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 click here
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the April 26, 2010 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Schmer and seconded by Alderman Fleming to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Daniel Cobb, 455 Brass Lamp: Mr. Cobb represented his neighbors and Dave Dorr, who resides at 453 Brass Lamp, to express concern about the problem of cars speeding and running off the road into his yard and other neighbor’s yards. He said that Mr. Dorr has had to replace his mailbox 8 times due to cars knocking it down. There have been at least 15 accidents in the yards of 4 adjoining houses caused by out-of-control vehicles, knocking down mailboxes, damaging trees, and nearly hitting houses. In some cases, the vehicles came within a few feet of gas meters and gas lines. He said that they have met with Aldermen Frank Fleming and Jim Leahy, and Police Officer Ed Roberson. Mr. Cobb said the street was not built to be a through street from Henry to Baxter Road. There are 8 curves, 6 hills, and only 2 flat stretches of roadway. He requested a stop sign or other traffic calming devices. He believes that traffic calming is the best solution to the problem. Mr. Cobb said that he has been standing on the sidewalk talking to a neighbor and had to jump out of the way as a car ran up on the sidewalk. He said that he prefers calming islands instead of stop signs. He asked the Board to help with this situation as soon as possible.
Alderman Finley asked Mr. Cobb about the location of the calming islands. Mr. Cobb said that on Glenmeadow just west of Hillbrook is one location. The other is just after Sweetwood.
Alderman Markland said that the Board is in the process of reviewing the Policy Manual. One of the policies is regarding stop sign installation. He said that this situation could be considered during this review.
Sandy Aversa, 451 Brass Lamp: Ms. Aversa said that her mail box was damaged and cars run off the road in front of her house. She said that some neighbors don’t let their children play in the front yard because of the dangerous situation on this street and front yards. She asked the Board to provide something that will calm the traffic.
Mr. Klein also spoke about the Great Streets Initiative and said that this project is not necessary. He asked what has been learned over the past 20 years to prevent future failures.
Jim Nelson, 15961 Downall Green: Mr. Nelson said that a 3-way stop is not the solution for all subdivision traffic issues, but this technique has made his neighborhood safer for the kids. He said he was told by the Board that 3-way stops do not help calm traffic. This was a study on thoroughfares, not neighborhood streets. He said the Board should not rely on studies that are invalid.
Mr. Nelson also spoke about the April 6, 2010 election. He said that Missouri Revised Statute Sec. 115.346 states that persons who are in arrears for municipal taxes or fees shall not be candidates for municipal elections. (Section 115.346: “Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, no person shall be certified as a candidate for a municipal office, nor shall such person’s name appear on the ballot as a candidate for such office, who shall be in arrears for any unpaid city taxes or municipal user fees on the last day to file a declaration of candidacy for the office.”) Mr. Nelson said that on December 15, 2009, Alderman Suozzi signed the tax certification statement as follows: “I certify that I am not in arrears for any unpaid city/county taxes or municipal user fees. I understand that under Missouri Law, failing to pay such taxes and/or fees precludes me from being certified as a candidate and prevents my name from being placed on the ballot.” Mr. Nelson said that as of April 7, 2010, the day after the election, St. Louis County Personal Property Tax Records (copy provided), show that Ms. Suozzi was in arrears for all of her personal property taxes that were due on December 31, 2009. He said he does not like to present this information; however, she should have been disqualified and the people of Ballwin need to know this.
BILL # 3621 - AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING BUILDERS OF CERTAIN DWELLINGS IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN TO OFFER THE INSTALLATION OF FIRE SPRINKLERS AT PURCHASER’S OPTION AND COST.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3621. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3621 was read for the first time.
Alderman Fleming asked why will the State Statute expire on December 31. City Attorney Jones said that other than what can be learned by speaking with the legislators, it’s hard to tell why there is a sunset provision.
Mayor Pogue said that this is a reflection of the 2009 edition of the International Building Code. The code has a requirement that any new dwelling is required to have fire sprinklers installed. The legislators decided that it was better to give the option to the purchaser of the new home; therefore, the statute was approved. City Attorney Jones said that if the State does not extend this, it could be repealed in 2011.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3621. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3621 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3621 with the following results:
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3622. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3622 was read for the first time.
