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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.

Board of Aldermen Meeting

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE

September 8, 2008

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:02 p.m.

      PRESENT                                                                  ABSENT
MAYOR WALT YOUNG 
ALDERMAN TIM POGUE 
ALDERMAN JIMMY TERBROCK 
ALDERMAN KEN BUERMANN 
ALDERMAN JANE SUOZZI 
ALDERMAN JAMES ROBINSON 
ALDERMAN FRANK FLEMING 
ALDERMAN RAY LEMBKE 
ALDERMAN RICHARD BOERNER 
CITY ADMINISTRATOR ROBERT KUNTZ 
CITY ATTORNEY ROBERT E. JONES 

The Pledge of Allegiance was given.

A MOMENT OF SILENCE
Former Mayor of the City of Kirkwood, Mike Swoboda, passed away on Friday, September 5, as a result of physical complications from the tragedy at the Kirkwood City Hall in February.  A moment of silence was observed in his honor, for his family, and all of the people who were killed in the tragic event.

MINUTES

The Minutes of the August 25 Public Works Committee meeting were submitted for approval.  A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Minutes.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

The Minutes of the August 25 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval.  Alderman Boerner amended the Minutes as follows:  Page 2, second paragraph:  The Moody ratings should have a capital letter and then lower case letters; Aaa 1,2,3 should be eliminated because this does not exist.  Ballwin has the third highest rating instead of the sixth highest rating. 

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.

PRESENTATION
None.

PENDING ISSUES
None.

CITIZEN COMMENTS
Shawn Taylor, 619 Dennison:  Mr. Taylor said that as a result of the consolidation of the three lots behind his property for a parking lot for Holy Infant Church, his property has flooded five times and water has poured into his basement and over the electrical panel.  He said after a month of standing water, a 75-foot ash tree was destroyed and blown onto his house.  There is a 15-foot crack in his basement with mud and water that has bubbled through the crack.  He said that since the parking lot has been completed, 6 inches of water has risen on the back of the house, with damage to wood and drywall.  There is now a strip of mold on the back of the house.  There is 2 – 3 inches of standing water in his back yard ever since the church installed a sprinkler system, which runs daily.  His lot won’t drain because of this.  A portion of his lawn has had standing water for so long that algae is growing in the yard.  He had to dig a trench 10 inches wide and 6 inches deep and extend to an existing swale to drain the water away from his house.  He said he has met with the officials of Holy Infant Church.  The meetings have not been productive. 

Alderman Suozzi said that City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, and City Engineer Kramer has been informed of this issue.  City Administrator Kuntz said that City Engineer Kramer visited the site last week in the rain and met with Mr. Taylor’s inspector.  A letter has been sent to Mr. Taylor, Holy Infant Church, and the contractor that the church used, stating that the role of the City is limited in the sense that if the applicant did not adhere to the conditions of the permit, the City of Ballwin may have recourse.  It may be that the proper recourse is in this communication at this meeting to facilitate a resolution for Mr. Taylor. 

City Administrator Kuntz said that he is surprised to learn that Mr. Taylor has had this much negative effects from the very beginning.  Mr. Taylor said that the officials of Holy Infant Church said that they would handle everything and not to worry.  Everything would be taken care of.  He said that he expected the church to follow through with their statements.  He said that the church asked him to sign an affidavit that would exonerate them from any water damage.  He said he refused.  The church then said that any problems that he was having were due to excess rainfall. 

Alderman Terbrock asked if City Engineer Kramer found anything in contrast to what the plan was supposed to have been.  Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that everything appeared that improvements were done according to plan.  He said that the weekly inspections done by the Public Works Inspectors throughout the construction period beginning in February when the project began showed no indication that there were any issues with the siltation control or grading of the site that would result in the problems described. 

Keld Spence, with St. John’s Boy Scout Troop 387:  He said that one of the requirements for the Communications Merit Badge was to come to a Board of Aldermen meeting and take notes on the meeting.  He said that his attendance and notes of this meeting will qualify him for this merit badge. 

Mayor Young asked that the Vehicle Storage item under City Administrator’s report be moved for discussion at this time.  The Board agreed.

Vehicle Storage – ELCO Chevrolet
Mark Hadfield, ELCO Chevrolet, said that since they have acquired a Cadillac franchise, they have a temporary need for additional parking for up to 36 months and would like permission to park inventory vehicles at 15479 Manchester Road.  He said that there are construction trailers on the lot due to the renovation, and they will most likely build a Cadillac building on the same property. 

Alderman Suozzi said that 3 years is too long for a temporary use.  She recommended 6 months.  She is concerned about delaying the potential development of the storage lot property if it is locked in a lease to store vehicles.  She said that the new zoning ordinance does not allow off-site parking of vehicles.  A Ballwin ordinance states that only a certain amount of any car dealership can be used for outdoor storage.  She said this would also eliminate the opportunity for retail sales where sales tax would be generated. 

Mr. Hadfield said their goal is to secure permanent parking before the end of 3 years.  He said that the lack of parking is a business hardship at this point.
Alderman Terbrock asked if ELCO could use the former Moore Cadillac property for storage.  Mr. Hadfield said that it makes good business sense to add the inventory to the GM line that they currently have.  He said that Mr. Moore is most likely going to consolidate his operations at that location.  He said, regarding the former Stiver Lincoln Mercury property, Ford will not allow GM vehicles to be parked on property that they are paying rent.

Alderman Lembke asked when did ELCO begin to understand that its site was too small and created a hardship?  He said that Ballwin did not have any part in creating the hardship. 

City Attorney Jones said that he does not believe that this Board has the authority to grant this request.  He is not aware of anything in the ordinance that gives the ability to grant temporary storage of automobiles under these circumstances.  He said that this might require a use variance from the Board of Adjustment.  He said he is quite sure that this Board cannot grant this request. 

Alderman Robinson said it is premature to have this discussion at this time and the matter should be tabled for further information.  He said there should be a posted notice for a public hearing. 

Alderman Boerner asked what guidance can be given to Mr. Hadfield to solve his vehicle storage issue.  Alderman Robinson said that the Board is not here to give guidance and advice without full knowledge of the issue.  City Attorney Jones said that the Board would have to know if vehicles are going to be shuttled from one property to another for sale, are customers going to be transported from one property to another, what is the total number of square feet that will be used for the parking and storage of vehicles on the property at Manchester and Old Ballwin, and the same calculation for the property at Mimosa and Manchester.  He said that all of this information is necessary to determine if there is latitude under the existing ordinance. 

Alderman Boerner asked that if a business person cannot obtain information from the City for a project, where should he obtain the correct information?  City Attorney Jones said that bringing the request to Staff is the first place to start to obtain information to determine if legislation should be brought to the Board of Aldermen or the Board of Adjustment, if appropriate. 

City Administrator Kuntz said that staff will obtain the information necessary for Board consideration.

Alderman Suozzi said that the pavement and water retention at the storage area should also be considered.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
None.

NEW BUSINESS

LEGISLATION
None.

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. Critter Control Policy
B. Post-Employment Benefit Audit
C. Barbeque Bash Liquor License
D. Record Destruction

A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann to accept the Consent Items.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

MAYOR’S REPORT
None.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

Vehicle Storage – ELCO :  (See Citizen Comment Section)

Schoolhouse:  City Administrator Kuntz said the structural supports for the schoolhouse is a budgeted item that must be handled prior to further improvements because the floor is not structurally safe to do the interior work.  He said there is serious deterioration that has to be addressed if the structure is going to be preserved and maintained.  Competitive bids were obtained for this specialized type of work. 

Alderman Fleming expressed concern about the ongoing cost for this project.  He asked, if we make the structure safe and sound, can the Board say no more city funds will be provided and the rest has to be funded by donations?  City Administrator Kuntz said that to date, Ballwin has received approximately $80,000 in donations, which includes the initial donation from the Olde Towne Plaza developer to relocate this building to its present location.  It was considered the most historically significant structure in the community.  He said the $80,000 has been expended and exceeded.  Environmental inspections have been completed, asbestos has been abated, the bell tower has been constructed, the door and windows restored, and the architectural plans for the structural repairs have been completed.  The labor will be supplemented by in-house personnel.  He said that $95,000 has been spent on the schoolhouse so far. 

