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
December 8, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:04 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the November 24, 2003 Public Health & Safety Committee 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.
The Minutes of the November 24, 2003 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman McDowell 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.
Midwest Waste representative, Tony Lamantia, said that when Ordinance 03-22 was approved regarding passing on the recycle cost to the residents, he had made an error in the attached rate sheet for the 2003 and 2004 billing amounts. The 2003 once a week trash, yard waste and recycling should have been $13.22 instead of $11.03. The 2004 amount is $13.77 instead of $11.58. His figures still reflected the $2.19 recycling fee being paid by the City rather than the residents in the first year. The prices for the residents do not reflect the $2.19. In the second year, the $11.58 does not cover the $2.19 for recycling and in all available pickup options. He asked that the ordinance be revised to reflect the cost that was agreed to by the Board and not what is stated in the current ordinance.
Mayor Jones asked what amount was billed after the ordinance was passed. Mr. Lamantia said the actual billing included the $2.19. The Board approved the current billing, which is the correct amount, but the ordinance incorrectly states the amount. City Administrator Kuntz said the ordinance reflects the smaller numbers but should reflect the amount that the Board approved and is being billed to the residents. Alderman McDowell said the right thing to do is to amend the ordinance to reflect the correct amounts that was approved by the Board.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to prepare an ordinance for consideration at the January 12 meeting to correct the error in Ordinance # 03-22. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Alderman Easter asked about senior citizens having to send Midwest Waste a copy of their driver’s license in order to get the senior citizen rate. She said residents don’t want to do this because they are concerned about privacy. Mr. Lamantia said Midwest Waste asks for a photo ID containing their birth date. This is the only way to determine if they qualify. He suggested that the senior citizens come to the Government Center to show that they qualify. The information could then be forwarded to Midwest Waste. City Administrator Kuntz said he has requested a copy of the form that the City of Webster Groves uses for this purpose. Senior citizens could either come to the Government Center or fill out the form to send in.
Chairman Dot Andrews presented to the Board an overview of the activities, priorities and future directions of the Historical Commission. The Commission was founded in 1991 with 9 members with approval of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The purpose of the Commission is to bring together those people interested in the history of Ballwin. The major function is to collect material which may help to establish or illustrate the history of Ballwin and its progress. This includes histories, newspapers, letters, diaries, journals, surveys and material objects that illustrate life, events and activities of the past and present.
Some of the major Historical Commission activities and projects are:
1. Updating the Ballwin History Book,
2. The Log Home, which was originally built in 1849, about a quarter of a mile north of its present location, was dismantled and rebuilt with the cooperation of local organizations and interested individuals who provided manpower for the reconstruction. The project was completed in May, 1993. This structure is in need of repair and restoration.
3. Tours of the Log Home are provided for the public.
4. Renovation of the Old Ballwin School, which was built around 1900 and served as the 2-room school until 1938. It was selected by the Historical Commission as the most important historical structure in the Olde Towne area.
Mayor Jones asked if the Commission raises funds for projects. Chairman Andrews said that it is her understanding that any funds raised by the Commission must go into Ballwin’s general revenue and would not come directly to the Historical Commission. Mayor Jones said that this is technically correct and be noted that funds are designated for Historical Commission projects by the Board in the annual budget.
Alderman Gatton said there are extensive repairs that need to be made on the Log Home. These repairs could transform the structure into a replica of the original Log Home instead of a restoration. Alderman Buermann said the Log Home is listed in the St. Louis County list of historical homes in Ballwin. There were 15 historic buildings in Ballwin in 1994 and now there are only 5. He said 66% of the historic buildings in Ballwin have been destroyed since 1994. Ballwin’s heritage should be preserved.
Alderman Suozzi said her parents have rebuilt a gristmill in Alabama that was originally constructed in 1861. This is on the state historical registry. She said she will consult her father for advice and suggestions for the Log Home. St. Genevieve, Missouri has a strong historical society and she suggested contacting them for their guidelines.
Alderman Buermann asked City Attorney Lucchesi if the Historical Commission could be allowed to receive grants for the restoration projects. The ordinance is not set un to allow this at this time, however, this can be changed. Alderman Gatton said he would like the Commission to be able to accept grants.
Alderman Robinson said the City cannot financially afford to fund some of the restoration projects that the Historical Commission is needing. A ballot issue tax increase for the Historical Commission projects would not be a good idea.
Alderman Easter asked if a grant would more easily be given to the City or to the Historical Commission. City Attorney Lucchesi said it probably wouldn’t make any difference. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that it was easier for the Arts Commission to receive a grant than the City to do so for the Arts Commission.
Alderman McDowell said the Log Home is a strong symbol of Ballwin’s history and all avenues should be considered to preserve it. Alderman Lembke asked if it would be beneficial to make the Historical Commission a non-profit organization, and for the Commission to discuss this possibility and report back to the Board with the information.
2004 Capital and Operating Budget: Mayor Jones said that 2003 has been an intense year of expenditure review and revenue scrutiny. Numerous cost saving measures such as the elimination of city payment for curbside recycling, annual employee holiday party and the city calendar were implemented. On the revenue side, many of the program and permit fees were adjusted to more closely align income and expenses. As a result, there were no layoffs or reduction in essential city services. In 2004, the full benefit of these measures will be seen.
Expenditures for the 2004 Operating Budget are proposed at $13,460,710, compared to $12,659,157 in 2003. The budget is balanced with no further reduction of the reserve fund. After a one-year wage freeze, the operating plan includes a 4% pay increase for all employees based on merit. No new programs or employees will be added in 2004.
The capital budget calls for a 40% spending reduction from 2003 budget levels. There will be very little federal funding and no utilization of bond proceeds. The only potential new grant is the reimbursement for the Vlasis Park tennis court reconstruction that could come from the County parks tax. The Manchester Road sidewalk project represents our reliance upon federal funding under the TEA 21 enhancement program.
While Administration and Police proposals are below 2003 budget levels, an ambitious program is once again proposed for Parks and Public Works. Debt service for these latter two departments reflects 30% of the overall budget total. The total street commitment is down very slightly for 2004 due to proposed construction of a salt storage facility and expansion of the Public Works maintenance yard. Parking at North Pointe, completion of Vlasis Park, and restoration of the Old School House are primary considerations which have been addressed.
Overall, the 2004 capital budget addressed a wide range of improvements while continuing the policy of pro-active vehicle and equipment replacement. The operating budget provides the necessary resources to enable continuance of providing the wide variety of top quality programs and services.
Mayor Jones asked if there are any proponents who would like to speak in favor of the 2004 capital or operating budget. There were none.
Mayor Jones asked if there are any opponents who would like to speak concerning the 2004 capital or operating budget. Mr. Roy Sombero, 112 Holloway, Kehrs Mill Crossing Condominium Association, spoke about the noise and problems that the residents whose condos are next to the Public Works yard are having. He asked if the residents can be involved in what is going to be done in the Public Works yard. Mayor Jones said the design information can be viewed at the office of the City Engineer. City Administrator Kuntz said the City has been meeting on a regular basis, every couple of months, with the Trustees of Kehrs Mill Crossing on this matter. They were part of the preliminary design, they signed off on the final design, and the expansion of the yard is designed to buffer, screen and provide more insulation between the residential neighbors and the Public Works operations.
There were no other comments on the budget and Mayor Jones declared the Public Hearing closed at 7:52 p.m.
Roy Sombero, 112 Holloway Road: Mr. Sombero asked if the yard waste charge could be eliminated for members of the association since they contract out all of their yard and tree trimming. They do not need yard waste pickup from Midwest Waste. City Administrator Kuntz said that Jerry Klein will attempt to assist with Midwest Waste in this matter.
Mr. Sombero also complimented the Parks Department and John Hoffmann on the swiftness that they removed a tree that was dropping limbs at Kehrs Mill and Holloway. Last week a truck tore a limb out of a tree in front of his house and it dropped onto the street. The truck driver pulled the limb to the curb. He said he called Mr. Hoffmann’s voice mail and within 20 minutes there was a city employee with a chain saw working on removing the limb.
Kraig Whittenberg, 575 Goldwood Drive: Mr. Whittenberg said he is glad that there is no property tax in the 2004 budget. He suggested that a finance committee be only Ballwin residents. He feels that Ballwin residents will try harder to find the best solutions.
Peggy Duenke, 267 Geremma: Mrs. Duenke asked what is the tax base in Ballwin and what is the anticipated revenue if the tax rate is raised. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the Board is entitled to collect as much as a 27¢ real estate tax because that rate was in effect before the Hancock Amendment. The city is limited to the total revenue that the 27¢ rate generated. It would be spread out over the entire present base which would lower the rate. If 27¢ were imposed on the present base, there would have to be an election. On one basis there would not have to be an election, and on the other, there may have to be an election. City Administrator Kuntz said that as of August 1, 2003, the assessed valuation for the City of Ballwin was $487,315,000. In 1987, it was at least 1/10th that amount.
