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 August 15, 2011 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
OATH OF OFFICE
Alderman Terbrock asked how the holiday weeks would be affected. Mr. Lamantia said that if the holiday is on Monday, the Monday pickup would be on Tuesday, Tuesday pickup would be Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday would possible remain the same. A notification post-card will be sent to everyone about the new schedule. Alderman Terbrock asked about putting stickers on the trash containers with notifications. Mr. Lamantia said that this could cause the driver to get behind in the pickup. He will check into it.
Mr. Lamantia said an upgrade option of the recycling container from 65 gallons to 95 gallons will also be available.
Alderman Dogan asked what will happen if there is an overflow for the cart at a residence. Mr. Lamantia said the trash will be set out in the regular container. The container will be emptied into the truck. The driver will then have to refill the Allied Waste container with the overflow and then dump it into the truck. The automated truck cannot dump trash from a regular household container. He said, “We do accommodate.” If the overflow is on a regular basis, we will call the residence and ask them to utilize another Allied container.
Mayor Pogue asked the Board if there are any objections to this plan. There were no objections. Alderman Fleming said this will result in less heavy use of our streets, and will save fuel. Recommendations from Allied have always worked out well in the past and this is a solid recommendation.
City Attorney Jones asked if a contract amendment will be necessary. Mr. Lamantia said he did not think this will be necessary for a route change. City Attorney Jones said he thought the one day trash service, recycling and yard waste was in the contract. He said he will look at this to be sure.
Mayor Pogue said, “If there are no objections, City Attorney Jones should review the contract and have Allied Waste proceed with the recommendation.” The Board agreed.
BILL # 3692 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 11 REGARDING GRADING, EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL.
Alderman Finley made the following changes on Page 2: Sec. 11-3 (b), third line – remove “is”; item (f) 3rd line – add “bond”, and eliminate “an amount of 110 percent of the value of the work”.
City Attorney Jones said, “I would be concerned about taking out the requirement of the natural resources map. This was part of the ordinance that was given to us for compliance with MSD programming for the best management practices. Alderman Terbrock said the maps don’t show soil identification. City Attorney Jones said that it’s his understanding that the map is only to identify soils, forest cover, and resources that were protected. If it’s protected under another chapter of our code, they will be required to submit the map. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said the majority of Ballwin is in one or two primary soil types. The purpose is to keep the soils from eroding and the silt ending up in the creek.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3692, as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3692 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3692 with the following results:
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
BILL # 3694 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE AMOUNT OF FEES CHARGED FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SOLICITOR IDENTIFICATION CARDS.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3694. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3694 was read for the first time.
Alderman Finley asked if anyone on the Board has heard any comments regarding this fee. He said since there are none, he’s prepared to vote in favor.
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a second reading of Bill No. 3694. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3694 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3694 with the following results:
BILL # 3695 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE AMOUNT OF FEES CHARGED FOR RENTAL OF THE GOLF CLUBHOUSE.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley for a first reading of Bill No. 3695. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3695 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a second reading of Bill No. 3695. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3695 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3695 with the following results:
BILL # 3696 - AN ORDINANCE MAINTAINING THE BUSINESS LICENSE TAX ON THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF ELECTRIC UTILITIES PROVIDING ELECTRIC SERVICE IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3696. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3696 was read for the first time.
Alderman Fleming asked for a brief explanation of this legislation. City Administrator Kuntz said, “The St. Louis County Municipal League alerted us to this situation. Ameren was recently awarded a 6.11% rate increase. This was awarded by the Public Service Commission. It was certified on July 28 or 30. It triggered a Missouri State Statute, which requires a rate roll back to hold revenues constant. To keep the collections the same, we would have to roll our rate back to 6.9% so that we would only collect the same amount as we collected before the rate hike was approved.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “Affected also in this rate hike approval was our municipal street light budget, which will increase this budget by about $50,000 per year. Calculations indicate that adopting this stay-whole legislation will offset some of our increased charges for electric use in this building, as well as the additional street light cost. It will allow Ballwin to keep the rate the same as it was.
City Attorney Jones said, this legislation is written so that we won’t have to do this again. In the event of another rate increase, which is approved by the Public Service Commission, our rate will not have to be rolled back.
Alderman Fleming said, “Our utility rate will stay the same to our residents. The City of Ballwin residents will be paying a higher rate with Ameren for our street lights. It will come out about the same for us as a city.”
Alderman Leahy said, “Several months ago, there were groups of cities that were going to meet with Ameren about the street light. What is the update on that?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “Ameren was successful in persuading the Public Utility Commission that they actually have a higher cost to provide the service than is reflected in their rate. The rate increase was approved despite our objections. Mr. Jones’s law firm had a partner assigned to that case. A year ago, we fought it off successfully. The Public Utilities Commission was much less sympathetic to municipal arguments about things like public safety, and they said the cost demonstration showed that they were incurring that cost and were going to grant it.” City Attorney Jones said, “They cut out a few cities that they were going to raise rates against. The settled with some of the cities that were protesting.” City Administrator Kuntz said, “Now that we are approaching $500,000 per year to provide street lighting. It’s a good thing we have a 7% utility tax rate or we would be talking about this a lot more seriously. $50,000 more in this budget cycle is not something we were looking forward to for street lights.”
Alderman Dogan asked, “If the Board decided to raise or lower the rate, would this be an ordinance or a special process?” City Attorney Jones said, “7% was previously authorized by a vote of the people. It was rolled back by ordinance to 5%, and then 7% was reinstated by ordinance a few years ago. The voters would have to approve a rate above 7%. This ordinance could be repealed or by adopting a different ordinance that allows for a roll back. If Ballwin receives notification from the Public Service Commission regarding any utilities, there will always be the ability to roll back.”
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a second reading of Bill No. 3696. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3696 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3696 with the following results: Ayes – Fleming, Kerlagon, Leahy, Finley, Boerner, Terbrock, Dogan. Nays – None. Bill No. 3696 was approved and became Ordinance No. 11-40.
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. Telephone Service (World Net Windstream and AT&T; 3 years)
Alderman Finley requested that Items A and B be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Finley to accept Consent Item D. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Aldermanic Committees: Mayor Pogue made the following appointments to the aldermanic committees:
ALDERMANIC COMMITTEES MEMBERS
National League of Cities: Mayor Pogue said this meeting will be held in November, with a September 15 deadline for reservations for a discounted rate. This is a budgeted item.
Fall Festival: City Administrator Kuntz said the Ballwin Athletic Association is going to be conducting the Fall Festival on October 29. This is an opportunity for the City to partner with our business and service community. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Telephone Service: City Administrator Kuntz said that Information Systems Manager Paula Reeds has put great deal of effort into conducting and evaluating this bid process. Alderman Finley asked, “Is Windstream a vendor and the name of a product?” Ms. Reeds said, “The Windstream product was bid by three vendors. What it comes down to is that it is the same price from all three. The first vendor added $20 for fees. The second vendor added $49. The third vendor did not add any fees. If you went to get that product right now, it’s $356. Three different vendors bid the Windstream. The Windstream bid from Windstream, he opted to do the local and long distance and he did a 10 mg fiber connection but did not bid the 3 meg connection.”
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to accept the recommendation of staff for telephone service. A voice vote was taken with an affirmative result and the motion passed.
Temporary Manpower for Leaf Collection: City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is a contractual service that we use during the 6 weeks of leaf collection. It’s beneficial to have the capability of calling in temporary manpower services on an as-needed basis. These are laborer positions. They do not operate any of the City’s equipment. They are the rakers on each crew. If the volume is low, they are sent home or not used. The company is usually notified the day before how many temporary workers are needed. We serve both sides of Manchester Road simultaneously. This is the most efficient option that has resulted in the fewest complaints. This is like an insurance policy to get the project done, with the lowest of the bids received.”
City Administrator Kuntz said, “This is a more cost-effective option than the overtime route. The last couple of years, to stay within budget, we have been disinclined to utilize Saturday or after 3:30 p.m. collection. The reason for stopping at 3:30 is that there will only be about 1 hour left because of the daylight savings time change, and then it’s an inefficient time because of the rush hour traffic congestion. The middle of the day is the best time to work due to fewer vehicles parked at the curb.”
Alderman Leahy said the temporary manpower company is very professional and he said this is a good idea to do this.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy to accept the recommendation for the temporary manpower for leaf collection. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Resident Electric Test For Home Repairs: Alderman Terbrock asked, “The two tests, those are going to be the two tests that are given, correct? They take one, fail one, take the other one. Are they taking the same test twice?” Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “the second test will be used for a second taking.”
Mayor Pogue said, “One of my recommendations was to take the minimum score up to 80%. In the past, we asked for a licensed electrician. A licensed electrician must have so many years in the field and training, and continued training hours from year to year. If we’re going to allow a resident to work in their own house, I’d like to see a higher standard on that test. Maybe push it up to 80%.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “I’m not in favor of an open book test.” Mayor Pogue said, “That is typical practice for St. Louis County, that’s the way they do their licensing.” Alderman Terbrock said, “I don’t care what they do, I don’t like it here. If someone isn’t serious enough about it to know it well, there’s no sense in it. I don’t like it.”
Alderman Boerner said he is in favor of the open book test because the person would have to know where the answer is located.
Alderman Fleming asked, “Would this incur any liability on Ballwin’s part?” City Attorney Jones said, “No more than licensing a contractor.” Mayor Pogue said, “This is for property owners to work on their own house, not doing work throughout the city.” Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “This is only for a house that the person lives in. This is not for property that the person owns and rents out. This is only for the house that the owner occupies himself.”
Alderman Finley asked, “Would there be any ramifications if we made them take a closed-book test?” Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “The test is very similar to the test that the ICC uses for State inspectors to become certified. It’s the same kind of approach that they take, but is a shorter test. The ICC allows the open-book test. That was the model. If the Board believes that a closed book test is best, it can be administered that way.”
Alderman Boerner asked, “Once the electrical work is completed, is there a final inspection?” Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “Absolutely. The inspectors will know that the work was done by someone who took the test and will be aware that the work was not done by a professional electrician.”
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to draft legislation for consideration at the next Board meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Policy Manual Review: City Administrator Kuntz said that many months ago, staff went through the manual with the idea of having consistency with our ordinances and better access for the public to determine what’s approved and what’s not. Several of the sections are suggested to be moved elsewhere either to make them easier to find or to put them more under the public microscope.
Staff recommends that the Alcoholic Beverage Policy be moved to “City Hosted Functions”; Employee Accidents and Subpoenas-Employee moved to the Personnel Manual; Boards and Commissions Vacancies/Appointments: Item 1, deleted; Charitable Donations: future discussion at the October 10 meeting is recommended; Subdivision Acceptance Policy: Move to Chapter 25 of the Zoning Code; Permanent Tee Times, Golf Shoes, Golf Leagues: Deleted (not current policy as written); Hazardous Materials: No change; Resident ID Privileges: No change; Leaf Collection: No change; Real Estate Acquisition: Delete “It is expected that this will become more of an issue in the years ahead.”; Emergency Operating Plan and Glossary: No change.
City Attorney Jones said, regarding Charitable Donations, if we are going to send some of the Public Works staff to out of town for a week, or something on a large scale, we should probably have a Mutual Aid Agreement. Alderman Fleming said that we sent personnel to the airport after the destructive tornado. City Attorney Jones and City Administrator Kuntz agreed that this item should be postponed for further review. The Board agreed.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy, to prepare legislation for review of the Subdivision Acceptance by the Planning & Zoning Commission. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept staff’s recommendation for policy changes, with the exclusion of Charitable Donations. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Ferris Park – Demolition of House: City Administrator Kuntz said, “We were successful in securing a St. Louis County Park Grant to acquire, and potentially demolish a structure on the property adjacent to what is known as Ferris Park. We were the successful bidder, subject to your authorization, for that project. The lion’s share of the cost will be paid by the Parks Grant. There’s another section that sets aside a sum of money for demolition of the structure. The third phase, which is not funded, would be an application that we would pursue for preparation of a Master Plan for the Board to review as to how the two parcels, when put together, would best serve the residents of the community. That would be done with Board and public input. The structure in question was designed as a group home, industrial grade construction, located in such a position on the parcel that it serves as a detriment for future planning because since we own the whole thing instead of just the back part, it wouldn’t make a lot of planning sense to make a road down the middle. That road may not be there in the ultimate development of that park. If you keep a house there, it has to be serviced. The other is that if we don’t proceed with the demolition, that portion of the grant funds must be returned to the sponsor. We’ve have until February to complete this process. We’ve got this budget cycle to gets bids and proposals for a demolition.”
Mayor Pogue said there was a fire in the structure sometime in the past. If we don’t do anything to it and let it sit, we will be creating a liability.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner to authorize staff to move forward and solicit bids for the demolition. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Stump Grinder: City Administrator Kuntz said, this is regarding the replacement of the 1996 premier stump grinder. K&K Supply submitted the second lowest bid. Alderman Fleming said the lowest bidder’s product didn’t have the break system to hold it in place, which is a very big safety hazard. It’s not worth saving the money since it’s not safe for our personnel.
A motion was made by Alderman Kerlagon and seconded by Alderman Boerner to accept the recommendation of staff to go with the second low bid A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Budget Work Session: City Administrator Kuntz said the first Budget Work Session will be held at this location at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 26. Presentations will be made by the Police and Administration Departments, followed by a series of sequential sessions. Since this is a working session and most of the Board members will be coming directly from their places of employment, there will be refreshments. Alderman Boerner said that he will be arriving at the airport at 5:30, but will be in attendance as soon as possible.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Pending Legal Updates: City Attorney Jones said, “In 2008, Police Chief Schicker was a party to a lawsuit along with a number of other law enforcement individuals. It was a lawsuit that was brought by the A.C.L.U. on behalf of a group of anonymous sex offenders who were being required to register under new legislation that was passed by the Missouri Legislature. The question was whether or not this registration requirement could be applied retroactively to those who met the criteria before the legislation requiring them to register actually went into effect. The lawsuit was filed four days before Halloween in 2008 and a preliminary injunction was sought. We briefed the issue thoroughly at that time because one of the seven named plaintiffs was a resident of the City of Ballwin. Immediately prior to Thanksgiving, a preliminary injunction was issued by the Federal District Court prohibiting enforcement in one, but not all four of the categories that the Plaintiff sought to restrain.”
“In January, 2009, about 60 days later, the plaintiff that was a Ballwin resident moved. There was no longer a resident who could complain that they had standing that our law enforcement agency could enforce this law against him. So, we were dismissed voluntarily from the lawsuit. We had a motion that was pending at the time, so there was some question about whether or not we were entitled to a dismissal with prejudice, which means we could never be sued again. It was not worth fighting over one way or the other. The Missouri Supreme Court later ruled that retroactive registration was not proper, so we decided not to follow this case, not to appeal it, and not to try to get a dismissal with prejudice.”
“Two weeks ago, the District Court ruled on a motion that had been pending for about six months, which was to tax the court costs and attorneys’ fees against the defendant because the plaintiffs were successful. This is a 1983, 1988 civil rights action. The court granted that motion in part and taxes $22,000 in attorneys’ fees and $490 in court costs against the defendant. There are about eleven defendants in this case. The question about whether Ballwin was a defendant who should be liable for court costs because even though we were a party on October 31, 2008, we were dismissed in January. I reported this to the insurance company, we met our deductible by $76. From this point forward, defense costs and any indemnification cost should be paid by the insurance company. Council is having a conference call tomorrow morning to try to decide if its worth fighting this battle, because between eleven defendants, $22,000 is $2,000 per defendant. I’ll report back at the next meeting, but I intend to keep the insurance company posted as I did as soon as we learned about this.”
Candidate Certification: Alderman Fleming said, “We received a response from the Secretary of State regarding our candidate certification question. We also received a response from the Missouri Senate Division of Research, that Senator Cunningham helped to facilitate. (Click here to download copies of the letters) What are your thoughts on those responses?”
City Attorney Jones said, “I reviewed both letters. The Secretary of State’s office concluded, as we did, that Section 115.342 did not apply to municipalities. I did not see anything in either of those letters, or the opinions that were shared with us, that changed my legal analysis, that is that we should stay out of this; other than perhaps considering an ordinance that sets forth what kind of materials we want to have reviewed as part of the process of certifying a candidate. I reiterate that it is my opinion that we get into the hazy idea of what is a discretionary act and what’s a ministerial act. They devoted about half of that opinion to that question in what came from the Senate Research Representative. I think we could consider what we want our City Clerk to look at in terms of certification. Ultimately, we need to be very careful about who we would consider keeping off of a ballot.”
City Administrator Kuntz asked, “Is it fair to say that the conclusion from both sources was that there was no improper ministerial action on behalf of the City of Ballwin?” City Attorney Jones said this is correct. City Administrator Kuntz said, “There were some serious allegations made to the contrary that demeaned the City Clerk and unfairly, as it turned out.”
City Attorney Jones said, “There was no indication in either of the letters or the legal opinion from the Senate that the City of Ballwin or its City Clerk did anything wrong. That is exactly right.”
Alderman Fleming asked that a copy of the Secretary of State’s response and the Senate response be attached to the Minutes of this meeting. He said, “If the Board is wanting to do anything differently than what City Attorney Jones is suggesting, this should be discussed at the next meeting because the candidate filing will start in December. Based on how I read these letters, I’m inclined to agree with the City Attorney that the best course of action might be no action at this time. Someone’s civil rights could be violated by denying someone a place on the ballot and can cause the City to be put in a more precarious position than putting someone on the ballot who may not have paid their taxes. There is a remedy available to an opponent who feels that the candidate he/she is opposing is not qualified. They can challenge that point themselves.”
Alderman Fleming said, “We now have answers to our questions. The Secretary of State’s letter suggests consulting our attorney regarding this issue. We have done that, and there is general agreement.”
Street Lights: Alderman Leahy said, “I live in a plat with 151 homes, there are 14 street lights, and all 14 are on one side of our plat. I guarantee that if I went to the other 75 homeowners and asked what do they think about the street lights and will they enjoy the $50,000 cost increase, they would say they don’t and wouldn’t have any problem shutting them off. I think we better take a look at this situation. I think it’s been jammed down our throats. I don’t appreciate it. The price is $20 per month, $240 per year, $50,000 equals 208 lights. I can find 208 lights to shut off.”
TIM POGUE, MAYOR