News Briefs – Oct. 24
Ferris Park master plan adopted
Ballwin city officials now have a master plan for developing Ferris Park, a 12-acre parcel located east of New Ballwin Road about a mile and a half south of Manchester Road.
Jay Wohlschlaeger, of SWT Design, presented the plan to city officials at the Oct. 8 meeting of the Ballwin Board of Aldermen after the St. Louis firm received public input on preliminary design concepts this summer.
Key elements of the master plan include a centrally located nature playground; a new entrance with a water feature that also deals with a storm water drainage issue and erosion of the creek that runs through the park; a larger parking area with a permeable surface; and an adjoining bio-swale to handle runoff in a more eco-friendly manner.
Wohlschlaeger said the design’s features take advantage of the park’s existing topography.
Implementing the entire master plan has an estimated price tag of $3 million, he said. However, the project easily can be broken down into smaller segments for completion over a number of years.
Having a master plan for the park, along with the public support and input that went into its development, is important when making applications for grants to help finance the project, Wohlschlaeger said after the meeting.
Dispatching contract renewed
The city of Ballwin has renewed its long-standing contract with the city of Manchester to provide police dispatching services.
The renewal is for four years and extends an agreement that has been in effect for many years.
Under the contract, Ballwin’s communications center answers all calls for service via telephone or radio, including 9-1-1 calls, on an around-the-clock basic. The center also monitors hold-up and break-in alarms for both business and residential users and is responsible for dispatching Manchester police officers on all emergency and non-emergency situations.
Manchester compensates Ballwin for the service based on a formula that includes audited costs for personnel, equipment and other fixed and variable expenses.
Although leaves are falling, the Ballwin Public Works Department’s free residential curbside leaf collection program will not begin until Oct. 29 to give residents sufficient time to rake leaves to the curb. This service is only available to customers of the city’s contracted waste hauler.
Due to the holiday, leaves will not be collected on Nov. 22 and 23. However, collection will continue during the first week after the Thanksgiving holiday. Leaves should be at the curb no later than Sunday, Dec. 2. A list of persons willing to rake leaves is available by calling 227-9000.
Mental health court
The Ballwin Board of Aldermen has approved a measure setting the stage for the city to contract with St. Louis County for its mental health court to handle municipal ordinance violations.
In a resolution authorizing the move, Ballwin noted that some defendants in municipal court proceedings have special needs the court can’t effectively and efficiently serve. The county’s mental health court is better equipped to serve those persons, the resolution noted.
Under the agreement with the county, designated attorneys employed by the St. Louis County counselor’s office would be appointed mental health court prosecuting attorneys for the city of Ballwin and would handle cases referred by the city.
St. Louis County will receive all fines and costs generated by any prosecution it handles on the city’s behalf. In addition, Ballwin will pay the county $300 for each person referred and accepted by the mental health court, up to a maximum of $3,000 annually.
The contract will take effect as soon as county and city officials sign it. If Ballwin and the county agree, the measure can be renewed when it expires at the end of 2013.
In an effort to promote energy conservation and recycling, the Chesterfield Citizens Committee for the Environment will be hosting an event to celebrate Chesterfield/Missouri/America Recycles Day on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. The event will be held on the parking lot north of the Parks Administration & Maintenance Facility, 17891 North Outer 40, at the east end of the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex.
Free, confidential document shredding will be offered by Cintas (limit of five boxes) and free electronics recycling will be provided by WITS. Home Depot will be collecting light bulbs of all kinds and Batteries Plus will be collecting batteries and tool pack batteries. Remains, Inc. will be collecting old clothes, linens and shoes, and Allied Waste will be collecting all single stream recycling (paper, plastics, glass, etc.). Additionally, Habitat for Humanity will be on site collecting used and new building materials and supplies for their ReStore program. For more information, visit habitat.org or call (314) 531-4155 for collection guidelines.
For more information about the recycling event, call 537-4000 or visit chesterfield.mo.us and search for “recycling.”
Pseudoephedrine ban passes
The Manchester Board of Aldermen on Oct. 15 voted 5-1 to ban over-the-counter pseudoephedrine, effective Nov. 15. The medicine will still be available with a doctor’s prescription.
Alderman John Diehl (Ward 3) was the only one opposed.
Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient used to create meth but also is found in many allergy drugs, including Claritin-D, Sudafed and Zyrtec-D. The new legislation was created in the hopes of curbing makers of meth as well as meth labs.
As previously reported in West Newsmagazine, aldermen, residents, police and members of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Consumer Healthcare Products Association have debated both sides of the issue. Concerns included decreasing drug sales for businesses, availability of the medication during doctors’ off-hours and whether the issue should be dealt with at a city or state level. Proponents of the ban cited a reduction in shoplifting and meth labs in areas where a ban exists.
The new legislation will go into effect 15 days after Maryland Heights-based Highland Pharmaceuticals is expected to release Zephrex-D, a new decongestant that is said to have the same effect of pseudoephedrine but cannot be converted into meth. The new drug will be available Nov. 1 at a few national chains and local stores.
TOWN & COUNTRY
Clayton Road resurfacing
The city of Town & Country has approved a bill sponsored by Alderman Lynn Wright (Ward 1) to continue the second stage of the Clayton Road improvement project, from Oak Springs Lane to the eastern city limits.
Included in the project is the resurfacing of the 1.53-mile stretch of Clayton Road and the addition of a 1.46-mile multi-use pedestrian trail. The 8-foot-wide path will be ADA compliant and will make conditions safer for pedestrians and bicyclists by creating a pathway where none previously existed.
Construction is anticipated to start after the first of the year. According to the municipality, the traffic impact was minor in the first phase and is anticipated to cause no concern for major traffic backups during the second phase of resurfacing.
At its Oct. 8 meeting, the Board of Aldermen agreed to the terms of the second phase of the Clayton Road Resurfacing and Pedestrian Enhancements Plan and reached an agreement with the CDG Engineers for the project costs. This phase of the project is quoted as having a total budget of $2,242,473, which will come largely from grants provided by East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the Federal Highway Administration. Additional funds will come from the municipality’s Road Fund.
The project, which began with planning in 2008, is anticipated to be complete in the spring of 2013.
Improvements at Longview Farm Park
At its Oct. 8 meeting, the Town & Country Board of Aldermen unanimously authorized Anne Dixon, director of parks and recreation, to apply for a municipal park grant to increase parking at Longview Farm Park, located at 13525 Clayton Road.
Alderman Skip Mange (Ward 1) noticed a few years ago that overflow parking had become a problem with park goers attending Longview Farm Park.
“We formed a special committee, conducted a traffic study and zeroed in on the need to create 15 new parking spaces,” Mange said.
The project will also include the reconfiguration of park entrances. This portion of the project is expected to improve safety along Clayton Road by reducing the number of curb cuts from four to two and by creating only one entrance and one exit.
The 15 additional parking spaces will help accommodate park pavilion rental and Longview Farm House rental crowds. However, the net result of adding the spaces is a loss of 100 square feet of green space.
Dixon said the total parking project cost is estimated at $141,916. The grant application is due Oct. 26.
“We feel pretty confident that we will receive the funding because the grant commission works on a point basis and we think we will be ranked pretty well,” Mange said.
If given the grant, the project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2013.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY
Holiday food donations requested
Circle Of Concern is asking West County residents for help in filling its Thanksgiving baskets. Donations of both food and money are needed no later than Nov. 14. For more information, call 861-2623, ext.108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.