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
January 12, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the December 8, 2003 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.
Eric Reinsfelder, 724 Trago Creek Drive, President of Holy Infant Parish: Mr. Reinsfelder said it is necessary to make improvements to New Ballwin Road. He referred to his letter, dated December 2, 2003, to Mayor Jones and the Board of Aldermen expressing areas of concern. Holy Infant Parish is opposed to further restricted access to the existing entrances or roads into the Parish, School, or Church lots. There is a median proposed in front of 2 north entrances which will restrict access. This will not allow the existing school traffic to follow the methods of dropping of children as it exists today. They prefer an enhancement of access into the facility. The safety of the school children is a concern. They have always worked to coordinate the school traffic with the Ballwin Police. The neighbors living close to New Ballwin Road are concerned because the proposed improvements will force more traffic onto the neighborhood streets. He suggested Nancy Place connecting Old and/or New Ballwin, a 3-lane construction without the median, or a 4-lane construction.
Stephen Knobbe, 540 Oak Leaf Manor Ct.: Mr. Nobbe was in agreement with Mr. Reinsfelder and expressed the same concerns and suggestions.
Sharry Shoy 192 Nassau Way: Ms. Shoy was also in agreement with Mr. Eric Reinsfelder and expressed the same concerns and suggestions.
Tom Bealy, 609 Twigwood: Mr. Bealy said from the proposed plan, left turns out of Holy Infant will be limited which will cause more people to cut through the neighborhoods. There will me substantially more traffic on Nancy Place and Dennison.
Clark Brayton, 499 Melanie Meadows Drive: Mr. Brayton expressed opposition to the Remington Place sidewalk spur. He said when he bought his lot, the builder did not disclose that a sidewalk would be built. He said the location of this sidewalk proposal is a shed plain for water with mosquito infestation. He presented a video which showed the water shed of 2 – 3 feet deep and 20 – 30 feet wide where the sidewalk spur would end. Even in the dry summer, the ground remains saturated. The water would have to be directed elsewhere. The mosquito problem would also have to be addressed before a walking path could be used. For the money that would need to be spent to make that piece of land useable and safe for the public, he doesn’t think it is feasible to do this. He said he wants privacy and does not want a sidewalk running through his yard if it is not going anywhere.
Chris Schneider, 497 Melanie Meadows Lane: Mr. Schneider said Clark Brayton sent a letter to Alderman Lembke regarding the Remington Place sidewalk. He said on the video where the water is coming out of the storm sewer, that is the common ground that he sees from his house. He agreed with Mr. Brayton that it would not be feasible to put in a sidewalk at this location.
BILL # 3277 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AND ESTABLISHING A ZERO TAX RATE FOR REAL PROPERTY IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN FOR THE FISCAL PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2004 AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2004.
A motion was made by Alderman Anderson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill No. 3277. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3277 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3277. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3277 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3277 with the following results: Ayes – Lembke, Easter, Robinson, Buermann, Anderson, Gatton, McDowell, Suozzi. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3277 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-01.
BILL # 3278 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 03-22 DEALING WITH THE CONTRACT FOR THE COLLECTION, REMOVAL, AND DISPOSAL OF GARBAGE, RUBBISH AND TRASH FROM THE PREMISES OCCUPIED BY SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS WITHIN THE CITY BY ALLIED WASTE INDUSTRIES, INC., DBA MIDWEST WASTE (MIDWEST).
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3278. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3278 was read for the first time.
Alderman Gatton noted that the purpose of this ordinance is only to correct an error in the exhibit that accompanied Ordinance 03-22.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a second reading of Bill No. 3278. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3278 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3278 with the following results: Ayes –Robinson, Suozzi, Anderson, McDowell, Lembke, Buermann, Easter, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3278 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-02.
Alderman Buermann requested Item B, Police Cars, be removed from the vote for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adopt consent items A, C and D. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Ballwin Days Appointment: Mayor Jones said he would like to see one chairperson instead of two co-chairpersons. Both chairpersons have done a good job but he feel that sometimes it is difficult to make final decisions when two people are sharing the chairmanship of the committee. He said this doesn’t seem to be a problem for them or for the committee. He would also like to see other committee members moving up through the ranks and take on the position of chairman.
