Notes from the February Meeting
Last month, Police Chief Fitch joined us and this month, we had Affton Fire Captain Steve Davila. Capt. Davila spoke briefly about the proposed 26 cent tax increase which voters will see on the April ballot. The proposal is a result of new senior living centers in the Affton District and the increase calls expected from them. Should the measure pass, the funds would also be used to update the Valcour Fire House as it has not been touched since 1962, and would improve various equipment and trucks.
Trustee Kienstra once again enthusiastically reported on Village finances. After disbursements, the Village reported having $255,991 in the bank. This is remarkable, and quite possibly an unprecedented amount to have on hand. Unusual disbursements for February included: Call Publishing for the 6 month financial notice, John Hancock and Associates, $50, for the robo calls Old Grantwood Residents received for the road closure, and Traffic Control, 804.54, for the highway sign used during the Grantview entrance closure. For specifics, please refer to the Treasurer’s report on our Website. Trustee Kienstra also noted a $1,075 reimbursement for the damage done to the Zinzer island, and thanked Trustee Kelso for his work in securing the reimbursement.
Trustee Williams reported on her continued progress on updating Village records, including improved filing systems and the scanning of documents into the Village computer. We have yet to hear anything further regarding the Federal Grant for Grant Road.
Trustee Bess presented three bids for replacing the flooring in the upper level of the Town Hall. He contacted and met with 5 contractors, with 3 returning bids. Trustees than unanimously approved the bid by American Floorcraft for $2,900. Trustee Bess recommended American Floorcraft as they provided the most detailed and knowledgable bid. The current fiscal year budget, which this expenditure will fall under, includes $5,000 for flooring and other improvements at the Hall. This expenditure, plus other small improvements/repairs, to this point, keeps us under budget for the Town Hall.
Trustee Kelso updated the Board on future road work plans. Trustees inspected, marked and measured all Village streets last weekend and are working on a Streets Plan for the next 2 to 3 fiscal years. The new Forest Haven stop signs have yet to be installed, but once we get a streak of nice, warm weather, the signs will be in. The poles throughout the Village will also be painted.
Trustee Forand reported on various items including the possibility of storing the historical records, such as old maps and minutes, at the Historic Site, updating the Village Code on the website, and Village communications for the month, which included her responding to 47 phone calls at her residence, 10 from the Town Hall voicemail, and 77 emails. She also shared a letter from Commerce Bank noting the Village Line of Credit had been extended with no change in the terms and without a fee.
Officer Mike reported the Village saw a few minor incidents this past month. Two mailboxes were destroyed in what appears to be random incidents. Two walkers on the Trail reported another Trail user exposing himself. The incident occurred after 9pm and no one was harmed.
Village Attorney Rich Magee reported the transition of his Prosecuting Attorney duties to Mike Vogt is complete and went very well. He reiterated Mr. Vogt will serve the Village well. A resident requested a building permit for a fence. The permit was denied and a Board of Adjustment hearing is set for March 27.
Residents Questions and CommentsA resident asked why the July and August 2011 FICA tax payments were not on the corresponding reports. The taxes were paid for both months and are shown on the June report. Due to irregularities from the payments in the months preceding June, multiple payments were made to ensure the taxes were current for the quarter ending in June. The FICA tax can be paid monthly or quarterly; the current treasurer opts to pay monthly. Another resident again questioned the Federal Grant the Village applied for to enhance and improve Grant Road. As was stated previously, this is an opportunity to beautify, improve and make safer, the road which leads to one of the most visited tourist attractions in St. Louis and a National Park Service Site; all within our Village. Both of these attractions are deserving of the upgrades and will only reflect positively on our Village. The discrete, architectural lighting will serve only to improve visibility along Grant Road, especially during flash flooding, and Grant’s Trail.