City of Clarkson Valley

Minutes of July 2002 Meeting
Board of Aldermen


Meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Clarkson Valley at City Hall (Fru-Con Center), July 16, 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 Ward 3

Also in Attendance:

City Attorney: Patrick Butler
City Clerk: Michele McMahon

A motion was made by Alderperson Gatto to accept the Minutes, seconded by Alderperson Twichell.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.

Mayor Douglass requested that the Board Members consider moving the Unfinished Business agenda item Sound Wall Discussion to follow Remarks, Petitions, and Complaints.  Upon hearing no objection the Meeting proceeded. 


There were approximately thirty-five residents and visitors attending this meeting.  Most were interested in discussing the Sound Wall issue.  Mayor Douglass set the stage by giving a brief history of the Sound Wall as it affects the City.  He stated that MoDOT cancelled a meeting that he and the Board Members were to attend explaining that MoDOT considers the sound wall non-negotiable.  The reason being that in 1995, the State of Missouri adopted a plan developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Environment and Planning Noise and Air Quality Branch and for the last few years, MoDOT has attempted to be within compliance of the policy, which is entitled Highway Traffic Noise Analysis and Abatement - Policy and Guidance.

Mayor Douglass directed attention to the map (attached) supplied by MoDOT.  He explained that the ceiling on how much money the State can spend per household is $30,000.  The State funds 80% of the project and the Federal Government funds 20%.  Any amount over that limit is billed to the City.  If there are twenty-two (22) households affected, the ceiling is $660,000.  He concluded by saying the City is in a position to do one of three things:  we can do nothing; we can take a position; or we can wait until MoDOT gives us more information. 

The first speaker introduced was Gloria Ventura, a Rockwood School Board Member for over six years who is running for State Representative of the 84th District.  She concluded by saying she would like to go to Jefferson City to serve our community. 

The people called next were neighboring residents of the cities of Ballwin and Chesterfield.  They all were against the sound wall.  Common themes were:  traffic reduction would reduce the decibel level; sound walls will not allow the character of Clarkson Valley to show through (of note: the white picket fence); and property devaluation.  Mrs. Barbara Nauert of Clarkson Woods South Subdivision spoke, saying she is concerned that if MoDOT builds the sound wall, they may still have plans to increase Clarkson Road to seven lanes. 

The next group of people speaking represented the City of Clarkson Valley.  The common themes being:  the City should enforce the 40 mile per hour speed limit; reduce the limit to 35 and enforce it; install center lane planters.  Jim Kohoutek received a round of applause when he spoke saying Clarkson Valley is a desirable bedroom community that does not like fences, flagpoles or high school signage for appearance sake, and implored the Board to vote on a resolution opposing the sound wall.  Mr. Walter DeGrendele, likewise received a round of applause when he read a list of ten items he requested the Board to consider.

Captain Bobbie Saulters answered several questions posed by the residents: the average speed on Clarkson Road is 46 mph; of the seventy-two accidents that took place last year on Clarkson Road, the third-most-occurring cause for accidents was speeding (the first: center lane abuse; and the second: following too close); an average of 41,470 vehicles traverse Clarkson Road on a daily basis; sound walls likely cause drivers to perceive their speed is higher than what is true; a stoplight on Clarkson Road, between Kehrs Mill and Clayton Roads would be expensive and would require approval from the State (and as non-resident, Laurie Zafiropolous stated, would actually increase the noise level because of deceleration/acceleration).  Captain Saulters stated that she would direct an Officer to place the radar trailer on Clarkson Road this week.

 Additional follow-up questions were heard and discussed.  From that the following was learned:  the berm on Clarkson Road was there before the road was widened; the four owners behind the berm negotiated a portion of their buy-out money to make the berm deeper and obtain additional planting; several of the other homes negotiated a portion of their buy-out money for plantings (i.e., blue spruces); the berm cannot be expanded to the north because the back yards are too shallow; if a Town Hall Meeting were to be held, MoDOT most-likely would not send a representative; because MoDOT will not attend, the possibility of asking an engineer to attend was discussed to help knowledgably field questions; no one could confirm this, but most everyone has heard the same story - the six feet (6’) tall fence at Bent Tree subdivision was built because the subdivision sued MoDOT and was awarded money for the fence.

Mayor Douglass concluded this portion of the Meeting.

Unfinished Business

Alderperson Twichell made a motion that the Board of Aldermen take a position opposing the sound wall.  Alderperson Sharp seconded the motion.  Discussion ensued and it was determined that the City would hold a Town Hall Meeting to be held Tuesday, July 30; the Newsletter (proposed to be mailed within a week) would contain a brief survey on the sound wall; and a committee was formed consisting of Mayor Douglass, Honora Schiller, Melinda Twichell and Patrick Butler (who was directed to review the City’s legal alternatives) to develop strategies.  A voice vote taken on the motion to oppose the sound wall with five ayes and one nay and the motion was declared passed.  Mayor Douglass called for a brief intermission.


            Ballwin Police Report:  Captain Saulters handed out the report for June 2002.  She then introduced the fourteen (14) year veteran, Officer Steve Moehlenkamp, as the new School Resource Officer (SRO) for Marquette High School.  Officer Moehlenkamp then spoke to the members of the audience saying.  He said he was excited and looks forward to working with the faculty, the parents and the students.  Everyone congratulated him and wished him luck.

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

Court Report:  The total amount collected for traffic fines and court costs for the month of June 2002 was $12,744.36.

 Budget:  He reported that he worked on the budget along with Alderperson Sharp and it will be discussed later.

  CitiMortgage Run-off Problem:  Mayor Douglass reported that because the City just received the hydrologist’s report, he did not have ample time to review the contents.  Alderperson Gatto did, however, read the summary report and stated that it appeared to be damning to CitiMortgage. 

Alderpersons' Reports:

Airport Noise:  Alderperson Schiller reported that Spirit of St. Louis Airport began the process of preparing a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 150 Noise and Land Use Compatibility Study to provide the necessary information for the airport and the surrounding communities as they plan for the future.  She explained that as part of this study, a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), is being formed and that she has volunteered to represent the City.  The CAC is also asking that a resident of the City serve on the committee.  Alderperson Schiller directed everyone’s attention to the biography on Dianne Shapiro in the back of their packets and made a motion to appoint Mrs. Shapiro to the committee.  Alderperson Shea seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.

Deer Issue:  Alderperson Shea briefed those present that she received four calls during the past week complaining about the size of the deer population.  She reported that she, along with Greg Bogosian and Cathy Fraser, held their first committee meeting on Tuesday, June 25.  A representative from Missouri Department of Conservation, Daryl Damron, also attended.  Pictures were passed around to show the extent of damage at one household whereby rose bushes were now sticks and hostas and shrubs were nibbled to the ground by deer.  Alderperson Shea said that the residents experiencing the worst problems had no recourse.  She said that Missouri Department of Conservation issues permits to trap or hunt, but it would first be necessary for our ordinances to change.  Discussion ensued about liability to which City Attorney, Patrick Butler, said that the City will not be issuing the permits, hence no liability would befall the City.  Alderperson Shea made a motion to include a survey in the Newsletter to find how widespread the problem of deer over-population is in the City.  Alderperson Sittser seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.  Everyone agreed that this is a very emotional issue.

Web Page:  Alderperson Gatto explained that she continues to work on the Code, changing the format to more of a user-friendly environment.  She has completed approximately thirty of the forty-five chapters and expects to finish soon.  She also updates the pages as soon as changes occur.  Everyone thanked her for her hard work. 

Berm Update:  Alderperson Gatto reported that David Clerk cleaned and weeded the berm the day before the Meeting.  She also reported that she had an opportunity during the previous week to look at the plantings under the Clarkson Road Welcome Signs and described that one sign's plantings requires a bag or two of mulch and both require minimal weeding.  She said she also received a report of vines growing on the arborvitae along with weeds and debris located behind the concrete barrier.  After discussion it was suggested that the City do nothing because it is the responsibility of the property owners.

Newsletter:  Alderperson Gatto said she would get a Newsletter out as soon as possible.  The Newsletter would include news of the Town Hall Meeting slated for Tuesday, July 30.  It would include a survey on the sound wall and a survey on the deer issue. 

Phase II Storm Water Planning Committee:  Alderperson Sittser reported that he attended the Committee meeting along with Mayor Douglass during the previous month and he was happy to report that after this, being the sixth or seventh meeting of the Planning Committee, they hit a breakthrough.  The Committee is in the process of submitting a proposal to St. Louis County, and if St. Louis County approves, it will be submitted to the State.  

Attorney’s Report

City Attorney, Patrick Butler, stated that he worked this month on the Dean's case, which took up the first two weeks of the month, and the rest of the month was taken up with the sound wall.  Alderperson Gatto requested that Patrick submit a summary each month, to which he agreed. 

Unfinished Business Continued


A motion was made by Alderperson Gatto to introduce and pass Bill No. 0243.  Alderperson Sharp seconded the motion.  Mayor Douglass read the Bill for the first time.  He reminded everyone that this Bill was discussed at the previous Board Meeting and at that time it was determined to incorporate three additional regulations from the City of Chesterfield's Home Occupation Policy and Procedure Sheet.  Mayor Douglass read Bill No. 0243 the second time.  A roll call vote was taken with the following results:  Ayes:  Gatto, Schiller, Sharp, Shea, Sittser and Twichell.  Whereupon Mayor Douglass declared Bill No. 0243 passed and is now Ordinance No. 02-08.

Budget 2002-2003:  Alderperson Sharp reported that he and Mayor Douglass worked on the budget this past month.  He said the packet also includes a list containing actual revenue and expenditures for the last seven years.  He explained the most notable and significant differences between the budget from this year and last is Interest Income, which is projected to be short by $29,000.00.  He also noted the committee was conservative regarding traffic fines.  Over all, the budget is projected to show a shortfall of $45,000.00 in revenue over that of last year's budget. 

Regarding expenditures, we are projecting a $55,000.00 increase in expenditures over that of last year's.

Alderperson Gatto asked why a projected $6,000.00 decrease from last year's $10,000.00 was showing in the Beautification account.  Alderperson Sharp responded that given the shortfall of expenses over revenue, a decrease was taken in several accounts.  He added, since there is no project being discussed it would be difficult to project any further than maintaining the berm.  He also mentioned that the budget could be amended at a later time if a Beautification project were proposed. 

Mayor Douglass explained the Sewer Lateral Repair Tax by saying that both Revenue and Expenditures are listed in a Special Revenue Fund.  It is projected that the City will receive $2,000.00 more than it spends in this account. 

Alderperson Sharp made a motion to adopt the 2002/2003 Budget.  Alderperson Shea seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.

New Business:

Newsletter:  A motion was made by Alderperson Sharp, seconded by Alderperson Schiller to include both surveys (Sound Wall and Deer Issue) previously mentioned in the next newsletter.  Mayor Douglass affirmed that nothing would be sent until the Aldermen have an opportunity for review. 

Audit:  Mayor Douglass reminded those present that the audit had been approved via electronic response during the first week of July. 

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 10:30 p.m.


Scott Douglass, Mayor

ATTEST: Michele McMahon, City Clerk

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