M I N U T E S
CITY COUNCIL MEETING - COLUMBIA, MISSOURI
JANUARY 21, 2003
 

INTRODUCTORY
    The City Council of the City of Columbia, Missouri met for a regular meeting at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, January 21, 2003, in the Council Chamber of the City of Columbia, Missouri. The roll was taken with the following results: Council Members HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, and JANKU were present. The City Manager, City Counselor, City Clerk and various departments heads were also present.
 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
    The minutes of the regular meeting of January 6, 2003, were approved unanimously by voice vote on a motion by Mr. John and a second by Mr. Janku.
 

APPROVAL AND ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA INCLUDING CONSENT AGENDA
    Mayor Hindman commented that R25-03 would be added under New Business.
    The agenda, including the Consent Agenda, was approved unanimously on a motion made by Mr. Loveless and a second by Mr. Hutton.
 

SPECIAL ITEMS
    None.
 

SCHEDULED PUBLIC COMMENTS
    None.
 

PUBLIC HEARINGS
B361-02     Amending Chapter 29 of the City Code relating to landscaping requirements for motor vehicle, trailer and farm machinery sales and service facilities.
    The bill was read by the Clerk.
    Mayor Hindman explained that interested parties continue to have ongoing discussions in regard to this issue and he suggested that the bill be tabled again.
    Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
    There being no comments, Mayor Hindman closed the public hearing.
    Mayor Hindman made the motion that B361-02 be tabled to February 17, 2003. The motion was seconded by Mr. Janku and approved unanimously by voice vote.
 

B4-03     Rezoning property located at the southern terminus of Sandman Lane from C-1 to C-P; approving the Tires Plus C-P Development Plan.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck noted this 0.75 acre tract is located in south central Columbia, south of AC and east of Providence Road.
    Mr. Dudark explained that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request, including a seven space parking variance. He spoke about the two conditions accompanying this recommendation, both of which have been agreed to by the applicant. One deals with eliminating certain uses that might be incompatible with surrounding businesses and the other relates to future accommodation for parking. Mr. Dudark reported that the variance request for the seven parking spaces could be considered a possible delay because all 31 spaces will be required when and if they become necessary.
    Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
    Dan Simon, an attorney with offices at 203 Executive Building, spoke on behalf of the applicant. Mr. Simon offered to answer any questions.
    B4-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

B11-03     Calling for bids for the construction of water main along Liddell Lane from East Dusty Rhodes Lane to the south of Mount Hope Road.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck explained that this project consists of replacing 8,200 feet of two-inch water line with an eight-inch line which had been installed by the Water District many years ago. He reported on the fund balance after the City merged with Water District No. 2 which will be utilized as part of this project. The estimated cost of the work is $445,000 which will be paid from Water and Light funds.
    Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
    There being no comments, Mayor Hindman closed the public hearing.
    B11-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

B12-03     Calling for bids for the construction of water main along Oakland Gravel Road from Starke Lane to Gregory Heights Subdivision.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck commented that this project would consist of installing approximately 400-feet of 16-inch water line. The estimated cost for such is $285,000 and it will be paid out of Water and Light funds.
    Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
    There being no comments, Mayor Hindman closed the public hearing.
    B12-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

B13-03     Authorizing construction of water main along Business Loop 70 to serve Head Motor Company property; providing for payment of differential costs.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck explained that the City will pay the differential cost of installing 840-feet of 12-inch water line. The estimated cost for the City's portion is $10,466 which will be paid from Water and Light funds.
    Mr. Janku noted there had been a question about the sidewalk in this area and he asked that the Council be kept informed.
    Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
    There being no comments, Mayor Hindman closed the public hearing.
    B13-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

B14-03     Authorizing construction of water mains serving B & B Crossings; appropriating funds.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck reminded the Council that the City entered into an agreement to have a rail terminal built at the intersection of Brown Station Road and Route B. As part of the agreement, the City is responsible for installing a water line (1,042 feet of 12-inch line and 885 feet of 8-inch line). The estimated cost of this water main project is $94,000 and it will be paid from Water and Light funds.
    Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
    There being no comments, mayor Hindman closed the public hearing.
    B14-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

B15-03     Authorizing construction of water main serving Vanderveen Plaza, Plat 1; providing for payment of differential costs.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck explained this project consists of 360-feet of line wherein the City will pay the differential cost for an 8-inch rather than 6-inch line. The estimated cost to Water and Light funds is $1,700.
    Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
    There being no comments, Mayor Hindman closed the public hearing.
    B15-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

OLD BUSINESS
B5-03     Establishing Sanitary Sewer District No. 157 (Rollins and Burnam Road).
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Patterson explained that this proposed District is the result of two petitions submitted by the Alpha Gamma Sigma Fraternity located at 407 Burnam and the Delta Gamma Sorority located at 411 Burnam. As a result of the petitions, a report was submitted to the Council and in December of 2000 staff was authorized to proceed with studies necessary to determine the feasibility and advisability of creating a sewer district in this area. The study determined a combination of five fraternity/sorority houses being served by a private common collector which does not conform to City standards. Over the years, there have been back-ups and repairs that have been made to the collector by the property owners in the area.
    Mr. Patterson reported that staff has discussed the project and costs with all of the property owners represented by the boundaries of the district. As a result of these discussions, he indicated that two houses are in favor of the District and three are against the proposed project due to the cost burden. He referred to a formal request from the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority to be omitted from the District. Mr. Patterson commented that staff could find no basis for supporting the request since the project will benefit all properties within the District. He related that the estimated cost to extend public sewer to all five properties is $82,300.
    Under current policy for replacement of private common collectors, Mr. Patterson explained that the City's sewer utility would pay one-half the cost of the project with the balance being tax billed against the adjacent properties. However, the purpose of the legislation tonight is to create the legal dimensions of the District boundaries. The next action will set a public hearing, at which time the issues of tax bill amounts and cost allocation can be determined by the Council. Prior to any assessment, Mr. Patterson said a second hearing will be held wherein the Council will have to determine whether special benefits have occurred to the properties.
    Due to the condition of the line in question and problems being experienced in the area, Mr. Patterson indicated that staff is recommending that the District be established and that the ordinance be approved with direction being given to proceed with the necessary steps to have a public hearing on the project.
    Mayor Hindman asked how staff determined the condition of the overall private sewer. Mr. Patterson explained that staff conducted dye tests on the properties and used TV cameras to determine stoppages. Mayor Hindman asked about the location of the houses that are opposed to the new line. Mr. Patterson responded that two are at the top of the line.
    Linda Russell, President of the Alpha Delta Pi House, Inc., spoke in opposition because this property has not experienced any difficulty with the existing sewer line. She noted that this sorority and the Alpha Kappa Lambda house would carry the brunt of the project's cost and they are not having problems.
    Mr. Janku asked how this kind of tax bill assessment is calculated. Mr. Patterson explained that costs for sewer districts are based on square footage of property. If assessed, he said the Alpha Delta Pi's cost would be $9,816. At the time of the public hearing, the Council could cap the assessments at $5,000. Mr. Patterson reviewed the estimated assessments as follows: Alpha Kappa Lambda -- $12,435. Alpha Gamma Sigma -- $9,035, Delta Gamma -- $4,500 and Sigma Pi -- $5,300.
    Larry Schuster, spoke as a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Fraternity, Alumni Advisor and Building Association Board member. He noted that he has worked on this project for almost five years and that he had listened to the Delta Gamma Sorority beg them to get involved because five years ago they had to replace their line from the house to the main. At that time, he said the builder was also doing some work on their property and he was told the line was in very bad shape where the two connected. Mr. Schuster relayed the Board's concern that a major collapse could occur during the school year. They supported the formation of this Sewer District so the line can be rebuilt to City standards. Mr. Schuster acknowledged that the two homes at the top of the sewer line do not have problems, but Sigma Pi would have to have their line replaced.
    Martha Hervey, stated she is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Alpha Kappa Lambda House. She verified that there have been no sewer-related problems at this house and they are opposed to any assessment. Ms. Hervey reported their assessment is so large because of the big parking lot on this property. She noted that this fraternity has only been on campus for ten years and they do not have a large alumni base. Ms. Hervey related that they do not have much money in their reserve fund and this project would place an enormous burden on them.
    Mr. Hutton asked what Alpha Kappa Lambda would do if the line were to fail between their house and the main. Ms. Hervey said she would have to take care of it. Mr. Loveless noted that the sewage would back up to their property. Ms. Hervey indicated she had not thought about that because they had experienced no problems.
    Joshua Judy, 808 S. Providence, asked about the impact on the neighborhood while the new line is being installed. Mr. Patterson responded the project would likely occur in the summer to have the least amount of impact on the occupants, and it would be completed before students came back for the fall session.
    Mr. John pointed out that everyone within the proposed District is using the private collector, whether it is affecting their property or not. He noted that over ten years, a $12,000 assessment divided between 50 residents would amount to $15 per resident per year. He pointed out once the new line is in place, it would become the City's responsibility to maintain. Mr. John believed the Council should approve the District and proceed with the project.
    B5-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

B6-03     Establishing Sanitary Sewer District No. 160 along Lakeview Avenue and Fir Place.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck noted that the nine lots included as part of the proposal are located west of the City's power plant.
    Mr. Patterson explained that this District was initiated as a result of the review of a proposed plat of undeveloped property north of Lakeview Avenue, on the east side of Fir Place. When the plat was submitted, a review determined there were private laterals going across the property with no apparent right of easement or right of access for those laterals. Subsequently, a more detailed investigation was performed which involved dye testing and on-site examinations. This revealed the seven developed lots on Fir Place connected to a public sewer east of the area proposed for platting. The property proposed for platting did not have access because it is separated by a strip of land between the boundary and the public sewer line. Mr. Patterson indicated staff found one property with a private easement across the undeveloped lot north of the area being platted; however, that easement did not extend to the public line. Therefore, that lot had no access to a public sewer either.
    Mr. Patterson noted several discussions amongst property owners and the proposed developer. He commented that the developer of the undeveloped land and the property owner of the other undeveloped lot are in favor of the creation of a sewer district to eliminate the problem. Mr. Patterson believed the property owners on Fir Place are unanimously opposed to the formation of the District due to the financial impact on their properties. While conducting studies of the conditions, he reported that staff discovered an overflow of one of the sewer lines and they reported this condition to the Health Department.
    Mr. Patterson related it is staff's recommendation that the Sewer District be formed so as to eliminate the private common collector sewer and lines and provide public sanitary sewer service to the nine lots shown to be in the District, seven of which are developed and two are not. Further, that the action allow the development of the undeveloped property and provide permanent public sewer to the other properties. Once that is done, Mr. Patterson said the sewer line would become the public's responsibility for operation and maintenance. The new sewer would be built to City standards to eliminate any overflow conditions, stoppages and back-ups.
    Mr. Patterson reported the estimated cost of constructing the sewer to all nine properties is $50,500. A maximum tax bill rate would be set at the time of the public hearing. If this is considered to be a completely private common collector sewer, the sewer utility would provide half the funding or $25,250.
    Charlie Wilkerson, 1404 Fir Place, spoke in opposition to the formation of the District for financial reasons. He related that to his recollection, none of the property owners had been informed of any sewer leakage after the dye tests were conducted. Mr. Wilkerson believed the primary issue to be about easement rights because Mr. Burris, owner of the undeveloped property, claims that the residents have no easement rights. Mr. Wilkerson presented a warranty deed dated April 7, 1946, which referred to part of Lot 52, the undeveloped lot behind Fir Place. It conveyed permission for the owner or owners of Lots 6 and 7 (1412 and 1414 Fir Place) to connect with the main public sewer. He thought the easement rights were still in question. Mr. Wilkerson also noted while the tax bill would be a burden for some, it will be a hardship for others on fixed incomes. He stated that Perche Creek runs through the property proposed for development, and he requested that an impact study be done on the feasibility of building on the property.
    Kurt Albert, 2000 Gleason, property owner on Fir Place, also had an easement which has been provided to the staff. He noted that the City has a 16-foot wide easement to which his easement adjoins. He passed around his easement. Mr. Albert felt the existing owners are being asked to pay for the development sewer costs in order to turn the existing green space into a buildable lot. He commented that his property at 1414 Fir Place has a four-inch plastic sewer line with two clean outs, and there have not been any problems with this line to date. Mr. Albert pointed out that he is being asked to spend almost $2,000 for something he will receive no benefit from.
    Mr. Albert asked what benefit he would derive from the project that he presently does not have. Mr. Patterson explained that one of the benefits would be direct access to a public line. He noted that his easement does not extend to the City's easement on the other side. Mr. Albert said there was only six-feet from his property line and the City's sewer. Mr. Patterson responded that staff is not trying to get into a legal dispute on whether or not there are prescribed easement rights, but are simply acknowledging there is not a public sewer line to the areas in question. In order to prevent a potential problem, the formation of this sewer district is a solution. He noted that staff has researched the other easements and have very serious doubts as to whether they would legally convey a right to the property.
    Patrice Albert, 2000 Gleason Road, also spoke about 1414 Fir Place. Ms. Albert noted a permanent structure on their lot that apparently is impinging on the City's easement area. She asked if they would be reimbursed if the structure were to be damaged or moved during construction of the project. Mr. Patterson explained that the City cannot take property without proper compensation, but he pointed out that whatever costs are incurred in the process of acquiring easements, i.e., relocating structures, etc., are added to the total cost of the project and becomes part of the pro-rated tax bill. Ms. Albert observed that other residents would have to pay for their compensation of having the structure moved. Mr. Patterson responded that they would try to avoid damages in the first place, but if there are damages, the cost is shared by everyone in the district. Ms. Albert did not feel that was fair.
    Mr. Beck noted that if the project does not proceed in the manner as presented tonight, all other City monthly rate payers would be forced to pay for this neighborhood problem.
    Mary Wilkerson, 1404 Fir Place, reiterated that this issue was brought forward only because a developer wants to build on a piece of land. She pointed out the first communication residents in this area had from the developer was when he threatened to cut off their sewer lines.
    Sue Lanam, 1412 Fir Place, explained that she is the one who has the easement. About five years ago, she had a new sewer line installed which was run down to the main. Mrs. Lanam related that at 76 years of age she lives on Social Security and will not be able to afford the tax bill.
    Mr. Janku believed this issue is different from the last case in that these sewers are functioning with minor problems. He felt the benefit would primarily be to the property to be developed.
    Mayor Hindman asked if the undeveloped property has been platted. Mr. Patterson explained that the plat is pending at this time. With regard to development, he said there would have to be land disturbance permits and storm water management plans long before development of the property. If the plat shows the present sewers going through the plat, Mayor Hindman saw that as a private issue between landowners as to whether or not there are easements there. Mr. Patterson said that is the situation right now with regard to the validity of the easements. He said the bottom line is that there is no public sewer to the properties. Mayor Hindman asked if development could be allowed over the top of the laterals. Mr. Patterson replied that staff would try to prevent that from occurring. He noted they are currently trying to prevent the developer from cutting the lines during the course of development.
    Mr. John commented that if the easements are valid, which he did not believe is a question for the Council or the staff, residents would have a valid right to cross the property in question. As the existing sewer line does not meet City standards, but in order for the developer to use his property to the fullest, he needs to remove the easements in a way that meets our requirements. If the easements are not valid, Mr. John said it would be an entirely different story. He recommended defeating the issue or tabling it so the parties involved could hash it out. Mayor Hindman agreed.
    B6-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: NO ONE. VOTING NO: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. Bill defeated.
 

B17-03     Amending Chapter 16 of the Code to establish law enforcement policies relating to marijuana.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck explained that on December 30, 2002, the City Clerk certified an initiative petition to enact an ordinance establishing marijuana law enforcement policies. Under City Charter, the Council must either pass the ordinance or submit the question to voters at the next available election which is on April 8, 2003.
    Mr. Hutton asked if any amendments could be made to this bill. Mr. Boeckmann responded that the Council could not.
    Anthony Johnson, 821 E. Walnut, #305, Executive Director of Columbia Alliance for Patients and Education and President of the MU Law School ACLU, explained that their proposal simply protects the financial aid of students and the rights of seriously ill patients. He noted the coalition includes students, doctors, lawyers, educators and concerned citizens. Experience from other jurisdictions and studies show that similar forums do not lead to increased usage of marijuana or the use of harder drugs. Mr. Johnson added that police resources could be used to go after serious criminals. He asked the Council to support this initiative.
    Joshua Judy, 808 S. Providence, on behalf of the Missouri Student Association Senate, commented that the MSA passed a resolution supporting the petition several months ago. He said they support it because if a student is caught smoking marijuana, they lose all of their federal financial aid, which includes any Pell grants or loans. The offender must also go through rehabilitation that is paid for out of their own pockets. His point was that the student could effectively be forced to leave school. Mr. Judy reported this initiative would not legalize marijuana, but would help a student who makes a small mistake not have to pay for it the rest of their life.
    David Evans, an attorney with offices at 717 Cherry, did not believe any part of the proposed ordinance would be held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri. He supported the passage of such. He thought the City should try to prevent its younger citizens from having a criminal record for the rest of their lives.
    Adam Shaheed, 1607 Hickam, spoke on behalf of the Boone County Chapter of the Missouri Libertarian Party as well as the University of Missouri Campus Libertarian's. He offered their wholehearted support for the amendment.
    Margaret Tyler, 805 Edgewood Avenue, said she had been working on a marijuana study since1980. The program supports the use of marijuana for medically approved therapeutic purposes and scientific research in drug education.
    Martha Duff, 2901 Billy Jean, explained that she had been arrested two years ago and put in jail because she was thought to have been smoking marijuana. She said it took 14 months and thousands of dollars to get her name cleared of the conviction. If found guilty, she would have lost her job. Ms. Duff commented that the arresting officer spent the entire night processing her arrest while he could have been looking for real criminals.
    Amy Fritz, 1201 Old Highway 63 South, a member of CAPE, addressed the issue of education with regard to the proposed ordinance. She explained that the 1998 Drug Free Student Aid Provision was enforced under the Bush Administration and since then over 90,000 students across the country have lost their financial aid. She explained faults in the law as she saw them and quoted local statistics on racial profiling and low income families. Ms. Fritz urged the Council to vote in favor of the ordinance.
    Sarah Duff, 821 E. Walnut, #305, explained that she organized the petition drive and turned in 2,552 signatures to the City Clerk. She decided to organize the drive for two reasons; her mom, Martha Duff, who spoke earlier about having been arrested for allegedly smoking marijuana and what she had gone through to beat the conviction, and the other was the support for the measure she had found while petitioning. Ms. Duff noted that 11 states and several municipalities have already adopted similar measures.
    Waldo Palmer, 414 Alexander, said a lot of work has been done in the First Ward to rid it of drug problems. He thought it was a disgrace that the measure would even be considered.
    Jeremy Hudson, 1 Smarr Court, a recent MU graduate, explained while at the University he founded a Chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. He felt this amendment would be a small step in the right direction.
    John Clark, 403 N. Ninth, believed the initiative was not about decriminalizing, but an efficient and equitable way to deal with the situation. He thought the wording would adequately limit penalties.
    Dr. Inez Goodman, with offices at 1108 C Fay Street, said this ordinance is an excellent opportunity to counter the narrowminded and meanspirited law that takes away financial aid from students convicted of a minor marijuana offense. She related there are many worse crimes that would not result in the elimination of student aid.
    Mr. Hutton wondered as the ordinance is proposed, if someone is arrested by the University Police, Sheriff or Highway Patrol within the City limits, whether they would be subject to the amendment. On the sections that deal with the court it would be sent to, Mr. Boeckmann said that would apply to the Columbia Police. He did not think it would apply to the University or the Sheriff's Office. Mr. Hutton questioned whether it still could be referred to Municipal Court if the arrest was made by one of the other agencies. Mr. Boeckmann replied the City does not get any cases from the Sheriff's Department because they enforce State law and county laws, not City of Columbia ordinances. He said the University Police sent about 90 marijuana cases to Municipal Court last year. He had no idea of how many might have been sent to the State Court.
    Mr. Hutton asked Chief Boehm about the compromise worked out between the Police Department and the Prosecutor. Chief Boehm indicated the current policy between the City Prosecutor and the County Prosecutor was put in place about four years ago. He explained that it basically deals with individuals arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana with no other extenuating circumstances, such as previous convictions, being handled in City Court. The small amount generally referred to is approximately 10 grams.
    Mayor Hindman asked if the practice is to base the small amount on 10 grams. Chief Boehm said that is the general policy, although in practice if there are no other extenuating circumstances and it does not look to be a sale, most individuals on first offense of 35 grams or less are sent to Municipal Court at this time.
    Ms. Crayton wanted everyone treated equally and did not think students should be treated differently. She noted that not only are students losing financial aid, but a lot of low income people are losing their public housing. Mr. Boeckmann said the ordinance does not make a distinction between students and anyone else. He said the only group mentioned specifically are seriously ill citizens.
    Mr. Janku asked if University Police would have the option of using the existing ordinance, or whether they would have a choice between what is being proposed and State law. Mr. Boeckmann responded that if the case is sent it to Municipal Court, then the City ordinances would apply. He said it is their option as to whether they send it to the State or to the City. Mr. Janku questioned whether the current law would still be an option if this ordinance were to pass. Mr. Boeckmann said those laws would basically be off the books to the extent that they would be inconsistent with this ordinance. Mr. Janku commented then the Council would be choosing between the lower penalty being proposed tonight versus the higher penalty with State law. Mr. Boeckmann agreed that would be their choice.
    Mayor Hindman asked if the same would be true of the Sheriff. Mr. Boeckmann responded that the City does not have the authority to limit what the Sheriff can do. Chief Boehm added that the Boone County Sheriff's Department has state commissions so they do not enforce City ordinances. Any arrests made by this agency would not be handled through Municipal Court regardless of the outcome of this ordinance.
    Looking at Section C, Mr. Loveless commented that it says "any" law enforcement officer. He thought that might well be interpreted as City Police, State Highway Patrol, or Sheriff's Deputy. He asked if that might be grounds for interpreting that as against State law as well. Mr. Boeckmann agreed the court could rule the language to be invalid. He said that did not mean the entire Section C is invalid. Mr. Boeckmann thought arguably, a portion of it could be severed.
    Mayor Hindman believed the speakers had made compelling statements. He also had received some very thoughtful letters about the issue. Mayor Hindman doubted it was a good idea for the Council to pass an ordinance that they know on its face is not valid under Missouri law. He commented that this is a highly volatile issue in the community and he thought the voters would like to participate in the decision.
    Mr. Janku perceived the City already has an ordinance that accomplishes part of what this proposal is trying to do in that an alternative is provided as it pertains to prosecution of offenses. If there are problems with enforcement, he said those are the kinds of things the Council should hear about so they could deal with that issue. He was fearful of how agencies beyond the City's control might act. Mr. Janku wondered what a patient in medical distress would have to rely on when accused of a crime.
    Mr. Hutton agreed the Council heard some compelling arguments, but if it was truly the will of the people that this amendment be enacted, citizens should be given the chance to vote on it. He felt the policy between the prosecuting offices seems to be working fairly well right now. Mr. Hutton reported that he spoke to several police officers today about the issue, and all had been universally opposed to the initiative.
    Mr. Coffman felt this particular drug has been misclassified as it is grouped together with drugs that few people feel should be decriminalized. He thanked the group for bringing the issue forward. He understood it would take away a police officer's discretion, and he is sympathetic to those law enforcement officers who feel that would not be a good thing. Mr. Coffman also spoke with a couple of officers who were actually sympathetic towards decriminalization. He felt this to be a fair and reasonably incremental approach, so he planned to support the amendment.
    Mr. Loveless commented that he is reluctant to pass an ordinance that staff is fairly well-assured that, at least part of, will run counter to State law. He had not found any officers in favor of the issue. Mr. Loveless thought the determination of the issue should be left up to the voters.
    B17-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: COFFMAN. VOTING NO: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. Bill defeated.
 

B18-03     Calling a special election to consider an initiative ordinance that would establish law enforcement policies pertaining to marijuana.
    The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
    Comments were called for with none received.
    B18-03 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
 

CONSENT AGENDA
    The following bills were given second reading and the resolutions were read by the Clerk.

B1-03       Approving the final plat of East Ridge Park.
B2-03       Approving the final plat of Vanderveen Crossing, Plat No. 10.
B3-03       Approving the final plat of Northland Acres Estates, Plat 1-A, a replat of portions of Lots 27 and 28 of Northland Acres Estates.
B7-03       Accepting easements for sewer, road, utility and drainage purposes.
B8-03       Calling for bids for the construction of Forum Boulevard from Dunbar Drive to Old Plank Road.
B9-03       Authorizing Change Order No. 1; approving engineer's final report for the construction of the Cow Branch Pump Station, Force Main and Outfall, and Trunk Sewers CB-4 and CB-5 Improvement Project.
B10-03     Confirming the contract for the construction of the Vintage Drive Area Drainage Project; appropriating funds.
B16-03     Accepting a deed of dedication for water main purposes.
B19-03     Calling the municipal election to be held April 8, 2003 to elect Council members for Wards 2 and 6.
R14-03     Setting a public hearing: voluntary annexation of property owned by the City, located generally west of Scott Boulevard and north of Millbrook Drive.
R15-03     Setting a public hearing: voluntary annexation of property owned by the City located on the south side of Brown School Road, approximately one-half mile west of State Route 763.
R16-03     Setting a public hearing: construction of a sidewalk along the south side of Business Loop 70 from Route B to the west side of Old 63.
R17-03     Setting a public hearing: amending the FY 2002 HOME Action Plan.
R18-03     Authorizing an agreement with the Boone County Historical Society for caretaking services at Nifong Park.
R19-03     Authorizing an agreement with the Boone County Historical Society for maintaining and making improvements to the Maplewood Home.
R20-03     Authorizing the City Manager to make FY 2003 Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration assistance programs.
R21-03     Authorizing a fiber optic service agreement with the Landrum Company.

The bills were given third reading and the resolutions were read with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bills declared enacted and resolutions declared adopted, reading as follows:
 

NEW BUSINESS
R22-03     Authorizing the sale of Water and Electric System Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2003.
    The resolution was read by the Clerk.
    Ms. Fleming explained that this resolution will authorize the City to sell bonds to restructure some debt in the Water and Electric utility. One reason for doing such is that the bank that holds the City's letter of credit has been downgraded. Ms. Fleming noted this provides us with an opportunity to fix interest rates at a time when they are at an all time low. By putting some City funds in, she said we will also be able to reduce the amount of outstanding debt and make some funds available for water projects previously discussed.
    The vote on R22-03 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
 

R23-03     Authorizing staff to process sales tax refunds on behalf of utility customers.
    The resolution was read by the Clerk.
    Ms. Fleming explained that periodically her department receives requests from utility customers asking the City to file sales tax refunds with the State. After discussions with legal counsel, she said it appeared that the City is not legally obligated to do so; however, she said it appears to be the right thing to do. This resolution will authorize the Finance Department to process the requests, but will also set some limits so staff will not be forced into processing claims if the customer can deal directly with the State to get the refunds.
    Mr. Hutton asked about the possibility of two entities sharing a meter where one is tax exempt and the other is not. Ms. Fleming responded in order to qualify for the tax exemption, a business must obtain a letter from the state to that effect. She said the City will not charge taxes to an organization once that certificate has been presented to staff. Mr. Hutton referred to Item 6 in the resolution where it talks about meters being split between taxable and exempt users. Ms. Fleming explained that refers to usage on a meter, such as apartment complexes. She reported it is the responsibility of the apartment owner to pay the State directly if they have been declared tax exempt.
    Mr. Janku commented that the Council discussed this issue at a work session and concern had been voiced about the amount of staff time devoted to this process. He asked how much work will be required by the person seeking the refund in terms of preparation of any documents and whether staff has to review these for accuracy. Ms. Fleming explained to file for a refund, the only requirement is for the person to fill out the appropriate forms with the State and provide staff with that documentation. Staff is responsible for calculating the amounts -- going back and looking at the usage and the taxes that were charged on each of the monthly bills for the time period they are requesting. Even if staff had been given this information, Ms. Fleming indicated it would still have to be verified.
    The vote on R23-03 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
 

R24-03     Authorizing a ground lease agreement with Southern Boone County Fire Protection District for construction of a fire station on airport property.
    The resolution was read by the Clerk.
    Mr. Beck noted that a work session was held at the airport several weeks ago and staff has been discussing this with the District for some time. The agreement sets out a charge of eight cents per square foot per year for leasing property on the west side of City-owned property that leads to the terminal building. This cost is offset by a payment-in-lieu of taxes in the same amount. The District also agrees to pay one-third of the cost to extend wastewater sewer lines to the building site. In return, Mr. Beck reported the District will be one of the early responders to any fire protection of the property. He pointed out that the City has had a foam truck in the terminal complex for a number of years which would be the first responder, but would be backed up by the District.
    Mr. Loveless asked if the question had ever been answered as to why the District would need a two-acre site for a building and a gas tank. Mr. Patterson said the District believed that to be the optimum size for parking and servicing of vehicles.
    The vote on R24-03 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
 

R25-03     Redemption and payment of Water and Electric System Revenue Bonds, 1985 Series B.
    The resolution was read by the Clerk.
    Ms. Fleming explained this would authorize staff to give proper notice to the current bond holders so the financing discussed earlier can take place.
    The vote on R25-03 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: HUTTON, LOVELESS, JOHN, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, CRAYTON, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
 

    The following bills were introduced by the Mayor unless otherwise indicated, and all were given first reading:

B20-03     Authorizing issuance of Water and Electric System Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2003.
B21-03     Authorizing an agreement with Boone County for JCIC clerical services.
B22-03     Accepting a conveyance of land for open space and recreation purposes.
B23-03     Rezoning property located on the west side of Fay Street, approximately 400 feet south of Business Loop 70 East, from R-3 to C-P.
B24-03     Amending Chapter 29 of the City Code relating to on-site automobile and bicycle parking.
B25-03     Vacating a portion of a utility easement located across Lot 4 of Highlands Circle Subdivision; accepting a conveyance for utility purposes.
B26-03     Approving the final plat of Bassett Farms, Plat 1.
B27-03     Authorizing acquisition of easements necessary for the construction of the Westcliff & Stonecrest Sewer Project.
B28-03     Authorizing Change Order No. 1 and approving the engineer's final report for the Keene Street and St. Charles Road Intersection Project.
B29-03     Authorizing Change Order No. 2 and approving the engineer's final report for construction of Fire Station No. 8; appropriating funds.
B30-03     Establishing Sanitary Sewer District No. 150 along Mexico Gravel Road, adjacent to the intersection of Mexico Gravel Road and State Route PP.
B31-03     Appropriating funds for installation of rail for COLT rail terminal.
B32-03     Accepting a deed of dedication for water main purposes.
B33-03     Accepting a deed of dedication; authorizing payment of differential costs and approving the engineer's final report for water main serving Evergreen Acres, Plats 2 and 3.
 

REPORTS AND PETITIONS
(A)     Intra-departmental Transfer of Funds.
    Report accepted.
 

(B)     Energy & Environment Commission - Tree Ordinance Report.
    Mr. Beck noted that staff saw no compelling reason to make changes at this point.
    Mr. Coffman thought the first two recommendations, i.e., the penalty provision of the tree ordinance be changed from a per tree assessment to an acreage assessment and the penalties be set at $25,000 per acre and pro-rated from that point, seemed to be more consistent than the current policy of counting trees. He believed the other more complicated and controversial recommendations could be set aside, but proposed that one and two be brought back in the form of an amendment to the ordinance.
    Mr. Patterson clarified that staff believes these changes will come forward as a result of the new storm water regulations. It was felt the urgency of the changes was not such that it could not wait until the ordinance is considered in a more comprehensive manner. However, Mr. Patterson indicated there is nothing to keep them from going ahead with it if the Council wishes.
    Mr. Coffman asked if Mr. Patterson's department was going to be making recommendations dealing with the tree ordinance. Mr. Patterson said he was sure it would be included with storm water because the entire Land Preservation Act will be reviewed. Mr. Coffman could understand that with the other issues, but with regard to enforcing the current ordinance he saw no reason to wait.
    Mr. Boeckmann did not believe the current policy of imposing fines on a tree by tree basis is a big deal because in most instances staff would be able to prove that enough trees were removed to impose the appropriate fine. He did not think it was totally realistic for Municipal Court to set fines of $25,000 per acre. Mr. Coffman was concerned about the incentive the City would be sending people to simply mow down trees and then pay a small fine.
    Mr. Coffman asked if there was a need to refer this to another Commission. Mr. John thought it seemed to go along with the subdivision and development codes. He thought it should be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission before further Council consideration.
    Mr. Coffman made the motion that recommendations one and two be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission for their review and comments. The motion was seconded by Mr. Janku and approved unanimously by voice vote.
 

(C)     Recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission on the length of their term, provisions on attendance and other procedural matters.
    Mr. Dudark explained that the Commission recommended continuation of the five year terms. In regard to attendance, there is no language associated with such in the current ordinance, and the Commission is very satisfied with the recent provisions the Council adopted on the three other boards. Also included was a list of procedural measures the Commission felt would improve their effectiveness on planning issues. Mr. Janku asked about Item 3(b) under recommendations. Mr. Dudark thought it was a suggestion to make it explicit that public hearings could be tabled to a specific date without additional public advertising. This would replicate what the Council does.
    Mr. John supported implementation of Items 2 and 3(b), the others he was not so sure about.
    Mr. Janku said he had no strong feelings on the five versus three year terms. Mr. John agreed.
    Mr. John made the motion that Items 2 and 3(b) be set in motion. The motion was seconded by Mr. Janku and approved unanimously by voice vote.
 

(D)     Utility Billing Policies.
    Mayor Hindman made the motion that a work session be scheduled for the issue. The motion was seconded by Mr. John and approved unanimously by voice vote.
 

(E)     Proposal for Future Use of Armory Sports Center.
    Mr. Beck noted that most of the funding for the rehabilitation of the Armory building had come from CDBG funds. Staff proposes moving part of the Community Recreation Program from the site at Fourth and Wilkes, which is rented at a cost of approximately $18,000 per year, to the Armory Sports Center. This would include moving several permanent personnel currently working for the City. Mr. Beck said a copy of what is being proposed had been sent to HUD to see if it met their requirements. He noted that staff plans to enhance the outreach program for the moderate and low-income people living within the area that this facility will serve.
    Mayor Hindman made the motion that the Council approve the change. The motion was seconded by Mr. John and approved unanimously by voice vote.
 

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
    None.
 

COMMENTS BY COUNCIL, STAFF AND PUBLIC
    Mr. Coffman spoke about ordinances from Ann Arbor, Michigan which deal with litter. He said those laws are similar to nuisance ordinances. He thought it was worth looking into.
    Mr. Coffman made the motion that staff look into what they do in Ann Arbor and report back. The motion was seconded by Mayor Hindman and approved unanimously by voice vote.

    Mr. Coffman reiterated his interest in computer recycling. He noted that Mid-Mo Recycling does a lot of it, but computer monitors are a losing proposition for them. He explained that a grant is available from the 4-H Foundation to help fund computer recycling events. He wondered if staff could look into doing some kind of program in conjunction with this company or others to try to promote more computer recycling. Mr. Coffman passed this information to Mr. Beck.

    Mr. Coffman commented that Grindstone Parkway is very nice, but still needs a lot of work. He related that the intersection at Bluff Creek is a free for all at this point. Mr. Coffman asked Mr. Patterson about any planned improvements. Mr. Patterson said the markings are not in place because of the weather. He noted that MoDOT intends to conduct a comprehensive traffic study at the Bluff Creek intersection once traffic patterns are established. At that point, they will determine if there are warrants for installing a signal. Mr. Patterson was under the impression the study would begin within the next couple of months. He will try and verify that. Mr. Coffman asked about the planned lighting for the area. Mr. Patterson replied he would check into it.

    Mr. Janku mentioned litter on Blue Ridge Road between Rangeline and the bend at Garth. He said it has become incredibly littered and asked if Public Works could do something, or if this stretch could be assigned to a group for the April clean-up day.

    Mr. Janku noted that the new sidewalk put in near the roundabout at Creasy Springs still has a gap of about 75 feet between the sidewalk on Creasy Springs and the walk built near the roundabout. He was hopeful the gap could be filled in sometime this year.

    Mr. Janku asked for an update on the study of the fire service area in northwest Columbia. Mr. Beck said there was a staff person assigned to the Flame Study and was hopeful a report will be forthcoming in February.

    After bringing up the right-of-way issue in front of the Library at the last meeting, Mr. Janku said he noticed that some straw has been thrown down. He indicated that had been his fear -- seed would be thrown down in the hope it will germinate. Mr. Janku asked that a better effort be made to restore public right-of-way.

    Mr. John complimented the Public Works staff on snow removal this season, but thought they were getting progressively heavy on the cinders. Mr. Beck indicated if it is the Council's preference to do away with cinders, staff could budget for chemicals next year.

    Mayor Hindman said he and the City Manager had seen a demonstration of hybrid vehicles (half-gas, half-electric cars). He said they seem to have plenty of power, drive well and are very fuel efficient.
    Mayor Hindman made a motion that staff report back on where the City might be able to acquire and utilize the vehicles. The motion was seconded by Mr. Coffman and approved unanimously by voice vote.

    Mayor Hindman asked about the sidewalk situation on the new Grindstone Parkway. Mr. Patterson assured him the project was not finished. He would have staff check into it, but he believed there is still a lot of work to be done in the area.

    Regarding the strip between Green Meadows to the south and Southampton, someone had suggested to Mayor Hindman that it be named "Nifong Connector".
    Mayor Hindman made the motion that staff be asked to look into the idea and report back with pros and cons. The motion was seconded by Mr. John and approved unanimously by voice vote.

    John Clark, 403 N. Ninth, stated he was disappointed the Council did not schedule a work session on a portion of the Energy & Environment report that was discussed earlier. He thought that staff is incapable of representing the hard work, views and opinions of the advisory commissions. Mr. Clark encouraged the Council to meet with the Commissions individually to get their comments.

    The meeting adjourned at 10:35 p.m.

                                                                                            Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                            Penny St. Romaine
                                                                                            City Clerk