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 FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Suozzi at 6:18 p.m.
Committee members present: Chairman Suozzi, Aldermen Robinson, Terbrock, Boerner.
The memorandum of May 22, as well as the updated spread sheet provided by Alderman Boerner, were discussed. Alderman Suozzi reminded the group that the purpose of this meeting was to focus on revenue enhancement options rather than cost saving measures. A spirited discussion ensued and all Aldermen in attendance were polled regarding their views on the proposal to raise the utility tax.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Boerner to recommend that the Board of Aldermen endorse a legislatively imposed utility tax increase. Aye: Suozzi, Boerner, Terbrock. Nay: Robinson. The motion was approved by a vote of 3 – 1.
The meeting adjourned at 7:19 p.m.
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:25 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
MINUTES: The Minutes of the May 12, 2008 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Robinson to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
The Minutes of the May 19 Work Session were submitted for approval. Alderman Suozzi amended Page 4, first paragraph: 23% should be 26%. Alderman Pogue added to the Minutes that Mayor Young stated that Bed, Bath & Beyond had filed for bankruptcy. He said that this is incorrect and it was a different corporation. Alderman Boerner amended Page 4, paragraph 5 eliminating the word not “would not be viewed as punitive”. Mayor Young amended Page 4, paragraph 6.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Lynn Goetz, 504 Kenilworth Lane: Mr. Goetz said he recently hosted an event at the Ballwin Golf Club. He said the venue and service was excellent and they were treated in a very professional manner.
Chris Chiodini, Elco Chevrolet: Mr. Chiodini presented the Elco Chevrolet expansion project. He requested using an aluminum composite panel system. He said that this is superior to an EIFS plaster system
City Administrator Kuntz said that any other requests for use of this material will be considered in the same manner due to the current ordinance requirements.
Alderman Pogue said that he supports the proposed material. He said that the EIFS system is plaster over styrofoam, over drywall. The current ordinance is over 40 years old. The EIFS system is durable and he endorses the product and is a great look.
Alderman Lembke asked what was General Motors response to the Ballwin ordinance. Mr. Chiodini said that General Motors is only requesting the custom color scheme. They do not require a specific material. Elco Chevrolet has requested the aluminum composite material. The lifespan is approximately 30 years. Alderman Lembke said that he is not comfortable with approving this at this time and will set a precedent. He said that the code should be changed for everyone if an exception is going to be made. Mr. Chiodini said that the developers of retail strip centers want EIFS used on the buildings and they are allowed to do this under Ballwin regulations. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said this is correct. He said a variety of other types of materials have been used, including the EIFS system. This has been used on Ballwin Plaza and Central Plaza.
Alderman Suozzi said that the ordinance states “other material acceptable to the Director of Public Works”. Other material, other than brick or stone, has been used. Alderman Boerner said that Alderman Pogue is an expert in this area and stated that it is a quality product. He said that he is in favor of granting the request.
City Attorney Jones said that the Director of Public Works or Building Commissioner could have made the decision that this is an acceptable material.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to allow the requested material for the Elco dealership. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT IN MEADOWBROOK COUNTRY CLUB ESTATES SUBDIVISION.
City Attorney Jones said that this is a public improvement and a public project. The City of Ballwin is the contracting party. If there are cost overruns, even to the extent of the 25% that has to be collected through assessments, it would have to be paid and then reimbursed as the assessments are collected. He said it is his understanding that less than $754,000 has been collected. He said that this project should not be let until the City has been presented with 100% of what is forecast in the contract for the public improvement, which would cost the City.
Alderman Robinson asked if the streets were turned over to the subdivision, could they proceed with the project on a private basis. City Attorney Jones said that this could happen if the Board agreed.
Alderman Fleming asked if the Resolution could be written to state that a Neighborhood Improvement District is created covering the general area of Meadowbrook Country Club, wherein street repair and improvements are permitted up to $300,000 during the calendar year of 2008. He said this would allow the Trustees to do all that they can with the funds that have been collected. City Attorney Jones said that this seems inconsistent with the idea of creating a Neighborhood Improvement District that is dependent upon signatures of all property owners with front footage in the area to be improved. He asked how the order of improvements will be determined. Alderman Fleming said that Ballwin cannot be left responsible for any of the expense of the repairs. City Attorney Jones said that it should go back through the bidding process and have an award to be able to seriously consider a Resolution.
