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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.

Aldermanic Retreat Special Meeting 2004

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes

MINUTES of the May 1, 2004 ALDERMANIC RETREAT
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 8:07 a.m. in the lower level conference room at the Ballwin Government Center.  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 3 weeks preceding the meeting.  Those in attendance were Mayor Jones, Aldermen McDowell, Pogue, Buermann, Suozzi, Fleming, Gatton and Lembke.  Also in attendance were City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Finance Officer Loehr, Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer, Police Chief Biederman, Public Works Director Kramer, Human Resource Coordinator Morrison, and City Attorney Lucchesi.  Also present were Mike Boland, Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission; Frank Karr, Planning & Zoning Commission member, and Suzanne Holroyd and Kelly Ferrar of the Vandiver Group.
City Administrator Kuntz gave a brief introduction to the topic of the Retreat, which was Planning and Communications, and allowed each of the department heads to present brief overviews of their recent departmental histories and anticipated future needs and directions. 
 
 ADMINISTRATION
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that he does not foresee substantial changes in the fundamental nature of the Department of Administration in the next 5 years.  He identified several maintenance issues associated with the Government Center including the deteriorated parking lot, the problems with the entry ramp at the main entrance and the issue of energy efficiency with the windows of the building.  Mr. Aiken also discussed the possibility of a future addition to the Government Center that would contain an aldermanic chamber, and looked at the potential of doing something in conjunction with the adjoining JB Automotive site such that additional governmental or non-profit entities could potentially occupy the building addition.  Of interest in this regard would be a public library branch or perhaps a children’s cultural museum. 
 
PARKS AND RECREATION
Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that the major issue in the future of her department is the retirement of the bond debt for the North Pointe Aquatic Center and The Pointe At Ballwin Commons Community Center.  She said that of the approximately $1.3 million that is generated annually in the Parks Tax, approximately $1 million is utilized to retire the North Pointe debt.
Ms. Bruer said The Pointe is seven years old and maintenance costs are increasing.  The traditional assumption that a new building would probably function for five to ten years before it is faced with major maintenance costs is not necessarily valid.  She said it will probably be necessary to provide a capital equipment maintenance fund in the future to accommodate such anticipated things as the recently failed chiller at The Pointe. 
 
Ms. Bruer said it is her feeling that the open space plan that was prepared some years ago for the community needs to be looked at again, perhaps in conjunction with a new community-wide comprehensive plan.  She said the support for the trails and walkways was strong in the resident surveys but the element has never been realized from the earlier plan.
Alderman Gatton said that St. Louis County is probably going to be reducing the hours of operation and perhaps the number of swimming pool facilities that it offers.  He asked Ms. Bruer if this will have an impact on Ballwin.  Ms. Bruer said she did not think it would make much of an impact, noting that most of Queeny Park’s use is by people who live in the immediate neighborhood or groups that are brought in from other parts of the County.  She said, according to a recent article in the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch”, the total attendance for St. Louis County aquatic facilities is only slightly larger than the attendance that Ballwin had for its single aquatic facility in a shortened year in 2003.
 
Ms. Bruer said she sees the maintenance of street trees and the whole issue of urban forestry is becoming a greater issue for the City.  Ballwin has approximately 50,000 street trees.  In 2004, there are at least 20 trees that failed to leaf out and will have to be removed and potentially replaced.  She said the acquisition of the GIS system could lead to the development of an accurate data base map that could be utilized for this type of work.
 
Ms. Bruer said the school house is presently having the bell tower replaced and she is hoping that within approximately one year to be able to complete the exterior work and begin the interior restoration.
 
POLICE
Chief of Police Biederman said the basic function of the Police Department, which is to solve crime, will not change in the foreseeable future.  He said it is important that the Police Department be operated in a manner that maintains good morale and also allows the City to maintain a quality well-trained staff.  Chief Biederman noted that the current computer aided dispatching system is approximately 5 years old and will have to be replaced in the near future.  This is expensive software and hardware.  He said the new systems will integrate with the GIS technology that the City has acquired and are also able to accommodate global positioning so that dispatchers can know exactly where all vehicles are located at all times within the City.  This would greatly improve the ability of Dispatch to send the closest vehicle in the event of an emergency, and thereby maintain the shortest possible response time.  He noted that technology is also creeping into the day-to-day use of the officers.  The value of having computers located in vehicles will become commonplace, and as computers become faster, they will be utilized more by the street officers.
 
