New Business, Old Politics Top Manchester's Monday Night Meeting
The agenda and chambers were both packed Monday night for the Manchester Board of Aldermen meeting. New businesses that are expected to open, the 2005 election and a dismissed lawsuit started it all off.
CORRECTION: Patch initally reported the city of Manchester spend an estimated $22,000 on the lawsuit filed by Alderman Bob Tullock. The correct amount is an estimated $2,200. The story has been updated to reflect that correction.
New business and past elections started off Monday night's Manchester Board of Aldermen agenda.
However, before the meeting started, Ward 1 Alderman Bob Tullock removed the following two resolutions that he introduced from the agenda:
- Resolution to post city expenses on the city's website
- Resolution to censure Ward 2 Alderman Michael Clement
The board then made it through the following items, among others (see the attached agenda) in an hour and a half.
Two business owners asked the board for special use permits to open businesses in Manchester.
First was a request to open a martial arts academy at 14439 - 14441 Manchester Road. Aldermen asked some questions and seemed to be on board with the new business. Monday was the first reading and members will likely vote on the measure at the next board meeting. Alderman Michael Clement said the request had been unanimously approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Patch plans to offer readers a profile of this new business in the next few weeks.
The board then enacted emergency legislation to approve the second request for a special use permit. This time if was for a new nursery located at 14430 Manchester Road. The business, Chalilily Ponds and Gardens, is owned by Joe and Tonya Summers. Alderman Clement said the Planning and Zoning Commission also approved this request, and due to the timeliness of a nursery, Clement recommended the board enact emergency legislation and move forward with a vote Monday night. Members voted unanimously to approve the permit. Joe Summers said now that his permit is approved, it will take about two weeks before the nursery is open for business.
2005 Campaign Literature
After a discussion at the March 7 board meeting about 2005 campaign literature, City Attorney Patrick Gunn pulled city records and discussed the issue that he said he felt needed to be clarified. He explained the order of events surrounding campaign literature that was sent out by Ward 3 Alderman Don Ryan and the ensuing letters to Manchester residents from the city of Manchester. The city's letters addressed Ryan's literature and explained that the city did not endorse Ryan or any other political candidate.
A lawsuit filed against the board by Ward 1 Alderman Bob Tullock was recently dismissed by the court. Tullock said he was unfairly stripped of the title of board president and wanted a judge to review the case and make a decision. The case was dismissed last week. Two residents addressed the board and said they wanted the money recouped from Tullock that the city spent on the lawsuit. City Attorney Patrick Gunn estimated the city spent around $2,200 on the lawsuit.
City Salt Purchase
Bob Ruck, the director of public works, asked the board for an additional $40,000 to $50,000 to purchase salt to replenish the city's supply so it would be prepared for next year and avoid possible rate increases. Ruck explained that right now the city can purchase the salt at a better rate becaue it belongs to the St. Louis Co-op, which consists of 40 cities and they are looking to get the additional salt at a negotiated contract rate. They are currently still negotiating that rate. Ruck said many cities had to pay hiked rates this winter due to the severe weather causing salt shortages. He said that by purchasing enough now for next winter, the city would be avoiding future price hikes due to any shortages or increased fuel prices. Members said if it would save the city money in the long run, go ahead and purchase the salt once the rate is negotiated. Ruck will present the board with an official proposal, but needed to know whether to move forward with the plan Monday night.
Among other items, the board also discussed using a federal grant for repairs to the Meramec Station Road sidewalk on the east side of Meramec Station Road from Mautenne Drive to Grand Glaize Public Library and moving forward on a concrete street slab replacement project for just over $698,000. The city has $700,000 budgeted for 2011 for the project that will make repairs in various spots around the city. It was the first reading for both of these bills, but they could be voted on at the next board meeting April 4.
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