City of Clarkson Valley

Minutes of October 2003 Meeting
Board of Aldermen


Meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Clarkson Valley at City Hall (Fru-Con Center), October 7, 2003.

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

Also in Attendance:

City Attorney: Patrick Butler
City Clerk: Michele McMahon


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


There were no remarks, petitions or complaints.


Ballwin Police Report:

Captain Saulters handed out the police report for September 2003.  She informed everyone that all Ballwin Police cars have been stenciled with "City of Clarkson Valley"

Captain Saulters spoke about the No Parking signs in the Dunhill Subdivision.  These, she reminded those present, were placed temporarily last year and again this year in an attempt to steer students of Marquette High School away from parking in the Sterling Pointe Drive cul de sac and the dead-end at Kehrsgrove Drive, whereby blocking the driveways and mail and truck deliveries.  With the recent rains, however, the cardboard signs looked badly enough for a concerned trustee of the subdivision to request that permanent signage be placed.  The City Attorney suggested that the subdivision trustee change the proposed language saying that text on the signage should be non-specific to Marquette Students.  Captain Saulters further reported that the subdivision trustees were going to hold a meeting on October 16 and would make a formal request to the City at its November meeting. 

Alderperson Shea reported that vehicles were parked along Kehrs Mill Road during the Friday night football games.  Alderperson Twichell reported that the cross-country team continues to run several abreast rather than single file.  Captain Saulters said she would direct the Student Resource Officer to take care of both matters.

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 September 2003 was $13,259.24.

Sound Walls:  He reported that the City Council authorized the City Attorney to draft the appropriate legal documents as preparation for the filing of a legal proceeding to stop construction of the sound walls along Clarkson Road by the Missouri Department of Transportation.  In the meantime, representatives from the City Council and Mayor Douglass will meet with the affected residents along Clarkson Road to explore other possible solutions.  A question came from a resident regarding the closed session vote, to which Mayor Douglass responded that it was not a unanimous decision.  He explained the Sunshine Law where votes for Closed Sessions are released after twenty-four hours have passed.

Group Withdraws Their Petition:  Mayor Douglass explained that Genesis Institute and Tri-Star Business Communities, who were petitioning to locate a Wellness Center within Clarkson Valley city limits, have withdrawn their request. 

Concealed Weapons:  He related that on October 11, the Concealed Weapons Law would go into effect.  He further described a Model Ordinance regarding the carrying of concealed weapons into city buildings as being prohibited.  This will be placed on the Agenda for the November Meeting of the Board of Aldermen and the City will order the appropriate signage.

Preliminary Audit Results:  Mayor Douglass mentioned that the Alderpersons received a preliminary copy of the CPA audit results.  He reminded those present that Hochschild Bloom LLC, makes comments and recommendations to the City in their Internal Control and Management section.  Last year's audit report contained seven suggestions.  At the January 2003 Board of Aldermen Meeting, the Council Members decided that a Memo to File would be written addressing each of the seven comments and recommendations.  Of the seven recommendations made by the auditing firm, the Council decided to take no action on three items.  In this year's audit, these same three were listed, but all other recommendations were adequately addressed.  

Sign Posted Contains Forged Signature:  Mayor Douglass related an interesting story of a No Trespassing sign being posted inside the confines of a cemetery in the Pleasant Valley Subdivision.  He first explained that the City has no real jurisdiction over this matter, because the cemetery is incorporated as part of St. Louis County.  It seemed, however, this sign contained a signature of 19th District, St. Louis County, Judge Larry Kendrick with a date of August 28, 2003 and stated POSTED lending it authenticity.  This riled the residents who were aware of no judicial matter regarding this historical cemetery.  At the request of the Honorable Rene Lusser, Clarkson Valley's Judge, it was found that Judge Kendrick was unaware of any judicial matter regarding this cemetery.  When the sign was removed from the tree, it was apparent that someone cut the signature line from some form of legal document and taped it to the sign. 

Clarkson Valley - Welcome Signs:  Mayor Douglass reported that the city is in the process of obtaining quotes for two new Welcome signs on Clarkson Road.  He explained that since this will be a spring project, the city is also entertaining bids for the plantings underneath these signs and maintenance, thereof.

Alderpersons' Reports:

West St. Louis County Deer Task Force:  Alderperson Shea reported that she attended the first meeting of the West St. Louis County Deer Task Force on Tuesday, September 9.  She said there were eleven West St. Louis County municipalities represented.  She said in their first meeting, it was explained to the group the different contributing factors to the growth of deer herds.  Some of which include: Reduced hunting; improved food sources and intentional feeding.  Some problems large herds of deer pose are:  The potential for deer/vehicles to collide; over-eating of forested areas; damage to landscaping and gardens; lyme disease and general concern for the health of the deer herd.  Based on this, she said the question to the group was: How do we best manage this problem?  All felt a deer management plan is necessary.  She concluded by saying this task force will be meeting on a regular basis for one-and-one-half to two years.  The results of the task force will be given to government officials, municipalities, park personnel and others for a "how to" in order to best manage deer in our area.  The next meeting of this task force is set for November 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Charter Communications - Unburied Cable:  Alderperson Sharp described a situation and asked the city for assistance.  He said there is a feeder cable extending from one box to another in his neighbor's yard.  This same unburied cable cascades over the fence to the rear of this property.  He asked the city if they had a contact person to help with the situation.  Mayor Douglass said we would get involved. 

Retaining Wall Collapses:  Alderperson Sharp reported that a resident of Forest Hills Club Estate has a retaining wall that collapsed.  This wall, built in 1999, backs to the golf course at Hole #3.  Alderperson Sharp related to those present that the estimates he heard to repair the wall were substantial. 

Complaints On The Cost of Building Permits:  Alderperson Schiller said she received a telephone call from a resident in her ward concerned with the cost of building permits.  She said that adjustments were made with the citizen, but she had additional questions regarding billing to the city.  Mayor Douglass explained that in April 2003, the city revised its Fee Schedule to allow us the opportunity to charge incidental fees to cover the engineering costs.  He went on to say that recently the procedure was modified to include the Fee Schedule being attached to the Application form to better inform people of the potential for these charges.  Also, a copy of the Application along with this Fee Schedule is mailed to the resident for their review.

Mayor Douglass stated that he and Norman Fott, Clarkson Valley's Building Commissioner, met the previous week.  He asked Mr. Fott to: 1) Review overhead and how it relates.  Mr. Fott will develop a procedure to identify when additional work with the architect, contractor or others goes beyond the permit fee and additional charges should apply.  2) Mr. Fott will review how his time and other support (clerical) are included in his overhead calculations. 

Mrs. Roggensack introduced herself, her husband, Jeff and her architect, Victor Vouga.  She related that she was charged $268 for Miscellaneous Fees.  When she telephoned NSF & Associates to make an inquiry as to the nature of these charges, she found that she was later charged an additional amount for that phone call.  She stated that it got to the point where they were afraid to call NSF because they would be further charged.  She concluded by saying that this is a great disservice to the residents of Clarkson Valley.

Alderperson Shea mentioned an incident that was reported to her by a neighbor and concluded by saying these charges appear to be absolutely wild.  The City Clerk was then directed to dispense a copy of the Building Commissioner's monthly invoices to the Alderpersons. 

Discussion ensued with two residents, Mrs. Roggensack and Mr. Gregg Bogosian speaking about retaining walls.  In Mrs. Roggensack's case, she was billed $700 for a building permit for the retaining wall when the total cost of materials (interlock blocks) didn't come to $700.  Mr. Bogosian questioned the adequacy of the inspector.  Alderperson Sharp asked the City Attorney what the City's responsibility is regarding retaining walls?  Patrick Butler explained that the City's task is to ensure the walls are installed according to BOCA.  Alderperson Sharp summed this discussion up by saying that the City needs to be reasonable to its residents.

