February 25, 2013

                                                          Springfield, Missouri

 

 

The City Council met in regular session February 25, 2013 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  The meeting was called to order by Mayor Bob Stephens.

A prayer was given by Jeff Seifried.

 

 

Roll Call 

 

Present: Mike Carroll, Scott Bailes, Jerry Compton, Jan Fisk, Cindy Rushefsky, John Rush, Doug Burlison, Jeff Seifried, and Bob Stephens.  Absent: None. 

 

 

Minutes

The minutes of February 11, 2013 (Noon) and February 11, 2013 (6:30 p.m.) were approved as presented.

 

 

Consent

Agenda

Consent Agendas were approved as presented.

 

Councilwoman Rushefsky noted former councilman Ralph Manley’s health has taken a turn for the worse.  She encouraged citizens to add he and his family to their prayers.

 

 

 

CEREMONIAL MATTERS   

 

 

 

CITY MANAGER REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE FEBRUARY 11, 2013 MEETING.

 

 

 

Fred Marty, Deputy City Manager, responded all questions had been answered.  He added City Utilities leadership have agreed to contact the two speakers from the last meeting regarding their concerns.  Mr. Marty noted staff is preparing background information for the Plans and Policies Committee regarding the issue referred at the last meeting about gas fitting licenses.  He added staff is working to develop creative ideas for the greenspace, associated with the rezoning case at Campbell and Grand.  Mr. Marty noted staff has researched the concerns mentioned at the last meeting regarding traffic studies and prepared a memo for Council.  He added a memo was provided for Council regarding the concern about driving in the center lane.

 

Councilwoman Rushefsky asked that the public be made aware of the ruling on driving down the center lane.  Mr. Marty responded the findings would be sent out in a media release.

 

Mr. Marty noted Councilman Compton asked staff to research traffic counts for the proposed rezoning at Campbell and Grand if it were rezoned high-density.  He added a memo was prepared for Council with this information.

 

Mr. Marty noted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to work with the City on redeveloping Clean Water Act mandates.  He added the EPA filed a motion “respectfully moving the court to vacate the agency actions challenged by the plaintiff who is the City of Springfield”.  Mr. Marty noted the EPA stated they would like to reconsider things due to the City’s complaint.  He added the City filed a lawsuit in 2011 asserting the EPA went beyond its authority under the Clean Water Act when it established rules regarding Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits on pollutants.   Mr. Marty noted the Springfield Police Department will be holding an awards ceremony the afternoon of Wednesday, February 27, 2013.  He added the Fire Department will also be holding an awards ceremony that same evening.  He added the awards presented will be for meritorious service in the line of duty.   Mr. Marty noted the Public Information Office was recognized last Friday evening with four Silver Addy Awards by the Springfield Chapter of the American Advertising Association.  He also expressed appreciation to the Public Works Department for their work in addressing last week’s winter storm issues.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Public Hearing Bills:

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under First Reading Bills:

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-035 and Council Bill 2013-036 were read and discussed simultaneously.

 

Brenda Cirtin, City Clerk, noted it is not anticipated that Council will take action on these bills this evening because they are relating to bonds.  Bonds can fluctuate sometimes hourly, so the “declaring an emergency” language will allow for the bills to be amended if necessary.

 

 

Taxable Special Obligation Bonds

Sponsor: Stephens.  Council Bill 2013-035. A special ordinance authorizing and directing the issuance, sale and delivery of $497,000 principal amount of Taxable Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2013 (Ozark Empire Fairgrounds Project), of the City of Springfield, Missouri; prescribing the form and details of the bonds; authorizing certain other documents and actions in connection therewith; prescribing certain related matters; and declaring an emergency.

 

 

Amend Existing Lease of the Fairgrounds Property

Sponsor: Rush.  Council Bill 2013-036. A special ordinance authorizing the City of Springfield, Missouri, to amend an existing lease with the Greene County Agricultural and Mechanical Society of Springfield, Missouri for lease of the fairgrounds property; and declaring an emergency.

