CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2002-R-04

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON STREET

LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

FEBRUARY 25, 2002

5:30 P.M.

 

 

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER

 

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

 

II.        PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

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

 

III.       ROLL CALL

 

            In attendance:

 

            Elizabeth G.  Flores,                                                                 Mayor

            Alfredo Agredano,                                                                    Council Member, District I

            Louis H.  Bruni,                                                                        Council Member, District II

            John C.  Galo,                                                                          Council Member, District III

            Johnny Amaya,                                                                         Council Member, District IV

            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

 

            Motion to excuse Mayor Pro Tempore E.  Valdez, Jr.

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Amaya

            Second:  Cm.  Galo

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Cm. Agredano not present.

 

IV.       MINUTES

 

Approval of the minutes of January 14, 2002 and January 28, 2002.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

V.        COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

Announcements

 

Mayor Flores mentioned that a special presentation is being made before City Council in connection with Azteca Airlines from Mexico City.

 

Jose L. Flores, Airport Director, introduced representatives of Azteca Airlines:  Don Jesus Luz San Pedro, Special Assistant to the President of Azteca Airlines, Jose Luis Valencia Vasquez, and Myrla Garcia. 

 

Don Jesus Luz San Pedro conveyed his pleasure in being able to begin flights from Mexico City to Laredo, Texas.  He thanked all the directors and representatives of the City of Laredo for all the courtesies extended and conveyed a formal message from the airline president/owner that they are at the City's disposal to ensure that this venture will function flawlessly.

 

Invitations

 

Cm. Agredano announced that this Friday, March 1, 2002, at 2:00 p.m.  there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a pedestrian crossing bridge that was built with the assistance of the Community Development crew.  He mentioned that this crossing bridge will allow school children in the vicinity of Ligarde Elementary to gain access to their school without having to cross through a creek. 

 

Recognitions

 

a.  Recognizing  Gabriel Holguin on winning the  Texas Title Belt 154 Welterweight

Champion  at the Team South Texas "Rumble on the Border- Texas Title Belt" match  on February 2, 2002.   Also recognizing the participation of three other Laredoans who represented the City at the same boxing competition-- Victor Montemayor, Sergio Reyes, Jr., and Idelfonso "El Gallo Negro" Martinez.  Recently Cesar Holguin, Gabriel's brother acted as an ambassador for Laredo when he won the 2001 United States Savate Welterweight Championship.

 

Mayor Flores presented Gabriel Holguin with a Certificate of Recognition for his impressive victory at the Texas Title Belt 154 Welterweight Championship.

 

Communiqués

 

Cm. Ramirez publicly congratulated all the organizers and individuals involved with the Jamboozie Festival.  He stated that he hopes the City will be able to coordinate more of these  events in the downtown area so the public can enjoy them.  He thanked Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, and his department for securing the use of the space underneath  IH- 35 which created temporary parking space during the parades.  He also thanked the Public Works Department, the Fire Department and the Police Department for the assistance they provided during the festivities. 

 

Cm. J. Valdez, Jr. spoke about the progress of  the Veterans Monument project.  He mentioned that the Request for Qualifications will be going out tomorrow.   He expects that an architect will be selected for this project by March 22, 2002 for submission of the design of the monument.  He also thanked Mr. Cesar Merla, President of the International Soccer League, for his work in organizing a soccer tournament.  He mentioned that the tournament was held at Father McNaboe Park and it was a very successful event.

 

Cm. Guerra stated that the widening project on Shiloh Boulevard has been completed.  He thanked city staff, Mayor Flores and City Council for all the support provided to get this project completed.  He reported that the next important widening project is about to get underway which is the widening of Del Mar Boulevard from McPherson Road to Fenwick. 

 

Cm. Amaya thanked the members of the Washington Birthday Celebration Association for the outstanding work done during the festivities.

 

Cm. Bruni submitted the final report of the 2001 Weather Resource Management Program which is a summary of the cloud seeding activities conducted over a five-county area in South Texas during April 1 through November 15, 2001. 

 

Mayor Flores mentioned that the Washington Birthday Celebration Association took place without any problems.  She thanked Chief Dovalina and as law enforcement agencies for maintaining order and keeping everyone safe.  She announced that during the Air Show, the group presented her with a State of Texas recognition as a Yellow Rose of Texas on behalf of Gov. Rick Perry.  

 

Mayor Flores reflected on the City's accomplishments during 2001 referring to it as a banner year and pledged continued accomplishments for the new year calling 2002 a stronger year. 

 

            "Because of the hard work and high purpose of the people of Laredo, our economy has remained strong.  This year, we must reflect on what made us successful and expand our horizon. (One thing for certain, more people with jobs has made a great difference for our community.  Education and skills training for all ages has made a difference in our City.  People in all kinds of value added jobs will solidify our economy and continue to diversify it.  We have more than 3,000 new jobs; the lowest unemployment in history.  Incomes are rising.  Crime rates are down.  In spite of a national trend to slow down, housing starts (approximately 1,200 ) are the same as those in the last 3 years and equal in both the northern and southern parts of the city.  Construction of these single family homes were made possible because of the investments of land developers, innovative construction companies, lower mortgage interest rates and the City's bond programs and aggressive down payment assistant program which assisted 144 families.

 

Staggering indicators to Laredo's prosperity are readily visible upon reviewing statistics kept by the Building Department.  Among some of the more visible changes to the landscape include new retailers, such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Lacks Furniture, Bennigan's, Red McCombs car dealership, the International House of Pancakes and the soon to be finished super Wal-Mart.  But even more important was the opening of the new Doctor's Hospital, the start of the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Laredo Entertainment Center, and the first and only 64 foot hill built for the Daimler-Chrysler test tract.  The 14,814 building permits issued were valued at over $300 million.  And, although the growth of warehousing slowed down, there were $25 million in warehouse permits issued, an increase of 83% since 1996.