Chief Biederman said the City has recently added non-lethal weaponry, such as tasers to its armory.  He talked about the many circumstances in which non-lethal technology allows officers to intervene and resolve situations with far less difficulty and fewer problems for those involved.  Related to this is the issue of training.  It is necessary to have all officers constantly being trained on new technology, equipment and procedures.  Not only is this important from the officers’ safety perspective, but it is very important from a legal perspective as it relates to the operation of the department and the City.
 
Also related to the issue of training is the issue of departmental accreditation.  He believes this is something worth pursuing on the City’s part.  It’s not an inexpensive issue, but not only does accreditation prove that you have a qualified professional department, but it’s a valuable political and public relations tool within the community.
 
Alderman Gatton noted that Police Chief Biederman has discussed several times in the past the possibility of acquiring a dog for the department.  He said that not only is this a good public relations tool, but it could be a good community project for an organization such as the Jaycees to fund.  Mr. Biederman stated that he could probably get a dog bought and maintained for at least a couple of years through departmental donations.
 
 City Administrator Kuntz said that Ballwin is planning to begin a drug awareness training program for all city supervisors.  He noted that this ties back into the theme of training, but also is a valuable tool from the perspective of management and personnel regulations within the City’s organization. 
 
City Administrator Kuntz said there are problems that the department has with the court room.  The room was originally designed to function as the council chambers for the Board of Aldermen, and as time has gone by and the need for more sophisticated technology and security equipment has come, it is difficult for the court to safely and efficiently operate from this room in its present mixed use configuration.  It would be his ideal situation to relocate the aldermanic function to a different location and allow the court room to be refurbished and remodeled as necessary to better accommodate that function.
 
Mayor Jones asked about the possibility of holding Board meetings at the Golf Club.  City Administrator Kuntz said that generally this may be a possibility because the room has an elevated platform that would allow for an aldermanic dais.  Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that there may be some issues with parking during the summer when the Golf Course is in full operation at the time the Board of Aldermen meeting would commence.
 
Alderman McDowell asked how many police officers the City has per thousand population.  Police Chief Biederman said that Ballwin presently has about 1.6 officers per thousand.  He noted that there is no absolute ideal number for this ratio.  He said it depends on the nature of the community, including its physical size, population density, and economy.  City Administrator Kuntz said the national average is 2 officers per thousand.  He reiterated Police Chief Biederman’s position that this benchmark is difficult to apply in a comprehensive manner to all locations given the issues that Chief Biederman outlined earlier. 
Alderman McDowell asked if Police Chief Biederman anticipates a need for any expansion to the police physical plant.  Chief Biederman said he did not foresee the need to substantially expand the police station even in the event that annexations were to add additional officers.  He said the lower level has the potential to be remodeled and expanded for additional clerical or operational needs.  He said that if the City of Ballwin were to grow by annexation such that it was necessary to add substantial number of additional officers, this would have impacts on the personnel needs for clerical and court staff.  He said that as new officers write more tickets, the court gets busier.
 
PUBLIC WORKS
Director of Public Works Kramer said that he foresees the future operation of his department to continue to primarily maintain its attention on the upgrade and repair of the streets within the City of Ballwin.  He noted that the City is not able to replace and repair streets as quickly as they are deteriorating.  He has already added one additional street maintenance crew and he anticipates the need to add additional crews as the roadways continue to deteriorate.  This is especially true if the City is unable to come up with additional funding to accelerate the rebuild and major repair work that is already needed.
 
City Engineer Kramer noted that the largest road that is in line for major repair is Kehrs Mill.  He said it has been upgraded once since he has been with the City of Ballwin that involved milling and resurfacing.  He said there are many stretches of deteriorated curb and gutter that must be replaced before this kind of work can be done again. 
 
Mr. Kramer said there is serious deterioration to the floor of the Holloway Road box culvert.  Although not a roadway issue, it has a major impact on the function and usability of Holloway Road.  He noted that if the City does not repair the bottom of the culvert soon, it could fail completely and the cost of repair will be much higher. 
 
Mr. Kramer noted that the Public Works garage needs a new roof.  The original portion of the garage has the original roof from over 30 years ago and it will be necessary to replace that portion within the near future.  He said that as the administrative function of the Public Works department continues to settle into the new building, it will be necessary to do some additional remodeling to accommodate additional personnel and better accommodate the administrative functions day-to-day operations. 
 
Mayor Jones asked if the Department of Public Works had investigated the use of bio-diesel as an alternative fuel.  City Administrator Kuntz said that presently all of the large vehicles operate exclusively on diesel.  The smaller vehicles are primarily gasoline operated.  At this point, the City has never been approached about the concept of bio-diesel, but it might be something worth investigating if it offers a cleaner burning piece of equipment and hopefully less expensive fuel. 
 
Alderman Lembke asked about the utilization of GPS.  He noted that it might be useful to locate city vehicles, such as snow plows, not just police vehicles.  He asked if it would be seen as intrusive or “big brotherish” by the employees.  City Engineer Kramer stated that he saw GPS as a potential tool of value as it relates to snow plowing.  Not only is it useful to know where the vehicles are at any given time, but by watching the routes that the vehicles follow, one can quickly and easily determine that a neighborhood was missed or has or has not been hit for an extended period of time.  He did not foresee the use of GPS more extensively throughout the rest of the year as a monitoring tool.
 
Alderman Gatton asked about the possibility of sharing a street sweeper with other cities in a co-ownership type situation.  City Engineer Kramer stated that the current sweeper is operating virtually every day, five days per week, weather permitting, as long as it isn’t broken down.  He said it would probably be possible to have two vehicles operating five days per week.  There isn’t enough spare time on a vehicle to consider sharing it with another community.  He said the City occasionally sweeps the streets in Winchester on a fee basis.  City Administrator Kuntz said that sweeping equipment is very expensive, not only from the perspective of acquisition, but also from maintenance.  It is an expected service and the City cannot get out of the business.
 
City Administrator Kuntz also noted recent cooperative efforts between the Police Department and the Department of Public Works as it relates t high frequency accident locations.  Following the data generated by the Police Department, the Department of Public Works has been looking to see if these high accident locations are in any way related to pavement conditions or roadway configuration issues.  The best example of this, cited by Police Chief Biederman, was the intersection of Twigwood and Ries Road.  The police noted a high incidence of accidents at this location.  It was determined that the pavement was slippery so it was given a scarification treatment to make it rougher.  Mr. Biederman noted that the accident frequency has dropped off dramatically since the pavement was treated in this manner.
 
City Engineer Kramer also noted the success of the traffic calming on Westglen Village Drive and Spring Meadows Drive.  These are examples of cooperation between his department and the Police Department.  He said that, given their success, it is reasonable to assume there will be additional pressures in the future for similar work at other locations within the City.
 
FINANCE
Finance Officer Loehr gave a long range projection for revenues and expenditures and reserve draws through the year 2008.  She noted that under current trends in both of the scenarios that were utilized, the City will be in a negative reserve situation by the year 2006 if there is not additional revenue or a substantial reduction in expenditures. 
 
Ms. Loehr noted that revenues to date in 2004 are looking a little bit better than had been budgeted and better than they were in 2003.  She said it is too early to make any assumptions relative to the 2004 year end revenues.  She said the year end fund balance in 2003 was approximately $2.4 million.  This was slightly more than had been anticipated in the 2003 budget.  She said sales taxes were flat and that revenues from the pool accounted more for this than did revenues from the point-of-sale portion of the city.  Most other revenues were pretty much on budget as had been expected.  She noted that in the capital budget the year end 2003 numbers showed that revenues were very close to what had been anticipated.  Expenditures were slightly less because of the cancellation of two sidewalk projects in that year.
 
Ms. Loehr acknowledged that, although it is certainly not a politically desirable direction to go, if the old 27¢ per hundred dollar property tax rate were still in place in the City of Ballwin today, it would be generating approximately $1 million in revenues.  When that tax was rolled back to zero, it was generating approximately $200,000 in annual revenues.  City Administrator Kuntz noted that in light of the projections that Finance Officer Loehr had done, Ballwin is within 1½ years of having to deal with cutting services or expanding revenues.  The only way around this is if the economy perks up sufficiently that revenues from current sources rise substantially more than had been included in the projections.  He noted that there are probably three revenue avenues available for the City to pursue at this time.  The City could raise the utility tax back to the 7% rate.  The City could pursue the use tax, or, as Finance Officer Loehr mentioned, the City could consider a property tax.  City Administrator Kuntz said that revenue decisions in the past have put the city in the position of receiving the vast majority of its revenue from sales tax sources.  In light of declining sales tax revenues, a more diverse source of funds would probably be the best choice to pursue. 
 
Finance Officer Loehr said the one bright spot on the horizon is that the general obligation bond will be paid off in 2012.  It does not happen soon enough to affect the 2006 issue that had been raised in her earlier projections but it is a little bit of a silver lining on what is otherwise a dark cloud at this point. 
 
Alderman McDowell stated that this financial situation is the Board’s reality and it’s going to have to be dealt with in the near future.  He acknowledged that cutting services is a big political issue as is the creation of additional tax revenues.  Wherever possible, Ballwin needs to clearly look to other sources of revenue, but he acknowledged that they are probably not sufficient to offset the projected deficits.  Given the likelihood that it’s a trade off between property taxes and cutting services, what is the best role for the city to follow? 
 
Alderman Gatton said that the City should proceed with the establishment of the Financial Advisory Committee and get the group to look at the options that are available to the City and make its report back to the Board of Aldermen in time for the preparation of the 2005 budget. 
 
Mayor Jones stated that he did not want to be flippant about the issue of property taxes, but when you talk to people, they clearly do not want to have the property tax reinstated.  He noted, however, that when you ask the people which services they would like to cut, you do not get any kind of good answers.  He suggested that the City needs to approach this issue in small steps over a period time in a cohort with a well developed public communications program.  He noted that the most vocal objectors to increases in property tax are those who pay the tax as a single lump at the end of the year.  This is frequently senior citizens.  He noted that those who pay property taxes in conjunction with the monthly house payments are not as aware of the amount of those taxes and this group does not seem to be as vocally opposed to an increase as are those who own their homes and pay their property taxes annually.
 
City Attorney Lucchesi noted that the Board of Aldermen can only establish the $200,000 revenue that was given up when the property tax rate was rolled back to zero without a vote of the people.  He does not believe that the 27¢ rate can be re-established on a city wide basis without such a vote.  Given that reality, if the Board of Aldermen determines that a property tax is necessary, there is nothing special about the old 27¢ rate.  City Administrator Kuntz noted that the Board of Aldermen does not have to have the same property tax rate for all types of properties.  It is possible to place a differential rate on commercial properties than residential properties.
 
Alderman Lembke stated that having spoken with people in the community, it is his belief that the generally held perception is that the city cannot be trusted to run itself efficiently.  He believes Ballwin needs to launch a comprehensive public relations campaign to educate the people about this financial situation.  If people understand the situation, they will be far more willing to consider the tax increase.  Lacking sufficient education, the assumption of inefficiency will make for a negative likely outcome on any ballot issue.
 
Alderman McDowell noted that the Board of Aldermen itself needs to fully understand and evaluate the revenue and expenditure options that it faces in order to make the most appropriate decision relative to this issue. 
Alderman Suozzi said that Ballwin is not unique in this situation.  Most local government agencies, including school districts, are facing these same kinds of problems.  City Administrator Kuntz recommended that the Finance and Administration Committee of the Board of Aldermen look at the situation and develop a strategy to recommend to the Board of Aldermen for comprehensively investigating this financial situation and developing a plan.  Alderman Buermann stated that he believes there may be more economical and incremental ways to move forward on the financial issues.  He suggested the use tax and reinstitution of the utility tax as possible first steps before dealing with the issue of a property tax.  His question was should the Board of Aldermen be doing this through the Finance and Administration committee, or should this be given to the special Finance Committee that is as yet not organized. 
 
Alderman Fleming said he believes that the Board of Aldermen should deal with this matter itself and not turn the matter over to a special finance advisory committee.  Alderman Lembke recommended that the Financial Advisory Committee be eliminated due to a lack of response from community people wanting to serve on this committee.  Alderman Buermann stated that he does not believe that four people representing one from each ward would necessarily be representative of the community on such matters anyway.  Mayor Jones said he will raise the issue of the Finance Advisory Committee at the next Board of Aldermen meeting and recommend that it not be appointed and that this matter be taken up by the Board of Aldermen.
 
COMMUNICATIONS AND PLANNING
City Administrator Kuntz introduced Suzanne Holroyd and Kelly Ferrar of the Vandiver Group.  Ms. Holroyd and Ms. Ferrar made a presentation to the Board of Aldermen relative to the development of a communications strategy.  Ms. Holroyd noted that organizations that have successful relationships with their constituent group, whether it is a city with its residents or a corporation with its customers, develop strategic communications plans.  They obtain positive communications relationships by reinforcing their branding or sense of place through the strategic communications plan.  She believes that the City of Ballwin needs to develop a process to define its sense of place, which is the desirable aspects of the community that it wants to promote, and then develop a process to get that message across to the residents of the City. 
 
Ms. Holroyd noted that a strategic community plan is more than just a land use plan.  The City needs to identify what and where it wants to be at point X in the future.  What kind of outcome does it expect to see?  It then needs to make determinations as to what goals need to be achieved to get to those outcomes and what resources need to be allocated.  She noted that public relations and media relations will play a major role in reaching the desired outcomes.  She said it is fundamentally necessary to track your progress in this regard and fine tune your strategy as may be necessary to reach the ultimate outcomes.  The community needs to know what the strategic plan is and the City needs to effectively communicate the visions, message, goals, objectives, etc. that are outlined in that plan. 
 
Ms. Holroyd talked about the issue of how the organization would go about tapping into the desires and needs of the community.  She used the example of the City of Kirkwood where she had done some work.  Kirkwood is a well-established community, dealing primarily with re-development issues.  They used the blue ribbon committee approach to determine community desires but supplemented that with some non-scientific surveys of citizen opinion.  Basically what evolved was two groups, the traditionalists that wanted the community to stay like it had been forever, and the newer residents that saw no reason why Kirkwood shouldn’t consider some new ways of doing things and allow certain changes to the nature of the developments that are allowed in the community.  This very different approach ultimately led to some serious political issues in recent times.  She noted that she had also done some work in the City of Richmond Heights and experienced very similar situations to those in Kirkwood except that redevelopment was on a much larger scale and was a far more political issue because of the relocations that were associated with it. 
 
Ms. Holroyd said that it is her belief that every city must have a vision in order to put together any kind of long range comprehensive plan.  Related to the vision are mission statements, specific things that can be achieved, and statements of purpose and role.  She noted that recently some cities have included values within their planning documents.  These are beliefs and guidelines that are fundamental to the way the City should be and operate. 
 
Ms. Holroyd said that anything that comes from a comprehensive plan that involves new ideas and new concepts should include an awareness of changing serial and development trends in the market place.  The plan should allow these to be evaluated and potentially incorporate if they are determined to be applicable to the community.  Ultimately a plan, to be successful, needs to have support from the rank in file of the residents of the community.  If that includes changes, the rank in file has to be in line with those changes.
 
Alderman Lembke asked how this can be done in the context of the city.  Ms. Holroyd said it needs to be done by interviewing and understanding the positions of many external audiences within the community as well as elected officials and staff.  Sometimes this can be done with focus groups, with appointed committees, or surveys and similar documents.  It is best if all of these approaches are utilized. 
 
Ms. Holroyd expanded on the issue of broad based input.  She said that the worst case scenario would be that the only input was from staff and elected officials.  She recommends that the business community, educators, both long term and short term residents be involved in the process.  She suggested one-on-one interviews in addition to focus groups and surveys.  Ultimately those in charge, the Board of Aldermen, staff, hired consultants have to be prepared to accept the opinions that are offered from the community.  If you don’t, there will be friction and creditability issues with any document and set of procedures that evolve. 
Ms. Holroyd noted that any plan that is developed needs to be beneficial in both the short term and long term applications.  Having a short term strategy that resolves a problem that leaves the City with a long term issue is not a suitable approach.  By developing a plan and a communications strategy that outlines a perspective that is accepted by a substantial portion of the community helps the City develop a well of good will that it can call on when faced with issues such as having to raise revenues, reduce expenditures, or other controversial situations.  Lacking a “well of good will”, it is possible for a city to end up with the wrong argument and the wrong battle when faced with a situation.  She used the recent example of the City of Webster Groves and the Mills development proposal in that community.  Because Webster Groves, in her view, lacked a sufficient well of good will, the battle over this TIF and the redevelopment associated with it was waged on the basis of the words of the few people that opposed it.  The City was constantly in the position of reacting to statements and not in the position of asserting its mutually understood and accepted goals, objectives, and mission in wanting to achieve this plan.
 
Ms. Holroyd noted that the strategic communications portion of a plan needs to deal primarily on three issues:  1) Who is the audience for any message? 2) What is the message? 3) Who delivers that message and how?
City Administrator Kuntz suggested that the next time the Board of Aldermen meets, that it might be a good idea for the Board to bring to the meeting lists of the kinds of issues that the next community comprehensive plan needs to address.  Related to that are issues of vision, mission, and values.  Chairman of Planning & Zoning Mike Boland stated that the City, Committee, and Board of Aldermen may need to “think outside of the box” as it relates to issues of development and communications.  The City has traditionally been very linear and traditional in its approach to development issues and, therefore, not in a position of being able to evaluate and react when new thoughts, new ideas, and new concepts come along.  This probably relates to other operational issues of the City, as well as the City’s message to those that live in the community.  Ms. Holroyd noted that this may relate to the issue of tax increases.  One approach that some cities use to make this kind of communication is to put the tax increase into some form of an equivalency.  How many trips to Starbucks per month does the sales tax equal?  How the message is packaged can be as important as what the message actually is. 
 
Mayor Jones noted that those who are elected to office are required to be stewards of the public trust.  The City’s inability to convince the electorate of the wisdom of a particular direction should not be the sole reason to not move in that direction if it is the right thing for the community. 
 
City Administrator Kuntz stated that Ballwin needs to do a better job of celebrating its successes.  We need to learn as an organization how to do this and then put together a strategy in which it is done.  Alderman Gatton agreed noting that Vlasis Park is probably one of the top notch parks of its type in all of St. Louis County.  Ballwin has been noted as being world class in many of the facilities that it has recently built.  This needs to be promoted to the community.  They need to understand that this is, in fact, the case.  If no one tells them of these facts, they will not be aware of them.
 
Ms. Ferrar noted that the packaging of the message could be critical.  Rather than state that the City needs more money to do X, it may be better to state that with the money that you have paid so far, Ballwin has been able to do X, Y, and Z.  In order for the City to continue to provide these kinds of facilities and services, additional funds will be necessary.
 
Alderman Lembke stated that he was excited based on the information and discussions that the Board has had this morning and he believes that this comprehensive strategic planning approach is the way to go.  He noted that the next plan needs to be wider in scope, less driven from the perspective of land use issues, and deal more with operational issues, philosophies and pragmatic approaches to the operations of all of the departments.
 
Alderman Gatton said that Ballwin needs to maximize the point of sale development in the point of sale portion of the community.  He suggested that the City explore using companies such as Site Finders to find potential tenants that are well suited to the community.  He noted that this also ties back to realizing the TIF District plan, which is an issue that is presently before the Board. 
City Administrator Kuntz asked if based on the conversation today, he should pursue having the Vandiver Group submit a proposal on how it can help Ballwin move forward in realizing a strategic community plan of this nature.  It is the consensus of the Board that he should pursue this direction.
 
ANNEXATION
City Administrator Kuntz asked for Board direction relative to this matter.  He noted that it has traditionally been the City’s perspective in the last 20 years or so to be reactive to annexation proposals.  Does the Board wish to step this up and consider a more pro-active approach?  He noted that the annexation of a newer residential neighborhood generally speaking tends to be revenue neutral.  He suggested that the City might want to pursue the annexation of the area lying to the southwest of Kiefer Creek Road, south of the Ellisville city limits all the way down to the Castlewood area. 
 
Alderman Fleming stated that he supports additional annexation provided that it is revenue neutral.  Alderman Suozzi said there are non-financial benefits to annexation as well.  Alderman Buermann asked what the term “revenue neutral” meant as it was being used by Mr. Kuntz.  Mr. Kuntz stated that he acknowledged that any annexation area needs to have a cost analysis done to be satisfied that the fiscal impact is in fact reasonably close to being neutral.  His statement was based on the observation that newer residential areas tend to come closer to meeting this requirement than do older established neighborhoods that have more deteriorated infrastructure. 
 
Alderman Gatton said that just 3 years ago, the Board of Aldermen voted 6-8 to reject any new annexations.  Alderman Suozzi stated that 3 years ago the issue was not whether or not the area southwest of Kiefer Creek Road should be annexed into the City of Ballwin.  The issue was whether or not the City should be considering annexations at all at that time.  She noted that issues of revenue growing out of the new population numbers from the 2000 census were still questionable, plus the City was embroiled in the Olde Towne Tax Increment Financing District.  She felt the Board was not in the position of being able to entertain additional annexation considerations at that time.  She said that was the reason the Board had imposed an annexation moratorium. 
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Fleming to authorize staff to conduct a preliminary economic review of the annexation area proposed by City Administrator Kuntz.  The motion passed, with Alderman Gatton voting No.
 
Alderman Gatton stated he believed that the City should require the annexing area to pay the cost of conducting the economic analysis.  Alderman McDowell stated that he thought the annexation area should include the Castlewood area as well.  He believes that Castlewood is a diamond in the rough and Ballwin should not turn its back on this area because of a relatively small amount of deteriorated housing stock and a few miles of substandard roadways.  Should the City of Ballwin take it now to avoid losing it to incorporation or annexation by another community?
 

ADJOURN

A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Fleming to adjourn.  The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 11:36 a.m.
 
Robert E. Jones, Mayor
ATTEST:
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator

THA:MC