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 Operating Budget Work Session - 2008
November 12, 2007
Those in attendance were Mayor Young, Aldermen Pogue, Terbrock, Buermann, Suozzi, Robinson, Fleming, Lembke and Kerlagon. Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, Public Works Director/City Engineer Kramer, Police Captain Saulters and City Attorney Jones
Alderman Fleming noted that there will probably be no need to dip into reserves in 2007 or 2008 according to the planned budget.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken gave a brief overview of the changes to the Administration budget from 2007 to 2008.
Planning & Zoning meeting packets: Alderman Terbrock asked if staff can find a way to avoid mailing Planning & Zoning meeting packets to its members and the Board of Aldermen. Postage for this type of mailing is very expensive. City Administrator Kuntz said this change can be made.
Expenditures: Alderman Kerlagon asked if necessary expenditures are being pushed back in order to balance the budget. If this is happening, it could be a problem in the future.
Salaries: City Administrator Kuntz said that a 3% salary adjustment is potentially an issue for keeping people in the lower salary ranges.
PARKS & RECREATION
Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer presented the Parks & Recreation Operations Budget. She said that utility increases are significantly increasing expenses. She suggested starting a small cost-sharing program for street tree replacement. About 100 trees are proposed to partly offset the 300 trees that are removed every year. There will be additional promotions of the Parks & Recreation operations, including e-mail promotions to increase utilization. The department is looking for ways to reduce postage and printing costs.
Canada Geese: Alderman Terbrock asked if the geese program is worth continuing. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said it is successful but this is also a budget issue.
Golf Course Trees: Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said the department plans to plant more trees. A lot of trees have had to be removed in recent years due to age and disease.
Program Cuts: Alderman Robinson asked, without revenue growth, what will be cut? City Administrator Kuntz said that parks make money. Everything else costs money. Some small programs can and will have to be cut such as fogging, brush pick up, leaf collection, etc., and turning off street lights.
Alderman Robinson reported that his constituents say that new revenue sources are not needed. They want to cut services, employees, etc. He said residents will not be induced to approve a tax increase by selling the positives. The focus should be on the lost services. He asked what services will be lost.
City Administrator Kuntz said there is no one thing that can be done to solve this problem. There will have to be many smaller cuts.
Police Captain Saulters provided an overview of the Police Operations budget for 2008. She said they will try to utilize grants where they are available and drug money when it is applicable. The department has established a Business Resource Officer, utilizing a current employee for this position. Vacant positions are not being filled in order to offset the loss of the Clarkson Valley contract. Many equipment upgrades can be deferred for another year.
Radar: Alderman Kerlagon said that utilizing radar for speeding is an important tool and the visibility is a public relations plus.
Equipment: Alderman Robinson asked does the police department need anything that it is not getting. Captain Saulters said all equipment is top quality and functions as it is supposed to. Officer safety is second only to protection of the public.
Police Services: Alderman Fleming said that we have adjusted for the loss of the Clarkson Valley contract. He asked, are there any surrounding cities that might be interested in contracting with Ballwin for police/dispatch services? Captain Saulters said this might be a possibility. City Administrator Kuntz said that the options are not good. St. Louis County is buying the business and Ballwin can’t compete.
Alderman Suozzi asked if there is knowledge of the public opinion in Clarkson Valley of the impacts of the service contract termination. Captain Saulters said that there are rumors but the St. Louis County Police Department is a quality operation.
Director of Public Works / City Engineer Kramer presented an overview of the department’s Operations budget.
Speeding deterrents: Alderman Fleming asked if there are any new payment technologies that might be used to mitigate speeding. City Engineer Kramer said yes, but most of these methods have noise ramifications for adjoining properties.
Sidewalks: Alderman Pogue suggested looking for sidewalks that qualify for the Safe Route to School program. City Engineer Kramer said this can be done, however, most of these grants do not address maintenance, only new construction.
Adjourn: The Operating Budget Work Session adjourned at 6:52 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
November 12, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the October 22, 2007 Capital Budget Work Session and Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. Alderman Fleming requested that his name be added to the attendance in the Capital Budget Work Session Minutes. A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young announced that the City of Ballwin received the Special Community Initiative Award for Excellence in Public Participation by the 2007 Missouri State Charter Chapter of the American Planning Association for the Comprehensive Plan.
BILL # 3501 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 18 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN FEES.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill No. 3501. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3501 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a second reading of Bill No. 3501. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3501 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3501 with the following results:
Ayes – Pogue, Robinson, Suozzi, Fleming, Kerlagon, Terbrock, Lembke, Buermann. Nays – None.
Bill No. 3501 was approved and became Ordinance No. 07-34.
BILL # 3502 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT WITH ST. LOUIS COUNTY FOR COMPUTER-AIDED REPORT ENTRY SERVICES.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Robinson for a first reading of Bill No. 3502. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3502 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a second reading of Bill No. 3502. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3502 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3502 with the following results:
Ayes – Fleming, Kerlagon, Suozzi, Robinson, Terbrock, Buermann, Pogue, Lembke. Nays – None.
Bill No. 3502 was approved and became Ordinance No. 07-35.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Applebee’s Special Use Exception Transfer and Liquor License: A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the S.U.E. transfer and issuance of a new Liquor License. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Finance & Administration Committee Meeting: Mayor Young suggested that the Finance & Administration Committee meet at 6:00 p.m. on November 26 to discuss a ¼ cent sales tax, sewer lateral fee increase, utility tax increase and property tax. Alderman Fleming, Chairman of the Finance & Administration Committee, and the committee members agreed to meet at that time. Alderman Fleming said that this meeting will focus on revenue enhancements. He said that budget cutting has been thoroughly discussed. Alderman Fleming suggested marketing Ballwin services to other cities to increase revenue as a topic for discussion at this meeting.