 

My City Council approved a Fiscal Year 2001-2002 budget of $275,342,053.00.  And 2001 was another banner year for Laredo as the Budget Department received the 'Distinguished Budget Presentation Award" for the tenth consecutive year that the City has participated.  With a solid financial condition and strong fund balance, many projects are already starting to have an immediate and positive impact on the people of Laredo.  We have fitted 3 lanes on Bridge II with automatic vehicle identification usage and will complete the plans for one lane to be used exclusively as an "express lane" for frequent crossing traffic.  The automatic vehicle identification system is already working on the World Trade Bridge.  We are resurfacing Bridge I and have made lots of progress in the acquisition of waterfront property spanning the entire city limits and making improvements to the River itself.  This El Portal Project will completely revitalize downtown and preserve our historic areas.   It will give us back the Rio Grande and set the stage for future economic growth in a way that will be enviable for other non-river cities.  The Las Palmas project as you all know has taken a life of its own and we are very proud of the hard work of all the volunteers.  The Azteca Neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which sets it apart as being culturally and architecturally unique from a national perspective.

 

I want to especially thank the Council Members that travel on behalf of the City for their added contributions to the betterment of our community.  Mayor Pro Tempore Eliseo Valdez, Councilmen Alfredo Agredano, John Galo, Jose  Valdez, Juan Ramirez and Johnny Amaya, the administration and the staff.  We thank your families and your places of employment for supporting you and our City . Our hard work, Jose Flores, endless phone calls and chain letters to our congressional delegation as well as our trips to Washington paid off big for the airport once again with $10,254,379 in 5 different Federal Aviation grants.  And as if that were not enough, this same team works equally hard with members of the Chamber and the Laredo Development Foundation to finally get approval for jet service from Continental Airlines.  Through the effort of this same team and additional work of our City Manager; Larry Dovalina, Joe Flores, Salvador Rodriguez, Javier Garza, yours truly and the Laredo National Bank we were successful in landing jet service from Azteca Airlines and Mexicana directly from Mexico City.

 

Working with our sister city of Nuevo Laredo in all aspects of city services will assure a better future for Los Dos Laredos.  Contador Publico Jose Suarez, Presidente Municipal and I will hold monthly meetings with our respective top City officials to discuss challenges, offer solutions and pursue opportunities.  Among the projects we will work together on will be another international crossing, protection and cleaning of the Rio Grande, a secondary source of water for the entire border, both the U. S. and Mexican side, increase of our tourist population, and the safety and security of the people of Los Dos Laredos.  In addition, we will pursue infrastructure improvements at the World Trade Bridge and changes that will protect our water supply.  We will work together to seek pre-clearance of trucks and drivers in the three NAFTA countries to avoid safety inspection stations on the international bridges or force trucks to make an additional stop outside of town and we will seek to increase both the technology and human resources at our international crossings and check points to speed up the traffic.  After all, Laredo and Nuevo Laredo are border cities without boundaries.

 

Our success and our "amistad" has not gone unnoticed.  The Office of the City Secretary has helped us foster and maintain all our sister city relationships.  We added three additional sister cities to an already admirable group of designations.  The new Sister Cities are: Chenzhou, Hunan Province, ROC; San Antonio de Areco, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina; and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.  We now have 12 sister cities.  The other nine are Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico; Laredo, Nuevo Santender Cantabria, Spain; Cienega de Flores, Nuevo Leon; Tlahualilo, Durango; Jerez  de Garcia Salinas, Zacatecas; Murray Bridge, South Australia; Tainan Hsien,  Taiwan, Republic of China; Lampazos de Naranjo, Nuevo Leon and Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon.  The City Secretary's Office continues to improve our Web page.  We now have video streaming of City Council meetings and Telecommunications Commission meetings.

 

But we cannot reflect on this past year without remembering the horrific events of September 11th.  Rarely have Americans lived through so much change in their daily lives.  Every family in America, every family in Laredo came closer, we re-set our priorities and we prayed for peace.  For the next several years we must meet the challenges of the changes that have been brought upon us.  We must find ways to deal with our terror and our fear.  I want to thank our local law enforcement officers for their hard work during this year's celebration.  You made us feel safe.  The Washington's Birthday Celebration had a special spirit about it.  The spirit of knowing that by renewing the very idea of America and deepening the meaning of our freedom we will be stronger.

 

And this past year marked the 26th anniversary of the City's participation in the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) through which street and park improvements, construction of public facilities, housing rehabilitation, elimination of slum and blight, and the provision of public services have been carried out in qualified areas of town.  City construction crews completed 120 blocks of sidewalks.   Improvements were made to La Ladrillera Facility to retrofit from a child care center to an elderly recreation center.  We added the East Hachar Recreation Center alongside a police sub-station on the campus of D.D. Hachar Elementary School.  Besides improving the Cruz Baseball Field, the Dryden Optimist Little League Park, 40 owner-occupants of substandard housing units were provided assistance to rehabilitate their homes.

 

Our new budget year is just 5 months old and we are already starting planning for next year.  This is not a time to rest.  It is a time to build, to build the Laredo within our reach.  A. Laredo where everybody has a chance to get ahead with a good education and hard work.  Where every citizen can live in a safe neighborhood, where families are strong, and where government helps provide opportunity and citizens feel responsible enough to give back to their community.  One citizen is.  With a Laredoan in the governor's race, we have an opportunity never before seen.  For those of you still not convinced about the mistakes of Dan Morales remember this: without going into legal details, his decision ordered Texas universities to stop considering race, not only in admissions, but in all recruitment, scholarships, tutoring and financial aid.  For the State of Texas, where almost half the people are either black or Hispanic, the impact was immediate.  For Laredo the impact was devastating.  Even President Bush has decried this act.

 

The City Manager recognized the importance of community service and has asked his staff to volunteer their services to community organizations, leading by example.  We must all continue to work hard with the private sector to create a friendly business environment, so that they create more jobs.  We must continue to work with the Laredo Webb Neighborhood Housing services and Habitat for Humanity of Laredo to increase housing starts and help families not yet ready for a new home with rental assistance.  And we will continue to partner with our two school districts, our community college and our university to help remove obstacles that keep students from access to a better life through education.

 

The City is fortunate to have a City Attorney's Office that is involved in every aspect of the city's activities, programs and projects for full compliance with the law.  Representing a home rule city is a practice of law at the level where legislative authority impacts citizens directly on a daily basis because the City ultimately is comprised of every Laredoan.  We have a dynamic team of attorneys, paralegals and assistants.  While we have retained litigation, counsel through the Texas Municipal League with private attorneys, the City Attorney's Office handles over 2,000 criminal Class "C" misdemeanor cases in Municipal Court and all litigation not covered by TML.  Additionally, they provide legal consultation, review, and approval of all city ordinances, legal documents and contracts for the City's 30 departments, the City Manager's Office, the Mayor and  Members of the Council.  This department is particularly proud to have the opportunity to be the legal advocate and representative of Laredo at a time when it can be a part of helping Laredo change and grow.

 

From design to quality control, inspection to surveying, the oversight function of the Engineering Department has been the key component to the success and operational result of many of the City's projects.  As a measure to safeguard the taxpayers' money, this Department maintains a high standard in their day to day operations.  They are the reason we are on time and on budget.

 

And so these last few years we have shaped a new kind of government.  With the help of the members of the City Council we have worked as a team.  A team committed to building a better Laredo.  We watch our spending, we continue to strengthen our reserves, clean and protect our environment, protect our heritage, invested in health care for our veterans and recreation for our children.  We built new parks and recreation centers.  Many of our older parks received much needed face lifts, playscape modules, lighting, skate modules and new landscaping.  A great deal of repair was made to the Civic Center pool, the Three Points pool, the Thomas Pool, and the Del Mar pool.  We pursued a strategy of more police and smarter prevention with the help of citizen groups and crime-fighting partnerships with other local enforcement agencies.  And we will continue to do that.  New vehicles, installation of mobile data units, new firearms and a new photo lab, cameras and surveillance equipment were authorized by the Council and purchased.  We have outstanding results:  murder was reduced by 25%; sexual assaults by 35%; robbery and traffic accidents by 2%; burglary and arrests by 5%.  Community oriented policing workstations were increased by 40% with a total of 14 areas of town now with a constant police presence.  More citations beg for more courtroom space and so the Council approved a $2.8 million bond package for construction of a new Municipal Court building.

 

We have found innovative ways to expand the resources of our firefighters so that they can protect people's lives and property as well as the safety of their own men and women.  The new regional training facilities are under construction and we have enhanced Haz-Mat team capabilities by purchasing new equipment.  Enhanced EMS coverage with four new ambulances.  Enhanced airport fire coverage with the addition of an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting unit and added a new station.  And we partnered with the business community to implement a new fire inspection fee schedule.

 

Our City Manager has been a joy to work with.  He has been successful in putting together a team that is responsible and effective by raising standards, raising expectations and raising accountability.  He and I have worked successfully over the years on many projects but none more important than the management of this City.  We recognized that with the city's growth there had to be a way to mobilize leadership, and that leadership could not just be rhetorical.  There had to be the linking of management and the public role of the highest elected official, the mayor.  Thanks to work the members of the Council and I can do with Larry and his team, this city continues to move forward.

 

And we do not plan to rest as we work harder for a better Laredo.  As a result of the 2000 Census, the Planning Department enthusiastically tackled establishing new Council Districts, saving taxpayers approximately $50,000.00 by doing the work in-house.  The Planning Department continued to work with the Council's Traffic Safety Committee and presented a one-way circulation plan to move truck traffic through the less traveled streets at the base instead of Calton Road.  We are still the center of north-south trade and have become a regional logistical and transportation hub.  It was important to continue work on a Comprehensive Mobility Plan, Comprehensive Land Use Plan Updates, and Long-Range thoroughfare Plan Updates.  All this work ended in new street design, realignments, reduction of conflicts at railroad crossings and good land use for Laredo's future.

 

International trade accounts for many jobs in Laredo.  That is why the members of the Council and I, as well as the City staff will continue to work towards improving trade, improving the flow of traffic across our international bridges and continue with our plan to build another international bridge in South Laredo for pedestrian and non-commercial traffic.  We believe that when that time comes, we will have an outer loop and additional connections to downtown Laredo and north Laredo.  Our goal will be to continue to work with TxDOT to enhance Loop 20 this year so that Laredoans can enjoy going to the University, the South Laredo Community College Campus, Doctor's Hospital, the Entertainment Center, and the new super Wal-Mart without competing with the truck traffic.  A total of 14 speed humps were installed, new traffic signals at major crossings and 125 new parking spaces were added downtown as well as the installation of the Riverfront parking lot. 

 

Interest in Laredo continues on the rise.  Besides generating a tremendous amount of leads, presentations and responding to over 31,00 inquiries, 1,800 Paisanos were served by the Convention and Visitors Bureau rest area on south bound IH 35 during the Christmas holidays.  The Convention and Visitors Bureau participated in three live television presentations in Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, and Saltillo promoting Laredo.  They are developing a birding brochure, highlighting the White-Collared Seedeater, the Green Parakeet and the Clay-Colored Robin.

 

And growth brings trash.  Public Works had a 93% increase in recyclable material collected over the past several years.  13,000 tons in 2001.  They collected an additional 76,000 tons of garbage, cleaned 5,877 miles of streets, repaired over 144,000 square feet of street cuts and patched 5,786 potholes.  In addition, they cleaned 4,917 storm sewers and repaired 89, cleaned 562.89 acres of creeks, and 128. 01 acres of roadside right of way.  They completed concrete projects, curb and gutter projects, paving projects, sidewalk projects, and several special projects at a total cost of $725,000.  Saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars by doing the work in-house.  Their projects for 2002-2003 are equally aggressive.

 

But we cannot promote Laredo if we do not provide for the health and well being of nuestra gente.  That is why the Health Department Director's choice was so critical and the work of the staff so vital to the economic stability of the City.  The Department administers the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Colonia Residents Winter Health Fair.  Besides health fairs and awareness programs, they opened a new Women's and Children Clinic in Northwest Laredo -- their 9th clinic.  They escalated the folic acid intake campaign and the annual rabies vaccination campaign along with the annual flu immunization campaign.  The Health Department is one of Laredo's treasures because they help people at a time of great need.

