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 Minutes

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
March 12, 2012

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:05 p.m.

             PRESENT                                              ABSENT
MAYOR TIM POGUE 
ALDERMAN JIMMY TERBROCK 
ALDERMAN MICHAEL FINLEY 
ALDERMAN MARK HARDER 
ALDERMAN SHAMED DOGAN 
ALDERMAN FRANK FLEMING 
ALDERMAN JIM LEAHY 
ALDERMAN RICHARD BOERNER 
ALDERMAN KATHY KERLAGON 
CITY ADMINISTRATOR ROBERT KUNTZ 
CITY ATTORNEY ROBERT E. JONES 

The Pledge of Allegiance was given.

MINUTES
The Minutes of the February 27, 2012 Board of Aldermen meeting and closed session were submitted for approval.  Mayor Pogue requested amending page 14, the TDD motion to state “to not oppose” instead of in favor of the TDD.  We were not in favor of it or even consenting to it.  The motion was to not oppose.  A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Fleming 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
David Snow, 702-A Woodside Trails:  Mr. Snow spoke about the Wendy’s and U-Gas TDD.  Mr. Snow said, “I’m all for growth and expansion along the business corridor in Ballwin, particularly on Manchester Road, and because of all of the businesses we have lost in the past.  I have issues and concerns about what the developer for the Wendy’s and U-Gas property is trying to do.   1)  How does this right-of-way fit into the overall Manchester Corridor large and long-range plan?  I remember that from last year when they had a corridor that went from Hwy. 141 all the way to Ellisville, talking about the expansion, growth, widening, and making it more accessible and for business.  Has this intersection been considered into that long-range plan?   2)  Does the developer actually expect the people who use their products and services to pay for the additional TDD?  It’s my understanding that there will be an additional tax assessed to their products and services that are on that particular property.  I don’t know how a TDD works, but I question how the tax can be applied to a particular parcel under a TDD scenario.  Why does this only apply to the inside products, but not the gas?  If there’s going to be a 1% tax, it should go on everything.  They can expedite the paying off of any kind of bonds or financing, unless they just don’t want to have an additional gas higher than the one across the street.  If it is a 1% tax on everything that they are going to have, Wendy’s hamburgers will cost more in Ballwin.  Why not let them state that on a very prominent sign in their store, stating that we have requested and have implemented an additional tax too put this property here.  That way they won’t think it was Ballwin applying the tax and that the gas is a penny more and the 1% is not applied to all their products and services.  Let them bear the brunt of who is paying more and what their getting.  I believe that it’s good to have growth.  We need more additional commercial property, but I’m not sure this is the way to do it.  One of the questions that comes to my mind is how did they miscalculate by $600,000.  I’d like to dig a basement and have a home and go to my neighbors and say that I miscalculated, but I certainly would like to have you all chip in and help me pay to re-dig my basement just a little deeper.  I think this is part of the consideration that I as an individual am concerned with and would like to have someone else look into this deeper.  Mr. Mayor, Aldermen, thank you for your time.” 

Mayor Pogue said, “The Great Streets Initiative is the Master Plan.  We did take it into consideration that there were lots of parts that were implemented into the plan as far as back streets and connectivity as part of the plan.  As far as the TDD existence, Ballwin doesn’t vote to allow this or not.  It’s a lawsuit against the City and the other transportation districts involved in this, which are Ballwin, St. Louis County and MoDOT.  They are essentially suing us for the right to have it.  It’s imposed only on the properties within the district.  They are imposing it upon their stores, not on other properties.  The level of gasoline tax is set at the State level.  There would not be an additional economic activity tax on the gas.” 

PUBLIC HEARINGS
None.

NEW BUSINESS

LEGISLATION

BILL # 3736 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SCHEDULE AA OF SECTION 15 REGARDING SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT AREAS WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.

A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Finley for a first reading of Bill No. 3736.   A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, the motion passed and Bill No. 3736 was read for the first time.

