By Kathy Miller
The following are highlights from the New Melle Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, December 12, at City Hall for their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Roll Call: Mayor Steve Burt, Aldermen Karrenbrock, Nelson, Schneider, and Goodman (late), City Attorney - Steve Martin, City Clerk - Marcia Gay and Cochran Engineering were present.
Open Forum Summary:
Four residents from Fiddlestix Subdivision who live on Cooperwyk Road spoke in open forum to share their concerns about the Foristell Road Improvement Project and discuss what it means for the property owners along Foristell Rd. The homeowners agreed that they are all for the improvements but not at the safety and expense of those who live along Foristell Rd.
The first concern is safety. If the trees between Foristell Rd and Cooperwyk are gone, it removes the only barrier between them. A curb is not enough to stop a car, let alone a dump truck. On one occassion a dump truck on Foristell Rd ended up on Cooperwyk. Vehicles have crashed into the trees behind another resident's home on at least four occasions, saving their property and maybe themselves from cars that go off the road. The residents believe the trees serve as a barrier for vehicles, help muffle the traffic noise, and are very aesthetically pleasing. Residents were concerned if the trees were removed, what, if anything, would replace them. What trees and property are in the right of way? There was also a question of compensation to the homeowners for the trees and property if they were taken for the improvement. The other concern was property values. How close will the new road be to the houses? If the trees are removed and other barriers or if no barriers are put up, what does that do to the property values? Another question was asked about the timeline of the project, what exactly that looked like, and when someone would contact the affected residents? Stormwater runoff was another topic of concern. The home at 137 Cooperwyk is the lowest point and sits lower than Foristell Road, and there are concerns about how the stormwater runoff will be handled. Open forum ended at 7:12 p.m.
Introduction of Ordinances:
Approved - Bill #489 became ORDINANCE #474 – An Ordinance of the City of New Melle, Missouri, adopting a Budget for the 2024 Fiscal Year for the City of New Melle.
Approved - Bill #492 became ORDINANCE #477 – An Ordinance of the City of New Melle, Missouri, approving the Record Plat for Peoples Savings Bank located at Hwy Z and Peter St.
Approved - Bill #493 became ORDINANCE #478 – An Ordinance of the City of New Melle, Missouri, calling for a Municipal Election on April 2, 2024, to elect certain Municipal Officials.
Approved - Bill #494 became ORDINANCE #479 – An Ordinance calling for an election in the City of New Melle, Missouri, on the question whether to impose a License Tax in an amount not to exceed one cent ($.01) per gallon based on the gallons of motor vehicle fuel sold, said license tax to be paid by gasoline filling stations selling diesel fuel, gasoline, ethanol and/or blended fuels, designating the time of holding said Election; and authorizing and directing the City Clerk to give notice of said Election, and matters relating thereto.
Foristell Road Trail and Foristell Road Improvements - The Mayor allowed the citizens who spoke in open forum to address Cochran Engineering for some clarifications. Cochran Engineering started by stating that both the trail and Foristell Road improvement projects are very much in the conceptual phase of the projects. The plans submitted are just a starting point. The projects will progress, but the final plans are still far off. The trail will be on the south side of Foristell Road, and the plans are now to widen the road by almost 10 feet, so the question is, which side of the road would lose property? The city and engineers assured residents that their concerns would be considered during the design phase. Public meetings will be held for input and comment. Another question was asked about the two crosswalks for the trail on Highway Z; there were safety concerns about the necessity of two crosswalks across a busy state highway. The Mayor reiterated that these are the beginning stages and construction would not start until 2026 at the earliest. The purpose of the trail and Foristell Road improvement is to connect the city to the park and library. Currently, you cannot walk on Foristell Road for safety reasons; the goal is to make that happen and improve safety for everyone, especially as the area grows. Cochran Engineering also informed the city that St. Charles County is willing to do the project with a 90/10 TIF split. The improvements along Foristell Road would cost the city approximately $270,000 with the current design and costs.
Mill Street Improvement Project - Cochran Engineering wanted to know what direction the Board was considering going with the Mill Street project. There was a discussion about working the numbers and doing the project in one or several phases. The Foristell Road project is two years off, allowing the City time to recoup the cost of Mill Street. A bond issue could also be voted on to help with the prompt replacement of Mill Street. A cost analysis will be done to see the savings, if any, of doing the project in one phase. The Mayor would like to finish it in one phase so the City streets are not torn up for years trying to complete the project. The bids for the Schutzen Street sidewalk replacement should be in by the end of December, so the city should have all the figures to conduct the analysis.
Peter Street swale adjustment with contractor status - Cochran Engineering has been trying to contact the contractor to fix the swale adjustment on Peter Street. He has yet to receive their response after they said they would be out after Thanksgiving. The City Attorney and Cochran Engineering will send a letter to the contractor. The city still holds the contractor's performance bond; the cost will be taken from the bond if they do not respond.
Schutzen Street Sidewalk replacement - The bid invitation deadline date is December 28.
New Melle Car Wash - Complaints that rocks end up in the car wash’s driveway after it rains. Cochran will talk to MoDOT and meet at the car wash to see if they can address the problem. Cochran Engineering believes the ditches are in bad condition and need to be cleaned out.
Code enforcement complaints/status - City Clerk. One issue was addressed with the property owner, and three more letters need to be sent. The clerk is waiting for pictures to go with the letters. The Mayor would like this done before the end of the year.
Land use permit for manufactured home replacement at 155 Lockard Ln. - The city attorney will revise the ordinance to allow replacing manufactured homes. The ordinance revision will be brought before the board next month.
The meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m. The next Board of Aldermen Meeting will be on Tuesday, January 9 at 7 p.m.