CITY OF LAREDO

                                                    CITY COUNCIL MEETING

                                                                  M-2001-R-18

                                                  CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

                                                     1110 HOUSTON STREET

                                                       LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

                                                                JULY 16, 2001

                                                                     5:30 P.M.

 

I.      CALL TO ORDER

 

            With a quorum present, 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.,                                                         Mayor Pro Tempore, District V

            Joe A. Guerra,                                                              Council Member, 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

            Homero Martinez,                                                        Assistant City Attorney

 

IV.       MINUTES

           

Approval of the minutes of June 1, 2001, June 4, 2001, and June 12, 2001.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Guerra

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     8                                  Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

V.        COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

Announcements

 

Mayor Flores announced that the Honorable Henry Cuellar, Secretary of the State, would be addressing the House Committee in Washington on Transportation Transit.  She added  the City would be providing written testimony only due to a short notice.

 

Cm.  Ramirez expressed his thanks to all individuals who assisted in the success of the

July 4th Celebration at West Martin Field.

 

Cm.  Guerra submitted two letters for the record to the City Secretary’s Office.  The first letter was in reference to an item on the agenda.  He read the following excerpts from the second letter:

 

“Also, it was brought to my attention that Robert R.  Marshall and Carlos Mejia P. E. (who is the Engineer in charge of the development) have requested an authorization from the City of Laredo, to enable Robert R. Marshall and his employees to remove excess fill dirt from TRACT I to be piled on TRACT II.  This will not only create a dangerous erosion flow of mud, during a rain even, into properties that are down stream of their property but an accumulation of silt in the creek bed, thereby increasing the danger of flood on the community and its properties.

 

“At this time I must bring to your attention the catastrophic flood events that developed in the Houston area because of the poor Storm Water Management control and as a concern citizen I MUST respectfully request that you direct staff to:

 

1.  Request from Robert R. Marshall and Amy Isabel to remove all fill that has

     changed  the natural flow of Storm Water.

 

2.  Request from Robert R.  Marshall and Carlos Mejia the Endangered Species and

     Historical sites Studies, which were to be submitted with the Notice of Intent 

     (NOI)

 

3.  Enforce all penalties and fines that have developed by his illegal and

unauthorized Actions.  (They are cited to appear before the Municipal Court this week.)

 

This letter is being submitted to you as the Governing body of the City of Laredo and as representatives of the Community, I believe that if you take FIRM action against these people you will not only be saving lives and properties but also you will be saving tax payers dollars by avoiding future liabilities.

 

Sincerely Yours,

Luz M.  Dominguez”

 

Mayor Pro Tempore Valdez announced the Gold Star Mothers Ceremony will be held in July. 

 

Cm.  Amaya commented that his District was proud to host the recent little league tournament.

 

Cm.  Galo informed the public that the beams for Chacon Creek Bridge arrived and construction has commenced.  The bridge will be completed by mid-August. 

 

Cm.  Bruni submitted the Southwest Texas Rain Enhancement Association reports to the City Secretary, and he read the following excerpts from an article printed in the San Antonio Express:

 

“The once mighty Rio Grande is so puny here that a park ranger boasts he can spit across it to the other side.  The river is so tainted with salts and chemicals that the fish, birds and animals that rely on it are beginning to disappear.  The endless vistas that staggered the senses a decade ago are largely resigned to memory. 

Air pollution from factories and power plants hundreds of miles away not only obscures visibility but settles into the dry soil, further threatening the plants and animals that compose the fragile desert ecology.

 

Immense, remote and undeveloped, Big Bend should be the last place in Texas to have such troubles. 

 

Yet the river is declining, the sky is worsening and almost everybody believes it will take years before any solution is posed.

 

The National Parks Conservation Association in April declared Big Bend to be one of American’s 10 most endangered national parks. 

 

The reasons:  Air pollution from industry on both sides of the U. S. – Mexico border frequently shrouds faraway mountains in a foggy white haze.  Agriculture and municipal water use is transforming the Rio Grande into a contaminated drainage ditch.

 

“To a national park, air and water quantity and quality are its life-blood,” said Dave Simon, Southwest regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association, the nation’s leading park advocacy group.  “The vital signs for Big Bend are very, very disturbing.”  Two of the park’s most awe-inspiring experiences have been views of the park’s infinite landscapes and traveling down the Rio Grande on a raft to witness Santa Elena’s 1,500 foot walls.

 

Yet the chances of a visitor enjoying either experience are as low as they’ve ever been. 

 

“Since the first time I came out, it’s noticeably less clear,” said Mike McDonough, a Houston residents.

 

“It concentrates everything,” she said, adding that chemicals, sediments and heavy metals can choke the life out of a river.

 

A bi-national study of toxic substances in the Rio Grande has found extremely high levels of chlorides, or salts and metals in the river within Big Bend. 

 

Mexicans who live across from Big Bend have started to complain. 

 

Some people have said that sometimes when they go in the river it stings them, such as when they have cuts on their legs, Purchase said.  “That could be from the chlorides, if you put salt water on something it hurts.”

 

The river’s native wildlife also is effected by the change in river chemistry.

 

It changes the biology of the river.  It creates an environment that becomes less suitable for freshwater species,”  Purchase said.  “It may tend  to push them out and you may get more non-native or salt tolerant species.  We are finding limited aquatic life.” 

 

Upstream dams and the elimination of environmentally beneficial floodwaters have also altered habitat along the river.

 

Most big, broad river systems meander around and they have a lot of wetlands associated with them and we’re losing that,” Purchase said.

 

“The river has suffered immense degradation,” said Raymond Skiles, Big Bend’s wildlife biologist.  “quite often we say we’re trying to save it, and we are, but I think we have to realize that what we’re doing is just trying to slow down is demise.”

 

Preliminary studies of tissue from birds collected along the river have revealed levels of mercury – which could come from old mines in or near the park or faraway power plants – that exceed levels known to cause harm to reproduction.

 

At least four species of native mussels, which help filter and clean water in the Rio Grande, are either vanishing or are already gone.

 

“Once you start restricting the water in the river, then the riparian vegetation zone gets smaller,” Skiles said.  “It doesn’t produce as many small birds and small mammals for the predators to consume, so everything up the line, from bobcats to peregrine falcons, are all having to reduce their potential because of the dwindling lifeline of the Rio Grande.”

 

Cm.  Agredano expressed his thanks to the Police Department for attending a second meeting with the residents at Century City.  He added that there has been a decline in criminal activity due to the successful meetings. 

 

Invitations

 

The Mayor read an invitation from the Gold Star Parents of Laredo.  They are hosting a luncheon for individuals that have lost a loved one in fight for freedom.  The luncheon will take place at the Rio Grande Hotel Plaza on Saturday July 21st at 1 p.m.

 

Recognitions

 

None.

 

Communiqués

 

A.  The Church of the Crossroads Associate Pastor Kathy Baker and the Youth Directors would like to invite the Mayor and the City Council Members to the 10th Annual South Texas Youth Conference 2001 on August 1, at 6:00 p.m.

 

       The youth from Church of the Crossroads invited the Mayor and City Council to attend 

       the South Texas Youth Conference to be held on Wednesday August 1, 2001 at 6 p.m.  

       The conference originally began in 1991 with 100 attendees and has blossomed to 1000 

       attendees.      

 

B.  Mr.  Joseph Chalko spoke of a proposal to declare or designate July 8th  as Liberty Bell Day. 

 

 VI.      APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSION, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

 

A.  Appointment by Council Member Jose Valdez, Jr., of Joel H. Gutierrez Jr., to the Telecommunications Committee.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo 

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:      8                                        Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

B.  Appointment by Council Member Joe A. Guerra of David Flores to the Vehicles for Hire Ad Hoc Committee.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Agredano

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:      8                                        Against: 0                                 Abstain:  0

 

 VII.    PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

1.   Public hearing to amend the City of Laredo Fiscal Year 2000 General Fund annual budget by appropriating revenues and expenditures in the amount of $137,481.00 from a Lease Purchase Agreement to finance the acquisition of the upgrade of the AS/400 Computer System.

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

            Amend the City of Laredo Fiscal Year 2000 General Fund annual budget by appropriating revenues and expenditures in the amount of $137,481.00 from a Lease Purchase Agreement to finance the acquisition of the upgrade of the AS/400 Computer System.

 

            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. Bruni

            For:    8                                          Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

2.   Public hearing providing community residents an opportunity to comment on the City of Laredo Draft 2001 Consolidated One Year Action Plan that will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding the use of the 27th Action Year Community Development Block Grant ($4,485,000.00), Program Income ($89,975.00), HOME Investment Partnerships Program ($1,504,000.00), and Emergency Shelter Grant ($152,000.00).  The following projects are proposed and subject to City Council approval.

 

27th AY Community Development Block Grant

 

Community Development Administration                                         $610,912        

                  Housing Rehabilitation Administration                                              $189,513

                  Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program                                              $250,000     

                  Code Enforcement                                                                          $320,179

Graffiti Removal Program                                                                $  27,714

Hamilton Hotel - Section 108 Loan Repayment                               $235,000

Sidewalk Approaches to Schools (District V)                                  $325,000

                  Demolition of Substandard Structures                                               $50,000

                  Chacon Creek Acquisition                                                              $150,000

                  Ejido Street Extension                                                                  $1,000,000

                  (Includes Program Income of $89,975)

                  Santa Rita Park – Phase II                                                              $325,000

                  Tinaja/Chacon Pilot Channel – Phase II (Acquisition)                        $91,657

                  Inner City Park                                                                               $325,000

                  Lafayette Linear Park                                                                     $325,000

                  El Cuatro Park                                                                               $250,000

                  City Wide – ADA Improvements                                                     $50,000

                  Homeless Coalition – Homeless Shelter                                            $50,000

                       

2001 HOME Investment Partnerships Grant

                       

HOME Program Administration                                                      $144,400

Down Payment Assistance                                                              $834,000

                  Tenant-Based Rental Assistance                                                     $300,000

                  Community Housing Development Organizations                             $225,600

                       

 

2001 Emergency Shelter Grant

 

ESG Program Administration                                                              $3,000

Homeless Prevention Program                                                          $45,600

                  Homeless Shelter Program (Operations)                                          $103,400  

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Amaya

            For:     8                                         Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Amaya

            For:    8                                          Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

3.   Public hearing amending the contract with the Texas Department of Health and

amending the City of Laredo FY 2000-2001 budget in the amount of $400,000.00 for the new “Mosquito Abatement Project” of the City of Laredo Health Department for a two-year project period beginning September 1, 2001, through August 31, 2003. (Approval of Resolution 2001-R-078 before Public Hearing)

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

Amending the contract with the Texas Department of Health and amending the City of Laredo FY 2000-2001 budget in the amount of $400,000.00 for the new “Mosquito Abatement Project” of the City of Laredo Health Department for a two-year project period beginning September 1, 2001, through August 31, 2003.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Bruni

For:            8                                  Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm. Agredano

Second:  Cm. J. Valdez, Jr.

For:            8                                  Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

4.   Public hearing amending the contract with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation

Commission (TNRCC) and amending the City of Laredo FY 2000-2001 budget in the amount of $70,000.00 to continue the operation of the two continuous air monitoring stations (CAMS) by the City of Laredo Health Department for the period beginning September 1, 2001, through August 31, 2002. (Approval of Resolution 2001-R-079 before Public Hearing)

 

INTRODUCTION OF AN ORDINANCE

Amending the contract with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) and amending the City of Laredo FY 2000-2001 budget in the amount of $70,000.00 to continue the operation of the two continuous air monitoring stations (CAMS) by the City of Laredo Health Department for the period beginning September 1, 2001, through August 31, 2002.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:            8                                  Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore E. Valdez, Jr.

For:            8                                  Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

VIII.   GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

5.   A.  Request by Council Member Louis H. Bruni

 

      1.  Discussion and possible action on the City of Laredo’s Employee retirement plan.

 

            Armando Elizondo, Vice-President of the Laredo Police Officers Association, referred to Article 17 of the present Police Contract, which refers to the City’s Pension Retirement plan.  It states that after June 4th upon request of the association the City shall enter into meaningful discussion regarding the possibility of increasing the City’s contribution rate and in the employee contribution rate.  He added that on September 5th of last year the City Council instructed Dan Migura to work out a planning process with the Benefits Committee for the purpose of creating a sound retirement system for police officers and other city employees.  To this date two meetings have been held without any results.  He stated that the City has taken no action. The association has contacted other departments in Cities that are the size of Laredo and discovered that only two cities in Texas do not have the 21% retirement system that is allowed under Texas Municipal Retirement System; Laredo is one of them. 

           

            Dan Migura, Administrative Services Director, gave a brief history of changes that enhanced the retirement plan.  In 1996 the City increased the employees contribution from 3% to 5%.  The number of years required changed from 25 years of service to 20 years at any age.  In January of 1998 the City changed the contribution amount.  Finally, he stated that the City does not have funds to upgrade the retirement plan. 

 

            Cm.  Galo asked about a workshop from Texas Municipal Retirement System.

         

2.  Status report on the speed humps between Arkansas and Bartlett on O’Kane Street, with possible action.

 

      Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, reported that as per an analysis that was conducted, the area of Arkansas and Bartlett does merit a speed hump.  However, they cannot finalize the project until they have a petition from the residents with 100% agreed signatures.   

     

3.   Discussion and possible action on installing speed humps between the 2800 and 3200 block of Montgomery.

 

      Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, reiterated that his department would follow the policy passed by Council to include Lyon and Montgomery on the speed hump project.   

 

B.  Request by Council Member Johnny Amaya

 

1.  Discussion with possible action on the Lyon Street Skate Park.

 

Cm. Amaya informed the Council that his constituents would like to have bathroom facilities, public telephones, more police patrol and a concession stand.

 

Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, gave a brief explanation of the improvements that are currently in progress at the Lyon Street Skate Park.  He added that Parks’ staff is optimistic about a grant application, which was submitted to the Texas Parks and Wildlife.  Finally, he assured the Council that the park is a success and there have been no complaints. 

 

2.  Status report on the new Inner City Park, with possible action.

 

Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, informed the Council that staff will be meeting with the consultants for the Inner City Park, and they will negotiate a fee and take it before Council for approval.

 

Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, stated that one of the proposals is to create a little league baseball park.  Staff has a meeting with the district representative for the little league so he can inform staff about the boundaries that are changing as a result of redistricting. 

 

C.   Request by Mayor Pro-Tempore Eliseo Valdez, Jr.

 

1.  Status report on the turning lane on the corner of Springfield and Calle del Norte Ave.

 

      Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, explained that the contractor was finishing other projects before he continued construction on July 23, 2001.  He added that the work is being done behind the existing curb to avoid interference to pedestrians and or vehicular traffic. 

 

2.  Discussion with possible action on the concrete lining of the creek areas north of Gale St.

 

      Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, reported that Phase I including Gale Street is complete.  He added that they are currently working in the Hidden Meadows Subdivision, and the design is 98% complete.  Finally, he stated that they would submit bids once the funding is in place.

 

      Mayor Pro Tempore Valdez stressed his desire to establish a criteria for the completion of projects. 

                       

3.  Status report on the proposed bus shelters on District V.

 

Peter Behrman, El Metro Manager, reported on the bus shelter locations.  He said that there are two shelter programs.  He said that one program involves advertising shelters being built by Lamar, an advertising agency, and are built at no cost to the City.   He stated that Lamar is taking longer than expected due to conflicting issues between Lamar and the City staff.  He added that the other shelter is called the sunshade shelters, which are built and maintained by the City.

 

Mayor Flores suggested that for future contracts the City should dictate where shelters will be placed. 

 

Cm.  Guerra expressed his disappointment with the progress of the bus shelters. 

 

Homero Martinez, Assistant City Attorney, told the Council that displeasure or praise concerning Laredo Metro Inc., and Peter Behrman should be reported to the Laredo Metro Board.  

 

Peter Behrman gave the names of the Board of Directors for the Laredo Metro Inc.

 

Mayor Pro Tempore Valdez asked Peter Behrman to place the Lamar shades on the next Laredo Metro Board of Directors agenda so they may address the conflicting issues.   

 

Peter Behrman said that Lamar will construct 50 shades with construction commencing on July 25th. 

 

Cm.  J.  Valdez questioned who chooses the Laredo Metro Board of Directors.

 

Homero Martinez, Assistant City Manager, explained the protocol and procedures for selection the Laredo Metro Inc. Board of Directors.  

 

Cm.  Guerra expressed his displeasure in Peter Behrman’s performance. 

 

Mayor Flores asked the City Manager to include the bus shelters on the next council meeting and consequential agendas until they are complete. 

 

Advertising shelter                                               Sunshade Shelter

 

District I

 

1-055  Chestnut Street @ New York          1-125  Corrada @ Sierra Vista

1-066 Zacatecas Street @ S.  Milmo           1-057  S.  Meadow @ Boulanger

                                                                   1-032  New York @ San Salvador

                                                                   1-055  Chestnut @ New York

                                                                   1-017  Ireland @ Louisiana

                                                                   1-041  Zapata Hwy @ Zacatecas

                                                                   1-025  New York @ Southgate

District II

 

2-146 Market @ Martin St.                        2-046  Casa Blanca Rd. @ T. D. H. S.

2-145 Hillside Ave. @ Post Oak St.

2-043 Saunders Rd. @ HEB

2-164 Saunders RD. @ Milmo

2-165 Saunders Rd @ Ejido

2-140 Clark Blvd. @ Seymour St.

2-131 Arkansas Ave @ Miers St.

 

District III

 

3-154  Corpus Chr. St. & Hendricks           3-073  Seymour @ Laredo

3-182  Market St. @ Urbahn St.                 3-040 Corpus Christi @ Bartlett

3-091  S. Meadow @ Willow St.

3-197  S.  Meadow @ Mercer

3-045 Corpus Christi St. @ Mc Pherson Rd.

3-175  Market St. @ Hendricks

3-069  Market St. @ Loring St.

3-153  Corpus Christi St. @ Cedar

3-179 Market St. @ Meadow St.

 

District IV

 

4-118  Springfield @ Lyon                          4-100  Springfield @ Ash

4-106  Springfield @ Stewart                      4-056  Plum @ Seymour

4-039  Springfield @ Gustavus                    4-049  Cedar @ Price

4-046  Springfield @ Travis St.

4-116  Saunders Rd. @ Tilden St.

4-094  Saunders Rd. @ Lexington St.

4-075  Clark Blvd. @ Springfield

 

 

 

District V

 

5-062  Meadow Ave. @ San Carlos St.      5-012  Gale @ Springfield

5-037  McPherson Rd. @ Hillside Ave.       5-064  San Francisco @ Blair

5-053  Meadow Ave. @ San Carlos St.      5-051  McPherson @ Ryan

5-034  McPherson @ Broadacres Apts.

5-044  Calle Del Norte @ Kircher Apts.

 

District VI

 

6-116  Hillside Av e @ Gallagher St.           6-012  Springfield @ Sunset

6-111  Del Mar @Country Club Rd.           6-104  Del Mar @ McPherson Dr.

6-110  San Dario @K-Mart North Ent.       6-052  Del Mar @ McPherson Dr.

6-108  McPherson @Country Club Rd.      6-048  Del Mar @ Candlewood

6-055  McPherson @International Blvd.

6-104  Del Mar Blvd. @ McPherson Rd.

6-114  McPherson Rd. @ Shiloh Drive

6-115 Shiloh Drive @ McPherson Rd.

 

District VII

 

7-098  San Bernardo @ Frankfort St.         7-055  Bristol Rd. @ Mines Rd.

7-116  Santa Maria @ Jackson St.              7-129  Rancho Viejo @ Mines Rd.

7-100 San Bernardo @ Lafayette

7-003  Santa Maria @ Blair

7-104  San Francisco St. @ Poggenphol

7-018  San Bernardo Ave. @ Motel 6

7-097  San Bernardo Ave @ Chicago

7-131  Santa Maria Ave. @ Blair St.

7-132  Santa Maria Ave @ Burnside St.

7-013  San Bernardo Ave. @ Calton Rd.

7-096  San Bernardo Ave. @ Burnside

7-133  Santa Maria Ave. @ Lafayette

7-020  San Bernardo Ave. @ Outback Steak House

7-134  Santa Maria Ave. @ Pierce St.

 

District VIII

 

8-107 Santa Maria Ave. @ Sanchez St.      8-200  Santa Maria @ Washington      

8-201  San Bernardo @ Houston St.           8-206  Santa Maria @ Jefferson

8-025  San Bernardo Ave. @ Bruni St.       8-012  Santa Maria @ Park

8-194  Park St. @ San Bernardo Ave.

 

4.  Discussion with possible action on the Skate Park equipment for the northeast Hillside Recreation Center.  (Co-sponsored by Council Member Joe A. Guerra)

 

Rene Perales spoke in favor of a skate park in north Laredo.  He added that it would deter criminal activity among youth.

 

Santiago Sandoval emphasized Rene Perales’ statement. 

 

Bobby Batey spoke in favor of a skate park in North Laredo.

 

Cynthia Perales, mother of Rene Perales, spoke in favor of a skate park in North Laredo.

 

Mayor Flores asked Mrs. Perales if she had approached the school districts to see if the children could use their parking lots. 

 

Mrs.  Perales answered no.

 

Paul Buitron, spokesperson from VIDA, expressed his concern about the youth in North Laredo and asked the Laredo Police Department to have patience with  the youth that are skating in prohibited places.

 

     Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, reported that staff is working

     diligently to present a proposal for the skate park which will cost approximately

     $60,000, as opposed to the current skate park which cost the City $140,000 plus. 

 

     Motion to proceed and expedite the construction of the skate park for the Hillside

     Recreation Park.

 

     Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Valdez

     Second:  Cm.  Bruni

     For:     8                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

                             

D.   Request by Council Member Joe A. Guerra

 

1.  Discussion and possible action on converting Yeary Ave. to a one-way north.

 

      Cm.  Guerra requested a feasibility study converting Yeary Ave. to a one-way north bound street.  He also requested a solution for the traffic congestion on San Francisco. 

 

      Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, stated that staff is working very diligently to solve the congestion problem on Yeary and San Francisco.  He expressed his desire to present the item to the Traffic Advisory Committee for their input and requested a public hearing so the general public can give their input.  Finally, he stated that he was working with TxDOT, and they will put up a U-Turn going West to alleviate some of the congestion.  

                 

E.   Request by Council Member Juan Ramirez

 

1.  Discussion and possible action on the Ordinance setting the garbage 

     fees.

 

     Cm.  Ramirez asked to postpone this item.

 

 

 

2.  Status report on the Azteca Neighborhood clean up down by the riverbank.

 

     Larry Dovalina, City Manager, said that staff was scheduled to clean up the

     riverbank in May, but had problems getting on the tract of land.  Public

     Works cleared the right-of-way that belongs to the City.  Currently, there has been a delay due to the weather.  The clean up will proceed in September.  

 

3.  Status report on the response time by the Police Department on  

     different situations.

 

     Cm.  Ramirez voiced his frustration with the police department.   

 

     Agustin Dovalina, Police Chief, noted that in 1999 the communications received

     401,114 calls.  In 2000 the calls increased to 441,374.  He reported that each call

     is taken very seriously and is prioritized into one of the three categories.  He 

     stressed that his department is very attentive to the needs of the City.  He

     acknowledged that there is room for improvement in his department; however,

     he is confident and satisfied with the performance of his officers.  

 

     He explained the following procedures for prioritizing calls: 

 

  Priority One             A request for service with an emergency nature that requires

an immediate response by the police department; i.e.:

collisions with injuries, crimes in progress, life endangerment.

 

Priority Two           A request for service that may be somewhat urgent in nature but does not require an immediate response by the police department because there is no immediate danger or loss of life or injury to property.

 

   Priority Three         All other calls.  An officer will arrive at the scene according   

                                 to the volume of calls.

 

IX.       INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

6.   An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a Foreign-Trade Zone Operator Agreement with Trade Unlimited, Inc., to operate an approximate 28,400 square foot facility within Foreign-Trade Zone No. 94-Site 3 located at the Killam Industrial Park for a term of one (1) year with two (2) one (1) year renewal options ending on July 31, 2004.  The FTZ Board has approved this site; providing for an effective date.  

 

      Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

7.   Authorizing the City Manager to execute a Lease Agreement with Adolfo Gutierrez as described on attached Exhibit “A”, for and on behalf of the City of Laredo for 15,679.91 sq. ft. tract of land, more or less, out of that former section of Farias Street between San Dario and San Eduardo Avenues and out of a portion of a drainage easement adjoining the former street, said tract abutting Lot 1, Block 1102-A, Western Division, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas for the proposed use of improving the scenery of the tract, and for additional parking/access space for a term of four (4) years for substantial monetary or like consideration in the form of enhancements, for public purposes, of the City property; provided however, that the City be held harmless on all of its easements, including, but not limited to, drainage; and that all easements, whether or not recorded, shall be held to remain intact; and providing for an effective date.

 

      Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

8.  Closing as a public easement those sections of:

 

A.  The 2200 block of Cleveland Street between Bartlett and Jarvis Avenues.

 

B.  The 600 block of South Jarvis Avenue between the South property line of Block 1292-A, Eastern Division and Cleveland Street, including the intersection of Cleveland Street and Jarvis Avenue situated in the Eastern Division, City of Laredo, County of Webb, Texas; and providing for an effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

   X.     FINAL READINGS OF ORDINANCES 

 

            Internet available:  www.ci.laredo.tx.us

 

Motion to waive the final readings of Ordinance 2001-O-137; 2001-O-138; 2001-O- 139; 2001-O-140; 2001-O-141; 2001-O-142; 2001-O-143; 2001-O-144; and 2001-O-145.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Cm. Agredano

            For:      8                                              Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

9.  2001-O-137  Authorizing the City Manager to amend the City of Laredo’s 2000-2001 annual budget in the amount of $57,723.00 to fund the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant.  The Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division will be designating $51,951.00 and the City of Laredo will be designating $5,772.00 in matching funds.  Funding will be used to pay for salaries, fringe benefits and to purchase computers.  Grant period is from August 1, 2001 through July 31, 2002.  (City Council)

 

                           Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-137.

 

                           Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                           For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

  2001-O-138  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease  with South Texas Development Council for approximately 2,048 square feet constituting Suite Nos. 12, 14, 16 and 18 of Building No. S-1 located at 1718 E. Calton Road at the Laredo International Airport.  Lease term is for one (1) year commencing on July 1, 2001 and ending on June 30, 2002, and may be extended for one (1) term of one (1) year ending on June 30, 2003.  Monthly rent shall be $2,580.50 and will be adjusted annually according to changes in the Consumer Price Index; providing for an effective date. (City Council)

 

                           Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-138.

 

                           Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

  2001-O-139  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease   with South Texas Development Council for approximately 480 square feet constituting Suite No. 15 of Building No. S-1 located at 1718 E. Calton Road at the Laredo International Airport.  Lease term is for one (1) year commencing on July 1, 2001 and ending on June 30, 2002, and may be extended for one (1) term of one (1) year ending on June 30, 2003.  Monthly rent shall be $605.00 and will be adjusted annually according to changes in the Consumer Price Index; providing for an effective date. (City Council)

 

                           Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-139.

 

                           Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 2001-O-140  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease  with South Texas Development Council for approximately 640 square feet constituting Suite No. 19 of Building No. S-1 located at 1718 E. Calton Road at the Laredo International Airport.  Lease term is for one (1) year commencing on July 1, 2001 and ending on June 30, 2002, and may be extended for one (1) term of one (1) year ending on June 30, 2003.  Monthly rent shall be $807.00 and will be adjusted annually according to changes in the Consumer Price Index; providing for an effective date. (City Council)

 

                           Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-140.

 

 

                           Moved:  Cm. Bruni 

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 2001-O-141  An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease with Laredo Guardian Volunteers, Inc., for approximately 300 square feet constituting Suite No. 23 of Building No. S-1 located at 1718 E. Calton Road at the Laredo International Airport.  Lease term is for one (1) year commencing on June 1, 2001 and ending on May 31, 2002, and may be extended for two (2) terms of one (1) year each ending on May 31, 2003 and May 31, 2004.  Monthly rent shall be $378.00 and will be adjusted annually during the primary and extension terms of this lease according to changes in the Consumer Price Index; providing for an effective date.   (City Council)

 

                        Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-141.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 2001-O-142   An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the amended lease agreement between the City of Laredo Airport Fund, as LESSOR, and City of Laredo-Engineering Department, authorized by Ordinance No. 99-0-113 dated April 26, 1999.  Said amendment will amend, specifically, Section 1.02, titled, “Term”, extending the lease term for one (1) year ending on September 30, 2001; Section 1.03, titled, “Option to Extend”, therefore ending on September 30, 2002; Section 1.05, titled, “Rental Obligation”, adding that the monthly rent commencing on October 1, 2000 and ending on September 30, 2001, shall be $1,507.68; and Section 1.07, titled, “Utilities”, has been replaced in its entirety delineating that Lessor shall provide all utilities during normal business hours, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday; all other terms remain unchanged and in effect; providing for an effective date. (City Council)

 

                        Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-142.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni 

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

           

 2001-O-143   An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the lease with Juan Vargas d/b/a The Education Center authorized by Ordinance No. 2000-0-196 dated August 7, 2000.  Said amendment will amend specifically, Section 1.03, titled, “Option to Extend”, therefore extending the option term until June 30, 2002, and Section 1.04, titled, “Rental Obligation”, will amend the monthly rental to $2,000.00 commencing on July 1, 2001 and ending on June 30, 2002.  All other terms and conditions remain unchanged and in effect; providing for an effective date. (City Council)

 

                        Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-143.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 2001-O-144   An ordinance closing as a public easement that section of the 4000 block of Sta. Rita Avenue between Pace and Ugarte Streets situated in the Western Division, City of Laredo, County of Webb, Texas; and providing for an effective date. (City Council)

 

                        Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-144.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

    2001-O-145   An ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute all necessary documents to effectively convey an 11,640 sq. ft. Easement and Right-of-Way to AEP Central Power and Light Company, for the installation of certain underground electric service facilities to serve the premises at the International Airport Passenger Terminal Subdivision on Loop 20.   Said 11,640 sq. ft. Easement and Right-of-Way being part of Lot 1, Block 1, Laredo International Airport Passenger Terminal Subdivision, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas; being generally described below, and more particularly described by metes and bounds on attached Exhibit "A", and providing for an effective date. (City Council)

 

                        Motion to adopt Ordinance 2001-O-145.

 

Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. Galo

                        For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

  XI.     RESOLUTIONS

 

10.  2001-R-034  A resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into and  

                            execute an Interlocal Government Agreement between the City 

                            of Laredo and the County of Webb for the engineering, 

                            surveying, aerial photography and environmental assessment of 

                            the Cuatro Vientos Road Project with compensation in the 

                            amount not to exceed Four Hundred Ninety-Three Thousand,  

                            Six Hundred and Eighty-Four Dollars ($493,684.00) to be paid 

                            by the City of Laredo.  Funding is available through the 2000 

                            C.O. Issue.

 

                            Motion to approve Resolution 2001-R-034.

 

                            Moved:  Cm. Galo

                            Second:  Cm. Agredano

                            For:     6                               Against:  0                          Abstain:  2

                                                                                                                  Cm. Amaya

                                                                                                Mayor Pro Tem Valdez, Jr.

                                   

11. 2001-R-077  A resolution declaring the public necessity to acquire the “Surface Only” of 0.011 of an acre, more or less, parcel of land and a 0.283 of an acre, more or less, parcel of land, for the Milo Interchange Project.  Said two parcels being situated in Porcion 20, Abstract No. 48, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas; and Porcion 19, Abstract No. 47, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas; respectively, being generally described below, and more particularly described by metes and bounds on attached Exhibits “A” and “B”; and authorizing staff to negotiate with the owners for the acquisition of said parcels by 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 parcels if staff is unable to acquire through negotiations due to inability to agree to a purchase price, conflict of ownership, owner refusal to sell, and/or inability to locate a listed owner. 

 

                           Motion to approve Resolution 2001-R-077.

                          

                           Moved:  Cm. Galo

                           Second:  Cm. Agredano

                           For:    8                                Against:  0                          Abstain:  0

 

 12.  2001-R-078  A resolution accepting a grant from the Texas Department of 

                           Health in the amount of $400,000.00 for the new “Mosquito

                           Abatement Project” of the City of Laredo Health Department for

                           a two-year project period beginning September 1, 2001, through

                           August 31, 2003.

 

                           Motion to approve Resolution 2001-R-078.

                          

                           Moved:  Mayor Pro Tem Valdez, Jr.

                           Second:  Cm. Amaya

                           For:    8                    Against:  0                          Abstain:  0

 

 13.  2001-R-079  A resolution accepting a grant from the Texas Natural Resource 

                           Conservation Commission (TNRCC) in the amount of

                           $70,000.00 to continue the operation of two continuous air

                           monitoring stations (CAMS) by the City of Laredo Health

                           Department for the period beginning September 1, 2001, 

                           through August 31, 2002.

 

                           Motion to approve Resolution 2001-R-079.

                          

                           Moved:  Cm. Guerra

                           Second:  Cm. J. Valdez, Jr.

                           For:     8                   Against:  0                          Abstain:  0

 

 XII.    MOTIONS

 

14.  Consideration to amend an Interlocal Agreement between the City of Laredo   

       and Laredo Community College to provide Adult Basic Education, English as a 

       Second Language, Citizenship classes and distance learning courses at the

       Laredo Public Library and its branch libraries. 

 

       Motion to approve.

 

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

                For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0 

 

15.  Consideration to approve a contract with Graphitiks Advertising Design Inc., 

       Laredo, Texas, to design, produce, sell advertisement and print the 2002

       Laredo/Nuevo Laredo Official Visitors & Relocation Guide.  Graphitiks will

       print, at no cost to the City, 100,000 copies of the guide which is a 76 page full

       color magazine featuring Los Dos Laredos.   The Guide will be produced under

       the direction of the Laredo Convention and Visitor's Bureau as to the style,  

      design and content.

 

       Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

                For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0 

 

16.  Consideration to award contract number FY01-111, to the LOW BIDDER,  

       Game Time - Total Recreation Products, New Braunfels, Texas, in the amount

       of $41,254.00, for the purchase and installation of two playground modules. 

       One will be installed at the Benavides Complex and the other at Ochoa Park.     

       Funding is available in the Capital Improvement Project budget.     

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0 

 

17.  Consideration to award annual supply contract FY01-118 to the LOW

       BIDDERS, Southwest Stainless LLP DBA Hughes Supply, San Antonio, Texas

       ($80,110.99), Municipal Pipe and Supply, McAllen, Texas ($67,330.30), and

       US Filter Distribution Group, Laredo, Texas ($20,451.90), for the purchase of 

       water works materials for construction and repair projects by the Utilities 

       Department.   The City received four bids for an annual supply contract for  

       providing water materials such as mechanical joint retainer glands, brass and

       galvanized fittings, valve and meter boxes, and copper pipe for the Utilities

       Department - Water operations.   Funding is available in the Utilities

       Department Budget.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni 

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 

 

 

18.  Consideration to award construction contract number FY01-125, to the

       LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, Diaz Construction, Inc. of Laredo,

       Texas, in the amount of $30,900.00.  Construction will consist of the

       renovation of existing restrooms to meet ADA Standards at the

       Dryden/Optimist Little League Baseball Park located at 2700 Diaz Street. 

       Funding is available from Community Development Block Grant Funds – 25th

       Action year.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

19.  Consideration to award annual contract number FY01-129, to the LOW   

       BIDDER, Laredo Steel and Concrete Products, Laredo, Texas, in the estimated

       amount of $83,952.00, for the purchase of Portland cement sacks for the

       Utilities Department.  Funding is available in the Utilities Department Budget. 

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

20.  Consideration to award contract number FY01-132, to the SOLE BIDDER,

       Rankin Automatic Transmission, Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount of

       $71,985.00, for an annual contract for transmission repairs for the Fleet

       Maintenance Division. The bid pricing will be firm during the contract period 

       and all repair work will be secured on an as needed basis.  Funding is available

       in the Fleet Fund.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

21.  Consideration to award contract number FY01-133, to the LOW BIDDER,  

       South Texas Flag & Banner, Harlingen, TX., in the amount of $18,960.00, for 

       the purchase of three 80-foot flagpoles for the Bridge System. These flagpoles 

       will be used at the World Trade Bridge. Funding has been allocated in the 

       Bridge Fund.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

22.  Consideration to award contract number FY01-137, to the LOW BIDDERS, 

       Galls, Inc., Lexington, KY., in the amount of $15,266.60, for the purchase of

       holsters, belts, handcuffs, and other belt accessories; Skaggs, San Antonio,

       Texas, in the amount of $19,862.55, for the purchase of bike shorts and pants;

       and G.T. Distributors Inc., Austin, Texas, in the amount of $9,739.05, for the

       purchase of nylon holsters, belts, and accessories.  Funding is available in the 

       Police Department Budget.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

23.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of an additional airless, street marking 

       vehicle from the contract vendor, Super Precision Design, Fairfield, New 

       Jersey, in the amount of $54,750.00.  This unit will be acquired by the Airport 

       for runway and taxiway stripe and marking projects.   The City is purchasing 

       the same equipment recently authorized for the Traffic Safety Department 

       (contract FY01-079).  Funding is available in the Airport Fund. 

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

24.  Consideration for acceptance of the Police Substation located at Sierra Vista  

       and Cenizo Loop, approval of final payment in the amount of $17,927.80 to  

       Laredo Class One Builders, Inc., Laredo, Texas, and approval of the project 

       plaque.  Final contract amount is $123,982.00.  Funding is available in the  

       Capital Improvement Project District 1-COPS Substation.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

           

25.  Consideration for acceptance of the Laredo International Airport Passenger 

       Terminal and Related Airside/Landside Improvements Phase “C” (Landside

       and Landscape), approval of final payment in the amount of $45,000.00 to

       Krueger Construction Company, Victoria, Texas.  Final contract amount is

       $2,027,366.55.  Funding is available in the Airport Construction Fund FAA –

       Airside/Landside Improvements Other Than Buildings.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

 

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

26.  Consideration for approval of Change Order No. 2 a decrease of $1,351.22 for 

       the balance of quantities actually constructed in place, acceptance of the

       Demolition of Buildings 1450 and 1451 Laredo International Airport and

       approval of final payment in the amount of $19,483.94 to III PG Enterprises,

       Inc., Laredo, Texas.  Final contract amount is $194,839.36.  Funding is

       available in the Airport Construction Fund Grant #26 Demolition Costs.

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                          Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

27.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement with

       Graphitiks Advertising Design Inc., Laredo, Texas, to serve as the agency of 

       record for the City of Laredo/Convention & Visitors Bureau’s marketing

       campaign in Mexico. 

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                          Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

28.  Consideration to approve monthly adjustments to the tax roll.  The amount to

       be adjusted for the month of June 2001, which represents a decrease in levy, is

       $19,983.54.  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

 

29.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to renew the annual maintenance 

       agreement in the amount of $19,970.00 for the period of July 1, 2001, through

       June 30, 2002, with Q. S. Technologies, Inc., for the maintenance of the

       software that was specifically written for local health departments which was 

       upgraded last fiscal year at the City of Laredo Health Department. 

 

 Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Bruni 

       Second:  Cm. Galo

       For:     8                                          Against:  0                                Abstain:  0 

XIII.    STAFF REPORT

           

30.  Legislative Report on the Seventy-Seventh Texas Legislative Session by Mario 

       Martinez, Bob Strauser and Judy Roach, Legislative Consultants.  The report  

       will include a briefing on new and amended State laws.

 

Rene Gonzalez, Laredo Development Foundation,  stated that the legislative session in Austin was very long, and over 6,000 bills were introduced throughout the sessions in the house and the senate together.  He stated that approximately 1,500 were approved and the Governor signed many.   He described the committee’s aggression at the session in several issues, including the inspections station, rail modification program, and the 911.       

 

Mario Martinez, Legislative Consultant, introduced the Legislative Consultants that attended the Seventy-Seventh Legislative Session.  He submitted a legislative agenda book to the Mayor and City Council for viewing.  The book is available for public viewing at the City Secretary’s Office.  He stated that the committee worked diligently and effectively in conjunction with the City Manager’s Office, Council Members and the Mayor.  Communication was the key to their success.  He touched on grants and programs that he encouraged the City to consider. 

 

Mayor Pro Tempore Valdez expressed his displeasure about the 911 funds.  He also was interested in House Bill 58. 

 

Mario Martinez, Legislative Consultant, informed the Council that the State put a freeze on the 911 funds because it they intend to be addressing the 911 issues at a later date. 

 

Larry Dovalina, City Manager, stated the issue is that the municipalities and the metro areas are funding all the rural areas.  

 

Mayor Flores questioned the health insurance for the teachers.

 

Rene Gonzalez informed the Council that a special session would be held in reference to the redistricting.

 

31.  Status report on the final decisions regarding the water and sewer line oversize

       for the colonias project, with discussion and possible action on the applicable 

       rules and policies that will govern the sale and trading of capacity.

 

Fernando Roman, Utilities Director, reported that staff and has been working with the landowners and developers in trying to understand what the best mechanics and logistics are to get the private capitol investing with the City process.  He stated that there are several issues that are still being addressed.  He mentioned several concerns of the landowners.  He recommended that the city purchase or create capacity for single family homes along the road for small occupations.  He stated that staff has gone over two rounds of modeling, and the first one is close to 9,000 connections on Hwy. 359 and 10,000 on Mines Road, which total approximately 28 million dollars.  He stated that he would have more information for the Council at the first meeting in August.

 

     Cm.  Bruni expressed his concern on the delays of the project. 

   

32.  Status report on study of commercial garbage accounts that were erroneously   

       billed at the minimum commercial rate of $16.00 since December 1996.

 

       Cynthia Collazo, Assistant City Manager, gave the following presentation:

 

Commercial Establishments

(As per ordinance)

 

o       All Retail, wholesale and industrial business;

o       Office Buildings

o       Professional and service businesses;

o       Hotels, motels, boardinghouses;

o       Hospitals

o       Private clubs, associations, or organizations both profit and non profit;

o       Church related halls, schools

o       Any and all other type of public or private organizations or institutions.

 

Monthly Garbage Collection and Mandate Fees

 

o       0 – 500 sq. ft.                              $16.00

o       501 – 1,000 sq. ft.                       $ 21.00

o       1,001 – 2,000 sq. ft.                    $ 30.00

 

o       For each additional                      $  5.50

o       1,000 sq ft or portion in excess of 2,000 sq. ft.

 

Issue

 

       Most Commercial Accounts were being billed at a rate of $16.00 after December 1996 

       due to a computer input error.

 

Combined Forces to Resolve issue included:

 

o       Public Works

o       Utilities

o       Tax

o       M. I. S.

o       Finance

 

Initial Information on Square Footage was gathered from:

 

o       Webb County Appraisal District

o       City Tax Records

o       Building Permits

o       Approximately 50% of the Commercial Accounts were identified from these sources.

 

 

 

 

City Sanitation Crews

 

Reviewed the list of garbage routes for verification.

Identified those accounts not in the system.

Measured physical locations.

 

Crews Used for Measuring Remaining accounts consisted of:

 

o       C. D. Code Enforcement Staff

o       Building Code Staff

o       Utilities Department Staff

o       Building Department Staff

o       DPW Sanitation Department Staff

o       Laredo Municipal Housing Staff

 

Points to Consider:

 

o       Ordinance has never been fully implemented due to varied interpretation of   

o       ordinance.

 

§         Current methodology of measurement in buildings has changed because of change in   

§         personnel.

 

Improvements to current structure:

 

o       MIS will set up fire walls, individual codes for tracking purposes, and establish audit 

o       trails for all entries related to revenue generating accounts.

o       Utility Billing and Public Works will review and reconcile reports on a weekly basis.

 

Improvements to current structure:

 

3.  Audits will be conducted on all garbage routes to determine validity of rates on a

       semiannual basis.

               4.  Accounts will only be opened when customer provides square footage.

5.  Implementation of a paperless work order system by MIS in order to track new

     garbage accounts and verify accuracy of square footage.

 

 

 

Options Under Review

       Option # 1

 

                Implement the same flat fee for all commercial accounts.

                Examples of such cities are:

                Brownsville:                 $30.00

      

               Recommendations

 

       Option # 2

 

                Flat Fee for all commercial accounts outside of the downtown area.

 

The downtown area would continue to be charged on a square footage basis; times the frequency of pickup services. 

 

       Option # 3

 

Cease collection of commercial garbage by phasing it out over 90 days and allowing private enterprise to provide the service.

 

               Examples of cities that provide minimal commercial garbage collection services:

 

                San Antonio

                Corpus Christi

                Houston

 

                Consider a motion on how to collect undercharges

       Consider a motion to proceed with the charges assessed within the last two months 

       as per the current ordinance.

 

Motion to redesign the current ordinances and establish and appeal process by the 1st

City Council meeting in August.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Ramirez

Second:  Cm.  Galo

 

Larry Dovalina, City Manager, recommended that Council redesign the current ordinance rolling back the charge to the historical charge and establishing an appeal process within the ordinance by the first meeting in August.

 

      Cm.  Galo withdrew his motion.

 

Motion to redesign the current motion rolling back the charge to the historical charge pre-December of 1996 and establishing an appeal process within the ordinance by the 1st meeting in August. 

 

      Moved:  Cm.  Galo

      Second:  Cm.  Agredano

      For:     8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Motion to extricate the billing department from Fernando Roman’s direction and place it under the direction of Phyllis Colon, Tax Assessor/Collector.

 

      Moved:  Cm.  Guerra

      Second:  Cm.  Galo 

 

Larry Dovalina, City Manager, stated that staff did not anticipate the proposal coming forward, but he said the Utilities Billing Department, with new administration, has shown incredible amount of improvement.

 

      Cm.  Guerra disagreed with the City Manager. 

 

Larry Dovalina, City Manager, reaffirmed that the department is currently efficient and effective and recommended no change is needed. 

 

Cm.  Galo withdrew his second to the motion.

 

Cm.  Ramirez second the motion

 

Moved:  Cm.  Guerra

      Second:  Cm.  Ramirez

 

For:     4                                        Against:  4                                            Abstain:  0

Cm.  Amaya                                  Cm.  Agredano

Mayor Pro Tempore J.  Valdez      Cm.  Bruni

Cm.   Guerra                                 Cm.  Galo

Cm.  Ramirez                                Cm.  J.  Valdez

 

Mayor Flores voted against to break the tie. 

 

Motion failed.

   

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.

 

XVI.    RECESS AND CONVENE AS THE LAREDO MASS TRANSIT BOARD

 

Motion to recess as the Laredo City Council and convene as the Laredo Mass

Transit Board.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:     8                                  Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 

 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.

 

XVI.    RECESS AND CONVENE AS THE LAREDO MASS TRANSIT BOARD

 

Motion to recess as the Laredo City Council and convene as the Laredo Mass

Transit Board.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:     8                                  Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

33.  Consideration to exercise the renewal option for parts contract (FY01-072), to the 

       listed vendors for providing bus and van fleet parts.  Approximately 450 different items 

       purchased for non-warranty repairs were identified and bids were solicited for

       awarding an annual contract.  Most items are purchased on an as needed basis with

       some replacement parts that are used on a regular basis being maintained on an

       inventory basis.

 

       Motion to extend for 30 days and re-bid the contract.

 

       Moved:  Cm. Amaya

       Second:  Cm. Ramirez

       For:     8                            Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

       Motion to adjourn as the Laredo Mass Transit Board and reconvene as the Laredo City 

       Council. 

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Galo

                   Second:  Cm. Guerra

                   For:           8                                              Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

           

XV.      ADJOURNMENT

 

Motion to adjourn.                                                                    Time:  9:20 p.m.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Guerra

            Second:  Cm. Galo

            For:     8                                  Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

                                                                       

I, Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, do hereby certify that the above minutes contained in pages 01 to 29 are true, complete, and correct proceedings of the City Council Meeting held on the 16th day of July, 2001.

 

 

 

                                                            _____________________________________

                                                            Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                            City Secretary

 

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