Alderman Boerner asked if this additional expenditure will come from the unrestricted reserves. Finance Officer Loehr said yes. City Administrator Kuntz explained that originally the plan was for a supplement based on the year end reserve fund balance. The Board agreed. Because the energy grant was not anticipated when the 2010 budget was approved, it is not in the budget. The revenue and expenditure elements had to be added to the equation making it two pieces instead of one. He said that because the grants have a 70% revenue enhancement, the expenditure increase will exceed the revenue increase and the difference will come from the reserve.
Alderman Boerner asked about the revenues from the telephone tax settlement and if this is unrestricted funds. City Attorney Jones said that four different amounts were received and the T-Mobile funds have not yet been received. The money is in escrow because the protest suits are still pending. The settlement agreements are still circulating between attorneys. T-Mobile is still paying their current taxes into a fund that Ballwin is holding and they are preserving their protest rights. The funds would have to be paid back by Ballwin if we lost the protest suit. City Administrator Kuntz said that the impact potentially can only be favorable since it’s never been counted. It will improve our financial situation once it is settled. Even if it is settled against us, it won’t reduce anything further.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3622. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3622 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3622 with the following results:
A. Goose Control (Contract award to Humane Goose Management, $1,950.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Appointments: Mayor Pogue recommended reappointment of Pat Apel to the Planning & Zoning Commission. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Leahy to approve this appointment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Committee Assignments: Mayor Pogue made the following Board Sub-committee appointments:
Finance & Administration: Alderman Fleming (Chairman), Finley, Markland, Boerner
Mayor Pogue recommended that Alderman Fleming be appointed the aldermanic representative on the Planning & Zoning Commission. A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy to approve this appointment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Future Meetings: Mayor Pogue recommended that the summer schedule for Board meetings be approved as follows: June 21, July 19, August 23. This schedule will accommodate any Planning & Zoning issues for Board consideration. The motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy to implement the summer schedule as presented. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Insurance Issues: Mayor Pogue requested that this discussion be held over until the end of the meeting, due to the fact that personnel should be discussed in closed session. The Board agreed.
Missouri American Water: Mayor Pogue said that on Thursday, May 6, he and Police Chief Schicker attended a presentation to the City of Ballwin for a water shed stewardship award, in conjunction with the Drug Take-Back Program.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Message Boards: City Administrator Kuntz said that this is regarding a fee schedule for the use, delivery, and setup of the portable message boards, specifically as it relates to requests for an unrelated use. The commercial source would be Traffic Control in Valley Park. They charge a programming, delivery, and pickup fee of $150 per board. If there is a return service call to change the message after delivery, the cost is another $75 per trip. This is an adequate form of cost recovery. City Administrator Kuntz recommended a $100 fee per board, with a $32.50 charge for the change and that we restrict requests to a 10-mile radius. He said this fee is not a revenue generator. It is for a cost recovery, since it involves manpower during normal work hours of the Public Works Department.
Alderman Schmer asked who has been asking to use the message boards. City Administrator Kuntz said that other communities have asked to use it, Meadowbrook golf tournament, and others. Chesterfield could promote the air show with the boards. Alderman Terbrock said he is not opposed to this, but wants to allow flexibility for use by the neighboring cities.
City Attorney Jones said that the Board recently passed an ordinance which allowed flexibility to the Parks & Recreation Department regarding certain fees. He said he prefers an ordinance instead of a motion.
City Engineer Kramer said that Ballwin has allowed free use of the board to neighboring cities because they have loaned equipment to us.
Alderman Markland said that we could rent the sign for $100 and then incur a bill for $2,000 or $3,000 due to vandalism. He asked if there is merit in the City of Ballwin doing this. He questioned if the City is risking more than there is to gain.
Alderman Finley asked if insurance cost would be covered by the $100 fee. City Administrator Kuntz said that this would only cover the labor cost, time, and fuel.
Alderman Fleming recommended using City Administrator Kuntz’s fee schedule for the cities bordering Ballwin to be a good neighbor, which would be Manchester, Town & Country, Chesterfield, Winchester, Ellisville, and Wildwood. Anyone not on this list would pay a fee. City Administrator Kuntz said that we should not go further than 10 miles no matter who is asking for the message board, unless it is a natural disaster or for some other extraordinary event in the region.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming, and seconded by Alderman Boerner, to authorize the City Attorney to draft an ordinance for consideration covering the recommendation from the City Administrator. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, and the motion passed.
Finance Recommendations: City Administrator Kuntz said it is the Board’s position that Ballwin adopt the Clayton template for reporting of the second quarter financials that was recommended by Alderman Boerner. Alderman Boerner also recommended that the software options be carefully evaluated to determine what can be done to accommodate different forms of analysis and flexibility in terms of future data simulation. To move forward for budget purposes, he asked the Board to consider designating Alderman Fleming to assist the computer personnel and a representative from the Finance Department. There are several other local communities that have other systems in place that can be considered.
Alderman Boerner said that he would like to see a graphic illustration of revenues and cash balances. The unrestricted cash and the unrestricted investments could be shown with a separate bar chart for each. At the top they could be added together and show the character and what the low point is during the year. He said the true reserve is when the reserve reaches the low point during the year. Alderman Boerner said that Clayton is wholly on a cash basis during interim periods and have the auditors make all of the adjustments from the cash to the accrual basis. He said that perhaps some of the accruals could be eliminated to make it less complex.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Schmer to appoint Alderman Fleming as the aldermanic representative to the special committee to investigate financial software. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Electric Repairs: City Administrator Kuntz said this is an emergency expenditure, due to a traffic accident which triggered a power surge that damaged the electrical system at the Government Center. It will be reimbursed through the insurance of the individual that caused the accident and related power surge.
A motion was made by Alderman Markland and seconded by Alderman Schmer to accept the low bid from RJP Electric for the electrical repairs from the auto accident. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Kehrs Mill Engineering: City Engineer Kramer said this is a federally funded project with 80% of the cost being covered by the Federal government. Federal law does not permit the city to solicit price proposals from engineering firms. Ballwin cannot use price as a factor in making the selection. The firm selected was believed to be the best, based on qualifications. The law states that if you cannot come to an agreement on price, that firm should be rejected and negotiations begun with the next firm. If the second firm’s price is higher, under the Brooks Act, you cannot go back to the first company and chose them. That would be using the price as a selection factor. It has to be a qualification-based selection. When negotiations with one company is stopped, it cannot be resumed with that company.
City Engineer Kramer said that $60,000 is in the budget for this project as the total engineering cost. We will receive 80% of the $60,000. We will not receive any portion of the $14,000 difference because the numbers submitted were locked in. He recommended that this request be approved with $14,145.37 taken from the Public Works contingency to cover the difference.
Alderman Markland asked what was the logic to exclude the one that gave the $60,000 proposal. City Engineer Kramer said that there were 22 consultants who submitted applications. Several factors are considered. One is the design team. Their experience is also considered. From this method, the top 6 were selected. The top 4 firms were interviewed. The firm with the $60,000 estimate was not in that group. There were 6 other firms that were better qualified.
Alderman Markland said that this apparently was not investigated as fully as should have been done in the beginning, if it turned out that the firm estimating $60,000 proposal was not in the top 8. City Engineer Kramer said that there are a lot of firms that qualify, but it must be narrowed down. When this process was underway, there was no way to know if that the selected firm would not submit a $60,000 proposal. This is why qualifications of the company and the individual team members has to be determined as who is the best and who has the most experience.
Alderman Boerner said that if the schedule is updated, the city portion will be $26,145. City Engineer Kramer said that the City is bound to this project with these costs. The Federal portion for the construction is $1,080.000. Alderman Boerner asked if prior experience makes him comfortable with the estimated cost even though this will occur 2 years from now. City Engineer Kramer said yes, but this is a problem because of inflation and other unpredictables . There’s no guarantee what the price will be at that time, but this was the best estimate available when the grant application was submitted.
City Engineer Kramer said that this price is based on using Super Pave, which is an expensive asphalt mix. Plan B is that if Super Pave cannot be used because of increased price, we can use the standard asphalt that has been used for 50 years or more.
City Engineer Kramer said that it is a violation of federal law to ask more than one firm at a time for a price.
Alderman Finley asked about the effect on the capital contingency fund and what will be left over. City Engineer Kramer said that there is $50,000 in the fund, so a $14,000 reduction would leave about $37,000.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the staff recommendation for the contracting fee of $74,145.37 to be awarded to Howard R. Green Company, subject to MoDot’s approval. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Policy Manual Review: City Administrator Kuntz recommended that this review be postponed until the next Board meeting. The Board agreed.
City Attorney Jones said that on December 7, 2009, Dale Drury spoke to the Board about his property which borders Reinke Road at the turn. His is one of two lots that was developed under St. Louis County zoning before the area was annexed into the City of Ballwin. A 30-foot wide strip, which appears to be his driveway, is actually public right-of-way. He said we didn’t realize this and it has never been maintained by the City of Ballwin to any meaningful extent. The Board’s position in December when Mr. Drury appeared was that we should look into the possibility of vacating that strip so that it would become Mr. Drury’s property and his maintenance obligation. Mr. Drury had an attorney in another pending real estate matter. He said he talked with that attorney and explained that State law requires a petition to vacate a street and it should contain certain information that most people wouldn’t be able to prepare. He also explained that this Board may not be in favor of vacating the strip if the other two adjoining property owners could not gain access over what was previously a public right-of-way. The attorney is now not being utilized by Mr. Drury. Mr. Drury asked if the City would be willing to help prepare the petition for vacation if he hired another attorney and put together an easement or maintenance document so that the two adjoining property owners could use this as well. City Attorney Jones said that he drafted and prepared the petition for vacation of the Meadowbrook streets. Mr. Drury is asking that this be allowed for him. City Attorney Jones said that this will amount to an hour or two of Attorney time, as opposed to what could be many thousands of dollars to bring the street up to a level that would be public street acceptability and subject to public maintenance.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Boerner to draft a petition to vacate with the owner. A voice vote was taken with the following result. Aye: Terbrock, Finley, Schmer, Markland, Leahy, Boerner, Mellow. Nay: Fleming. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
Goose Control: Alderman Finley said that he did some on-site research regarding the goose issue. He said he talked to residents in the parks and asked for their feedback about the prevalence of the geese. He said that some of the moms pointed out that the geese are staying away from the playground. He wants there to be no interference with this trend by the goose control. He recommended that better signs be posted to not feed the geese. The signs could be lower to the ground and more colorful. One of the signs is located back in the gazebo. The sign had to be pointed out to him in order for him to see it.
Mayor Pogue said that he has seen some very creative signs where a mother goose is asking people not to feed her children. He said that people are not aware that some of the food given to the geese is hazardous to them, as well as the conditions of the park. He said that GeesePeace may have some suggestions.
Street Lights: Alderman Markland said that a resident contacted him about some of the street light poles that are not working and indicated that they contacted Public Works a couple of times. He said we are paying the fee monthly whether it is lit or not. The savings in energy consumption is minimal.
Noice Control: Alderman Markland said that on May 5, which was Cinco de Mayo, a resident complained that the noise from one of the restaurants was so loud that they could hear it in their basement, which was about ½ mile from the restaurant. He asked if there is a way that when a permit is given for late operation or outdoors that the Police could drive by to see that everything is going well.
Adjourn to Closed Session: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to adjourn to closed session to discuss personnel issues, under Section 610.021(3). A roll call vote was taken with the following results: Ayes: Aldermen Terbrock, Schmer, Boerner, Leahy, Markland, Finley, Mellow, Fleming. Nays: None. The motion passed to adjourn to closed session at 8:45 p.m.
After further discussion, it was determined by unanimous vote that no Board action would be taken regarding Mr. Aiken’s conduct in this matter. A motion was made to repeal the 2% increase given to City Administrator Kuntz effective May 11, 2010. The vote was as follows: Aye: Aldermen Finley, Schmer, Markland, Fleming, Leahy, Boerner, Mellow. Nay: Alderman Terbrock. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1.
A motion was made to defer until June the City Attorney’s performance review, and his role in the claim would be considered at that time. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the closed session was adjourned at 11:03 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 11:04 p.m.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 11:06 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR