SHINE A LIGHT ON CITY GOVERNMENT
SHINE A LIGHT ON CITY GOVERNMENT
Friends & Neighbors,
The Board of Aldermen met in Work Session and Business Meeting tonight and were very busy.
Eagle Scout Candidate Garrett Havrilla presented the City with a new, handcrafted lectern for the BOA meeting room. This was his Eagle Scout project which he completed under the supervision of City Engineer Luke Kehoe. Thank you Garrett and Luke for the new lectern!
The Board held two public hearings concerning the proposed annexation of properties along Highway N at the eastern edge of Dardenne Prairie. Property owned by the Wiess Family Trust and another parcel owned by Mr. Robert Shatro were examined and discussed. The City has identified the properties as unincorporated St. Charles County which are along the path of future growth of the City. The property belonging to Mr. Shatro is slated for a vote for involuntary annexation in the April 6 Municipal Election. That election requires a majority vote of the residents of Dardenne Prairie in favor of the annexation. As there are no residents on the Shatro property there will be no negative votes to oppose the annexation.
The Board decided to table the ordinance providing for involuntary annexation of the Wiess property to allow the parties to explore possible voluntary annexation. You may notice that along the south side of Highway N heading east near the Schnucks shopping center there is a two story, stone house. That house was built in 1839 and would be the oldest house in the City if the property were annexed. Needless to say, it is “historic!”
The Board approved a contract with Evergreen Solutions LLC for $8500 to conduct a Compensation Study. The Board instructed the staff during a Strategic Planning Meeting in May to engage a firm competent to assess the jobs, job descriptions, compensation and benefits of our City Employees and Contractors to determine if we needed to make adjustments to the compensation package being used. The Board prescribed a sum of money for the Study in the 2021 budget. I am pleased to report that the contract is for less than the budgeted amount, thanks to competitive bidding. It is the Boards intent that the City retain and attract high quality employees. We need to know if we are competitive or overly generous. We have a very lean staff, so it is also important to know if there are better ways to organize and allocate the work that the staff performs.
Pursuant to discussions conducted over several meetings, the Board approved a resolution to adopt a change to the City’s participation in the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS). Presently a person who retires from the City may have his/her retirement pay calculated as a percentage of the average of the last five years of compensation. The change will base the calculation on the average of the last three years of compensation.
The Board approved the Deposit Agreement negotiated between the City and the Inverness Development LLC for Phase 2 of the Inverness subdivision. When a developer undertakes to build streets, sidewalks, utilities, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, and other public infrastructure, a Deposit Agreement must be agreed to. This requires a deposit of 110% of the estimate of the cost to build all the public infrastructure plus a 10% deposit for maintenance after the infrastructure is accepted by the City. The Deposit Agreement must be approved before the record plat is filed with the County and no lots can be sold and transferred to the buyer until the record plat is filed. When a record plat is to be filed before the public infrastructure is built the City’s financial interest are protected by received the 110% construction deposit. In the case of Inverness Phase 2, a very substantial percentage of the public infrastructure is completed, though not yet accepted by the City. The Board, in the exercise of its collective judgement, agreed to require 25% of the total cost of public infrastructure instead of 110%. Sales of lots in Inverness are brisk. The record plat will be filed this week, meaning lot sales in Phase 2 can close.
The Board discussed purchasing a portable restroom on a trailer for use at the Barathaven Soccer and Cricket Fields. There is money in the 2021 budget for this purchase and it needs to happen in time to support spring and summer sports activities. In the meantime we will explore the costs of several alternatives for a permanent building connected to sanitary sewers and running water.
The Board also discussed engaging a street repair contractor to attend to minor street repairs that the County Road Department doesn’t handle under our annual contract for street repairs and maintenance. We want the City to be more responsive to the needs of residents who are contending with potholes and other degraded conditions in their neighborhoods.
I want to remind everyone that Dardenne Prairie has arranged for Rhonda Vincent and the Rage to perform at City Hall Park on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Rhonda Vincent is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and a multi year winner of the Grammy and the Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year. This will be a ticketed event. You can order on line at the City’s webpage: www.dardenneprairie.org. Bring chairs but no coolers.
Filing for the April Municipal Elections has closed. Running in Ward 1 for Alderman is KC Reilly, a resident of Wyndham Meadows. Incumbent Kevin Klingerman decided not to run for re-election. In Ward 2, Alderman Mike Costlow is running unopposed for reelction. In Ward 3, E.J. Sansonne is running unopposed. Incumbent Alderman John Gotway is not running for re-election as Ward 3 Alderman. In the Mayor’s race I am running for re-election and John Gotway is also running.
I hope that all of you are managing this pandemic as well as possible. Vaccines are on the way!
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen is scheduled for Wednesday, February 3. Work Session starts at 6:00 PM and the Business Meeting starts at 7:00. Come see your City Government at work.
“Shine a Light on City Government”DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO