CITY COUNCIL ANNUAL BUDGET WORKSHOP

                                    FOR PROPOSED FY 2001-2002 BUDGET


                                             CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

                                                 1110 HOUSTON STREET

                                                        LAREDO, TEXAS


                                               FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2001


   I.       Call to Order


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


  II.      Pledge of Allegiance


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


 III.      Roll Call


            In attendance:

            Elizabeth G. Flores,                                          Mayor

            Alfredo Agredano,                                            Council Member, District I

            Louis H.  Bruni,                                                Council Member, District II

            John C.  Galo,                                                  Council Member, District III

            Johnny Amaya,                                                 Council Member, District IV

            Eliseo Valdez, Jr.,                                             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

            Jaime Flores,                                                    City Attorney


IV.       Proposed Annual Budget Workshop for FY 2001-2002


            a.  Review and present FY 2001- 2002 Proposed Annual Budget (Continued)


                 Q.  Fire Department

                       Luis Sosa, Jr., Fire Chief


                         1.  Fire Prevention and Suppression


                         2.  EMS & Ambulance Service


                        3.  Fire Training Facility


                 R.  Police Department

                       Agustin Dovalina, III, Police Chief


                       1.  Police Department


                       Motion to approve additional capital outlay from the Police Trust Fund and approve an Assistant Police Chief position from the General Fund.


                           Moved: Cm. Bruni

                           Second:  Cm. J. Valdez, Jr.

                           For:     8                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0


                 S.   Convention & Visitors Bureau Department

                       Don Raulie, Convention & Visitors Bureau Director


                        1.  Hotel-Motel Fund Revenues


                        2.  Convention & Visitors Bureau Operations


                        3. Civic Center Operations                  


                        4. Mercado Operations


                 T.    Laredo Metro, Inc.

                        Peter Behrman, Laredo Metro, Inc., General Manager


                     During FY 2001, the Laredo Transit System, “El Metro”, continued to expand and adjust its services.  An additional bus was added to Route 12, the Del Mar Express, in the morning peak period; Route 1, Santa Maria Avenue, was expanded to serve the area along International Drive; a shuttle service was started this summer from Mall del Norte to La Bota Ranch and Indian Sunset subdivisions on an experimental basis.  An additional major change will be made to the Santa Maria route to serve the new Doctor’s Hospital as well as provide service on Shiloh Boulevard for the first time.


                     Staff has also been busy adding and improving the amenities of the El  Metro bus system.  Over 40 bus shelters have been installed throughout the city at high ridership stops.  These shelters are both the advertising shelters with lighting and the less obtrusive “sunshade” shelters.  Staff has also leased and overseen the construction of a Burger King fast food restaurant in the Transit Center Building.  After being open for one week, the restaurant is already the second highest grossing Burger King restaurant in Laredo.  If this business keeps up, the City will not only realize the base rent of $42,000.00 a year for the transit system but additional revenues of 4% of gross sales over $1,050,000.00 per year.    At the current pace of $3,000.00 to $4,000.00 a day in gross sales, this additional revenue could be over $15,000.00 per year.


                        FY 2001 BUDGET


                     These service additions as well as the other factors I will describe have caused an increase in the proposed FY 2001 operating budget for El Metro. Specifically, the proposed budget for fiscal year 2001-2002 presented to council on pages 552 to 595 reflects an approximately $800,000 increase over the current year’s amended budget.  The increase is attributed to the following:


                                 1.  Inflation of 3.2% equates to approximately               $300,000        

                                 2.  Additional requested personnel approximately          $100,000

                                 3.  Increase in fuel and services                                     $220,000

                                 4.  Budgeting a 20% increase in health insurance            $180,000

                                      (The increase was 17.9% for current fiscal year)


                     In addition to the City Manager’s proposed budget, the Laredo Metro, Inc. Board recommends City Council approval for the following additional expenditures:


                     1.  The inclusion of an additional Service Person                        $  30,000

                     2.  The inclusion of a Human Resource Coordinator                  $  40,000

                     3.  Remodeling of the Transit Center                                         $150,000

                          (First floor restrooms and information booth)

                     4.  Return to fund balance appropriated funds                $139,470


                     Motion to transfer $3,000,000.00 into a restrictive reserve fund from Reserve Appropriations account and leaving the difference in the Reserve Balance. 


                        Moved:  Cm. Ramirez

                        Second:  Cm. Agredano

                        For:     8                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0


                     Motion to deny the two positions requested:  Human Resource Coordinator and Service Cleaner person.


                     Moved:  Cm. Ramirez

                     Second:  Cm. Amaya

                     For:     8                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0


                        1.  El Metro Operations

                        2.  Capital Improvements


8:00 p.m.        BREAK


                 U.  Utilities Department

                       Fernando Roman, Utilities Director


                       1.  Water Operations

                       2.  Status of Water Capital Improvements

                       3.  Wastewater Operations

                       4.  Status of Wastewater Capital Improvements


                 V.  Third Party Agencies


                       Mayor Flores announced that the City Council was requesting to go into Executive Session under §551.071(2) of the Texas Open Meetings Act. 


                       Cm. Bruni inquired as to who was going into Executive Session.


                       There was no response.


                       Cm. Bruni stated that he refused to go into Executive Session.


                       Mayor Flores stated that she was requesting some legal advice and that the City Council should go into Executive Session.


                       Jaime Flores, City Attorney, requested permission to “approach the bench” to consult with Mayor Flores.  Permission was granted and the City Attorney consulted with the Mayor. 


                       Jaime Flores, City Attorney, stated that the question being posed by Mayor Flores required private legal consultation and, therefore, the City Council may go into Executive Session, if they approved his request to do so.   Mr. Flores mentioned that since Mayor Flores had questions in connection with the memorandum that he handed to City Council immediately prior to the workshop and related legal issues which, in his opinion, required private consultation, he was requesting that City Council go into Executive Session.  He then invoked the rule under §551.071(2) of the Texas Open Meetings Act requesting to meet with the City Council in Executive Session to provide them with confidential legal counsel because he deemed it his duty under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas to provide private consultation to the governing body.


                       Motion to go into Executive Session under §551.071(2) of the Texas Open Meetings Act. 


                       Moved:  Cm. Galo

                       Second:  Cm. Amaya

                       For:     8                                    Against:  0                                Abstain:  0


                       *Note:  Cm. Bruni, Cm. J. Valdez, Jr. and Cm. Amaya declined to go into   

                                    Executive Session. 

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


                       Jessica Kent, reporter with the Laredo Morning Times, stated that the newspaper was opposing the Executive Session.


Martha Gonzalez, with the Laredo Center for the Arts, as the Chair of the committee that

reviewed all the agency applications, made the presentation before City Council.


The City Council made changes as per entries shown under column labeled “Council


















Name of Agency













 $              -  

 $              -  


BEST, Inc.



 $        25,000

 $       14,063


Bethany House


 $        24,000

 $       15,000


Border Area Nutrition Council (B.A.N.C.)

 $        45,000

 $       27,000


Boy Scouts Gulf Coast Council

 $        30,000

 $       18,000


Boy's & Girl's Club of Laredo

 $      125,000

 $       89,528


Casa de Misericordia


 $        50,000

 $       10,000


Catholic Social Services of Laredo, Inc.

 $        25,000

 $       11,250


Children's International Advocacy



 $        75,000

 $       50,000


Club Olympia


 $         5,000

 $         4,500


Communities In Schools


 $        25,000

 $       15,000


Community Action Agency


 $        77,000

 $       38,750


Girl Scouts Paisano Council


 $        12,000

 $       10,000


Holding Institute


 $              -  

 $              -  


Infante Boxing Club of Laredo

 $              -  

 $              -  


July 4th Family Fiesta


 $              -   

 $              -  





 $        10,000

 $         4,500


L.I.S.D. Campus Crimestoppers

 $         7,500

 $         6,000


Laredo Crime Stoppers, Inc.


 $        25,000

 $       15,000


Laredo Latin American Int'l Sports Hall of Fame

 $         4,000

 $         3,600


Laredo Little Theater


 $        27,975

 $       27,055


Laredo Regional Food Bank, Inc.



 $        20,000

 $       18,000


Laredo Veteran's Coalition


 $      120,000

 $       60,000


Laredo Webb County Child Welfare

 $              -  

 $              -  


Laredo Webb County Food Bank

 $        59,000

 $       30,550


Laredo Webb NHS, Inc.


 $        20,000

 $       15,000


Literacy Volunteers of America - Laredo

 $        48,140

 $         6,750


Mi Laredo



 $         4,500

 $         4,500


Rio Grande International Studies Center

 $        20,000

 $       16,375


Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin Coalition

 $         7,500

 $         5,000


Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center

 $      125,000

 $       67,500





 $        50,000

 $         4,325


Sacred Heart Children's Home

 $         5,000

 $         2,625


Serving Children & Adoles. In Need, Inc.

 $        50,000

 $       50,000


Webb County American Red Cross

 $        15,000

 $         6,675








Total General Fund



 $   1,136,615

 $     646,546


















2001 - 2002


Name of Agency




Agencies in red have not fulfilled contractual requirements.









New groups not funded in previous year:









Border Olympic


 $         9,000

 $         9,000


Laredo HSDA HIV Services Consortia

 $        10,000

 $              -  


Streets of Laredo Urban Mall


 $        66,000

 $              -  


Total New Groups


 $        85,000

 $         9,000








*subject to verification that the monies are set aside for outside promotion









                                             INTERLOCAL AGREEMENTS






2000 - 2001


2001 – 2002

Name of Agency




Laredo Animal Protective Society

 $          126,000

 $            136,500

 $              126,000

Laredo Development Foundation

 $          285,000

 $            357,400

 $              357,400












 $          411,000

 $            493,900

 $              483,400













Tourism and Promotion:




Border Olympics  *




Laredo Chamber of Commerce-Cola Blanca




LULAC Council #12




LULAC Council #7




Society of Martha Washington




Streets of Laredo Urban Mall




Washington’s Birthday Celeb. Association








      Sub-Total Tourism and Promotion








Historical and Arts:








Club Olympia  **




July 4th Family Fiesta  **




LCC Music/Dance Community Productions




Laredo Center for the Arts




Laredo Children’s Museum




Laredo L. American Int’l Sports Hall of Fame **




Laredo Little Theater  **




Laredo Philharmonic Chorale




Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra




TAMIU – Dance Productions




W.B.C.A. Museum




Webb County Heritage Foundation








      Sub-Total Arts








Total Hotel-Motel Fund








*   new agency not funded in FY 2001




** moved to General Fund






Motion to accept the General Fund and Hotel-Motel Fund Third Party Funding as recommended by City Council.


Moved:  Cm. Bruni

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0


Motion to add $50,000.00 funding to the Laredo Children’s Museum.


Moved:  Cm. Bruni

Second:  Cm. Guerra

For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0


Cm. Bruni stated that he wanted some clarification from the City Manager in regards to

the Laredo Fire Department. The City Council had approved raising the rate of the bridge

crossing by $0.25 to $2.00.   He mentioned that he wants to ensure that Station #12 had an

ambulance and had the personnel needed for a total cost of $500,000.00 and that Station

#12 also have an aerial truck with a twelve-man unit for an additional $600,000.00 for



Larry Dovalina, City Manager, inquired as to how funding would be made available for

this Capital Outlay.


Mayor Flores stated that the City Council needed to finish listening to this and also that

the City Council did not receive a copy of the motions approved at yesterday’s budget



Cm. Bruni stated that he needed an answer from staff if they would be approving an

ambulance at Station #12 with the appropriate personnel to operate the ambulance.  He

mentioned that TAMIU is in the vicinity with a large student population and eventually

the City is going to have the sports arena there without an ambulance and without the

appropriate crew.  He commented that this item is a priority item and he requested that this

item be approved today in order to ensure that Fire Station #12 is fully equipped. 


Mayor Flores read the motion as it was presented at yesterday’s budget workshop.  The

motion approved was to increase bridge toll fees by $0.25 from $1.75 to $2.00 for non-

commercial vehicular traffic.  She stated that this would increase bridge toll revenues

by $1,750,000.


Mayor Flores stated that the motion included what the City Council wanted to fund and

what they wanted to fund were the Capital Improvement Projects because the City cannot

pay for anything else.  Mayor Flores then mentioned that the CIPs are one-time CIPs

which include the traffic signalization (ITS) and the ambulances.


Cm.  Galo and Cm. J. Valdez, Jr. mentioned that those items were left pending. 


Cm. J. Valdez, Jr. mentioned that the City Council had already decided that they would

provide one ambulance for Station #9.


Cm. Bruni stated that the ones they approved for the fire department were replacement



Cm. Galo stated that the City Council passed a motion to increase the fees by $.50 rather

than $0.25 and that the City Council would then prioritize the requests because there were

concerns in regards to funding.


Cm. Valdez, Jr. reiterated that priority one was going to be the ambulance for Station #9

and then City Council would consider what was to be done with the remaining funds.


City Manager Larry Dovalina replied that when the fees are increased by $0.25, it

produces $1,750,000.  He mentioned that it is then broken up into two parts:  one going to

the CIF by ordinance and the rest going into the General Fund. 


Cm. Galo mentioned that the increase was $0.50 and not $0.25.


City Manger Larry Dovalina replied that $0.25 was already in the budget in order to

balance the budget.  Therefore, the only unappropriated monies in the budget would be the



Motion to find the necessary funding to purchase an ambulance for Station #12 together

with the support team needed.


Motion was made by Cm. Bruni, the second by Cm. Guerra was withdrawn; motion dies

for lack of a second.


Mayor Flores inquired whether this aerial truck being requested is the one for Station #12.


Fire Chief Luis Sosa replied that they do have the aerial truck and what the department is

requesting is additional personnel. 


Beto Ramirez, Budget Director, mentioned that the City Council made a motion earlier to

fund an Assistant Police Chief position at approximately $100,000.  As a result, the City

Council would have to reduce $100,000 from the $875,000 funds.


Cm. Galo inquired as to when the firefighters would be funded, if the additional personnel

requested were approved.


City Manager Larry Dovalina replied that as soon as they were hired, the City would need

to have the funding available.


Cm. Galo stated that the motion would go back to June for $425,000 instead of the

$600,000 requested by the department.


City Manager Larry Dovalina insisted that the City Council clarify that the requests under

consideration were for the aerial truck for Station #12 and an ambulance for Station #9.


Mayor Flores replied that that was what was under consideration.


Beto Ramirez, Budget Director, stated that the ambulance would have to come out of the

CIF being that it is a one-time purchase.


Cm. Galo asked that the City Council reaffirm the ambulance expenditure first.


Mayor Flores stated that the ambulances have been approved for Station #9 and Station

#12 and that there was already discussion over the funding for the crew for one of the

ambulances and the funding for the other crew would be started in June for $425,000.

Mayor Flores recommended that staff bring this concern back to City Council on Monday,

August 27, 2001, at the regular city council meeting.


Cm. Guerra stated that in that case he would withdraw his second.


City Manager Larry Dovalina recommended that the motion be passed for approval of the

two ambulances and their crews, plus the aerial truck crew.  He commented that should

City Council pass the motion tonight and if the staff can work the figures out, then City

Council would not need to revisit this item during a regular city council meeting.


Motion to approve, as a priority, the funding for an ambulance and crew for Station #9; an

ambulance and crew for Station #12; as well as the transfer of the aerial truck to Station

#12, with the necessary crew.


Moved:  Cm. J. A. Valdez, Jr.

Second:  Cm. Bruni

For:     7                                   Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0       

Cm. Ramirez was not present.




W.  Other Funds and Wrap-Up Session


        Erasmo Villarreal, Community Development Director, went before the City Council

        requesting to separate the Noise Abatement Fund.


        Motion to separate the Noise Abatement Fund into two funds.  The proposed funds



        1) Noise Abatement Lease Program Fund which will account for the  

            operating revenue and expenditures for the rental units purchased by the 

            City of Laredo through Federal Aviation Administration grants.


        2) The Noise Abatement Fund which will continue to account for the grant

            funds initially awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration.


            Moved:  Cm. Bruni

            Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Valdez, Jr.

            For:     7                       Against:  0                                Abstain:  0 

            Cm. Ramirez was not present.


   V.     Adjournment                                                                              Time:  10:35 p.m.


            Motion to adjourn.


            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Valdez, Jr.

            Second:  Cm. Agredano

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0


I, Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, hereby certify that the above minutes contained in pages 01 through 10 are true, complete and correct proceedings of the Annual Budget workshop held on the 17th day of August, 2001.





                                                                        Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                                        City Secretary