Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Cheryl Kross and Sonya Shryock questioned open-ended provisions in the contract that Kross called "an open pocketbook."
At last week's meeting of the Wentzville Board of Aldermen, the board voted to amend their contract with Gartenberg Construction Consulting for construction oversight of the Splash Station aquatic park project. The new contract reduces the city's costs from $87,000 to $80,000 because of a reduced scope of services. However, two additional contracts could push the limits of the contingency fund set for the project. The additional contracts were approved for two subcontractors—Waters Edge Aquatic Design and Jacobs Engineering—who had previously worked as subcontractors for Planning Design Services, the firm that was fired from the project. The new contracts mean the companies will now be contracted directly by the city and could add up to …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Building Commissioner Diane Bolderson had been with the city since 1998.
Diane Bolderson, Wentzville's building commissioner, was fired last week by the City of Wentzville and details surrounding her ouster remain unclear. Bolderson says her job was terminated because of her objection to a contract for Splash Station, an aquatic park that's part of Wentzville's massive Project Parks development. At least one member of the board of aldermen, though, says otherwise. "Her firing has nothing to do with Parks," said Alderman Sonya Shryock when Patch spoke with her Wednesday afternoon. Construction of Splash Station has been plagued by overruns caused by massive amounts of rock that were found during excavations. Bolderson's objections came on the heels of an out-of-the-ordinary decision made by newly hired City …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The city is looking for both an investment advisor and a long-range investment plan.
The Wentzville Board of Aldermen is feeling a little better about the city's investments. In the past, Alderman Forrest Gossett said, "the reporting was a disaster." Last year, the board asked for an accounting of the city's investments and were unhappy to find out that much of the city's money was sitting in non-interest bearing accounts. The board heard a report at Tuesday night's special meeting from Ben Hart, a representative of independent auditor Allen Gibb & Houlik and the city's interim finance director. $3,397,842 has been moved into the Missouri Securities Investment Program (MOSIP), Hart said, basically "parked" until the city decides on an investment plan for it. But that is only about half of the total amount that was moved…
Friday, May 10, 2013
Procurement Director Jerry Hillin was directed by the board to audit hundreds of city contracts, many of which were forgotten and unused even though they'd never been closed.
At Wednesday night's Wentzville Board of Aldermen meeting, Procurement Director Jerry Hillin asked for the board to cancel three city contracts. All the contracts were auto-renewing contracts. One was with the City of Kirkwood for support with GIS mapping, which the city no longer needs. The two other contracts were for a short-lived experiment from 2007, where the city leased utility poles from Ameren and then contracted with a company to hang advertisement banners for local businesses. Hillin said that the city received no revenue in the deal and that they didn't even have a record of how much was charged for the banners. "We do have some of the old banners," Hillin said. These three contracts are just an example of a huge number of …
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wentzville City Attorney Paul Rost told the board that they needed to be careful not to violate candidates' first amendment rights.
An election ethics discussion at Wednesday night's Wentzville Board of Aldermen meeting left board members in agreement that there were some things beyond their control. "We cannot entertain notions of limiting people's free speech," Ward 1 Alderman Forrest Gossett said. The ethics discussion, which had been removed from the previous meeting's agenda, was prompted by citizen complaints about an election flyer for Ward 3 Alderman Michael Hays with an endorsement from Mayor Nick Guccione. READ MORE: Aldermen Scold Mayor Over Election Dispute, Ask for Election Ethics Discussion Ward 1 Alderman Cheryl Kross opened the discussion, asking for clarification about the city's recently-adopted ethics policy and how it applied to elections. City …
Monday, May 6, 2013
The once-stalled business development is well on the road to reality.
Development at Wentzville Bluffs, a new business development in the southwest corner of the I-70/Highway Z intersection, is moving along. On Wednesday night, the Wentzville Planning and Zoning Commission approved a site plan for a strip mall at the development that will include a new fitness center, Xist Fitness. City staff recommended approval of the 25,900 square foot fitness center and 14,835 square feet of small retail shops at the location. The commission voted unanimously to approve the site plan, which will now go on to the Wentzville Board of Aldermen. The Board of Aldermen has already approved the site plan for a Hotshots sports bar in the Bluffs development. READ MORE: Hotshots Looking to Open Wentzville Location
Friday, April 26, 2013
What is the plan to pay back a "significant" amount of money that was supposed to be earmarked for bond payments?
Last month, members of the Wentzville Board of Aldermen were surprised to find out that money generated from the 1/2 cent parks sales tax was not being kept in a separate fund. READ MORE: Aldermen Left 'Flabbergasted' Over Parks Fund Snafu On Wednesday night, the board asked for further discussion of the subject after approving a contract to outsource the city's pool management services and being asked to approve a $22,000 transfer from the general fund to cover those costs. READ MORE: City to Outsource Progress Park Pool Management, Lifeguards City Administrator Mike McDowell confirmed to the board that before the 2010 tax was passed, the city had transferred money from the general fund to cover parks operations. Ward 3 Alderman Rick …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The 4-year contract with Midwest Pool Management will cost an estimated $1.1 million.
In response to a directive from the Wentzville Board of Aldermen, the Parks Department has outsourced management of the Progress Park Pool. The agreement means that the city will no longer hire lifeguards or pool staff, but that those positions will be filled and supervised by the winning bidder, Midwest Pool Management. Among the other services that will be provided by the management company are: Director of Parks Mary Jo Dessieux told the board that her staff will still be responsible for oversight of the contract and management of programs. The concession stand will also be run in-house, although staff will look at also outsourcing concessions in 2014. Interim Finance Director Petree Powell said that one of the ways that the city will …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Wentzville Board of Aldermen will vote tonight to approve a contract with Christopher Knudsen, a retired naval officer now working in Gulfport, MS, as the city's new public works director.
The Wentzville Board of Aldermen will vote tonight on the contract for a new director of public works, Christopher Knudsen. City Administrator Mike McDowell said Knudsen is a retired naval officer and is currently working under contract in the city of Gulfport, MS. If approved, the contract, which will take effect May 20, Knudsen would be paid $97,000 per year and be allowed relocation expenses of up to $6,000, an expense account and a city vehicle. Douglas Lee has been serving as the city's interim director of public works since previous director Scott Smith was fired in July of 2012. The board hired a professional recruiter in December 2012.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Additional parking could be created along the railroad, or by purchasing property for parking lots.
During last week's Wentzville Board of Aldermen work session, the board discussed parking issues in the downtown Village Center area, with input from several downtown business owners. Community Development Director Doug Forbeck presented an analysis of parking space in the downtown area with a map of both existing and potential parking. He said that the city has a long-standing lease with the Norfolk Railroad for the parking adjacent to the tracks in the downtown area. Forbeck explained that the requirements for businesses to provide parking are different in the VC-1 Village Center zoning district, with businesses allowed to share existing parking. Currently, 329 on-street spaces and 193 off-street spaces are available for parking in the …