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
City of Ballwin Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
June 14, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:02 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the May 24, 2004 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
A plaque was presented to former Alderman Kay Easter in recognition of her dedicated service to the Ballwin community. Mrs. Easter said she has enjoyed working with Mayor Jones, the Board of Aldermen and City staff.
Community Development Block Grant: Assistant City Administrator Aiken said this is the Federal Community Development Block Grant program through St. Louis County designated as the Urban County Program. This Public Hearing is required before submitting the application. He said the funds have to benefit more than 50% low to moderate income people. The annual allocation of $44,940 will come available April 1, 2005 for the home improvement program. The application is due in July. Residents of Ballwin who meet the low to moderate income requirement can apply for 5-year forgivable loans to improve their residences. There is a limit of $10,000 per application. As long as the people who receive the money stay in their house for 5 years, the loan is forgiven. If they leave the house before the 5-year period, they will have to pay back on a pro-rated basis. There is usually a waiting list of 8-10 people.
Mayor Jones said the Circle of Concern, an agency located in Valley Park, asked about the availability of low income housing in the City of Ballwin. They pointed out that lower to moderate income participants in Ballwin tend to live in multi-family housing rather than single-family residences. He asked if the funds can be made available to people who live in apartments or leased properties. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, to his knowledge, the funds cannot be used for rent subsidies. The funds are for bringing property up to minimum code standards. Ballwin’s Code Enforcement Department can deal with apartments that are sub-standard. He said it is his understanding that the program is for owner occupied properties.
Alderman Robinson asked if block grant funds could be used on privately owned rental property to adapt the property to accommodate someone with limited abilities. Assistant City Administrator Aiken he is not sure if the funds could be used for this purpose. The situation to which Alderman Robinson is referring to was worked out with the owner of the apartment complex. He said most of the time the owners of apartments are willing to make adjustments to accommodate a handicapped resident. He said he will find out if these options are available. If it is available to owners of rental property that qualify, information can be sent out to those property owners and make them aware of the program.
Alderman McDowell asked what is the criteria for moderate income residents. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said he will get the information for the Board. Alderman McDowell asked if there is a moderate income area of seniors in Ballwin that would qualify for this. Mr. Aiken said he is not aware of any, or any neighborhood that is in need of a capital expenditure on the City’s part.
Mayor Jones asked if there is anyone present who would like to speak in favor of participation in the Community Development Block Grant program. There were none. He asked if there is anyone present who would like to speak against participation in the Community Development Block Grant program. There were none. Mayor Jones declared the Public Hearing closed.
Lynn Goetz, 14706 Clayton Road: Mr. Goetz asked if there are any strings attached to the federal funds in a disaster situation as referred to in paragraph 4 of the proposed resolution regarding hazard mitigation. City Administrator Kuntz said this resolution is regarding a county-wide participation in the program for eligibility purposes. Funding is on a case-by-case basis, subject to a request that can only be submitted through the Mayor’s office. Sometimes there are strings attached, but he is not aware of any unusual or extraordinary strings with this legislation.
BILL # 3299 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 1, SECTION 1-2 ENTITLED “DEFINITIONS” DELETING CERTAIN PRESENT DEFINITIONS RELATING TO VEHICLES AND SUBSTITUTING REVISED DEFINITIONS FOR THE DELETED TERMS.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3299. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3299 was read for the first time.
City Attorney Lucchesi explained that Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 have not been changed in the ordinance. The only change is in the introduction about commercial vehicles meaning a motor vehicle. The definition was changed so that it broadens the definitions to include all vehicles. He said the definition is broadened to include vehicles that are not motorized but the examples are not being changed.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3299. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3299 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3299 with the following results: Ayes –Buermann, McDowell, Fleming, Robinson, Pogue, Suozzi, Lembke, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3299 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-24.
BILL # 3300 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 15, SECTION 15-127 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN BY DELETING THE PRESENT SECTION AND SUBSTITUTING A NEW SECTION THEREFOR.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3300. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3300 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a second reading of Bill No. 3300. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3300 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3300 with the following results: Ayes –Robinson, Lembke, Pogue, Suozzi, Fleming, Buermann, Gatton, McDowell. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3300 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-25.
BILL # 3301 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 15, SECTION 15-185 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN BY DELETING THE PRESENT SECTION AND SUBSTITUTING A NEW SECTION THEREFOR.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3301. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3301 was read for the first time.
Alderman McDowell asked what is the purpose of this ordinance. City Attorney Lucchesi said the purpose is to change the definition of vehicle and motor vehicle. Two of the sections referred to vehicles which was inconsistent with what the City wanted to do with respect to motor vehicles.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a second reading of Bill No. 3301. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3301 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3301 with the following results: Ayes –Lembke, McDowell, Robinson, Fleming, Suozzi, Pogue, Buermann, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3301 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-26.
A RESOLUTION OF INTENT TO PARTICIPATE IN NATURAL HAZARD MITIGATION AND TO WORK TOWARD BECOMING A SAFER COMMUNITY.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the Resolution of Intent. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the Resolution was declared passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the consent items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Liquor Licenses renewal applications have been received from several establishments for the fiscal period beginning July 1, 2004. Approval, by motion, is requested.
Alderman Gatton asked if all of the business licenses are up to date for the establishments requesting liquor license renewals. City Administrator Kuntz said yes.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the Liquor License renewal applications. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Voter Registration at Ballwin Days: Mayor Jones said as part of the preparation for the Ballwin Days celebration, a request has been received from State Representative Neal St. Onge to host a booth at Ballwin Days to register voters. Even though registering voters is good, this often doubles for a campaign opportunity. There is a Ballwin ordinance that limits petitioning in Vlasis Park to certain areas and hours. If Mr. St. Onge has a table and registering voters, other candidates who are running for office may request the same thing, which would detract from the Ballwin Days celebration. He said unless the Board disagrees, he would like to answer this request on behalf of the City that this is not proper use of the City’s park during the Ballwin Days celebration.
Alderman Robinson said he spoke with Mrs. St. Onge and he explained to her that there could be no campaign literature or material, not even his name used; that this is only a voter registration table. He said one of the reason for low voter turnout is because of low voter registration. He would like to see voter registration encouraged. If Mr. St. Onge agrees to follow the rules and not use this for campaign purposes, he believes that this should be allowed at Ballwin Days.
Mayor Jones said this would put the Ballwin Days volunteers in an awkward position to determine if there is campaigning or just registering voters. He feels that this would open the door to undesirable dialog and events at this annual festival. He said the area designated in the ordinance for this type of activity no longer exists. City Administrator Kuntz said the area near the peace monument could be used for this purpose.
Alderman McDowell said it was previously agreed to stay away from politics and for-profit vendors at Ballwin Days. He believes that it is naïve to think that an individual would set up a booth for registering voters and not capitalize on that to solicit votes for himself.
Alderman Fleming asked if there is a neutral party involved. Mayor Jones said the letter of request states that this would not be used for political campaigning and they will work with the St. Louis County Board of Election to comply with all proper procedures. Alderman Fleming said if the voter registration was going to be conducted by the Board of Election Commissioners, this would be a neutral party.
Alderman Robinson said he told Mrs. St. Onge that because this request is so close to the start of Ballwin Days, that the Board of Aldermen may not be able to address this issue at this time, but perhaps will in the future. He said the Board can set out the rules and if someone violates them, they won’t be allowed to participate in the future.
Alderman Gatton agreed with Alderman McDowell that he has the same concerns. He thinks the Board of Election Commissioners should do this as a community outreach project. This would be a neutral party.
Alderman Lembke pointed out that Neal St. Onge is running unopposed. This is the reason that Mr. St. Onge has made the request to do this as a charitable act, rather than for political gain.
Alderman Gatton said that Ballwin Days attracts a large number of young people. This would be a good civic endeavor if it was conducted in a non-political manner.
Mayor Jones said he is not opposed to the concept. He doesn’t want Ballwin Days volunteers to be the policing force that has to decide if certain political activity is inappropriate at the festival.
Alderman McDowell said it has taken a great deal of time to get Ballwin Days in its current format and what it should be. To allow political activity at the festival opens up a new undesirable situation. He is not opposed to registering voters. Ballwin Days is for residents to come together in a relaxed atmosphere. Organizations have been turned away in the past because they were fronting for other individuals or purposes with a certain percentage of the proceeds going to the organization and the individual. It was determined that this was not what Ballwin Days represented.
Alderman Robinson noted that politicians ride in the Ballwin Days Parade. Alderman Gatton said that booth space should be non-commercial. It was not determined that it shouldn’t be civic. He doesn’t see any difference between voter registration and civic organizations such as Boy Scouts and the Jaycees, who participate in the booths.
Alderman Suozzi asked if Representative St. Onge has contacted the Ballwin Days Committee. Alderman Robinson said he has contacted the committee. Since there is an ordinance regarding this issue and Ballwin Days, to change it must be done by the Board. There is no further Board meeting before Ballwin Days.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that the ordinance was passed in 1993 when someone wanted to do voter registration and set up political booths. The City, at that time, thought it was not the best thing for Ballwin Days. To accommodate, an area was designated for this and was not part of the main festival. The position was that this is a festival for the citizens and not for political purposes.
Alderman Suozzi said that Representative St. Onge wants a booth along the midway. Alderman McDowell said if this door is opened, it may be hard to close it in the future. The designated area does not allow for political booths along the midway or bus stop.
Alderman Robinson asked that this be considered for future Ballwin Days festivals.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Lembke to maintain the status quo for the Ballwin Days festival to allow political activity only in the designated area set out in the ordinance. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
City Administrator Kuntz said that because of the construction the designated area should be moved to the west near the peace monument. This wording will be included in the letter to Representative St. Onge.
Alderman Fleming said that there is no reason to deny a permit, but this issue should be addressed for future Ballwin Days festivals. City Attorney Lucchesi said that because of the free speech law, this type of activity cannot be prohibited but the designated area can be enforced.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Salt Dome Financing: City Administrator Kuntz said because of the rapid changing economy, the low bidder keeps throwing obstacles to the extent that terms cannot be reached on what they were originally approved to do. The second low bidder has been contacted. They agreed subject to approval by their committee. He asked for authorization to terminate the contract that was previously authorized with Municipal Services, to accept the Commerce Bank option which is the next best bid. He recommended the 3 year advance plan. Because of the Clayton Engineering issue, there isn’t a cushion in the budget for this project. The safer option is to go with the 5 year extension which keeps Ballwin under budget for the financing but paying more interest. If Commerce cannot honor this because the committee won’t approve it, he will have to ask the Board for authorization to negotiate in the market for another rate.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton to reject the existing offer with Municipal Services Group. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton to accept the Commerce offer on the 3-year basis. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to authorize the City Administrator to negotiate another financing agreement with other firms in the event the second low bidder cannot come forward. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
TIF Update: City Administrator Kuntz said that Mr. Ward thinks the plan is sound and the City should go back to the market and may get better results. He did not recommend any change to the district either to the west or across the street. He did not address expanding eastwardly. That is still an open question for the Commission and the Board. Mr. Ward thinks the language should be changed to be more specifically sensitive to what the Board wants and not leave it open ended.
Alderman Suozzi asked if there was a discussion about how much time to give this. This was a question the TIF Commission asked. City Administrator Kuntz said that from past experience it could be under a year, possibly 6 – 9 months.
Alderman Gatton asked what was the cost of the soliciting proposal process the last time. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that Development Strategies prepared the proposal for approximately $6,000. Mayor Jones said that when a party responds to the Request For Proposal, they pay an application fee that pays for part of it.
Mayor Jones said that the Board needs to be prepared to consider a 100% retail proposal. The TIF Commission is looking for direction. Alderman Suozzi said they needed to know what this Board felt about the existing plan, and if it was valid four years ago, is it still valid. She said the TIF Commission meeting scheduled for the 16th has been cancelled.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Robinson to pursue original development plan and utilization of the TIF in all subareas, being prepared to consider a 100% retail development, in a short period of time. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Vandiver Proposal: City Administrator Kuntz there is a proposal from the Vandiver Group for further consideration. Alderman Gatton said this should not be pursued at this time because it is not in the budget for 2004. He recommended it be included in the 2005 budget. The Strategic Plan needs to be reviewed and updated.
Future Meetings: City Administrator Kuntz said that the information he obtained regarding moving the Board of Aldermen meetings to the Golf Clubhouse indicated that it would be more trouble than it’s worth and would be costly. Mayor Jones then suggested leaving the Board meetings at the present location.
Alderman Gatton asked how serious is the security problem for the police and the court, which was the reason for the suggested renovation and change. Mayor Jones said that the current Board room is not well suited for a court room nor a meeting room. Moving the Board meetings would give the opportunity to retrofit the room to be more secure for court and people who come to use the police station. Capt. Saulters said it has not been a problem for the police and at court, there are three bailiffs and they are aware of security issues. She said they have not experienced any problems.
City Administrator Kuntz said the current setup doesn’t work as efficiently as it should. The long range goal will be a more suitable location for both purposes that is not a blend but more stand alone. Alderman Gatton said if the Police Department and Court are not experiencing significant problems at this time, he agrees to delay any relocation. City Administrator Kuntz said it’s not enough to offset what it would cost.
City Administrator Kuntz said that as part of the continued commitment toward working with technology for greater efficiency, Alderman Gatton and City Attorney Lucchesi have received the paperless Board packet.
Annexation Analysis: City Administrator Kuntz said regarding the economics, he concurs with the input from staff and Assistant City Administrator Aiken’s conservative analysis, the one premise that brings that number towards a crossroads is the assumption that revenues would grow after the base at an annual rate of 1% per year, and expenditures would grow at an annual rate of 4% per year. This is only an assumption. He said that he is comfortable that after the first year, we will experience a positive impact on this particular area in question. The area reflects the community interest better than it does any other area because they shop in Ballwin, support the parks and recreation opportunities, and identify with the Ballwin community better than any other. There is a neighboring city that has expressed identical interest in the same area. An ordinance of intent would be necessary at the next meeting to submit to the Boundary Commission.
Mayor Jones said he would like to see an ordinance at the next meeting for discussion.
Alderman Suozzi asked why is there a 2-year requirement. Is the Boundary Commission going to be open for a period of time? City Administrator Kuntz said it is part of the enabling legislation that was a 5-year plan to act. The plan then has to be resubmitted, defend it, the Commission evaluates it, then it becomes certified, then there is another 5 years. There is a window when they are not going to consider anything while they are going through the next update.
Alderman Suozzi asked regarding the area that we have tried to get annexed out of Ballwin into Clarkson Valley if that is still in progress. City Administrator Kuntz said the bank on the corner of Clarkson and Kehrs Mill Road is the property referred to and that was a simple boundary adjustment and was handled administratively.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Fleming to prepare legislation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Business Licenses: City Attorney Lucchesi said there has been an issue with the ordinance regarding square footage. Meadowbrook Country Club has a clubhouse that is approximately 58,000 square feet. Most of the clubhouse is used for membership and not for business activity. They are paying $10 per square foot for their license. Their attorney suggested a compromise to pay sales tax revenue for only the restaurant and ballroom instead of the entire facility. This would be 10,000 square feet. This would be a $5,000 difference.
Alderman McDowell said that members have access to the entire facility. City Attorney Lucchesi said that sales tax is not charged to the members. Sales tax is based on outside groups. A member doesn’t pay sales tax on the restaurant, locker room, work out rooms, etc. Outside groups pay sales tax on the banquet facilities, dinners, etc. Alderman McDowell said that sales tax would be charged on the portion of the facility that is utilized for revenue generating sources to be taxable. The other parts are off limits and will decrease the amount of total area that they are being taxed on.
Alderman Robinson said he does not have any inclination to accommodate their request.
Alderman Gatton asked what other municipalities do. Finance Officer Loehr said she doesn’t know what other municipalities do. She said other businesses, such as banks, have questioned this because some have three floors of space and they pay the license based on all three floors, but some only use one floor. The don’t generate sales tax but it is still a business. City Attorney Lucchesi said that a bank and a country club is not equivalent. The business license is based on the building.
Alderman Suozzi asked if St. Louis County uses this system. Mayor Jones said that Sunset Hills uses this system. He suggested contacting a country club that has public banquet facilities to find out how they pay for their license. City Attorney Lucchesi said since there is only one country club in Ballwin, this is not going to set a precedent. Alderman Robinson disagreed and said that as soon as another business finds out that a business is getting a break for whatever reason, they are going to try to draw similarities and will cause problems. There is a clear and simple formula in place and should not be changed. He is not inclined to give a country club with that type of membership, income, and development deal coming in the door any breaks.
Alderman Gatton and Alderman Suozzi said they would like to know that other municipalities are doing about this. City Attorney Lucchesi asked the Board if other cities use a different formula, would they be willing to consider making a change. Alderman McDowell said he is satisfied with Ballwin’s current formula. Alderman Suozzi said she does not want to tie this to what other cities are doing. Alderman Buerman said he would like to defer this issue until he knows what other cities are doing.
City Administrator Kuntz said that his understanding from this Board discussion is that future consideration will be given, if there is any change, the business will receive the benefit, but for right now, if the business license isn’t paid based on the current formula, they won’t get a liquor license.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that if they decide to challenge this, and you think you are going to get so much for $6,000, more than $6,000 will be spent for legal responses. Alderman Robinson said more money will be lost by making this concession.
Alderman Buermann announced that the Finance & Administration Committee would meet at 6:15 p.m. on June 28 to discuss future revenue and expenditure options.
ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adjourn into closed session to discuss pending litigation. A roll call was taken with the following results: Ayes – McDowell, Robinson, Buermann, Suozzi, Fleming, Pogue, Lembke, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared the motion approved. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned to closed session at 8:22 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:25 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Pogue to reconvene into open session. A roll call was taken with the following results: Ayes – McDowell, Pogue, Buermann, Suozzi, Robinson, Fleming, Lembke, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared the motion approved. The motion passed unanimously and the closed session was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
The Board convened in open session at 8:49 p.m.
Mayor Jones announced that while in closed session, the Board discussed the City’s settlement position regarding the condensation issue at The Point at Ballwin Commons. By a vote of 6-2 (Aldermen Robinson and Fleming opposed), the Board authorized a minimum settlement position.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Pogue to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:56 p.m.