MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
April 11, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:00 p.m.
|Mayor Robert E. Jones
|Alderman Press McDowell
|Alderman Tim Pogue
|Alderman Ken Buermann
|Alderman Jane Suozzi
|Alderman James Robinson
|Alderman Frank Fleming
|Alderman Charles Gatton
|Alderman Ray Lembke
|City Administrator Robert Kuntz
||City Attorney Lionel Lucchesi (Ill)
Members of Boy Scout Troop 631, sponsored by St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Ballwin, presented the colors. The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the March 14, 2005 Finance & Administration Committee meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
The Minutes of the March 14, 2005 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Ann Our, Executive Vice President of Missouri Growth Association, 7751 Carondelet, Clayton, MO: Ms. Our spoke in opposition to the commercial property tax. She said in 1999 Town & Country considered this issue, but backed off when issues of constitutionality were discussed. She said it is not constitutional to put this tax on one class of property. Alderman Buermann said that there has not been an official endorsement for this by the Board. This is only for consideration at this time.
BILL # 3350 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO FREEWORLD ENTERPRISES INC., D/B/A DENT DEVIL, FOR FRONT YARD PARKING AND AN AUTO BODY SHOP.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3350. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3350 was read for the first time.
Mayor Jones said that this matter was considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission on March 7, 2005. Those present voted unanimously to recommend approval of SUE 05-3, subject to compliance with staff review and report recommendations.
Alderman Buermann said the landscaping is a new look that has been needed for a long time. Mayor Jones said the landscape plan was included in the Planning & Zoning submission.
Alderman Fleming said that it is his understanding that this facility is not for significantly damaged vehicles, but for minor dings and dents. He does not want to see wrecked cars at this location, which would be visually incompatible with the permitted uses in the surrounding area. Mayor Jones said that this is how it was explained at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. This is a paintless dent removal process, and not a collision repair service.
Nicole Zelliger, with John King’s office, Bloomingfeld, Kaplin, and Sandweiss, and Terry McDonald, owner of Dent Devil addressed the Board. Ms. Zelliger said that this is a paintless dent removal service, mainly working on cars that have hale damage etc. This will be minor repair work. Mr. McDonald said that most of the cars they work on are late model cars. There will never be a dismantled car, a hood removed, or vehicle body parts laying around. This is not the process. He said this will not look like a demolition zone. He does a lot of work for the dealerships on Manchester Road. Some of the process are done at their shops or their properties. The vehicles will be parked appropriately. Cars are rarely left over night. It is similar to an “out patient” procedure. Mr. McDonald said he has full intentions of making this an appealing building and property because this is a high profile corner in Ballwin. He promised to never have any derelict vehicles on the property.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3350. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3350 was read for the second time.
Mayor Jones said that this is a petition for a special use exception. In order to vote in favor of the petition, the Board has to determine that if the petition is established as requested, it 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, that the petition is consistent with good planning practice, that it can be operated in a manner that is not detrimental to the permitted develops and uses in the district, and that it can be developed and operated in a manner that is visually compatible with the permitted uses in the surrounding area.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3350 with the following results: Ayes – Buermann, McDowell, Lembke, Fleming, Gatton, Robinson, Pogue, Suozzi. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3350 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-19.
BILL # 3351 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 18 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN BY AMENDING SEC. 18-10 (1) AND SEC. 18-14(b) BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW MEMBERSHIP CATEGORY.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3351. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3351 was read for the first time.
Alderman Lembke pointed out that this applies to two “individuals” living in the same dwelling unit, and not just two “adults” living in the same dwelling unit.
Mayor Jones explained to the audience that bills are read by title only. The whole bill is not read. When the proposed legislation is posted prior to the meeting, the Board can read the title instead of the entire bill. This is a short cut and everyone has had an opportunity to read the bill in its entirety.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3351. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3351 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3351 with the following results: Ayes – Lembke, Buermann, Robinson, McDowell, Gatton, Fleming, Suozzi, Pogue. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3351 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-20.
