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BULLET St. Louis City Charter Article XXII Public Works and Improvements*

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Official printed copies of St. Louis Missouri City Charter may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.


 

Article XXII
Public Works and Improvements*

*V.A.M.S.:

Ch. 88 Public works and special assessments therefor

City Counselor Ops.: 7846, 8557, 9148

Cases:

The public improvement contemplated in this article does not apply to condemnation of land. City of St. Louis v. Franklin Bank, 173 S.W. 2d 837, 351 Mo. 688 (1943).

McQuillin:

Ch. 37 Public Improvements

Section 1 Ordinance initiating public works--Recommendations required.

No ordinance for public work or improvements of any kind, or repairs thereof, shall be adopted, unless prepared and recommended by the board of public service with an estimate of the cost endorsed thereon.

City Counselor Ops.: 8675, 9135, 9208, 9258, 9683, 01091

Cases:

An ordinance to depress or raise railroad tracks must be approved by the board of public works. American Tobacco Co. v. Missouri Pac. Ry. Co., 157 S.W. 502, 247 Mo. 374 (1912).

The restriction that the board of public service must recommend a public improvement applies to proposals under the initiative provisions. Baum v. City of St. Louis, 123 S.W. 2d 48, 343 Mo. 738 (1938).

The city must prove that the ordinance was recommended by the board of public service. Wabash Ry. Co. v. City of St. Louis, 64 F. 2d 921 (1933).

McQuillin:

37.71--37.100 Formal Action Providing for Improvement

Section 2 Ordinance--Contents; authorization for subsequent appropriations.

Such ordinances shall authorize the particular work or improvement; specify the general character and extent thereof, the material to be used therein and in the alternative if desirable; the manner and regulations under which it shall be executed; the term for which it shall be guaranteed, if at all; the fund or source from which payment shall be made; that it shall be done in accordance with detailed plans and specifications finally adopted and approved by the board of public service before bids are advertised therefor; and shall contain a specific appropriation of an amount sufficient to pay the city's part of the estimated cost; provided, that emergency work and repairs requiring prompt attention may be done under supervision of the board of public service as provided by general ordinance. Ordinances may provide for a greater work or improvement than can be paid for at the time out of an available fund in the city treasury, in which event they shall provide that the work be let and done in parts as appropriations are made therefor. Provided further that where any part of the cost of a particular work or improvement is to be paid out of funds to be derived from the sale of bonds previously authorized at an election held for that purpose and the sale of which has been directed or authorized by ordinance, it shall not be necessary that any of such bonds shall first be sold nor that an appropriation out of funds derived from their sale should first be made, but any contract for such work or improvement which shall be authorized by ordinance and entered into as otherwise required in this charter shall be valid where the ordinance authorizing such contract shall have made an appropriation therefor out of such bonds or out of the proceeds of the sale thereof already made or thereafter to be made; and such contract shall recite that it is subject to the charter and that payment thereon out of such bonds or funds to be derived from the sale thereof shall be limited to the amount specified in the ordinance authorizing the contract.

City Counselor Ops.: 8675, 8925, 9135, 9683, 10287, 10509

Cases:

The city may appropriate bonds instead of appropriating money to pay the cost of public works. Jennings v. Kinsey, 271 S.W. 786, 308 Mo. 265 (1925).

Engineering services are explicitly and inspection services impliedly made an essential integral part of the cost of improvement. Pflueger v. Kinsey, 6 S.W. 2d 604, 320 Mo. 82 (1928)

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 33644

Submission Ordinance Approved January 20, 1925.

Amendment Substance: repeals old Section 2, enacts new Section 2, relating to ordinance requirement for public works and improvements; authority for subsequent appropriations.

Voter Adoption Date: April 7, 1925.

Section 3 Establishment of benefit, taxing and sewer districts, etc.

Before the board of public service shall recommend any ordinance for any public work or improvement, including the construction or other improvement of any public highway, street, boulevard, parkway, alley, sidewalk or sewer, or any part thereof, to be paid for, in whole or in part, by special assessment, it shall lay out, or shall have laid out, a proposed benefit or taxing district, and as to a sewer, it shall lay out, or shall have laid out, a proposed sewer district or joint sewer district, and shall include therein all property against which it is proposed to assess benefits for the payment, in whole or in part, of the cost and expense of such work or improvement; and the board of public service shall thereafter designate a day upon which it will consider the proposed district and the boundaries thereof and the projected work or improvement at a public hearing, and shall give two weeks' public notice in the paper or papers doing the city publishing, of the time and place of such hearing, which notice shall set forth that a proposed district to pay the cost of the work or improvement has been laid out by said board, and that the boundaries thereof may be ascertained at the time and place specified for such hearing. Such notice shall indicate, in a general way, the location of such district by reference to adjoining streets, and shall designate the matters to be considered and the estimated cost of the work or improvement, which estimate may cover several classes of materials. At such hearing all persons interested may appear and be heard with regard to what property shall be included in said district, and as to all matters connected with the work proposed. Within three days after such hearing is concluded, the board shall file in its office its decision, stating its determination as to the exact boundaries of the district, the work or improvement determined upon, if any, and the class or classes of material to be used. If within eighteen days after such decision the owners of the greater area of the land in such district as determined shall file in the office of the board of public service their written remonstrance against the district as determined, or the proposed work or improvement, the board, at its next meeting, shall reconsider and either reverse its action or transmit to the board of aldermen, together with such remonstrance, an ordinance establishing the benefit or taxing district or sewer district or joint sewer district as determined, and authorizing the proposed work to be done or improvement to be made. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as invalidating ordinances for public work ordained prior to the enactment of this amendment, and contracts hereafter made in pursuance of such ordinances shall be valid, notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein contained.

City Counselor Ops.: 8675, 9135, 9683, 9765, 9777, 90101, 10015, 10287

Cases:

The stating that the ordinance is in the public interest is sufficient reason to justify overriding the remonstrance. Loth v. City of St. Louis, 165 S.W. 1023, 256 Mo. 399 (1914); Meyer v. Bobb, 171 S.W. 6M, 185 Mo. App. 685 (1914).

The boundaries of the benefit district should be fixed at the time within which the property owners may protest. Schneider Granite Co. v. Independent Breweries Co., 168 S.W. 693, 258 Mo. 378 (1914).

No notice to owners of the establishment of a taxing sewer district is necessary. St. Louis Malleable C. Co. v. George G. Prendergast Const. Co., 231 S.W. 989, 288 Mo. 197 (1921).

Compliance with charter provisions constitutes legal notice. There is no need to post notices. Wiget v. City of St. Louis, 85 S.W. 2d 1038, 337 Mo. 799 (1935).

Each new ordinance submitted to the board of aldermen, even if identical to an old ordinance must be accompanied by the prerequisite preliminary steps. Sessinghaus v. Central Paving and Construction Co., 296 S.W. 1034, 220 Mo. App. 1129 (1927).

The issue that the benefit district was arbitrarily laid out must first be raised before the board of public improvements before it can be raised in court. Standard Inv. Co. v. Stephens-Meier, 117 S.W. 2d 620 (1938).

Advance notice and hearing is not required on the question of the amount and extent of assessment. Withnell v. Ruecking Constr. Co., 249 U.S. 63 (1919).

Assessments violate the Fourteenth Amendment only when the action of the state authorities is found to be arbitrary or wholly unequal in operation and effect. Goldsmith v. Prendergast Constr. Co., 252 U.S. 12 (1920).

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 35368

Submission Ordinance Approved November 24, 1926.

Amendment Substance: repealing Section 3, enacting new Section 3, relating to benefit taxing districts for public improvements.

Voter Rejection Date: April 5, 1927.

Section 4 How contracts to be let.

All public work, except emergency work or repairs requiring prompt attention, shall be let by the board of public service in pursuance of the ordinance authorizing the same. It shall advertise for bids in the paper or papers doing the city publishing three time, the last publication to be at least ten days before the day appointed for opening the bids (unless a different time and medium of advertising are prescribed in the ordinance), stating the general nature of the work and the time and place of receiving bids therefor. Bids submitted shall be sealed and accompanied by a cashier's or treasurer's check of a bank or trust company in the city payable to the city treasurer, or a surety bond approved by the comptroller, in the amount of the deposit required. Said board shall let the work by contract to the lowest responsible bidder on the plans and specifications finally adopted except as herein otherwise provided, first requiring a bond to be approved by it and the comptroller. Said board may reject any or all bids submitted and readvertise the work. Provided, that any ordinance for any public work or improvement to be paid for by special assessment or otherwise may authorize the board of public service to do the same in a manner prescribed in such ordinance without letting a contract therefor.

V.A.M.S.:

8.250 Construction contracts by state or certain subdivisions, when let

107.170 Bond--public works contractor

City Counselor Ops.: 7902, 8010, 8053, 8055, 8279, 8675, 8833, 8925, 9036, 9347, 9361, 9618, 9683, 9697, 9779, 9788, 9841, 9844, 10115, 10118, 10187, 10445, 10467, 10472

Cases:

Contract providing that original builders would make repairs on street for ten years was invalid contravening provision that work be performed by lowest bidder. Eyermann v. City of St. Louis, 178 S.W. 98, 265 Mo. 529 (1915).

The manner of advertising for bids need not be provided in the ordinance. Herman Const. Co. v. Lyon, 211 S.W. 68, 277 Mo. 628 (1919).

Engineering and inspection services, while not emergency work, repairs or let by ordinance, are included in the cost of improvement. Pflueger v. Kinsey, 6 S.W. 2d 604, 320 Mo. 82 (1928).

The imposition of a minimum wage ordinance contravenes provision that work be done by lowest bidder. Hillig v. City of St. Louis, 85 S.W. 2d 91, 337 Mo. 291 (1935).

City employees lacked standing as taxpayers to challenge the city's actions in contracting out acute care and long term health services where they failed to show that the city's actions would necessarily result in the loss of revenue to the city or in an increased tax burden and where, in fact, the city's actions would save a substantial amount of money in the foreseeable future. Brock v. City of St. Louis, 724 S.W. 2d 721 (1987).

McQuillin:

37.101--37.209 Public Improvements--Contracts

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 59354

Submission Ordinance Approved January 21, 1985.

Amendment Substance: amend to authorize surety bonds approved by the comptroller, or a cashier's or treasurer's check, in the amount of the deposit required for public work contracts.

Voter Adoption Date: April 2, 1985.

Submission Ordinance No. 66330

Submission Ordinance Approved July 23, 2004.

Amendment Substance: restructures city finance offices and functions.

Voter Rejection Date: November 2, 2004.

Section 5 Form of contracts.

All contracts shall recite that they are subject to the charter and that payments thereon of the city's portion shall be limited to the amount of the particular appropriation.

Section 6 Contracts for sewers to contain provisions for connections.

All contracts for the construction of sewers shall provide that owners of property, with approval of the director of streets and sewers, may make a connection during construction with the sewer or any temporary drain made by the contractor, payment to be made to him for such connection equal to the extra cost caused to him thereby.

Section 7 Complaints as to execution of contract.

The board of public service shall investigate written complaints that any public work or improvement is not being done according to contract and if well founded the board shall immediately require the contractor to comply with the contract and pay the costs of such investigation.

Section 8 Separate contracts for grading and improvement.

The board of public service may let contracts for the grading and for the improvement of any public highway, street, boulevard, parkway, alley or sidewalk or portions thereof separately, in which event the city may either impose one special assessment to pay for the grading and another to pay for the improvement, or it may pay the cost of the grading and add the same to the cost of such improvement and include the cost of both the grading and improvement in one special assessment, the contractor reimbursing the city for the grading.

Section 9 City to pay assessments where property exempt.

If any property in a benefit or assessment district other than public highways, is not liable to any special assessment herein provided for, the city shall pay the part of the cost of the work or improvement which would otherwise have been assessed against such property.

City Counselor Ops.: 9991

Section 10 How cost of work or improvement levied and assessed--In general.

Ordinances for the improvement of public highways, streets, boulevards and parkways, which may include grading, regrading, preparing roadbed, placing foundation, building of superstructure, resurfacing, repaving, construction and reconstruction of curb, gutters, roadway, paving and crosswalks and intersections, shall provide for payment therefor by special assessment, as follows: One-fourth of the entire cost shall be levied and assessed against the lots or parcels of ground abutting on the work or improvement ratably by lineal feet so abutting, and the remainder of the cost shall be levied and assessed ratably by area against all the lots or parcels of ground, exclusive of public highways, within the benefit or taxing district; provided, however, that such improvement ordinances may provide for the payment of a portion of the cost of such improvements by the city, and for the assessment of the remainder thereof against the property in such benefit district, in the manner specified. The improvement of thirty feet of any wharf farthest from the stream may be paid for in like manner or at the city's expense. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as invalidating ordinances for public work ordained prior to the enactment of this amendment, and contracts hereafter made in pursuance of such ordinances shall be valid, notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein contained.

City Counselor Ops.: 8675, 9498, 9683, 9765, 9838, 9991, 10015, 10047, 10408

Cases:

The opening of an additional street after the benefit district was formed does not destroy any part of a prior lien. Perkinson v. Weber, 157 S.W. 961, 251 Mo. 186 (1913).

The term "lot" is of indefinite meaning and may refer to any piece, division or parcel of land. State v. Reynolds, 218 S.W. 337, 281 Mo. 1 (1920).

Particular costs of improvement such as engineering and inspection need not be enumerated. Pflueger v. Kinsey, 6 S.W. 2d 604, 320 Mo. 82 (1928).

There are no hard and fast rules for the establishment of taxing districts that will not conflict with the constitution. Bridges Asphalt Co. v. Jacobsmeyer, 142 S.W. 2d 641, 346 Mo. 609 (1940).

Part of a lot may be included in a district. Bridges Asphalt Co. v. Jacobsmeyer, 142 S.W. 2d 641, 346 Mo. 609 (1940).

Parts of nonpaved highways are properly excluded from assessment. Bridges Asphalt Co. v. Jacobsmeyer, 142 S.W. 2d 641, 346 Mo. 609 (1940).

A lot may be assessed according to usage if different from official plot. Granite Bituminous Paving Co. v. McManus, 129 S.W. 448, 144 Mo. App. 593 (1910).

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 35368

Submission Ordinance Approved November 24, 1926.

Amendment Substance: repeals Section 10, enacts new Section 10, relating to levying and assessment for improvements.

Voter Adoption Date: April 5, 1927.

Section 11 Alleys.

Ordinances for the improvement of alleys, which may include grading, regrading, preparing roadbeds, placing foundations, repaving, resurfacing and reconstruction of alleys, all intersections of alleys and the crossing of sidewalks in the continuation of alleys, shall provide for payment therefor by special assessment, as follows: One-fourth of the entire cost shall be levied and assessed against the lots or parcels of ground abutting on the work or improvement ratably by lineal feet so abutting, and the remainder of the cost shall be levied and assessed ratably by area against all the lots or parcels of ground abutting on such alleys or having access thereto, exclusive of public highways. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as invalidating ordinances for public work ordained prior to the enactment of this amendment, and contracts hereafter made in pursuance of such ordinances shall be valid, notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein contained.

City Counselor Ops.: 9929

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 35368

Submission Ordinance Approved November 24, 1926.

Amendment Substance: changing levying percentage for alley improvements.

Voter Adoption Date: April 5, 1927.

Section 12 Sidewalks.

Ordinances for the grading and preparing for and placing the superstructure of sidewalks, or for the repaving or reconstruction thereof, with necessary intersections, shall provide for payment therefore by special assessment, as follows: The entire cost shall be levied and assessed against the lots or parcels of ground abutting on the work or improvement, the amount to be assessed against each lot or parcel of ground to be the cost of the actual work done in front of, adjoining or bordering on said lot or parcel of ground; provided, however, that such sidewalk ordinances may provide for the payment of a portion of such cost by the city, and for the assessment of the remainder thereof against the property abutting on said improvement, in the manner specified; and provided, further, that ordinances for grading, regrading or for the improvement or reconstruction of any public highway, street, boulevard, or parkway, may include, as a part thereof, the cost of grading and regrading of the sidewalk spaces thereon, in which case the cost of grading and regrading of the sidewalk spaces shall be a part of the cost of improving or reconstructing such public highway, street, boulevard, or parkway, and shall be assessed in the manner provided in Section Ten of this article. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as invalidating ordinances for public work ordained prior to the enactment of this amendment, and contracts hereafter made in pursuance of such ordinances shall be valid, notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein contained.

City Counselor Ops.: 8081, 8675, 9132, 9135, 9498, 9683, 9838, 10015

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 35368

Submission Ordinance Approved November 24, 1926.

Amendment Substance: changing levying procedure for sidewalks regarding property owners and City.

Voter Adoption Date: April 5, 1927.

Section 13 When reconstruction costs to be borne by city.

At least one-fourth of the cost of reconstruction of any public highway, street, boulevard, parkway, sidewalk or alley done within ten years after the same has been fully paved shall be paid by the city.

Section 14 Classification of sewers.

There shall be four classes of sewers, viz: public, district, joint-district, and private sewers, as hereinafter defined, but otherwise without regard to the area drained, the size, character, or purpose of the sewer.

Public sewers are those which have been or may be constructed or acquired and paid for wholly out of general revenue.

District sewers are those which have been or may be constructed or acquired, under authority of ordinance, within the limits of an established sewer district, and paid for by special assessments upon the property in the district.

Joint-district sewers are those which have been or may be constructed or acquired under the authority of ordinances uniting one or more districts and unorganized territory, or uniting districts or unorganized territory, into a joint sewer district, for the purpose of providing main, outlet or intercepting sewers, for the benefit of such joint sewer district, and paid for by special assessment upon the property in such joint sewer district.

Private sewers are those paid for by private parties constructing the same.

Cases:

Sewer may be built large enough to contain water outside sewer district that endangers property within sewer district. Jennings Heights Land and Imp. Co. v. City of St. Louis, 165 S.W. 741, 257 Mo. 291 (1914).

Section 15 Location and connection of sewers.

All public, district and joint-district sewers shall be constructed along streets, alleys and other public ways whenever practicable; and no such sewer shall be built or acquired by the city except it be on a public way or a right-of-way owned by the city. Such sewers may be connected with any other sewer of any class or with a natural course of drainage.

Section 16 Levy and assessment of special tax for sewers.

All ordinances for constructing, reconstructing or acquiring district and joint-district sewers shall provide for payment thereof by special assessment as follows: The entire cost and expense shall be levied and assessed as a special tax ratably by area on all the lots or parcels of ground within the district or joint district, excluding public highways only.

Ordinances creating a joint-sewer district may provide for the construction of the sewer or sewers therein in one or more sections and for the levy and assessment of the cost of any section upon the completion thereof as a special tax in the manner herein provided.

If any district or joint-district sewer shall drain territory lying outside the city limits and not included in the district or joint district, the city shall pay so much of the cost of such sewer as would have been assessed ratably against such territory if it were included in the district or joint district.

Cases:

The term "lot" is of indefinite meaning and may refer to any piece, division or parcel of land. State v. Reynolds, 218 S.W. 337, 281 Mo. 1 (1920).

No notice to owners of the establishment of a taxing sewer district is necessary. St. Louis Malleable C. Co. v. George G. Prendergast Const. Co., 231 S.W. 989, 288 Mo. 197 (1921).

Where a plat with numbered lots has been filed, an assessment for special improvements according to the numbers filed is proper. Parker Washington Co. v. Bradley, 196 S.W. 111, 197 Mo. App. 447 (1917).

Section 17 Acquisition of private sewers by city.

The city may by ordinance recommended by the board of public service acquire any private sewer by gift, condemnation or purchase, and provide for reimbursement by special assessment in the manner hereinbefore provided to be levied against the property in the district or joint-district for which such private sewer is acquired; and an ordinance making a private sewer or any part thereof a part of a proposed district or joint-district sewer may provide that the contractor shall pay for such private sewer at the priced fixed in such ordinance and the cost thereof shall be included in the total cost of constructing such district or joint-district sewer.

Section 18 Special tax bills to be issued on completion of work.

When any public work or improvement, to be paid for in whole or in part by special assessment, is completed, the board of public service shall cause the entire cost and expense thereof to be computed, and shall levy and assess such cost and expense or the part to be paid by special assessment, as a special tax, in accordance with the requirements of this article, and shall cause to be issued a special tax bill against each lot or parcel of ground liable in the manner provided by article XXIII, or by ordinance not inconsistent therewith.

City Counselor Ops.: 9929

Cases:

Particular costs of improvement such as engineering and inspection need not be enumerated. Pflueger v. Kinsey, 6 S.W. 2d 604, 320 Mo. 82 (1928).

The term "lot" is of indefinite meaning and may refer to any piece, division or parcel of land. State v. Reynolds, 218 S.W. 337, 281 Mo. 1 (1920).

Section 19 Reconstruction or alteration of district and joint-district sewers.

Should it be necessary for any reason to reconstruct any district or joint-district sewer, the board of aldermen, by ordinance recommended by the board of public service, may establish the same or a different district for such reconstruction. It may also alter any district or joint-district at any time before the construction of the sewers therein is completed.

Section 20 Construction, repair and maintenance of private sewers.

Private sewers shall be constructed, repaired and maintained and connected with other sewers at private expense under such restrictions and regulations as the board of public service may prescribe, the city reserving the right to connect with, utilize and acquire such sewers.

Section 21 Public improvements by individuals--Permit required.

The board of public service may grant permits for the improvement of public highways, streets, boulevards, parkways, alleys and sidewalks by property owners, and such improvement shall conform to the established or proposed grades and to specifications approved by the board. Such permit shall specify that the grantee thereof shall not be entitled to any credit or rebate from tax bills which may be issued for further improvement of the public highway, street, boulevard, parkway, alley and sidewalk, when carried out under the provisions of this charter, on account of any improvements that he may make in pursuance of such permit.

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 35368

Submission Ordinance Approved November 24, 1926.

Amendment Substance: Section 22: private owners of property granted permits for public improvements to conform to City plan and not allowed credit or tax rebates for cost.

Voter Adoption Date: April 5, 1927.

Section 22 Utilization by city of material put into improvement.

Any part of the work or material put into the improvement of a public highway, street, boulevard, parkway, alley or sidewalk, which is usable and conforms to the city's plans for the further improvement of the public highway, street, boulevard, parkway, alley or sidewalk may be used by the city in its further improvement thereof. If such work or material shall have been put into such improvement in pursuance of a permit, as provided in Section Twenty-one hereof, the grantee of such permit, his assigns or successors in title shall not become entitled to any credit or rebate for the use of such work or material in the issuance of special tax bills for the cost of such further improvement.

History:

Submission Ordinance No. 35368

Submission Ordinance Approved November 24, 1926.

Amendment Substance: Section 22 City may use work or materials for public improvements and private permittee or assigns not allowed credit or rebate therefor.

Voter Adoption Date: April 5, 1927.

Section 23 Insufficient and excessive assessments.

The ordinance for any public work or improvement may require the board of public service to levy the special assessment therefor immediately upon such ordinance becoming effective, such assessment to be based on the estimated cost and expenses of such work or improvement; and should any assessment so levied be insufficient to pay the entire cost and expenses of the work or improvement required to be paid for by special assessment, the board of public service shall, on the completion of the work or improvement, levy a supplemental special assessment to pay the deficiency, in the same manner as nearly as may be as in the first special assessment; and should the whole of the original special assessment not be required to pay the cost and expenses of the work or improvement, the excess shall be credited ratably on the special tax bills or refunded to the parties who paid them.

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