Alderman Kerlagon said, “In the last meeting, I voted to eliminate the double fine zones based on feedback on residents.  For example, Clarence Bonhom lives at 1320 Richland Meadows Drive.  He gave me the following comments:  He lives on the first curve going down the hill out of the subdivision onto Kiefer Creek.  Personally, he has only had one near incident where a car came by quickly and almost ran into his yard while he was washing his car.  Clarence said he has seen a number of close calls from the back side of his home.  The property looks down on the street below on Richland Meadows, and he has seen children playing where there have been close incidents.  In this past week, my husband and I also observed a number of children playing in that area, and that one home had installed an orange mesh temporary fence that is typically used at construction areas that protects new sod.  Now that the agenda is published, I received several calls, including today from resident Karen Dod, who lives on Westglen Village Drive in Castle Pines.  Her house has one of the traffic calmers in front.  She said there are several families in that area that cars often go around the diverters.  They go on the wrong side of the road to get around a school bus or another vehicle.  Karen also said that she had turned in license plate numbers, but there has been no feedback.  She said there are lots of speeders.  She has talked to Ballwin Police officers about her concerns.  Detective Ron Moushey and Police Chief Steve Schicker have been responsive to her calls.  She understands that school bus drivers complain about the cars going around the bus, and she has had tires and hub caps in her yard.  She feels the double fine zone does help, and she would like for the streets to remain identified as a double fine zone.  She acknowledges the difficulty in trying to control speeders.  Therefore, I will be supporting keeping the double fine zones in place, at least in Ward 4.” 

Alderman Finley said, “I feel that the Police Department did due diligence in looking at this issue.  I think bringing the list down to the five main arterial streets is the right thing to do.  It’s not like we are taking fines away from certain streets.  Those fines are still there and sufficient.  If we have additional streets, we’re going to cause the effectiveness of the message to be diluted.  I saw the new signs on the five arterial streets.  The signs are bigger and the message is sufficiently conveyed that way.  I’m satisfied with Bill 3736 the way it is.” 

Alderman Terbrock said, “This is something I brought up several years ago and finally got it put into action.  One thing that pushes me toward that even more is that my wife, asked me what’s going on with the big signs for double fine zones.  People actually notice them now.  I don’t think now is the time to take them down.” 

Alderman Fleming said, “I’m stating my agreement with Alderman Terbrock as I did at the last meeting.  In many cases, the streets that we had on the list were there because citizens got a petition and brought it to us.  Without those same citizens coming back in and saying they don’t want this to be a double fine zone anymore, I’m not turning it over myself.  I think the list is fine the way it is.  There’s no evidence that this isn’t working or not working.  It was driven by citizen demand.  As in the case of Richland Meadows, I’m not taking a street off unless the citizens tell us to.” 

Alderman Dogan said, “I agree with Aldermen Fleming, Kerlagon, and Terbrock.  I also received citizen comments both before this issue was addressed by the Board and also today, when some citizens saw that this was going to be on the agenda for this evening.  Those citizens living near Aspen Village and Westglen Village stated to me that they have had significant problems in the past with speeding.  They believe that the double fine zone has been effective in slowing down some of those incidents.  The report that Chief Schicker submitted said that there were no incidents.  I think that’s a sign that the law is working.  I still support keeping these double fine zones in place.” 

Alderman Boerner said, “It sounds like the Aldermen have evidence to the contrary that the double fine zones perform a good function.  I will definitely will also be supporting keeping the double fine zones in place.” 

Mayor Pogue said, “I forwarded to the Board an e-mail from Rosemary Falvo on Quail Terrace Ct. regarding the double fine zones.”

Alderman Fleming said, “I’m opposing this because we have scratched off everything except these five streets.  There are a lot of streets that have been removed from the double fine zone list for no reason.  My vote is to vote down Bill 3736 so that we maintain the double fine zone areas that we have now.” 

Alderman Leahy said, “Do you mean to tell me that the last time that we voted to get rid of those double fine zones, will be erased if we vote no on this bill?  And then what happens?”

Alderman Fleming said, “We’ll have just the five streets left as double fine zones.”  Alderman Leahy asked, “What about all the other streets from the last vote?”  Alderman Fleming said, “Everything that was on the list will be crossed off except those five.”  City Attorney Jones said, “That is if this bill passes.  If the bill doesn’t pass, then Schedule AA will stay the way it is with 18 or 19 streets on it.” 

