Board of Aldermen Meeting 4-14-2020

The meeting agenda can be viewed here.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting was held via zoom web-conferencing.  A recording of the meeting can be viewed here.


City Administrator Simpson gave a presentation describing budget vs actual results for revenues and expenses in 2019.  In short, 2019 was a very good financial year for the city.  For various reasons the city ended the year with $1.2M more than it started with.

Much of this surplus was due to 2019 expenses being pushed to 2020 and sizable insurance payments from the flood (for which expenses will come due in 2020).  So the city is in good financial shape - which is a good thing since the economic unrest associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will surely have a negative impact on city revenues in 2020.  I will post more on this subject soon.


Last year the city received $23,400 for a Community Development Block Grants, which was earmarked for future ADA accessible entrance to city hall.  This year a similar grant for another $23,400 is being awarded to the city and it too will help fund this project.

Today anyone wishing to access city hall has to climb 10 steps to enter the building (or drive to the back and find the back entrance).  The city plans to install an ADA compliant ramp this fall, at a total cost of $85K-$115K.  Together, these two grants will fund $46,800 of the total costs.

Previous Community Development Block Grants were awarded to the city for sidewalk repairs, and to purchase ADA compliant picnic tables at various Crestwood parks.


The following items all passed 8-0, although several were removed from the consent agenda for discussion.

  • Code change to section 13-209 - Prior to this change, businesses were required to come to city hall to file their business license application.  Due to social distancing precautions (and preparation for future online applications) - the city code was changed to allow for businesses to complete this paperwork and mail it in.
  • Amendment of agreement with BRiC  Partnership for additional electrical, mechanical, and plumbing consulting services.  This relates to the planning and design for repairs associated with the city hall flooding.  BRiC is helping to develop the bid documents for repairs and renovations to these areas.

    One of the concerns raised by the county was if the city's existing electrical generator was compliant with newer electrical code requirements for first responder and emergency facilities.  BRiC has worked with the city and the county to develop a plan to rewire parts of city hall to avoid the costs of a new generator.

    This project has grown significantly in size and scope - but the majority of these changes are being covered by the city's insurance policy.  The original insurance payout to the city was to be $300K, but is now over $800K.
  • New Fire Hydrants along Eddie and Park Road - Missouri American Water Company is replacing the water main along this road and with approval of this ordinance will install 3 additional fire hydrants at no cost to the city.   They will be located near Rosebay, Crestwood Manor, and 9217 Eddie and Park.


As is customary, when St. Louis County updates their property maintenance code  - Crestwood updates its municipal code to follow.  The process for this is to approve the updates via a first reading, allow that to be posted for 90 days, and the Board of Alderman will again review this at that time for the second reading.


After a recent request from a ward-3 resident, I asked that the Public Works Board review and discuss the city's current "Barking Dog" policy.  Currently if a resident wishes to complain about a barking dog (or other animal noises), they contact Code Enforcement during business hours and the police after hours.  Many times the dog has stopped barking by the time the city arrives - causing frustration for the resident and wasted trips by the city.    The Mayor indicated that this is a timely issue, as that similar issues in other wards have recently occurred.

It's my hope that we can improve our existing code to clearly define what is a "nuisance" and a "violation", based on how often and how long the barking lasts, and a process that does not require the city to witness the issue before taking action.   The next Public Works Board meeting will probably be in May, and it typically takes many months before a new policy can be put in place - so we'll see where this goes.