DP needs a new motto!

Everyone knows “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” and that New York is “the City that never sleeps” but here are a few City mottoes or slogans you may not know:

  • The Sweetest Place on Earth—-Hershey, PA
  • Experience Our Sense of Yuma—Yuma, AZ
  • Where the Trails Start and the Buck Stops— Independence, MO
  • Where the People Are Warm Even When the Weather Isn’t—Andover, KS
  • Where the Battle Wasn’t—Gettysburg, South Dakota

The City of Dardenne Prairie is called “The City of Possibilities”.  Do you think we could use a new motto? Help us compose a new City slogan, motto, or catch phrase. To help you with this quest, keep this in mind; does it inspire people to visit, work, or live here? Does it express Dardenne Prairie’s character? Is it catchy and memorable? Does it highlight our main appeal?

Please submit your idea for the motto or slogan that best fits our City.

DPneedsamotto@dardenneprairie.org

Posted in News

Prairie Day- September 19, 2015

Time: 11am – 10pm
City Hall Park and Dardenne Athletic Fields

PD postcard 2015 side 1

Posted in Events, News

Event Sponsorship Opportunities

The City of Dardenne Prairie is grateful to the many sponsors who support City Events.  If your business would like more information on becoming a sponsor for Prairie Day, or our upcoming Tree of Lights, please contact the Parks office at (636)755-5308.

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Posted in News

City Hall Will Be Closed Monday September 7, 2015

LABOR DAY: WHAT IT MEANS

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

LABOR DAY LEGISLATION

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

FOUNDER OF LABOR DAY

The father of labor day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

*From the U.S. Department of Labor website:  www.dol.gov

Posted in News

Dardenne Prairie Needs You! Volunteer Opportunities


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

The City of Dardenne Prairie encourages all residents to be active in our Community. We have several organizations that are comprised of citizens. Follow this link for applications for various opportunities.

Dardenne Prairie Volunteer Corp

To help our small city staff tackle a host of missions, citizens are encouraged to step forward and join our Volunteer Corp.
We all have busy lives and it is hard to find time for all we want to do.  However, volunteering has many benefits, some you may not have even thought about:   did you know experts agree volunteering can help you make new friends, learn new skills, and boost your self confidence?  It is even thought that people who volunteer actually live longer!
Retirees and senior citizens; high school and college students; church groups and youth groups
                                                Everyone is welcome to apply!

Clearly, your time and talent will have a huge impact on your community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place, and enables the City to offer events and services that would not be possible otherwise.
The Dardenne Prairie Volunteer Corp includes a roster of our volunteers.  It lists the types of task you wish to do, the times you are available and the specific events you wish to work.  You may ask to work a set schedule or only certain events, or you may be contacted as the need arises.
If you have a group in need of a service project, give us a call and we will work with your group to see if we have an available project.

The Planning and Zoning Commission

The Planning and Zoning Commission reviews proposed development plans for compliance with applicable regulations, makes recommendations, and reports to the Board of Aldermen. The Planning and Zoning Commission meets on the second Wednesday of the month and is comprised of 7 to 15 members; who are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen

The Board of Adjustment

The Board of Adjustment consists of 5 members (and up to 3 alternate members), who are residents of the City. The Board’s duties are to hold hearings and consider requested variances from zoning regulations, on a case by case basis. Meetings shall be held at the call of the Chairman and determined by need.

Adopt A Street Program

The City’s program gives individuals and groups an opportunity to support anti-litter and beautification efforts by adopting a section of City roadway for the purpose of litter collection.  Adopters are requested to adopt a ½ to 2 miles section of City road for a minimum period of two (2) years.  Litter should be collected from the adopted road as needed.  Adopt-A-Roadway signs, including the adopters’ name, will be installed along each of the adopted sections. Vests, trash bags and trash collection tools will be provided by the City for use during clean-up sessions.

“It may be true that no one person can solve all the world’s problems, but what you can do is make that little corner of the world where you live just that little bit better.”