 

And, speaking of needs, the people of Laredo are no different than others.  The need for knowledge and information is constantly growing.  Our library staff answered 34,202 reference questions an increase of 13% from last year and served 354,868 customers.  They loaned out 57,958 adult books, 91,479 juvenile books and 7,428 other items such as video, CDs, and radio media, The library enhanced their computer services with the opening of a new computer lab at the Main Library and a self check machine.  Children's story time has increased by 41 % and special programs attendance has increased by 38%.

 

And we could not do all this work without the fees and the taxes paid by the people of Laredo.  Our Tax Department is proud to report a 95.5 % collection rate.  And the Council and I are proud to say that the tax rate of .576358 was maintained.  One of the lowest property taxes in the State of Texas.  Each one of our tax department employees handled 50,268 transactions and we collected 33% of delinquent taxes.  We added 1,853 new alarm system accounts, billed 79,143 tax accounts and maintained 160 hotel/motel accounts.  The department also collected 552,436 utility accounts and billed 185,101 other accounts.

 

Public transportation has been important to the residents and visitors of Laredo since I was a little girl.  We have come a long way from the buses we grew up with.  Our buses are quieter, burn cleaner fuel, they are air conditioned and heated and we continue to add new forty foot buses, low floor CNG buses with new logo, 18 passenger vans for El Lift Service.  Our total rider ship for 2001 was 4.9 million people.

 

And how about that water and waste water.  Although we lost our most respected water expert, Mr. Fernando Roman, the Utility Department continues to move along with their Colonias Water Project, privatization and secondary water source projects.  The department experienced a healthy 6% growth in the number of new accounts with over 2,000 new accounts being added per year.  This brings the total water and wastewater services customer base to 48,000 residential and 4,700 commercial accounts serving over 200,000 people.  Water transmission lines, storage tanks, pressure booster stations, and wastewater collection/treatment facilities will have to be constructed throughout the City to serve the new corridors of growth.  This investment will cost approximately $45 million and will have to be done within the next 10 years.  That is why it is so important for this policy board to stay focused on our capital improvement plans and long range infrastructure needs.

 

 

 

The Council and I thank our committee members for their unselfish dedication to their City.  Without them we could not be as effective.. This year we will be adding new council members and new committee members.  But those of us that may be staying will never forget the ride we have been on.  It has been exciting, unforgettable, and quite satisfying.  Public service is one of the best  rewards of life.

 

Through a very aggressive budget we will continue to work towards safe streets, safe schools and safe neighborhoods.  We will help keep our children healthy and in school.  We recognize that our community is only as healthy as the air our children breathe, the water they drink and the Earth they will inherit.  We must work together, learn together, live together and serve together.  Laredo's progress lies in the progress we make for all Laredoans, without regard to race, economic position or age.  And we will do everything we can to provide recreation and extend our services for young and old and everybody in between.   Our City will be the best it can be with your help.

 

My work is for the hard-working families of Laredo that must meet their most important responsibilities.  My hope is that they are happy that they live in Laredo.  A strong city must assume a strong responsibility.  You can help.  Around 200 years ago, a tattered flag, its broad stripes and bright stars still gleaming through the smoke of a fierce battle, inspired Francis Scott Key to scribble a few words -the words that became our national anthem.  This year we have all heard the words of Star Spangled Banner with new meaning.  And as we remember our past, let us imagine the future.  Many of our children may well see the 22nd century.  Let us find the wisdom and the strength to come together as one great city to widen the circle of opportunity for all as we deepen our meaning of our freedom.  Exercise your right to vote to participate in this democracy.  I hope to serve you four more years so that the foundation we build together will last for years to come.  God bless you, God bless Laredo, God bless our neighbors and God bless the United States of America."

 

VI.       APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSIONS, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

           

            None.

 

VII.     PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

1.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance authorizing the City Manager to amend FY

2001-2002 budget in the amount of $17,833.00 in additional funds for the Tuberculosis Elimination Program of 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.  Guerra

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Bruni

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

2.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance authorizing the City Manager to accept and

execute all documentation from the Texas Department of Health for the HIV/AIDS Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Project of the City of Laredo Health Department in the amount of $55,072.00 in additional funds for the period beginning February 1, 2002, through January 31, 2003, amending the City of Laredo FY 2001-2002 budget in the same amount.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

3.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance authorizing the City Manager to accept and

execute all documentation from the Texas Department of Health for the Tuberculosis Prevention/Control Federal Project of the City of Laredo Health Department in the amount of $161,793.00 for the period beginning January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2002, and amending the City of Laredo's FY 2001-2002 budget in the same amount. 

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Bruni

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

4.  Public hearing and consideration of an appeal of an order issued by the Historic

District/Landmark Board regarding the designations of five (5) historic schools as locally significant historic landmarks at:

 

     a.  Location:  All of Block 264 W. D. 

          Commonly known as 1508 San Eduardo Avenue, Bruni Elementary

     b.  Location:  All of Block 698 W.D.

                      Commonly known as:  1208 Market Street, Heights Elementary

     c.  Location:  Blocks 461-520 (20.3288 acres) W.D.

                      Commonly known as:  1400 Park Street, L.J. Christen Jr. High

     d.  Location:  Blocks 461-520  (20.3288 acres) W.D.

          Commonly known as:  2002 San Bernardo Avenue, Raymond and Tirza

          Martin High School

     e.  Location:  All of Block 275 E. D. and all of Block 281 E. D.

          Commonly known as:  2000 and 2100 Marcella Avenue, Street Joseph's      

          Academy     building Memorial Middle School

                      Petitioner:  Carmen Ramos Trevino, Laredo ISD

                      Locally significant historic landmarks.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ms. Margarita Araiza, Executive Director of the Webb County Heritage Foundation, urged City Council to confirm the designation of these locally significant landmarks.  She stated that builders would never be able to replicate comparable architectural structures with the designated budgets available. 

 

Elsa Ibarra Valdez, representing residents of St. Peter's neighborhood, stated that the residents are not interested in new schools being built; they would rather have the schools remain as they are with some renovations.   She mentioned that Laredo Independent School District, at one point in time, had agreed to work with the Historical Board on this matter to try to maintain the historical value of these campuses. 

 

John Keck, Chairman of the Historic District/Landmark Board, stated that the selection of the school buildings by the Historic District/Landmark Board has not been arbitrary.  In 1981, the Texas Historical Commission came to Laredo to assist with the inventory of our historical buildings.  Then in 1996, this same process was repeated when our City instructed professionals to come to Laredo to help us discover what were the buildings of true significance within the community.  The charge of the Board is to designate individual sites that are historically significant, to provide design review on the applications made, and to make recommendations to City Council on proposed historic districts.  He mentioned that the action taken by the Board was simply to guarantee the inclusion of the Historic District/Landmark Board and the City in the process.  He believes that Laredo Independent School District  is seeking an exemption and an exclusion without a valid reason from being in the process that has already been established.  He urged City Council to deny their request to designate these historic buildings and encourage Laredo Independent School District and others to work with the City and the Landmark Board to accomplish what should be mutual goals.

Carmen Ramos Trevino, President of the Board of Trustees for Laredo Independent School District, stated that her purpose is to appeal the decision taken by the Historic District/Landmark Board.   As mandated by the voters of Laredo Independent School District, the District has been charged with investing more than $144 million for the construction of new campuses and improvements to existing facilities.  Five of the schools were designated as historical structures by the Historic District/Landmark Board.  The District agrees with the designations to three of these schools:  Heights Elementary, L. J. Christen Middle School and Martin High School.  However, the District disagrees with a recent designation as historic structures of Bruni Elementary and Memorial Middle.  They are appealing the designation of those two schools only. 

 

Sally Zuck, resident of St. Peter's neighborhood, spoke in favor of preserving our historic schools and buildings for future generations. 

 

Dr. Paul Cruz, Laredo Independent School District Superintendent, spoke in favor of the appeal that the designation be removed.  Of the five schools that were designated as historical structures, the District is not appealing the designation of Martin High School, L. J. Christen Middle School, nor Heights Elementary as such.  There are, however,  other considerations at Bruni Elementary and Memorial Middle School in connection with their construction that must be identified and reviewed.  He stated that the proposal for Bruni Elementary has designated it as a replacement school. 

 

Jorge Cabello, Construction Manager for Laredo Independent School District, stated that architects have been instructed to preserve certain features of the schools in question, namely Bruni Elementary and Memorial Middle.  There are certain highlights of the facade that the architects can remove from the original structures and reinstall them on the new buildings. 

 

Keith Selman, City Planner, wanted to clarify the issue before City Council.  The Historic District/Landmark Board has not made a ruling on any application nor a ruling in regards to any of these campuses.  They did not rule against any type of demolition or reconstruction involving these campuses.  What they have done is designate them as historical landmarks. 

 

Mayor Flores inquired whether it is possible for the Historic District/Landmark Board to work with Laredo Independent School District to  preserve some parts of Bruni Elementary and Memorial Middle.

 

John Keck replied that the Board would absolutely be in agreement with that proposal. 

 

Motion to deny the appeal, allow this to continue under the review process of the Landmark Board, and that the item be brought back to City Council if there is a problem during the review process.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     5                                          Against:  1                                            Abstain:  1

                                                       Cm.  Ramirez                                       Cm. J. Valdez,Jr.

 

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Bruni

                 Second:  Cm. Galo

  For:    7                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

                

5.  Public hearing and consideration to appeal an order issued by the Historic   

District/Landmark Board regarding the designations of Farragut Department Store Building as locally significant Historic Landmark at:

 

                  a.  Location:  All of Block 264 W.D.

                  Commonly known as:  1120 Farragut, Farragut Department Store Building

                  Petitioner:  Flint Bourgeois

                  Locally significant historic landmark.

 

 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

 Moved:  Cm.  Galo

 Second:  Cm.  Agredano

 For:     7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Mr. Flint Bourgeois, representing the owners of the department store building, spoke  before City Council.  He stated that the owners have owned the building for over 10 years.  They have no plans to demolish the building but they are opposed to the historical designation because it would negatively affect the property value. 

 

John Keck, Chairman of the Historic District/Landmark Board stated that the Historic District/Landmark Board holds a similar position.  In this particular case, no application has been made by the property owners, nothing has been presented or discussed.  This was merely a designation of the Historic District/Landmark Board.  He mentioned that he does not believe that any building designated as a historic landmark would be devalued in any way.   He believes that the designation enhances the value of a structure. 

 

Cm. Agredano inquired whether if another owner would buy the historically designated property  at a future date, would that property owner be allowed to change the structure in any fashion. 

 

John Keck replied that once the building is purchased, if that new owner wanted to make exterior changes to the structure, he would need to come before the Board with those proposals and a decision would be made based upon the information obtained.

 

 Motion to close the public hearing and deny the appeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 Moved:  Cm.  Galo

 Second:  Cm.  Bruni

 For:     5                                         Against:  2                                            Abstain:  0

                                                                        Cm.  Guerra

                                                                        Cm.  Ramirez

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council except for Cm. Guerra and Cm. Ramirez.

 

6.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance establishing a fee structure for Tecolote  

Baseball Game ticket prices at Veteran's Field, including special rates for senior citizens age 55 and over as well as children 12 and under.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Guerra

Second:  Cm.  Ramirez

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Ramirez

 

7.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the

City of Laredo by rezoning 4.06 acres, as further described by metes and bounds in attached exhibit "A", located south of Mines Road and approximately 5 miles west of La Bota Ranch Subdivision, from AG (Agricultural District) to M-1 (Light Manufacturing District); providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of the proposed zone change.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

Second:  Cm.  Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

                       

8.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the

City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 252, Block 13, Del Mar Hills Subdivision, Section 1, Area "A", located at #2 Lindenwood Drive, from R-1 (Single Family Residential District) to R-O (Residential-Office District); providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended denial of the proposed zone change.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ron Whitehawk, on behalf of Alicia Vaughn, stated that the property owner is in favor of the zone change.  He pointed out that property immediately adjacent to the west is owned by the City and it was rezoned by the City some years ago to an R-O district.  The owner of the property in question would not change the exterior of the building, and would be using the building for insurance agency/real estate office space.

 

Motion to close the public hearing, override the Planning and Zoning Department, and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Guerra

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Guerra

 

9.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance authorizing the issuance of  a Special Use

Permit to Harry E. Sames, III for an above ground fuel storage tank on Lot 1, Block 1, TXDOT-IH-35 Subdivision, Phase I, located at 6105 San Dario Avenue; providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of the proposed Special Use Permit.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Guerra

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Guerra

Second:  Cm.  Bruni

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Guerra

 

10.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of

the City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 9, Block 1108, Western Division, located at 117 Houston Street from B-1 (Limited Commercial District) to B-3 (Community Business District); providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of the proposed zone change.

 

  Motion to open the public hearing.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

  Second:  Cm.  Galo

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

  There was no public input.

 

  Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

  Second:  Cm.  Agredano

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

  Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Bruni

 

11.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of

the City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 1, Block 1, Independence Hill Subdivision, Phase I, located southwest of Bob Bullock Loop and west of North Merida Drive from AG (Agricultural District) and B-3 (Community Business District) to B-4 (Highway Commercial District); providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended denial of the proposed B-4 designation and approval of a B-3 zone change.

 

  Motion to open the public hearing.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

  Second:  Cm.  Agredano

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ron Whitehawk, on behalf of Mercy Hospital, stated that the property is proposed to be developed as an office park.  The B-4 designation was originally intended to provide for an office space similar to what already exists off the Loop in Century City.  However, due to the sensitivities of the staff to the B-4 issue, the applicant is now saying that he would live within the confines of the B-3 designation.

 

  Motion to close the public hearing and introduce as a B-3.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

  Second:  Cm.  Bruni

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

  Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Agredano

 

12.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of  

the City of Laredo by rezoning 0.0145 acres, as further described by metes and bounds in attached exhibit "A", located east of the Bob Bullock Loop and north of Del Mar Blvd. from R-1 (Single Family Residential District) to B-4 (Highway Commercial District); providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of the proposed zone change.

 

  Motion to open the public hearing.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Galo

  Second:  Cm.  Bruni

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

  There was no public input.

 

  Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Guerra

  Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

  Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Guerra

 

13.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the City of Laredo FY 2001-2002

General Fund Budget by transferring $22,000.00 from the General Fund Reserve Appropriation.  The amendment will withdraw $22,000.00 and transfer the monies to the Veterans Field Fund amending the Professional Services-Tecolotes Contract line item by $22,000.  This transfer is for the purpose of fulfilling contractual obligations with Grupo Vision Empresarial d.b.a. Tecolotes de Los Dos Laredos. 

 

  Motion to open the public hearing.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Galo

  Second:  Cm.  Agredano

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

  There was no public input.

 

  Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

  Moved:  Cm.  Ramirez

  Second:  Cm.  Galo

  For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

  Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Ramirez

 

 

 

 

VIII.    GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

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

 

1.  Discussion with possible action to provide a means of vehicular access between

San Jose, Heritage, and Woodland Subdivisions in order for the neighborhoods to access the Henry Cuellar Elementary School without driving onto US 59.

Keith Selman, City Planner, reported that it is being "Master Planned" so that the two roads would interconnect.  However, there is no master plan provision for the connection of San Jose and Heritage Park.  There is a drainage system that would also be doubling as a park system.  He believes it would require some capital investment fund to tie these subdivisions together.

 

Cm. Bruni inquired whether the City could build an all-weather road until the City can provide funding next year.

 

Keith Selman stated that this area is not city-owned property and, generally, that is not the practice.  He recommends that the City include it as a capital improvement project for the next budgetary process.

 

2.  Status report regarding Eastwoods.

 

      John Hickey, project architect, reported that the parameters of the plan are within an area designated as a flood plain.  The layout of the park includes a flood plain area, an overhead electrical easement, and an underground drainage easement.  With those existing parameters, they had to identify how to best use the park.  Following that, they came to the conclusion that projected costs for the project exceeded the amount available for the project.  They then went on to the design/development phase to better identify costs and to determine priorities.  They got the consultants to provide them with a detailed plan.  They are looking at a minimum of $22,000.00 to $30,000.00 worth of excavation to get the project started.  By identifying costs and presenting them to city staff, they have set up some method so they can identify priorities based on available costs. 

 

      Cm. Bruni mentioned that there had been a commitment by the City Manager and the Parks and Recreation Department to begin construction by a given date.

 

      Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, stated that the timeline for this project has been deferred because of the cost estimates that are being assessed. 

 

      Cm. Bruni inquired whether the Parks and Recreation Department can determine what the priorities are so that construction of the park can begin and then add to it as monies become available.

           

                   B.  Request by Council Member John C. Galo

 

1.  Status report regarding code violations at 519 Guadalupe, with possible action.

 

 

 

      Tommy Ochoa, Municipal Court Clerk, reported that at the last report provided to City Council the individual had been cited for six violations and had been assessed a $2,905.00 fine.  The next due date for the fines is February 27, 2002.  Since then, there have been four additional violations filed against this individual.  The individual was summoned to a pretrial hearing and at that time, there was some discussion toward compliance.  The next pretrial hearing is scheduled for March 27, 2002

 

 

2.  Discussion regarding procedures for enforcing violations for failure to obtain an

     alarm permit, with possible action.

 

                              Phyllis Colon, Tax Assessor-Collector, mentioned that since 1986 there has been a city ordinance in place that everyone should register their alarms.  There is also a provision for imposition of a fine for having an excessive number of calls.  If an alarm is set off and there is no sticker displayed on the window, the police will send a notice and then there are additional mailings sent to that address by the Tax Department asking that they register their alarms.  If there is no response to the letter, then the matter is turned back to the police department and they, in turn, will notify the court.

                             

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

 

1.  Discussion with possible action regarding the status of speed hump requests in

District V, particularly the request made on September 20, 1999 to include Allende Street to next speed hump program.

 

Motion to postpone item until the next meeting.

 

Moved:  Cm. Amaya

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:    7                                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

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

 

1.  Discussion with possible action requesting a legal opinion regarding the County's

     authority to construct a bridge within the city limits of the city of Laredo.

 

      Jaime Flores, City Attorney, stated that the response as to the question of the County's authority to construct a bridge is:  not without the City's consent.  Under Texas law, the County will have to look at the City for permission to construct an international bridge within the municipal boundaries.  Two sections of the Texas Transportation Code have to be read together; namely, Section 251.083  and 251.012.   Thus, a County is not authorized to construct a bridge within a City's corporate limits without the City's consent.  The opinion also recognizes the statutory and constitutional limits to a City's regulatory authority.  While a County must comply with a City's platting, zoning, and permit requirements; the City's regulations may not unreasonably impede the County's activities within its sphere of activities.  Therefore, the County's authority to build international toll bridges within the municipal limits is contingent on the County's ability to obtain the City's consent and approval. 

 

      Mayor Flores inquired whether this requirement happens before or after the County would acquire a permit.

 

      Jaime Flores replied that this should take place before so that if the County is proceeding with it, they already have the agreement from the City.

 

      Cm. Galo suggested that the City Council prepare a resolution stating that the City objects to the County making a competing proposal within the corporate city limits and forward it to the proper authorities. 

 

      Motion to draft a resolution stating this City's objection to the County's attempt to construct a bridge within the corporate city limits.

     

      Moved:  Cm. J. Valdez, Jr.

      Second:  Cm. Cm. Galo

      For:    5                                          Against:  0                                Abstain:  1

                                                                                                            Cm. Amaya

      Cm. Bruni not present.

 

                  E.  Request by Council Member Juan Ramirez

 

1.  Discussion with possible action regarding the status of the water park.

 

      Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, reported that the department does have a Request for Qualifications out by the Engineering Department.  He stated that the qualifications are due March 22, 2002.  The scope of work for the park includes, but is not limited to, the feasibility study which includes size, location, type, economic feasibility with cost-benefit ratios, and consideration of existing facilities.  He mentioned the timeline for the different phases of the project:  the department is looking to approve the RFP in the middle of April;  award the contract by middle of May, and approve the feasibility study some time in September, 2002.  He stated that the feasibility study will show whether it is feasible to do something to the extent being discussed or to work with the current pool system and construct a reasonable water park within our pools.

 

2.  Discussion with possible action regarding the improvements at Veteran's Field.

 

      Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, spoke about the different improvements that his department is proposing for Veterans Field.  He stated that Veterans Field is in their Capital Improvement Plan and is scheduled for funding of $150,000.00 next year. 

 

      Goyo Lopez, Veterans Field Manager, mentioned a few Texas cities that have made significant renovations and improvements to their minor baseball fields. 

      He submitted a proposal to City Council for improvements to Veterans Field. 

 

 

      --   Renovate playing surface 

      --   Construct women's restrooms 

      --   Construct visitor's dressing room 

      --   Construct utility/storage room 

      --   Xerixcape & erect playground structure in open area 

      --   Construct new outfield wall 

      --   Renovate dugouts 

      --   Widen sidewalk 

      --   Construct souvenir room 

 

      The following is a breakdown of funding needed for Veterans Field:

 

      --   New turf and irrigation system                           $40,000.00

      --   Women's restrooms                                                      $20,000.00

      --   Visitor's dressing room                                      $12,000.00

      --   Storage/Utility Room                                                    $15,000.00

      --   Children's playground                                                   $30,000.00

      --   Outfield wall                                                                 $50,000.00

      --   Renovate dugouts                                                         $  1,500.00

      --   Souvenir stand                                                              $  8,000.00

      --   Sidewalk                                                                      $  5,000.00

         

IX.       INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

15.  Amending Ordinance 2001-O-259 by adding voting precincts 227 and 250 to District

II; defining and correcting boundary lines for precincts 227, 250, and 231; and providing for publication and effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

16.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease renewal with Pinkerton for two office

       spaces totaling 500 square feet and located at International Bridges I & II.

 

1.  Lease term is for one (1) year commencing on November 1, 2001 and ending on

     October 31, 2002.

 

2.  Monthly rent will be $2,000.00 for both properties.

 

3.  City of Laredo may terminate this lease with ninety (90) days written notice.

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

X.        FINAL READINGS OF ORDINANCES 

           

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

 

Motion to waive the Final Readings of Ordinance # 2002-O-032, # 2002-O-033, # 2002-O-034,  # 2002-O-035 and # 2002-O-036.

 

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Cm. Bruni not present.

 

17.  2002-O-032  Amending Section 24.63.2, Permitted Land Uses of the Laredo Land

Development Code to designate an auto auction as an allowable land use in a B-4 (Highway Commercial District); providing for publication and effective date.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2002-O-032.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:  6                                 Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

2002-O-033  Accepting a grant awarded by the Texas Department of Public Safety,

Governor's Division of Emergency Management for the amount of $19,200.00 and amending the City of Laredo's FY 2001-2002 Annual Budget for the NPDES Fund by appropriating the said grant revenue to the appropriate expenditure accounts.  The grant monies will be used for educational materials in Spanish on hazardous materials. 

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2002-O-033.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:    6                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0 

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

2002-O-034  Authorizing the City Manager to execute an Assignment of the Lease

Agreement entered into between the City of Laredo, as Lessor, and Dr. E. H. Borchers, Jr., as Lessee, by Ordinance No. 98-O-310 dated December 7, 1998.  The Lease Assignment is to Johnny C. Cavazos, D.D.S., Assignee, for approximately 4,272 square feet constituting Building No. 910 located at 4403 North Daugherty Avenue, at the Laredo International Airport.  Lease term may be extended until October 31, 2010.  Monthly rent shall be $1,676.67 until October 31, 2002 and will be adjusted annually according to changes in the Consumer Price Index; providing for effective date. 