City Attorney Jones said, “At the last meeting, you adopted a motion to draft legislation to eliminate all but these five.”  Alderman Leahy said, “I hear Aldermen saying they want to keep the double fine zones, but then I’m hearing from other Aldermen that they’re getting complaints that it’s not working anyway.  Alderman Dogan said that he wants to keep the double fine zones because he felt it was effective, yet we have letters from people saying that people are speeding anyway.  So, what’s the point?  You can make the fine $500, and if they’re going to speed, they’re going to speed.  I think we should live with what we voted on last time.  If you want to vote for these, that’s fine, but I thought we took the other ones out.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “You did by intent, but not by legislation.” 

Alderman Finley said, “I did not receive any comments from anyone from Ward 1 on this issue.” 

Mayor Pogue said, “Alderman Kerlagon is suggesting an amendment to add the streets in Ward 4 back onto the double fine list.  Is that correct?”  Alderman Kerlagon said yes.  Mayor Pogue said, “The Ward 4 streets that Alderman Kerlagon is referring to are Westglen Village, Richland Meadows, Twigwood, and Rustic Valley.” 

Alderman Boerner said, “If we vote this down, we’ll still have the those streets, right?”  Mayor Pogue said that’s correct.  We’ll go back to the existing schedule with all the streets on it.  City Administrator Kuntz said, “Or the alternative suggestion is that Alderman Kerlagon suggested, which is this list that you have in legislation, plus the ones in Ward 4.”  Alderman Kerlagon said, “But I’m also not opposed to taking it back to what Alderman Fleming said.” 

Alderman Terbrock said, “So, there’s no amendment, right?”  Alderman Boerner said that’s correct.

A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Dogan for a second reading of Bill No. 3736.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.  Bill No. 3736 was read for the second time.

A roll call was taken on Bill No. 3736 with the following results:  Ayes – Harder, Leahy, Finley.        Nays – Terbrock, Dogan, Fleming, Kerlagon, Boerner.  Bill No. 3736 failed by a vote of 3 Ayes and 5 Nays.


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. None.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Future Agenda:  Mayor Pogue proposed that the next Board Meeting on March 26, have a single agenda item, the HBA review with staff.  A representative from the HBA will be present to answer for the discussion.  Typically, the last meeting in March is cancelled.  Staff met with the Home Builder’s Association (HBA), and with Aldermen Boerner, Terbrock, Mayor Pogue, City Administrator Kuntz, Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Code Enforcement Supervisor Jerry Klein, and Plan Review Mike Roberts.  He said there were some items that they agreed on which were general building practices for the St. Louis area, and some were a matter of interpretation.  The HBA agreed with staff as our interpretation of the code.  There are some items that staff is still reviewing.  If there is any legislation that needs to be prepared after this discussion, this can be done for the first meeting in April.  The City Administrator’s annual evaluation can also be done on March 26. 

City Administrator Kuntz said that this session should mainly be a question and answer process instead of a full presentation by the HBA, which already took place in the first meeting with the HBA.  Mayor Pogue said the main part of the discussion will be regarding Chapter 11 of the 2012 code.  It will be the Board’s decision how we will handle this section. 

Alderman Boerner said, “I thought staff did a good job of, a well reasoned defense of our code, where it involved the health and safety of our residents.  It appears to be a very reasonable approach as far as the enforcement of the code.  I thought the Home Builder’s Association, the attorney that was there, and the representatives from the HBA did a good job in terms of representing the reasons for not, they were well reasoned in terms of, to change the code or amend it.  Mayor Pogue did a good job of moderating the meeting, and also Alderman Terbrock.” 

Alderman Harder asked if there were any Minutes taken for review.  Mayor Pogue said we went through item by item of all of the HBA suggestions, what was accepted and what wasn’t.  City Administrator Kuntz said that all of the documents that were used in the discussion will be provided to the Board. 

Alderman Dogan asked about the timing of the annual employee reviews, City Administrator Kuntz said, “Originally, the reviews were conducted in December, and effective on January 1.  One year, in the interest of budget considerations, about three years ago, we moved the cycle on the compensation for the employees to April 1, which effectively that year, gave a nine-month impact to save some dollars and was moved away from the holiday.  When there is a contested aldermanic election, if there is a change in aldermanic positions, the new aldermen do not have past experience and knowledge for the City Administrator’s annual evaluation if this is done in June.” 

Alderman Boerner said, “With respect to the ICC and the analysis that I was going to provide at the last meeting, but did not do, Aldermen Fleming and Harder have expressed an interest in looking at some aspects of it and made suggestions as to what they would like to see.  I would like the opportunity to present that before we begin the deliberation at the next meeting.” 

Mayor Pogue said on March 26, this will be a regular Board of Aldermen meeting in case other items come up that should also be added to the agenda. 

CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

Double Fine Zones:  City Administrator Kuntz said, “In light of the action taken, as City Engineer Kramer pointed out, since this is the direction that we’re going, I request that there be an appropriation from the contingency account for an additional funds to cover the cost of the enlarged signs to put them all into compliance.  The new signs are posted on the streets that were in the legislation.  We have to complete the process to post the new signs on all of the double fine zone streets.  Since this is a non-budgeted item, and we only have a single source, I would like a motion to proceed with that appropriation.”  Mayor Pogue said, “The total in the memo is $7,515.87 to do all of the streets with the larger signs.” 
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to approve the re-appropriation for the signs.  A voice vote was taken with the following result:  Aye:  Terbrock, Dogan, Fleming, Boerner, Kerlagon.  Nay:  Leahy, Finley, Harder.  The motion passed by a vote of 5-3. 

Board Room Upgrades:  City Administrator Kuntz said, “During the conversation regarding the 2012 budget, we indicated to the Board of the need to create greater efficiencies with respect to working conditions and layout within the Government Center.  The Rejis audit required everyone to be fingerprinted and to enhance security or the segregation of activities between the court operations and the general population.  We bought time by complying on that basis.  We did not create a permanent fix.  We did a procedural change to meet the minimum requirements.  With Board direction, we proceeded with a preliminary study to determine what, from a professional standpoint, changes we might make within the existing envelope.  No extension of the envelope; just within the space available.  To start the process, I asked for successful references from other cities that had modified their government offices.  I contacted and interviewed five firms, with relevant municipal renovation experience.  We gave them a tour and asked for preliminary proposals.  As their questions were answered, we realized that we are still only taking an incremental approach, and there are other issues that have been raised regarding the Board meeting room, such as the sound of rain on the roof, layout of the room, etc.  Before we spend money on just audio visual, trying to efficiently bounce sound off of brick walls, it might make more sense to roll the two together, because they inter-relate in terms of activities.  With Board permission, we would like to have another dialog with the top three candidates to see what they can suggest regarding both spaces.  We may not have the funds available to do everything in 2012, but to take a more global look.” 

Alderman Fleming said, “The way this started was to see if we could make the volume situation better by improving the speakers, the Planning & Zoning presentations could project maps, etc.  You’re talking about something above and beyond that related to an audit.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “The audit that brought this about was an audit of the municipal court operations, as they relate to the Court Clerk and Assistant Clerk, taking payments in the Government Center, the accessibility of the computer screens, and conversations between the people that come in and pay the fines.  All of the municipalities were faced with this.  Some still have court operations in the police departments, some are segregated and some have separate court windows.  By varying degrees, we have to comply with the requirements.  At the Board room, audio upgrades were budgeted.  The whole room should be evaluated by the people who have the knowledge of how this can be improved, in addition to the Government Center.  The Board room evaluation would be a supplemental aspect to the project.” 

Alderman Fleming asked what is being considered for improvement of the Board room?  City Administrator Kuntz said the ceiling could be altered to improve the sound, flipping the room to have the Board facing a different direction, a security access toward the police station, etc.  A separate entry and conference room could be considered, removing the oversize staff table and creating a smaller staff location, audio visual equipment that cannot be damaged by other events in this room.  This approach could assure that a change in the audio visual equipment would be successful instead of the other room deficiencies continuing to interfere with attempted improvement. 

Non-resident Swim Passes:  City Administrator Kuntz said the limit last year for the City of Wildwood passes was 25.  It’s proposed to increase the number of passes up to 50.  Wildwood has asked that we continue the program.  Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer has stated that there will not be a negative impact on the Ballwin residents, and is a positive on the bottom line.  Mayor Pogue said he is in favor of this. 
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy to proceed with offering up to 50 non-resident swim passes to the City of Wildwood.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

Construction Testing:  City Administrator Kuntz said it is recommended that the contract be awarded to SCI Engineering in the amount of $16,269.  This testing is required in conjunction with our Kehrs Mill reconstruction project, to insure that we don’t get inferior product that doesn’t meet durability standards, and is also within the 80% reimbursement of our federal grant.  Mayor Pogue thanked City Engineer Kramer on his careful analysis.  If this was not done, within 3 or 4 years, the streets could fall apart. 

Alderman Harder asked the reason for the large difference between the lowest and the second lowest bid?  City Engineer Kramer said, “In talking to the president of the low bidder, they have included 1½ days for application of the asphalt.  There’s no way this can be done in only 1½ days.  Other contractors are providing for 8 – 10 days to put down that much asphalt.” 

Alderman Harder asked what is the budgeted amount for this?  City Engineer Kramer said, “One thing I learned about the federal applications is that it has to be adequate because you don’t get any more money if you under-estimated.  The application is the budget.  If you need more money for the project, it comes out of the city’s pocket and you can’t go back and ask for more money.”  Alderman Terbrock asked if we have not been awarded grants because of over padding?  City Engineer Kramer said no.  “I talked to the construction person at MoDOT, and he said that when you put in an amount for obligating the funds, he said to put in extra for testing to cover yourself to be sure you have enough money in the request.” 

Alderman Boerner said, “If you go under what your estimate is, you’re not going to get any more than the 80% of the actual cost.”  City Engineer Kramer said that is correct.  It’s 80% up to the application amount.  This is for the Kehrs Mill project that we received in 2010.  This is just for the construction.  There are three phases:  engineering, right-of-way, and construction, which is the final phase. 

Alderman Fleming said, “By padding, we mean cautiously estimating to the high side.”  Mr. Kramer said this is also called cautiously rounding up.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to approve the staff recommendation to accept the recommended bidder.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result, and the motion passed.

Annexation:  City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is being presented for the Board’s endorsement in terms of drafting a Resolution identifying the final boundaries that you select that will be binding for the next 5 years.  This is not an attempt to lock the Board into submitting any proposals or taking any pro-active measures.  The proposal is a mirror image of the plan that was submitted in the same format in 2006 to the Boundary Commission as required by law.  It only would lock in the Board to what can be considered for the next five years.”

Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that in talking with the City of Ellisville, they made it clear that they intend to include Kylewood Place on their map.  This is an attempt to present the most acceptable plan to the Boundary Commission.  City Administrator Kuntz said it was also discussed that a similar straight line could be drawn along Clayton Road.  As it stands now, there’s been no dialog with the City of Chesterfield because we share a common boundary in the north area.  At the present time, the properties that are east of Baxter on the south side, the commercial properties are in the City of Chesterfield.  The properties to the west of Baxter on Clayton on the north side, until you reach Meadowbrook Country Club, are in Chesterfield, and then Meadowbrook is in Ballwin.  We’ve had, over the years, informal dialog with Chesterfield if we should pursue that option or leave it the way it was in 2006.  It’s close to a trade off, but we haven’t run the numbers.  That’s the only other one that might make good sense, otherwise, we’re good to go with the one change.

A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Harder to accept staff’s recommendation for the submitted annexation plan.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.

STAFF REPORTS
None.

CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT

Legal Issues:  City Attorney Jones said, “Following the last meeting, I filed the Kehrs Mill sidewalk condemnation case.  The hearing is set for April 12, at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Krigel in St. Louis County.  The defendants have not yet been served, but they will be and we will have an opportunity to speak with them prior to the hearing. 

74 Breezeview:  City Attorney Jones said, “I had a discussion with the property owner’s attorney.  He said his client had confirmed that the work that was on our list of items that caused the actual demolition order did not require a building permit.  The property owner is going to have the contractor begin working on all of the outside items.  All items listed are outside; we have not inspected inside the house.  I have not received a response to the demand for the city’s cost.  I’ve supplied back up documentation on all of those items, and demanded that from the attorney.  I understand that construction on the outside of the house is progressing, but I’ve heard something today that this may not be correct.  If the corrections on the list are not occurring, then I need to know this.” 

City Administrator Kuntz asked, “What about our demand for an inside inspection for an occupancy permit?”  City Attorney Jones said, “They don’t want occupancy.  They don’t want to do the things inside that will allow for occupants.  They want to fix the things on the outside of the property.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “And then pass it on to a buyer.  No one technically can occupy it without an occupancy inspection.”  City Attorney Jones said he made that point very clear to them.  “We didn’t enter an order to demolish the property based on anything inside the house because we had no access to base that on.” 

City Attorney Jones said, “I think what we should do is if the outside items are not rectified almost immediately, we should file a special tax bill against the property for all the City’s cost to date, and then re-evaluate and decide where we want to go with this.”  City Administrator Kuntz asked, “Can we file for an order for suspicion of uninhabitability based on observation of vermin penetration?”  City Attorney Jones said we could do that; we have that authority.  The same thing will be accomplished by not issuing an occupancy permit.  Alderman Terbrock said that won’t make a difference because they don’t intend for anyone to live there. 

Alderman Leahy asked, “Have we settled with the contractor that we had an agreement with?”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “He hasn’t been paid.  We asked for his cost incurred.  It’s not too far off the maximum that he bid for the whole job.”  Alderman Leahy said that he should be made whole for his effort, assuming it’s a valid bill.  Alderman Harder said, their proposal is to fix up the outside to make it pass.  The other issues such as vermin, we can’t do anything about unless someone moves in.  Because of the damage that’s probably done at that location, we’re kicking the can down the road and we’ll revisit this in a year or two.  City Attorney Jones said that is one way to look at it.  When we started this process and sent the 30-day notice, if all of the items would have been corrected, we’d be exactly where we are right now.  We’re just 90 days later and they would be doing what they are doing right now. 

Alderman Harder asked if there is any help from the St. Louis County Health Department?  City Attorney Jones said, not that he knows of.  City Administrator Kuntz said there is no provision for an administrative search warrant.  Under our present ordinances, our ability to address this problem property stops at the door.  Anything inside, unless there’s an occupancy related activity, we don’t have that tool to use. 

Alderman Terbrock said, “I thought this was supposed to be made habitable.  I wish we would have torn it down.  Do we gain any leverage by filing the tax lien so that if they don’t make the improvements, we will take the house down?”  City Attorney Jones said, “Yes.  We’re going to be hard pressed to be able to enforce the order of demolition if all of the things get corrected in a timely fashion.  We would have to go back through the process.”  Mayor Pogue said, “At this point, we’ve gone through the hearing, and we could say we’re sorry and we’ve done our due diligences and we’re tearing it down.”  City Attorney Jones said yes. 

Mayor Pogue said, “I was outside the house before this meeting tonight.  I have concern with the structural integrity.  The roof has dips and seems to be failing.  We’ve had restricted access, but I’m ready to release the contractor and let it go.”  Alderman Boerner said, “I have concerns about potential negative repercussions of tearing it down.  Have we been inside the structure?”  City Attorney Jones said yes, but it has not been inspected.  Alderman Boerner said, “We should state that we are going to take this position, contingent upon our being able to go in the house and identify from the inside if the structure is sound.  Can we do this?”  City Attorney Jones said, “It’s a matter of negotiation.  If we want to do anything other than what we allowed ourselves by going through the process, having a hearing, and entering an order of demolition, if we want to do something in between or more or less, it’s a matter of negotiation.  I assume if we showed up with bulldozers tomorrow, we would find ourselves in an injunction hearing.  Maybe that’s what we need to do to get this finalized.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “There’s a consequence.  Mr. Jones’s activities are limited by their rights under the legal system to enjoin us from our actions.  We have to think all the way through the steps.  Everyone is frustrated, but that party also has rights that the system protects, and we have to respect that and know the consequences.” 

Mayor Pogue asked, “If we progress that way, would be have a better chance for a Judge to say no, the exterior is not enough; it has to be a fully inhabitable residence?  Are they going to hold us to what we held in the administrative hearings?”  City Attorney Jones said, “I don’t know the answer to that question at this time.  It’s a different approach.  It’s not the way we started this process.  I think I need to get more information for the Board.” 

Mayor Pogue said that two of the neighbors are present at this meeting.  He said it was his understanding that the work was not on the exterior of the building, but he was doing work on the interior.  (The comments of the neighbor in the audience could not be heard or understood because they did not come to the speaker microphone.)  She did say that the owner stated that he is rehabbing the house but not selling it.

City Administrator Kuntz said, “We need to look hard at the long-range consequences.  We could end up with a situation that’s even worse in terms of ownership, damages, and more.  There’s only been one home previously in Ballwin that was demolished and was an unoccupied structure in the 24 years that I’ve been here, and it took 15 years to take that one down.  We’re up against some real serious odds.”  City Attorney Jones said that is an accurate description. 

Alderman Boerner said, “I don’t believe I have all of the considerations related to this.  I think we should determine if the roof is about to fall in and if it’s safe.”  Mayor Pogue asked, “Do we have the authority to inspect the inside for structural integrity?”  City Attorney Jones said, “Yes.  I think we can enter an order on an emergency basis, indicating that can be occupied.  The only way to stop him from going in and doing what they need to do is to demolish it.  I don’t know of any way to keep the property owner out of the house.  We went through this with the assumption that either the property owner would come forward and do what needed to be done, or the property owner would ignore it and never come forward, and we would demolish the house.  We have something in between is what is happening.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “Every two weeks we get more information than we had before.  When City Attorney Jones did all the research, the Trust Deed didn’t show up on the books.  We’ve followed all of the procedures.”  City Attorney Jones said the owner and the trustee are the same person.”

Alderman Harder asked, “Has the building been condemned?  Is that a recourse that can be used?”  City Attorney Jones said, “Condemned means condemned for occupancy, meaning that it cannot be occupied, which is possible in this case.  We could take that additional step.”  Alderman Harder asked, “Is there a legal procedure that could go before a Judge and say we’re suspecting of condemning this and we need to verify the condemnation.  We then get a search warrant type of permission to go into the property.”  City Attorney Jones said, “We don’t have anything in our code to allow that kind of administrative search warrant.”  Alderman Terbrock asked, “Isn’t there anything in our code that says that a home has to be habitable?  I find that hard to believe.”  City Attorney Jones said, “Yes there is.  City Administrator Kuntz said he is not inhabiting it.”  Alderman Terbrock said it’s not habitable if he can’t get an occupancy permit.  City Administrator Kunz said he’s not asking for an occupancy permit.  Alderman Terbrock said if we can’t give one on it, then it’s uninhabitable.  Mayor Pogue said we can’t verity if it’s inhabitable because we can’t access it.  City Attorney Jones said he will look into the possibility of through a court order if we can gain access to verify what we suspect.  He said he will get an update as to exactly what the property owner thinks he’s doing and give the information to the Board. 

City Attorney Jones said, “I suspect what happened is the property owner realized that there’s too much to do on the inside of the property in the short term.” 

ALDERMANIC COMMENTS

Cost of Signs:  Alderman Terbrock said, “Regarding the cost of the double fine zone signs, when I read the memo, I felt it was interesting that part of the campaign to change this was the cost factor of the signs.  I apologize to the residents that we have to re-appropriate money to pay for the signs, when what probably happened was that proper research was not done at the beginning to put up the correct size at that time.” 

Grants:  Alderman Terbrock said, “I know that a grant was not received due to over-padding when there was a solar cross walk that was submitted for a grant of about $250,000, when it was only about a $25,000 job, and we didn’t receive the grant.” 

Deer:  Alderman Harder said, “Regarding the deer population, we have a problem in many areas of Ballwin, Ellisville, and the surrounding municipalities.  Mayor Pogue and I and some of the Board have talked about what we can do since the upcoming deer season is almost on us.  A suggestion was made to try a regional approach to the problem so that all of the municipalities can agree on the same regulations or an approach to reduce the deer population to a manageable number.  I would like to see if the Board will allow the Mayor and staff to get into discussions with the surrounding municipalities to see if there’s some common ground on how we can put together a regional approach to this problem.” 

Mayor Pogue said, “Right now, Ballwin, Ellisville, and Winchester are the only three cities that don’t allow any sort of hunting or deer management.  Ellisville recently discussed at their Board meeting to allow bow hunting on parcels of 3 acres or more.  They asked for permission from the Department of Conservation to allow a managed hunt at Claimburg, and I believe that’s going to go through.”  City Administrator Kuntz said, “We have the Creve Coeur sample of their program.”  Alderman Terbrock said he spoke with the City Administrator of Creve Coeur and he said it was an easy process and it worked out very well, due to help from special organizations that came in to speak to people about this.  Creve Coeur has the better looking fit for us.  Creve Coeur did not pay anyone to come in to hunt.  There are a certain number of permits issued.  Permission is obtained from the home owner.  Town & Country is expecting to spend about $600,000 in five years on this project.  We’re not going to spend that much money on this.  In Creve Coeur, it’s at the property owner’s discretion to allow this to happen on their property.” 

Alderman Leahy asked about deer in the common ground area of a subdivision.  City Administrator Kuntz said the subdivision association could be consulted for approval.  Depending on the subdivision indentures, whether the trustees can give approval or a vote of the majority of residents, would determine the procedure.  He said he agrees that the Creve Coeur program is simple and straight forward.  Mayor Pogue said the Creve Coeur website has information on the research into the program. 

Alderman Boerner said he saw a dead deer at Westglen and New Ballwin Road.  How is this handled?  City Engineer Kramer said that if the deer is in the public right-of-way (Couldn’t hear Gary’s comments)   

If the deer is on private property, the homeowner is responsible for removal. 

City Administrator Kuntz said that we have a budget item for disposal and a contract.  We’re on narrow ground as far as what the city’s active role is.  We don’t have facilities for sanitary burial.  We contract with a third party.  At one time, there were other agencies, but with funding cutbacks, their responsiveness has been more limited as the deer population increases. 

Police Chief Schicker said the police department averages between 12-16 car-deer accidents per year. 

Alderman Boerner asked what does the law state that if a vehicle hits a deer and the driver wants to pick up the deer for their own consumption.  Police Chief Schicker said the driver will have to notify the Conservation Department, and they will give a transport permit.  You can call in and they will mail the permit.  The Conservation Department also allows the Police Department to issue the permit.  There is a large list of residents that will take a fresh-kill deer for consumption.  They also must have a permit. 

Alderman Leahy suggested that staff be instructed to check on the details with Creve Coeur and report back to the Board.  The Board agreed.

Storms / Emergency Plan:  Alderman Harder said after the recent storms, he asked about Ballwin’s emergency plan and if it is up to date.  He asked that in the near future, a presentation be made by Police Chief Schicker and the Metro West Fire Chief.  Police Chief Schicker said, “The Emergency Operation Plan is set in by FEMA.  It’s reviewed and updated based on their recommendations.  There are three fire districts that cover the area.  We are going to be discussing this in our staff meetings in the next few weeks.  City Administrator Kuntz said that in addition to this, the photo IDs will also be reviewed for updating since it’s been a few years since the last update.  Mayor Pogue said that Metro West will be doing another CERT class starting on March 27. 

Adjourn:  A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to adjourn.  The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

TIM POGUE, MAYOR

ATTEST:
ROBERT A. KUNTZ, CITY ADMINISTRATOR

MC