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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.

2001 - 2002 Capital Budget Workshop

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes

 

MINUTES

CAPITAL BUDGET WORKSHOP
October 8, 2001

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Ballwin Police Department. The meeting was open to the public and notice was posted in the 24-hour lobby of Ballwin Police Department, the Government Center, and The Pointe on the Friday preceding the meeting. Those in attendance were Mayor Jones, Aldermen Easter, McDowell, Buermann, Suozzi, Robinson, Gatton and Boland. Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, Police Chief Biederman, City Engineer Kramer, and Laura Radcliff of A.G. Edwards, Ray Lembke, representing the Parks Advisory Committee.

SWIMMING COMPLEX PROPOSAL

City Administrator Kuntz introduced Ray Lembke, who was representing the Parks Advisory Committee. He briefly reported the activities that the Committee has conducted and the recommendations for the new swimming complex that came from that group. Mr. Lembke stated that several assumptions and directives were considered by the committee in developing their recommendations. Among these are the following: The facility must service a population of 50,000, which would one day be the approximate population of the City of Ballwin. The facility would pull from the surrounding cities of Manchester, Ellisville, and Chesterfield, and that the facility needs to be designed to offer activities that are not available in facilities that presently exists or are planned in those communities. The facility would have to meet all ADA requirements for access and utilization.

On the basis of these directives, the plan that was developed and is being recommended contains the following features:

  • a lazy river, approximately 900 feet long; play structures in a zero entry pool facility;
  • a toddler play pool;
  • a leisure pool, which also has a zero depth entry option;
  • 25-foot diameter whirl pool;
  • two water slides, one open and one enclosed that will dump into a separate plunge pool that is connected to the lazy river;
  • substantial deck space for sunbathing and for people to move about unhindered.
  • The main competition pool would accommodate 8 lanes in the 25-meter configuration and 10 lanes in the 25-yard configuration. The facility will also allow for a water polo competition. Two one-meter boards and a rope swing are located in the competition pool.

Alderman Easter asked how the pool proposal compares in area with the present swimming pool. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer explained that the old pool will accommodate approximately 450 bathers. The new facility would accommodate approximately 1,500 bathers. Even when the competition pool is closed to the public for a swimming event, the remaining facility will accommodate approximately 500 bathers. Presently, when there is a swimming event, the entire facility is closed to the general public.

Mr. Lembke noted that in addition to what he described earlier, the new facility will have a lot of shade structures for deck areas and for swimming areas.

Alderman McDowell asked about parking at the new facility. Mr. Lembke stated that the parking will be arranged in a perimeter lot that surrounds the swimming pool on the north, west and south sides. The parking lot will also be able to double as backup parking for Clubhouse activities in the off-season. The new lot will accommodate approximately 275 vehicles, which is roughly twice the size of the existing parking lot.

Mr. Lembke briefly described the buildings that are included in the proposal. The bath house, in addition to locker and bath room facilities for both sexes contains a family changing area. The bath house also has 2 large covered areas that provide shelter from the sun and during bad weather and can be rented out for parties or other special purposes. There is office and first aid space and concession stand. The park pavilion, which will be located to the north of the pool in the Holloway Park complex will contain restrooms for both sexes and a covered pavilion area similar to the facility in Ferris Park. The third building on the site is the pump house. It is located adjacent to the competition pool at the south end of the complex. The pump house has 2 levels with the lower lever being devoted to the swimming pool, mechanical and maintenance equipment. The upper level of the pump house has covered areas with vending machines and an auxiliary first aid and office area.

Mayor Jones asked how far the parking area would be from the rear of the houses that are located to the west of the pool site. City Administrator Kuntz explained that the parking lot would be approximately the same distance form the rear property lines as is the current parking lot. Alderman Suozzi noted that noise from the swimming pool has been an issue for these residents in the past. She asked if anything has been incorporated in the design to minimize this issue. Ray Lembke noted that the pool house building forms a major sound barrier between the activity areas of the pool and the adjoining property owners, and that some of the more active facilities, such as the slides and play areas are located as far as possible away from the adjoining residential properties. Mr. Lembke concluded his presentation by saying that he and the advisory committee believes strongly that the recommended facility is exactly what this community is saying that it wants for today and in the future.

PAYING FOR THE PROPOSAL

City Administrator Kuntz noted that the major source of funding for the pool will come from the new one-half cent park tax. Collection of that revenue will began on October 1, 2001. Mr. Kuntz said since revenues from the half cent sales tax will be accomplished throughout the end of 2001 and the first part of 2002, there will be approximately a $550,000 reserve created prior to the initiation of construction on this pool, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in August, 2002. In this manner, the $550,000 can be used to pre-pay a portion of the costs of professional services and construction. In so doing, the annual debt payment from the half-cent park tax will not exceed 2/3 of the anticipated annual park tax revenue. The bonds should take approximately 16 years to pay off at that rate. The balance of the funds from that tax can be utilized for other park operations and capital improvements.

Mayor Jones asked if Mr. Kuntz was saying that Ballwin would be able to pay for this facility without having to utilize any general fund revenues to retire the debt. City Administrator Kuntz said this was accurate. He said he is expecting to present a certificate of participation bond proposal to the Board next June. If this is acceptable, the existing facility will be closed in the late summer of 2002, with construction beginning immediately thereafter, and anticipated opening of the new facility in the spring of 2003.

