Springfield City Council LIVE November 18, 2019

Welcome to another live session with Springfield City Council!

City Council Meeting: City Council meets every other Monday at 6:30 pm in Historic City Hall, Springfield MO.

Posted by City of Springfield, MO – Connect with SGF on Monday, November 18, 2019

Mayor McClure calls the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m..

1. ROLL CALL.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. November 4, 2019 City Council Meeting And November 5, 2019 And November 12, 2019 Special City Council Meetings.

Approved 9-0.


3. FINALIZATION AND APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDAS. CITIZENS WISHING TO SPEAK TO OR REMOVE ITEMS FROM THE CONSENT AGENDAS MUST DO SO AT THIS TIME.

Approved 9-0.


4. CEREMONIAL MATTERS.
5. CITY MANAGER REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.

City manager noted a report from Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams regarding a rise in car thefts; the increase was connected to people leaving their cars running attended during cold weather.

Mayor McClure thanked city staff for their work on the $21 million grant to develop the Grant Avenue Parkway. He thanked the federal legislators who promoted the application.

6. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On.
7. Council Bill 2019-245. (Fisk)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept grant funds from the Springfield Police Foundation totaling $75,628.86, to fund the purchase of Photogrammetry/Mapping Software for the Traffic Section Drone, Rifle Rated Ballistic Shields, a K9 Camera System, a Long-Range Acoustic Device, and Major Crime Investigator Camera Packages; and amending the budget for the Police Department for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 in the amount of $75,628.86.

2019-245.PDF

Councilman Schilling asked how much the items will be used on a day to day basis or if they’re specialized.

City manager Gage said it’s a mix of both.

Passes 9-0

8. Council Bill 2019-246. (Schilling)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept a grant in the amount of $10,000.00, from Community Partnership of the Ozarks for reimbursement of expenses incurred by the Springfield Police Department for participating in the Mental Health First Aid Program and amending the budget for the Police Department for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 in the amount of $10,000.00.
Documents:

2019-246.PDF

Passes 9-0

9. Council Bill 2019-247. (Simpson)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with BKD, LLP, for the purpose of providing internal audit services for one year at a cost of $77,586, with the option of up to four additional one-year terms.

2019-247.PDF

Councilman Lear said he’s abstaining because of his long association with the firm.

Passes 8-0-1 with Lear abstaining.

10. Council Bill 2019-248. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Article I. – ‘Administration and Enforcement of Codes’ of Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-248.PDF

Passes 9-0.

11. Council Bill 2019-249. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending the City of Springfield Land Development Code, Article IV, ‘Building Trades, Appeals, and Licensing,’ to clarify existing language, delete unnecessary language, and amend certain language by repealing Article IV in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article IV, ‘Building Trades Examination and Certification Board.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-249.PDF

Passes 9-0.

12. Council Bill 2019-250. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the Land Development Code, by repealing Article V, ‘Building Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article V, ‘Building Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-250.PDF

Passes 9-0.

13. Council Bill 2019-251. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code,’ by repealing Article VI, ‘Electrical Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article VI, ‘Electrical Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-251.PDF

Passes 9-0.

14. Council Bill 2019-252. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code,’ by repealing Article VII, ‘International Property Maintenance Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting a new Article VII, ‘International Property Maintenance Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-252.PDF

Councilman Hosmer asked staff about a concern on a property with growth. City Manager Gage said the code could be used better but they need to run amendments through law. He said code can be changed to make it “run smoother.”

Gage said they could table it and come back to it, or pass it and then pass a change to it later.

Councilwoman Ferguson asked a question related to the boarded up building permit. She wants to know how effectively the city can enforce this code.

Building Development Services head Harlan Hill answered the question.

Hill talked about the contracts the city has to do with contractors to have buildings boarded up and how the city is working to increase the number of buildings that can be boarded up each month. He said much of the issue has to do with the time impact on city staff, such as getting inspectors out to the sites.

