By Dianne Sudbrock
The New Melle Board of Aldermen met Tuesday, May 8 at City Hall. The mayor and all the aldermen were present.
The following topics were discussed:
Owners of a house on St. Charles Street inquired about obtaining a variance to build a new home on the same lot as their existing home, then demolish the existing home. A variance would be required since the city's ordinances do not allow two homes on the same lot. The City Engineer will take a look at the lot and report back to the city.
Aldermen Nik Bradley brought up a drainage issue (standing water) alongside Foristell Road at the new intersection at Hwy. Z. Mayor West will contact the county.
Jarod Agee, Building Inspector with St. Charles County, and the board members discussed the possibility of St. Charles County performing Building Inspection Services for the city since the city's current inspector decided not to renew his contract due to work load. Later in the meeting the board members voted to prepare an ordinance that would authorize the mayor to enter into a contract with the county. The county currently provides building inspection services for the Town of Augusta, and the cities of Weldon Spring and West Alton. The city would still be responsible for any land use approvals through the Planning and Zoning board, as is done now, but building permit fees would be paid directly to the county and home owners would interact with county inspection personnel throughout the building process.
The board voted to purchase a painting of the historic St. Paul's Lutheran Church in New Melle that was created at the Plein Air painting day in New Melle on April 24th for a cost of $350. The mayor selected the painting at the April 24th event, pending the board's approval. The painting will hang in City Hall.
The sidewalk project along Hwy. D and Z is nearly complete. Most of the landscaping is done and approval of the final change order and release of MoDOT funds to the city are expected within the next few weeks.
The Schutzen Street drainage project is also nearing completion. The homeowner hired the contractor to do some additional drainage work on his property that is not part of the city's project, but all work is nearly complete.
Regarding Dollar General, construction documents and building plans are currently being reviewed and earth work should start soon.
The City Engineering has also reviewed plans for a parking lot expansion at the Quarry Wine Garden. An issue has arisen in that the land where the parking lot is planned falls outside the commercially zoned portion of the property so that issue will have to be addressed before the site plan can be approved.
Under bills to be passed:
• The results of the April Election were accepted and approved, and Mayor Richard West, Alderman Gary Schneider, and Alderman Don Hendrich were sworn in for another 2-year term. All were unopposed in the election.
• The 2015 International Building Codes were officially adopted by the city. Had they not been adopted, the city's ISO rating would have fallen, ultimately resulting in higher insurance rates for city property owners.
In Old Business:
• There was no update on the City's Comprehensive Plan because the last P&Z meeting had to be cancelled due to lack of a quorum.
• St. Charles County has obtained a demolition permit to remove building at New Melle Lakes Park.
• Regarding the "Sullivan et al" lawsuit regarding an unlawful outbuilding on a parcel along Foristell Road, the city's attorney has requested additional documentation from the current land owners and he expects a hearing to be forthcoming.
• Regarding the Festival Parade. No official request has yet been made for the city to help with the cost of traffic control. Mayor West asked for that in writing from the parade committee. A substantial number of parade entries have been received.
The last item discussed was a report for road maintenance and snow removal from St. Charles County. There has been very little snow for the past couple of years. The county withholds $8000 every year from the $14,000+ road tax allotted to the city. Several aldermen agreed the city should seek bids for snow removal from independent contractors for next winter.
The meeting adjourned at 8:01 p.m.