Alderman Buermann said this is a volunteer committee and no one gets paid. He believes the committee is running fine as it is and should not be changed at this time.
Alderman Gatton agreed that Pat McDermott and Tim Vincent work very well together. The position of Ballwin Days Chairman is difficult and time consuming for a volunteer and for one person to handle all of the issues that come up. He believes that the co-chairmanship should not be changed at this time.
Alderman Lembke also said that the co-chairmanship is good and should remain since this is a volunteer organization.
Alderman Easter said that in a volunteer organization, it’s not easy to get people to take the really hard jobs because they are so time consuming. She said that if the co-chair position were to change, it should be done at a Ballwin Days Committee meeting instead of a Board of Aldermen meeting.
Mayor Jones said that since Tim Vincent’s term as Ballwin Days Co-Chairman expired in December, 2003, he recommended Tim’s reappointment to Co-Chairman for a 3-year term. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was passed.
TIF Commission Appointments: Mayor Jones said there are 3 vacancies on the TIF Commission and he would like to fill these positions by January 26. He would like to reconvene the TIF Commission in February. There have been 3 requests for removal from the TIF District. He asked the Board for nominees for this Commission.
Closed Session – Mayor Jones said a brief closed session will follow this Board meeting to discuss the City Administrator’s Performance Review.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Planning Retreat: City Administrator Kuntz asked the Board for a date for the annual Planning Workshop Retreat session. Mayor Jones suggested April 24 or May 1 or 8. City Administrator Kuntz said that in the past, many of the issues have centered on future strategic and financial planning. Suggestions for consideration are being pro-active and visioning where the community should be or could be in the future. This could include population growth, annexation, redevelopment, infrastructure, etc.
New Ballwin Road: City Administrator Kuntz said St. Louis County has been engaged in partnership with the City of Ballwin for over 2 years to study, plan, and develop design concepts that could mean funding eligibility for the improvement of New Ballwin Road. St. Louis County maintains New Ballwin Road from Twigwood south, and has expressed an interest in the past in providing complete maintenance so that it becomes a continuous service delivery area from Big Bend to Manchester Road. A conceptual design was presented to the public last April at Morgan Selvidge School. Other alternatives have been considered. Some of the proposals presented by the representatives of Holy Infant go beyond the scope of funding eligibility. To meet federal guidelines and to make this happen financially, the improvements must stay within the corridor of New Ballwin Road. City streets and other properties within the City would not be eligible for funding. St. Louis County has said that these are the design standards and these are the issues that can be taken to the next level to submit for funding. Other options cannot be submitted for funding. If the Board is going to seek outside funding, it must be done in partnership with St. Louis County and they are insisting on certain criteria such as restricting turning movements. He asked what staff should tell St. Louis County.
Mayor Jones said St. Louis County has made it very clear that there cannot be a 3-lane configuration without access management medians. This is a difficult situation to try to meet the traffic concerns to move the traffic and allow for the pedestrians at Selvidge, Holy Infant, and Woerther.
Alderman Lembke asked how the medians will help the traffic. Alderman Suozzi said it provides the safety island necessary for the pedestrians to cross the street. It eliminates driving in the center lane past turns to get to the turn you want to make.
Alderman Gatton said Holy Infant Church feels that blocking left turns into their property is unacceptable. It will create more problems than it will solve. St. Louis County and the engineers are equally adamant that these restrictions are necessary. There are other alternatives but not within the scope of this project. He suggested allowing left turn access with sufficient stacking room or creating an alternative access. The current design forces heavy traffic into the neighborhoods. He suggested keeping the left turn access available and working toward an improved solution on a city-only project.
Alderman McDowell said the proposal before the Board is the final proposal and the Board has put forth its best effort. Safety has been kept in mind. It won’t be feasible for everyone. The City cannot take on the additional funding for this project.
Alderman Gatton said left turns are not limited to the other schools, Selvidge and Woerther, on this street. Mayor Jones said that Holy Infant has 5 entrances. Alderman Gatton said that if the Old Ballwin Road entrances are restricted, this will move the traffic off the arterial and onto the neighborhood streets. None of the traffic studies that he has seen has considered the impact of what restricted left turns will do to the neighborhood streets.
Alderman Buermann said that about 7 years ago, a resident asked him to observe the traffic on Dennis and Nancy Place. In an 80 minute span of time, 120 cars passed by his car. He said the traffic is already there. Alderman Gatton agreed but said it will be much worse because more cars will be forced into the neighborhood streets. The traffic will be doubled because this will be cars both leaving and entering Holy Infant.
Mayor Jones said that at Salem Methodist Church, an access was eliminated from the west. The people attending that church must turn left on Kehrs Mill or Holloway, go to Kehrs Mill, come through the park and enter the church parking lot if they want to reach the church from the west. The east is a right turn in and right turn out. This was done as a development plan for the greater good of the City on Manchester Road. If it takes eliminating an entrance or making a driveway right turn in and right turn out, that’s what will have to be done to Holy Infant as well. He said there’s no debate.
Alderman Robinson asked if it is worth spending this much money so that 200 cars don’t have to make a left turn at this location and have to use a different route. Alderman Anderson asked about the total cost. City Engineer Kramer said the whole project from Big Bend to Manchester would be approximately $8 million.
Alderman Suozzi said there will be a new signalized left turn intersection. This should facilitate better access. Mayor Jones said it should but the problem seems to be an unwillingness to do stacking on the property because it creates an internal conflict. Alderman Gatton said an on-property traffic stacking procedure can be used. Steven Nobbe said that they have worked with the Ballwin Police to coordinate the drop off and pick up of students. The proposal will create a complete mess of what they are doing at this time.
Alderman Gatton said the northbound traffic is not an issue. The southbound traffic would be unable to make a left turn into Holy Infant. Holy Infant representatives suggested that the third lane median be used as a stacking area. This would allow the southbound traffic to flow and not have to stop behind people turning left.
Alderman Anderson asked if it would be productive to have more conversations with St. Louis County. City Administrator Kuntz said he doesn’t think any additional information can be obtained. A decision has to be made. All avenues of communication have been utilized to obtain a plan that will be acceptable to everyone.
Alderman Lembke said that the engineering concept is that if a road is expanded to 5 lanes, they would not have to limit left and right ingress/egress from any of the sites along New Ballwin Road. This is a set of standards that is applied to road construction. In this situation, there is a 2-lane road and if a third lane is constructed, in order to handle the volume of traffic, limited ingress/egress is necessary. The engineers are applying this standard to a situation that affects traffic mainly in the morning for 45 minutes. Their solution will be there 24 hours every day. This will limit access by emergency vehicles into Holy Infant. This will make it difficult for residents who live along New Ballwin Road. He agreed with Alderman Gatton to move forward but continue to talk and work with St. Louis County. He does not believe that this is the final plan as St. Louis County has indicated. Holy Infant has done a good job of rerouting traffic internally that has dramatically changed the wait time on New Ballwin Road. If there is a problem at Holy Infant, the County should also be concerned about Woerther because there is no signal at that location and there are as many people who drop off children at Woerther as there are at Holy Infant. St. Louis County is not applying the same standard to Woerther.
City Administrator Kuntz said the goal at the start of this project was to have a process to eliminate congestion, but not destroy the fabric of the neighborhood or create an unfriendly pedestrian environment. It had to be pedestrian sensitive as well as efficient. It is a combination of all of the design elements together that make the package. The County is not against Holy Infant. The decision made by the Board will affect Ballwin’s eligibility for funding.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Robinson to move forward with the plan submitted by Crawford, Bunte, Brammeier that was endorsed by St. Louis County and presented at the open house at Selvidge, for New Ballwin Road, and dialog with Holy Infant will continue and notify them of stages of the development. A voice vote was taken and the motion was declared passed with a vote of 6 Yes votes and Aldermen Gatton and Lembke voting Nay.
Remington Place Sidewalk: Alderman Suozzi asked if an equivalent of this sidewalk could be placed at another location. In other circumstances when a sidewalk could not be built, a substitute in exchange was acquired. It will cost just as much to remove what they have done as it did to put it in. Mayor Jones said that there are a number of sidewalks in the City that go nowhere. Years ago, the commitment was made to join the commercial, recreational, residential areas with sidewalks. Sidewalks are required in all new subdivisions and have retrofitted sidewalks in old subdivisions. We have a developer who is going to pay for a sidewalk and now if we tell him not to do it, seems like the opposite of what is trying to be achieved. At some time in the future the water shed that was shown on the video could be properly channeled and sent underground and have that area developed. It would not have to be a sidewalk going nowhere forever.
Alderman Gatton said that the easement would still exist to build the sidewalk in the future. At this time, it looks ridiculous. Alderman Easter said she is concerned about the steepness of the sidewalk at this location. Alderman Gatton said the plan was drawn without looking at the quality of the area.
City Administrator Kuntz said if an exception is made, this should not be a precedent. This would be a circumstantial situation.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Anderson to abandon, at this time, the requested construction of this particular access halfway walkway because of the topography and safety issues concerning the installation at this location. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Equipment Maintenance: City Administrator Kuntz said this is an experimental change of the maintenance agreements. This is a consolidation proposal that underwrites the major catastrophic exposure with an insurance policy by a company called Specialty Underwriters. They have a contract with the State. This would be a one-year experiment. Based on Board approval, the current vendors would be contacted that the service agreements will be renegotiated, include the same scope, but be under the umbrella of this company. The savings would be over $5,000 per year.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to accept the proposal for one year by Specialty Underwriters for the equipment maintenance contract. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was passed.
Police Cars: City Administrator Kuntz said the State contract shows Chevrolet Impala to be $2,746 less per vehicle than the Ford Crown Victoria. The State price for the Chevrolet Impala is $16,653.00. There will be cost for retrofitting. It has always been to the City’s advantage to purchase fleet vehicles under State contract. Police Chief Biederman also made local calls to see if there was a vendor who could meet or beat the State bid. The State bid had the best price. Alderman Buermann asked if the Clarkson Valley police patrol contract is solid to merit purchasing 7 vehicles instead of 4. City Administrator Kuntz said that only one police car is designated for use in Clarkson Valley. Police vehicles are purchased on a rotation of 6 one year and 7 the next year. The maintenance studies show that keeping a police car an extra year takes an average maintenance per car between $1,000 - $1,200 per year. The City gets a good price at auction for the cars that are being replaced. Police Chief Biederman said the average mileage on a police car when it is traded out is 71,000 – 83,000. The running time of the vehicle must also be considered. The police cars are usually replaced every 1½ years.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the purchase from the State bid. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
DWI: City Attorney Lucchesi said he is working on a major re-draft of the DWI legislation. Since part of this is personnel related, he would like to discuss this in closed session.
Alderman Gatton said that people who are involved in accidents when there are injuries, will automatically be tested for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is this something that should be considered. City Administrator Kuntz said there are no definite conclusions on this at this time.
Finance Advisory Committee: Alderman Anderson asked for clarification on the progress of selecting the Financial Advisory Committee. He sees this as an opportunity to be pro-active in thinking about creative options. The objectives and membership of the committee should be determined and move ahead. Alderman Buermann agreed and said this needs to be done so that services can be provided that the citizens expect. Alderman Easter said it’s important that the committee members have the qualifications to serve on this committee.
The Board agreed that the Finance and Administration Committee of the Board of Aldermen would meet on January 26 at 6:15 p.m. to discuss the potential formulation of a Financial Advisory Committee and to recommend guidelines.
Midwest Waste: Alderman Buermann said that Midwest Waste is slipping again in their service. He has called 5 times recently to report pickup and recycling errors. He observed that on December 23, his recycling items and for the entire subdivision were thrown into the trash truck. This is not what the commitment is to the environment and is not what the contract says. Midwest Waste should be notified that problems are starting to again increase.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adjourn to closed session. The motion passed unanimously and the regular Board meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:45 p.m. to discuss the performance review of the City Administrator and the DWI legislation affecting personnel. The Board reconvened in open session at 9:30 p.m.
Mayor Jones said that while in closed session, the Board discussed the performance review of the City Administrator and proposed DWI legislation affecting personnel.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Robinson to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the regular meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.