Councilman Ollis asked about boarded up buildings and if they were vacant houses. Ollis said these are buildings with openings in the structure, usually disconnected from utilities, which are in poor shape. Hill agrees.

“I feel sorry for the neighbors who live next to this,” Ollis said.

Ollis asked if an escalating fee can be put in place for repeat offenders.

Hosmer moves to table the bill until December 16.

The motion to table passes 6-3, with Ferguson, Simpson and McGull voting no.

15. Council Bill 2019-253. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the Land Development Code,’ by repealing Article VIII, ‘Plumbing Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article VIII, ‘Plumbing Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-253.PDF

Passes 9-0.

16. Council Bill 2019-254. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code,’ by repealing Article IX, ‘Mechanical Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article IX, ‘Mechanical Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-254.PDF

Passes 9-0.

17. Council Bill 2019-255. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code,’ by repealing Article XIV, ‘Fuel Gas Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article XIV, ‘Fuel Gas Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-255.PDF

Passes 9-0.

18. Council Bill 2019-256. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code,’ by repealing Article XV, ‘Private Sewage Disposal Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article XV, ‘Private Sewage Disposal Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-256.PDF

Passes 9-0

19. Council Bill 2019-257. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the Land Development Code, by repealing Article XVI, ‘Existing Building Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article XVI, ‘Existing Building Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-257.PDF

Passes 9-0.

20. Council Bill 2019-258. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance adopting the 2018 Swimming Pool and Spa Code as Article XVIII of Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code.’ (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-258.PDF

Passes 9-0.

21. Council Bill 2019-259. (Ollis, Lear, Hosmer, And McGull)
A general ordinance adopting the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code as Article XIX of Chapter 36 of the Springfield City Code, known as the Land Development Code; declaring the intent of the currently constituted City Council to adopt the 2018 or 2021 International Energy Conservation Code to take effect on January 1, 2023; and instructing City staff to solicit input from stakeholders about whether minor amendments to the 2018 or 2021 Code should be adopted prior to such Code’s adoption and to present a report regarding the input and staff’s recommendations to City Council. (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-259.PDF

Passes 9-0.

22. Council Bill 2019-260. (Ollis, Lear, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36, Article XIII of the Springfield City Code, known as the Land Development Code, by repealing Article XIII, ‘Residential Building Code,’ in its entirety, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article XIII, ‘Residential Building Code,’ amending Chapter 36, Article XIII, Section 36-1302, ‘Deletions, modifications, amendments, and additions, Section N1102 (R402) ‘Building Thermal Envelope,’ by repealing said section in its entirety and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section N1102 to take effect on July 1, 2021; declaring the intent of the currently constituted City Council to adopt the 2018 or 2021 International Residential Building Code to become effective on January 1, 2022; and instructing City staff to solicit input from stakeholders about whether minor amendments to the 2018 or 2021 Code should be adopted prior to such Code’s adoption and to present a report regarding the input and staff’s recommendations to City Council. (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-260.PDF

Hosmer is grilling staff about the bill. He is asking is the change makes buildings less efficient than currently being used. He’s asking about R values and asking repeated questions of Hill to force him to say they’re reductions.

Hosmer asked if what’s before Council is what staff worked out with those invested in the construction industry. Hill said that BDS is proposing an increase over time, and what’s being proposed is in the spirit of that idea.

“Don’t we start with a code we have today rather than moving backwards?” asks Hosmer.

Hill said the previous code did not have a requirement to verify and confirm at each step they were being built to code. The new measure includes those.

Hosmer again says the measure is reducing energy efficiency in the city of Springfield by code.

Hosmer addresses Mayor McClure and said the bill doesn’t move Springfield forward, it moves it backwards.

“This is what happens when you have a deal cut with one side,” Hosmer said. “I don’t have anything against homebuilders, they have rights too, but this is what happens when you have a deal with only side involved.”

He says Habitat for Humanities builds to a higher code than the city’s requirements and what will be required by the bill.

Hosmer notes that poverty activists report people have to leave their homes because their utility bills are too high.

Hosmer says St. Louis and Columbia have the 2018 codes and St. Louis sent a letter saying it “worked well.”

“For a place that says ‘forward’ a lot, we’re going backwards,” Hosmer says.

Hosmer is now saying climate change has been proven and that in ten years if the code is put in place people will say Springfield made the wrong decision.

Councilman Ollis said the original proposal improves energy efficiency from the common home stat presented at the meeting. Hill said in “some areas overall.”

Ollis said over the next two years, it would be an increase over what is currently in the city. Hill said the goal was to allow builders to “catch up” to where we are right now.

“You’re telling the city of Springfield by reducing the R-value it’s increasing energy efficiency?” Hosmer said.

“I’m not saying that,” Hill responds.

Hill explains that the code on the books shows that a lot of the aspects are being reduced. Hosmer again says that’s “less” than the current code.

Councilwoman Ferguson said “what I’m hearing is the current energy code is sometimes…not being met in buildings because inspectors are not coming out to inspect for those standards.”

Hill said yes, that under current inspections, they are not there at “the in-between phases” of construction. They do not see things like sealing of the building or other energy aspects.

“Rather than leave [those not at standard] behind, we are giving them a chance to get up to where we are and to give our staff the chance to do inspections,” Hill said.

Hill noted Article I, which has been passed, allows inspections at various phases.

Ferguson said this measure adds another inspection that would look at insulation of homes. Hill agreed. She asked if they had enough staff. Hill said he believes they do but it would take coordination with builders.

Ferguson asked if it requires additional training for inspectors. Hill said yes. Ferguson asked if training money was in their budget and Hill said he thinks he can stretch the budget.

“I think what I hear you say is yes, it’s in our current code, but it’s an honor system on the current code,” Ferguson said.

“I think that’s fair,” Hill said.

“So you’re adding another inspection, adding training for your staff…” Ferguson said, “and giving builders a chance to catch up to code.”

Hill agreed.

Councilman Schilling says the city needs to get “into the 21st century” and that the city would be moving backwards. He doesn’t understand if there’s a problem with cost.

He says he’s opposing the bill.

Hosmer moves that items 1-14 be voted on first, the acting provisions. (A division of question.) Schilling seconds the measure.

Hosmer says his intent is that if the basic body is passed, they should look at when it’s enacted.

Councilman Ollis notes this was passed out of Plans and Policies by a vote of 3-1. He notes that this has been worked on for 18 months, with staff for the last 90 days, and worked to a phased in approach to increase energy efficiency in the long run.

Councilwoman Ferguson asks if a current council can impose something on a future council. Staff said no, but they can make items have a later date that a future council can then consider or ignore.

Councilman Simpson asks about the division. Staff said the first part gives the overview of the ordinance. All the actual enactment is below that, so adopting the top could be invalid as a matter of law.

Councilman Hosmer, after staff said the division is improper, withdraws that motion and moves to amend the bill so that the 2018 code will actually go into effect rather than being “considered” by a future Council.

Hosmer explains this basically says that in December 2020, the 2018 code will be adopted rather than 2022.

“Fifteen years from now, if we don’t require them to be weatherized now, the taxpayers will be paying to weatherize them then,” Hosmer said.

Hosmer’s amendment fails 2-7, with Hosmer and Schilling voting in favor.

Councilman Lear asks about the word “intent” and if it’s being because they don’t know if they’ll use 2018 or 2021 codes. Staff said it’s possible to strike one, but when drafted it was understood modifications could be made and those modifications are unknown at the time.

Passes 7-2, Hosmer and Schilling voting no.

23. Council Bill 2019-261. (Ollis, Lear, Hosmer, And McGull)
A special ordinance authorizing the City of Springfield, Missouri, to join the commercial component of the Show Me Property Assessment Clean Energy District created pursuant to Missouri Revised Statutes Sections 67.2800 to 67.2835, known as the “Property Assessment Clean Energy Act;” stating the City’s intent to participate in the commercial component of the “Property Assessed Clean Energy” Program as a member of such District; requesting appointment to the District’s Advisory Board; disclaiming any need for appropriation; and directing the City Clerk to send a certified copy of this Ordinance to the Board of Directors of the District. (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents:

2019-261.PDF

Mayor McClure announces his intent to move for tabling the bill.

Councilman Ollis says that the bill offers third party collection, and other items for developers. He will support the Mayor’s move to gain “clarifying language” if it’s taken up on December 16.

Councilman Schilling said he will opposed the tabling.

Mayor McClure moves to table the measure, passes 7-2 with Hosmer and Schilling voting no.

25. Council Bill 2019-263. (Council)
A resolution declaring the results of the special municipal election held on November 5, 2019 under the Home Rule Charter of the City of Springfield, Missouri.
Documents:

2019-263.PDF

Public hearing closed; passes 9-0.

26. Council Bill 2019-264. (McGull)
A resolution declaring the intent of the City of Springfield, to annex 6.3 acres of private property and 1.5 acres of Missouri Department of Transportation right-of-way generally located at 3615 North State Highway H/Glenstone Avenue. (Staff recommends approval.)
Documents:

2019-264.PDF

Staff said this begins the process of annexation of the property.

Public hearing closed, passes 9-0.

27. Council Bill 2019-265. (Ollis)
A resolution authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to make application to the Ozark Transportation Organization for $217,600 of federal grant funds administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation, through the Surface Transportation Block Grant program, for the purpose of funding the construction of the Fassnight Creek Greenway Trail, Clay Avenue to Brookside Drive.
Documents:

2019-265.PDF

Councilman Simpson praised the project and application of funds. Councilwoman Ferguson asked about the timeline and staff said likely 2021.

Public hearing closed, passes 9-0.

28. Council Bill 2019-266. (Lear)
A resolution adopting the Public Rights of Way ADA Transition Plan.
Documents:

2019-266.PDF

Public hearing closed, passes 9-0.

32. Council Bill 2019-267. (Hosmer)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept an Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant in the amount of $200,000 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for the purpose of creating job training programs that recruit, train, and place local unemployed and under-employed residents into full-time employment in the environmental field, and to enter into necessary agreements to carry out the grant; amending the budget of the Department of Workforce Development for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 in the amount of $200,000 to appropriate the grant funds; and declaring that this bill qualifies for approval on one reading.
Documents:

2019-267.PDF

Councilwoman Ferguson said she’s excited to vote on this as she’s been working to help get the grant. She shared the story of a person who was making $9 an hour, went through the program and is now making $16 an hour.

“I’ve seen the results,” Ferguson said. “I can’t think of anything better financially but also for the self-esteem of those involved.”

Public hearing closed. Passes 9-0.

36. Council Bill 2019-268. (Ollis)
A special ordinance approving the plans and specification for construction of Blackman Woods Lift Station Relief Sewer; and to accept the bid of Accurate Excavating of S.W. Mo., Inc. in the amount of $95,808.00 for the project; and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to enter into a contract with such bidder for said improvement.
Documents:

2019-268.PDF

Public hearing closed; Vote on December 16.

37. Council Bill 2019-269. (Fisk)
A special ordinance amending the budget of the City of Springfield for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 in the amount of $2,000,000, for the purpose of appropriating funds to complete the upgrade of the Trunked Radio System and purchase P-25 compliant radio equipment.
Documents

2019-269.PDF

The radio system supports first responders and other services from the city and county according to staff. It is a planned upgrade that has been in the works for 10 years.

Public hearing closed; vote on December 16.

Josephine Grace addresses Council. She is talking about DEW weapons.

Angela Mayer addresses Council. She is talking about empty properties and abandoned properties.

She says she lives next to a house that she’s reported multiple times. She said inspectors can’t go in because the renters are inside the buildings and the owner comes by, or someone who works for them, and picks up the city’s sign in the yard and removes it.

She didn’t see the problems being taken care of by the landlord.

“I don’t want to hire someone to cut tree limbs for a tree that isn’t even ours that is messing with power lines,” Mayer says.

She says she’s been talking to people about the problem “around downtown.”

She claims that she once spoke to the landowner of the home next to her, whom she identified as Barrett Fisk, and complained about damage to the home. She claims that Fisk told her that he didn’t think “it was that bad.” She disagrees with his assessment.

She guesses there are about 100 houses or more that are problems. She believes that landlords don’t care because they don’t make the repairs she thinks they need to make.

Councilwoman Fisk asked about the address of the specific house that Mayer was asking about and said she would see about having the home repaired.

Councilman Ollis asked if over the years things reported have not been repaired and she says that there are multiple things including rodent issues, broken screens, and piles of brush and trees.

Councilman Ollis thanked her for speaking to Council and said that Council has to find ways to enforce the codes and get nuisance properties repaired and not causing problems in neighborhoods.

Councilman McGull is asking about tracking complaints about homes and how inspectors go about tracking these structures. Harlan Hill of BDS said that they track those through their software system.

Hill said they do not have a system to track all vacant properties, they only can note them when reported to the city.

Councilman Ferguson told Councilman McGull they get quarterly reports on the matter.

Ferguson mentioned the rental ordinance, they passed a vacant property ordinance. She believes a fine is in the ordinance for non-compliance with registration, and wants to know how the fines are being used.

Hill said they’ve had “issues” in implementing the system, are “working through” those issues, and will be returning to Council with information.

Councilman Ollis brought up the report that Councilman McGull mentioned and that it’s “just numbers” and doesn’t give details like addresses.

“I frankly would like to see named,” Ollis said. “It’s beneficial to see these repeat offenders.”

“What we’re doing now is not working,” Ollis said. He added that he knows BDS is understaffed and asked Hill to “beef up” his budget request for staff.

Hill notes it’s a legal process, and they can only do certain things through the legal process.

“That’s what takes the most amount of time,” Hill said. “We have to work through due process.”

He said the legal process can take up to 320 days.

Gary Horchem addresses Council.

He is noting that since the placement of the Walmart Neighborhood Market at Campbell and Grant. He notes the increase in homeless in the area, sleeping in the common areas of bordering apartment complexes, harassing customers in the parking lot or on sidewalks for money, and finding drug needles laying at bus stops and in grass.

He also notes that the homeless are placing signs asking for money on the fence of the cemetery and wanted to know if that can be removed. Mayor McClure said the cemetery is private property.

Brian Sturgis addresses Council. He is complaining about a nuisance property that he said burned, but that the upper level is being “used by vagrants.”

He said he “took it upon himself to investigate” and found foodstuffs and other items to indicate people were using the second floor.

Councilman Ollis suggests this issue be examined at a Council lunch and that Council needs to be proactive.

Councilwoman Ferguson said she’s familiar with the property and has turned it in multiple times herself.

Terry Bloodworth addresses Council. He’s also talking about nuisance properties near his home. He says he believes the homeowner of the nuisance property is Carol Ward in response to a question from Councilman Ollis.

Councilman McGull thanked Bloodworth for staying through the meeting and that his waiting shows he has pride in the community.

Councilman Schilling asks Hill with BDS about the rubble of a burned home regarding claims asbestos is in the rubble. He is concerned that rains are washing it into the water table. Hill said that they have an abatement contractor take the items to a community that can handle the material, and it could cost the city upwards of $40,000 to $50,000 to dispose of the material.

“Maybe asbestos isn’t that dangerous if we leave it out in the open like that,” Schilling said.

Hill said typically older homes have a siding on it that’s compressed asbestos board.

39.NEW BUSINESS.
The Committee of the Whole recommends the following appointment to the Board of Public Utilities: Louise Knauer replace Jeff Childs. Ms. Knauer’s term will expire December 1, 2021.

The Committee of the Whole recommends the following reappointment to the Board of Public Utilities: Jennifer Wilson with term to expire December 1, 2021.

Meeting adjourns 8-1, with Hosmer giving his usual no vote.

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