Friends & Neighbors,
The Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen met in workshop and regular sessions on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Here is a brief report.
2017 Budget for City of Dardenne Prairie
The Board of Aldermen adopted the budget for 2017. You can see the details at www.dardenneprairie.org. The total estimated revenue for 2017 comes to about $3.6 million and the total of all expenses except capital improvements comes to about $3.1 million. The Board’s Capital Improvement Projects call for another $570,000 in road and sidewalk construction or repairs for next year. The City used a new format for showing expenses which provides the public much more detail, by City Department, of next year’s expenses. Since I took over as Mayor in 2015 we have implemented a disciplined process for developing the City’s annual budget. I require the city staff to present their proposed department budgets by August 31. During September we examine each department’s request and refine the detail. In October we provide a draft to the Board of Aldermen for their input. In November we hold two special workshop meetings devoted exclusively to reviewing and revising the budget. We then post the proposed budget on the City’s website for public review. The final budget is presented for adoption at the first meeting in December. This process avoids last minute scrambling which has been known to occur in the past.
Annexation of five parcels
The Board heard the First Reading of ordinances calling for involuntary annexation of 5 parcels that are located within the boundaries of Dardenne Prairie but are not presently part of the City. The use and maintenance of those parcels of property are not presently subject to the Dardenne Prairie municipal code. The Board will hold Public Hearings at a special meeting of the BOA on January 11 at 5:30 PM. If the ordinances are adopted at that meeting the proposed annexations will be put on the ballot in the April 4, 2017 municipal election. A majority of voters must approve the annexations.
Additional construction work on Sunnyside Estates Ct and Bates RD.
The construction contractor replacing pavement in Dardenne Landing and installing a sidewalk along Weldon Spring Road has completed those tasks. The City will add three small projects involving sidewalks and curbs and handicap ramps on Sunnyside Estates Court and along Bates Road. The total additional work is expected to be less than $20,000.
The City Attorney briefed the Board regarding proposed changes in the Municipal Code needed to deal with public nuisances.
The City’s municipal code requires property owners to maintain their homes and yards. When property is neglected the public health and safety may be jeopardized as, for example, when trash or old appliances and furniture are piled up next to a house. Peeling paint, broken siding or dry rot may lead to unsafe conditions rendering a house uninhabitable. Unsightly conditions, including dead trees and high grass or weeds, harbor insect and animal pests and detract from the value of homes in the neighborhood. The City provides a warning letter to property owners who need to tidy up, repair their homes, or remove prohibited items such as inoperable cars or trucks. If not remedied the City may issue citations resulting in a fine in Municipal Court. Sometimes the warning letter or Court fine does not get the problem solved. That is when the City needs to declare the problem a “nuisance” and then obtain a court order to enter the property, fix the problem, and assess the cost against the property owner. Our current municipal code will need some revisions to comply with new State Statutes and to strengthen the City’s ability to eliminate “nuisances.” The Board will address those changes in 2017.
The Board considered a proposal to prohibit the sale of certain “drug paraphernalia” typical of head shops.
Presently, there are no “head shops” in Dardenne Prairie but the municipal code does not provide a means to exclude them. The City Attorney presented a proposed ordinance designed to prohibit the sale and advertising of certain products that are typically found in “head shops.” The Board will consider the proposed ordinance at the December 21st meeting.
St. Charles Community College Board of Trustees authorized the College to purchase the property in Dardenne Prairie owned by Lindenwood University. The School of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences would take over the Lindenwood Property. The Parties hope to complete the transaction in about 60 days. Dardenne Prairie welcomes the St. Charles Community College and looks forward to working with the College on a variety of projects.
The City is soliciting proposals from qualified commercial real estate brokers to market the City-owned 10 acres at the SE corner of Post Road and Highway N. The property was purchased by the City in about 2010 when Post Road was realigned to meet Hanley Road next to Immaculate Conception Church. The property has been for sale for six years but the City has not used the services of a commercial broker to market the property.
The Missouri Legislature enacted “reforms” that will require cities to reorganize their municipal courts in 2017. We are getting details on the impact of those “reforms” on Dardenne Prairie’s Municipal Court. I hope to have a more information to report at the next BOA meeting.
We engaged a contractor to dig out the concrete along the back of City Hall and install a water proof seal to stop the leak in the basement. Cold weather prohibits the work so we will need to wait for spring to undertake the repairs.
Our next meeting of the Board of Aldermen is scheduled for Wednesday, December 21, 2016 beginning at 5:30 PM. Come to City Hall and see your City Government at work!!
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO