New Melle Board of Aldermen Highlights – Nov. 12, 2019

By Dianne Sudbrock

The New Melle Board of Aldermen met Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Before the meeting started, two items were added to the agenda for discussion only: Quarry Wine Garden, and a culvert at 4525 Holt Road.

In Open Forum:

•    P&Z Chairman Ken Birk asked the Road Committee to look at pavement deterioration at the entrance to the Nicole Parc subdivision and determine if it’s a MoDOT issue or a subdivision issue. Alderwoman Karrenbrock and the City Engineer will investigate.

•    Alderwoman Karrenbrock said larger, 30” stop signs had been ordered and will be installed at the intersections of Peter Street and Schutzen, and Peter Street and Mill Street.

•    Carla Brakensiek asked about her Site Plan and Plot Plan for turning the house at 4591 Hwy. Z into a boutique and salon. The plot plan is approved for the rezoning request (which was approved later in the meeting) but that is separate from the more detailed construction Site Plan that must be approved before she can get a building permit from St. Charles County and begin work on the inside of the structure. Brakensiek has asked for some variances on the Site Plan and a Board of Adjustment Hearing has been set for Dec. 4th. The next P&Z meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3rd and cannot be rescheduled because there is a public hearing scheduled for that evening as well. If the variances are approved by the Board of Adjustment, Ken Birk said P&Z could potentially consider holding a special meeting to approve the Site Plan but that meeting would not be scheduled until after the Board of Adjustment’s decisions.

Finance Report: Approved with a date correction on a couple of pages.


Engineering Report:

•    Final details are wrapping up on the sidewalk project in front of NMSR.

•    The concrete slab replacement job in Sycamore Creek is complete, but some other slabs are showing signs of wear and the City Engineer asked if the city would want to add them to the existing contract. He will measure the spots and get back to the board. Alderman Hendrich asked him to see if patching partial slabs would be practical in any of the new locations instead of full slabs.


•    Bill 441/Ordinance 427 was approved rezoning 4591 Hwy. Z to Commercial C2 with a conditional use that the property be used for a boutique and salon only. Mayor West explained that was in case the sale of the property fell through, the rezoning would revert back to residential and not become available as a C2 zoned property for other types of commercial use.

•    Bill 444/Ordinance 430 adopting a budget for 2020 was approved.

•    Bill 445/Ordinance 431 authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement for municipal court services was approved. The agreement is subject to approval by the City of Wentzville, and includes an annual $2500 fee plus $1 for each case heard. The City Attorney costs to prosecute cases would be extra. No infractions which are currently being enforced by contracted services with St. Charles County will be included (so no traffic violations for example.) Mayor West said other efforts to try to resolve ordinance violations will be attempted before resorting to court action.

Old Business:

•    Sullivan Lawsuit – still waiting on a court date.

•    Land Use Restrictions regarding medical marijuana – will be addressed in 2020.

•    Cell tower leasing: Mayor West informed the company that was interested in buying out the lease that nothing would happen until the city had a specific purpose in mind for proceeds from the sale.

•    Property for Sale at Z & N: The board asked the City Attorney to seek estimates for getting an appraisal.

•    Quarry Wine Garden: For discussion only. Joe Nusrala, Quarry Wine Garden, has asked that one last remaining requirement, stormwater detention calculations with respect to the new gravel parking lot, be waived.

Editor’s Note: Cochran had previously communicated, “Stormwater detention can be provided in the existing lake...and that stormwater calculations dated October 15, 2013 can be modified to include the new impervious area and show the weir dimensions....An acceptable weir can be a simple earthen type show in the discharge part of the lake.

Nusrala, in an email dated Nov. 11, 2019, said the old limestone quarry was abandoned because of springs that were hit. “The water makes its way out of the lake through some sort of seeping into the ground water or into the Dardenne Creek. If it didn’t then the lake would have a stream coming out of it...If we use common sense, the lake...[has] a square footage of about 103,491 sq ft. The new parking lot [is] about 30,405 sq ft. So for every inch of rain diverted into the lake, the lake would rise about 1/3 of an inch.” Nusrala also said, “The new parking lot and adjacent field are on top of the original parking area from the old quarry. “It is rock within a few inches of the top of the soil. That being said, I’m not sure how water runoff changes when rock is put over existing rock.” He went on, “I am just trying to make sense of this last requirement and I can’t...I have read over the ordinance pertaining to water runoff and detention and there are many areas where it says ‘will be reviewed on a case by case basis. I do not see anywhere...that there has to be a weir.’”

During the meeting, Aldermen Gary Schneider asked Kurt Kutter, the City Engineer, to speak to the cost of providing the requested calculations. Kutter estimated the cost to be between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on the engineer firm hired to do the work.

Schneider then asked, “Was the elevation changed when gravel lot was put in? Was it raised up 10 feet? 5 feet? 1 foot? 6 inches? 2 inches? Compared to what it was? That this study would be required?” Kurt Kutter, Cochran Engineering, responded, “It’s required just due to the increase in impervious area – so you’re adding impervious area to something that was grass.”
Schneider asked, “And gravel is considered that?” Kutter said, “Gravel, once it’s existing for a while, usually is more in line with a hard surface base.”

Mayor west said The Quarry Wine Garden had previously asked that this requirement be waived. He said it went before the Board of Adjustment and was denied.

Editor’s Note: On Nov. 21, Kutter responded to Nusrala’s email. He said, “Unfortunately, we cannot approve a waiver as this would have to come from the Board of Adjustment. Please understand that the City of New Melle requires signed and sealed calculations for detention. We do understand the points made [in your email] and it might be beneficial for you to meet and review them with an engineer to obtain a letter with calculations. There is not a weir requirement in the City of New Melle. We were asked to provide an idea of a cost effective solution and one option was a weir design.”

On Dec. 3, 2019, Nusrala told the Boone Country Connection that he had previously obtained two bids for a water detention study, and both were over $11,000; and that his engineer says he cannot provide the updated figures the city wants without doing the detention study. He also said his understanding was that the weir would be a method to control run-off out of the lake, but there is no existing spillway out of the lake and no evidence that it has ever overflowed.

New Business:

•    Foristell Road: A bid from E. Meier Contracting, Inc., to seal cracks, patch designated areas that needed more than crack sealing, and fix the bridge approaches was approved in the amount of $34,233.86. Work will proceed as weather permits, and could potentially not be complete until next spring.

•    Water Issues at Routes D & F. Water being pumped from a residence after wet weather events is draining onto Hwy. F in front of Liz’s Bar and Grill, causing icing conditions in cold weather. It is a life-threatening, hazardous situation. MoDOT and the affected property owners will be contacted.

•    4525 Holt Road. A resident would like to use a 12-inch corrugated metal piping for a culvert for an auxiliary driveway that would be used only occasionally, rather than the 18-inch concrete pipe required by city code. The city engineer has previously corresponded with the home owner stating that unless calculations from a Professional Engineer support the claim that a 12-inch pipe is sufficient, the 18-inch concrete pipe should be installed. The City Attorney agreed. A letter will be sent to the homeowner.