 20 years, thus it has relied on sales and utility tax revenue. If the tax initiative passes, a positive approach, Ballwin will not have to cut back its services in 2009. The Board is seeking a rate of 40 cents of assessed valuation.”
The Kirkwood Tragedy – Alderman Kerlagon: Alderman Kerlagon said that a Kirkwood Councilman said that looking back on the tragedy on February 7, we always cared about each other and worked as a team. That tragedy really brought them together. Isn’t it a shame it takes a real tragedy for people to start appreciating each other. Alderman Kerlagon said that he really appreciates the members of the Board and all that everyone does.
A Moment of Silence: Alderman Lembke said that a former Board member, Mike Boland’s wife passed away on Friday, Feb. 8. The Board observed a moment of silence.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:19 p.m.
WALTER S. YOUNG, MAYOR