Newsletter Issue: January 2018

Download the January 2018 Issue (PDF Version)

Upcoming Meetings

Jan. Meeting at Manchester Recreation and Arts Building

The first membership meeting of 2018 will be held on Thursday, Jan. 25, hosted by the City of Manchester at their new Parks, Recreation and Arts Building in Schroeder Park, 359 Old Meramec Station Rd., 63021.  This is southwest of the intersection of Highway 141 and Manchester Rd. (MAP) Refreshments will      be available at 6:30 PM and the meeting will start at 7:15 PM.

PROGRAM:  For over 65 years the Bi-State Development Agency has partnered with private and public organizations on hundreds of economic development projects in the St. Louis region.  John Nations, President and CEO of Bi-State, will introduce some of their services and programs that could help your community in planning and implementing economic develop initiatives.                                                                                 In addition, Bi-State is the St. Louis region’s transit agency.  Jessica Medford-Miller, Assistant  Planning  Director, will provide an update on, “Metro Reimagined,” a project designed to identify and implement improvements to Metro Bus service in the St. Louis region.  Metro Reimagined will examine where people travel, why they travel and how they want to get where they are going. The first step was a comprehensive analysis of existing bus operations and services. Next, Metro will apply its findings to improve the customer experience, increase access to destinations, and provide creative transportation solutions that better serve our region’s needs.

You can help. Metro’s Allocation Game is an online tool you can use to voice your preferences about the types of improvements you would like to see within a limited budget. Check it out, and help Metro to tailor its service to the transportation needs of current and future transit riders.

John Nations CEO Bi-State Development

John Nations has been President and CEO of Bi-State Development since October 2010.  John has a long career in economic development and job creation.  In the 1990s, he was an advocate for the recovery of Chesterfield Valley following the flood of 1993 and became chairman of Chesterfield’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District and president of its Economic Development Authority.  The Chesterfield TIF District is regarded as one of the most successful uses of TIF in the nation.   During his three terms as Mayor of Chesterfield, the City of Chesterfield achieved Moody’s coveted AAA bond rating, expanded its parks system, built an  extensive budget surplus while lowering property taxes and was recognized as one of the best cities in the country.   John practiced law in St. Louis for 22 years prior to joining Bi-State Development specializing in business law, land use, zoning, economic incentives, and related fields.   In 2010, he led a St. Louis County campaign to fund public transportation to a landslide victory with more than 63% of the vote, a campaign which has been described as one of the best civic collaborations in 50 years.   He has been – and continues to be – associated with many civic organizations.

Boundary Commission Accepting Annexation Map Plans

The St. Louis County Boundary Commission will begin accepting municipal annexation map plans for the next five year planning cycle.  The deadline for filing is July 1, 2018.  The map plans set the parameters for possible municipal annexations through 2024.  The map plans must be depicted with sufficient detail and accuracy to permit review and comment by the Commission.  The Commission may also request additional information such as population, housing counts, assessed valuation and land use of the affected area.

From August 1 to December 31, 2018, the Commission will solicit written comments on all map plans and will hold informational public hearings in or near affected areas.  By April 1, 2019, the Commission may issue written comments regarding each proposed map plan which are designed to notify the city of the Commission’s

view of the merits or demerits of the plan based on policy considerations.

Not later than April 15, 2019, the city may amend its plan based on public hearings or other comments.  However, no such amendment may enlarge the area originally submitted.  The map plan as submitted or amended as of April 15, 2019, will remain on file with the Commission and will be the limit of permissible boundary changes until the next five year planning cycle begins on January 1, 2024.

Specific annexation proposals may be submitted beginning April 15, 2019.  The latest date to submit an annexation proposal is July 1, 2022.

If you have questions about the map plan process, contact the Boundary Commission Executive Director, Michelle Dougherty, at 314-863-3005 or mdougherty@boundarycommission.com

League Adopts Policing Best Practices

On November 30, the League voted unanimously to adopt best practices for law enforcement agencies across the St. Louis region. Subsequently, all League members’ police depart- ments will start the certification process before January 1, 2019, with the goal of completing the process within three years.

Following SB5 and County Executive Stenger’s attempts to circumvent municipal authority to operate and manage their own police departments, the Executive Board initiated conversations with the St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association (SLAPCA), to develop a set of policing best practice.  In January  of this year, SLAPCA established a subcommittee to review and make recommendations to their membership. The Committee was made up of more  than 15 area police chiefs, a representative from St. Louis Area City Managers Association (SLACMA) and the League.  The Committee recom-mended the best practices which have now been adopted by SLAPCA, SLACMA and the League.

Departments will be required to have written policies on: appropriate use of force; handling crisis intervention team; bias-free policing; vehicle operations, accidents, and pursuits; investigation of officer-involved shooting incidents; in-custody deaths; and citizen complaint process and internal affairs. Additionally, all officers must be Peace Officers Standards and Training certified and licensed.

League President Chuck Caverly stated, “This vote is a major step toward establishing consistent standards of policing” and hopes it  encourages the St. Louis region to become a national leader in the number of certified police departments.

Chief Kevin Murphy (Clayton), president of SLAPCA, explained, “The purpose of establishing the Best Practices Agreement is to ensure all citizens receive a level of service that is a model of con- sistency and professionalism and which will shine a very positive light on St. Louis area law enforcement. In doing so, we expect the level of trust between law enforcement and the citizens we serve to be greatly enhanced.”

Going forward, the Municipal League will be teaming up with the SLAPCA and SLACMA to form a Best Practices Committee to monitor each department’s pro-gress and ensure compliance.

New Bikesharing Coming to St. Louis County

Limebike is a new innovative bike sharing program working to begin operations in St. Louis County this year.  What separates Limebike from the competition is their fleet of 3G, GPS-enabled smart bikes that do not need docking stations.

LimeBike is easy to use; riders download the Limebike app to their smartphone; when needed, the phone will locate a nearby bike and send the user a code to unlock the bike; the patron rides to where they need to go, and then locks the bike.

Sam Sadle, LimeBike’s Director of Strategic Development for Missouri, will be at the January 25 Municipal League general membership meeting to discuss dockless bikeshare, answer questions, and demonstrate this new technology. In the meantime, to find out more about the leader in U.S. dockless bike sharing, or to see how LimeBike could help provide first and last mile transportation solutions for your community, email Sam at sam.sadle@limebike.com or visit their website at http://www.limebike.com/.

LEAGUE TO CELEBRATE 100 YEARS!

In 2018, the League will be 100 years old. Vice President Norm McCourt, Mayor of Black Jack, has been asked to chair a committee to plan several events to commemorate this important milestone. The kickoff will be the Annual Installation of Officers and Muni Awards in May. Members will be notified of future events. Other committee members are Mayor Scott Douglass, Clarkson Valley; Mayor Edward Mahan, Rock Hill; Council member Cindy Pool of Ellisville; and Council member Ruth Springer of    Olivette.

January 25 Training Program

The next Municipal Officials Training Academy program is set for Thursday, January  25 from Noon to 1:15 p.m. The program is entitled “Deposit and Investment of Public Funds.”  Click HERE to register for webinar.  For a full description and registration please go to the League website at: https://member.stlmuni.org/.

AFFILIATE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Weis Design Group  is a civil engineering and architecture firm that was founded in 1969. WDG provides accessible, on-call service to municipalities throughout Missouri and Illinois. Service to our clients is the foundation of our business. Our first three clients are still clients of Weis Design Group today! Weis Design Group uses decades of valuable experience paired with the latest technology available to produce quality engineering and architecture designs.

With more than 48 years of experience, Weis Design Group offers planning, grant writing, design and construction administration on projects that include, but not limited to: streets, athletic facilities, stormwater management & wastewater collection, sidewalks, multi-use courts, highways, parking lots, bridges, municipal facilities and trails.

2017 ONE CENT SALES TAX DOWN

Following 7 years of growth, the 2017 collected one cent sales tax was down  0.90%.  There is a direct correlation between this trend and increased internet retail sales and  relatively flat population growth.

 Total  One Cent Sales Tax Collected

2015 / $172,407,351

2016  /  $173,221,011

2017 / $171,660,424    

 

PACE Improves Quality of Life, Boosts Economy in St. Louis Metro Area

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing has arrived in the greater St. Louis metro area and is already starting to make a difference in communities where it is active. By helping homeowners reduce their energy use, save money, and increase property values, PACE works directly to improve the quality of life of St. Louis-area residents. This new financing model also creates local, sustainable jobs and infuses private investment into local economies.

PACE financing helps homeowners make renewable energy and energy-efficiency improvements to their homes, then pay over time through their property taxes. These types of improvements can save homeowners money by lowering their energy bills. Because of the way PACE is designed, including removing the upfront cost barrier, these money-saving improvements are affordable for most homeowners.

Cities and counties can choose to make PACE financing available to their residents simply by voting to join the Missouri Clean Energy District (the “District”). The District offers HERO PACE financing through partner Renovate America, the largest PACE provider in the nation. Over the past year, numerous municipalities throughout St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin Counties have benefited from being a member of the District.

To date, more than 200 area homes have been upgraded with $2.7 million in financing. This infusion of private investments has helped contribute to the creation of 20 jobs and added $4 million to local economies.

With Board Bill 31, sponsored by Alderman Joseph Vaccaro, the City of St. Louis is currently considering joining the District as well, providing another voluntary PACE financing option for its constituents. Projections show that an additional 700 jobs and $110 million in economic stimulus will be created if both the County and the City of St. Louis add PACE to the home improvement financing options available to homeowners.

John Maslowski is an Affiliate Member of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis and Vice President of Market Development at Renovate America, in partnership with the Missouri Clean Energy District (www.mced.mo.gov).

RIGHT-OF-WAY USAGE CODES AND RELATED ORDINANCES

 In recent years, state and federal  laws have changed many times in ways that impact the ability of cities to manage their rights-of way and handle related issues. The 2001 statutes regarding public rights-of- way were amended in 2013 and 2014. These statutes require prompt review of right-of-way usage proposals from utilities. In 2007, the state enacted the Video Service Providers Act. This Act was amended in 2010. In 2013 the state enacted the Uniform Wireless Communications Infrastructure Deployment Act. This Act was amended in 2014 to address attachments to municipal utility poles, among other things. The FCC has adopted various requirements that affect local regulation of wireless facility construction, requiring prompt action on applications. And more changes from the FCC are anticipated.

Cities that have not adopted and/or updated ordinances to address these matters, should reconsider. In addition to general police power ordinances, both building and zoning ordinances should be examined. Failure to stay current on these matters could adversely affect your community and impair your ability to properly control construction and assure appropriate fee payments. Also, if your city is not charging the full five percent video service provider fee allowed by statute, you could consider increasing the fee after notice to the providers.

Another wave of technological changes has already arrived. Many cities have up to date codes and can provide good examples for relatively quick adoption. City staff should be trained to recognize applications that require immediate attention so that unintended automatic approvals are not granted by default.

Provided by Carl Lumley, Attorney Principal & President with Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe P.C.

 

County Council Unanimously Supports Resolutions Opposing Statewide Vote

Earlier this year the President Protem of the Missouri Senate suggested that he would sponsor a constitutional amendment to change the government structure of St. Louis City, County and the municipalities.
This would require a statewide vote on an issue that is of little to no interest to residents outside the City and County. League President Chuck Caverly spoke about this issue at the Missouri Municipal League (MML) Conference in September, noting that the legislature could impose their will on governments across the state if they perceive there are “problems” that need to be addressed. President Caverly’s remarks were well received by MML attendees.  The Missouri Mayors United for Progress, the newly formed mayors organization, opposes statewide vote on local issues and adopted this as one of their legislative priorities.   The County League opposes a statewide vote and recommends that any plan be developed locally and voted only by voters of the City and County.

For this reason, the League staff sent to all member municipalities a resolution that urges the County Council and St. Louis Board of Aldermen to oppose a statewide vote as well.  59 municipalities returned the resolution that were presented to the St. Louis County Council on December 12.  Councilman Mark Harder introduced a resolution at the meeting  in opposition to a statewide vote which was unanimously passed by the Council.  

 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

The Rock Hill City Hall and the police and fire moved into temporary facilities in 2011 to make way for a new retail development.  In 2016, as the development matured and revenues stabilized, the Board of Aldermen decided it was time to build a new city center.  To help with the process and garner the residents’ support, the city formed, “REIMAGINE ROCK HILL COMMITTEE”.  Led by two resident volunteers, the committee created a website and Facebook page, surveyed residents, and went door-to-door to inform,  solicit input and answer questions about the new city center.  Their hard work paid off in April of 2016 when 78% of the voters said “yes” to a $6.1 million bond issue to fund the new facility.  On June 6, 2017, the city held the official groundbreaking ceremony.  The new facilities will consist of two, two story buildings — a 6,268-square-foot fire station and a 12,180-square-foot city hall/police station.  Completion is expected to be August of 2018.