Newsletter Issue: September 2016

Download the September 2016 Issue (PDF Version)

Upcoming Meetings

Membership Meeting
09/22/2016 - 6:30
Bridgeton Recreation Center

September 22 Meeting at Bridgeton Rec Center

The first League meeting of the fall will be held at 7:30 pm on Thursday, September 22 at the Bridgeton Recreation Center, 4201 Fee Fee Rd., 63044 (Map).  Directions:  from I-70, exit at southbound Lindbergh Blvd.  Take the first right onto St. Charles Rock Rd.  Continue west to the second stoplight at Fee Fee Rd. and turn right.  Continue north across I-70 to Gentry Park, where the Recreation Center is located..

PLEASE NOTE THAT REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED PRIOR TO THE MEETING, BEGINNING AT 6:30 PM.

     Program:  Great Rivers Greenway has developed a concept for future improvements to the North Riverfront that could be one of the key components to revitalizing St. Louis City.  The theme for this project  is Where St. Louis Really Meets the River”

     Tyler Meyr, the lead designer on this project, will present the current plan which illustrates the untapped value and potential of the North Riverfront.

The urban landscape of the North Riverfront demands an integrated and optimistic approach to creating dynamic and vital public places. While it contains great but latent potential, the site will require new connections in order to capitalize on them. The project requires a multi-disciplinary approach to the complex design issues of the contemporary city, global experience in large-scale urban design, architecture, and landscape interventions, and a love for the specific character of St. Louis to make this a dream project for our region.

The 180 acre site must first connect the Arch Grounds to the North Riverfront Trail as a means to activate the site.  In order to build upon this connection, new public space in the form of an interactive riverfront park will follow.  The design of the park will promote wellness, incorporate innovative storm water techniques, and include inventive programming.  The park master plan will concurrently be thought of as a way to create value for existing historic resources and entice development along its edges.

A development strategy will be built around the open space master plan to integrate opportunities for sustainable, mixed use development.

Finally, the plan will create a vision for an urban landscape of parks and adjacent infill development that will connect Laclede’s Landing, the Casino and Hotel, the Arch Grounds, and the City to the Riverfront in new ways.

 

 

September 22 Training Academy Program on Board of Adjustment

The next Municipal Officials Training Academy program is set for Thursday September 22 from Noon to 1:15 p.m.  The program is entitled All You Need to Know About the Board of Adjustment.  The speakers are Attorneys Erin Seele and Maggie Eveker of the Cunningham, Vogel and Rost law firm.  Topics will include:

  • Guidance and Useful Tips for Preparing Board Meetings
  • Required Notices
  • Standards for Issuing Variances
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Meeting Best Practices

Officials are invited to attend via Webinar or in person at Frontenac City Hall.  The session is designed for:

  • Board of Adjustment Members
  • Planning & Zoning Members
  • City Clerks
  • Elected Officials, and
  • Municipal Attorneys

The cost is $10 per person unless the city has an annual subscription. Please make checks payable to and mail to the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis.  Registration by Tuesday, September 20 is encouraged to ensure that all materials are emailed to registrants prior to the Webinar. Click HERE to register.

 

League Committees Studying Important Issues

Over the summer three ad hoc committees of the Executive Board have been meeting to study and make recommendations on important topics.  The Legislative Affairs Committee, chaired by Clarkson Valley Mayor Scott Douglass, has held two meetings with a third schedule for mid-September.  The Committee will submit the recommended 2016–17 Legislative Policy and priorities to the membership in October.

Also planned for presentation in October is a report from the City Re-entry Committee, chaired by Frontenac Mayor Keith Krieg.  The Committee is studying issues related to the City of St.. Louis re-entering St. Louis County as the 91st municipality and developing a recommendation supporting re-entry. The Executive Board has indorsed this position.  The final policy statement will be presented  for approval to the general membership at the October meeting.

The third committee has been meeting to develop a new policy for the uses and allocation of the cell phone settlement funds.  Chaired by Maryland Heights Councilman Chuck Caverly, the goal is develop a clearly stated policy that will ensure the stability of the account for current and future needs.

 

 

 

Maryland Heights Receives APWA Accreditation

Earlier this year, the City of Maryland Heights was awarded a prestigious American Public Works Association (APWA) Accreditation.  The APWA Accreditation program recognizes public works agencies that go beyond the requirements of the management practices established nationally in the public works industry, as contained in the APWA Public Works Management Practices Manual.  The Department staff began their Accreditation process in 2011, and achieved Accreditation in 2016.  Congratulations to Maryland Heights for a job well done.

 

Park Grant Applications Under Review & Planning Grant Update

Round 17 Applications

The Municipal League office received 26 park grant applications by the August 26 deadline.  The grant requests totaled $8.9 million, while the Commission has budgeted $6.9 million.

Staff Associate Suaune Myers has begun the staff review and initial scoring.  Her reports will be presented to the Park Advisory Committee, which is Chaired by Sunset Hills Parks Director Gerald Brown.

The Advisory Board is comprised of nine park professionals who will spend a full day in mid-October reviewing, discussing and scoring the applications.  Their recommendations will be presented to the Park Grant Commission in early November for the anticipated awarding of grants.

 

No Deadline for Planning Grant Applications

The Commission has also made a change to the application process for the Park Planning Grants.  Previously, the Commission accepted all planning grants at one set deadline.  In August, the Commission voted to eliminate the deadline for the Planning Grants and allow them to be submitted at any time during the year.  The Commission has set regular meetings on the first Thursday of November, February, May and August and will use these meetings to award the Planning Grants, if submitted.  The Commission has budgeted $75,000 for Planning Grants in the current fiscal year, which ends April 30, 2017

These grants help municipalities to create master plans for parks and develop better construction grant applications.  The Planning Grants have a maximum amount of $6400.

Contact the League office if you have any questions regarding the Park Grant Commission process.

 

New Commissioners      Appointed

There have been three vacancies on the Commission this year which have been filled by the chief elected officials in those County Council districts.

In the 3rd District, former Twin Oaks Trustee Ray Slama was appointed.

The 4th District is now represented by Howard Nimmons of Florissant.

The new Commissioner for the 7th District is former Ballwin City Administrator Bob Kuntz.

 

Six Propositions on the November 8, 2016 Ballot

  1. Constitutional Amendment 1would renew the existing sales and use tax of 0.1 percent for 10 years for State Parks and Soil Conservation.
  2. Constitutional Amendment 2would establish limits on campaign contributions to candidates for state or judicial office.
  3. Constitutional Amendment 3would increase the taxes on cigarette packs to 60 cents by 2020 to fund early childhood health and education
  4. Constitutional Amendment 4would prohibit a new state sales or use tax on any service or activity that was not subject to a sales or use tax as of January 1, 2015.
  5. Constitutional Amendment 6would empower the state government to require the presentation of photo IDs at public elections for the purpose of identifying and proving national and state citizenship.
  6. Proposition Awould increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products a total of 23 cents per pack by 2020 to fund statewide transportation projects

 

Honoring Our Military Heroes

Marking the 15th anniversary of 9-11, an organization called Flags of Valor installed 7000 American flags on Art Hill in Forest Park.  Each flag represented an American military member killed while fighting the war on terror.

Last year they put up nearly 3000 flags on Art Hill to remember those killed in the 9-11 terrorist attack.  The group also installed a display in Kirkwood of around 300 flags to honor the first responders who were killed on that day. This year’s memorial is the biggest yet.

The flags are in chronological order from the first soldier killed until the most recent death.  The display was up through September 11th.

Attached to each flag pole were the dog tags, a photo and a brief biography of the military man or woman who was killed. Sponsors covered all of the overhead costs.

Member of Flags of Valor hoped to raise $500,000 from the sale of the flags after the event.  All of the proceeds raised will go to four different veterans’ charities.

 

Where We Stand - A Strategic Assessment of the St. Louis Region

In July of 2015, East-West Gateway released the 7th addition of the Where We Stand report, the first addition was published in 1992. The 7th edition compares the 50 largest metropolitan areas, by population.  There are 13 primary categories with more than 200 separate comparison rankings in the report.  For instance, St. Louis ranks 19th in population among Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), just behind Tampa and ahead of Baltimore. New York City ranks as the largest, with 19 million people. Buffalo comes in 50th with 1.1 million residents. St. Louis has a population of 2.8 million. In this and future issues we will look at how St. Louis ranks.  To see the full report click on http://www.ewgateway.org/pdffiles/library/wws/wws2015.pdf.