CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2000-R-19

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON STREET

LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

JULY 17, 2000

5:30 P.M.

 

    I.      CALL TO ORDER

 

            With a quorum present, Mayor Elizabeth G. Flores called the meeting to order.

 

 II.            PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

            Mayor Elizabeth G. Flores led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

III.       ROLL CALL

 

            In Attendance:

            Elizabeth G. Flores                               Mayor

            Alfredo Agredano                                 Council Member, District I

            Louis H. Bruni                                   Council Member, District II

            John C. Galo                                         Council Member , District III

            Johnny Amaya                         Council Member , District IV

            Eliseo Valdez, Jr.                                Council Member , District V

            Joe A. Guerra                                      Mayor Pro Tempore, District VI

            Jose A. Valdez, Jr.                                Council Member , District VII

            Juan Ramirez                                                Council Member , District VIII

            Gustavo Guevara, Jr.                           City Secretary

            Larry Dovalina                                   Acting City Manager

            Jaime Flores                                       City Attorney

 

IV.             MINUTES

 

Approval of the minutes of June 5, 2000.

 

Moved:  Cm. Agredano

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:          8                                    Against:            0                                 Abstain:            0

 

V.             COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

Announcements

           

None

 

Invitations

 

None

 

Recognitions

 

a.   Communities in Schools and the United South Academy of Global Business/Advanced          

            Technology, working with the Nonprofit Management and Volunteer Center, received a           

            $19,000.00 grant from Cisco Systems to place United South students in summer internships with City of Laredo Network Administrators.

 

                  Mayor Flores introduced Chito Vela, Coordinator of the Nonprofit Management & Volunteer Center, who stated that this was an innovative volunteer program funded through Cisco Systems being implemented by the local Communities in Schools affiliate.  He also introduced Jose A. Gutierrez who informed the City Council that this program was one of the spin-offs of the America’s Promise and Colin Powell’s Working with Youth programs.  There were 300 cities that initially applied for the grant and Laredo was the third largest recipient of grant funding from the nine cities selected.  He reported that these students are receiving training as well as compensation for participating in these summer internships with the City of Laredo.  Karen Winch, Director, United South Global Business/Advanced Technology, together with a student delegation, spoke of the partnership that is in place with the City of Laredo that allows the implementation of this program.  She praised the Superintendent of the United Independent School District who, together with the Board of Trustees, are committed to this endeavor of providing additional preparatory instruction for its students.

 

b.   Recognition to Sgt. Jose Jalomo, Jr., of the Laredo Police Department who recently returned for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Academy (FBINA) as he graduated from the 201st Session, in Quantico, Virginia, on June 16, 2000.

 

Recognition was postponed for the City Council meeting of July 24, 2000 being that Sgt. Jalomo was not able to attend tonight’s meeting.

 

c.   Recognition to Sgt. Alberto Sanchez, of the Laredo Police Department for having been recently honored as Texas Narcotics Control Program's (TNCP) Task Force Commander of the Year –1999-2000, at the recent Texas Narcotics Officers Association (TNOA) Conference in Austin, Texas.

 

                  The Mayor and the City Council recognized Sgt. Alberto Sanchez for his dedication and achievements in law enforcement and presented him with a Seven Flags Certificate for his outstanding accomplishments.

 

                  Communiqués

 

Cm. Bruni submitted a report from Ed Walker, General Manager of the Southwest Texas Rain Enhancement Association, P. O. Box 1433, Carrizo Springs, Tx, in connection with the Cloud Seeding Flights of Project 2000.  The target area for the latest cloud seeding efforts was the N.E. and N. Central Webb, S.W. tip of La Salle Counties.  He stated that the activity conducted on July 9, 2000, at 7:32 p.m. under Flight #23, did not provide favorable results. 

 

 

Date: 06/26/00

Weather:  A sea breeze boundary from the Gulf of Mexico managed to migrate west into the target area late in the day.  Pop-corn cumulus and shower activity lasting on the order of 20 minutes was over McMullen, northeastern Webb and southern La Salle counties.  At 6:30 p.m., some of the small cumulus clouds converged together and formed a multi-cluster storm now suitable for seeding.

Seeding status:  Seed Day #16, Seed Flight #22.  Seed Flight #22 conducted over southern La Salle County from 7:17 p.m. to 8:06 p.m.  Seeding success was rated “Fair” for this particular mission.  Radar estimated rainfall for the seeded cell was 0.25 – 0.75 inches.

 

Date:  06/27/00

Weather:  Some short-lived pop-corn type showers east of the target area. 

Seeding status:  No seeding operations conducted this day.

 

Date:  06/28/00

Weather:  Isolated short-lived (20 minute) pop-corn showers over Dimmit and Webb.

Seeding status:  No seeding operations conducted this day.

 

Date:  06/29/00

Weather:  Mostly sunny.  Some weak pop-corn convection to our northeast.

Seeding status:  No seeding operations conducted this day.

 

Date:  06/30/00

Weather:  Mostly sunny morning and afternoon.

Seeding status:  No seeding operations conducted this day.

 

Date:  07/01/00

Weather:  Some clouds morning with sunny afternoon.

Seeding status:  No seeding operations conducted this day.

 

Date:  07/02/00

Weather:  Partly cloudy morning turning mostly sunny afternoon.  Hot and humid.

Seeding status:  No seeding operations conducted this day.

 

Analysis:  SWTREA Cotulla, Tx Mod Office, Cotulla, Texas, 1:00 p.m. 07/10/00

 

07/09/00 Storms over SWTREA target area.

Seed Day #17 Seed Flight #23

 

Weather setup:

 

Water vapor imagery indicated that a low-pressure center over the Gulf was moving west and would be near Brownsville by late evening.  The dynamics of this low were already producing isolated short duration shower activity over deep South Texas most of the day.  This low-pressure center combined with daytime heating, weak instability and the sea breeze front went on to produce isolated shower activity within the target area during the early evening hours.  This activity was the pop-corn type seen very often here during the summer months.  However, one of the cumulus clouds did manage to persist beyond the “two minute” life span of a typical pop-corn type cumulus cloud.  It should also be noted that at one time during the late afternoon hours, there were as many as ten isolated showers all of which had all of their mass below the freezing level height.  The clouds were producing rain via the warm cloud process and would not respond to the silver iodide we currently use for a seeding agent.

 

Seed Flight #23

 

The seed plane was launched at 7:32 p.m. to Webb County to investigate one particular cell that had managed to last longer than the “20 minute” average.  Radar indicated that the cell was already in the mature stage upon launch, but cloud top heights were pulsing from the freezing level height to a height of 27,900 ft.  silver iodide seeding theory dictates that at least a portion of the cloud mass be within a zone of sub-freezing temps.  Although the cloud top was at times just at the freezing level, the pulse type nature of this cell meant that perhaps the cloud top would continue to remain sub-freezing long enough to receive some benefit from seeding.  At 7:48 p.m., the plane intercepted the storm and reported weak updrafts of 100 ft./min.  One wing generator was employed on this cloud until 7:53 p.m.  The seeding plane then moved west to investigate another small cell southwest of Encinal.  Again, weak inflow was noted and seeding with one generator and one flare was done from 7:56 p.m. to 8:03 p.m.  Seed plane was then instructed to return to base as radar indicated that cloud and shower activity within the area was beginning to decay.  Seeding success was rated as poor for this particular mission.  The seeding cells were generally unresponsive to seeding.  Cloud top height, mass, and area did not increase as is expected from seeding agents.   I did not expect this mission to be all that great given the progress of cells over South Texas as a hole during the day.  There were at times many cells precipitating, but their height and duration were very short.  However, it was very much worth a launch to at least investigate the cell that had cloud tops pulsing to 27,900 ft.  Seeding was done on this cell, but reaction to seeding agents was nil.  This is another instance where seeding pop-corn type cumulus clouds yields very little results.  Even with the low pressure center coming into South Texas from the Gulf, there simply was not enough atmospheric dynamics present to get the clouds to grow any further than the pop-corn stage.  Radar estimated rainfall from both seeded and non-seeded clouds was 0.10 inches or less.

 

VI.     APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSION, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

         

            a.  Appointment of Dr. Cecilia Garza by Council Member Louis H. Bruni to the Charter   

                Review Commission.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

     Moved:  Cm. Bruni

     Second:  Cm. Agredano

     For:                        8                      Against:            0                       Abstain:            0

 

            b.  Appointment by Council Member John C. Galo of Viviana Frank Rotnofsky to the 

                 Airport Advisory Committee.

 

     Motion to table.

 

     Moved:  Cm. Galo

     Second:  Cm. Bruni

     For:                        8                      Against:            0                       Abstain:            0

 

 c.  Appointment by Council Member Jose A. Valdez, Jr. of Braulio Martinez to the  

 Cemetery Advisory Committee, Nelda Benavidez  to the Planning and Zoning       

 Commission, Carlos Castillo to the Tree Advisory Committee, and Norma Castilla to  

 the Laredo Commission for Women.

 

     Motion to approve.

 

     Moved:  Cm. J. Valdez

     Second:  Cm. Agredano

     For:                        8                      Against:            0                       Abstain:            0

 

d.  Appointment by Council Member Juan Ramirez of Hector Noyola to the Airport

     Advisory Committee, Herminio Martinez  to the Cemetery Advisory Committee, and

     Rosalinda Gonzalez  to the Library Advisory Committee, Enrique T. De La Garza to the  

     Telecommunications Commission, Juan Martinez, Jr. to the 3rd Party Funding Advisory

     Committee, Miriam Marez to the Transportation Traffic Safety Advisory Committee,  

                 Irma Morales to the Laredo Commission for Women, and Sergio "Keko" Martinez to the

                 Redistricting Commission.

    

Motion to approve.

 

     Moved:  Cm. Agredano

     Second:  Cm. Amaya

     For:                        8                      Against:            0                       Abstain:            0

 

VII.            PUBLIC HEARINGS

                

1.  Public hearing to establish and create Policy and Procedures to consider requests for 

     Foreign-Trade Zone Boundary (FTZ) Modifications that temporarily transfer FTZ

     designation from the Laredo International Airport Site No. 1 to private sites not currently

     participating in the FTZ Program; establishing an Administrative Fee of $200.00 per  

     acre per month, subject to Foreign-Trade Zones Board approval; and authorizing the

     City  Manager to implement said Policy and Procedures; providing for an effective date.

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

                 Establishing and creating Policy and Procedures to consider requests for Foreign-Trade

                 Zone Boundary (FTZ) Modifications that temporarily transfer FTZ designation from the

                 Laredo International Airport Site No. 1 to private sites not currently participating in the 

                 FTZ Program; establishing an Administrative Fee of $200.00 per acre per month, subject

                 to Foreign-Trade Zones Board approval; and authorizing the City Manager to implement

                 said Policy and Procedures; providing for an effective date.

 

     Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Galo

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:             8                     Against:            0                      Abstain:           0

           

                                 There was no public input.

 

                Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

    Moved:  Cm. Galo

    Second:  Cm. Agredano

    For:              8                      Against:            0                     Abstain:           0

 

    Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

 VIII.  GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

2.  A. Request by Council Member Alfredo Agredano

 

     1. Presentation by the Veteran's Coalition of a proposed Veterans Monument honoring 

         the Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients, with possible action.

 

Cm. Agredano introduced Mr. Jorge Sanchez who gave a presentation to City Council on their proposed plans for the Veterans Monument.  Mayor Flores mentioned that along with Mr. Sanchez, there were additional members of the Veteran’s Coalition in the audience, Mr. Hernandez, Dr. Farias, and Mr. Rossell, who would be making additional comments as well. 

 

Cm. Guerra indicated that he wanted clarification from the Legal Department about the use of the word “Hispanic” in honoring these Medal of Honor recipients without offending other ethnic groups who have served in the Armed Forces. 

 

Jaime Flores, City Attorney, mentioned that he had presented this concern to the City Manager.  The conclusion was that since City funds are being used for this project, the appropriate treatment would be to include all Medal of Honor recipients.

 

Dr. Hector Farias spoke before the Council about the Veterans Coalition work on this project.  He stated that this undertaking had gone through extensive scrutiny and he expressed his thanks to Cm. Alfredo Agredano, Cm. Joe A. Guerra, and former Cm. Mario Alvarado who were involved in some of the appointments to the Veterans Advisory Committee.   Dr. Farias commented that they had had numerous meetings on the issue, the issue had been put to a vote, and the decision was unanimous in favor of erecting a Veterans Monument as a tribute to all local Medal of Honor recipients.

 

Mr. Jesus Hernandez expressed his gratification in being part of the Veterans Coalition after many years of being the sole voice for all veterans before the City Council.  He urged the City Council and members of the audience to pay close attention to the presentation to be made.

 

A presentation followed by Mr. Jorge Sanchez explaining the design and construction of the monument.  Mr. Sanchez, who initiated this project, addressed City Council and commented to the Council that he had compiled a 14-month report on the research involved in completing the project.  He added that this was the fourth version of the project after having gone through several modifications in accordance with the sites that were being made available to them.  He presented the model of the proposed monument to be erected at the selected site, which depicts a soldier climbing a mountain peak.  The sculpture is made completely from bronze and will rest on a concrete base.   There will be two walls on either side of the sculpture which will have a brief history of the honorees, as well as a photograph of those veterans to be included in the tribute.

 

Mayor Flores inquired from Ms. Janice Webber and Mr. Benny Salinas, whether a steady flow of pedestrian traffic is currently generated from those people conducting business either at the Public Library branch or at the Building Department.  She mentioned that this was a noble endeavor that a large number of people have been diligently working on for an extended period of time. She further stated that she wants to ensure that the location is the most suitable one for the construction of the monument so that it would be viewed and appreciated by the community at large.

 

Mr. Sanchez summarized the time line that will be required to complete construction of the monument and add landscaping features.  He stated that it would take seven months to complete the sculpture together with the adjacent walls that will carry the names of the honorees.

 

Mr. Jesus Ponce addressed City Council and added a few remarks.  He provided some background on the project that was initiated by Mr. Hernandez.  Mr. Ponce stated that when the Veterans Affairs Committee was first assigned to this project, they were told it would have to go through the Veterans Coalition given that the Veterans Coalition was to be the vehicle for bringing the Veterans Affairs to the public eye.

 

Mr. Richard R. Rossell, Treasurer of the Veterans Coalition, commented in regards to the plaque with the Council’s names to be placed on the lower portion of the monument.  

 

    B.  Request by Council Member  Louis H. Bruni

 

     1.  Discussion and possible action on adding the 3400 and 3500 block of Lyon St. to the                   

          current speed hump project.

                       

                       Cm. Bruni requested that the City Council include Sheffield and Newport streets, which are part of the Eastwoods Subdivision, as part of the speed hump project.  He thanked Robert Murillo for his prompt response to Cm. Bruni’s request for information regarding one of his constituent’s concerns on speeding traffic coming off of Spur 400. 

 

                       Roberto Murillo, Traffic Safety Department, reported that the previous request made by City Council was to work on a project there at the entrance to the subdivision.   He mentioned his department has installed two speed humps as part of the pilot project at that location.  He stated that he would go ahead and include these streets to the list that his department has pending under the pilot program. 

 

                       Motion was made to include the 3400 and 3500 block of Lyon St. and to add Sheffield and Newport streets to the speed hump pilot program.

 

           Moved:  Cm. Galo

     Second:  Cm. Agredano

     For:   8    Against: 0    Abstain:  0

 

                 2.  Status report on the proposed park at the Eastwoods Subdivision, with possible

          action.

 

           John Vidaurri, Parks and Recreation Director, reported that Eastwoods is a 4.16 acre park located in Eastwoods Subdivision.  The park plat was recorded in July 1997, the park appears in the proposed 2001-2005 CIP as a project that is being recommended for general revenue funding in FY 2002 in an amount of $75,000.00.  They have recommended certain park improvements, which are subject to City Council review and approval.  These include the installation of a sprinkler system, some landscaping, playground equipment, and basketball courts.  The proposed 2001-2005 CIP also recommends an additional $50,000 in funding in FY 2003 for the construction of some hike and bike trails, together with the installation of playground equipment, park furniture, and park shade structures.  Mr. Vidaurri mentioned that this proposal had appeared as part of CIP for previous years, but lack of funds have precluded the department from working on this park site.

 

           Mayor Flores commented on her successful trip to Washington, D.C. regarding an urban bill currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate for a $450 million federal allocation to communities for urban parks projects.  Mayor Flores, together with several mayors from the State of Texas, has lobbied for assistance in this area.  Mayor Flores stated she is confident that a portion of those monies will be sent to several communities in Texas.  She pledged to maintain close attention to any developments on this federal grant to ensure that the City of Laredo receives a portion of the funding.

 

                       Cm. Bruni commented that this is an area where young families abound and the children do not have a safe place for recreation.  Constituents’ families are still playing on the streets while other projects receive approval.  He reiterated that he made a promise to these residents that he would obtain some type of funding to construct the entire park.  Cm. Bruni insisted that the City Council should search for and earmark some funding wherever necessary to construct this particular park. Cm. Bruni made a suggestion that the City Council consider acquiring some money from the Oil and Gas account.  He recommended to the City Council that a motion be made to build this park from residual funding available from certain capital improvement projects or the Oil and Gas account. 

 

Mayor Flores requested input from Mr. Dovalina as it relates to the capital improvement projects and budget proposals to the City Council.  She inquired as to the possibility of prioritizing funding for this particular park idea.  Mr. Dovalina commented that Cm. Bruni had identified the appropriate funding source for the project and stressed to City Council where the money should be taken from. 

 

Mayor Flores made an inquiry to Mr. Guerra as to whether there was some money left over from the project he is building. 

 

Response from the audience: Mr. Guerra stated that he did not have the money to begin with. 

 

Mr. Vidaurri informed Cm. Bruni that the total cost for this project was $156,000.00.  In response to the concern for funding sources, Mr. Vidaurri commented that he had inquired from Mr. Villarreal whether this project was eligible for block grant money and he was told it did not. 

 

Cm. Galo seconded the motion to earmark the money necessary to construct this park from any surplus money remaining from completed projects.   Cm. Bruni then interjected and requested that the balance be taken from the Oil and Gas account and that this project get underway as soon as possible.  Furthermore, Cm. Bruni asked that a status report be submitted at the next City Council meeting to explain from where the funding would be allocated in order to get this project underway. 

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

     Second:  Cm. Galo

     For:  8    Against: 0    Abstain:  0

 

 3.  Discussion with possible action on establishing a Police Substation at Fire Station   

      No. 5  located at Bartlett St. and Stewart St.  (Co-sponsored by Council Member

      Johnny  Amaya)

 

       Cm. Bruni stated that both he and Cm. Amaya and at one time Cn.  Moreno discussed the possibility of placing a substation in this area because there is a great need for additional law enforcement protection.  He urged Chief Agustin Dovalina to provide some input on the matter. 

 

       Chief Agustin Dovalina addressed the City Council and agreed that the City Council should consider establishing a police substation in this area.  The area under consideration is centrally located and is a viable alternative.  He explained that what his department has been doing is assigning a greater number of police officers to this particular district.  What he would like to do in the future is study the area to determine whether this, in fact, is a feasible location in order to proceed with plans to build a police substation there.  He has also spoken to Fire Chief Tomas Ramirez regarding the availability of space at that particular location because the Laredo Fire Department has got some training sights for the firefighters on that street block. 

 

       Chief Tomas Ramirez went on to address the City Council.  He informed City Council that at the present time, they are being forced to use that particular space for most of their personnel training.  He pointed out that they recently conducted physical agility exams for the proposed hirees.  He related to City Council that his department has been placing an item on the CIP’s for the last five or six years as far as constructing a Fire Department/Administration Building in that particular space.  He asserted that if this project is brought to fruition, the Laredo Fire Department would need all the available space it currently has to set it aside for a parking area.

 

Cm. Bruni reminded Chief Ramirez that the residents in that district have requested that a police substation be built at that particular location. 

 

Mayor Flores inquired of Chief Ramirez if, taking into account that the training facility might be relocated to a different site, would that eliminate any objection on his part. 

 

He reiterated that the fire station is looking into creating an Administration Building at that location being that the present Administration Building is a component of the fire station at the moment and said department has expanded tremendously over the years.  The floor space being utilized no longer provides any room for expansion.  He asserted the department’s dire need to secure additional staff and floor space.  

 

Cm. Bruni stressed that this department has a full city block there along with a tower that is not being used any longer.  He inquired from Chief Dovalina as to how much space would be needed to build the police substation there. 

 

Chief Dovalina stated he would follow the same format being applied for development of the other three substations currently being built and it would be sufficient space there.   He requested additional time from the City Council to study and review the feasibility recommendations regarding building a substation at that location. 

 

Cm. Galo suggested looking into the possibility of using portable buildings such as those housing a local doctor’s office as a temporary site for this police substation.

 

Cm. Joe A. Valdez, Jr. stated that in the Rancho Viejo Subdivision, Doctor’s Hospital has set up portable building facilities.   Cm. Valdez made a suggestion that these buildings be considered as a temporary site for the Farias police substation as well.

 

Cm. Eliseo Valdez, Jr. inquired as to the status of the police substations that the City has broken ground for.

 

Mr. Dovalina reported that the City is getting ready to award the bid on two of the substations. 

 

Mr. Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, reported that two bidders for the police substations were received and two of them can be awarded and will be submitted at the next City Council meeting.  He further commented that the Farias police substation received only one bid, which was incomplete and, therefore, was unacceptable. His department posed a question as to whether the Farias bid is one that can possibly be worked in under Community Development. 

                       

 

    C.  Request by Council Member John C. Galo

 

     1.  Discussion on the development of a City Ordinance to limit the number of railroad  

          cars a railroad company may transport at any one time within the city limits with 

          possible action.

 

Cm. Galo wanted clarification as to whether the ten-minute time frame applies to railroad cars that are moving continuously. 

 

Mr. Dovalina commented that the City Manager’s Office would have to conduct some legal research on this matter and submit a report to City Council at a future meeting.

 

Cm. Galo asked for input from Gerald Scott from the Texas Department of Transportation and Keith Selman, Planning and Zoning Director, regarding the overpasses at Chihuahua St. and Guadalupe St. 

 

Keith Selman reported that this was a project already identified in the Laney Report.  However, he stated that it has not been put in the Texas Transportation Institute report as of yet.  He confirmed that the project is one for which funding has been allocated.

 

Cm. Bruni requested a report regarding the conceptual design for the project.

 

Fitzgeraldo Sanchez reiterated that there is funding for this particular project and that there is some preliminary work being done at this developing stage of the project.

 

    D.  Request by Council Member John Amaya

 

          1.  Discussion with possible action on the operation of the traffic signalization placed

               by TXDOT at Saunders St. and Buena Vista Ave.

 

               Cm. Amaya mentioned that a traffic signal had been installed approximately eight months earlier but is still not in operation.

 

               Roberto Murillo, Traffic Safety Director, stated there had been a request to look into installing a traffic light at that intersection in anticipation of the traffic that would develop with Mercy Regional Medical Center.  He commented that the Texas Transportation Institute had already done a study and, based on their projection of anticipated traffic, his department installed a traffic signal there. However, TxDot stated that they would not be able to activate the traffic signal until they would see the volume of traffic being generated. 

 

               Fitzgeraldo Sanchez made similar comments explaining postponement of the traffic signal operation.  The other issue being given attention was the need to look further into other warrants, particularly the systems warrant.  He mentioned what the requirements to be met for the systems warrant are and one of those deals with the adjacent traffic signals.  At present, traffic volume numbers are not the actual figures that allow them to place the intersection in operational mode.  He said people from his staff will be looking into this requirement and, if there is a consensus between TxDot staff and the Traffic Safety Department, they will notify Mr. Murillo at once. 

 

     2.  Discussion with possible action on a turning signal at the traffic signalization at

          Meadow Ave. and Lyon St.

 

                           Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, stated that on this intersection of Meadow and Lyon St. a turning lane is already in place. His department will be looking at getting a volume count to determine whether the placing of a left-turn signal will not create more delays for the intersection overall.  The other problem at that intersection is that the equipment currently installed cannot accommodate a turning signal.  He commented that City Council had approved at a previous meeting the purchase of some equipment from the City of Dallas and his plan is to replace the equipment at this intersection once the equipment is obtained.  

                                   

                           Cm. Jose A. Valdez, Jr. inquired as to the status of the equipment purchase from the City of Dallas. 

 

Mr. Murillo replied that the City of Dallas is awaiting approval from its City Council in August for the sale of said equipment to the City of Laredo.

 

     3.  Discussion with possible action on placing a traffic signalization at Lyon St. and

          Cedar Ave.

 

                           Mr. Murillo mentioned a newsletter that the City Council should have received reporting the outcome of a study conducted by his department.  He stated that the findings on traffic volumes at this intersection do not warrant the installation of a traffic light.  He recommends that some safety enhancements be implemented at the intersection.  His department is planning to install some flashers, increase the sign of the stop sign, add pavement markings, etc. to minimize the number of traffic accidents at this location.  However, if that should fail they will seriously consider the installation of a traffic light.

 

                           Cm.  Amaya  voiced his concern because of the proximity of the intersection to K. Tarver Elementary.  

 

Mr. Murillo noted that his department has reported that most of the accidents are occurring from traffic traveling eastbound.  He said the implementation of these safety enhancements would take approximately two weeks.  Following the implementation, his department will monitor the area for six months to see whether these safety enhancements have reduced the incidence of traffic accidents or not.

 

                           Cm. Galo mentioned the installation of new traffic signals should not be too close to existing signals.  He suggested consideration of the intersection at San Francisco Ave. and Lyon St., where there is heavy traffic build-up, for the installation of a traffic light.

 

  E.  Request by Council Member Eliseo Valdez, Jr.

 

  1.  Discussion with possible action on a request referencing a tower at Cruz Field and 

       the relocation of the perimeter fence and the landscaping of the area by the current

       tenant.

 

                        Acting City Manager Dovalina stated that the request has been made to the tenant (Southwestern Bell) and they should be making arrangements to move the perimeter fence and to work on the landscaping around the area.

 

  2.  Discussion with possible action on the maintenance needed by the channelization of 

       Zacate Creek in the area of Canal St. and Haynes Ave.

 

                        Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, reported that he is already working in conjunction with Public Works on this project.  The department has identified seven or eight slabs that need to be replaced.  This is the first phase of the maintenance project being started.  The second phase involves surveying the entire stretch from San Francisco Ave. all the way to McPherson Road and identifying all those sections that need to be sealed in order to protect the slab from penetration of water in the future. 

 

                        Cm. Galo inquired whether this was an inhouse project and if this was the first area to be worked on.   Mr. Rivera commented that one project had been done before with Ramix and at that time they had replaced a dozen of these slabs. 

 

                        Cm. Galo inquired whether the problem was with the water coming in through the seal or was water coming in from behind the walls of the creek. 

 

Mr. Rivera responded that it is caused by water traveling down slope that is now penetrating the slabs.  He commented that once the water gets under, the buoyant force lifts the slabs.  He pointed out that the dowels have been corroded through the years and have rotted the steel.  He added that activity for this project would begin as soon as Public Works receives the necessary funds.

 

  F.  Request by Mayor Pro Tempore Joe A. Guerra

 

       1.  Discussion and possible action on the following:

 

            a.  Replacing a fire engine at Fire Station #5.

 

                 Fire Chief Tomas Ramirez provided some background on the replacement of the fire engine at Station #5.  He mentioned it was due for replacement three years ago.  He stated that there has been discussion with the Acting City Manager and the Budget Officer and efforts are being made to secure the new engine in the coming fiscal year.

 

            b.  Placing an additional ambulance in South Laredo at Fire Station #11.

 

                 Fire Chief Tomas Ramirez stated that they have made a study of the area and have found there is a need for an ambulance.  The closest ambulance is the Zacatecas Station.  Due to the area that is must cover, the response time is very slow.  The Fire Department had made a request for an ambulance in the budget, but he stated that the funding was not available.  Therefore, at this particular time, it is not included in the budget.

 

                 Mayor Flores asked for the figures on the EMS budget. 

 

Beto Ramirez, Budget Officer, stated that the total budget for EMS is roughly between $1,200,000.00 and $1,500,000.00.

 

                 Mayor Flores wants the City Council to be informed as to what funding is currently available. 

 

Larry Dovalina stated that the budget projections being presented are based on revenues currently available and they used that money without increasing any other revenue sources that may be available.

 

                 Beto Ramirez, Budget Officer, informed the City Council that for one EMS crew, composed of seven members, the total cost for salaries is approximately $259,000.00.  This figure does not include any materials they may need to operate the ambulance.

 

           c.   Placing an additional Aerial truck in service at Fire Station #10 to provide aerial 

                services to the North and South areas of the City.  (Co-sponsored by Council

                            Member Alfredo Agredano and Council Member Louis H. Bruni)

 

                             Cm. Guerra stated it is imperative that the City Council acquire the funding to purchase this piece of equipment.  He wants staff to exert every effort to secure the necessary funding for this aerial truck.  He asserted that it is critical for      

use in tall buildings should the need arise.   He pointed out that the truck would be alternating between the different fire stations in the North and the South areas of the city.

 

Chief Ramirez reported that the standard response by the Fire Department for any structure fire includes one district chief, one ambulance, one EMS supervisor, three pumpers, and one ladder truck.  Any time there is a response to the downtown area, both ladder trucks, two district chiefs, five pumpers, two ambulances, and one EMS supervisor have to respond.   There is no other truck available to respond to a call at a different location.  He commented that this problem is encountered on occasion.

 

Mayor Flores requested that the Acting City Manager, Chief Ramirez, and Beto Ramirez come before City Council again with a budget for all these items including Item No. 2 under Cm. Ramirez’ requests.

 

Beto Ramirez reported that the proposed budget would be delivered to City Council next week.  He will produce all the necessary numbers to make some adjustments to the budget being proposed.

 

Cm. Guerra commented that his request for an aerial truck had been removed from the proposed budget.

 

Chief Ramirez stated that his request to re-introduce said request as a high priority on the new budget would not be feasible due to the shortage of funds in the budget.  He went on to say that he does need more manpower and more units to accommodate the needs of a growing city. 

 

Cm. Galo asked whether there were some overhires exist on the department’s budget. 

 

Beto Ramirez, Budget Director, replied that there are nine overhires but they have twelve firefighters that will be coming on-line.  In order to hire another crew to man an aerial truck, that would involve a one-time expenditure of  $510,000.00 for salaries.  The overall cost to bring in a crew for an aerial truck would be approximately $450,000.00.   

 

                             Cm. Guerra suggested that the city issue bonds to provide funds for additional personnel for the Fire Department. 

 

Beto Ramirez, Budget Director, commented that he is in the process of putting a CO together for the equipment that is needed which requires additional funding as well.  He will offer more details on how to finance this request at the budget workshops. 

 

Fernando Alarcon, President of the Firefighters’ Union, spoke before the City Council and urged City Council to consider securing this aerial truck.   He explained that the two aerial trucks in operation are along the I-H 35 district and that disregards the area by Texas A & M International University.  He reported that the response time to the east is approximately 25 minutes.  He emphasized there is a dire need for an aerial truck to service that part of the city.

 

      2.  Discussion on the Laredo Fire Department Training Field and possibly finding the   

      financing it needs to get started.

                       

                       Fire Chief Ramirez reported to the Council that the construction costs have climbed drastically since these projects were initiated now there is a shortage of funds for the projected costs.  They are trying to acquire an additional $2,000,000.00 to complete the work. 

 

Larry Dovalina, Acting City Manager, commented that there have been several discussions with the engineers and the architects.  As a result, they have been trying to figure out a way to work within the budget in order to complete the project.  The City Manager’s Office has asked the engineer to come back to provide a separate cost estimate for the site work because they are doing one of the last sales of the landfill.  In addition, the city has some equipment available in Public Works that the engineer may be able to use to reduce costs.

 

Pertaining to the cost involved, Mr. Dovalina stated that the City Manager’s Office is trying to see whether FEMA will agree to conduct all their training for all of Latin America.  He mentioned applying contracted dollars for tuition in order to be able to do this project and use those projected revenues as a funding source to complete the additional work.

 

Cm. Guerra mentioned that he had spoken privately with Fernando Alarcon about an innovative financing mechanism through the firefighters’ pension fund.  He invited Mr. Alarcon to make some comments before the City Council on this matter. 

 

Mr. Alarcon reported that he had spoken to the Board Members about financing the department training field project.  He briefed the City Council on how they have financed their union hall at a reduced rate.  He offered that if the city’s Legal Department could find a new avenue for financing of this project at a competitive rate, then the firefighters’ union would be pleased to work with the Legal Department in order to start the project.

 

Beto Ramirez, Budget Director, stated that the interest rate for the financing would have to be lower than the bond entries are now.  The current bond interest rate is about 5.5% to 6%.  He stressed that that may not be a satisfactory rate that the firefighters are looking for.  Mr. Ramirez commented that it would not be prudent to borrow at a higher rate when the City can borrow at 5.5%.

 

  G.  Request by Council Member Jose Valdez, Jr.

 

   1. Discussion with possible action to repeal Ordinance 2000-O-161, "Ordering and  

       proclaiming a special election to be held on Saturday, August 12, 2000".

 

                        There was no discussion or action on this item.

 

  2. Discussion with possible action to repeal or amend Resolution 2000-R-079, "The

      letter of intent entered into with Arena Venture on May 22, 2000".

 

Jaime Flores, City Attorney, stated that he was invoking Section 551.071 of the Open Meetings Act wherein legal counsel requests the City Council to meet in private session with the City Attorney on certain issues.

 

Mayor Flores called for a vote to have City Council meet in Executive Session.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

Second:  Cm. Galo

For:                    8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:            0

 

Jaime Flores, City Attorney, asked for Mr. Peter Tart and Larry Dovalina, Acting City Manager, to join the City Council in Executive Session.

 

Mayor Flores announced that no formal action was taken in Executive Session.

 

A motion was made to table any further discussion on the Arena Ventures until Thursday, July 20, 2000, at the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Bruni

For:                        6                        Against:            2                        Abstain:            0

                                                                Cm. Valdez

                                                                Cm. Ramirez

 

  3. Discussion with possible action to create a Community Projects Advisory Ad Hoc 

      Committee to address future project needs of the City of Laredo.

 

                        Motion to table this item.

 

                        Moved:  Cm. Jose A. Valdez, Jr.

                        Second:  Cm. Eliseo Valdez, Jr.

                        For:            8                                  Against:              0                                  Abstain:           0

 

 H.  Request by Council Member Juan Ramirez

 

       1.  Discussion with possible action on the placement of speed humps at the 2300-2400

            block of Zaragoza St. and the 2300-2400 block of Grant St.

 

                        Roberto Murillo, Traffic Department, commented that this is similar to the items discussed earlier.  He informed City Council that his department has a list and that this request would be included on the list.  His department will be conducting some preliminary studies of the area to get a volume count and to determine the need for speed humps.

 

       2.  Discussion and possible action to acquire and activate an ambulance for Fire

Station # 4.

 

                        Item was discussed together with item F-1(b).

 

                   3.  Discussion and possible action of a hardship case referencing the relocation of a

                        mobile home.  

 

                        Cm. Ramirez explained that Mrs. Margaret Shaw who lives on Mann Road and Santa Maria Ave. has been given an order to vacate the property.  She has found a location on the corner of Garza St. and Davis Ave and has requested to move to that site under a hardship status.  Cm. Ramirez noted that there are several other mobile homes at this location and there is currently a vacant spot that could accommodate Mrs. Shaw’s mobile home. 

 

                        Mayor Flores requested input from Mr. Keith Selman, Planning and Zoning Director, and Mr. Benny Salinas.

 

                        Benny Salinas, Building Director, indicated that in regards to the mobile home in question, the owner filed an application to put it into an existing, non-conforming mobile home park.  The land development ordinance states that any existing mobile home parks that were in place when the ordinance passed in 1983 can remain for ten years.

 

After the ten years, the non-conforming mobile homes would have to be moved out and could not be replaced.  Therefore, the site being considered by Mrs. Shaw to place her mobile home is not acceptable.  The only way she could be permitted to move the mobile home to that location would be through a special use permit and this one does not have a special use.  Another point that Mr. Salinas noted is that the mobile home is in extremely poor condition and it might collapse while in the process of moving the structure. 

 

                        Mr. Keith Selman pointed out that this particular location would never be able to meet the requirements for a special use permit for a mobile home park.

 

                        Jaime Flores, City Attorney, proposed that the Planning and Zoning Department look into these sites and come back before City Council with a status report on their findings.

 

                        Mayor Flores noted that the resident is attempting to move from District 7 to District 8 and that is why Cm. Valdez and Cm. Ramirez have expressed concern as to what options might be available to her.  She commented that she wants to find some way to assist her. 

 

Cm. Galo suggested that perhaps the City Council could have Mario Maldonado and Erasmo Villarreal look into alternate housing options for this constituent such as the Hamilton Housing Partners apartment complex or secure rent vouchers through the Laredo Housing Authority. 

 

Mayor Flores echoed Jaime Flores’ recommendation that Keith Selman and Benny Salinas get together with Mr. Maldonado and Mr. Villarreal and provide some suggestions to Cm. Ramirez and Cm. Valdez.

                       

      IX.  INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

   3.  An ordinance designating as a one-way eastbound that section of Mier Street, block

        number 100, between Monterrey Avenue on the west and Sanders Avenue on the east,

        providing for the installation of appropriate signs to indicate one-way traffic in the east

        direction and providing for publication and effective date.

           

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Galo

 

  4.   An ordinance setting the maximum speed limits in that portion of Spur 400 between

    Arkansas Ave. and Loop 20, within the City Limits of Laredo, Webb County, Texas, as

    35mph, 45mph, as defined in the Texas Department of Transportation Control Section    

    Map 3543-01.

 

       Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Bruni

 

  5.   An ordinance setting the maximum speed limits on that portion of US 59 between

        Arkansas Avenue and IH 35, within the City Limits of Laredo, Webb County, Texas, as 

        35mph, as defined in the Texas Department of Transportation Control Section Map          

        0542-01.

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Bruni

 

  6.   An ordinance setting the maximum speed limits on that portion of US 83 (Guadalupe

        and Chihuahua) between Santa Ursula and Milmo Avenue, within the City Limits of 

        Laredo, Webb County, Texas, as 30mph, as defined in the Texas Department of  

       Transportation Control Section Map 0086-01.

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Galo

 

  7.  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to purchase from the Utilities Department

       at fair market value, lots number one (1), and twelve (12), block number six hundred  

       eighty-five (685) in the Eastern Division of the City of Laredo, also commonly known    

                   as the 2200 Block of McPherson in order to establish a centralized recycling drop off      

                   site.

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

          X.  FINAL READINGS OF ORDINANCES 

 

                Internet Available: //www.cityoflaredo.com

 

Motion to waive final reading of ordinances # 2000-O-174, # 2000-O-175, # 2000-O-

176, # 2000-O-177, # 2000-O-178, # 2000-O-179, # 2000-O-180, # 2000-O-181, and

    # 2000-O-182.

 

    Moved:   Cm. Bruni

    Second:   Cm. Galo

    For:              8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

8. 2000-O-174  Approval of an amendment to the contract with the Texas Department of

 Health and budget in the amount of $102,921.00 for the Nutrición  

 Familiar / Family Nutrition Project of the City of Laredo Health 

 Department for the period beginning July 1, 2000 through August 31,

 2001; and increasing revenue line item 226-0000-323-4084

 from $0 to $102,921.00, and increasing expenditure line item no. 226-

 6024 from $0 to $102,921.00.  (City Council)

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-174.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                         Second:  Cm. Galo

                                         For:             8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

2000-O-175  Approval of a contract with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation

                      Commission (TNRCC) and budget in the amount of $60,000.00 to

                      continue the operation of two continuous air monitoring stations (CAMS)

                      by the City of Laredo Health Department for the period beginning

                      September 1, 2000 through August 31, 2001; and increasing revenue line

                      item 226-0000-323-1103 from $0 to $60,000.00 and increasing

                      expenditure line item no. 226-7215 from $0 to $60,000.00.  (City

                      Council)

                       

     Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-175.

 

                                         Moved:   Cm. Bruni

                                         Second:   Cm. Galo

                                         For:             8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

 

2000-O-176  Authorizing the City Manager to amend the City of Laredo's FY 1999-

                      2000 annual budget in the amount of $18,528.00 for overtime expenses

                 that are to be reimbursed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to                   

                 fund the Laredo Border Region Violent Crime Task Force (LBRVCTF). 

                 The Laredo Police Department will assign one Investigator and one 

     Police Officer to the task force.  Reimbursement of overtime expenses to 

     include the period of October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000.  (City

                 Council)

 

     Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-176.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                         Second:  Cm. Galo

                                         For:             8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

2000-O-177  Amending the City of Laredo's 1999-2000 Annual Budget in the amount 

                      of $1,000.00 for a grant awarded to the Laredo Police Department's Litter

                      Abatement Task Force from Target Great Land. This grant award does

                      not require any matching funds from the City.  (City Council)

 

     Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-177.

 

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                         Second:  Cm. Galo

                                         For:             8                     Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

      2000-O-178   Authorizing the City Manager to amend the City of Laredo's 1999-2000

                             Annual Budget in the amount of $59,985.00 to fund the Juvenile 

                             Accountability Incentive Block Grant.  The Office of the Governor,

                             Criminal Justice Division will be designating $53,986.00 and the City of

                             Laredo will be designating $5,999.00 in matching funds.  Funding will be

                             used to purchase computers, printers, and a data tracking system.   Grant

                             period is from August 01, 2000 through July 31, 2001.  (City Council)

 

     Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-178.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                         Second:  Cm. Galo

                                         For:             8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

 

       2000-O-179  Authorizing the City Manager to accept and execute a Second Budget

                             Amendment to the Transit Operations Budget by appropriating additional

                             State Funding of $329,640.00, thereby, increasing Transit State Funding

                             Budget from $1,228,693.00 to $1,558,333.00 and decreasing the local

   match  from the Transit Sales Tax Budget from $1,130,319.00 to  

   $800,679.00.  (City Council)

 

     Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-179.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                         Second:  Cm. Galo

                                         For:             8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

                   2000-O-180  Amending the FY 1999-2000 Budget of the Laredo Municipal Transit

                        System transferring $325,725.00 from Fund 518, Sales Tax Revenues to

                 Fund 558, Operations increasing the budget from $7,607,652.00 to

                 $7,933,377.00.   (City Council)

 

 

     Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-180.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                         Second:  Cm. Galo

                                         For:             8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

 2000-O-181  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to enter into and execute a

                       Lease Agreement between the City of Laredo and Riverdrive Mall, Inc.,

                       for two blocks of vega land adjacent to the Rio Grande River for use as a

                       parking lot located upon blocks number 08, and 08-A, situated in the

                Western Division, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas for a primary     

    term of five (5) years, with two - five (5) year renewal options, at the  

    monthly rental rate of $463.00 per month, for block number 08, and     

    $430.00 per month for block number 08-A with annual Consumer Price   

    Index (C.P.I.), increase adjustment.   (City Council)

 

   Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-181.

 

           

 

                           Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                       Second:  Cm. Galo

                                       For:               8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

2000-O-182   An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to enter into and execute an

                      amendment to the 1978 Parking Lot Lease Agreement between the City of

                      Laredo and Riverdrive Mall, Inc., due to the re-acquisition of the lease for

                      block "Z", as authorized by Resolution No. 2000-R-066, and reducing the

                      leased area from 3 blocks to blocks number "X" and "Y", situated in the

                      Western Division, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas, and reducing the

                      Fair Market Rent by 1/3 to $200.00 per month.   (City Council)

 

   Motion to adopt Ordinance #2000-O-182.

 

                                       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                                       Second:  Cm. Galo

                                       For:               8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

      XI.  RESOLUTIONS

 

  9. 2000-R-101  A resolution accepting the donation of the "Surface Only" of 1,672.3

                       square meters (18,000.0 sq. ft.) of land, more or less, from Laura G. 

                       Jacaman, Eduardo A. Jacaman, John Joseph Jacaman, and Laura

                       Jacaman/F.K.A. Laura Jacaman Sanchez.  Said 1,672.3 square meters of

                       land being situated in Survey 1022, Abstract 654, Webb County, Texas;

                       being generally described below, and more particularly described by

                       metes and bounds. 

 

   Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-101.

 

                                       Moved:  Cm. Agredano

                                       Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                       For:               8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

10.  2000-R-102 A resolution to accept a grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 

                           the amount of $118,561.00 for computer hardware, software and 

                           professional development for library staff and authorizing the City

                           Manager to sign and submit any and all related documents as required. 

                           Each public library building in Webb County will receive a portion of the 

                           grant.

 

      Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-102.

 

                                          Moved:  Cm. Agredano

                                          Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                          For:      8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

   11. 2000-R-103 A resolution accepting a grant from the Texas Natural Resources              

                          Conservation Commission (TNRCC) in the amount of $60,000.00 to

                          continue the operation of two continuous air-monitoring stations

                          (CAMS) by the City of Laredo Health Department for the period

                          beginning September 1, 2000, through August 31, 2001.

 

      Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-103.

 

                                          Moved:  Cm. Agredano

                                          Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                          For:      8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

 

12. 2000-R-104  A resolution accepting a grant from the Texas Department of Health in

                           the amount of $102,921.00 for the Nutricion Familiar/Family Nutrition

                           Project of the City of Laredo Health Department for the period beginning

                           July 1, 2000, through August 31, 2001.

 

      Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-104.

 

                                          Moved:  Cm. Agredano

                                          Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                          For:      8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:

 

 

13. 2000-R-105  A resolution authorizing the City Manager to submit an application 

                           for a grant in the amount of $40,000.00 to the South Texas Development

                           Council to build a Citizen Convenience Center; and authorizing the City

                           Manager to act on behalf of the City of Laredo in all matters related to

                           the application; and pledging that if the grant is received, City of Laredo

                           will comply with the grant requirements of the South Texas

                           Development Council, the Texas Natural Resources Conservation

                           Commission, and the State of Texas.

 

      Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-105 with the amendment to   

      change the amount from $60,000 to $80,000.

 

                                          Moved:  Cm. Agredano

                                          Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                          For:      8                      Against:            0                      Abstain:           0

 

     XII.  MOTIONS

                   

  14.  Consideration to refund property tax to the following taxpayers and companies:

 

         a.  First American Real Estate Tax Service in the amount of $506.21 due to a payment

              made in error because of a wrong account number provided by the mortgage               

              company.

 

          b.  Gilbert & Martha Trevino in the amount of $657.84 due to a change order by the

               Appraisal Review Board.  The improvements did not exist on the 1st of the year,

               therefore, it is not taxable.

 

          c.  AT&T Commercial Finance in the amount of $636.39 due to a change order by the

   Appraisal Review Board.  This property did not exist on the 1st of the year,                 

   therefore, it is not taxable.

 

                           Motion to approve.

 

                           Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                           For:                  8                                  Against:            0                      Abstain:           0

 

15.  Consideration to approve monthly adjustments to the tax roll.  The amount to be 

       adjusted for the month of June 2000, which represents a decrease in levy, is 

       $52,199.47.  These adjustments are determined by the Webb County Appraisal District       

       and by Court Orders.

 

       Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                   Second:  Cm. Galo

                   For:                  8                                  Against:            0                      Abstain:           0

 

 

16.  Consideration to approve the submission of the 5-Year 2000-2005 Consolidated Plan to 

       the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requesting funding for the         

       26th Action Year Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the amount of  

       $4,316,000.00; the HOME Investment Partnerships Program in the amount of 

       $1,356,000.00; the Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) in the amount of $152,000.00; and

       Program Income in the amount of $98,352.00, and authorizing the City Manager to

       execute all documents as a result of the Plan's submission.

                                   

       Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                   Second:  Cm. Galo

                   For:                  8                                  Against:            0                      Abstain:           0

 

            17.  Consideration to authorizing the re-direction of FY 1998 HOME Investment  

                   Partnership Program, Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) in the

       amount of $101,000.00 awarded to Metro Affordable Housing Corporation on August               

                   2, 1999 for the Villa de Guadalupe Modernization Project; and authorizing the City      

                  Manager to enter into contract with Metro Affordable Housing Corporation for the use   

                  of said funds.  Metro Affordable Housing is requesting to redirect said funds to a

                  Section 8 Lease Purchase Homeownership Pilot Program to be used for New 

                  Construction of single family dwellings, under a partnership with the City of Laredo. 

                  The City of Laredo will provide the land, which is located in the Los Obispos

                  Subdivision.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                 Second:  Cm. Galo

                 For:                         8                                  Against:            0                      Abstain:           0

 

        18.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to accept a proposal from Graphitiks

   Advertising Design for the production of 75,000 copies of the 2000-2001 Laredo/Nuevo

               Laredo Visitors and Relocation Guide.

 

   Motion to approve.

 

               Moved:  Cm. Bruni

               Second:  Cm. Galo

               For:                           8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

       19.   Consideration to award a contract and authorizing the City Manager to execute the 

   contract with Severn Trent Laboratories, Inc., Corpus Christi, Texas, to provide  

   laboratory analytical services for storm water samples to comply with the City's National

   Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  The total cost for this project

   is $43,520.00.  The scope of the works includes:

 

   a.  Provide analytical services for storm water samples according to EPA methods.

 

   b.  Provide bottle cleaning services for storm water samples.

 

   c.  Provide sample containers and coolers for the sampling.

 

   Motion to approve.

 

               Moved:  Cm. Bruni

               Second:  Cm. Galo

               For:                     8                Against:               0                Abstain:         0

 

       20.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to reject all bids and to solicit new bids from

  the public interested in leasing an approximate 1.0709 acres of land to include Hangar No.

  123 consisting of 12,000 square feet situated in Airport property located at 4617 Maher  

  Avenue. 

 

  Motion to approve.

 

              Moved:  Cm. Bruni

              Second:  Cm. Galo

              For:                                8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

      21. Consideration to award contract number FY00-119, to the SOLE BIDDER, Rush Truck

 Center, Laredo, Texas, in the amount of $129,500.00, for the purchase of one cab and

  chassis (56,000 G.V.W.) complete with a 40 cubic yard aluminum side dump trailer.  This   

  truck will be assigned to the Utilities Department - Wastewater Treatment Division.    

  Funding is available in the Utilities Fund. 

 

  Motion to approve.

 

  Moved:  Cm. Bruni

              Second:  Cm. Galo

              For:                            8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

22.            Consideration to award contract number FY00-116, to the MOST RESPONSIVE

PROPOSER, Larry A. Norton & Co., Laredo, Texas, in the amount of  $19,884.88, for the

purchase of a database server.  Funding for this project has been allocated in the Health

Department fund.  

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

23.            Consideration to award contract number FY00-117, to the SOLE PROPOSER, Q.S.

Technologies, Greenville, N.C., in the amount of $115,000.00, for the purchase and

installation of patient care management software system that is used by the Health Department.  Funding for this project has been allocated in the Health Department fund. 

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

24.             Consideration to amend contract number 99-094, awarded to Rochester Armored Car Co.,

Omaha, N.E., in the estimated amount of $11,232.00 per year, for providing armored care

courier service for the Building Department and the World Trade Bridge.  The revised contract amount will be $44,592.00.  The original  term of this contract expires 6/01.  Courier services is currently requested for the International Bridge, I, II, and Colombia, Health Department, City Hall, and the Civic Center.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

25.            Consideration to award contract number FY00-086, to the SOLE BIDDER, Houston

Freightliner, Houston, Texas, in the amount of $169,824.00, for the purchase of one brush

tanker fire truck.  This truck will be housed at Station No. 11 located on Highway 359. Delivery of the truck is anticipated within eight to twelve months.  Funding is available from 2000 Contractual Obligation bond proceeds.  

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

26.            Consideration to award contract number FY00-1151, to the MOST RESPONSIVE

PROPOSERS, Micron Government Computer Systems, Inc., Meridian, I.D., in the base

amount of $33,146.00 for the purchase sixteen computers and six laptop computers, Gateway Companies, Inc., N. Sioux City, SD., in the base amount of $26,500.00, for the purchase of twenty computers, and Larry A. Norton Co., Laredo, Texas, in the base amount of $9,358.44, for the purchase of thirteen computer workstations.   These computers will be purchased for the Health and Police Departments.   The City has established a base price for the computers and option pricing for accessories such as modems and zip drives.  Delivery of all requested equipment is expected within thirty days.  

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

27.            Consideration to approve amendment no. 2 an increase of $21,357.00 to the engineering

contract with WSBC Civil Engineers, Inc., Laredo, Texas, for additional professional

services to the 16-Inch Water Line Project along State Highway 359 due to changes in the original scope of work and the required coordination with TXDOT during their current construction project to widen US 359.  Funding is available in the Waterworks 1997 Bond Issue Line Extensions.  The total amount of this contract is now $86,627.00.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

28.             Consideration to award a construction contract to Laredo Class One Builders, Inc., Laredo,

Texas, in the base bid amount of $319,000.00 for the Administrative Offices & Scale House

for the City of Laredo Solid Waste Division.  Funding is available in the Solid Waste Buildings.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

29.            Consideration for approval of change order no. 3 to add 10 calendar days to the construction

contract with Price Construction, Inc., Laredo, Texas, due to rain days and awaiting for

approval of a proposed change in the median design for the University Blvd. Extension

Project.  The expected completion date is July 26, 2000.

 

            Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

30.            Consideration for approval of change order no. 4 an increase amount of $37,415.18 for

extra signs and panels per FAA order, for Taxiway "J" and to add 75 working days to the

construction contract with Ramex Construction Company, Laredo, Texas, for the Laredo International Airport Passenger Terminal and Related Airside Landside Improvements Phase D.  Funding is available in the FAA Noise Abatement FAA Grant 21 Improvements Other Than Building.

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

31.            Consideration to authorize the City Manager to sign a collaborative agreement to submit a

grant application in the amount of $64,295.00 ($58,450.00 in TIFB funds and $5,845.00 to

be supplied by the Texas Department of Health) to the Telecommunications Infrastructure

Fund Board, State of Texas, for computer network funding for the City of Laredo Health

Department.

 

            Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:                              8                      Against:                        0                      Abstain:           0

 

    XIII.  STAFF REPORT

 

            32.  Status report by Jose L. Flores, Airport Director and presentation by Mr. Jim Kazen,

Coordinator with the University of Texas Health Science Center -- San Antonio, regarding the status of the Laredo Project and to discuss a vision regarding the future       

       development of medical related land uses and infrastructure near the Laredo University

       of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio extension campus.

 

Jose L. Flores introduced Jim Kazen, Coordinator with the University of Texas Health Science Center -- San Antonio, who reported that they are on track to bring the University of Texas Health Science Center to the City of Laredo.  He declared that the area of expertise that the University of Texas Health Science Center will bring to Laredo is in their graduate medical education.  This is unique because not only are the organizers bringing a medical school presence to Laredo, but they will also be providing an extension of the University of Texas Health Science Center which is important to graduate schools in the areas of bioscience. One of the buildings that will be built in Laredo will be dedicated to the countless diseases that can be unraveled now that we know what the human genome is.   An entire building would be devoted to that part of the campus vision.  Mr. Kazen reported that the project plans begin with construction of an administration building.  He acknowledged the city’s donation of land to the University of Texas that will allow this project to get under way.  He noted that this land is adjacent to Mercy Regional Medical Center and extends as far north as Pappas St.  He mentioned that the first building would be 20,000 sq. feet and that half of the money appropriated for its construction is coming from the D.D. Hachar Trust Foundation.   

 

He further reported that the building on Bustamante St. and Bartlett St. would be the first building of the campus.   This is the site of the present Laredo Waterworks department.  Architects have concluded that on the first piece of property which is approximately six acres, there will be three buildings.  They have gone to a design where creating smaller buildings devoted to specific areas of research rather than building one huge building because it is on non-aeronautical airport property.  He stated that it fit in nicely with the other buildings surrounding the proposed campus.  Mercy’s investment is $140 million dollars in the project.  What they are going to be able to do with this campus is take advantage of the hospital’s presence to have the students train in that medical facility.  The proponents’ vision suggests that the campus will be expanding north to Pappas St., and when that occurs they will probably have to go over or under the street.  The vision also assumes that the property adjacent to campus (Public Works property) will be set aside for its expansion to one side.  Mr. Kazen commented that this first building would already be at capacity when they create it. 

 

He pointed out a matter that will be presented for city council action in the future.  The proponents will, at a later date, want to explore ways to close off a segment of Foster St. to convert it into a service entrance between Mercy Regional and the campus. This would relieve the Health Science Center officials of any concerns about the students traveling to and from the campus.

 

Mr. Kazen advised the City Council that they would be addressing an upcoming legislative session to discuss the request for two more buildings. By the end of the next session, which begins in 2001, the campus will have grown tremendously and they will remodel the Public Works building with the $16 million of state monies they receive.  He remarked that the City of Laredo would have plenty to boast of because of the two campuses and because of the potential of this campus to satisfy the citizens’ health needs.  With the cooperation of the University of Texas Health Science Center, they are bringing to this campus the opportunity to provide training in allied health fields previously unavailable within the community. 

 

In conclusion, he reiterated that the campus will be requiring additional land to accommodate their plans for future expansion.  He expressed his thanks to the Airport Advisory Committee for allowing him to speak on their concern for additional space.

 

Mayor Flores acknowledged that the City Council is wholly committed to this endeavor and that is why they recommended and followed through with the donation of land.  She further stated that Cm. Bruni placed an item on a previous council agenda that will require a complete master plan to be prepared of the Airport property so that the City Council can have a plan to work through and be able to recruit the other buildings, appropriations, or facilities that will complement what the University of Texas Health Science Center is doing in Laredo.  She expressed the City Council’s ambitions to retain the health care students who receive this type of instruction much like the hospitals are working diligently to retain the skilled health care professionals after they graduate from these types of programs. 

 

Mayor Flores inquired as to how many acres the University of Texas Health Science Center anticipated they would need in the near future. 

 

Mr. Kazen advised the City Council that they would require twelve additional acres of adjacent land for future growth and development.  He mentioned that the VA Clinic has already expressed an interest in relocating near the Health Science Center.  He again stressed their need for the necessary land in order to avoid restricting its anticipated growth. 

 

Cm. Galo thanked Mr. Kazen for his presentation and asked that he describe whether the student population will be mostly graduate students working on research or will it be comprised of undergraduates as well.  Mr. Kazen confirmed that, initially, it would be professionals that will be setting up various programs such as the university’s residency programs. 

 

Cm. Guerra pointed out that his representative for the Airport Advisory Committee was sitting in the audience that could provide some input or comments on the acquisition of land. 

 

Mr. Gene Belmares approached the podium and asked Mr. Kazen as to the total number of acres that the project would encompass once it is finally completed.  He replied that it would occupy 25 acres.  Mr. Belmares asked what type of auxiliary buildings did he envision would come in eventually for medical offices. 

 

Mr. Kazen pointed out that so many of the doctors in San Antonio get their continuing education at their present facility that he anticipates most of the doctors in Laredo would want to relocate around the campus.   He pointed out that Laredo also holds the unique advantage in that it is the only city whose hospital and medical campus are located near an airport.  In the 21st century, this is significant because people can fly from as far as northern Mexico and have a first-class research facility and a hospital within close proximity of the local airport. 

 

Dr. Crispin E. Sanchez noted that this has been a longtime dream of the City of Laredo and many in the medical community including the late Dr. Leonides G. Cigarroa.   He said it was a collaborative effort from many leaders over the past two decades. 

 

             33.  Presentation by the Administrative Services Department regarding using an Executive

        Search Firm for the recruitment of the City Manager, with possible action.

 

                     Dan Migura, Administrative Services Department Director, provided City Council with a detailed written report together with some history on the recruitment process.  He briefed the City Council on the expenditures incurred as well as the number of applicants to date.  Total applications submitted are fourteen with seven in-state applicants, one out-of-state applicant, and five local applicants.  Of the total applicants who applied, 10 have been determined to meet the required minimum qualifications.  Of the ten that meet these qualifications, five are in-state applicants, one is an out-of-state applicant, and four are local applicants. 

 

Mr. Migura outlined the benefits and drawbacks of both continued city staff recruitment process as well as the consideration to handle the recruitment process through an executive search firm.

 

Cm. Guerra commented that he does not see the need to expend $35,000.00 in city funds for a research firm.  He suggested going through the resumes together with Mr. Migura to narrow the field down to three or four candidates.

 

Cm. Galo requested an opportunity to go read through the report carefully and to bring the matter up at the next City Council meeting.

 

Mayor Flores agreed that the City Council should review all the applications carefully either individually or with Mr. Migura. 

 

              34.  Presentation regarding the evaluation results of the speed hump pilot project with staff

         recommendation.

 

         Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, reported that he had compiled a year’s worth of information for the presentation before City Council tonight.  He provided City Council with a comprehensive evaluation report of the speed hump project that was initiated in 1997.  He reported that after conducting a study of the 21 streets recommended by City Council, only nine streets qualified for the installation of speed humps.  Mr. Murillo went on to report the estimated cost involved in the installation and gave a brief overview of the results obtained.

 

 XIV.  EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

35.  Request for Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.072 in

       regards to deliberating the purchase of a Utility Easement for the 36" South Laredo  

       Outfall Improvements Project (Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line), because deliberation in an

                   open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body            

                   in negotiations with a third person, and return to Open Session for possible action.

 

                   Motion to go into Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 

                   551.072 in regards to deliberating the purchase of a Utility Easement for the 36” South

                   Laredo Outfall Improvements Project (Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line), because

                   deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the

                   governmental body in negotiations with a third person, and return to Open session for

                   possible action.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:      8                                  Against:            0                      Abstain:           0         

 

                    After Executive Session, Mayor Flores reported that no formal action was taken. 

 

    XV.  ADJOURNMENT                                                                            TIME: ­­­10:10 p.m.

 

 Motion to adjourn.

 

 Moved:  Cm. Amaya

             Second:  Cm. Agredano

             For:                 8                                  Against:            0                      Abstain:           0

 

 

I hereby certify that the above minutes contained in pages 01 to 32  are true, complete,    and correct proceedings  of the City Council Meeting held on the 17th day of July, 2000.

 

 

                                                                                                _______________________________

                                                                                                Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                                                                City Secretary