By Dianne Sudbrock
The New Melle Board of Aldermen met Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 at City Hall. Mayor Richard West, Aldermen Nik Bradley, Gary Schneider and Don Hendrich were present, as were City Clerk Savanna Burton, City Attorney Stephen Martin, and City Engineer Kurt Kutter of Cochran Engineering.
In Open Forum, Mayor West said he has been in touch with Ameren UE about removing the Christmas decorations from the utility poles in town. Ameren has had other priorities because of the weather here and in other parts of the nation where their employees have been sent to assist. The decorations will be taken down as soon as Ameren has the opportunity to work it into their schedule.
Financial reports were reviewed and accepted as presented.
In the Engineering Report, Kurt Kutter said work had begun on evaluating city streets to develop a maintenance plan. “The streets have been measured and we are working on cost estimates.” He said.
The Building Inspection Report was reviewed without comment.
- City Attorney Stephen Martin said a court date was scheduled last month for the Sullivan et al lawsuit, but the judge removed himself from the case due to a potential conflict of interest. In the meantime, the two parties have discussed completing depositions and the last of those should be Feb. 27th. After that, a new judge should set a new court date.
- Regarding entrance signs for the city, Mayor West said there was nothing new to report. He’s working on getting a cost estimate.
- Both a site plan review and a vote regarding the business license for The Quarry Wine Garden were tabled. A set of updated drawings has been received and turned over to Cochran for review. Then P&Z will have to approve the plan before the board can take any action.
- Plans are still being developed for a sidewalk extension on the east side of Route Z in front of New Melle Sports and Recreation (NMSR). The sidewalk will be located on state right-of-way, so approval from MoDOT will be required and a construction easement will be needed from NMSR. Kutter said he didn’t anticipate any major construction issues or concerns. The project could potentially be eligible for a 50/50 MoDOT match. Cochran will look into that.
- Mayor West said the idea of a trail from the Park at New Melle Lakes to the city of New Melle was discussed at a recent work session. He didn’t elaborate on what had been discussed, but said the board would talk about it some more at a future work session.
- The city has received a report that some sections of concrete are sinking at the entrance of the Sycamore Creek subdivision. The city engineer was asked to look at the area and report back to the city.
- Mayor West announced the County Municipal League Monthly Meeting for August will be held at The Quarry Wine Garden. He asked board’s permission to host/pay for lunch, which usually includes about 10 mayors/city managers; and the board agreed.
- Aldermen Nik Bradley attended a meeting regarding St. Charles County Contracts with the various municipalities in the county. Bradley said the County is trying to standardize the contracts for various services – such as the contract New Melle has with the County for Code Enforcement. Attorney Martin has not had a chance to review the contracts. Bradley said one change he noticed was a cost increase for code enforcement from $.50 per resident per year to $1 per year. The cities were asked to respond in a timely manner as the new contracts are expected to come before the County Council in March.
- Land Use Restrictions: The city recently received a request for information regarding permits related to the growth of marijuana in the city limits. Mayor West said the County Municipal League has been working on creating legislation that the cities could all adopt or use as a template for regulating the marijuana industry. Attorney Martin said some of the state licensing process for the industry starts this Spring/Summer.
- Mayor West suggested updating the city’s ordinances to address enforcement for failure to obtain a business license. He said in Wentzville, if a business fails to renew its business license by the end of February, the business is ticketed and fined. Attorney Martin said the city could consider issuing tickets, or changing the fee structure to encourage prompt payment. The matter was tabled for further review.
- Per a request for documentation from Peoples Savings Bank, the board officially gave its permission to allow the new City Clerk to have Inquiry Only status to five accounts at the bank. Previous documentation had inadvertently only given access to one of the accounts and she needs the ability to inquire, verify and receive information for all of the accounts.
- Mayor West asked the board to approve a $120 fee reimbursement to the Wentzville Lions Club for use of the building at New Melle Sports and Recreation for the community Christmas Dinner. The board approved the request 3-0.
- The next regular Board of Alderman meeting was scheduled for March 12.