10 months ago

West Newsmagazine 3-7-18

Local news, local politics and community events for West St. Louis County Missouri.

10 I March 7,

10 I March 7, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE @WESTNEWSMAG WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM Sponsors Sponsors 5 TH ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATE GROWING JOBS - ADVANCING THE FUTURE - GROWING THE REGION State Representative Bob Burns • State Senator Bill Eigel State Senator Jill Schupp • State Senator Dave Schatz Commissioner Bob Brinkmann, MO Highways and Transportation Commission Legislative panel discuss infrastructure and transportation issues including toll roads, public/private initiatives, gasoline tax, user-fee increases & general fund for infrastructure structure Moderator • President and CEO of Bi-State Development John Nations Friday, March 30, 2018 • 11:15 a.m. DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton in Chesterfield Register & Pay Today at Sponsorship Opportunities Available For more information contact Bridget Nations: 314-795-2200 or Michael E. Magliari, PC Attorneys at Law Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District MSD RATE CHANGE NOTICE The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) has submitted to its Rate Commission a proposal for a Stormwater Capital Rate. These proposed changes would apply to all public and private property within the MSD service area, including properties owned by governmental or nonprofit entities, and those not receiving MSD wastewater sewer service. Levee Districts currently under agreements with MSD would be exempt from the proposed stormwater capital rate. RATE COMMISSION PROCESS: In 2000, changes to MSD’s Charter were approved by area voters that required the creation of an independent Rate Commission. Composed of 15 member organizations representing a broad cross-section of MSD’s customers and the community it serves, the Rate Commission is designed to provide public input into how rates are set. The Rate Commission process includes multiple public hearings and can last up to 165 days. This process began when a rate change proposal was formally referred to the Rate Commission by MSD staff on Monday, February 26, 2018. Over the next several months, the Rate Commission will review these rates and hold hearings to gather public input. STORMWATER CAPITAL PROGRAM: In 2016, District voters approved Proposition S, which resolved the issue of unequal storm sewer operations and maintenance funding across the MSD service area. While Proposition S was a significant step in improving stormwater services, it does not provide an ongoing funding source for addressing future capital improvements. MSD is proposing a stormwater capital rate that will generate revenues of $30 million annually to address localized flooding and erosion issues that are currently unfunded. The stormwater capital program would be funded by a charge based upon the amount of impervious surface, such as concrete, blacktop, and the footprint of the home, that does not absorb rainwater. The proposed rate was determined based on the recommended capital improvement program divided by the estimated units of impervious surface in the District’s service area. Single family residential customers’ impervious area will be measured and charged on a tiered basis. Non-residential customers’ impervious area will be measured and customers will be charged based on units of 2,600 square feet, which is the amount of impervious area on a typical single-family residential lot or Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). The proposed rate will be $2.25 per ERU. The proposed financial plan assumes that the proposed RESIDENTIAL IMPACT FY 2020 Typical Monthly Wastewater Bill FY 2020 % of Total Base Charge $26.35 39.5% Volume Charge (7 Ccf) 34.09 51.1% Total Wastewater Bill $60.44 90.5%* Stormwater Taxes/Charges (Typical Assessed Property Value = $42,000) OMCI (set to zero) $ - 0.0% Regulatory (2 cent tax) 0.66 1.0% O&M (10 cent tax) 3.40 5.1% Proposed Stormwater Capital Rate (1 ERU/Tier 2) 2.25 3.4% Monthly Stormwater Tax/Charge $ 6.31 9.5% Total Monthly MSD Customer Revenues $66.75 100.0% * Percentages do not add up exactly due to rounding NON-RESIDENTIAL IMPACT FY 2020 Typical Monthly Wastewater Bill FY 2020 Base Charge $ 26.35 Volume Charge (75 Ccf) 365.25 Tier 1 Compliance Charge 3.14 Total Wastewater Bill $ 394.74 % of Total Stormwater Taxes/Charges (Typical Assessed Property Value = $223,000) OMCI (set to zero) $ - 0.0% Regulatory (2 cent tax) 3.50 O&M (10 cent tax) 18.05 Proposed Stormwater Capital Rate (16 ERUs) 36.00 Monthly Stormwater Taxes/Charges $ 57.55 Total Monthly MSD Customer Revenues $ 452.29 * Percentages do not add up exactly due to rounding 5.8% 80.8% 0.7% 87.3% 0.8% 4.0% 8.0% 12.7% * 100.0% stormwater capital rate would be set at two-thirds of the approved level during MSD’s Fiscal Years (FY) 2020 and 2021. This ramp-up is basedon thelower revenue requirement of the first two years as the program is implemented and necessary personnel and projects are added before the rate is charged at approved levels beginning in FY 2022. The charts below depict a typical monthly MSD billing for wastewater, stormwater taxes, and the proposed stormwater capital rate. For more information on the rate proposal or the Rate Commission Process, please visit MSD’s website at or contact Marion Gee, Director of Finance at (314) 768-6299. RESIDENTIAL STORMWATER CAPITAL RATE TIERS Tier 1 2 3 4 Square Ft of Impervious Area 200-2,000 2,001-3,600 3,601-6,000 Above 6,000 ERUs FY 20-21 Rate 0.63 $0.95 1.00 1.50 1.66 2.49 3.04 4.56 Full Rate $1.42 2.25 3.74 6.84

