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BLOG RECAP: Clayton Board of Aldermen Meeting of Feb. 22

Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch provided ongoing coverage of the event.

BLOG RECAP: Clayton Board of Aldermen Meeting of Feb. 22

Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch provided live coverage of the Tuesday meeting of the Clayton Board of Aldermen. This is a chronological summary of the meeting written as it happened.

7:59 P.M.: Goldstein receives applause for being named one of the Most Influential St. Louisans by the St. Louis Business Journal. The meeting has adjourned.

7:57 P.M.: It's possible that the Haddington Court project could be finished, meaning houses being torn down in connection with buyouts, as early as the end of the year, Pratt said.

7:56 P.M.: The aldermen have unanimously approved moving forward with the voluntary buyout policy. The State Emergency Management Agency will be notified, Pratt said, and the next step will involve the appraisal of houses.

7:55 P.M.: Pratt said the city can pull out of the program at any time. Each homeowner would have the option of whether to participate. Another homeowner addresses the board: "I really believe that we as homeowners ought to have that choice," he said. It appears that a total of 12 houses would be affected.

7:52 P.M.: Bob Pierce, a Haddington Court resident, has asked that the aldermen not move forward with the buyout policy out of fear of what vacant lots could mean to property owners who can't participate or choose to stay in their homes.

7:46 P.M.: After the homeowner spoke, Goldstein responded. "I know it must be quite an emotional roller coaster for all of you," she said.

7:44 P.M.: Clayton public works director Mike Pratt is addressing the aldermen. "We hope we don't run out of money, we don't think we're going to run out of money," Pratt said with regard to the proposed buyout plan.

7:41 P.M.: A March 2009 document posted to the city's Web site indicates that Haddington Court residents have reported repeated bouts of flooding into their garages and basements. A resident of the neighborhood is speaking now, expressing concerns about what happens to homeowners in the event that federal funding runs out and the fair-market value of houses is lowered.

7:33 P.M.: The aldermen are discussing a voluntary buyout policy related to the application of a hazard mitigation grant in the Haddington Court neighborhood. "We feel that it's an important public safety issue that we move forward with this," Goldstein said.

7:27 P.M.: The aldermen have approved a liquor license for a new restaurant, Bocci Ristorante, which will be located at 16 N. Central Ave.

7:24 P.M.: A proposed Hanley Park pavilion is under discussion. Ward I Alderman Judy Goodman said the facility will provide greater opportunities for hosting students at the park because it would include restrooms. Berger asked that residents who live near the park be given opportunities to provide input on the project.

7:21 P.M.: The amendment to the city's smoking ordinance has passed unanimously. It will be an amendment to Section 215.680 of the Clayton City Code.

7:17 P.M.: Discussion of proposed amendments to city's smoking ordinance is underway. The amendment is aimed at clarifying aspects of the law related to outdoor dining areas, hotel rooms and private clubs. The amendment, for example, would allow hotels and motels to permit smoking in some rooms but specifically exclude lounges and lobbies from being allowed to offer smoking at those facilities.

7:14 P.M.: Corky just had his photo taken for the first time with Mayor Linda Goldstein. . He's got a brand-new handmade green dog collar to prove that he's the 2011 honorary mascot.

7 P.M.: A dog who was recently named Clayton's honorary mascot is expected to make an appearance at the meeting shortly.

6:49 P.M.: Ward III Alderman Alex Berger asks how important the banner issue is in light of the fact that people find out about events in Clayton through multiple avenues, including ever-growing social media. DeForrest has concluded her presentation and the Board of Aldermen will break for 10 minutes before convening again at 7 p.m.

6:46 P.M.: DeForrest is presenting a proposed design for new Shaw Park signs. Board of Aldermen members Steve Lichtenfeld and Judy Goodman have expressed concern that the sign might not be wide enough at four feet. The signs can be used to hang banners. The sign shows the words "Shaw Park" over the words "Clayton, Missouri" on a white plaque. On either side of the words are images of trees.

6:38 P.M.: Two major capital projects are expected in fiscal year 2011. One is the painting of the outdoor pool, DeForrest said. The other is playground surfacing at . Major projects in the last year included the construction of the , the trail at and added lights at Field No. 1 and Field No. 2 in Shaw Park.

6:36 P.M.: The parks department came in about $50,000 under budget for expected expenditures. It had total revenues of $885,850, slightly higher than had been projected because of the profitable year at the aquatic center, DeForrest said.

6:33 P.M.: has been discussed. Cracks in courts No. 1 through No. 10 were repaired this year at a cost of $14,355. Attendance declined slightly, from 8,944 in fiscal year 2009 to 8,118 in fiscal year 2010. The park's aquatic center saw a substantial increase in traffic because of good weather, from 74,288 in fiscal year 2009 to 92,825 in fiscal year 2010.

6:27 P.M.: was expected to turn a profit in fiscal year 2010. "We've closed that gap" between operating cost and profitability, DeForrest said. Attendance to the rink increased by about 1,800 people over fiscal year 2009.

6:22 P.M.: Parks director Patty DeForrest is going over statistics for parks program attendance and costs over the past several years. The goal is to get the cost of programming to $35 per participant, she said. In fiscal year 2010, the cost fell to  low of $35.75 from $40.01 in fiscal year 2009 and $43.96 in fiscal year 2008.

6:09 P.M.: The discussion session is set to begin at 6:15 p.m.

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