Alderman Lembke said that staff has come forward with another plan to try to maximize revenues, as well as maximize the opportunity for people to utilize the facilities. They have graciously extended the money through taxes to allow us to build and provide for them. He thanked staff and the citizens of Ballwin.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
||Maintenance Yard Paving
||Remington Retaining Wall
||Truck Cab and Chassis
Alderman Pogue requested Item B, Microsurfacing, be removed for further discussion.
Alderman Fleming requested Item E, Remington Retaining Wall, be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept Items A, C, D. and F. of the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Planning & Zoning Appointment: Mayor Jones recommended appointment of Don Walters, 409 Holly Haven, Ballwin 63021 to fill the vacant position on the Planning & Zoning Commission. This is normally a 4-year term, however since this appointment is filling the unexpired term of former Commissioner Byatt, the term will expire on May 13, 2006. Mr. Walters is an attorney and an engineer with 30 years of experience in the field of Planning & Zoning, making presentations, and considering petitions. Three capable applicants have been considered. Mayor-Elect Young is in agreement with this recommendation.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result to appoint Mr. Walters to the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Municipal Court Judge: Mayor Jones said that Raymond Wagner has served as the Municipal Court Judge since 1999. He is not seeking re-appointment. Judge Wagner expressed his appreciation for Denah Brooks, John Krieth, Dave Ovca, Dave Darmon, Jeff Montgomery, Mike Roberts, Rick Freemann, Prosecuting Attorney Richard Fox, and Chris Northcutt.
Mayor Jones said that Provisional Judge Laird Hetlage has agreed to serve as Municipal Court Judge until a successor to Mr. Wagner has been appointed. Mayor-Elect Young will make this appointment at some time in the future.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Microsurfacing: City Administrator Kuntz said that 3 bids were received. The low bid was $6,335 under budget. Alderman Pogue would like to expand the list up to the budgeted amount. This will take more staff research to report what streets might be added. Besides the length and condition of the streets, there is preparation work involved to make this a successful application. City Administrator Kuntz recommended the contract be awarded to Missouri Petroleum, which submitted the low bid, with the understanding that at the next meeting a recommendation will be made as to what streets can be supplemented.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman McDowell to accept the bid from Missouri Petroleum Products Company, and there will be a recommendation to amend upward to the budgeted amount at the next Board meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Remington Retaining Wall: City Administrator Kuntz said that because of the required standards, only one bid was received. The payment for this improvement will come out of the escrow fund from the developer without any drain in city funds. Six firms were solicited and contacted, and four companies picked up a copy of the plans. The residents are anxious to get this work done.
Alderman Fleming asked if the City has had experience with the engineer that was hired to review the wall. Can we rely on the selected engineer. Alderman Gatton said that it is very clear that the wall was not constructed to any standard. City Engineer Kramer said that the engineer that was hired to review the drawings will be consulted while the wall is being built. There is also a bond and insurance. Alderman Gatton said that the original contractor was given plenty of opportunity to repair the problem. They ignored every request this Board made, therefore, the City has to do this and this is not optional.
City Administrator Kuntz said this is the last remaining major item in Remington Place Subdivision. There is some landscaping and tree replacement left to be done, but there are more than adequate funds remaining in the escrow to cover such miscellaneous items. He said that every other option has been exhausted.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the bid for the reconstruction of the wall. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion and bid was accepted.
234 Nancy Place Demolition: City Administrator Kuntz said this property has been a maintenance issue for a long time, in and out of municipal court, two different owners, a constant source of neighborhood complaints. The demolition cost will be a lien on the property tax for recovery in the future. The owner is a financial institution that has no interest in the property. The house is within 100 yards of Holy Infant School. The property will be completely restored with grass seed, straw, and will become a level yard.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman McDowell to accept the bid from Aalco Wrecking Company for demolition of this structure. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was passed.
Concrete Slabs and Asphalt Overlays: City Administrator Kuntz recommended the Kelpe and Krupp bids respectively. The combined amount is close to what is budgeted for street improvements. Alderman Gatton pointed out that Item 3 should read Transfer of $5,084.80 funds for engineering design from (not for) the Pine Hollow creek stabilization project.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Robinson to accept the bids from Kelpe Contracting and L. Krupp Construction and make the transfer. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Headlight Ordinance: City Administrator Kuntz said the State of Missouri has adopted a headlight/fog light state law. He recommended that, by motion, City Attorney Lucchesi be authorized to draft legislation amending our current ordinance reflecting this addition.