Closed Session: Mayor Young said that after the November 26 Board meeting, there will be a closed session to discuss the annual review of the City Administrator.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Budget Work Shop Retreat: City Administrator Kuntz suggested the annual Work Shop be held in January. The Board agreed to January 5, 2008.
Holiday Pay: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a revision in the holiday pay. He suggested that the plan be amended to provide for double pay on the actual holiday for actual hours worked without any other combination. A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the amended Holiday Pay proposal. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Streets: City Administrator Kuntz said that options for Ward 3 have been requested. Alderman Robinson said he is not willing at this time to look at solution until early next spring. The Board agreed.
Street Lights: City Administrator Kuntz said that it has been determined that there are a few lights that can be eliminated because they are not in accordance with standards. He said this would be approximately $1,500 per year savings. Alderman Suozzi said that the lights along Clayton Road that are suggested for elimination are worth more in benefits than $1,500. She said there is going to be a sidewalk for pedestrians and she is concerned about safety. Alderman Robinson said that the lights should be taken down because there will be little impact and every savings is important. Alderman Buermann suggested elimination of the Clayton Road lights be postponed until the road construction is complete and that the issue be evaluated at that time. He also mentioned the double lighting at Ballpark Drive and Kehrs Mill in Vlasis Park. He said the Ballpark Drive light could be eliminated because of this. Alderman Lembke said Ballwin does not pay for street lights on private streets therefore the Ballwin Manor lights could be eliminated. City Administrator Kuntz suggested notifying Ballwin Manor Apartments before disconnection takes place in case they want to assume payment for these lights.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to delete the four private street lights in Ballwin Manor and the one at Ballpark Drive and Kehrs Mill, with notice being given to Ballwin Manor prior to shut off to allow the transfer of payment responsibility if they choose to do so.
Alderman Robinson asked that the motion be amended to include the Clayton Road lights. Alderman Pogue said that he will not amend the motion to include Clayton Road lights. Mayor Young suggested that a second motion can be made regarding Clayton Road.
A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to eliminate the street lights on Clayton Road.
Alderman Pogue suggested waiting until the outcome of the construction to determine the question of sidewalk safety for pedestrians. Alderman Robinson asked how this will be determined. Mayor Young said the Police Department will advise the Board on this issue. Alderman Fleming suggested sending the Clayton Road lights bill to MoDOT.
A voice vote was taken to delete the Clayton Road lights with the following result: Ayes: Robinson and Lembke. Nays: Pogue, Terbrock, Buermann, Suozzi, Fleming, Kerlagon. The motion to delete the Clayton Road lights failed by a vote of 2-6.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Cell Phone Settlement (U.S. Cellular): City Attorney Jones said the cities involved in the class action lawsuit reached a settlement with U.S. Cellular. The settlement is proposed to yield $7,353.68. This is a percentage of what would have been due since U.S. Cellular started doing business in 2005 through October, 2007. U.S. Cellular would pay 5% in accordance with the existing utility tax rate from that point forward. He said this amount is low. The City of St. Louis apparently has the largest percentage of U.S. Cellular users. Ballwin does not have as many U.S. Cellular users, based upon the billing addresses. A hearing will be conducted in February to determine if the settlement will be approved by the court and if the class will adopt the settlement. The date to opt out of the settlement is January 3, 2008. He said there are 2 Ballwin Board meetings to adopt an ordinance as was done with the Verizon settlement. He advised waiting to see if other cities think that this is a wise settlement before making a decision on participation.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to draft legislation for later consideration after reviewing the responses of other cities. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Robinson asked how the recipient of the tax is determined. City Attorney Jones said this is determined by the billing address. Alderman Robinson said if his office cell phone service is billed to his home address, the tax revenue will go to Ballwin. City Attorney Jones said yes.
Red Light Cameras: Alderman Pogue asked if further consideration has been given to red light cameras. Alderman Robinson said he is in favor of red light cameras. The drivers’ knowledge that the cameras are there may have a positive effect to make intersections safer.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson to draft legislation for consideration and direct staff to begin negotiations for installation of the red light cameras.
City Administrator Kuntz said that this issue has been on hold to determine the participation of surrounding cities. Ballwin would be moving independent of these cities since they have not chosen to participate at this time. More cities are installing red-light cameras. A formal bid process and legislation would be necessary. He said this can be presented to the Board after the first of the year. Mayor Young said that Mayor Lowery of Florissant said this was one of the best things they did to improve safety at intersections.
Alderman Pogue asked if there are any legal concerns regarding red-light cameras that the Board should be aware of. City Attorney Jones said no. The 25% of the drivers that challenge the case by saying that it wasn’t their car, or only part of the car was in the intersection when the picture was taken tend to be successful. He said that 75% of the people will pay the ticket. This has been the experience of the larger metropolitan areas. He said that the red-light cameras are all over Phoenix, Arizona. Most people send a check to pay the fine.
Alderman Buermann said that there are also parts of Ellisville that have dangerous intersections such as at Shop n’ Save. He said perhaps this could be a joint project with Ellisville.
Informal Citizens’ Meeting: Alderman Buermann said that Ballwin has to do something about the long-range financial situation of the city. He said on December 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Board meeting room, an informal citizens’ meeting is scheduled. This meeting is not sponsored by the City of Ballwin, but he encouraged the Aldermen to call constituents in their wards to attend this meeting and give feedback on a real property tax. He said that this meeting may give an indication to the Board if a property tax should be on the April 8 ballot.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
ATTEST:Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator