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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 22, 2001

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 5:15 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 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, Assistant City Engineer Baxter, and Joe Kindler of KMS & Associates, Ltd.

2002 CAPITAL BUDGET

City Administrator Kuntz introduced the proposed 2002 Capital Budget to the Board and provided a brief overview of the anticipated expenditures and revenues. He concentrated on the Public Works budget and the street expenditure recommendations. He stated that East-West Gateway Coordinating Council is not willing to fund the approximately $1 million cost of the Reinke Road and New Ballwin Road intersection so this will have to be removed from the budget on both the revenue and expenditure sides. The City’s match on the project, which was to be approximately $250,000 will be used for other street work in 2002. Mr. Kuntz stated it is his intention to apply again for funding for Reinke Road in the future.

Mr. Kuntz stated that overall, the capital budget is somewhat better than it was in 2001. He expects it will be even better in 2003, once the Certificate of Participation bond is paid off. This will provide an additional $1 million in additional capital revenues that can be utilized to fund street upgrades and other capital improvements. Mr. Kuntz stated it is his recommendation for the year 2002 that the street capital budget be set at approximately $500,000. This money is to be distributed among roadways in several classifications of conditions, as will be outlined by Mr. Kindler in his presentation. At this point, the capital budget does not contain specific roadway recommendations because the evaluation is so recently received that staff has not had the opportunity to do this. A recommendation will be provided in the Spring for aldermanic approval, such that the roadway work can begin at that time.

Alderman Buermann asked what work is covered by the capital streets budget. City Administrator Kuntz explained that overlays, roadway rebuilding, and micro-surfacing are part of the capital budget, but improvements such as mudjacking and slab replacements are reflected in the operating budget. Mr. Kuntz explained that in addition to the $½ million in the capital budget for street work, he hopes to have approximately $150,000 in the operating budget for maintenance.

ADMINISTRATIVE CAPITAL BUDGET

Assistant City Administrator Aiken provided a brief overview of the proposed 2002 Capital Budget for the Department of Administration. He noted it mostly concentrates on capital equipment for the computer systems and funds for maintenance and remodeling of the Government Center to provide work stations for additional employees. He said the budget contains funding for approximately half of the remaining street light requests that are currently pending before the City of Ballwin. This amount is based upon the assumption that the installation will be done by Public Works crews.

Alderman Robinson asked about the possibility of solar power applications for street lights. City Administrator Kuntz explained that as yet, the City has identified only one provider of such equipment, and that provider is not able to give any examples of applications of its equipment in climates such as St. Louis. All of the applications appear to have been done in warmer sunnier climates where cold weather is not the issue. Mr. Kuntz noted that we continue to be vigilant in looking for alternative technology solutions to this problem.

Alderman Boland noted that it’s important that the City keep the subdivision trustees informed of the status of these pending street light projects. If the petitions become too old, he suggested that the City return them to those who put them together with an explanation that it will be necessary to renew the petitions and also for the residents to obtain the necessary easements. There was no further discussion on the administrative capital budget proposal.

POLICE CAPITAL BUDGET

Police Chief Jim Biederman provided an overview of the proposed 2002 Police Capital Budget. This budget is also primarily a capital equipment expenditures budget. In many ways it is catching up for expenditures that were not made in 2001, plus it continues to provide for new police patrol vehicles and related equipment. Alderman Buermann noted that the budget recommends replacing the carpeting in the lobby of the Police Station with tile. He recommended that the selection of the tile be done carefully to avoid a slipping danger. Police Chief Biederman said he is aware of this and noted that the Government Center originally had tile in the lobby that was skid resistant, and there was not a problem.

Alderman Buerman also asked if all of the officers currently have vests. Police Chief Biederman stated that all of the officers have vests assigned to them, and all vests are less than five years old, which means that they are within their original warranty. The proposed expenditures for 2002 will take the oldest vests out of service and keep all of the equipment within manufacturers warranty. There was no further discussion on the police capital budget.

PUBLIC WORKS CAPITAL BUDGET

City Administrator Kuntz introduced Joe Kindler of KMS & Associates, Ltd., who provided a brief overview of the analysis that his company has done of roadway conditions in the City of Ballwin. Mr. Kindler presented his study of pavement conditions throughout the City, noting that the conditions vary from excellent to failed, with a majority of the roadways being in the fair to poor category. He noted that the overall rating of streets in the City of Ballwin was approximately a 71 on a scale of 1 – 100, with 100 being excellent and 1 being failed.

City Administrator Kuntz explained that the plan for capital expenditures in 2002 that has been presented anticipates expenditures at all levels of roadway quality. The main thrust of Mr. Kindler’s analysis and experience is that expenditures on roadways before they have severely deteriorated, to keep them in good condition, is far more cost effective than allowing them to deteriorate to the point where they must be completely rebuilt. Mr. Kuntz recommended that the Board pursue this roadway system maintenance approach. Mr. Kinder should be brought back every 2-years to do a new evaluation of the City’s roadway conditions. This timeline of data will begin to give the City a measure of the effectiveness of the expenditure program, where it needs to concentrate its expenditures, and if it is reasonable to expect that the overall roadway system quality can be increased over time at a fixed annual expenditure level.

Alderman McDowell stated that he has a problem with telling people who live on one of the poor condition streets that it is a low priority and will not be done as soon as funds become available. Mr. Kindler explained that the problem with concentrating all of the expenditures on the worst streets is that it allows streets with a fair to good rating to deteriorate. Once these have deteriorated into the poor and very poor condition, it is very expensive to bring them back up. The overall argument is that it makes more sense to save the streets that are still savable to keep the most streets possible with a fair and above rating. He noted that this does not mean that low scoring streets are never repaired. It simply means that you do not spend all of your limited resources on streets in those ratings. Alderman McDowell said his concern is that this approach will end up with a city full of patched asphalt streets that are structurally sound but look bad. Regardless of the effectiveness of a roadway that’s patched, it has been his experience that residents feel that a patched roadway is not an acceptable condition. Mr. Kinder noted that the City should not concentrate exclusively on patching streets. It is his recommendation that once a street is patched and made sound, it should also be micro-surfaced. This not only preserves all of the pavement on the street, but makes for a better looking roadway that does not tend to generate public opposition or questions.

City Administrator Kuntz noted that application of the program recommended by Mr. Kindler and the Public Works staff does not mean that the City’s present policy of "mill and fill" that’s done each spring will end. The City can only do major maintenance and upgrades of a small fraction of its streets in any given year. Regardless, the program of removing and repairing pot holes and deteriorated overlays and joints will have to continue in much the same manner that it has for the last several years. Even streets that are relatively low on the overall ranking that do not get a major repair or upgrade in a given year will get this type of maintenance such that they will not simply be rough deteriorated pot hole infested paths.

Alderman Buermann noted that the $600,000 annual expenditure will only keep Ballwin even in the overall roadway evaluation program. He asked what can be done to bring the average rating up. City Administrator Kuntz said he believes more than $600,000 will be available in the years 2003 and forward, such that the Board can authorize a greater level of expenditure in those years. Alderman McDowell said he believes the City of Ballwin needs to find a way to increase the average score without having to dramatically increase annual expenditures.

City Administrator Kuntz said he believes the City will increase its annual expenditure for a period of time in order to get the overall average scores up. Once the overall roadway conditions are improved, the City may be able to settle into a lower annual maintenance expenditure situation and still maintain the higher average roadway score.

Alderman Buermann asked what other funding might be available to the City for roadway improvements. He suggested the City look at bonds as an alternative.

City Administrator Kuntz recommended that the City stick with a pay-as-you-go policy at this point. Presently, the City is part way into paying back a $12 million street bond issue. The City, therefore, has limited additional bonding capacity from the perspectives of annual cash availability and overall bonding limitations. The 1992 bond issue will not be paid off until 2012, and people don’t appreciate the substantial amount of annual revenue that goes into paying off the debt. They only see the existing roadways that are not at the level of maintenance that they believe they should be. The City does not get credit for previous roadway improvements from the political perspective.

Alderman Boland noted that increasing bonding debt can hurt other elements of the City’s operation. He asked what the GASB34 requirements are relative to this evaluation. Finance Officer Loehr stated that street values must be established on the basis of this study and carried on the City’s books as an asset/liability. These roadway values must be reviewed at least every 3 years. There was no further discussion on the roadway evaluation study.

City Engineer Kramer presented a brief report of the 2002 Public Works Capital Budget recommendation. It contained a variety of projects and capital equipment expenditures.

Alderman Buermann noted that the Ramsey Lane project, which runs from Manchester Road to the Fishpot Creek Bridge, has been amended to eliminate the left turn lane onto Manchester Road. He noted that this will be a reduction from the present roadway configuration. City Administrator Kuntz stated that this was part of the right-of-way acquisition that was negotiated between the City of Ballwin and the adjoining property owners and approved by the Board of Aldermen.

Alderman Gatton stated that he had a discussion with representatives from New Ballwin Oaks Subdivision. They asked about the possibility of the City building a sidewalk along New Ballwin Road from Big Bend to Kiefer Creek Road. City Administrator Kuntz stated that the City has not received a petition for the construction of this sidewalk, so it has not been seriously considered. In addition, this is along a County roadway. There’s question if the City of Ballwin can or should build sidewalks within a St. Louis County right-of-way. There was no further discussion.

Mayor Jones declared the meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

Robert E. Jones, Mayor

Submitted by:
Thomas H. Aiken, Assistant City Administrator

City Planner / City Clerk

THA:MC