Tim Pogue, 410 Bush Drive: Mr. Pogue spoke in favor of the proposed smoking ban in restaurants. He said the Chesterfield restaurants do not fear the no-smoking law. Restaurant development continues to grow in Chesterfield. Alderman Lembke said that the Board is not considering a ban on smoking in restaurants in Ballwin, but only a restriction similar to what Chesterfield has. He also said that approximately 10 homes that were in Ballwin’s historic Olde Towne were lost due to development of the Olde Towne Plaza. Alderman Buermann said that the Old School House is one of the oldest school houses west of the Mississippi River. It should be preserved.
BILL # 3274 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AND ADOPTING A BUDGET OF ANTICIPATED CASH REVENUE AND CASH DISBURSEMENTS FOR THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 2004, AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2004. PROVIDING FOR EXPENDITURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAID BUDGET AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREOF.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3274. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3274 was read for the first time.
Alderman Gatton said praised the staff for the reductions in expenditures and all the hard work in assisting the Board with developing a balanced budget without requiring any new taxes. Alderman Lembke thanked all of the Ballwin employees for being patient in the tough economic times and accepting no increase in pay for the entire 2003 year. The Board looks forward to adjusting this and making the merit increases available.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3274. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3274 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3274 with the following results: Ayes – Lembke, McDowell, Robinson, Gatton, Suozzi, Easter, Buermann. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3274 approved and it became Ordinance No. 03-68.
BILL # 3275 - AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AND ADOPTING A BUDGET OF ANTICIPATED CASH REVENUE AND CASH DISBURSEMENTS FOR THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 2004, AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2004. PROVIDING FOR EXPENDITURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAID BUDGET AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREOF.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3275. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3275 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3275. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3275 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3275 with the following results: Ayes –Suozzi, Easter, Robinson, Gatton, McDowell, Buermann, Lembke. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3275 approved and it became Ordinance No. 03-69.
BILL # 3276 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT WITH ST. LOUIS COUNTY FOR COMPUTER-AIDED REPORT ENTRY SERVICES.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3276. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3276 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3276. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3276 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3276 with the following results: Ayes –Robinson, Lembke, Suozzi, Easter, Buermann, Gatton, McDowell. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3276 approved and it became Ordinance No. 03-70.
TIF Commission: Mayor Jones said that the TIF Commission would need to be reconvened to discuss possible boundary changes to the TIF District. It was determined that TIF Commission members Ed Montgomery, Roger Idel and Ron Verilli would not be able to serve. Three new members would need to be appointed. Alderman Suozzi volunteered to contact Committee Chairman Steve Radcliff. She also said that she would again be able to serve on the Commission as the Aldermanic representative.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Finance Advisory Committee: City Administrator Kuntz recommended that this committee be charged with the responsibility of looking forward to future financial planning both in terms of preservation of essential service, and insuring that the revenues are there in the future to deliver services. He said all of the easy measures for cost reductions and revenue enhancements have been recommended by staff, and approved by the Board. Ballwin is one of 14 cities, out of 92 municipalities in St. Louis County that does not have a property tax. The reliance on the retail sector is so extensive that when there is an economic slow down, it hits Ballwin harder than it does a city that is diversified in its revenues. The focus has to be forward to determine how the services and programs can continue to be funded.
Alderman Buermann suggested discussing this issue in February instead of waiting for a Spring Board retreat. Alderman Gatton said he is concerned that next year, revenues could still be flat and Ballwin would be in the same situation. All of the easy choices have already been made. He is not eager to see the property tax implemented but if the future is going to require it, the Board needs to be educated as to what is needed. Alderman Lembke said the Board should take the time to do this right.
City Administrator Kuntz suggested setting a date and agenda for the retreat, and deciding whether the Board wants to go with a committee report at this meeting, do its own investigation, or whether those two things should be done concurrently.
City Administrator Kuntz said that this is the last Board of Aldermen meeting until January 12, 2004.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
D.W.I.: City Attorney Lucchesi suggested legislation be considered at the January 12 meeting. The Board agreed.
Alderman McDowell said he would like an update on the New Ballwin Road project. Mayor Jones said he received a letter from the president of the Holy Infant parish counsel. The church is against reduced access into the church property.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.