Posted in News

Your Opinion Matters!

It seems in this day of technology, we should not have a problem with sharing information.  The options are nearly endless! In fact there may be too many options.  Some people will look on the website, some people will read hard copy newspapers and magazine, some people will only read what is mailed to their home.  We need your help in determining the best way to keep you informed.

The City currently publishes a newsletter 4 times a year in the Mid Rivers News Magazine.  We have a Facebook account and of course, our website.  We send several flyers out via the USPS throughout the year listing upcoming events and we also have flyers available at City Hall.

It would be helpful if you could take a moment to give us your opinion:

  • Do you read the newsletter in the Mid Rivers News Magazine? If so do you enjoy it? What do you like or dislike about it? What would you like to see in it that it is currently missing? Would you prefer to see the newsletter in another format?
  • If we sent you mail through the USPS, would you be more likely to keep it and refer to it for our events?
  • Where do you usually look to find out what events are happening throughout St. Charles County?
  • Would you be interested in receiving “e-mail blasts”? If you sign up on our e-mail list, we will send you e-mails announcing meetings, events, and news.  What type of information would you be interested in receiving through e-mail?
  • Are you active in Facebook?
  • What would you like to see on our website? How often do you check our website?
  • Is there anything else you would like to tell us concerning communication?

Thank you for your time and ideas.

Posted in News

Shine A Light On City Government 8/19/15

Friends & Neighbors,

The Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen met in workshop and regular sessions tonight, 8/19.  Here is a summary of those meetings.

The BOA heard a presentation from Ms. Joy Howard, the city’s financial advisor for bond issues and like.  She reported that the City’s Moody credit rating is AA2 which is pretty good!  The reason for the high rating is the favorable ratio of cash reserves to debt, operating expenses, and/or projected revenue.  That said, the City needs to have a Reserve Policy and an Investment Policy to determine how much money should be held in cash and how much can be invested in short term or intermediate term interest bearing T-bills or bonds.  The city has long term debt over $4 million and a cash reserve of $3.4 million.  What we need to do next is to develop a capital expenditure  plan for 3 to 5 years to budget for infrastructure costs, over and above operating expenses.  That will guide us to develop a plan to maintain an appropriate level of cash reserves and an appropriate level of investments in interest bearing accounts.  Presently the City holds its $3.4 million reserves in accounts that earn 0.01% interest.  We should have some of that in US Treasuries earning about 2% or more while protecting principal.

The BOA received a report regarding employee health insurance premiums for 2016.  I am happy to report that we will remain at almost exactly the level of expense as 2015.  Next year we may need to consider some changes when the impact of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) may kick in (if not delayed again by executive order).

The BOA received nominations for three new members of the Barathaven Community Improvement District Board of Directors: Craig Stankovich, Michael Luna and Tom Vonderheid, all residents and property owners in the Barathaven subdivision.  Their nominations will be presented to the Board for approval in the regular business meeting on September 2.

Several citizens spoke concerning the regulation of chickens in Dardenne Prairie.  There were several proposals to address the conflict between the zoning code which permits chickens on parcels of one acre in the R-1A zoning district and the animal regulation code that permits chickens only on parcels greater than 3 acres.  Until just about one month ago nobody in the City had complained about chickens although citizens have kept chickens for years, even on parcels smaller than one acre.  There was an interesting discussion about the philosophy of government.  Should the City design a regulatory scheme to limit the number of chickens or the manner in which they are housed or the placement of chicken coops in relation to property lines or whether to “grandfather” existing flocks and prohibit new flocks.  Or, on the other hand, to restrain the heavy hand of government from restricting individual freedom in the absence of actual evidence of injury to the public health safety and welfare.  Besides, have you seen the price of eggs lately?  The BOA voted to repeal the code section in the animal regulation chapter that prohibits chickens in parcels smaller than 3 acres.  The BOA left intact the provision of the zoning code that authorizes chickens in the R-1A residential zoning district.  The Board decided to wait to see if any complaints come in concerning chickens kept on residential parcels smaller than one acre.  If we have not heard any complaints in the past why would we construct a regulatory regime to prohibit something that is not creating a problem?  The conditions, covenants and restrictions (CCR) in individual subdivisions that prohibit keeping chickens remain in force.

The BOA held a public hearing concerning the proposal to declare a moratorium on approving development in the Uptown Zoning District while the City revisits the wisdom of that zoning classification.  Last week the Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously to table the moratorium.  After listening to several property owners in the Uptown District tonight the BOA also decided to table the moratorium.  As one citizen said, the building code requirements of the Uptown District have created a moratorium on development for the past 8 or 9 years. The City will, however, proceed to hold public meetings to discuss what changes, if any, should be made to the Uptown District.  Watch for announcements of meetings in the near future.

Sadly, I must report that Alderman Doug Santos announced his intention to resign from the Board of Aldermen to spend more time with his family.  In his announcement tonight he alluded to some health issues concerning his son.  We all commend Alderman Santos for his service to our community and for his willingness to devote time, energy and resources to the people of Dardenne Prairie.  We wish him and his family well.  We hope for a bright future for his family.  I will miss his wise counsel and light hearted sense of humor.  If circumstances change and he has time once again to dedicate to the people of Dardenne Prairie we will welcome him back to City Government.

Anyone living in Ward 2 who would like to be considered for appointment to fill the unexpired term of Alderman Santos may submit an Application for Boards and Commissions.  Applicants should have their forms in to the City Clerk by August 27 to be placed on the Agenda for the BOA workshop meeting on September 2.  Please come to the September workshop at 5:30 PM to address the BOA concerning your desire to serve the community.  The BOA will fill the vacancy at a special meeting on September 16 at 7:00 PM.

The next meeting of the BOA is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, beginning at 5:30 PM.   The next meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9 at 7:00 PM.  Come see your City Government at work!

“Shine a Light on City Government”

DAVID C. ZUCKER
Mayor,
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO
636-755-5306

 

Posted in News, Shine a Light on City Goverment

In Need of Dardenne Prairie Veterans and Patriots

St. Charles Veterans Museum Commission is in need of members.  The Commission will be establishing a Veterans Museum to stand as a testament to all the men and women who have given so much so that we all can enjoy the freedom we have today.

Veterans and Patriots from Lake Saint Louis, O’Fallon, and St. Peters serve on this Commission and it is the goal to have representatives from all of St. Charles County.

If you are interested in joining or would like more information, please contact Ralph Barrale, rbarrale@centurylink.net, 636-332-4696

Posted in News

Shine a Light on City Government 8/14/15

Friends & Neighbors,

The Dardenne Prairie Planning & Zoning Commission met on Wednesday, August 12 to consider whether to declare a moratorium on issuing building permits for development in the “Uptown Zoning District.”  Perhaps because of the importance of the subject the entire Commission was present for the meeting.

I am pleased to report that about 25 members of the public attended the meeting and several people addressed the Commission about the Uptown Zoning District and about the proposed moratorium.   To cut to the chase, no one supported the idea of declaring a moratorium on issuing building permits.  Some property owners were concerned that a moratorium would discourage potential property buyers, although all who spoke conceded that their property had been for sale for years and potential buyers were discouraged when they learned of the strict building codes and designs associated with the Uptown District.  One speaker declared that the city did not need to declare a moratorium on development because the Uptown Zoning Code had accomplished that already.  The citizens attending the meeting all indicated they wanted to see the Uptown Zoning District changed to something else.  There was some differing views as to what that “something else” should be.

The P & Z Commission voted unanimously to table the proposal to declare a moratorium.

The city will proceed to gather input from Dardenne Prairie citizens, property owners in and near the Uptown District, realtors, developers, business owners, and other subject matter experts to better inform the judgment of the P & Z Commission and the Board of Aldermen as they consider whether to retain, modify, or eliminate  the Uptown District and if it is not retained what changes should be made.  The city will publish a schedule of informal meetings in the near future for interested parties to attend and provide input.  Later this fall there will be formal public hearings held by P & Z and the Board of Aldermen.  Understandably, property owners in the Uptown District want the zoning to change.  Most say they want it changed to allow commercial development.  Some caution against haste.  Not all parts of the Uptown district are suited to all kinds of commercial development.  We must also consider the impact of traffic along Feise Road and Rte. N now that Rte. 364 is open.  The assumptions that led the city to foresee certain types of retail development along Rte. N and Feise back in 2007 may no longer be valid.

I will continue to provide updates as the city undertakes the serious business of planning and zoning for our future.

Don’t forget to come to City Hall on Wednesday August 19 starting at 5:30 for the Board of Aldermen workshop and meeting.  Come see your city at work!

“Shine a Light on City Government”

DAVID C. ZUCKER
Mayor,
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO
636-755-5306

 

Posted in News, Shine a Light on City Goverment

Shine a Light on City Government 8/6/2015

Friends & Neighbors,

The Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen met in Workshop and Regular sessions on Wednesday August 5.

We spent about an hour of the Workshop discussing whether Dardenne Prairie should change the municipal code to accommodate residents who want to raise chickens.  There is currently a conflict between provisions of the zoning code permitting chickens and other animals in the R1A zoning district (1 acre or larger parcels) and the chapter on animal regulations that forbids chickens and certain other animals on parcels smaller than 3 acres.  Until last week the City has never received a complaint concerning the keeping of chickens.  The question of chickens provided a good opportunity to discuss the philosophy of government, individual freedom, the role of good neighbors, and reasonable regulation of activities in residential subdivisions.  Several citizens expressed their views on the question and related topics.  Discussions among the Board and the citizens were thoughtful, respectful, and helpful (with a minimum of chicken puns).  The Board decided to table the matter until the next meeting on August 19 to allow more time for citizen input.

In other matters, I reported on my meeting with the Executive Director and staff of the Great Rivers Greenway District. The meeting, held on August 3, aimed at getting the Barathaven trail along Dardenne Creek restored and to correct a chronic drainage problem at Bluebird Meadow Park.  The City has offered to step in to get the construction and repair work done.  We will work out the details with GRG in hopes of having the construction completed in September.

Bob Easley, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, reported on several matters, most notably the City’s efforts to dispose of “surplus”  property.  Among other items, we have a 30 ton “chiller” acquired about 5 years ago for $50,000 intended to be used in a solar heating system at City Hall.  That system was not installed so the chiller has been in storage all this time.  We are trying to establish the chiller’s fair market value and to find a buyer for this item.

Melissa Nordmann from Parks and Recreation reported on the preparations for Prairie Day, scheduled for September 19.  There will be several musical acts throughout the day and evening and tons of games and activities for kids.  Watch for further news in the weeks ahead!

Thursday, August 6 at dusk the movie “Back to the Future II” will be shown at City Hall Park.  After all, it is 2015.  Where’s my hover board?

On Saturday, August 15 the last of the summer music presentations features the 80’s cover band “Plastic.”  Come dressed in 80’s style clothing and compete for the “best costume.”  (Who would have thought that clothes hanging in my closet would be considered costumes?)

Come see your City Government in action! The next meeting of Planning & Zoning is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Wednesday, August 12.  P&Z will conduct a public hearing concerning the proposed moratorium on development in the Uptown Zoning District while the City studies whether to change, reduce, eliminate, or retain the Uptown Zone and its building code.  The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 19.  Serious business, plus a few more chicken jokes, will be the order of the day.  Workshop begins at 5:30 PM;  Regular session begins at 7:00 PM.

“Shine a Light on City Government”

DAVID C. ZUCKER
Mayor,
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO
636-755-5306

Posted in News, Shine a Light on City Goverment