Architectural Review Board:  Alderperson Schiller reported that after attending the recent Hearing of the Board of Adjustment for the Roggensack's proposal, she discovered that the City Clerk was only sending the Applications for Building Permits to one member of the architectural board, not two as required by ordinance.  Mayor Douglass said he would review the procedure.

Attorney's Report:

Patrick Butler reported that he received a question from Alderperson Shea regarding the City's policy on hunting and what happens when one hunts within city limits?  He said that the first time someone is found to be hunting in the city, we would send a letter stating that their actions violate the city code.  If caught, the report would be forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for possible prosecution.  Regarding hunting, such things were mentioned from the Board Members as zero tolerance, consistent policy, and concern for the safety of its citizens.  A new state law regarding the hunting of wildlife states that written permission from the property owner is required.  If caught without that, your license to hunt is lost for a total of seven years.


Forest Hills Club Estates Request for Signage:  Mayor Douglass made reference to the e-mails sent during the past month regarding their most recent request for the City to pay for said signage.  He then asked for a motion to reimburse for their requested Beware of Cart, informational signs.  The motion died for the lack of a motion.  Alderperson Schiller made a motion that the City of Clarkson Valley reimburses Forest Hills Club Estates for the cost of the temporary No Parking signs plus the standard cost for installation.  Alderperson Sittser seconded the motion.  An amendment to the motion was made and seconded to add the following language:  "that would be charged to us if the City were to purchase them or the cost quoted to the Forest Hills Club Estates/Forest Hills Grounds Committee if it is less than the amount quoted to the city".  A voice vote was taken to amend the original motion, with a unanimous affirmative response.  A voice vote was then taken for the motion, which now reads:  "That the City of Clarkson Valley reimburses for the cost that would be charged to us if the city were to purchase them or the cost quoted to the Forest Hills Club Estates/Forest Hills Grounds Committee if it is less than the amount quoted to the city for the No Parking signs plus the standard cost for installation." A voice vote was taken with a unanimous, affirmative response


Fireplaces, Flues and Chimneys:  Mayor Scott Douglass read the paragraph written in Bill No. 0265.  Mayor Douglass opened the discussion by saying the code currently deals only with woodburning fireplaces.  Alderperson Twichell stated that she would like the City to only consider masonry chimneys.  She also feels the "bump-outs" encompassing the ventless fireplaces should not be allowed.  Alderperson Schiller interjected that she is not sure ventless fireplaces should be disallowed.  Alderperson Sharp's opinion was that ventless is okay as long as the stack is hidden in masonry.  Mayor Douglass summarized the Board's opinion on this topic by saying he gets the sense the Council wants flues and chimneys with proper aesthetics, they do not want the "bump-outs", but that ventless fireplaces without the "bump-outs" are okay.  Alderperson Schiller said she requires more time to consider this, to which everyone concurred.


A motion was made by Alderperson Twichell to introduce and pass Bill No. 0266.  Alderperson Sharp seconded the motion.  Mayor Douglass read Bill No. 0266 for the first time.  He referred everyone's attention to the letter from Lt. McClure written to Captain Saulters advising of a dangerous situation regarding u-turns.  Mayor Douglass read Bill No. 0266 for the second time.  A roll call vote was taken, with the following results.  Ayes:  Schiller, Sharp, Shea, Sittser and Twichell.  Whereupon Mayor Douglass declared Bill No. 0266 as having passed and is now Ordinance 03-12.


Alderperson Twichell made a motion, seconded by Alderperson Shea to have invoices in the amount of $79,841.58 approved for payment.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.

Alderperson Twichell made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Alderperson Shea.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.  The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.



Scott Douglass, Mayor

ATTEST: Michele McMahon, City Clerk

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