 

 

 

Tom Kissee, President of the Board of Directors for the Ozark Empire Fair, gave a brief overview of the proposed.  He noted the proposed will help to lower their monthly mortgage payment by helping them receive a more favorable interest rate.  Mr. Kissee noted the proposed reduced rate could cut their mortgage payment in half.

 

Mary Mannix-Decker, Director of Finance, gave a brief overview of the proposed.  She noted the proposed financing would be issued in the name of the City of Springfield.   She added the proposed bonds would go for a ten-year period with the principal payments made each year, with no balloon payment due at the end of the term.   Ms. Mannix-Decker noted proposals have been sent to local banks and staff expects to hear from them this week.  She added the interest rate would be presented to Council in two weeks at the regular Council meeting.  Ms. Mannix-Decker noted the City would be making payments on these bonds semi-annually, however the money will be collected from the Ozarks Empire Fair Board monthly.

 

Councilman Burlison asked how the proposed would impact the City’s balance sheets.  Ms. Mannix-Decker responded it would increase the outside debt by approximately $500,000.   She added this would have a very minimal impact on the City’s overall operating budget of over $400 million.

 

Councilman Carroll asked if the amortization period matches up with the lease that is being amended.  Ms. Mannix-Decker responded affirmatively.  She noted the amended lease does not allow the Ozark Empire Fair Board to encumber the property or put any liens or mortgages on the property.  She added a payment schedule will also be attached to the lease.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views.  With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Resolutions.

 

 

Great Neighborhoods Philosophy

Sponsor: Fisk.  Council Bill 2013-037. A resolution adopting the Great Neighborhoods Philosophy to promote clean, safe, and friendly neighborhoods through collaboration with neighborhoods and community organizations, and the support of neighborhood involvement programs.

 

 

 

Ralph Rognstad, Director of Planning and Development, gave a brief overview of the proposed.  He noted the proposed would adopt the Great Neighborhoods Philosophy.   He added the proposed is an action step that came out of the chronic nuisance strategy Council adopted in 2012.  Mr. Rognstad noted the proposed philosophy is based on four principles: neighborhood residents must lead the process, neighborhood residents must have a long-term commitment, neighborhoods must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate, and neighborhoods must have continual activities that engage the entire neighborhood.  The proposed philosophy promotes three qualities in neighborhoods: that they are clean, safe, and friendly.  He added staff recommends approval.

 

Councilman Burlison encouraged Council to support the proposed.  He expressed his belief that the proposed incentivizes neighborhoods to take a leadership role in the process of maintaining their neighborhoods.

 

Councilman Compton expressed his support of the proposed.  He expressed appreciation to staff for their work on the proposed.  He also expressed his belief that the Neighborhood Advisory Council has encouraged neighborhoods to start speaking to one another and working together.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views.  With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-037.  Resolution 10029 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

Repealing Resolution 6961

Sponsor: Stephens.  Council Bill 2013-038. A resolution repealing Resolution No. 6961, concerning the appointment of board members, in its entirety.

 

 

 

Dan Wichmer, City Attorney, gave a brief overview of the proposed. He noted the City Charter provides for all Boards of the City a member can serve two consecutive three year terms.  He added a resolution was passed that stated two terms equaled fifty-four months which does not coincide with the City Charter.  Mr. Wichmer noted if someone fills an unexpired term they are capped at fifty-four consecutive months, as opposed to filling their Charter duty.  He added there are provisions in the Charter that state that Council can shorten a term if they deem it appropriate so the stagger of the terms can be maintained.  Mr. Wichmer noted the proposed will repeal the resolution listed and remove the fifty-four month cap.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views.  With no appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-038.  Resolution 10030 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Emergency Bills:

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Public Improvements:

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Grants:

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Amended Bills.

 

 

444 West Grand Rezoning

Sponsor: Rushefsky.  Amended Council Bill 2013-025*. A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 1-1600, Zoning Maps, by rezoning approximately 5.98 acres of property, generally located at 444 West Grand Street and 427, 433, 441, 501, 505, 509 and 515 West Normal Street from an R-HD, High-Density Multi-Family Residential District and an R-SF, Single Family Residential District, to a GR, General Retail District; and establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 54 (Planning and Zoning Commission and Staff recommend approval).  (By:  Calvary Temple Assembly of God etal; 444 West Grand and 427, 433, 441, 501, 505, 509 and 515 West Normal; Z-17-12 & Conditional Overlay District No. 54.)

 

 

 

Brenda Cirtin, City Clerk, noted some speakers have signed up tonight who already spoke at the last meeting.  She added they will not be allowed to speak this evening.

 

Fred Marty, Deputy City Manager, noted a memo had been provided to Council to address the concerns mentioned at the last meeting.

 

 

 

An opportunity was given for citizens to express their views on the amendment made to the proposed.

 

The following citizens spoke in opposition of the amendment made to the proposed: Jim Lee, Daphne Moore-Irwin, Midge Potts, Jonathan Conrad, and Lance Brown.  They all expressed their concern that the amendment made to the proposed would not change their belief that the proposed should not be approved.

 

With no further appearances, the discussion was closed.

 

Councilman Compton expressed his support of the proposed. He noted Council has heard from both sides of this issue.  He expressed his belief that no matter how the vote goes, a large number of people will be disappointed.  Councilman Compton expressed his appreciation to Price Cutter stores for their charitable work throughout the community.  He added Springfield zoning laws and economic policy conform to State laws.  Councilman Compton noted the comprehensive plan includes policies to make the best use of existing infrastructure.  He added all of the aforementioned were approved by Council and went through a public hearing process.  Councilman Compton noted the existing church is supporting the proposed.  He added the City of Springfield is not utilizing eminent domain in regards to this property.  Councilman Compton noted the proposed will not be a Wal-Mart Supercenter and homes will not be condemned to build it.  He added the current church auditorium cannot be used and demolition or rehabilitation would not be cost-effective for the church. Councilman Compton noted the proposed Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market could provide sales tax revenue for local schools that would benefit the community.  He added Wal-Mart has not requested any economic incentives in regards to the proposed redevelopment to the site. He expressed his belief that the proposed would provide a needed service to the neighborhood and create jobs for citizens.  Councilman Compton noted if the proposed were redeveloped high-density a three-to-four story building could be built.  He expressed his belief that the ten Wal-Mart Stores in town do not constitute a monopoly.  Councilman Compton expressed his belief if Council does not approve the proposed, it would go against the policies and laws currently in place.

 

Scott Bailes expressed his opposition of the proposed.  He expressed his belief that if Council approves the proposed it would go against the City Charter that they were sworn in to abide by.  He noted the Planning and Zoning Commission make recommendations to Council based on the zoning regulations and it is up to Council to do what is in the best interest of the citizens.  Councilman Bailes read excerpts from the City Charter.  He expressed his belief that the traffic study has been an issue.  He added the Planning and Zoning Commission stated they did not have enough time to review it.  Councilman Bailes expressed concern that the traffic study was completed by Wal-Mart.  He added opening a new grocery store doesn’t create new jobs because when a new store opens, another will close.  Councilman Bailes expressed his belief that no new sales tax revenue will be generated.  He noted five new stores opened last year and sales tax revenue has actually been down. He added a lot of taxpayer dollars have been spent on the downtown area and the proposed could hurt that area.  Councilman Bailes encouraged Council to vote no on the proposed.

 

Doug Burlison expressed his opposition of the proposed.  He noted he has attempted to filter out the drama, partisanship, and corporate names that have been involved with this.  He expressed his belief that you can look at the proposed as a zoning issue and still be opposed to it.   Councilman Burlison expressed his belief that “squeezing” the proposed onto this lot it is not the appropriate answer for this property.  He also expressed his belief that the proposed would cause congestion and negative impact to the neighborhood.

 

Councilwoman Rushefsky expressed her opposition of the proposed.  She expressed her belief that this isn’t an easy question, adding there are valid points on both sides of the issue.  Councilwoman Rushefsky noted the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets are small on Wal-Mart’s scale, but they are not small stores.  She expressed her belief that Wal-Mart has tried hard to accommodate the neighbors.  She expressed concern regarding the access and traffic congestion.  Councilwoman Rushefsky expressed her belief that traffic will be a major issue in regards to this project.  She also expressed her belief that Council would be remiss to only look at the zoning, adding Council needs to look at the overall affect on the City as a whole.  Councilwoman Rushefsky expressed her belief that Council cannot “play favorites” and citizens should be allowed to choose which store they shop at.  She added Springfield has the highest concentration of Wal-Mart stores than any other similar sized cities.  Councilwoman Rushefsky expressed concern that Wal-Mart will be in a position to eliminate their competition in Springfield.  She added what they save in wages and benefits, the community will pay in Medicaid, food stamps, and other public services.  Councilwoman Rushefsky commended the corporation for the recent actions they have taken to improve their corporate image and increase their civic role. 

 

Mayor Pro Tem Seifried expressed his support of the proposed. He expressed his belief that the neighbors would be well-served by a Wal-Mart at the proposed location.  He added it is not government’s role to tell businesses how and when to compete with each other.  Mayor Pro Tem Seifried noted he supports the green-space amendment.  He added Council has heard from many neighbors that support the proposed.  Mayor Pro Tem Seifried noted the proposed has gone through the appropriate process and was recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission.  He added there are no economic incentives being used for the proposed.  Mayor Pro Tem Seifried expressed his belief that the proposed would serve the neighborhood well.

 

John Rush expressed his support of the proposed.  He expressed his appreciation to everyone who spoke in regards to the proposed.  He added Council can override the recommendation made by the Planning and Zoning Commission, but he doesn’t believe that this recommendation should be ignored.  Councilman Rush expressed his belief that the final decision needs to be made to help the “common good”.  He noted he was impressed by how Councilman Bailes responded after he was insulted at the last meeting.  Councilman Rush expressed his belief that the proposed would not negatively impact the downtown area. 

 

Mayor Stephens expressed his support of the proposed.  He noted the issue is rezoning the property.  He noted there is a willing buyer and willing seller and Council should not interfere with that.  He added both ends of the property are retail, and if a church had not been built there it would have probably been retail also. 

 

Councilman Carroll asked if the amendment would stay with the property if it were sold to someone besides Wal-Mart.  Mr. Rognstad responded affirmatively.

 

 

 

Amended Council Bill 2013-025.  General Ordinance 6038 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Compton, Stephens, Fisk, Rush, and Seifried.  Nays: Bailes, Burlison, Rushefsky, and Carroll. Absent: None.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Second Reading and Final Passage Bills:

 

 

Administrative Adjudication System

Sponsor: Rush.  Council Bill 2013-026. A general ordinance amending Springfield City Code, Chapter 2, Administration, Section 2-162, pertaining to administrative hearings, to establish an administrative-adjudication system for certain nonmoving, municipal-code violations, pursuant to Section 479.011 RSMo.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-026.  General Ordinance 6039 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Emergency Bills.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Amended Bills.

 

 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS      

 

 

 

PETITIONS, REMONSTRANCES, AND COMMUNICATIONS. 

 

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

 

 

The City Manager recommended the following appointment to the Board of Adjustment:  Michael Mellinger with term to expire January 1, 2016. 

 

 

 

The Mayor recommended the following appointment to the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority:  Frank Romines with term to expire March 1, 2017. 

 

 

 

The Mayor recommended the following reappointment to the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority:  Matthew Aug with term to expire March 1, 2017. 

 

 

 

The Mayor recommended the following appointment to the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations:  Dan Scott with term to expire October 1, 2016. 

 

 

 

The Mayor recommended the following appointments to the Traffic Advisory Board:  Scott Pearson with term to expire April 1, 2014; and Troy Compton with term to expire April 1, 2016. 

 

 

 

The Mayor recommended the following reappointment to the Traffic Advisory Board:  Kris Barefield with term to expire April 1, 2016. 

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Consent Agenda – First Reading Bills.

 

 

MoDOT Grant

Sponsor: Compton.  Council Bill 2013-039. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept a Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) grant in the amount of $4,795, for the purchase of a lighting system to be used by the Springfield Police Department.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Consent Agenda – One Reading Bills.

 

 

Nesbitt Construction

Sponsor: Seifried.  Council Bill 2013-040. A resolution approving the plans, specifications, and bid of Nesbitt Construction, Inc., for the Human Resources Renovation Project on the third floor of the Busch Building.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-040.  Resolution 10031 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

 

The following bills appeared on the agenda under Consent Agenda – Second Reading Bills.

 

 

Walnut Street – East Urban Conservation District

Sponsor: Rushefsky.  Council Bill 2013-027. A special ordinance authorizing the Mayor of the City of Springfield, Missouri, to sign a restrictive covenant with Carrie and Chris Eidson, the owners of the historic structure at 1460 E. Walnut Street, such that the historic-preservation standards applicable to the Walnut Street-East Urban Conservation District are preserved, but also that the Eidsons receive equitable relief from the rigors of said standards.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-027.  Special Ordinance 26200 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

MHTC Project No. 8M0251

Sponsor: Seifried.  Council Bill 2013-028. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Cost Apportionment Agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) to coordinate participation by the City in constructing a bicycle and pedestrian trail connection along the Business Loop 44 (Chestnut Expressway) bridge, west of Sherman Avenue, designated as MHTC Project No. 8M0251.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-028.  Special Ordinance 26201 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

EUC REA Program Funds

Sponsor: Bailes.  Council Bill 2013-029. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept and appropriate an additional $30,000.00 of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (EUC REA) program funds from the State of Missouri to restore staff support to provide Reemployment and Eligibility Assessments for claimants filing for extended benefits; and amending the budget of the Department of Workforce Development for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 in the amount of $30,000.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-029.  Special Ordinance 26202 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

MHTC Project No. 8P2280B

Sponsor: Rushefsky.  Council Bill 2013-030. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Municipal Agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) for the purpose of constructing sidewalks and curb ramps along Glenstone Avenue from Evergreen Street to Saint Louis Street, designated as MHTC Project No. 8P2280B.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-030.  Special Ordinance 26203 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

ORYMCA

Sponsor: Seifried.  Council Bill 2013-031. A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ozarks Regional YMCA / Healthy Living Alliance (ORYMCA) to provide partial funding for the construction of the City’s Talmage Trail and Summit Avenue Sidewalk Project near Doling Park; and amending the budget of the Public Works Department for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 in the amount of $100,000 for funding to be received from ORYMCA.

 

 

 

Council Bill 2013-031.  Special Ordinance 26204 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Bailes, Compton, Fisk, Rushefsky, Rush, Burlison, Seifried, Carroll, and Stephens.  Nays: None. Absent: None.

 

 

 

Council confirmed the following appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission:  Gabrielle White with term to expire January 1, 2016. 

 

 

 

Council confirmed the following reappointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission:  Thomas Baird IV with term to expire January 1, 2016. 

 

 

 

Council confirmed the following reappointments to the Personnel Board:  Michael Mellinger and Tara Benson with terms to expire March 1, 2016. 

 

 

 

Council confirmed the following appointment to the Police Officers and Fire Fighters Retirement Board of Trustees:  Paul Carroll with term to expire April 30, 2015. 

 

                          

 

Council confirmed the following reappointments to the Police Officers and Fire Fighters Retirement Board of Trustees:  James Gillette and Marilyn Hill with terms to expire April 30, 2016. 

 

 

 

With no further business to come before Council, the meeting adjourned at approximately 8:00 p.m.

 

 

 

*Clerk’s Note:  Following the approval of these minutes, a scrivener’s error was discovered.  The Council bill number for the proposed rezoning on West Grand was incorrect. When this came to the Clerk’s attention, it was corrected per the permission of the Law Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                         Brenda M. Cirtin, MMC/MPCC

2/25/13 lh

                                                         City Clerk