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
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
February 9, 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 January 26, 2004 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman McDowell to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Alderman Lembke asked that Item C, Sewer Lateral Program, be removed from the vote for further discussion in the City Administrator’s report.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Gatton to adopt consent items A, B, D, E. F, and G. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
TIF APPOINTMENTS: Mayor Jones said there are 3 candidates for the two positions on the TIF Commission. The candidates are Ernie Demba, an appraiser and engineer living in Meadowbrook Country Club Estates Subdivision (Ward 3); Kit Rodgers, an employee of Channel 4 living at 708 Claymont (Ward 3), and Frank Thomas, former employee of McDonnell Douglas, residing at 573 Amberjack (Ward 1).
Alderman Buermann said that since the TIF District is in Ward 1, there should be representation on the Commission from Ward 1. Mayor Jones said this is an important consideration. He recommended appointment of Frank Thomas and Ernie Demba to the TIF Commission. He said he will contact Mrs. Rodgers to thank her for her interest in serving.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Buermann to appoint Frank Thomas and Ernie Demba to the TIF Commission. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
City Administrator Kuntz asked if more guidance is necessary from TIF Counsel. Mayor Jones said the main task is to determine the future of the TIF Overlay District. It needs to be decided if additional proposals should be requested for the remaining area, alter the boundaries, add to or enhance the existing area by looking for other opportunities in the adjacent properties. Or, should it be eliminated altogether? This is what has prompted the reconvening of the TIF Commission. Alderman Gatton said the TIF District is much larger than the section that was under proposal the last time. The research should be reviewed as to what properties are covered. Alderman Suozzi asked if a review is needed by Development Strategies. City Attorney Lucchesi said he does not believe that a special attorney is needed at this time. City Administrator Kuntz said that the commission members need to be advised of the charge from the Board.
FINANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Mayor Jones said the Finance & Administration Committee meeting scheduled for 6:30 prior to the Board meeting, to discuss the proposal for a Financial Advisory Committee, was cancelled due to Alderman Anderson being called out of town. He said the background of the individuals has been agreed upon but the question of all members being residents has not been determined. Alderman Anderson has expressed his preference that all members be Ballwin residents if possible. Alderman McDowell said this may not be possible, but Ballwin residents should be given first consideration. Alderman Lembke recommended that time be taken to structure the committee and their duties and invite them to attend the May 1 Retreat. Alderman Buermann agreed that since the structure of the Committee has not been determined at this time, further consideration is necessary. Alderman McDowell said that during the Retreat, more information will be obtained to fine tune the charge for the Committee. He thinks the committee should complete its work prior to the summer. Mayor Jones said that at this time, qualified candidates should be considered for discussion at another Finance & Administration Committee meeting. The Board agreed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Sewer Lateral Program – City Administrator said there is a maximum or cap on each individual claim for reimbursement purposes. In rare cases where laterals extend under the road surface, concrete slab replacement is sometimes necessary. This can cost between $1,200 - $2,000 of the $3,000 cap. The homeowner is responsible to maintain the service lateral from the main back into the home for both water and sewer. A single contractor ordering enough concrete to do one slab is far less cost effective than if the slab is done as a part of the $250,000 city-wide slab program. It is more expensive to have someone who is not in the concrete business to do restoration when plumbing is the primary expertise. The lower cost would keep the program whole longer as opposed to having a sewer contractor do concrete work and paying premium price for one slab. This would also provide a drivable roadway surface during the interim period of temporary repair.
Alderman Lembke presented an example with slab replacement, but using an asphalt patch. Mayor Jones said that based on these calculations, the project will cost approximately $4,200. Alderman Robinson said that the program will reimburse the homeowner $3,000. The owner’s total cost will be reduced by the savings of having the City do the concrete work rather than a private contractor. City Administrator Kuntz said that when a plumbing contractor does the concrete replacement, it is more expensive, and the price could be between $2,000 - $2,200. City Engineer Kramer said the Public Works Department could replace the same slab for $900 - $1,200. City Administrator Kuntz said everyone would benefit from this: the City will get a better job, it’s part of an overall package, the homeowner’s expense is less, and the plumbing contractor doesn’t have to do secondary work or find someone to replace a single slab. Alderman Lembke said the whole program would have to be explained to the homeowner very thoroughly so that the City doesn’t have to re-contact the homeowner with a higher bill for the slab replacement. Alderman McDowell agreed that the cost should be much less for the Public Works Department to replace the slab than a private contractor.
City Administrator Kuntz said he would like to table this issue and come back with specific implementation guidelines. Concerns have been raised that going back to the property owner would not be appropriate. The cost should be recovered on the front end with no surprises or changes. Procedures and guidelines proposed in conjunction with this change will be provided for consideration. The Board agreed.
Alderman Lembke said that he does not object to reimbursing road repairs from sewer lateral; however, if all of a sudden there is a difference of several thousand dollars and at the end of the year another person has a sewer lateral problem and they are told that the sewer lateral fund is out of money because more than $3,000 was paid on a couple of projects, that won’t be acceptable to the resident.
City Administrator Kuntz said Ballwin is in better shape than some other cities because the Board implemented the cap the second year. It took several other cities 2 – 5 years before they implemented a cap after experiencing many disgruntled residents. Ballwin has a very efficient program and this is an attempt to make it even more efficient.
Lock Drive Zoning – Mayor Jones said that if someone has an adjacent parcel that now has a residential use but they think eventually may have commercial value, they won’t be happy with a proposal to change the zoning to residential. They will have an opportunity for a Public Hearing. This issue should be sent to the Planning & Zoning Commission for review. The Board agreed.
Pension Policy – City Administrator Kuntz said that all employees on unpaid leave should be treated equally and in compliance with the law. Currently the pension of a Police employee on military leave continues to be funded, while the pension of a Public Works employee on military leave is not. The reason for this is that they are in different pension programs. Alderman Gatton agreed and said that while in military service, military pension plans are being funded. Alderman Robinson disagreed and said that deployments are longer than expected and families are suffering hardships. City Administrator Kuntz said the City contribution to the fund is 8% of the pay the person had before they were called to active duty. They are paid the difference between the military pay and their rate of City pay while they are in the military capacity. Eight percent is paid on the total. Alderman Robinson asked what the City would be saving if the contributions were stopped. City Administrator Kuntz said the proposal is to treat all employees on unpaid leave equally regardless of circumstance or situation, and to be consistent with all forms of leave and to apply the rule equally across the board.
City Administrator Kuntz said this question was raised because there is an employee who is volunteering for military duty, not being assigned, and potentially there will be a third year of no service to the City while the City continues to pay 8% into a pension fund. Other employees are not being treated the same.
Human Resource Coordinator Morrison said that the City has two different types of pension plans. One employee on military leave in the LAGERS plan has not been funded because that’s the way the plan is set up. Another individual on military leave in a different pension plan, as Mr. Kuntz described, is being funded. Employees after 90 days who are out on Workers Comp, are no longer paid by the City and they only receive pay from Workers Comp.
Alderman McDowell believes that employees on military leave should continue to have their pensions funded regardless if they volunteer or ordered.
Alderman Lembke said that he is the father of a son who has joined the Army Reserve and is currently in advanced individual training and could be deployed in May. He said he is in favor of making the pension funding equal. If there is an inconsistency from one plan to another, they should be equal.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann to table the Pension Policy for further discussion.
Retreat Agenda – Alderman Buermann suggested discussion about having a concrete crew that will help with the price of slab replacements and cost-efficient street lights. City Administrator Kuntz asked if any speakers should be contacted to talk about economic development trends, media relations. Alderman Lembke said that residents are not in favor of additional development on Manchester Road. They see it as being too busy, however, this is a revenue source for the City. Education and marketing should be considered to help residents to understand the benefit of this. Mayor Jones suggested specific topics if speakers are going to be invited to participate.
Highview – City Administrator Kuntz said the letters went out with no response. The Board agreed to do nothing at this time.
Government Center Space – City Administrator Kuntz suggested that the State Representatives be contacted to see if there is any interest in renting the office space in the lower level of the Government Center. The Board agreed that City Administrator Kuntz should move forward on this suggestion.
Closed Session – City Administrator Kuntz said the closed session will be needed to discuss real estate.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
City Attorney Lucchesi said there was a Pointe settlement conference. There was little progress because of multiple other contractor and sub-contractor lawsuits.
Alderman Buermann announced that the Finance & Administration Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. on February 23 prior to the Board of Aldermen meeting. The Finance Advisory Committee structure will be discussed.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adjourn to Closed session to discuss real estate. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the meeting was adjourn to closed session at 8:00 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:01 p.m. to discuss real estate. The Board reconvened in open session at 8:11 p.m.
Mayor Jones said that while in closed session, the Board discussed the possibility of acquiring a piece of real estate.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Gatton to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.