Town Hall Meeting

The Town hall meeting started out with the City Attorney introducing Mayor Doerr.  Mayor Doerr led residents in the Pledge of Allegiance. This was followed by a moment of silence for Yolanda Poe’s son, who is in the hospital on life support.  The Mayor explained the format of the Town Hall meeting and introduced the city’s elected officials, employees, and commission members.

The City Treasurer, Mr. Krenn, gave his report on the finances of the community.  He reported that the annual audit had been completed.  The results will be made public in the upcoming months.  Mr. Krenn reported that it has been a challenging year for our city.  The city has seen increases in utility tax and property tax revenues.  There has been a reduction in fines and court fees.  He reported that expenditures have been fairly close to what is actually budgeted.  Mr. Krenn reported there has been overages in our police department due to overtime.  The city has been able to control our benefits and health insurance costs.

The General Fund has been stabilized.  He cautioned that there needs to be continued vigilance in watching spending.  Mr. Krenn noted that in the upcoming budget, city employees were given a 2% raise.  It has been about four years since employees were given a raise.  The General Fund budget for the upcoming year is $4,770,000.  This is an increase from prior years, primarily due to Prop P funds.

Aldermen Field and Schultz then discussed the City Administrator position.  Residents’ concerns about this position included:

• there needs to be some sort of prioritized plan

• grant writing should be in the job description

• invite various City Administrators to Bellefontaine Neighbors to speak

• look for economic development

• review and update ordinances.

After their presentation, residents asked questions. During this portion of the presentation, Mayor stated, “I am all in favor of hiring a city Administrator. I am behind it 110%. It will get done. When? I don’t know. It is up to this Board of Aldermen, not me.”

Alderman Jordan then discussed the street repairs.  He reported that most of the $8 million dollars from the bond has been spent.   He gave an overview of the street repair process.  Alderman Jordan noted that the bonds were sold at a premium so the city made an extra $539,000.   He reported that the contractors are slightly over budget.  One contractor is 4% over budget.   The other contractor is 1% over budget.   He reported that additional streets are going to be repaired than what was originally planned.

Alderman Jordan reported that there was $700,000 left from the bond---$200,000 has been dedicated to the Ashbrook Project and $400,000 set aside in an emergency fund.  After his presentation, residents were given the opportunity to ask questions.

At this point in the Town Hall meeting, Mayor Doerr made several announcements.  He announced the renaming ceremony of the Danforth School.  He informed residents that the Riverview Garden School District’s (RGSD) Homecoming Parade will be September 30th.  National Night Out is Tuesday, October 3rd.  Mayor Doerr announced that the annual Wine Garden will be held in the gazebo behind the Recreation Center in October.   The Human Relations Commission’s annual meeting will be Wednesday, October 18th.  Finally, right Night at the Recreation Center will be October 20th.

Representative Tommie Pierson, Jr. then spoke. He related that residents can stay informed as to what is going on in Jefferson City by signing-up for his “Capitol Report.”  Senator Gina Walsh was unable to attend.

Chief Ihler then gave his report regarding the Police Department. He reported that it seems like residents are concerned about the amount of violent crime in the community and the staffing issues of the Police Department. He noted that most of the violent crime originates outside of our community.  Chief stressed the importance of police/resident communication and police networking (noting our community does not live apart from the St. Louis area).  Additionally, Chief reported that five officers have been hired in the past six months. Chief then gave out awards to citizens, Bellefontaine Neighbors police officers and Riverview police officers.

Chief Goldstein was the next individual to speak. He discussed the call stats of the district.  Additionally, he discussed the improved ISO rating of the district.  Our new rating is a “3.”  He suggested residents contact their insurance company and let them know about this rating, as residents should see a reduction in their home owner’s insurance.  Chief also discussed the re-designed Riverview Fire Protection District’s website.

Next, Chief reported that about 45% of calls are for EMS. He stated that in November, the fire district is asking for a tax increase (Prop A).  On a home valued at $50,000, residents would see an increase of $38 a year, $3.17 a month, or $.10 a day.  Chief noted that the district has already received a grant for $54,887 and have started purchasing this equipment.

The meeting was then opened for general questions from residents. Beautification awards were then presented. After this presentation, the Town Hall meeting ended.