St. Clair City Attorney Kurt Voss used his best auctioneer voice on Monday night to read through the entire text of a proposed ordinance three times so it could become law.
When it later was approved, the ordinance, No. 1702, annexed the property at 685 W. Gravois Ave. into the city so a local recycling company can continue plans to expand to the location.
The unusual adoption method was used after a request from Poor Boyz Recycling owners James Woods and Seth Crocker, who told the St. Clair Board of Aldermen on Monday night they had potential loan issues with their lender if the annexation was delayed.
Monday’s annexation does not yet allow the business to operate at the new location as a conditional use permit still has to be granted for the parcel, but the owners said it should ease some pressure from their lending institution if plans are moving forward.
“We just want to know if there is anything we can do to move this process along,” Woods said during Monday’s meeting.
Earlier this month, the city’s planning and zoning board conducted a public hearing on the annexation proposal and recommended the aldermen approve it. Last month, the aldermen also conducted a public hearing on the matter.
Poor Boyz hopes to move its recycling business from its current location near the intersection of South Main Street and East Springfield Road. The owners said they are in negotiations to purchase the tract of land on West Gravois from owner Jerry Landing. A contingency of the deal is that the land is annexed into the city.
On Monday during the portion of the aldermen meeting set aside to discuss and approve ordinances, Voss said a mistake from his office resulted in the incorrect version of the annexation law being sent to the city. Therefore, he said, the incorrect version of the ordinance to be discussed and approved was on the table.
The specific difference between the correct and incorrect ordinances was language concerning city services provided to the site. St. Clair will not be providing water and sewer to the location, but the original ordinance on the docket Monday did not indicate that.
“I believe there is a hitch in the giddy-up in my office,” Voss said when the error was discovered. “I believe this is one of the older versions. I recommend we table this ordinance because of the discrepancies.”
Voss emphasized more than once that tabling the ordinance would not affect the ultimate time line.
“This won’t change the end date to move forward,” he said.
The board then went about its business. At the end of the meeting during the public comment period, Woods and Crocker addressed their concerns with the delay.
“It’s my fault,” Voss said, adding that the aldermen still could approve the amended ordinance on Monday if it is read in its entirety three times and approved each time.
After the Poor Boyz owners requested Voss do what was necessary that night, the attorney read the three-page bill three times as quickly as he could. Wording included the statement that the city “would furnish normal municipal services to said area ... except sewer and water in which the owner has been made aware and said it does not desire.”
Language also dictates the land will be annexed into the city zoned as I-2 heavy industrial.
After each reading, the ordinance received approval, so it became law.
In most cases, St. Clair’s aldermen approve city ordinances through first and second readings by title only.
The next step of the process will be for the city planners to discuss the CUP when they meet on May 13. The aldermen could approve that permit with conditions the following Monday, May 20.
The main condition previously discussed concerned putting a sight fence around the entire parcel, which encompasses about 3 acres.
Mayor Ron Blum previously said he is in favor of that stipulation.
“There were requests that the property be screened,” he said during the planning and zoning meeting earlier this month. “I have driven past the location. I think screening it would be proper.”
The fencing, or screening issue came about during the March 18 public hearing when James Ealer and Steve Dickey said they own nearby property. Both were concerned about the future appearance of the site if the recycling center would move there.
Woods and Crocker said they thought a portion of the property should be fenced, but they requested they not have to enclose the entire 3-acre parcel.
There also have been concerns about increased traffic in the area if the business relocates there.
City planners originally delayed making a recommendation to the aldermen concerning annexation in March. At that time, board members said they needed more information, including on city services. Woods and Crocker did not attend the March planning and zoning meeting.
City Inspector Jeremy Crowe said the nearest water and sewer lines to the parcel were about 3,000 feet away. During their March meeting, Voss urged the planners to make sure it is known that the city would provide no city services if annexed. He said that is legal with a voluntary annexation.
During the public hearing before the aldermen’s March 18 meeting, Woods and Crocker said they were fine with that.
The property is located next to the St. Clair Motel.