FACEBOOK.COM/WESTNEWSMAGAZINE WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM March 7, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE I NEWS I 11 Town & Country unanimously approves primary seat belt law By JESSICA MESZAROS At its Feb. 26 meeting, Town & Country’s Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a primary seat belt bill allowing law enforcement officers to conduct traffic stops solely for seatbelt violations. According to Police Chief Gary Hoelzer, prior to the bill’s passage, a violation of the city’s seat belt ordinance only could be enforced if a motorist was stopped for another violation. The bill had received a unanimous favorable recommendation from the city’s Police, Fire & EMS Commission. It became enforceable immediately with a fine of $10 per violation. “The reason for us doing this is not so we have another reason to stop people,” said Lt. Michael DeFoe, who spearheaded the measure. “It’s to bring the usage rate up in Missouri.” DeFoe explained that “there are other cities in our area that already have primary seat belt laws,” but the goal is to cover a larger area and, hopefully, reduce fatalities. According to a presentation DeFoe shared with the council, there were 930 vehicle crash fatalities in the state of Missouri in 2017. Of that number, about 62 percent involved unbuckled individuals. In 2017, Missouri’s seat belt usage rate was estimated at about 84 percent. “So if Missouri’s usage rate was about 84 percent last year, that means the 16 percent that didn’t wear their seat belts accounted for 62 percent of fatalities,” DeFoe said. The Missouri State Highway Patrol puts an unrestrained driver’s chance of being killed in a traffic crash at 42 times greater than that of a restrained driver. State police also say the use of a seat belt can cut the chances of an individual being injured in a car crash by about 45 percent. According to DeFoe, statistics have shown states that have a primary seat belt law have a national usage rate of just over 90 percent, while states with only a secondary seat belt law have a national usage rate of 82 percent. Missouri currently has secondary seat belt laws that only cover drivers and front seat passengers age 16 and older. Currently, 55 Missouri cities and counties have primary laws, some dating back as early as 2007. Local municipalities that have passed primary laws include Ballwin, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur and Manchester. “Now, instead of looking for other violations like speeding and realizing they [drivers and passengers] didn’t have their seat belts on, we can just stop them for not wearing their seatbelts [in the first place],” Defoe said. Town & Country’s provision does have some exceptions for specific situations where motorists may not need seat belts, such as drivers with the U.S. Postal Service who are required to frequently enter and exit certified postal vehicles. Other exceptions include individuals who may have a medical reason for failing to have a seat belt fastened and individuals operating, or riding in, a motor vehicle used for agricultural work-related activities, such as a tractor. A color-coded map indicating jurisdictions that have primary seat belt legislation. According to DeFoe, the specific aforementioned circumstances are mentioned in the ordinance because they are a part of the state statute. Ellisville hears traffic concerns, residential feedback amid development possibilities By JESSICA MESZAROS A conceptual meeting was the cause of residential concern prior to the Ellisville City Council meeting on Feb. 21 when the application process for a new development was proposed by Brandon Harp, of Civil Engineering Design Consultants [CEDC], for a mixed-use development at 299 Clarkson Road near Field Avenue. The parcel is home to Fishpot Creek, which feeds into the Meramec River. The proposed development was assigned multiple possible uses, including a car wash, gas station and restaurant. The site was compared to the Tidal Wave Luxury Wash at the intersection of Long and Edison roads in Chesterfield Valley. Residents who attended the conceptual meeting cited multiple traffic concerns linked to the possible carwash discharge onto Field Avenue. One resident also expressed concern regarding the number of similar businesses in the area. “There are already seven gas stations within a 3.6-mile radius of Field Avenue, and I don’t understand why we need an eighth one there,” Pam Marquard, a Field Avenue resident of over 25 years, said. Resident Sara Fox added, “Field Avenue has one entrance and one exit. We have no alternative way of getting in or out of the street.” This isn’t the first time residents have 299 Clarkson Road, located adjacent to Field Avenue, in Ellisville. [Google Earth photo] spoken out against similar developments near residential areas along Clarkson Road. In 2006, a Waterway Gas and Wash proposed at 1308 Clarkson Clayton Shopping Center also spurred residential concerns regarding traffic and ultimately was rejected by the council. However, a Chickfil-A restaurant was built in the same location in November 2016. According to City Manager Bill Schwer, estimated revenue, based on similar locations, could yield around $30,000 to the city. No formal vote was taken; however, councilmembers did offer a favorable response in regard to seeing a site development plan for the property and proceeding with additional discussion. Councilmembers Vince McGrath [District 1] and Cindy Pool [District 3] were absent for the conceptual meeting. A dialogue between residents and councilmembers about filling vacancies and raising sales tax revenue in Ellisville has been ongoing since around 2016, according to Schwer. The city saw its first dip in sales tax revenue around the holiday season of that year, he said. “What we think is that it’s mostly the internet sales,” Schwer said. “December internet sales were up like 15 percent nationwide, and our reports said we were down like 10 to 12 percent, so there seems to be a correlation.” According to Schwer, the city approaches economic development in a variety of ways. While some businesses approach the city based on available space and demographics, the city also calls out to retailers that may want to expand into the area. The decision to fill an existing building or build on an open property is driven by developers; however, residents also have opinions on development. “When I go out into the city, sometimes people stop me about that,” Schwer said. “It’s mostly the big box retailers, but I don’t know if those businesses would have the desire to come here right now. A big part of that is just that they’re not expanding a lot of the brick and mortar stores right now.” According to Schwer, sales tax from existing and approved retail developments annually makes up over 50 percent of the city’s revenue. “Retail sales tax is a big deal for us,” Schwer said. “We’re always looking for See ELLISVILLE, page 13