Crestwood to consider final approval of fiscal 2004 budget

Final approval of a balanced fiscal 2004 operating budget that calls for net expenditures totaling more than $8.5 million is scheduled to be considered next week by the Crestwood Board of Aldermen.

The Board of Aldermen will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, at City Hall, 1 Detjen Drive.

City Administrator Don Greer’s recommended operating budget projects net expenditures totaling $8,558,951, with anticipated revenue of $8,587,967 for a surplus of $29,016.

That projected surplus is $27,861 more than the surplus that was anticipated in an earlier draft of the budget that was presented to the Board of Aldermen last month during a work session.

A pressing need to pass the budget before the next fiscal year begins on July 1 caused the Board of Aldermen to meet last week outside City Hall after thunderstorms and power outages struck south county last week.

“On the theory that work sessions are supposed to be informal, we have set a new standard,” Mayor Jim Robertson said. “It doesn’t get any more informal than this.”

The Board of Aldermen met June 10 underneath the roof in front of City Hall.

Darkness inside the aldermanic chambers prevented the board from meeting there. Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood’s car headlights illuminated the meeting, while City Clerk Carol Schneiderhahn taped the meeting with a hand-held tape recorder.

The group of six aldermen and city staff conducted business from the top of the stairs while about 10 residents sat in chairs at the bottom of the stairs. Absent were Ward 1 Alderman Richard LaBore and Ward 4 Alderman Tom Fagan.

“As a resident of Crestwood, I would like to congratulate the board and the mayor for conducting important business for the city under dire duress,” David Brophy commented at the end of the meeting.

Because no aldermen had any pressing issues to discuss during the scheduled work session, the board moved straight into the regular meeting agenda. In addition, the board unanimously voted to limit public comment to three minutes per person to move through the meeting more quickly.

Among items on the agenda, three budget bills were introduced — the city’s operating budget, the capital expenditures budget, and the parks and storm water expenditures budget, all for the fiscal year beginning July 1. A public hearing for the proposed budget was opened, but extended until the Board of Aldermen’s meeting next Tuesday. No comments were made by residents about the proposed fiscal 2004 budget during the June 10 meeting.

“I would hope you’d get a first reading in tonight, and we’ll continue for final action on the 24th to get the maximum (time) for concerned people to talk about it,” Robertson said. “It’s a very important piece of business for us.”

The city’s budget ordinances outline projected expenditures during fiscal 2004.

The operating budget projects total general fund expenditures of $9,765,192. After funds are transferred to the parks and storm water fund and the capital improvements fund, net general fund expenditures are projected at $8,558,951.

In the operating budget general services, including the mayor’s office, Board of Aldermen, city clerk, finance department, city administrator, MIS department and general supportive services, are projected to total $1,279,598. Public works totals $1,627,031; public safety totals $5,773,862; Parks and Recreation, including park operations, recreation services, historical facilities, community center and aquatic center, totals $1,084,701.

The capital expenditures budget includes $1,155,359 for the streets program, including reconstruction, maintenance and repair, and engineering, labor and oversight. An additional $100,000 to capital improvements equipment/technology, and $731,480 in debt service for the police/municipal court building bring the total capital im-provements fund to $1,986,839.

The parks and storm water expenditures budget ordinance outlines total storm water expenditures at $300,000, including street sweeping, curb and gutter and projects. Park operations and maintenance total $2,366,274, including contracted services, capital purchases, aquatic center and maintenance and oversight. Debt service payments on certificates of participation are $1,083,993 to bring the total parks and storm water budget to $2,366,374.

Besides introducing the three budget ordinances, City Administrator Don Greer reported to the board, and the board unanimously authorized an agreement with Crawford, Bunte, Brammeier regarding the Glenwood Drive extension.

The original roadway design had to be revised to incorporate an earlier traffic study of the Glenwood Drive extension. Changes include the addition of a second southbound left turn lane onto Watson Road and the removal of the entry median into Watson Plaza and other related improvements.

“At the last meeting, you saw that they had done some additional work in a recommendation with regards to taking out the center lane to the entrance of Glenwood, or Watson Plaza, and that part of the work, that intersection would have to be redesigned,” Greer explained. “The remaining part, or the second part of that agreement has to do with the ongoing meetings we’ve had with (the Missouri Department of Transportation) MoDOT and their desire to see the concept of re-signalization and that intersection redone or redesigned. So those are things that we need to consider if we’re going to continue to move forward with this, and I would mention to you that those costs are all recoverable from the TDD (transportation development district) that now is in place for the Kohl’s development.”

Regarding the Glenwood Drive Exten-sion and Watson Road, Greer said, “It benefits Kohl’s, which then gives us a plain drive through, and that access to Watson Road that’s really lacking. That’s a necessary part of the development …”

In a separate matter, drafts of the re-development plan and agreements for the proposed urban redevelopment corporation for the Watson Plaza site, near the in-tersection of Glenwood Drive or Sapping-ton Road, were presented to the board.

The final drafts and ordinance will be presented to the board at the June 24 meeting. The board also will hear public comment at a June 24 public hearing on the blighting analysis and redevelopment plan.

“My comment is that this particular project, or the TIF is to be used to purchase a piece of property, and that’s one of the primary objectives of the TIF. Item 17 says they can sell the property as soon as they get it and I truly oppose that,” Ward 3 Al-derman Don Maddox said.

Greer said, “As do I.” He told Maddox that the administration made the same kinds of observations, and had not ad-dressed all the issues of concern from the standard contract language yet. “What I tried to do is give you the information and let you know what was coming, as op-posed to just dropping something like that. We made the same observations,” he said.