Alderman Fleming said that assuming the $754,000 is a good estimate to complete the project, and they have $300,000 to $350,000 collected at this time, how can the Board even consider this? The Resolution states that in the event the funds collected are insufficient to pay the total project cost, the property owners will be assessed the difference. He asked who will make the assessment. City Attorney Jones said it will be assessed as a result of the Neighborhood Improvement District and will be collected by St. Louis County, based on the percentage that the front footage bears to the whole project.
Alderman Boerner asked who is legally representing the subdivision. City Attorney Jones said that the elected Trustees of the subdivision are the representatives. The Trustees have facilitated the presentation on behalf of the homeowners. Alderman Boerner asked if any legal action had to take place to collect a shortfall, who would be the recipient? City Attorney Jones said that there would be no such action. If the City approves a Neighborhood Improvement District, it would be legally bound to perform the contract and then collect back the money approved in the resolution through the assessment of the property. He said there is no legal action to pursue against the homeowners. There would be a lien against the properties. Everyone within the Neighborhood Improvement District would be assessed for the shortfall. He said there is no intermediary to pursue. It’s the homeowners themselves.
Alderman Lembke said that if there is a shortfall, the homeowners will be assessed. If someone chooses not to pay it, a lien will be placed on their property. Putting a lien on someone’s house when they are planning to stay for another 20 years, will put a tremendous burden on the City until the house is sold and the money comes out of the estate or the sale at that time.
City Attorney Jones said that the Resolution was drafted from the perspective that $754,000 will be collected up front. The statute allows us to build in a contingency of 25% without having to get a new petition or a vote.
City Engineer Kramer said he met with the Trustees on this date. They would like to do as much street work as they can with the money that have collected. City Attorney Jones said that he does not recommend this from a legal standpoint because this is not a true Neighborhood Improvement District. He said that the project envisioned would improve all of the streets in the NID. This could be challenged by the other property owners.
Alderman Terbrock questioned the increasing price of the project. City Engineer Kramer said the price of asphalt has increased at least $6 per ton and is increasing every time the price of crude oil increases.
Alderman Robinson said that the Meadowbrook streets are Ballwin streets. Years ago, Ballwin accepted these streets and is responsible for them. The present homeowners have made the commitment of using a substantial amount of their own funds to begin the replacement and repair of a Ballwin street. He said he is not willing at this time to shut the door on them. If these streets are going to be replaced 10 years from now, the cost will be substantially more than right now and not have the contribution from the homeowners. This opportunity is not available in any other street in Ballwin.
Alderman Suozzi said she appreciates with the Meadowbrook residents have done. This opportunity has not been provided to any other subdivision that might have similar ailing streets. Ballwin does not have an extra $400,000, and the same NID opportunity has not been provided to any other subdivision or group of homeowners. She said that this does not treat the other residents equally.
Alderman Robinson said the door has not been closed on any subdivisions. They have always had this opportunity. He said the residents in Meadowbrook have exercised their opportunity when no one else has done this.
Alderman Suozzi said that the rest of the city residents probably don’t know that this approach is available. This was proven in a recent subdivision meeting that she attended. She said that she was a freshman alderman on this Board when the Meadowbrook streets were taken over by Ballwin. If she knew then what she knows now, she said she would not have approved the acceptance.
Alderman Fleming said that the average score for the Meadowbrook streets is 50 or below. City Engineer Kramer said that city-wide, the average has gone down to 70 or 71.
Alderman Fleming said that a Neighborhood Improvement District should encompass the entire area. Is there a possibility of writing the Resolution to state that at least 25% of each street must be improved? City Attorney Jones said no.
The Board asked for the Meadowbrook Trustee to address the Board. Mr. Jack Hanley said that the Trustees and residents believe that with the money collected, they can do at least 80% of the streets. He said that 91% of the residents have paid their assessment. The other 9% is waiting for the approval. He said he believes the issue can be resolved if only 80% is repaired with agreement of the homeowners. The majority of the work can be done without any expenditure from the City.
City Attorney Jones said that his advice to the City is not to do this. Unless there is 67% or more of the front footage within the area that is going to be improved, it is not a valid petition.
Alderman Fleming said this Resolution enables the Trustees to get to the next step of getting the bids. If they obtain bids that are above the number that is in the Resolution, at that point the Board can say no. He said the project could be authorized up to these parameters. If the bids are not going to work, a new plan could be considered.
Alderman Boerner said that there is a need. Ballwin has some responsibility of maintaining the streets. The homeowners don’t want to wait on Ballwin because they want to do this now. They have come up with nearly half of the money. He said since the Meadowbrook residents have collected half of the money for the project, he hopes the Board can accommodate them.
Alderman Robinson said the City is the party to the contract. The City will have to pay the contract. The contractor is not going to wait for all of the liens to be perfected and collected. The City will have to front the money and then wait on the collection process. He said if there is a worse case scenario, Ward 4 would pay for some of Ward 3 streets. He said that all of the money does not go into one pot. The money is equally distributed among the wards.
Alderman Boerner asked if there is anything in the financial statements or ordinances that requires that the funds be allocated equally in any given year. Alderman Robinson said no; however all wards will want the same amount of money for their streets.
Alderman Lembke said that a few years ago, the allocation of road funds was 25% per ward. It was obvious that Ward 3 had more miles of roads than the other wards. There was an attempt to base the allocation of miles of road in each ward. Ward 4 is getting less than 25% of the full budget. He said he will have a hard time explaining to the Ward 4 residents why he voted to allow a substantial portion of that year’s Ward 4 road budget to be shifted to Ward 3 because of a decision that was made not fully understanding the consequences. He said if the Utility Tax had been passed by the Board two years ago, and put the $1,400,000 in reserve, that would have helped in this situation.
City Administrator Kuntz said that if the Board wants to resolve the issue, City Attorney Jones should be able to consult with a legal representative for the Trustees, and then report back to the Board. Alderman Fleming suggested changing the amount in Section 7 to state the estimated cost is $611,000, and the estimated cost of the improvements will not exceed by more than 10%. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is very risky to amend in this fashion and for the City Attorney to draft a new Resolution. Mr. Hanley said that the Trustees will not be in agreement with this amendment.
Alderman Fleming asked Mr. Hanley if the Trustees are willing to obtain legal representation. He said yes.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Pogue to table the Resolution indefinitely until a further report is provided by the City Attorney. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
BILL # 3528 - AN ORDINANCE GRANTING A SPECIAL USE EXCEPTION TO ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR AT 15201 MANCHESTER ROAD FOR RENTAL AND OUTDOOR STORAGE OF MOTOR VEHICLES.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a first reading of Bill No. 3528. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3528 was read for the first time.
Alderman Robinson asked about the amount of storage space. He does not want the Ballwin location to be a storage lot. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said the storage space is limited to 12 vehicles.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3528. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3528 was read for the second time.
Findings: A vote in favor of the bill finds that the Petition, as submitted, would not substantially increase traffic hazards or congestion; would not adversely affect the character of the neighborhood; would not adversely affect the general welfare of the community; would not over-tax public utilities; would not adversely affect public safety and health; is consistent with good planning practice; can be operated in a manner that is not detrimental to the permitted developments and uses in the District; and can be developed and operated in a manner that is visually compatible with the permitted uses in the surrounding area. A vote against the bill means that one or more of these findings are absent.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3528 with the following results:
BILL # 3529 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR THE ESTATES AT RIES BEND, AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3529. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye: Buermann, Suozzi, Fleming, Lembke, Boerner. Nay: Pogue, Terbrock, Robinson. The motion passed and Bill No. 3529 was read for the first time.
Due to a misunderstanding of the legislation being considered, Mayor Young explained that Bill 3529 is regarding a lot split at Ries Bend Drive.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a second reading of Bill No. 3529. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3529 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3529 with the following results:
BILL # 3517 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 557, KNOWN AS "THE ZONING ORDINANCE" OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, AND AMENDING "THE DISTRICT MAP" BY CHANGING THE ZONING CLASSIFICATION OF CERTAIN LAND IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN FROM R-1 SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING DISTRICT AND C-1 COMMERCIAL DISTRICT TO PSD PLANNED SINGLE FAMILY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Lembke to send Bill # 3517 back to Planning & Zoning for reconsideration due to the many changes to the site development plan. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
BILL # 3518 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR THE VERANDAHS @ KEHRS MILL, AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to send Bill # 3518 back to Planning & Zoning for reconsideration due to the many changes to the site development plan. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
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. Surplus Vehicles (4 Police Chevy Impalas - $425 less than reflected in the memo of recommendation, total $14,252)
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Board of Adjustment Appointment: Mayor Young said that the recommendation for appointment will be made at the next meeting. Information regarding the candidate will be supplied to the Board for review in advance of the June 23 Board meeting. The candidate for consideration has been submitted by Alderman Terbrock. Mayor Young explained that one of the current alternates will be moved to a regular member position on the commission and a new alternate will be appointed. Members of the Board of Adjustment will elect the chairman.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Mental Health Court: Captain Mark Godefroid explained that this court is set up to deal with subjects accused of ordinance level violations who are perceived to have a mental illness. These cases are transferred to the St. Louis County Circuit Court and defendants enter into an agreement to abide by treatment or other programs designed to solve the underlying issue causing their behavior. The total cost to the City is $300 per case referred to the Mental Health Court with an annual cap of $3,000. He said that this court has been successful in other municipalities and unincorporated portions of St. Louis County. Chesterfield has had only 4 or 5 referrals per year.
City Administrator Kuntz said that there are not a lot of people that fit into this category, but it is helpful in some cases.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Buermann for legislation to be prepared for Board consideration. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
WI FI: City Administrator Kuntz asked for authorization for legislation for the consideration of the Network 1 proposal to provide WI FI. He said that all of the other 5 cities have adopted the enabling legislation. He suggested that the guidelines for installation be included in the legislation.
City Attorney Jones said that he researched the Ballwin Ordinance regarding Communications and Cable Services. The WI FI services will be in the right-of-way and is covered in the ordinance. He said that a separate enabling ordinance is not necessary. The proposal can be tied back to the telecommunication ordinance. They will have to comply with all of the provisions of the existing right-of-way ordinance. This not an exclusive contract. Others are free to enter the market.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to provide Network 1 with a Franchise Agreement. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Utility Tax: Alderman Suozzi said that the Finance & Administration Committee met this evening and discussed the option of increasing the utility tax from 5% to 7%. By a vote of 3 – 1, the committee is recommending to the Board that the utility tax increase be approved by legislation.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Fleming to draft legislation to increase the utility tax from 5% to 7%. A voice vote was taken with the following result:
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Sprint / Nextel: City Attorney Jones said that the cases have been dismissed. The funds that were paid in protest can be moved into the operating accounts. He said we will be receiving a check for the period of time containing the settlement, and he expects a similar dismissal and a check from AT&T by the end of the month.
Mayor Young said that Neal St. Onge said that some cell phone companies are not showing the correct information on invoices. Mr. St. Onge said that they are showing him as a resident of the City of St. Louis, but all of his bills show Ballwin, Missouri. The cell phone companies are paying the funds to the City of St. Louis. He is concerned that this is happening with other customers as well. Mayor Young asked if anything can be done to correct this situation. Mayor Young said that some people that he has talked to about this have noticed the same error on their accounts.
Mayor Young said that the settlement requires them to use their best efforts to determine the billing address. City Attorney Jones said that many people have a resident address and a billing address which can be an office and different from the resident address. He suggested putting an article in the Resident Newsletter regarding this, such as: “If you are using a different billing address, please be sure that your portion of the telecommunication tax is paid to the City of Ballwin.” He said that perhaps changing the billing address to the home address will correct this situation.
Mayor Young said that Mr. St. Onge noted that even though his billing address is Ballwin, Missouri, the tax information at the bottom of the bill indicated that the telecommunication tax was being paid to the City of St. Louis. Mayor Young asked how can this be corrected. Alderman Robinson suggested getting a copy of Mr. St. Onge’s bill to determine that this is correct information. City Attorney Jones said that Mr. St. Onge should contact the company.
Pay Day Loans: Alderman Lembke said that there are eight Pay Day Loan businesses in Ballwin. The moratorium was in place until the Comprehensive Plan was approved. He said at this time anyone can establish additional pay day loan businesses in the City of Ballwin. The eight pay day loan businesses in Ballwin are grandfathered, but that would preclude one going out and another coming into the same location. Perhaps the number could be limited.
Alderman Suozzi said that perhaps the requirements of the financial institutions could be increased. This could discourage more pay day loan businesses from opening in Ballwin. The investment in meeting the requirements of the ordinance could discourage this type of business. She said that the approach that the Planning & Zoning Commission has suggested is more legally defensible in terms of control.
City Attorney Jones said that the moratorium on financial institutions is still in effect. The automobile sales business moratorium expired on December 31, 2007.
Alderman Terbrock asked if tighter restrictions imposed by some cities are being challenged in court. City Attorney Jones said that there could be a pending case, but until it becomes an appellate court decision, this information is not available. The change to the ordinance treats all financial institutions that are under the jurisdiction of the Division of Finance equally and requires them all to have the same type of surveillance equipment, a safe, and expensive devices that differentiate between a bank and a pay day loan business. They are all treated facially equally and should not be subject to legal challenge.
Mayor Young said that Gladstone, Missouri, has an ordinance and Hazelwood has an ordinance that has not been challenged and have never had a pay day loan in the city. After reviewing the requirements and restrictions, the pay day loan representatives walk out.
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 9:15 p.m.
WALTER S. YOUNG, MAYOR