CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2000-R-30

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON STREET

LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

NOVEMBER 6, 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

            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,                                                             City Manager

            Cynthia Collazo,                                                           Assistant City Manager

            Jaime Flores,                                                                City Attorney

 

            Motion to excuse Cm. Louis H. Bruni.

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

            Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez, Jr.

            For:    5                                                Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

            Cm.  Galo and Mayor Pro Tempore Guerra were not present.

           

IV.       MINUTES

 

Approval of the minutes of September 25, 2000, October 2, 2000 and October 9, 2000.

 

Motion to approve the minutes.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez, Jr.

For:     5                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

V.        COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

Announcements

 

Cm. Jose A. Valdez, Jr., mentioned that this past Saturday, November 4, 2000, the city held Make a Difference Day in Council Districts II and VII.  He thanked all the participants, as well as Judge Hector J. Liendo, the Code Enforcement Officers, and Christina Fraccia from the non-profit volunteers organization whose efforts allowed this project to be undertaken.  He stated that both Districts II and VII had many hard working volunteers and they helped to beautify the city by removing unsightly graffiti within both districts.

 

He also thanked the principal and third grade teachers from Kazen Elementary for the invitation to speak before a group of third graders about the functions of city government.

 

Cm. Agredano announced that this past weekend, District VIII held its Fourth Annual South Laredo Scholarship Run.  He thanked the police department and the fire department for their cooperation during the 3-mile run.  He also thanked Officers Cuevas, Dimas, and Mutuc who helped them along the runners’ route.  He also thanked the Parks and Recreation Department staff for their assistance in taking care of all the details required to make the event run smoothly.

 

He also wanted to publicly thank Officers David Mendoza and Omar Barrera, Jr. who began patrolling the area in Century City and who are making the residents of that community feel much safer now.

 

Cm. Ramirez announced that a paving project on the 800 block of Scott St. was completed over the weekend and he thanked Joe Guerra, Public Works Director, and the paving crew for quick action in completion of the project.

 

            Marilyn and Keith Asmussen announced that Propositions 1 and 2 dealing with para-mutual horse racing are on the November ballot and asked for the community’s support. 

           

            Martha Steinaff, representing the Gateway Community Health Center, provided the City Council information on the diabetes program and the Center’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness on the extent of diabetes in our community.   She stated that they are available for information on treatment methods and to assist people in making some lifestyle changes to control diabetes. 

 

            Jessica Saldivar, a student with the Alexander High School Magnet Program, talked about the successful coordination of their first annual Diabetes Awareness Health Fair held at the campus.  She mentioned that they had doctors on site who provided free diabetes screenings to those attending.  She emphasized that the student body is trying to make a difference in educating the public about this disease and will be assisting the Gateway Community Health Center in its efforts to bring awareness to the community.

 

Anastacio Barrera, representing the G.I. Forum, spoke concerning the bus service available through El Metro.  He requested that El Metro consider improving bus service and to consider implementing a $1.00 all day fare pass for the elderly citizens of the community.

 

Jesus Hernandez requested to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting to address an issue dealing with welfare assistance programs.  As a separate item, he would like to be given an opportunity to speak on concerns over the construction of the monument for Medal of Honor recipients.

 

Antonia Hernandez addressed the City Council regarding a concern in her neighborhood which is in District III.  She stated that certain street blocks, namely Willow St. between Logan and Hendricks Avenue are neglected and have not been paved.  She further stated that there is no adequate recreational area in her neighborhood for children and parents to go walking at night being that the Market Street Park has expanded on its parking space.  She is requesting that the City Council consider including this concern as part of future improvement projects within District III.

 

Cm. Galo congratulated fellow City Council Member Joe A. Guerra who was recognized for his four decades of contributions to the city by U. S. Representative Henry Bonilla.

 

            Invitations

 

            None.

           

Recognitions

 

            a.  Recognition of Carlos Hernandez, Utilities Department employee, who on October 2,

     2000, rendered assistance to a young lady in a moment of crisis. 

 

                 Mayor Flores and the City Council thanked Mr. Hernandez for coming to the aid of an alarmed citizen and provided refuge to her in a moment of crisis.

 

b.  Recognition of the City of Laredo's Customer Service Training Program by the Laredo

Chamber of Commerce's Customer Service Committee for the training of City of Laredo employees.

 

                 Robert Eads, Customer Service Coordinator, announced that the Chamber of Commerce has recently revamped their Customer Service program.  He stated that 60 employees recently took a training course that furnished them with guidelines on how to provide first-rate customer service to the public.   He presented an award to the Mayor and City Council for their efforts in encouraging and advancing improved customer service efforts by all city personnel to the public.

 

Communiqués

 

 

Mayor Flores read a letter from Victor Miramontes, Managing Director for the North American Development Bank:

 

Dear Mayor Flores:

 

It gives me great pleasure as my last official duty at the North American Development Bank to inform you that the EPA Border Fund under the VA HUD Appropriations Bill has been increased to $75,000,000.00 for fiscal year 2000.  This is a $25,000,000.00 increase over last year’s appropriations.  These funds are a direct result of your individual efforts as well as the collective efforts of all the border communities.  I commend you on your hard work and dedication in making this happen. 

 

Earlier this year, everyone came together for a common cause as only folks along the border do.  Border communities, counties, states, individuals, the Border Environment Commission (BEC) and the NAD Bank all came together for a common cause of promoting a better quality of life for those who make their home along the border.  The NAD Bank served as a support mechanism for this coalition of interests and is committed to providing that same level of human capital and resources this coming year.   Our wealth has just begun.  Our state goal for these critical border water and wastewater needs continues to be $100,000,000.00 a year for at least the next ten years. 

 

NAD Bank’s  Mexican representative and Deputy Managing Director, Raul Rodriguez, will be stepping into the leadership role on October 16, 2000.  Thank you, once again, for your friendship and leadership in making the U.S.-Mexican border a better place for those who call it home.

 

Signed by

Victor Miramontes

 

Mayor Flores provided a summary of services that the Health Department performs on a weekly basis to those people in need.

 

§         The Health Department registered 13,136 new clients and updated 28,682 during revisits.

 

§         The Immunization Program provided 51,811 immunizations to 25,790 persons and administered 6,000 flu vaccines.

 

§         In the Maternity Clinic, 468 women received prenatal care and 807 received family planning services.

 

§         The Health Department’s pharmacy provided 16,818 prescriptions to 12,592 of its clients.

§         In the primary care clinic, La Familia, 360 clients were seen by its family practice, internal medicine and nurse practitioner contract providers during the year.  Clients were provided with 1,061 drug and prescription vouchers.

 

§         The HIV/AIDS Program is currently providing medical, dental, counseling, housing, transportation and other social services to 89 HIV/AIDS clients and their families; 2,455 persons were tested for HIV.

 

§         The Vital Statistics Division registered 6,425 births and 886 deaths.

 

§         The Dental Care Clinic provided 11,033 preventive and treatment procedures to 3,141 children and adolescents ages 4 to 18.

 

§         The WIC Program disbursed an estimated $10.2 million of food vouchers to 233,947 participants (duplicate count).  The average monthly caseload is 20,000 with 22% of them women, 56% children up to 5 years of age, and 22% infants.  WIC staff also administered 29,853 immunizations to 12,612 of its clients.

 

§         The Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Project is administered by the Health Department who subcontracted for clinical services with Mercy Health Systems; 247 women received breast screening/mammograms and 259 received cervical

cancer screenings.

 

§         The Health Education Program provided various preventive services through the Buena Vida Program including health screenings (6,314); behavior modification clinics (385 sessions); aerobic classes (18 groups/5,765 enrollment); and 16,165 outreach contacts by the Community Health Education Program which targets women, children, and teenagers.         

 

§         The Children’s Health Insurance Outreach Program grant is charged with outreach activities and assisting residents with completing applications; 4,700 applications have been submitted to date.

 

§         The Health Protective Services Division conducted 2,505 restaurant inspections; investigated 1,018 complaints, and held 160 food handler classes  with 7,518 persons received food handler certificates.

 

§         The Department’s laboratory received 29,509 specimens and performed 260,285 tests.

 

§         Animal Control Program officers picked up 8,071 strays; collected and sent 189 animal heads to the State Health Department for rabies analysis – of these 11 bats were confirmed positive for rabies.  During the April, 2000 Rabies Vacuna campaign, in collaboration with the Animal Shelter and the Seven Flags Veterinary Association 3,997 pets were vaccinated against rabies.

 

VI.       APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSION, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

 

a.  Appointment of Mr. Javier Compean by Council Member John Galo, to the Parks &

     Recreation Committee.

 

     Motion to approve.

 

     Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

     Second:  Cm.  Amaya

     For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

VII.     PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

1.  Public hearing authorizing the City Manager to amend the City of Laredo FY 2000-2001

Annual Budget in the amount of $3,211.00 for a grant awarded by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for the South Texas/Border Region Health Professional Education Initiative for health related materials. (Approval of Resolution 2000-R-151 needed before Public Hearing)

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

Authorizing the City Manager to amend the City of Laredo FY 2000-2001 Annual Budget in the amount of $3,211.00 for a grant from the University of Texas Health Science Center-South Texas/Border Region Health Professional Education Initiative, for health related materials; providing for effective date. 

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Galo

 

2.  Public hearing adopting the 2000 International Fire Code; relating to the inspection

activities of the City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas and enforcement of the Fire Prevention Provisions as provided in said Code, providing for the abatement of Fire Hazards and providing for penalties for violations of said Codes, repealing all ordinances inconsistent with this Code; and adding or amending certain provisions of the 2000 International Fire Prevention Code; providing for effective date; and providing for publication.

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

Adopting the 2000 International Fire Prevention Code; relating to the inspection activities of the City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas and enforcement of the Fire Prevention Provisions as provided in said Code, providing for the abatement of Fire Hazards and providing for penalties for violations of said Codes, repealing all ordinances inconsistent with this Code; and adding or amending certain provisions of the 2000 International Fire Prevention Code; providing for effective date; and providing for publication.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Fire Chief Tomas Ramirez stated that the reason for banning the use of metal cans and vinyl bedliners for fuel storage is to prevent these containers from igniting.  He stated that every filling station would be informed about the new provisions to be included in the 2000 International Fire Code in order to ensure their compliance.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Guerra

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Mayor Pro Tempore Guerra

 

3.  Public hearing concerning an application by Leyendecker Materials, Inc., authorizing the

issuance of a Special Use Permit for above ground fuel storage on 9.50 acres, as further described by metes and bounds, located at 8016 Farm to Market 1472 (Mines Road).  The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the proposed Special Use Permit.

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

Authorizing the issuance of a Special Use Permit for above ground fuel storage on 9.50 acres, as further described by metes and bounds, located at 8016 Farm to Market 1472 (Mines Road); providing for publication and effective date.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ron Whitehawk, representing Leyendecker Materials, appeared before the City Council seeking approval of the Special Use Permit.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

 

4.  Public hearing amending Chapter 19, Motor Vehicle and Traffic, Article VIII, Stopping,

Standing or Parking and Article X, Impoundment of Vehicles of the Code of Ordinances, City of Laredo:  Specifically Section 19-355, Section 19-360, Section 19-375, and Section 19-378, and creating Section 19-361, Section 19-362 & Section 19-363, this amendment represents the following:

 

1.  Raises the fine for illegally parking in a handicap space from one hundred

     ($100.00) to two hundred and fifty ($250.00) dollars.

 

2.  Provides for parking meter rates to increase from twenty-five (25) cents per hour

to fifty (50) cents per hour and increases the time limit from two (2) hours to four (4) hours for all parking meters located west of Santa Maria Ave.

 

3.  Established a parking statement fee of three ($3.00) dollars.

 

4.  Authorizes the Traffic Director to install and remove parking meters in the

     Central Business District.

 

5.  Authorizes the Parking Superintendent to charge permit fees for exclusive use of

parking spaces and no parking zones when used for construction or special events.

 

6.  It amends the definitions that govern Parking Enforcement.

 

7.  It amends certain provisions that apply to booting and towing vehicles.

 

And providing for effective date and publication. 

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

Amending Chapter 19, Motor Vehicle and Traffic, Article VIII. Stopping, Standing or

Parking and Article X, Impoundment of vehicles of the Code of Ordinances, City of Laredo; specifically, Section 19-355, Section 19-360, Section 19-375, and Section 19-378, and creating Section 19-361, Section 19-362 & Section 19-363, and providing for effective date and publication.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Mr. Jesus Ponce inquired about the proposed parking lot that the city had intended to build for the downtown area. 

 

Mayor Flores replied that there are several properties that are being studied for use as parking lots in the downtown area.

 

Cm. Agredano inquired as to what department is responsible for issuance of parking citations for those motorists who park in handicapped spaces.

 

Agustin Dovalina, Chief of Police, stated that the police department is in charge of taking care of that particular aspect of enforcement when the violation is in a private parking lot such as a grocery store.  He also mentioned that the BEST organization has a certified group who is trained to enforce that particular statute.

 

Larry Dovalina, City Dovalina, commented that the parking problem revolves around the lack of a parking facility for the employees at the L.I.S.D. Magnet School.  He stated that the neighborhood residents have been negatively impacted because these employees want to use the streets as their makeshift parking garage.   He mentioned that the city has repeatedly offered to the L.I.S.D. administration that it encourage its employees to park at El Metro Transit Center.  They have been offered a price per rental space and have been asked on several occasions to consider this option because of the number of complaints that have been generated.  He added that the city is trying to meet a happy medium by allowing an extended period of time on the meters so that the people do not have to come out during working hours to feed the meters.  One of the issues that LI.S.D. employees have brought up is that they do not want to walk the distance from El Metro Transit Center to their work locations.   The city is attempting to deal with these concerns and at the same time make a uniform change to the parking meter rates. 

 

Cm. Galo requested an explanation regarding the establishment of a parking statement fee of $3.00.

 

Roberto Murillo, Traffic Safety Department, stated that this would be an added fee to be tagged on to the monthly notices that are mailed out to people who have pending parking tickets.  These fees would be used to offset the costs involved in processing of the monthly statements.

 

Cm. Ramirez inquired as to the number of parking spaces for disabled persons available in the downtown area.

 

Roberto Murillo, Traffic Safety Department, commented that the current policy allows for motorists who have a handicapped sticker or decal to park in any space for free. 

 

Cm. Ramirez stated that he had a petition with over 100 signatures from L.I.S.D. employees who object to raising the fares to .50 an hour.  He requested to disapprove amending item number two dealing with the proposed increase in parking meter rates.

 

Motion to maintain the fare at .25 per hour but increase the time limit to four hours on the meters.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Ramirez

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

For:                                                 Against:                                                Abstain:

No action was taken on this item.

 

Mayor Flores asked the City Attorney whether the Planning and Zoning Department could withdraw the zoning designation which was granted to L.I.S.D. during a previous administration or could the city ask L.I.S.D. administration to work on resolving this parking availability problem for its employees.

 

Keith Selman, Planning and Zoning Director, stated that this would require looking into being that it may have been a matter that went before the Board of Adjustment and the Historic District Landmark Board. 

 

Motion to table until next meeting.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

5.  Public hearing amending the FY 2000-2001 budget in the amount of $55,668.00 in

additional funds for the Children's Health Insurance (CHIP) Outreach Project of the City of Laredo Health Department and extending the term period from February 1, 2000, through August 31, 2001, and increasing the revenue line item 226-0000-323-4082 from $111,336.00 to $167,004.00, and expenditure line item 226-6022 from $111,336.00 to $167,004.00.

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

Amending the FY 2000-2001 budget in the amount of $55,668.00 in additional funds for the Children's Health Insurance (CHIP) Outreach Project of the City of Laredo Health Department and extending the term period from February 1, 2000, through August 31, 2001, and increasing the revenue line item 226-0000-323-4082 from $111,336.00 to $167,004.00, and expenditure line item 226-6022 from $111,336.00 to $167,004.00.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Roger Garcia, Acting Director for the Health Department, mentioned that these additional funds are entirely drawn from state grant sources.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

VIII.    GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

6.  A.  Request by Council Member Eliseo Valdez, Jr.

 

1.  Status report on the speed humps for Chaparral, including a report on the street-

     listing schedule for speed humps for District 5.

 

                             Roberto Murillo, Traffic Department Director, reported that they recently held a workshop to discuss the findings of the last set of studies under Phase 3.  His department reported the results ratio which showed that only two areas qualified which were Lindenwood and Stone.  He stated that the direction from City Council was to include accident data and specific criteria for schools. His department has been working on that and will be meeting soon to discuss that issue.  His plan is to present the installation policy for adoption by City Council at the council next meeting. 

 

                             Larry Dovalina, City Manager, stated that the final adoption is scheduled for the next City Council meeting.  He mentioned that at the workshop there were some objections to some of the criteria being applied.  As a result, the Traffic Department was asked to modify the criteria and they are in the process of making those changes now.  Once that is finalized, the Traffic Department will present the policy for final adoption so they can proceed with the complete program.

 

                             Cm. Galo commented that there should be some criteria that would eliminate certain streets and then some other streets would be open for consideration.  So that if one council member’s streets are not accepted for the program, he has the option to use discretionary funds readily available to commit to having the project completed as requested.

 

                             Roberto Murillo stated that under the existing criteria, that area does not qualify for a speed hump.  But based on the input received from City Council in the last month suggesting inclusion of the safety issue criterion, as in this case, then it would meet the standard.

 

                             Cm. Guerra mentioned that in District VI, several residents have said that they are willing to distribute the petition themselves to expedite the process.

 

                             Roberto Murillo reported that they he has met with the spokesperson and they are now getting the signatures so his department can review the findings as to who is in favor or against the placement of speed humps in front of their homes.

 

                             Cm. Agredano stated that he also has a group of residents that want speed humps and he agrees that the speed hump program needs to get under way soon.

                       

      B.  Request by Council Member Jose A. Valdez, Jr.

 

1.  Discussion and possible action on resurfacing or reconstructing Las Cruces.

 

                                                Cm. Valdez commented that this is an area between warehouses and there is high volume traffic area especially when the train blocks the Mines Road and Santa Maria Ave. 

 

                                                Joe Guerra, Public Works Department Director, reported that his crew is scheduled to begin that resurfacing project this coming Sunday and will perform work there for the next three consecutive Sundays. 

                                               

                              Mayor Flores inquired as to the training being provided to the crews who are increasingly doing more of the in-house work for the city.

 

                              Joe Guerra reported that some of the workers receive in-house training but others who come on board are already skilled craftsmen.  He mentioned that he does have problems retaining the top notch workers such as crane operators, bricklayers, etc., because the pay scale is not very appealing.

 

                              Cm. Galo asked whether the community college provides training for heavy equipment operators.  He mentioned that the contractors are always complaining that the experienced workers will turn around and go work for private sector construction companies because they offer slightly higher wages or better work schedules.

 

                              Joe Guerra stated that the problem at the city is that the departments are tied down to the pay scale that is adopted.

 

                              Mayor Flores requested that Dan Migura, Administrative Services Department Director, look into the training programs that Laredo Community College provides for certain industries identified in Laredo that require skilled workers.  She mentioned that she is aware of certain workforce development programs in Laredo that offer to train individuals on specific jobs that require skilled workers. 

 

                              Larry Dovalina mentioned that there is a separate issue related to this problem. Some of the truck yards are washing their facilities and their oil separators, or wash pits, are not in place or have not been cleaned in some time.  As a result, the water is coming on to the roadway and that is one of the reasons that all these potholes are being produced.

 

                              Cm. Valdez inquired whether the city is looking into obtaining a reconstruction grant for that particular area.

 

                              Larry Dovalina stated that there is some money available from TxDOT to realign some of these streets on Mines Road and the road that is immediately adjacent to Las Cruces. 

 

                              Cm. Valdez further inquired about the low water crossing in that particular area of Mines Road.

 

                              Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, stated that the problem there is that the city does not have any easements either on the north or south of that crossing.  There is property on the north side that is very low and you cannot raise that crossing otherwise you would flood that nearby property.  The only solution would be for the city to purchase that property if they believe it would be practical to pick up that water crossing.

           

2.  Discussion and possible action to utilize existing vacant City property as areas

     for development of affordable housing.

 

     Erasmo Villarreal, Community Development Director, reported that he has looked into District VII to see what city-owned vacant property was available.  The only property that is available is one city block on Anna St. and Lafayette St.  This property seems suitable for development and his department is geared to perform a feasibility study for affordable housing possibilities as well as reviewing the flood maps to ensure that it is outside the flood zone.  They are going to consider a number of issues to see whether this site is feasible for a housing project.   He stated they would have a completed study within a week.

 

     Mayor Flores inquired as to what type of housing developments exist in this particular area.

     Erasmo Villarreal mentioned that this particular area is approximately one block from the Tomas  Flores Apartments that the Laredo Municipal Housing Corporation has.  This particular complex has a 92% occupancy rate. The rest of the area in character is in a transitional phase from mobile homes to subdivision.  To the west there is substantial warehousing along with vacant property.

 

     On a related issue, he provided the City Council with an update on current projects.  For example, in District III they will be constructing 30 single-family units for affordable housing.  They are also looking at a condominium type project in that particular site as well as an area at Los Obispos Subdivision to do some lease-purchase agreements.  They are also working with outside developers who have been purchasing properties who are willing to invest in Laredo by creating multi-family affordable housing projects.  

 

     Mayor Flores mentioned that there are some problems with the prices on the properties and the acres as well.  She also discussed the bond program under the Laredo Housing Finance Corporation which is a very good tool used to promote affordable housing.  She explained that the City has filed an application to issue bonds and if the City does get approved, one of the benefits of that bond issue is that it not only helps low income families but the middle income families who cannot come up with a down payment or do not want to assume a loan because of the high interest rates. 

    

      C.  Request by Council Member Juan Ramirez

 

1.  Discussion on the resurfacing of the 800 block of Scott, with possible action.

 

                             Cm. Ramirez stated that this paving request has already been taken care of by the prompt action of Joe Guerra and the Public Works Department staff.

 

2.  Status report on the improvements of the Ladrillera Community Park, with

     possible action.

 

     Sergio Tijerina, Parks and Recreation Department, reported that the field has been graded but there is some additional seeding to be placed in the park area.  He stated that CP&L has been contacted to replace the burned out lights in that area lighting to provide adequate lighting on the grounds.  The supervisor will also be conducting an assessment as to what items are still needed such as water fountains, landscaping, etc.   

 

3.  Status report on the Grant Street traffic study, with possible action.

 

                             Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, reported that on this particular study they have already hired a consultant to conduct the study.  He has requested that they give special focus to the San Agustin area. He also mentioned that they are looking at converting Convent Ave. into a one-way street.  He expects to have the traffic study completed within 45 days.  He anticipates that they will come out with some recommendations to the Traffic Department, and, depending on the recommendations, there may be some changes that could be done depending on the funding requirements.

 

                             Cm. Ramirez wanted to know whether the grant could be done temporarily as an emergency item and then try it out for a few weeks.

 

                             Roberto Murillo replied that he would rather wait for the study to see what the results are because there are issues that need to be looked into such as removal of parking meters and changing of existing traffic signals on that street.

                            

4.  Discussion on the possibility of an access ramp onto the Expressway south bound

in the vicinity of Benavides Street and the installation of lights/signs informing vehicles of train obstruction about the 1800 block of San Bernardo, with possible action.

 

Mayor Flores mentioned that this is a TxDOT issue that would require their input.

 

Keith Selman, Planning and Zoning Director, agreed that this is a TxDot issue and the issue does warrant looking into by the department.  He stated that if the City Council would make a motion, the department would prepare a letter to TxDot requesting a response relevant to this concern.

 

Larry Dovalina, City Manager, suggested that the City Council include in the motion for the City to request that TxDOT implement those lights/signals as well.

 

Motion to instruct staff to draft a letter to TxDOt on the possibility of creating an access ramp onto expressway southbound in the vicinity of Benavides St. and the installation of lights/signals informing vehicles of train obstruction about the 1800 block of San Bernardo and also whether there is a way to notify vehicles whether the train is traveling northbound or southbound.

 

Moved:  Cm. Ramirez

Second:  Cm. Valdez

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                       Abstain:  0

 

IX.       INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

7.  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute an assignment of the lease for

Building No. 55 from Valero Development Corporation to Region One Education Services Center and authorizing the City Manager to amend the lease agreement for Building No. 55 located at 4818 Thomas Avenue at the Laredo International Airport thereby deleting Section 1.05, titled "Appraisal" and adding a new Section 1.05, titled "Additional Rental Escalation", all other terms and conditions remain unchanged and in effect.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

8.  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease with Nextel WIP Lease

Corp., A. Delaware Corporation, for space on the top surface of the Del Mar Water Tower located on 6.7 acres out of Block 13, Del Mar Section 1A, Laredo, Webb County, Texas and of lease agreement for the installation and operation of certain antennae facilities ("Antennae Facilities") for use with its communications business and a parcel of land within the owned premises for the location of an equipment building associated with the Antennae Facilities (the "Equipment Building").  Term of the lease is ten (10) years commencing November 20, 2000 and ending November 20, 2010, with three (3) successive renewal terms of five (5) years.  Annual base rent shall be $7,700.00 each year during the term of the lease and will be adjusted by three percent (3%) on each anniversary of the commencement date, providing for effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

9.  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease with Nextel WIP Lease

Corp., A Delaware Corporation, for ground space at the Property located at the intersection of Cortez and Laredo, Webb County, Texas and of lease agreement to construct on such premises a 150 ft. high self-supporting type tower and related equipment building for use with its communications business.  Term of the lease is ten (10) years commencing November 20, 2000 and ending November 20, 2010 with three (3) successive renewal terms of five (5) years.  Annual base rent shall be $7,700.00 each year during the term of the lease and will be adjusted by three percent (3%) on each anniversary of the commencement date, providing for effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

10.  An ordinance authorizing the City Manger to execute a lease with Nextel WIP Lease

Corp., A Delaware Corporation, for ground space at the South Laredo Waste Water Treatment Plant located at 319 River Front Road, Laredo, Webb County, Texas and of lease agreement to construct on such premises a 250 ft. high self-supporting type tower and related equipment building for use with its communications business.  Term of the lease is ten (10) years commencing November 20, 2000 and ending November 20, 2010, with three (3) successive renewal terms of five (5) years.  Annual base rent shall be $7,700.00 each year during the term of the lease and will be adjusted by three percent (3%) on each anniversary of the commencement date, providing for effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

11.  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute an abandonment and release of

0.3136 acre utility and drainage easement situated in Procion 23, Abstract 283, Leonardo Sanchez original grantee, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas.  Said 0.3136 acre tract originally being part of 0.6770 acre utility and drainage easement described in the Shiloh Subdivision, Phase I, as recorded in Volumes 5, Page 75, Webb County Plat Records, and being more particularly described by metes and bounds.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

X.        FINAL READINGS OF ORDINANCES 

 

            Internet Availability:  //wwwcityoflaredo.com

 

 

            Motion to waive the final reading of ordinances 2000-O-270 and 2000-O-271.

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Galo

            Second:  Cm.  Agredano

            For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

12.  2000-O-270  Amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the City of Laredo by rezoning

the E 1/3 of Lot 3 and Lot 4, Block 2038, Eastern Division, located at 2104 S. Ejido Ave., from R-3 (Mixed Residential District) to R-2 (Multi-Family Residential District); providing for publication and effective date.  (Council Member Alfredo Agredano)

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance 2000-O-270.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                              Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

2000-O-271  Amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the City of Laredo by rezoning

13.5875 acres, as further described by metes and bounds, located west of Atlanta Dr. and north of Weathers Dr., from AG (Agricultural District) to M-1 (Light Manufacturing District); providing for publication and effective date.  (Council Member Jose A. Valdez, Jr.)

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance 2000-O-271.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                              Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XI.       RESOLUTIONS

 

13.  2000-R-151  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a grant from the University of

Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for the South Texas/Border Region Health Professional Education Initiative in the amount of $3,211.00 and authorizing the City Manager to sign contracts and submit any and all related documents as required.         

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-151.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

14.  2000-R-152  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a grant in the amount of

$19,500.00 for the Holiday DWI STEP Program from the Texas Department of Transportation.  The City will designate $18,000.00 in matching funds for a total project budget of $37,500.00.  The City's match will be available from the General Fund.  The funding for this grant will be from October 1, 2000 through September 30, 2001. 

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-152.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

15.  2000-R-153  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a grant in the amount of

$100,000.00 for the Safe & Sober STEP from the Texas Department of Transportation.  The City will designate $25,000.00 in matching funds for a total project budget of $125,000.00.  The City's match will be available from the General Fund.  The funding for this grant will be from October 1, 2000 through September 20, 2001.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-153.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

16.  2000-R-154  Authorizing the City Manger to accept a grant in the amount of

$22,500.00 for the Safe Streets STEP from the Texas Department of Transportation.  The City will designate $15,000.00 in matching funds for a total project budget of $37,500.00.  The City's match will be available from the General Fund.  The funding for this grant will be from October 1, 2000 through September 30, 2001.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-154.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

17.  2000-R-155  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a grant in the amount of

$45,000.00 for the Comprehensive STEP from the Texas Department of Transportation.  The City will designate $30,000.00 in matching funds for a total project budget of $75,000.00.  The City's match will be available from the General Fund.  The funding for this grant will be from October 1, 2000 through September 30, 2001.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-155.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

18.  2000-R-156  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a grant from the South Texas

Development Council (STDC), in the amount of $9,348.00, for the purpose of constructing and maintaining the Citizen's Convenience Center, and to execute all related documents.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-156.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

19.  2000-R-158  Declaring the public necessity to acquire the "Surface Only" of one parcel

of land for the widening of Calton Road, East of McPherson Road.  Said parcel containing 0.0194 acres (845.78 sq. ft.), more or less, being situated in Block 5, McPherson Plaza subdivision, City of Laredo, Webb County Texas; being generally described below, and more particularly described by metes and bounds; and authorizing staff to negotiate with the owners for the acquisition of said parcel by donation or purchase at a market value to be established by a State Certified Real Estate Appraiser, and further authorizing the City Attorney to initiate condemnation proceedings to acquire said parcel if staff is unable to acquire through negotiations due to inability to agree to purchase price, conflict of ownership, owner refusal to sell, and/or inability to locate the listed owner.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2000-R-158.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XII.     MOTIONS

 

20.  Ratifying Amendment No. 2 for $30,000.00 to the Groundwater Source Development

contract with CH2MHILL Engineers to pay for services authorized by Council on May 1, 2000.  The consultant services will not be needed again until such time proposals from the vendors are available.  This amendment brings the total groundwater contract to $235,000.00.  Funding is available in the Water Availability Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

21.  Consideration for approval of change order no. 2, an increase of $66,546.35, for

additional utility work required due to utility conflicts to the construction contract with Pate & Pate Enterprises, Inc. for the South Laredo/Chacon Creek Interceptor.  This change order no. 2 covers the cost to replace trees, adjust utility lines inside affected properties, and adjust the alignment of the wastewater trunk line to avoid more expensive conflicts.  Funding is available in the 1998-A Bond Issue Chacon Interceptor.

 

Motion to approve.

 

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

22.  Consideration to select and begin negotiations with engineering firms for the portion of

       the Colonias Projects funded by the Texas Water Development Board, as follows:

 

Mines Rd. Work Order #1                   Harry Jewett and Associates    

Mines Rd. Work Order #2                   CHM2HILL/Sherfey Team

Mines Rd. Work Order #3                   On hold pending NADB procurement

Hwy 359 Work Order #1                     Smith, Russo and Mercer

Hwy 359 Work Order #2                     Foster Engineering Company

Hwy 359 Work Order #3*                   HNTB Corporation / Howland Engineering

Hwy 359 Work Order#4*                    Crane Engineering

Hwy 359 Work Order #5                     NRS Consulting Engineers

Hwy 359 Work Order #6                     NRS Consulting Engineers

 

*  The work orders will be partially awarded to account for additional requirements

     by the NADB or other sources of funds.     

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

23.  Consideration to award construction contract number FY01-004, to the SOLE

BIDDER, Cantu Electric, Inc., of Laredo, Texas, in the amount of $28,800.00 for the complete installation of a sports lighting system for the Dryden Optimist Little League Baseball Field located at 2700 Diaz Street.  Funding is available from Community Development Block Grant Funds - 25th Action Year.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

24.  Consideration to award construction contract number FY01-009, to the LOWEST

RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, Hollywood Garden Co., of Laredo, Texas, in the amount of $17,845.00, for the complete installation of an automated Underground Sprinkler System for the Cruz Baseball Field located at 200 West Travis Street.  Funding is available from Community Development Block Grant Funds - 25th Action Year.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

25.  Consideration for acceptance of the liner installation of Cell 15/16 for the City of

Laredo Landfill and approval of final payment in the amount of $30,718.80 to Environmental Specialist International, Inc., of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Final construction amount is $600,149.28.  Funding is available in the Solid Waste Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

26.  Consideration for authorization to release certain medical certificates from personnel

files of the Fire Department, to the City Attorney, for the purpose of acquiring an Open Records decision from the Texas Attorney General, in response to an open records request for said medical records.

 

Cm. Guerra inquired whether the City has considered the privacy issues for these individuals.

 

Jaime Flores, City Attorney, stated that this request is confidential.  What the motion is doing is authorizing the Fire Chief to provide these confidential records to the Legal Department which, in turn, will be provided to the Attorney General.  He mentioned that the reason this matter is before City Council is because of a recent Attorney General ruling saying that the release of these records to the Attorney General requires the governmental body’s authorization.

 

Motion to authorize the Fire Chief to release certain medical certificates from personnel files to the Legal Department.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

27.  Consideration to award contract number FY00-149, to the LOW BIDDER, General

Construction by Randy, Inc., Bulverde, Texas, in the amount of $180,000.00, for the painting of two 500,000 gallons elevated storage tank.  One is located at 7803 Mines Rd.  and the other at the 1700 block of Hillside.  The successful contractor will be required to provide all material, equipment and labor to repaint these water tanks.  Funding is available in the Utilities Department budget.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

28.  Consideration to award six month supply contracts (#01-007), for the purchase of

safety footwear for City Maintenance personnel, to the following vendors: Gateway Uniform Service, Laredo, Texas, in the base amount of $28,935.00, Iron Age, San Antonio, Texas, in base amount of $11,275.00, and Mission Western Wear, Mission, Texas, in the base amount of $8,250.00.  Contract pricing has been secured for boot styles approved for use by City Maintenance personnel.  Each department will have the option to choose the type of boot best suited for the work environmental and budget allocation.  All safety footwear is purchased on an as needed basis.  Funding is available in the respective department budgets.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

29.  Consideration to award a construction contract to J. Solis Maintenance and Welding

Services, Laredo, Texas, in the base bid amount of $126,800.00 for the Second Floor       Addition to Traffic Safety Warehouse.  Funding is available in the Capital Improvement Fund Traffic Safety Warehouse.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

30.  Consideration for approval of consultant and approval to award an engineering contract    

to Turner, Hickey and Associates, Laredo, Texas, for an amount not to exceed $117,000.00 for design and preparation for the New Laredo Municipal Court Building.  Funding is available in the 2001 CO Issue Municipal Court Construction.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

31.  Consideration to approve a change order to the Santa Maria Reconstruction Project to

fund the installation of streetlights.  An estimated total of $72,000.00 will be required for the streetlight installation.  Central Power & Light estimates $50,000.00 in installation costs.  An additional $22,000.00 will be required for contract labor to do the underground work involved in the installation.  Funding is available in the 1998 CO Issue.  There is currently $39,198.00 available in the 1998 CO for the Santa Maria Reconstruction Project.  An additional $32,802.00 is available from reserve appropriations.

 

Motion to table.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

 

32.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to enter into a professional services

contract between the City of Laredo and Dr. Dennis Cantu to perform Hazmat Physical Examinations required for City of Laredo Firefighters for an amount not to exceed $12,250.00 and authorizing the City Manager to execute all contract documents.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

33.  Authorizing the City Manager to enter into and execute an assignment of remaining

escrow funds between the City of Laredo and the Martin Family Members, in the amount of $16,172.63 representing the remaining balance of sale proceeds held by the City of Laredo that were used to cover non-reimbursed T.N.R.C.C. expenses for the removal of underground fuel storage tanks at the former Jackson Funeral Home site that was purchased from the Martin Family for the new El Metro Transit Center Building.

 

Motion to table.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XIII.    STAFF REPORT

           

34.  A report to City Council recapping the activities of the Laredo Convention & Visitors

Bureau (LCVB) during FY 1999-2000 and highlighting the LCVB marketing strategy for 2000-2001.

 

                    Don Raulie, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, made a presentation covering the marketing plans and advertising campaigns to be executed and the different events that the department is planning to conduct throughout the coming year.    Following is a summary of the projects to be undertaken:

 

                    TRADESHOWS:

 

                    National Tour Association (NTA)

                        N.T.A. Tour and Travel Exchange                    Tradeshow:       $1005

                        November 10 – 13, 2000                                 Travel Costs:    $   700

                        Salt Lake City, UT                                           Total:                $ 1705

 

                    American Bus Association (ABA)

                        A.B.A. Marketplace                                         Tradeshow:      $1005

                        January 27 – February 2, 2001             Travel Costs:    $  800

                        Baltimore, MD                                     Total:                $1805

 

 

 

                    Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA)        

                        O.M.C.A. Tour and Travel Exchange               Tradeshow:      $  695

                        November 5 – 9, 2000                                     Travel Costs:    $1100

                        Toronto, ON  Canada                                      Total:                $1795

 

                    Group Leaders of America (GLAMER)  GLAMER shows

                        March 7, 2001                                                 Tradeshow:      $  400

                        Houston, TX                                                    Travel Costs:    $  250

                        Houston, TX                                                    Total:                $  650

 

                        March 8, 2001                                                 Tradeshow:      $  400

                        San Antonio, TX                                              Travel Costs:    $  250

                                                                                                Total:                $  650

                       

August 3, 2001                                     Tradeshow:      $  400

                        New Orleans, LA                                             Travel Costs:    $  500

                                                                                                Total:                $  900

                        Total Cost for GLAMER shows:

                                                                                                Trade shows:    $1200

                                                                                                Travel Costs:    $1000

                                                                                                Total:                $2200

                       

                        TOTAL COST FOR ALL TRADE SHOWS:  Tradeshows:     $3905

                                                                                                            Travel Costs:    $3600

                                                                                                            Total:                $7505

 

            BIRDING

            Birding has the potential of becoming an extremely important attraction for the City

            Of Laredo.  Nationally, it is one of the fastest growing recreational activities.  The

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department estimates that the annual economic impact in

the Rio Grande Valley alone is in excess of $90 million. 

 

The City of Laredo has given impetus to this important new attraction by financing a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey.  LCVB issued a statewide news release at the time the study was published and succeeded in generating a handful of inquiries.  Since then, a group of Laredo birding enthusiasts have formed the Laredo International Birding Association and that group continues to add to the list of species that can be seen in the Laredo area.

 

            WINTER TEXANS

LCVB will run ads about Laredo birding in publications which target Winter Texans; it will expand the birding coverage in the upcoming issue of the Visitors Guide.  LCVB is currently working to get as many Laredo birding sites as possible included on the Heart of Texas wildlife trail currently being developed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.  According to the Parks & Wildlife Department, the new trail is scheduled for completion in eighteen months and will begin in Laredo.

 

LCVB will utilize the data from the birding study recently completed by the U.S. Geological Survey to attract Winter Texans.  In all collateral materials produced by the LCVB, emphasis will be placed on the availability of large numbers of bird species; the desirability of Laredo’s mild winter climate and the fact that visitors can park in Laredo and walk to the tourist district in Nuevo Laredo. 

 

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

A wonderful event for the whole family, the City of Laredo Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Friday, December 1, 2000, in front of the Center for the Arts.  It will include plenty of entertainment for the kids and a visit from St. Nicolas himself.

 

PAISANO PROJECT

Scheduled for December 15-16, 2000, this year will mark the fourth year the LCVB/City of Laredo has maintained a rest stop on Interstate 35 to help prepare the Paisanos for their crossing into Mexico.  Last year’s rest stop, which served more than 5,000 people, was so successful that Mexican customs and immigration officials came from as far away as Mexico City to observe the operation.  They left saying they would use Laredo as an example and encourage other border cities to set up similar operations.

 

ANTICIPATED EXPENSES  FOR MARKETING CAMPAIGN

 

The following is a list of brochures published by or for LCVB, along with an indication of whether or not they will likely be revised and reprinted during 2000 – 2001 and if so, the anticipated costs.

 

            Visitors Guide – This item is supported by advertising and the

            LCVB will receive 75,000 copies at no cost.  If LCVB desires

            to obtain additional copies, they can be ordered at the time of

            printing at a cost of $ .85 per copy.  This plan will  consider the

            possibility of ordering up to 15,000 additional copies.                $12,750.

 

            Color of Cultures (Spanish version) 20,000 copies                                $  7,800.

 

            Trolley Tour – Revise and reprint 15,000 copies                                   $  1,000.

 

                        Hotel/Motel Directory -- Revise and reprint 25,000 copies                    $   1,000.

 

                        Tear-off Maps – Revise and reprint 25,000 copies                                $   1,800.

 

                        City Maps  -- Revise and reprint 4,000 copies                          $      500.

 

                        Restaurant Guide – Revise and reprint 10,000 x 2                                 $   3,000.

 

                        Crossing Guide – Revise and reprint in-house 10,000 copies     $      500.

 

                        Laredo Legacies – Reprint not anticipated in 2000-2001                       $        00.

 

                        Group Tour Planner – Redesign and print 4,000 copies             $   6,000.

 

                        Convention Facilities & Services Guide

                                    Design and print 2,000 copies                                                   $   4,000.

 

           

            Miscellaneous – Informational and promotional items

                                    Developed and printed in-house                                                $   6,000.

 

                        TOTAL BROCHURE REVISIONS AND REPRINTING                   $44,550.

 

Ramon Hernandez, Marketing Manager, mentioned that the mission of the LCVB is to promote Laredo as an ideal destination for winter travelers.  He went over the Mexico marketing campaigns as well as convention and meetings strategies to positively impact the local economy.   He stated that the LCVB marketing strategy is designed to maintain a presence throughout the year in key Mexican markets, but expands that presence with newspaper and radio advertisements to promote shopping during three important seasons;  Semana Santa (Holy Week) holiday, Back to School / Diez y Seis holiday, and Fall Season Holiday shopping.

 

Mayor Flores inquired whether the LCVB staff has been able to directly link the impact of these marketing strategies in Monterrey or other cities within Mexico to increased revenues to the local economy. 

 

He mentioned that the bureau typically measures shifts to the hotel occupancy rate as an indicator.  He mentioned that it has increased occupancy by 5% points and revenues by 8.1%.

 

Mayor Flores also inquired whether there is a committee in place composed of the chain store managers that participate in these promotional events. She mentioned that by combining our marketing efforts with the store managers’ efforts the city could magnify the promotional endeavors in the Mexican markets.

 

Mr. Hernandez replied that LCVB extends invitations to our local chain store managers and encourages them to provide input to the existing strategies to attract the Mexican consumer to Laredo.

 

Mayor Flores emphasize that there should be a greater effort to work with the chain stores and local stores that would like to promote their retail stores in the Mexican markets.

 

Cm. Galo stated that many big manufacturers deal with coop advertising to promote the widely recognized brand name products.  He mentioned that these manufacturers are willing to pay for a big portion of the advertising costs so long as the brand name product is mentioned and this would allow the LCVB to stretch their advertising dollars farther. 

 

Mayor Flores further stressed that she would like to demonstrate that the city is doing an excellent job in its promotional efforts.   She stated that once the tourists arrive, there is no problem, but she is not confident that LCVB’s efforts are reaching all the tourists that it should be.

 

Don Raulie agreed that the relationship with the local hotels is extremely important.  He stated that he had a meeting with the General Manager of one local hotel and they discussed some points that Mayor Flores referred to.  He found that in most cases if they claim dissatisfaction, it is due to lack of information or lack of communication.  He mentioned that they have resolved some differences that they had in that area of concern.  He stated that this year his department plans to establish a systematic visitation program of our hotels, restaurants, and retail shops to enhance the city’s relationship with the hotel managers to make sure they understand what we are doing and why we are doing it.

 

He also reported on the exposure Laredo has received through expansion of its public relations efforts. He stated that there are a number of publications in which Laredo has received favorable exposure.  He commented that this type of exposure is very important for two main reasons:  1) there is minimal cost involved to get featured in the publication and, in most cases, they deal with a travel editor who is brought down to Laredo; and 2) this type of editorial coverage has greater credibility and acceptance with the public than running advertisements in the print media.   He stated that the city is poised to reap the benefits from this kind of favorable exposure.  During this year, LCVB will take a more aggressive approach in bringing travel editors into the city.   They will also be generating more press releases about the positive events that are taking place in Laredo.  They will be distributing these releases statewide and beyond to get more favorable exposure for the city.  He also mentioned that LCVB has recruited a number of volunteers who have been a tremendous help to the department.  They have provided assistance with the Ojo Rojo receptions and also worked registration tables at conventions. 

 

He also summarized on the importance of birding which promises to become a very important attraction for our city.  He mentioned that the City Council had approved funding over a year ago for a birding study that was conducted and published last spring.  They have been using the results of that study to attract birding enthusiasts to Laredo.  A local group of birding enthusiasts has formed a Laredo International Birding Association and they are also promoting Laredo through their own network. He mentioned that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is in the process of developing a new wildlife trail to be called the “Heart of Texas” trail that will originate here at Laredo. 

 

Cm. E. Valdez expressed his appreciation to Don Raulie and his staff for the diligent assistance they provided in coordinating the Street Rod event.  This was a first-time activity held in Laredo and LCVB facilitated the arrangements for the organizers of this successful event.

 

35.  Staff report on the five voluntary and five unilateral annexation tracts proposed for

       calendar year 2000.

 

        Keith Selman, Planning and Zoning Director, reported on the service plan for the annexations of the tracts listed below.

 

        Voluntary Annexations:

 

        Tract 1:  Dolores Ranch Tract - 169.195 acres, more or less, located north of F.M. 255 and west of F.M. 1472.  Petitioner:  Ramsa Properties, Inc.  (approx. 70% complete)

 

        Tract 2:  Killam Industrial Tract – 207.4636 acres, more or less, located north of Killam Industrial Blvd. and west or IH-35.  Petitioner:  Killam Industrial Development

        Partnership, Ltd. (approx. 70% complete)

 

        Tract 3:  Killam Ponderosa Tract – 194.8842 acres, more or less, located north and south of the future Clark Blvd. extension and east of Loop 20.  Petitioner:  Killam

        Development Corporation.  (approx. 70% complete)

 

        Tract 4:  Hurd Tract – 124.6586 acres, more or less, located north of F.M. 3464  and west of IH-35.  Petitioner:  Hurd Urban Development, Inc. (approx. 70% complete)

 

        Tract 5:  Treviño Tract – 1.971 acres, more or less, located east of Loop 20 and north of S.H. 359.  Petitioner:  Humberto Treviño.  (approx. 70% complete)

 

        Unilateral Annexations:

 

        Tract 6:  Tex-Mex Railway Tract – 228.6075 acres, more or less, located north of the City of Laredo Landfill on Hwy. 359.  Petitioner:  City of Laredo.  (approx. 60% complete)

 

        Tract 7:  Mines Road Tract – 14.817 acres, more or less, located east of the intersection

        of  F.M. 1472 and El Pico Road.  Petitioner:  City of Laredo (approx. 60% complete)

 

        Tract 8:  Wormser Road Tract – 5.9861 acres, more or less, located north of Wormser Road and east of Ejido Ave.  Petitioner:  City of Laredo (approx. 60% complete)

 

        Tract 9:  Life Downs Tract – Petitioner:  City of Laredo (approx. 10% complete)

       

        Tract 10: Lake Casa Blanca Tract – Petitioner:  City of Laredo (approx. 10% complete)

 

Motion to postpone annexation of Life Downs until the survey of the tract is performed in the first quarter of 2001.

 

       Moved:  Cm.  Galo

        Second:  Cm.  Agredano

        For:  7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

        Keith Selman noted that they would need to identify resources for the survey work that this annexation will entail. 

 

        Mayor Flores responded that the City Manager’s Office would find the necessary resources for this to be work to be carried out.

 

36.  Presentation by M. Personnett and Associates about future opportunities to purchase

Rio Grande water rights as a result of Senate Bill I (Regional Water Planning Group) recommendation.

 

                    Fernando Roman, Utilities Director, and Mr. Mike Personnett made a presentation before City Council.  He summarized on some of the concepts that he is proposing to the City of Laredo.

                    Strategies for acquisition of Rio Grande water rights:

                   

·        Continued urbanization of irrigated lands in the Lower Rio Grande Valley

 

o       Irrigation demands are projected to decrease significantly due

to urbanization

 

·        Partnerships with Irrigation District to implement agricultural water

Conservation programs

 

o       Provide financing for efficiency improvements in exchange for

a portion of the conserved water supply

 

o       Lease-back irrigation rights until needed for municipal use

 

·        Partnerships with other municipal/industrial water users to develop supplemental and/or substitute water supplies

 

o       Provide financing for the development of alternative water sources (e.g., groundwater, reclaimed water) in exchange for Rio Grande water rights

 

Water Supply/Demand Analysis and Recommended Strategies

For Meeting Future Water Needs

City of Laredo 2000-2050

 

 

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Population

188,525

251,238

328,439

428,492

450,462

473,958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projected Water Demand

42,235

52,964

65,927

84,571

88,339

92,483

Current Water Supply

43,573

43,573

43,573

43,573

43,573

43,573

Projected Water Supply Needs

1,338

-9,391

-22,354

-40,998

-44,766

-48,910

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Management Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add’l Water Conservation

0

1,059

2,637

5,074

7,067

9,248

Non-Potable Water Reuse

0

1,059

1,978

4,229

4,417

4,624

Groundwater Development

0

5,475

7,212

10,950

10,950

10,950

Acquisition of Rio Grande

0

1,798

10,527

20,745

22,332

24,088

     Water Rights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total “New” Supply

0

9,391

22,354

40,998

44,766

48,910

 

 

                   Cm. Valdez inquired whether they anticipate any legislative changes that will facilitate 

                   municipalities from acquiring water rights from those people who own the water rights  

                   further south of Laredo. 

 

                   

 

 Mr. Personnett commented that most of the districts own rights to air space in the 

                    reservoirs mainly because the reservoir counts are currently low.  He stated that he did not anticipate any legislative changes other than the fact that the planning group recognizes this financing problem in agriculture and has strongly endorsed efforts to combine both state and federal assistance.  He noted that there is pending legislation to provide $75,000,000 of initial assistance that would be matched with state funds in order to set in motion these conservation efforts.

 

                    Cm. Galo suggested for the city to look into establishing a partnership with Mexico over water rights.  He inquired whether there is some mechanism by which our city could do improvements on the other side of the border. 

 

                  He stated that he is not aware of any mechanism at the present time that would allow exchanges of water rights across an international boundary.

 

                  Mayor Flores inquired as to what type of attention does the conservation issue receive and how do they intend to address conservation of the Rio Grande water. 

 

                  He stated that they would address this conservation issue from two approaches: one would be by doing more with the same amount of water; the other is by developing a larger water supply.  He says he has personally worked on three regional plans and he has seen a higher incidence of work on groundwater development, exportation, and importation.

 

37.  Quarterly report on the City's Down Payment Assistance Program under the

Department of Housing and Urban Development, HOME Investment Partnership Program.           

 

                    Erasmo Villarreal, Community Development Director, reported that the City’s Down Payment Assistance Program has two different categories.  For people who are at 80% of median income, they lend up to $6,000.00 and for those who are up to 60% of median income, they lend up to $9,000.00.  He provided some history on how the program has evolved over the last three years.  From October, 1997, to September, 1998, they provided 49 loans for a total of $97,163.14.  Out of that total, 26 of loans were for people who were at 60% of median income and 23 of loans were for people who were at 80% of median income.  The average loan amount was $1,982.00. 

                    The following fiscal year, October, 1998, to September, 1999, they provided 47 loans for a total of $320,408.00.  Out of that total, 33 of loans were for people who were at 60% of median income and 14 loans were for people who were at 80% of median income. The average loan amount increased to $6,817.00.  In the fiscal year which just ended, October, 1999, to September, 2000, they provided 125 loans for a total of $904,218.00.  Out of that total, 76 of those loans were for people who were at 60% of median income and 49 loans were for those people at 80% of median income.   The average loan amount increased to $7,233.00.  He mentioned that they have been working diligently with the builders association to ensure that the people become aware of this assistance program to assist them meet their goal of home ownership.

 

                    Cm. Guerra inquired about the impact fees implementation method.

 

                    Fernando Roman, Utilities Director, mentioned that they have had two meetings with the advisory committee and two consultants.  They decided that the one obstacle they encountered was that there was a huge implementation piece toward the end of the year.  Regardless of the amount of money they decided to be charged as a fee, they had to do a complete revamping of the other ordinances that have to do with items not on the CIP.  So, after having met with the consultants and the advisory committee, they are developing the scope of work for what needs to be done. 

 

                    Mayor Flores mentioned that at some point in time the City Council would want to look at the related costs in the development of land for building homes which is not always a city-related cost. 

 

                    Larry Dovalina, City Manager, stated that the City Manager’s Office is in the process of putting together a committee that will work with the Builders Association to streamline certain processes and part of that equation would be the impact fees.

 

                    Mayor Flores commented that the City really needs to publicize this and make the people aware of the actual costs involved and how they impact the land developers and ultimately the consumer.

 

                    Cm. Galo mentioned that he attended the last meeting of the Impact Fees Advisory Committee and he has spoken with the private sector and requested an example of the 20-acre subdivision with a breakdown of all costs.  The consultants are going to provide an analysis so that everyone can become aware of what the actual costs are. 

 

                    Mayor Flores inquired whether there are other concerns dealing with costs that the City Council should focus on from the developer’s point of view.

 

                    Edward Garza, with Crane Engineering, mentioned that his focus has been primarily on the sizing of trunk lines by trying to get more than one landowner involved in over sizing.  Another concern is making sure that when they put the pipe in the ground that it is the right size not strictly for the developers but for all parties involved.  Other issues that need to be addressed are those relative to costs of installing these lines dealing with standardization.  He mentioned that there is room for improvement specifically in costs relative to material.

 

                    Cm. Galo inquired as to what portion of the $904,218.00 that was loaned out to home buyers was supplied to the tax rolls.

 

                    Erasmo Villarreal, Community Development Director, mentioned that he could provide an estimated figure which is roughly $75,000.00 for an average loan.  Therefore, for the number of units that are given financing assistance, the portion being added to the tax rolls would be close to $10,000,000.00

                   

XIV.    EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

The City Council hereby reserves the right to go into executive session at any time during this public meeting, when it deems it necessary to consult privately with its attorney about any item upon this agenda, pursuant to the provisions of Section 551.071(2) of the Texas Government Code.

 

 

XV.      RECESS AND CONVENE AS THE LAREDO MASS TRANSIT BOARD

           

            Motion to recess as the City Council and convene as the Laredo Mass Transit Board.

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Galo

            Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Guerra

            For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

38.  Consideration to authorize the acceptance of a Vehicle Capitol Replacement Grant

(VCR) #R0101 (22) with the Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration, United States of America, in the amount of $459,834.00 for Fiscal Year 2000-2001 and providing for match of $166.00 as a result of a toll credit of $114,793.00 and authorizing the City Manager to execute the grant and all related documents.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Guerra

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

39.  Consideration to authorize a professional service agreement with Bringing Everyone

Special Together (Best), a Texas Non-Profit Organization, for transit-related services provided to Laredo Municipal Transit System (El Metro), on a month-to-month basis limited to one year.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Guerra

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

40.  Consideration to award a two (2) year contract to the LOW BIDDER, Rus of San

Antonio, in the amount of $31,018.00, for providing uniforms, entrance mats, shop aprons, dispenser towels, and laundry service for the Transit System's Maintenance Department and Transit Center personnel.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Amaya

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Motion to recess as the Laredo Transit Board and reconvene as the City Council.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

XVI.    ADJOURNMENT                                                                                 Time:  9:30 P.M.

 

      Motion to adjourn.

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Galo

            Second:  Cm.  Amaya

            For:     7                                               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 6th day of November, 2000.

 

 

 

                                                                                                _______________________________
                                                                                                Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                                                                City Secretary