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 and Budget Work Session
Meeting Agenda click here
City Administrator Kuntz presented an overall review of the 2012 Budget. This was a combination of the presentations at the previous meetings, plus revenue projections.
Revenues are up slightly, mostly due to the Kehrs Mill Road grant. The third and final year of the grant with construction will be 2012. It is expected to do most of the work during the summer months when school is not in session.
It is anticipated that 2012 will have a surplus of approximately $200,000. This will be the first budget surplus in several years. The reserves were reduced in 2011 to pay off debt and purchase a new finance software package. We are attempting to rebuild the reserves in future years to get back to a higher reserve level.
The City is approaching a debt free status. He recommended that the Board discuss future spending due to this change. Debt retirement will make approximately an additional $1,000,000 available every year.
Revenues are projected to be up in 2012, but much of that is due to the Kehrs Mill grant. Sales taxes are trending slowly upward, but is in the 1% range for 2011.
Ballwin’s retail spaces are slowly filling up. Most large spaces are occupied or will be occupied in early 2012. There are improvements being made to some of the plazas and stores within those plazas.
Expenditures for 2012 are up about 6% over 2011. Much of this is tied to significant one-time expenditures such as the Kehrs Mill Road project. Motor fuel is another expense that has been hard to estimate in recent years. The 2012 number is based on a $3.50 per gallon cost.
Alderman Harder said there is a large increase projected in revenues from 2011 to 2012. He asked how is this being figured. City Administrator Kuntz said this is the result of these revenues having been in the capital budgets in prior years. The re-definition of capital expenditures moved these expenses and revenues out of the capital budget and into the operating budget. Motor fuel and Capital Improvement sales taxes are prime examples of this change.
Alderman Harder asked if this budget includes the re-appropriations on tonight’s regular agenda. Finance Officer Glenda Loehr said the minor changes in the re-appropriation are not shown in the expenditure, and revenue projections in the budget handout.
Alderman Boerner said the Parks tax is used to offset debt. When the debt is gone, will the funds all be applied to offset operations for the Parks Department? City Administrator Kuntz said this is correct; the debt was always set to allow some funding to other park functions. Now, after debt retirement, all of the Park funds will be available for other park expenses.
Alderman Harder asked about the increase in expenditure for vehicles. City Administrator Kuntz said much of this is for two new dump trucks that need to be replaced, and one additional police patrol vehicle.
Finance Officer Loehr next presented the new Capital Improvement Plan.
Alderman Finley asked where do we go from here with approval? City Administrator Kuntz said the Board will be asked for a motion to be made to send the budget to the Planning & Zoning Commission for review. After Planning & Zoning approval, draft legislation will be presented to adopt the budget. Alderman Finley said he has questions about individual line items.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the Budget Work Session. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the meeting was adjourned at 7:03 p.m.
Tim Pogue, Mayor
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pogue at 7:09 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
Robert C. Jones, Jr. (Father of Ballwin’s former Municipal Judge, former Mayor, and current City Attorney, Robert E. Jones): Mayor Pogue said, “On November 5, we lost a great leader to this City, our former Mayor, Robert C. Jones, Jr.. Bob served as the Municipal Judge from 1963 – 1965, as well as Mayor from 1965 – 1971. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to serve with Bob Jones, Jr., he filled in a couple of times at the Planning & Zoning Commission meetings. He had a lot of excitement about this community and the things that he was involved in. He was a great person and very involved in this community. He also served at the Ballwin Athletic Association and is honored on their Wall of Fame.” Robert C. Jones, Jr. was then remembered with a moment of silence.
The Minutes of the October 24, 2011 Board of Aldermen meeting and closed session were submitted for approval. Alderman Harder asked to amend page 5. The last sentence was not complete. Mayor Pogue said the Recording Secretary will check on this. Alderman Kerlagon amended page 3, second full paragraph. She said it was her intention to say that Walgreens has propane gas outside. The Board agreed to hold over approval of the October 24 Board of Aldermen Meeting Minutes to the next meeting.
BILL # 3709 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE 2011 BUDGET OF CASH REVENUE AND CASH DISBURSEMENTS FOR THE OPERATING AND CAPITAL REVENUE FUNDS OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, PROVIDING FOR EXPENDITURE REVISIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAID BUDGET AND MAKING RE-APPROPRIATIONS THEREOF.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3709. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3709 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Boerner for a second reading of Bill No. 3709. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3709 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3709 with the following results:
BILL # 3710 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ADDITIONAL HEIGHT AND AREA REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO SPECIAL EVENTS.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a first reading of Bill No. 3710. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3710 was read for the first time.
Alderman Harder asked about the title stating “additional height”, but the purpose of the bill is to increase special events from 3 to 4. City Attorney Jones said this is the title of Section 25, Article XVI. This is the Section and sub-section that is being amended by this bill.
A motion was made by Alderman Leahy and seconded by Alderman Finley for a second reading of Bill No. 3710. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed. Bill No. 3710 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3710 with the following results:
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
Appointments: Historical Commission: Mayor Pogue asked for the reappointment of Virginia Rogan and Joyce Johnson, whose terms expire at the end of December, 2011.
Mayor Pogue recommended the new appointment of Joanne Raziano, to the Historical Commission, to replace Irene Wirsing, whose term also expires at the end of December, 2011. This appointment will be effective January 1, 2012.
A motion was made by Alderman Terbrock and seconded by Alderman Leahy to approve these re-appointments. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Harder asked, “Is this to be a membership Board of what size, made up of who?” Mayor Pogue said, “It will be approximately 9 members, with a mixture of appointments made by the Mayors in the participating cities.” Alderman Harder asked, “Will the members be residents, business owners, other aldermen?” Mayor Pogue said, “This is open to the cities at this point. It could be a mixture of residents and business owners.” Alderman Harder asked, “Will they have a chairman elected among themselves?” Mayor Pogue said yes. “They will not supersede the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission. There will also be a definition of what the boundary lines are. It probably will be within the boundaries of the taxing district.”
City Attorney Jones said, “This is an inter-governmental agreement were the five municipalities agreed to set up a special district. This does not provide the power to tax. There will have to be a mechanism, such as a community improvement district, or a super TIF or transportation development district. That can only be given by the legislature. We can’t create it. We’ll have to find something to make it work, which is still in the discussion stages. The constitution provides local governments to enter into inter-governmental agreements, and there’s also a statute that provides for this. Whether we set up an actual funding mechanism or not, there can still be an inter-governmental agreement that deals with various aspects of the corridor. To collect taxes, will depend on what kind of funding mechanism is chosen. If it’s going to be a new statute, which may be difficult to go through the legislature, or whether it’s some already established mechanism, like a community district. This has not yet been decided.”
Alderman Boerner said, “If there’s an overlay district, this has to be done by legislation. Isn’t a community improvement district a form of overlay district?” City Attorney Jones said yes. This will take some enabling legislation to do this.” Alderman Boerner said, “I was at a West County Chamber of Commerce meeting, and Ellisville Mayor Pirrello indicated that legislation had already been drafted but this enclosure is not the legislation. It’s an agreement between the cities which will lead to the legislation.” City Attorney Jones said this is correct. He would not call this document legislation. Mayor Pogue said that at this time, it is informational prior to the Friday meeting.
Alderman Fleming said, “Currently not all five cities automatically embrace this.” Mayor Pogue said, “I don’t know Winchester’s opinion, Manchester has moved forward and provided money in next year’s budget to proceed with Great Streets. Ellisville, Wildwood and Ballwin have signed on.”
Alderman Boerner asked, “Is an overlay district like a legal entity that would be similar to a corporation?” City Attorney Jones said, “It wouldn’t be a corporation. It’s a special taxing district of some kind, whether it’s one that’s created by new legislation that addresses this particular project, or one of the existing mechanisms, like a community improvement district. It will have to follow whatever legislation the State of Missouri determines to give us. We have no apparent right to act. Great Streets has no apparent right to raise money.” Alderman Boerner said, “This is not unique. There are overlay districts all over the United States.”
Planning & Zoning Commission: Mayor Pogue said that Pat Apel has submitted his resignation from the Planning & Zoning Commission, whose term would expire May 13, 2014. The resignation is effective January 1, 2012. He will be looking for an appointment for this position.
Portable Message Signs: City Administrator Kuntz said the city has 3 or 4 of these signs. They were inherited as a result of prior construction projects that required traffic messages. Some are as old as the reconstruction of Ries Road, when we received MoDOT funding. Upon completion of the project, we were able to retain those units. The signs have been used for community information purposes, including the notification of the Ballwin Days parade route on Manchester Road. Standards and criteria have been established by this Board for the use of these message signs by outside agencies, such as the Rockwood School District, Drug-Free Coalition, etc. It’s been determined that these units do not meet the current standards that are reflected in our flashing message sign regulations that was recently adopted, which includes the timing of the message and the size of the amount of message in relation to the board.
City Administrator Kuntz said asked for Board authorization to work with the City Attorney, Police Chief, and City Engineer to determine the best alternative to bring our message signs into compliance with our commercial establishments as much as possible, or at least figure out a way to not be inconsistent. He said that a report could be brought back to the Board before the end of the year.
Alderman Harder asked what is out of compliance. City Administrator Kuntz said, “There’s a very specific time frame in terms of the repetition of the message so that there is no distraction to motorists. These older signs cannot be programmed slow enough to meet the ordinance requirements.” City Attorney Jones said, “To the extent that we are using these signs as a police power purpose, such as redirecting traffic in the event of emergency or construction project, the City is exempt from the ordinance. If we’re using it to advertise Ballwin Days, Drug Take-back, tournaments, as examples, I don’t think we are exempt from the requirements of the ordinance. I will look into this in more detail if a motion is adopted to draft legislation.”
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Kerlagon to draft legislation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that traditionally, we have adopted every other update because of the cost and hassle involved. The change from one edition to the next is relatively minor. Every other update is usually adequate. Recently, in the Building Code, there has been controversy about the new requirements for sprinklers in residential structures. The State passed legislation prohibiting municipalities from enforcing that aspect of the code. That change by the State pushed it back to 2019 before Ballwin can adopt a code that requires sprinklers.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said this is Ballwin’s second evaluation since the ISO rating system was created. This system has been used for fire districts for a much longer time. Fire insurance rates depend on the rating of the fire district. He said that 95% of the structures predate this proram, therefore, it’s not as important for us as it is for the fire district. If Ballwin is going to continue doing inspections and issue permits, it should do a good job and get the highest scores possible in the evaluations.
Alderman Boerner asked where does the ISO receive funding? Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that municipalities are not charged, and he does not know the source of their funding. When the ISO comes in to evaluate, they use a checklist of all that they consider important for a municipality, such as number of inspectors per thousand people, education of the inspectors, and professional degrees held by the inspectors. The previous plan reviewer was a licensed architect, and we received a boost in points because of this. When he left, we lost those points. Our current Plan Reviewer, Mike Roberts, is a Certified Building Commissioner. That’s almost as good as a Certified Architect. The ISO representative was in our office for about 3 hours with Code Enforcement Supervisor Jerry Klein and Plan Review Mike Roberts. They reviewed all of our codes, what have we adopted, how much money do we spend as a percentage of the budget for inspections, how much for training, and they rate by points on all of the items on their checklist. The only cost to Ballwin is staff time once every five years. They also want to know what code has been adopted by the City. He said that by adopting the newest version, we will get 6 points on our evaluation.
Alderman Boerner asked, “Do we demand that new construction comply with the current adopted code?” Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “Absolutely”. Alderman Boerner said, “There was a resident who bought a new house and had to sell it a couple of years later. It was inspected for sale, and he was required to do about $1,500 or $2,000 work on it because it was not in compliance with the code. He asked the question why it didn’t pass inspection only a couple of years later.” Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “I would have to know more about this before commenting, however, I find it highly unlikely that a new house was substantially out of compliance of the code. Some changes may have been made on the house after the inspection.”
A motion was made by Alderman Harder and seconded by Alderman Leahy to have legislation prepared to adopt the new building codes by ordinance. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
2012 Budget: City Administrator Kuntz said a motion is requested to submit the proposed 2012 Capital Improvement Plan to the Planning & Zoning Commission for their review.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming to submit the proposed 2012 Capital Improvement Plan to the Planning & Zoning Commission for their review at the December 5 meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Boerner and seconded by Alderman Fleming to put together a packet and draft appropriate legislation to introduce the 2012 budget for consideration at Board of Aldermen’s December 12 meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Municipal League Meeting: City Administrator Kuntz said he will be attending the Municipal League meeting on Thursday, November 17. He has been involved in the discussions about the sales tax issues. This involves point of sales and the pool cities trying to keep the City of Ballwin’s best interest at the forefront. There will not be any formal action taken on Thursday evening at the Municipal League. It will be a come together meeting of all members, regardless of what their position is on sales tax reform. He said he plans to continue to be involved and keep the Board posted on all developments as they occur.
Alderman Boerner asked, “What would be the likelihood that any changes will be made?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “The numbers, as they stand now, are evenly divided. St. Louis County shares in our pool. It represents 1/3 of the pool. The point of sale cities represent 1/3, and the third portion is the pool cities, all contrasting with a lot of relevant or extraneous argumentation, pertaining on your persuasion. Anything that’s done will require legislative action through Jefferson City.”
Alderman Harder asked, “If things move to a changing situation than what we have right now, how would that affect the budget that has been presented for 2012?” City Administrator Kuntz said, “For 2012, the odds would be 99.9% certain it would not be affected. What could come into play is that the strategy of this Board in implementation of any growth through annexation, would probably change if those rules changed. As I mentioned, there’s as much on the loss side as there is on the gain side. Usually when two equal and opposite forces come into contact, the answer is usually no change.”
Alderman Leahy asked if this meeting has anything to do with cities that have properties surrounding other property that other people have annexed? An example is the property at Baxter and Clayton Road that is surrounded by Ballwin residents that Chesterfield has annexed. He said he believes this is a Ballwin property. City Administrator Kuntz said, “There’s a Boundary Commission that comes into play. The sales tax issue affects the initiative and the energy level of who is a potential winner or a potential loser. Usually there’s more energy on the losing side. It has to go to the State level, who, generally speaking, is not waiting intensely to see what they can do to serve St. Louis County and its residents.”
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Legal Updates: City Attorney Jones said, “My partners, Ken Heinz and Carl Lumley, previously represented a consortium of cities that negotiated franchises with Charter Communications in the early part of the last decade. We had such a franchise with a 5% franchise fee. In 2007, video service providers received special legislation that said if they went to the Public Service Commission, they could get a state-wide franchise that pre-empted the individual city franchises, like the one we adopt. We want to make sure we have legislation that will allow us to continue to receive these fees from the video service providers. The St. Louis County Municipal League asked the firm to look into what types of legislation could be developed to make sure that we continue that revenue stream. We’ve looked at some samples, and some of the cities have adopted them. We’d like to make sure that Ballwin does the same. If the Board is inclined to adopt that type of ordinance. He requested a motion to draft legislation to be sure that we have an ordinance that allows collection of continuing revenues from video service providers, even though the franchise is either expired or been pre-empted. I can then bring back to the Board legislation for consideration.”
Alderman Finley asked, “How do you define service provider?” City Attorney Jones said, “It’s more than just cable television. It could be voice over internet protocol, streaming video, some sort of telephone communication, or what we think of as telephone communication. When it’s coming over a cable line, it’s really not a telephone. It’s a video service. We want to make sure we are capturing all of the available revenue that we were previously getting through the existing franchise. We won’t once the franchise expires without this kind of legislation. This is nothing new. It’s what we have been doing all along.”
Alderman Harder asked, “Would any updates to the legislation go into other service providers, such as satellite, things other than Charter, so that we don’t have to go through this exercise two years from now?” City Attorney Jones said, “It would be broad enough to include all the services, and in some ways, it helped us because we didn’t have to negotiate and obtain individual franchise from every one of those providers. We need to make sure we don’t let something slip by. New legislation won’t re-establish the franchise. It will make sure that we can continue to collect similar to a gross receipts tax on other utilities. It shouldn’t be subject to challenge because other municipalities have adopted these kinds of ordinances. We’re not getting on the cutting edge. This won’t be specific to Charter. Right now it specifically states Charter Franchise. It will say Video Service Providers, no matter who this is.”
A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Leahy to authorize City Attorney Jones to draft legislation to bring Ballwin’s standards up to date for the collection of fees from video service providers. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Funeral Protesting: City Attorney Jones said, “We’ve been keeping an eye on a battle that the City of Manchester has had regarding funeral protesting ordinance. Our Board, somewhat reluctantly, repealed Ballwin’s restrictions on funeral protests when we received the same letter that most municipalities received from the ACLU. Manchester was one city that refused to repeal, and a suit was filed. The Eighth Circuit upheld the trial court’s decision stating that Manchester could not enforce its restrictions on funeral protests. The Sixth Circuit previously had a decision that said such restrictions were proper. That was a split between the Eighth Circuit and the Sixth Circuit. Maybe the Supreme Court will take a look at this and see if these restrictions are proper restraints on free speech and that kind of content. It turns out that even though Manchester was trying to champion what seemed like a good fight, they were unsuccessful. If something else comes up that the Supreme Court will take it, then maybe we’ll get a decision that will be more favorable.”
Alderman Harder said, “I thought they couldn’t ban protests, but they could require this to stay 200 feet from a church or cemetery. Is that correct?” City Attorney Jones said, “Ours was 300 feet. The Eighth Circuit decision didn’t speak so much about the content of what was being protested, that it was a funeral. It was instead regarding any kind of free speech, such as protesting, as long as it’s in the public right-of-way, not on private property, could be regulated by the cities at all. Apparently the Eighth Circuit doesn’t think so.”
Alderman Harder said, “I thought it was stated that they adopted a certain law that was upheld that you couldn’t protest from an hour before to an hour after, and had to be 200 or 300 feet away.” City Attorney Jones said, “Those were the things that were struck down.”
Alderman Terbrock said, “Initially when this all took place, they got beat on banning them completely, so then they set the standard of being a certain distance away, then the ACLU got involved and said it can’t be limited at all. That’s where we are now.”
Alderman Finley asked, does Manchester plan to appeal. City Attorney Jones said, “They don’t have another appeal because the Eighth Circuit has already ruled. They would have to apply for a specific writ in the Supreme Court.”
National League of Cities: Alderman Terbrock said he attended this conference in Phoenix, Arizona. There was a lot of information about sustainability and moving cities toward the future.
Building Codes: Alderman Boerner said if there are any other items that cannot be enforced, the Board should discuss this.
Fire demolition and rebuilding: Alderman Leahy said, “On Meadowbrook Drive, there was a house fire. There was a so a house fire in my neighborhood. The people started working right away on it with full support of the neighborhood. At the Meadowbrook house, this person tore down the house but left the basement. It took a year to tear the house down. There’s a fence around it and a tarp laying over the basement. Is there a time limit on how long someone can take to start rebuilding? I could understand if it was a vacant lot, but I have concerned about there being an open basement with an 8-foot fall. Kids could fall into this basement. Are there any plans for this person to start rebuilding?” Assistant City Administrator Aiken said, “The house was seriously burned, but the floor plate, or sub-floor is still there. The tarp is on top of the floor plate, therefore, there’s not a big hole in the ground that someone could fall into. It’s not an open foundation and it has a fence around it. The owner is working on getting a house designed to fit on the foundation. We can check into this again.”
Adjourn: A motion was made by Alderman Finley and seconded by Alderman Boerner to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
TIM POGUE, MAYOR