CITY COUNCIL MEETING
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2002
PRESENT: Mayor Bill Cross
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith
Councilman Shirley Smith
Councilman Carol Rudi
City Manager Kirk Davis
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson
City Counselor David Ramsay
City Clerk Marilyn Ahnefeld
ABSENT: Councilman Wayne Beer
Mayor Bill Cross opened the Special Thursday, December 19, 2002 City Council Meeting at 5:30 PM in the Gladstone City Council Chambers.
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Bill Cross led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
There were no communications from the audience.
Item 5. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
City Council members extended best wishes for the holiday season.
Item 6. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
Mr. Davis reminded everyone of the Employee Recognition Dinner on Saturday, December 21st,
beginning with a social hour at 6:30 PM and dinner served at 7:30 PM.
Mr. Davis wished everyone safe and happy holidays and remarked that City Hall will be closed
on Christmas Day, but will be open for business on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.
Item 7. on the Agenda. RESOLUTION NO. R-02-94, authorizing execution of a contract in an amount not to exceed $408,000.00 from the Capital Improvements Sales Tax Fund for the construction of 59th Terrace Drainage Improvements. (Project #0209).
Andy Noll, Director of Public Works, thanked City Council members for holding a special meeting to consider the award of this contract. The reason this project is slow in coming forward is that there were many easements to acquire, and Staff wanted to be sure to spend an appropriate amount of time speaking with residents, as there were multiple options that could have been done. It took longer than hoped to come to a resolution on all of the acquisitions. At this time there are agreements or understandings with all the residents from whom easements are needed, although all the easements have not yet been signed. There is a Department of Natural Resource (DNR) grant available for approximately $75,000 and a loan for approximately $183,000. If this project is not awarded by December 31, 2002, the grant will be lost.
City Manager Davis explained that this project was re-designed as a result of input from neighbors. This was somewhat of a controversial issue in Brooktree, but to Staff’s credit they worked through the issues with some alternatives that were acceptable to residents and will ultimately assist those in need of this storm drainage project. Staff worked through all the public comments, which took a little longer. The result is a better project.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to approve Resolution No. R-02-94, authorizing execution of a contract in an amount not to exceed $408,000.00 from the Capital Improvements Sales Tax Fund for the construction of 59th Terrace Drainage Improvements. Councilman Shirley Smith seconded.
Mayor Cross asked if there was discussion.
Director Noll confirmed that is correct, and stated that the loan will require action by the City Council at the second Council meeting in January.
Councilman Rudi asked if the $408,000 total cost includes the loan and grant amounts.
Director Noll, replied, yes, the total cost to construct the project is $408,000, plus some minor reimbursements to residents in the area for landscaping.
Mayor Cross asked if there was further discussion. There being none, the vote: All “aye” – Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, and Mayor Bill Cross. (4-0). Resolution No. R-02-94 was approved.
Item 7a. on the Agenda. RESOLUTION R-02-95, withdrawing the City Council’s order of demolition issued on January 28, 2002, for the building located at 7107 North Kranz Road, and authorizing the City Counselor to enter into an agreement for the dismissal of legal proceedings related thereto.
Mayor Cross explained that Resolution R-02-95 is an addition to the Agenda. Mayor Cross invited City Counselor David Ramsay to discuss this resolution.
Mr. Ramsay began by saying that the petition to review the City Council’s action in the Order of Demolition of Mr. Robertson’s building was set for hearing yesterday morning. Mr. Robertson’s attorney indicated that he was confident that all of the repairs had been made to bring the property into compliance with the Dangerous Building Statute. The judge then recessed the proceedings for one day in order to allow City Building Official, Alan Napoli, to inspect the premises. Mr. Napoli inspected the premises at 2:00 PM yesterday afternoon, and found all the concerns he had regarding the one hour fire rated walls and access to the property were now in compliance. Mr. Robertson had also removed the various unauthorized motor vehicles, boats, and trash that the City asked he remove. Based on that, his attorney and Mr. Ramsay called the judge this morning and informed him that Mr. Robertson is now in compliance and suggested that City Council would be asked to withdraw the Order of Demolition.
The Council’s original order on January 28, 2002, stated that if Mr. Robertson was in compliance with the code within 120 days after the decision or by the hearing date of his petition for judicial review, whichever was later, the City Council would withdraw the Demolition Order. Mr. Robertson apparently also intends to do some additional remodeling of the property. The remodeling does not relate to any of the safety items that Mr. Napoli had investigated. Mr. Robertson also has completed the exterior siding of the building and repaired the deck rails so they are safe. Everything on the outside including the removal of unauthorized motor vehicles and other storage items are up to code. He will need to obtain permits to finish the work, but there is no particular time limit on that. Mr. Napoli is satisfied that the property is in good shape. Mr. Ramsay requested that the Council authorize this resolution so that the Court may be advised to have the matter dismissed and bring this litigation to an end.
Councilman Rudi asked if the remodeling Mr. Robertson plans to do will require permits from the City.
Mr. Ramsay replied, yes, Mr. Robertson plans extensive remodeling that will require electrical, plumbing, and the normal building permits. He plans only interior work at this point.
Councilman Rudi asked if Mr. Robertson has applied for these permits.
Mr. Ramsay replied he has applied for an electrical permit, but has not applied for the other permits.
Councilman Rudi asked for an estimate as to the costs to the City over the past year (plus) to go through this process.
Mr. Ramsay replied that as there was not outside Counsel and personnel from our Building and Codes Division of the Department of Community Development handled everything, there were no direct costs other than the cost of time and effort of those people involved.
Councilman Rudi asked that those indirect costs be identified at the next meeting or in a packet.
Mr. Ramsay replied that the costs would be an estimate.
Councilman Rudi stated an estimate would be fine.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith asked if there is anything on the code violations that have not been rectified.
Mr. Ramsay replied, no.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked what occurred the other day.
Mr. Ramsay replied that it appeared to Mr. Napoli and Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson, who were at the residence, at 2:00 PM yesterday for the inspection, that there were some items that were only handled at the last minute. Mr. Ramsay, Director Wingerson, and Mr. Napoli left court about 10:30 AM. Director Wingerson and Mr. Napoli drove by the property on the way back to City Hall. There was no one there, and the motor vehicle, the boat, and other items were still in the yard. At 2:00 PM, when they went back to inspect, those things were gone. Director Wingerson mentioned that it appeared some of the dry wall was very recently installed. It could be that earlier in the week he was not ready for an inspection.
Mayor Cross asked if it is Mayor Pro Tem Smith’s recommendation that Staff go back tomorrow to be sure things are still in order.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith remarked, no, however, earlier in the week, Mr. Robertson had asked for some more time and he was reminded that it was Council’s intention to proceed, and apparently he made the necessary improvements.
Mr. Ramsay, agreed that he believes that is the case.
Councilman Shirley Smith asked that if the Council releases Mr. Robertson from this, will the City have recourse if he brings back the boat and automobiles?
Mr. Ramsay, replied, certainly. Those are not part of the Dangerous Building violation. They were visible from the street, so he can be sited for such a violation.
Councilman Shirley Smith remarked that the pictures that were shown of the property showed hanging wires. Has that all been taken care of appropriately?
Mr. Ramsay replied Mr. Robertson has had an electrician straightening the wires and he has built fire walls around the furnace and water heater. Additionally the doors are now secured.
Councilman Rudi moved to approve Resolution No. R-02-95, authorizing withdrawing the City Council’s order of Demolition issued on January 28, 2002 for the building located at 7107 North Kranz Road, and authorizing the City Counselor to enter into an agreement for the dismissal of legal proceedings related thereto.. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. All “aye”. – Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, and Mayor Bill Cross. (4-0)
Item 8. on the Agenda. DISCUSSION OF USE TAX
City Manager Kirk Davis explained that there are two issues that need direction from Council. The first is that Council has asked for some specific recommendations relative to the uses of the proposed Use Tax revenue, and the second issue is in regard to some discussion as to whether the Council wants to move forward with a Committee.
Starting with the first issue, Council has asked Staff for some specific information as to how this new revenue source could be used to be beneficial. There is a plethora of uses that would ultimately benefit the citizens. However, Staff, in discussing this, has ultimately decided upon a recommendation that includes General Fund expenditures going for police services. More specifically, for the hiring of an additional police officer and the purchase of computer aided dispatch (CAD) equipment for law enforcement.
The General Fund is expected to receive annually approximately $100,000. Staff is suggesting that we are sorely in need of a police officer. While this would be a new position, and it was suggested that we not use this revenue source for new positions, the need is there. Ultimately this is a position that may be able to accomplish many community goals. At an expected cost of $50,000, we probably would be able to cover that expenditure.
As you recall from the Fire Sales Tax discussions, it was discussed to purchase a CAD system for Fire Services and Emergency Medical Services. At that time we noted that there are several benefits for purchasing the Law Enforcement CAD at some point in the future to augment the Fire CAD and enhance the public services received from the Public Safety Department. We may be able to use the Use Tax resource to acquire the Law Enforcement portion of the CAD system in the amount of approximately $300,000.
Anticipating financing and paying for this system over a number of years, it is thought, on an average, these police service expenditures will come in around $70,000 to $80,000, which is less than the average $100,000 we talked about, so it is a rather conservative approach. Some years $80,000 may not be collected, but other years more may be collected. We need to manage our resources effectively to cover the expenditures.
It was discussed that the Transportation Sales Tax Fund will receive approximately $50,000 annually from the Use Tax. Staff is recommending this revenue source be used to augment the City’s annual Road Maintenance and Overly Program. This will provide assistance to further improve the City’s road system, which is something from which everyone will benefit.
The third aspect is the Capital Improvement Sales Tax, which also would receive a $50,000 estimated annual revenues. It is Staff’s recommendation that this revenue source be dedicated to the City’s Stormwater Management Program, which would augment the overall stormwater management plan.
There is little impact on the Fire Sales Tax from the additional revenue. The impact will be less than $25,000 per year, which would offset the loss in sales tax revenue, which has resulted from the downturn of the economy. However, the additional revenues will not appreciably change the program voters approved in 2001.
The City has many needs, however these basic services impact all of our citizens, and will enhance the efforts of the City to continue to meet the needs of the Gladstone community.
In thinking about a campaign for the February election, it is anticipated to be a rather low key campaign. However, there is a need to educate voters, which is usually accomplished utilizing a citizen committee. Such a committee usually seeks to raise funds for the campaign as well as managing the campaign. It works well to have a public committee support an initiative. We will need to move forward fairly quickly to establish such a committee.
Councilman Rudi asked if the estimated revenue projections include the most recent statistics that indicate that, even over this holiday season, sales are down.
City Manager Davis replied that the estimate has been cut and then cut again. Director of Finance Cash Sweiven researched Use Tax revenues from other cities, including looking at multiple year revenue projections. It is felt this is a conservative approach.
Councilman Shirley Smith agreed that a committee is needed. City staff does not have the time to devote to such a campaign.
City Manager Davis remarked that there are legal issues with Staff involvement in materials put forth to the public. The Mayor has provided a list of names compiled from various sources, which has been provided to City Council members. If there are any additions or deletions to this list, please advise Mayor Cross. Mayor Cross will be working to establish a consensus of twelve to thirteen people to form the committee. It was suggested by Mr. Davis in a memo to City Council the importance of having a cross-section of the community involved.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith commented that in the City Manager’s memo it is recommended to fund a law enforcement officer. Mr. Smith remarked that he would like to see this position dedicated to traffic, as he feels this is a high priority.
Mr. Smith continued by summarizing the recommendation in the memo from the City Manager as saying $50,000 would go to the Transportation Sales Tax Fund and $50,000 would go to the Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund. A law enforcement position and CAD system would be funded, and it is projected $100,000 in revenue for the General Fund, on average.
City Manager Davis agreed this is correct and stated that he feels two of the Council’s goals are impacted by this recommendation. One is neighborhood services. The second is code enforcement, property maintenance, community oriented policing, and things of this nature. Traffic assistance would be part of the overall neighborhood services.
Mayor Cross noted that if the Use Tax is approved by the voters, then a traffic safety officer could be designated. Improvements to the roads would be visible. Mayor Cross feels that if Mr. Sweiven has put forward this figure, that it is a conservative figure. Anything above that figure would be extra revenue.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated that although the Use Tax is paid by a narrower segment of the population than the sales tax, it will be a positive benefit to everyone in the City. It makes good sense.
Mayor Cross invited Council members to mark about ten names on the list provided to them that they would like to see serve on the Use Tax Committee. Mayor Cross will then tabulate Council’s recommendations tonight, and present to the City Manager, tomorrow, the ten or twelve names that appear most often. Please keep in mind those that do so much, while thinking about new people as well.
City Manager Davis reported that he has spoken to Councilman Wayne Beer in regard to the recommendations in the memo, and he seemed to be very supportive of them.
There being no further business, Mayor Cross adjourned the meeting.
Following adjournment of the Regular Meeting, Councilman Carol Rudi moved to adjourn to Closed Executive Session in the City Manager’s Office pursuant to Missouri Open Meeting Act Exemption 610.02(1) for Litigation and Privileged Communications Discussion and 610.021(2) for Real Estate Acquisition Discussion. Les Smith seconded the motion.
Role Call Vote: All “aye” Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (4-0)
Marilyn F. Ahnefeld, City Clerk
Approved as submitted: __________
Bill Cross, Mayor