Alderman Fleming said that he approves of making the schoolhouse structurally sound, but cannot approve of additional funds to be spent on the project.  He said that Ballwin Athletic Association has suggested working with Ballwin to establish an Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame at this location.  He asked if staff could be authorized to investigate liquidating the property?  He said there could be someone willing to take the property in the existing condition, make the improvements, and then own the building.  He said that we are spending a lot of money on something that we may not use.  City Administrator Kuntz said that after the repairs, it could be the headquarters of the Ballwin Historical Society and a demonstration classroom for school children and others who are interested in preserving the history of Ballwin. 

Alderman Fleming asked if there will be other urgent repairs on the schoolhouse in the near future.  Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that if our staff completed the current repairs, the estimated cost would be $10,500 for materials.  Merchants would be contacted for donations.  She said that volunteer help would also be solicited.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the schoolhouse funding for repairs.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

Government Center Ramp:  City Administrator Kuntz said that the ramp is absorbing water like a sponge and is leaking to the inside of the building.  He asked the Board to waive the formal bid requirements and allow a negotiated solicitation of informal proposals.  The revised plans are nearly complete.  Instead of going out to bid with all of the formal procedure, he suggested obtaining 3 qualified proposals and to award the contract, with Board approval, for the project.  He said the weather conditions are better now than waiting until the winter months.  The Public Works department may be able to do the demolition and removal of the current ramp before the leaf collection season begins to reduce the cost of the project.

A motion was made by Alderman Robinson to proceed with the City Administrator’s recommendation.

Alderman Terbrock said he would like to ask a question.

Alderman Lembke said that as a point of order, there is a motion, and a seconded is needed, or it dies for a lack of a second.  Alderman Fleming said that this is an informal conversation and Alderman Terbrock wants to ask a question before a vote.  Alderman Terbrock said that if the motion dies for a lack of a second because of his question, the system works. 

The motion was withdrawn by Alderman Robinson. 

Alderman Terbrock expressed concern about the reliability of the architect’s design due to various other projects by this architect that have tremendous flaws and lawsuits in progress.  He asked is there a design build for the stairs that can be used?  City Administrator Kuntz said that this can be pursued.  He said there is no additional cost being incurred for the architect. 

A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to utilize the City Administrator’s recommendation to solicit proposals and not follow the sealed bid procedure.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT

Bond Issue Refunding:  City Attorney Jones reported that the Bond Issue Refunding successfully closed today.

ALDERMANIC COMMENTS

Rules of Order:  Alderman Lembke said that this Board picks and chooses how business is conducted.  Sometimes a formal procedure is used, and other times informal.  He said that if a motion is made, the next step is to either second the motion, or it dies for lack of a second.  Once the motion is seconded, questions can then be asked.  He said that asking questions before a motion is seconded is not appropriate and does not follow the Roberts Rules of Order.  He said he does not want to hear a rebuttal on this issue. 

Alderman Terbrock said that his rebuttal is that as quickly as the motion was made during the Government Center Ramp discussion, it died for a lack of a second, therefore, he asked a question. 

Alderman Fleming asked if an Alderman has to have the floor in order to make a motion.  He said he does not recall Alderman Robinson being granted the floor.

Alderman Lembke left the meeting room at 7:50 p.m.

Mayor Young said that he had already recognized Alderman Terbrock to ask a question, and was not aware that a motion was about to be made.  Alderman Robinson said that this is why he withdrew his motion. 

Alderman Pogue verified in the Robert’s Rules of Order that it is not necessary to have the floor in order to make a motion.  Alderman Robinson also said that a question can be asked at any time.  He said that the motion was withdrawn, which was proper. 

Alderman Robinson said that since the acoustics are so bad in the Board room, that a different system should be considered. 

Alderman Fleming said that the Board is always given the opportunity to express their comments on all issues.

Sewer Lateral Program:  Alderman Robinson said that it is his understanding that a resident picks a contractor from a list.  He said that Clair Connelly, who lives on Trail Grove at Hill Trail, has had sewer lateral work all summer, and it’s still not completed.  He asked what can be done regarding the contractors in situations like this.  He said that Ms. Connelly has not contacted the City about this.  City Administrator Kuntz said that contacting the Government Center is the first step.  There are rules and procedures.  He said that this situation will be handled with Ms. Connelly and the contractor. 

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 7:59 p.m.

WALTER S. YOUNG, MAYOR

ATTEST:
ROBERT A. KUNTZ, CITY ADMINISTRATOR

MC

September 8, 2008