Alderman Gatton asked if the new half cent park tax would free up funds for capital expenditures in other departments of the City. City Administrator Kuntz said it would but pointed out that the capital budget expenditures on Parks and Recreation are not that extensive so the amount of additional revenue to be utilized in other departments will not represent a tremendous increase in overall expenditure levels.

City Administrator Kuntz introduced Laura Radcliff, of A.G. Edwards. Ms. Radcliff explained how certificate of participation bonds work. Basically, such bonds are annual appropriation lease bonds. They are not supported by the full faith in credit of the City, but conversely do not have to be approved by the electorate. Because they are not supported by such full faith in credit, they are backed up by pledged collateral such as other physical improvements that the City owns. Ms. Radcliff said as of the current budget, it is expected that the pool will cost approximately $7.9 million, and that additional park improvements in Vlasis Park will cost approximately $1.3 million. The anticipated annual payment on a bond of this size is approximately $930,000, which is roughly 2/3 of the anticipated $1.5 million in annual revenues from the tax. City Administrator Kuntz explained that he proposes to pledge Vlasis Park and the Golf Course as collateral against the loan.

Alderman Boland asked what interest rate is being utilized in this cost projection. Ms. Radcliff said she is presently anticipating an average rate of 4.8% over the life of the project. Alderman Boland also asked about city revenue growth. City Administrator Kuntz said the assumption is for a very flat growth over the life of the bonds. Ms. Radcliff stated that presently, the municipal bond market is doing very well. Economists are predicting another cut in the prime rate, which will be reflected in bond rates. She is optimistic that we will have a favorable bond rate in the spring of 2002.

Alderman Buermann asked if the swimming pool is expected to cover the cost of its operations. City Administrator Kuntz said the plan is to set user rates at a level that will cover all operating costs. He said the City has been very successful in this regard with The Pointe and the Golf Course. Alderman Buermann asked if the City expects to draw people from outside of Ballwin as customers. City Administrator Kuntz said he is thinking in terms of this as a commercial operation and that it would draw users from outside of the City. This is the same philosophy that is utilized in the operation of The Pointe and Golf Course.

Ray Lembke stated that the Parks Advisory Committee worked hard in their planning to maintain a family atmosphere and environment for this facility, but recognized the need for the City to attract non-residents in order for the facility to be economical.

Alderman McDowell said he believes Ballwin residents should get first shot at utilizing the facility and should not have to compete with non-residents. He asked if this facility would draw patrons away from The Pointe. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said she does not think so. It has been her observation that individuals who like to swim indoors or outdoors will use the facility that meets their needs. She believes there’s a possibility to sell combined passes that will provide access to both facilities that there may be more passes sold.

Alderman Buermann asked if the basketball and tennis court facilities would be eliminated in this project. Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said they would not and would be retained in the present position, but be enhanced with the construction of the new pavilion and rest room facilities in that area. There was no further discussion on the swimming pool project.

2002 PARKS & RECREATION CAPITAL BUDGET

Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer noted the major capital expenditures in 2002 will get the Department caught up on deferred capital equipment expenditures. Ms. Bruer briefly outlined the major points of her 2002 capital budget as follows: 1) Vlasis Park Phase 2, which will include playground, parking lot, horseshoe courts, plaza construction, road removal. It is expected that this project will begin in late August and the work will be accomplished over the winter; 2) The Pointe, includes construction of the walking path, which Ms. Bruer believes she can get funded through the 1/10 cent County parks tax, purchase other exercise equipment, the water heating facilities need to be upgraded, and they need a "help" desk on the upper level; 3) Golf Course, sewer restoration from the sewer work being done by MSD. Included in this will be some cart path work, equipment, mowers, carts, and the beginning of the replacement of the gabions around the pond on hole #9, which have gotten dangerously deteriorated; 4) The old School House – complete the phased architectural plan and begin structural rehabilitation of the facility; 5) In-line skating and skateboarding facility – this would be a small facility, the location has not been determined. Alderman Buermann asked what has changed regarding this type of facility from several years ago when the Board determined that the liability was too high. City Administrator Kuntz noted that there is more demand than ever for this type of facility. There are now other Missouri examples, and the insurance industry has become less concerned about the liability exposure to the City for having such a facility. Mr. Kuntz noted that they are not expensive and this facility would be kept small enough that it will not become the major regional attraction.

Alderman McDowell said he believes the City needs to revisit the philosophy regarding events such as Ballwin Days. He questioned, with the many new facilities that Ballwin has built in recent years for recreational activities, if Ballwin Days should continue to be held in the same manner that it has in the past. He noted that not only is it hard on Vlasis Park, but it is a tremendous strain on the City’s resources, and he questioned whether or not the benefit is commensurate with the overall cost to the City. City Administrator Kuntz noted that next year (2002) will be the 25th anniversary of the event. He suggested that the City of Ballwin should survey the residents of the City to determine whether or not there is an opinion regarding the future of the event. He believes that next year Ballwin Days should be conducted in the same manner as in the past. Mayor Jones noted that a survey of this nature has already been submitted to members of the committee.

There was no further discussion and Mayor Jones adjourned the meeting at 6:55 p.m.

Robert E. Jones, Mayor

Submitted by:
Thomas H. Aiken, Assistant City Administrator
City Planner / City Clerk

THA:MC