City Administrator Kuntz said that in order to educate the public about this law, information will be included in the “Horizon”.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Buermann to have legislation drafted for consideration. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Street Tree Ordinance: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding Ballwin’s maintenance responsibility for street trees within the public right-of-way. This has become an issue because throughout the community, there is a non-standard right-of-way that can go as far back as 20 or 30 feet. On New Ballwin Road, it goes back further. He said that there is a 4-foot median of grass next to the curb, a 4 or 5-foot sidewalk, and then the property owner’s property. In cases where there isn’t a sidewalk, because of our pro-active responsibility to maintain the public right-of-way, it has become an expensive undertaking. In the interest of reasonableness that we invoke a 2-part test in legislation. A standard of a sidewalk that is in place, or what the equivalent set-back from the curb would be if there had been a sidewalk. Alderman Suozzi said the setback is 12 feet. City Administrator Kuntz said that it costs $1,000 or more to have a tree service come out, and this gets expensive. Alderman McDowell said that we would be shifting responsibility to the homeowners for maintenance of the street trees.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Lembke to draft legislation for consideration. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was passed.
TIF: City Administrator Kuntz said the recommendation from staff is that if we don’t receive the preliminary funding agreement and the redevelopment agreement for consideration at the next Board meeting, the legislation of preliminary approval be rescinded, and that the developer’s proposal be taken off the table. In the latest communication with the developer, they said they are not sure they can make the numbers work. City Administrator Kuntz said that this could be a case where the public would be better served if it is left to traditional development. We have a responsibility to the property owners that are very concerned about the status. He would like to put this in legislation format if it is not going to move forward.
City Administrator Kuntz said that it will be the Board’s decision if they want to keep the district open or rescind the district. The recommendation of the TIF committee, when it recently met was that if the market did not justify a viable development, the TIF should be vacated and the requests of the property owners to have their properties removed from the district should be honored
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to prepare legislation for consideration, that if we do not receive the funds and a development plan, that legislation be available to the Board to reverse the legislation, reject the proposal, and, as a secondary legislation, that Ballwin dissolve the TIF District and release the properties out of the TIF area.
Alderman Suozzi said, regarding the second amendment, we have a sub-area that is not addressed with this proposal. This Board, with negative votes by herself and Alderman Buermann, wanted to go back to the TIF Commission to consider expansion of the TIF district, and that also needs to be addressed.
Mayor Jones said that he would like the TIF Commission to hold one more meeting, depending on what happens, and then make recommendation back to the Board of Aldermen before legislation is drafted.
Alderman Suozzi said this was a phased approach with the proposals. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is the only one that had a request for withdrawal. He has not heard similar comments from sub-area C. Alderman Suozzi said that if the district is being altered, there are two sub-areas at issue plus an expansion of the TIF district was recommended to be reviewed by the TIF Commission.
Alderman Lembke withdrew the second part of the motion, and to address this specific proposal at the next Board meeting.
Mayor Jones said we are looking for a preliminary funding agreement and a deposit by the developer and a draft of a re-development agreement for consideration, with more concrete indications that they want to move forward.
The revised motion was seconded by Alderman Buermann. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative resust and the motion passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Tennis Courts: City Administrator Kuntz said that 12 months ago, the contract was awarded. In the last few days, there has been a renewed flurry of activity. This has become an embarrassment in terms of performance and the lack of a regional recreational asset. He asked for a motion to authorize termination of contract, solicitation of rebids and a new award if the project is not completed to the City’s satisfaction by May 1. Alderman Gatton said that the tennis tournament is an element of Ballwin Days.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to draft legislation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Farewell Message: Alderman McDowell said that since this is his last meeting, he thanked Mayor Jones and the Board, who is the finest in west county, the staff is one of the best assets, Chief Biederman does a fantastic job. He said his work is done as an alderman and he is pleased to know that he tried to do his absolute best. Mr. Terbrock will do a fine job. He said he will continue to be an active resident. If you live in a community, you should be involved in the community, come to meetings, and find out what’s going on. He said it has been a pleasure and an honor. He congratulated Mayor-Elect Walt Young and said that he will do a fantastic job.
