New Melle Board of Aldermen Highlights 7-14-2020

By Dianne Sudbrock

The New Melle Board of Aldermen met Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at City Hall. Present were Mayor Richard West, Aldermen Nik Bradley, Gary Schneider, Don Hendrich and Janet Karrenbrock, plus the city attorney, city clerk, and city engineers.

In Open Forum, Vicky Curriston, representing The Quarry Wine Garden, announced that the business had recently received a Federated Garden Club of Missouri Citation of Commendation in recognition of “Meritorious Service” for beautifying and landscaping their property. She said, “I’m hoping the board and everyone in New Melle is as proud as we are.”

Samantha Sims commented that she and her family enjoyed the July 4th fireworks show in New Melle and thanked Mayor West and his family for doing that for the community.

Finance Report:
•    The 2019 audit was presented. There were no noted deficiencies in procedures. Total cash assets increased by $169,564 in 2019. There were several notations that the financial impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic could negatively affect revenues in 2020. A copy of the audit report is available for public review at City Hall.
•    Fund reports for the month of June were presented without comment. Financial reports for the first 6 months of 2020 should be available by the next meeting.

Engineering Report:
•    Mill Street/Peter Street improvement: The initial project survey work is continuing. Field work is done. The city engineers are waiting on title reports to determine available right-of-way.
•    There was discussion about a request to repair a gutter issue along the west side of Mill Street. Storm water from the parking lot between Dan’s Country Meats and Straatmann Feed is draining across a resident’s yard during heavy rains. The engineers will look at the situation.
•    Peter Street drain intake repair. The city clerk will request verbal bids to repair a broken storm sewer intake next to Dan’s Country Meats at the southeast corner of Peter and Mill Streets.
•    The sidewalk project at New Melle Sports and Rec is complete and the crosswalks are painted. The Foristell Road surface repair job is also complete.

Building Inspection:
•    Even though the city clerk has been given access to some of the St. Charles County information, she has still not been able to get the level of detail desired. She will discuss further with the county.

•    Ordinance 440 passed unanimously, authorizing the Mayor, with the approval of the Board of Aldermen, to issue citations or seek a court summons regarding violations of the Ordinances of the City of New Melle. Cases will be heard in New Melle Municipal Court, on appointed dates, at the City of Wentzville court facilities.
•    Ordinance 441 passed unanimously, canvassing the results of the June 2 municipal election. Mayor Richard West, Aldermen Gary Schneider and Don Hendrich were all sworn in for another 2-year term.
•    Ordinance 442 was adopted confirming the grant of an easement and perpetual lease for the New Melle cell tower property to Global Signal Acquisitions IV LLC for a lump sum of $701,000. This is the same company that currently leases the property from the city for approximately $26,000 per year.

Old Business:
•    City of New Melle v. Sullivan et al: A court date has been set in St. Charles County Circuit Court for December, 2020. Mayor West asked about pursuing this matter in New Melle Municipal Court. At issue is compliance with city ordinances regarding an outbuilding that was built on the property. The city attorney will investigate and report back to the board.
•    The city would like to use proceeds from the cell tower sale/lease to purchase property at the corner of Hwys. D and Z, adjacent to New Melle Sports and Recreation. A contract for that purchase, contingent upon the cell tower proceeds, has already been presented to the property owner.
•    The Quarry Wine Garden: The city sent a letter to The Quarry Wine Garden in June stating they owed the city $6,395.80 for engineering charges, a business license hearing, and a sunshine law request. The Mayor invited representatives from the company to meet with 1-2 representatives from the city plus the city clerk and city engineer, at the city’s expense, to explain the charges.  (Editor’s Note: That meeting was held on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Joe Nusrala, owner of The Quarry Wine Garden, paid part of the charges at that time, but asked the city to reconsider the charges for the public hearing for the business license. Nusrala said everyone should be treated the same, and stated there are other businesses in the city that are not in compliance with their site plans, but still received their business license. Aldermen Hendrich stated he would take that concern back to the Board of Aldermen.)

New Business:
•    Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique: The city sent a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Phil Brakensiek, owners of Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique, in June stating they owed the city $3,775 for engineering charges and unpaid application fees. The mayor made the same offer to meet with the Brakensieks, at the city’s expense, to explain the charges. The Brakensieks agreed to set up a meeting. The mayor told them, “Thank you for investing in New Melle. Your business looks good and I wish you the best of luck.” (Editor’s Note: A meeting was scheduled for July 22, but was cancelled and will be rescheduled.)
•    Court Procedures: Regarding Ordinance 440 enforcing the code of ordinances for the city, it was clarified that when violations were not resolved through other methods, the Board of Aldermen will vote to issue a citation/summons, and that summons would be hand delivered or sent through certified mail to the responsible person. Violations will then proceed through the municipal court system. Mayor West volunteered to hand deliver summons when necessary.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 8:05 p.m. The next Board of Aldermen meeting should be August 11. A public hearing regarding allowing conditional uses to be put on commercial properties that border residential properties is scheduled for Tuesday August 4, at New Melle Sports and Recreation