By Dianne Sudbrock
The New Melle Board of Aldermen met Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 at City Hall. Mayor Richard West, Aldermen Gary Schneider, Don Hendrich and Janet Karrenbrock were present, as well as City Clerk Karen Hotfelder, City Attorney Stephen Martin, City Engineer Kurt Kutter, and P& Z Chairman Ken Birk.
A public hearing was held to set the property tax rate for the 2018 tax year. The rate, as calculated by St. Charles County, will be $.4963 per $100 of assessed valuation. The rate for 2017 was $.4891. Birk said while he had no problem with the rate, he did feel that the citizens would be starting to expect an increase in services in exchange for their tax dollars, and he was looking forward to hearing from the community during the comprehensive plan public meeting on Sept. 26th. Mayor West said he also hoped the community was pumped up about the comprehensive plan meeting and that there would be a good turn out; but he also noted the city's resources are limited.
The public hearing closed and the regular meeting opened at 7:07 p.m.
There was no public comment in Open Forum.
The monthly financial statements were reviewed and accepted. A final copy of the 2017 audit was distributed. There were no changes or recommendations made by the auditor. The City Clerk and CPA firm were thanked for their efforts in addressing issues raised in previous audits.
In the Engineering Report Kutter reported that the city was not chosen to receive grant money this year for extending the sidewalk from Nicole Parc to the Library. A spokesperson from the East West Gateway Council encouraged the city to apply again next year. Mayor West said he would like the City to consider installing a sidewalk on the west side of Hwy. Z in front of NMSR. He asked that the idea be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
On the topic of Building Inspections, Birk explained that the exterior of the Dollar General was not being built according to the plans that were approved by the city – due to a breakdown in communication within the Dollar General organization apparently. He has been assured that the situation will be corrected.
Next, the ordinance setting the tax rate was approved, 3-0-0.
In Old Business:
Citizens living within and outside of the City Limits are invited and encouraged to attend the public meeting on the New Melle Comprehensive Plan on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at New Melle Sports and Recreation. There will be opportunities to comment or make suggestions on how New Melle should plan for future growth.
Attorney Martin reported a court date has been set in the City vs. Sullivan lawsuit for Sept. 28, 2018..
Snow-plowing: The city will be seeking bids for snow-plowing services starting in January, 2019.
There has been no activity regarding seeking bids for various maintenance projects around city hall, or about the disposition of the wedge of property at Foristell Road and Hwy. Z due to other priorities.
Mayor West has contacted MoDOT about replacing the city limit sign on Hwy. D and they are supposed to be working on that.
Plans for the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Sister City Partnership were reviewed. The 10 visitors from Germany will arrive on Sept. 14, have dinner that evening with their host families at the Quarry Wine Garden, then go sight-seeing on Saturday in St. Louis. Sunday morning at about 11:30 a.m. there will be a tree dedication ceremony at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, followed by a visit to City Hall, and then brunch at the Lutheran Church. The public is invited to those activities. Their visit to New Melle will conclude Sunday evening with a celebration dinner at St. John's UCC for the German guests, the Friendship Society members, city officials, and other invited guests.
A Plat Consolidation and rezoning to C-3 was approved for the Quarry Wine Garden. The next step will be a Board of Adjustment hearing and P&Z site plan approval for the parking lot extension, and construction before a special event there on Oct. 13.
A record plat for the Dollar General Store was approved, as recommended by P&Z.
An amendment to the Planning and Zoning map to identify Single Family Residential (R-1D), which had been missing from a previous map, was approved.
A conditional use permit for Immaculate Heart of Mary Church to build three Columnbariums and 174 additional burial lots was approved, as recommended by P&Z.
A sign permit for Tidd Realty was approved, as recommended by P&Z.
Proposed amendments to the city's sign ordinance were tabled because some additional changes are expected to be added.
City Clerk Hotfelder has announced she intends to retire in December. Two candidates have expressed interest in filling her position and the city hopes to hire someone by November. Anyone interested in learning more about the position should inquire at City Hall.
The next Board of Alderman meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.