Committee Meeting: Alderman Lembke said that a Parks & Recreation Committee meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 25, prior to the Board meeting. He said he is requesting agenda topic items for discussion for a longer meeting. Comments will also be accepted from the public at the meeting.
Election Campaign: Alderman Gatton said that it was his pleasure recently to run for Mayor of the City of Ballwin. He felt very proud to be able to do this. He has been in service to this City for more than 10 years. He is proud to be a resident of Ballwin and a member of the Board of Aldermen, however, things experienced during the election campaign give him a lot of concern about the future of this community. For the first time in his memory, all of the candidates experienced a loss of signs through sign stealing; and when this became a measure of support for a candidate to steal another candidate’s signs is uncertain. He said people were conducting whisper campaigns that were slanderous. He said he was told, although he didn’t see this himself, that there were unsigned flyers being dropped at people’s homes late at night that were extremely negative. He said he hates seeing this happen in Ballwin and hopes that it does not continue. Everyone would have second thoughts about continuing in City service if this was to be the trend for the future. He hopes that his pride in the City of Ballwin is restored the next time an election campaign is conducted.
Dean Team: Alderman Buermann said the Dean Team was given until April 15 to make the improvements requested and nothing has changed. He doesn’t think they are going to get this done in the next 4 days. Mayor Jones said that staff should file a complaint in municipal court and prosecute to the fullest extent of the City’s laws. Alderman Buermann said that they have been given every opportunity.
Alderman Suozzi said that in the last couple of weeks, she has observed cars still parked on the sidewalk. She saw a Federal Express truck parked in the middle of Steamboat Lane. The driver was not in the vehicle. The Dean Team has not seriously taken our warnings about parking on the sidewalk.
Alderman Robinson said that he observed half of the sidewalk covered by the front of the vehicle while the tires were on the asphalt. Alderman Suozzi said that pedestrians have to walk in the street to maneuver around the vehicles. Alderman Robinson said they use the sidewalk as a driveway to get in and out of the parking lot. If the City gives them a ticket for approximately $200, it will cost more than $200 to resurface the lot. They would rather pay $200 every 6 months than resurface the lot at $10,000. Alderman Suozzi said that if they don’t finish the project, they will be in municipal court because we gave them a deadline.
Alderman Lembke said that approximately 4 years ago, Dean Team representatives told the Planning & Zoning Commission that they were going to restore the sidewalk, tear up the asphalt between the sidewalk and the street, plant grass and other plantings. They told the Board of Aldermen the same thing. He said that several months ago, he was not in favor of approving their S.U.E. at that time. Mayor Jones said that they already have the S.U.E. They are just not complying with the terms of the ordinance.
City Administrator Kuntz said that they will be ticketed and staff will enforce the law. Alderman Buermann said he doesn’t like having to take action against a commercial business, however, they agreed to April 15 to have the project completed.
Baumann Property: Alderman Buermann asked how this can be resolved. City Administrator Kuntz said that Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer will provide the stats history, and Alderman Buermann’s suggestion to postpone action for two meetings until the new Board is installed. It will be on the agenda for the first meeting in May.
Ballwin Youth Council: Alderman Pogue said that he would like to proceed to the next step and begin the application process to find candidates for the council. City Administrator Kuntz said that we will need legislation that sets forth some of these things on the front end. The Fine Arts and Historical Commissions are established by ordinance. Draft legislation could be considered at the next meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Fleming to prepare legislation for consideration. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Town & Country Meeting: Alderman Fleming said the people of Town & Country are still in opposition to the new development. Their city government is receptive to the input from Ballwin and are trying to be sensitive to the residents of Woodsmill Subdivision. They have offered to meet with those residents.
Tree Topping: Alderman Fleming said he has not found an ordinance against tree topping. Other Tree Cities have put this ordinance in place. He recommended discussion at the Parks & Recreation Committee meeting. There is an ordinance in St. Peters that prohibits tree topping. They impose the fine against the company that tops the trees, not the homeowner.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Gatton to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.
Robert E. Jones, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator