City of Clarkson Valley

Minutes of August 2002 Meeting
Board of Aldermen


Meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Clarkson Valley at City Hall (Fru-Con Center), August 6, 2002.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. A roll call was taken with the following results:
Mayor Scott Douglass
Alderperson Susan Shea Ward 1
Alderperson Jim Sharp Ward 1
Alderperson Honora Schiller Ward 2
Alderperson Wendell Sittser Ward 2
Alderperson Mary Ann Gatto Ward 3 Alderperson Melinda Twichell

Also in Attendance:

City Attorney: Patrick Butler
City Clerk: Michele McMahon

A motion was made by Alderperson Gatto to amend the Minutes on Page 4, the paragraph entitled Web Page, to read:  forty-five chapters instead of forty.  The motion was seconded by Alderperson Sharp.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.  Alderperson Gatto then made a motion to accept the Minutes as amended and Alderperson Sharp seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous, affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. 


Mrs. Kathy Mackeen, who resides in Forest Hills Club Estates and whose house backs up to Clarkson Road, commented on the sound wall saying that litter and noise pollution were unbearable conditions.  She concluded by saying she was in favor of the sound wall.  Mr. Leonard Rea reiterated her comments. 

Mr. Walter Mixson introduced himself as a non-affected (State Definition) party and stated that his property would be impacted by the sound wall's ricochet effect.  He asked the Alderpersons to consider lowering the speed limit.  Mr. Jim Kohoutek questioned the effectiveness of sound walls and further stated his belief that MoDOT would widen Clarkson Road by two additional lanes after the sound walls were constructed.  Mr. Walter DeGrendele, who wanted it made clear that he was there as a resident - not as a trustee, offered a two-point approach:  Form a committee to focus on the sound wall; and form a committee to work on the Highway 109 issue, further coining a slogan "It's time for 109".  He then submitted a list of ten reasons why it might behoove the City to contract for the services of a professional civil engineer.  He also shared a letter from a resident, Mr. Johnson, and said he would forward a copy to Mayor Douglass.


     Ballwin Police Report:  Sergeant Bob Wayne read the Ballwin Police Report.  There were no questions asked and Mayor Douglass thanked Sergeant Wayne for attending.

Mayor's Report: Mayor Douglass reported on the following:

Court ReportThe total amount collected for traffic fines and court costs for the month of July 2002 was $12,271.25.

Sound Walls:  He stated the Town Meeting took place July 30th and we would discuss this later in the meeting. 

Sidewalks on Kehrs Mill Road:  He informed the Board that St. Louis County Highway Department is proposing to continue the sidewalk from Marquette High School westward on the north side of Kehrs Mill Road.  He explained that one resident living on Kehrs Mill Road is not happy with the placement of the sidewalk in front of her house.  He asked the Alderpersons to, at their convenience within the next week or two, look at the placement of stakes at 2300 Kehrs Mill Road and share with Mayor Douglass their thoughts on where the proposed sidewalk should be positioned.

Utility Pole Moved:  He reported that AmerenUE moved a utility pole.  It was moved the required number of inches from the roadway and diminishes somewhat the danger of being an obstruction to the passersby.

Phase II Storm Water Planning Committee:  Mayor Douglass reported that he attended another meeting and did not have anything new to report.

CitiMortgage Run-off Problem:  Mayor Douglass reported that he e-mailed the summary and pictures to Mayor Jeff Khoury, City of Ellisville, who is in the process of reviewing same.  Several phone calls have been placed but neither party was available and they have missed each other several times.  We can expect to hear from Mayor Khoury soon.

Kehrs Mill Road Widening:  He explained a phone call he received from a resident from Forest Hills Club Estates, Mr. Patrick Murphy, who found out about St. Louis County's proposal to eliminate an "S" curve and level the grade on Kehrs Mill Road in front of Marquette High School.  Mr. Murphy found out the county has plans to take thirty-five feet (35') toward the back of his property.  The County Highway Department intends to have a meeting later in the month with our City.  Alderperson Gatto requested to go on record, saying the homeowners involved in this widening should be invited to attend the meeting.  Everyone agreed.

Mosquitoes:  Due to the recent outbreak of the West Nile virus, the City Clerk has made arrangements to have the City sprayed weekly for adult mosquitoes. 

Garage Sales:  Mayor Douglass reported that City Hall would be issuing a colored strip stating C.V. Ordinance Chapter 5 Section 505.030.5.  The residents holding garage sales are to affix this to their garage sale signs, which will indicate to Clarkson Valley authorities that the sign is a permitted one.  He explained that this would better help the City to enforce the sign ordinance for the residents holding garage sales.  The strip is to be next to the garage sale signs. 

Alderpersons' Reports:

Airport NoiseAlderperson Schiller reported that she attended the Spirit of St. Louis Airport's Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 150 Noise and Land Use Compatibility Study.  Their next meeting will be in October and at that time they will determine where to place instruments to measure the decibel levels.  Some instruments will be placed close to the airport and some farther away.  Alderperson Shea asked how long the committee intends to gather information before a report will be issued, to which Alderperson Schiller responded they anticipate the study will take 18 months. 

Deer IssueAlderperson Shea briefed those present that an initial compilation of three hundred, twenty-one responses was received.  She reflected specifically on questions five (sixty-five percent [65%] of the residents said no regarding use of archery equipment to hunt deer on their property) and six, (forty-four percent [44%] said "No" to the question, Would you support state permitted hunting by qualified law officials?)  She concluded by saying she would take this information back to the committee and they would hold a meeting.  She hopes to have a report available next month.

Sound Wall and Wildlife Survey Results:  Alderperson Gatto reported that she compiled the three hundred, twenty-one responses to the Wildlife survey and the three hundred, forty-seven responses to the Sound Wall survey.  The Board Members asked her to continue compiling through the month of August and make a report at the September 3 Meeting.  Everyone thanked her for the work she did. 

Software Purchase:  Alderperson Gatto discussed a Microsoft package containing a database called Access and further explained that it is a comprehensive database.  She said that with this database, the City could tabulate reports more effectively.  Several prices that she received were mentioned and it was determined that the package would cost between $150.00 and $165.00.  The software package also includes an updated version of MSWord 2000, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher, among others.  Alderperson Shea made the motion to purchase the software.  Alderperson Gatto seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous, affirmative result.

CitiMortgage Runoff Problem:  Alderperson Gatto reported that she read the CitiMortgage report by David Hammer, Ph.D. and stated it was a good report that pointed out the problems of the runoff that Clarkson Farm Subdivision is experiencing.  The report stated in its conclusion that the Clarkson Farm Subdivision's lake is turbid.  The parking lot renovation/expansion left thousands of square feet of soil that evidently was seed to grass, then mulched with straw.  No evidence exists that the grass was being watered regularly to allow it to live and develop a full soil cover and thick root system to retain soil on site.  Dr. Hammer's report made recommendations for Clarkson Farm residents.  A copy of the report is attached.

Attorney’s Report

City Attorney, Patrick Butler, explained that he has been in discussion with MoDOT with the focus being on the review of federal statutes regarding the sound wall issue.  He and Mayor Douglass are looking at the list of criteria that MoDOT should be using regarding the sound wall to see if they have complied with their requirements.  On a different note, he briefed the Board as to the unofficial disposition of the Kevin Sanders garage issue by saying that Mr. Sanders is proceeding to build the garage pursuant to the original plans submitted and approved by City Hall. 

He further reported that Mrs. Michelle Dean resubmitted her plans for a porch and front porch extension.  The plans will be processed in the normal manner.  If there are no changes from the previous submission, an appeal to the Board of Adjustment may be necessary.

Unfinished Business:

            Sound Wall Discussion:  Mayor Douglass informed everyone that MoDOT intends to submit a preliminary plan for the Board to look at this month.  He asked the Board if they wish to formally advise MoDOT that we have taken a position and want them to review federal guidelines, etc.  He then turned the attention to a stamped, Draft Document of drafted language addressed to MoDOT.  While everyone was reading the document, Alderperson Gatto explained that she conversed with the sound engineer that Walter DeGrendele spoke of at the Town Hall Meeting held July 30.  Mr. Art Niemiller gave some advice and professional understanding to Alderperson Gatto and said that when building the sound walls, engineers can adjust the pitch of the wall to deflect the sound downwards.  He also explained that if a berm were to be installed in the exact area that a sound wall were going, it would achieve better attenuation of noise and would be a better sound blocker than a sound wall.  She went on to say that we have repeatedly been told that berms cannot go in these areas that are being planned for sound wall, but asked "How do we know that is true?"  Mr. Niemiller suggested that, should the City consider contracting for the services of a specialist to help with this particular case, a landscape architect or a soils engineer would probably be whom we need.  Alderperson Gatto then made a motion to form a committee that would gather the information necessary to consider the alternatives and then hold a meeting with the residents who back up to Clarkson Road in order to better offer a form of sound abatement.  Alderperson Schiller asked if this might be a continuation of the Landscape Committee, which she said faded-out because we heard the proposal of a sound wall.  Alderperson Gatto expressed that she would like this to be a new committee.

Alderperson Sharp asked how the City could get independent information that can be relied upon?  He gave the following example of where an expert would be needed: If we were to reduce the average speed on Clarkson Road from 46 mph down to 41 mph, how many decibels would the noise level decrease?  How does that reduction in decibel level help/not help the affected residents?

City Attorney, Patrick Butler, suggested that the City do a simple Sunshine Law request to MoDOT asking them to produce any and all public documents relating to this project.  He went on to say the City's only liability would be the reasonable and actual costs to copy same.  In that way, he explained, we would know everything they have done thus far, i.e., public memorandums, internal memorandums, studies, lack of studies, etc.  Alderperson Sittser asked who would be reviewing this information, to which Patrick Butler responded that he would like the opportunity to review the material and certainly Mayor Douglass and members of the Sound Wall Committee.  Mayor Douglass said that if the City could be in a position to offer viable alternatives to a sound wall to MoDOT, the State might be willing to do a reasonably effective sound barrier like some of those mentioned previously in the Meeting by Alderperson Gatto (i.e., bringing in berms and plantings, etc.)  Alderperson Gatto made the motion for the simple Sunshine Law request to MoDOT.  Alderperson Sharp seconded the motion.  Alderperson Schiller expressed her opinion that the City should hold off on doing that and explained the costs involved as one reason.  Alderpersons Gatto and Shea both agreed that the City requires more information than what we have been given.  Alderperson Sharp further injected that there appears to be a lack of trust.  A roll call vote was taken on the latest motion on the table with the following results:  Ayes:  Gatto, Schiller, Shea, Sharp and Sittser.  The Mayor then directed the City Attorney to draft the letter.

Alderperson Gatto then reiterated her motion to hire an expert to help sort through the information once it is received from MoDOT, identify the alternatives; and form a committee.  Alderperson Sharp seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with four ayes and one nay and the motion was declared passed. 

New Business:

Audit:  Alderperson Gatto made a motion to have invoices in the amount of $68,649.53 approved for payment.  Alderperson Sittser seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.

Alderperson Sittser made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Alderperson Schiller.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.  The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.


Scott Douglass, Mayor

ATTEST: Michele McMahon, City Clerk

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