Friends & Neighbors,
The Board of Aldermen met in Regular Session on January 4 and in Special Session on January 11. Here is a summary of both.
Regular Meeting on January 4.
The Dardenne Prairie Municipal Court Judge Dennis Chassiniol briefed the BOA about the changes in structure and operation of the City’s Municipal Court required by Senate Bill 5 and Supreme Court Rule 37. Significant changes are required that will lead to the City hiring a part time assistant to the prosecuting attorney and more work to be performed by the Judge. The laws were enacted after the unrest in Ferguson to address what some considered abusive practices in municipal courts of St. Louis County. Dardenne Prairie’s Municipal Court did not engage in the practices that prompted the new law. In summary, the new rules will reduce our Court’s fines from tickets and will increase the costs to operate.
The BOA approved an ordinance re-appointing Judge Chassiniol and raising his pay from $400 to $500 per month. This is the first pay raise for the Judge since 2010.
During the Workshop the BOA indicated that it was satisfied with the performance of Grace Hauling, Inc. as the City’s trash hauling service contractor. Grace has a multi-year contract with annual options (exercised by the City) to extend the service. If citizens have feedback about Grace Hauling’s service, please contact City Hall. (636-755-5301)
The BOA authorized hiring a commercial contractor to market city-owned property ( about 10 acres) at the southeast corner of Highway N and Post Road. The property was purchased by the City in 2009 for $1.8 million. It has been on sale since then but not marketed by any realtor. The City solicited proposals from commercial real estate brokers and received seven proposals. After evaluating those proposals, the City selected Cushman & Wakefield to market the property which is listed for a little over $1.9 million or about $4.85 per square foot.
It was announced that the St. Charles Community College has offered to purchase the Dardenne Prairie Campus of Lindenwood University. (The property was formerly Barat Academy High School). We look forward to working with the St. Charles Community College in partnership to provide recreational and educational programs. Stay tuned for more information. The transaction is scheduled to close in February. Dardenne Prairie welcomes the St. Charles Community College as a full- fledged member of our community.
Special Meeting on January 11
The Board held a public hearing to consider the proposed annexation of 5 parcels of unincorporated St. Charles County into the City. The parcels include two adjacent to State Highway 364 west of Bryan Road and three small parcels along Technology Drive just east of the Phillips 66 station located south of Town Square. The City believes those 5 parcels should be included in the City’s Comprehensive Plan for future development and subject to City zoning regulations and building codes. As long as they remain as unincorporated St. Charles County the City has little or no influence on the kinds of businesses or structures that could be built on the land. Two property owners attended the public hearings and asked good questions about the City’s plans. We assured the property owners that the City’s objective was to help them realize a good return on their investments and to promote the kind of development that fit in with the rest of the surrounding community. After hearing all input at the public hearing the BOA enacted ordinances to proceed with the annexation of the 5 parcels. During the public hearing I invited the two property owners to continue discussions aimed at voluntary annexations of their property.
The City is continuing to review the Uptown Zoning District (UZD) and will hold public hearings in 2017 to consider rezoning more property from the UZD to residential, commercial, or other zoning districts.
We are upgrading our City website (www.dardenneprairie.org) . Please take a look and provide us with your feedback. It is a work in progress.
The next meeting of the BOA is Wednesday, Feb. 1, starting at 5:30. Come to our meetings and see your City Government at work!
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO