By Kathy Miller
The New Melle Board of Aldermen met at City Hall on Thursday, February 10, 2022. Mayor Richard West, Aldermen Nik Bradley, Don Hendrich and Gary Schneider, the City Attorney, City Clerk, and City Engineer were all present. Alderman Karrenbrock was absent.
The minutes from January 13, 2022, meeting were approved, with a minor change.
Open Forum: New Melle Sports and Rec, represented by Todd Joerling, had two items to discuss. Mayor West explained that they could not vote on those topics because it was not on the agenda for that evening. Mayor West wanted to hear what NMSR has proposed, so the Board could discuss and vote at the next meeting. The first item was the maintenance agreement between NMSR and the City. Todd explained that NMSR intends to partner with the City again this year and would like to map out all the details of the maintenance agreement so that there is no confusion this year. The second subject involves the property the City owns at the corner of Hwys. D & Z. NMSR would like to improve the lower end of the property by raising and leveling the land; and will be used for extra practice space. It would be an improvement to the ground and would be at no cost to the City. The Mayor requested that NMSR put a proposal together for next month's meeting, and they will have legal and the engineers review and decide how to proceed. Mayor West commented that the City is committed to allowing NMSR to use that property. Since the City owns the land, it would be available to the public. Todd said NMSR understood and agreed.
Steve Burt inquired about Peter Street. Mayor West responded that it was out to bid, and this topic was on the agenda, and they would have the engineer update during the engineering report.
Financial Reports: Year-end financials have been completed and were presented along with the financial reports for January 2022. The City Clerk, Marcia Gay, commented that the City was still waiting for a year-end audit. The financial reports for January 2022 and the 2021 year-end financials were accepted as presented.
There were no ordinances.
Engineering Report: Firehouse review number three is complete, and comments were submitted. There were minor issues of missing and mislabeled information, and the engineer is waiting for those corrections, and then the project should be ready to go.
The concept for Mill Street Improvements was presented, including a 40 ft. right of way to include all the improvements. It will be a two-way street. No easements are required so far; the survey is not yet complete.
Peter Street Phase II (Mill Street to Hwy. Z) will have a 40ft. right of way. There will be 2ft. on each side needed to get everything to fit. The engineer will review the plans once more to see if it is possible not to take the 2ft. on each side. Surveying should begin in early February.
The Mayor requested that the City Engineer recap Peter Street Phase 1 (Mill Street to Schutzen) to address the question from the open forum. Peter Street is out for bid, and it will be a one-way street to the east, with new green space and sidewalks on the south side. The primary concern of drainage issues has been addressed, which will fix the run-off problems.
The engineer stated that they submitted and confirmed receipt of the City's application to the East-West Gateway for grant money for sidewalks, and improvements to Foristell Road.
The new entrance signs into New Melle are finally in (and the hardware to install the signs) are ready to go up.
As of February 10, eight business licenses and three liquor licenses were not paid, and the businesses were still operating. The initial renewal letter was sent at the beginning of January, and a reminder letter went out on February 1 to those who had not paid. The City will send out letters to those with unpaid licenses with a deadline, and if not paid, a summons will be issued. Editor's Note: As of February 22, six business licenses and two liquor licenses were unpaid.
A business in town still owes money to the City for costs associated with getting their business up and running. Last year payment arrangements were agreed upon, but no payments have been made. Next month, the issue will be addressed with an exact amount owed and the City's options as to how to proceed.
The City is reviewing its Fee Schedule for changes in description and pricing. The engineer stated that the City of Flint Hill has an excellent process in place that can be found on their website. New Melle needs to consider the fees associated with subdivisions as growth comes. The fee should be based on per acre and per phase basis, not just a flat fee, which New Melle currently charges. The City is considering changing the wording and not calling the fees "deposits." Deposit can imply an expectation to get money back, and for the most part, money is not returned. Also, the City's instructions for obtaining permits need clarification for a better understanding of the process. This topic was tabled so Planning and Zoning can review then present to the Board and the Mayor.
St. Charles County Animal Control sent a new agreement to provide kennel service and enforcement of St. Charles County's Animal Control Ordinances for the City of New Melle. The previous agreement expired on February 1. The City Clerk stated that the City had not paid the County any money in the past year for animal control. There were questions from the Board about cost and the exact duties included, so the Board tabled the issue until next month.
The meeting was adjourned, and the next Board of Aldermen meeting will be Thursday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.