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2002-O-034.

 

 

 

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     6                              Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                                         Cm. Bruni not present.

 

2002-O-035  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a Scheduled Airline Operating

Agreement and Terminal Building Lease with Compañia Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. de C.V. for exclusive and non-exclusive joint use space located at the Laredo International Airport passenger terminal for the purpose of conducting commercial air transportation services. The term of the agreement is for one (1) year effective March 1, 2002 with two (2) consecutive one- (1) year renewal options ending on February 28, 2005. The monthly rent including landing fees is waived for the first twelve (12) months commencing on the date airline initiates commercial air transportation services at the Laredo International Airport. The proposed route is Mexico City/ Laredo, Texas /Mexico City; providing for an effective date.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2002-O-035.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     6                              Against:  0                                Abstain: 0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

2002-O-036  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a Scheduled Airline Operating

Agreement and Terminal Building Lease with Lineas Aereas Azteca  S. A. de C. V. for exclusive and non-exclusive joint use space located at the Laredo International Airport passenger terminal for the purpose of conducting commercial air transportation services. The term of the agreement is for one (1) year and seventeen (17) days effective February 11, 2002 with two (2) consecutive one (1) year renewal options ending on February 28, 2005. The monthly rent including landing fees is waived for the first twelve (12) months commencing on the date airline initiates commercial air transportation services at the Laredo International Airport. The proposed route is Mexico City/ Laredo, Texas /Mexico City; providing for an effective date. Ratifying Motion approved by City Council on February 11, 2002 regarding a 30-day Scheduled Airline Operating Agreement and Terminal Building Lease with Lineas Aereas Azteca, S.A. de C.V.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2002-O-036.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     6                              Against:  0                                Abstain:  0 

 

                                        Cm. Bruni not present.

 

XI.       RESOLUTIONS

           

18.  2002-R-014  Accepting the assignment of 50.4 acre feet of municipal water rights from

the balance of 387.4855 acre feet deeded to the City of Laredo by Vaquillas Ranch Company, Ltd. by applying 20.9 acre feet of municipal water rights for water availability charges and 11.8 acre feet for annexation charges in connection with the final plat of Concord Hills Community Phase VII; and 11.7 acre feet of municipal water rights for water availability charges and 6 acre feet for annexation charges in connection with the final plat of Concord Hills Community Phase VIII.

 

Motion to approve Resolution 2002-R-014.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

19.  2002-R-015  Authorizing the City Manager to enter into and execute an Interlocal

Cooperation Agreement between the City of Laredo and the County of Webb for the provision of Fire Protection, Emergency, Medical and Rescue Services for all unincorporated areas of the County of Webb, Texas lying outside the incorporated limits of the City of Laredo.

 

Motion to approve Resolution 2002-R-015.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     6                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  1

                                                                                                                                    Cm. Amaya

 

20.  2002-R-016  Declaring the public necessity to acquire the "Surface Only" of one parcel

of land for the San Francisco Javier River Road Extension Project.  Said parcel being Block 679, Western Division, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas; being delineated on attached copy of City plat; and authorizing staff to negotiate with the owner for the acquisition of said parcel 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 parcel 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 the listed owner.

 

 Motion to approve Resolution 2002-R-016.

 

 Moved:  Cm. Galo

 Second:  Cm. Agredano

 For:     7                              Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

           

 

21.  2002-R-017  Declaring the public necessity to acquire the "Surface Only" of one parcel

of land for the El Cuatro Neighborhood City Park Project.  Said parcel consisting of Lots 4, 7, and the West 43.56 feet of Lots 5 and 6, Block 158, Western Division, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas; being delineated on attached copy of City Plat; and authorizing staff to negotiate with the owner for the acquisition of said parcel 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 parcel 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 the listed owner.

 

 Motion to approve Resolution 2002-R-017.

 

 

 Moved:  Cm. Galo

 Second:  Cm. Agredano

 For:   7                                Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

22.  2002-R-019  A resolution authorizing an appeal of Public Utility Commission (PUC)

docket number 24195 requiring Central Power and Light (CPL) to reimburse reasonable and necessary expenses associated with that appeal, and authorizing the Steering Committee of Cities served by CPL to control the course and conduct of the appeal.

 

Motion to approve Resolution 2002-R-014.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XII.     MOTIONS

 

23.  Consideration to fund an additional year of the contract with the Southwest Texas Rain

Enhancement Association for $87,901.00 to cover the cost of the 2002 program.  The program, which will run through December 2002, provides coverage of the entire surface of Webb County.  The City will guarantee the full payment of the program and will collect donations and other commitments from the county government and residents to defray the cost.  Funds are available in the Water Availability Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J. Valdez, Jr.

Second:  Cm.  Bruni

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

 

 

 

            24.       Refund of property tax to the following taxpayers and companies:

           

a.  A refund in the amount of $521.43 payable to Santiago & Jessica L. Alvarez due

     to payment in error by mortgage company.

b.  A refund in the amount of $865.75 payable to Litton Loan Servicing, LP due to

     payment in error.

c.  A refund in the amount of $ 1,994.54 payable to Ramiro Ramirez, III due to

     overpayment by the taxpayer.

d.  A refund in the amount of $ 682.06 payable to Edwin V. & Shirley Smith due to

     a change in value certified by the Appraisal Review Board.

e.  A refund in the amount of $ 573.13 payable to the Border Abstract Title Group,

     Inc. due to double payment.  Wells Fargo and Border Abstract both paid.

f.  A refund in the amount of $ 1,019.20 payable to Samuel Orozco Plumbing and

     Sons due to a change of value certified by the Appraisal Review Board.

g.  A refund in the amount of $ 1,046.95 payable to Jose Antonio Hernandez &

Lorna Aley due to a double payment by mortgage company and Neel Abstract Company.

h.  A refund in the amount of $3,373.53 payable to Merlin Development Ltd. Co.

     due to a double payment.  Border Title and Merlin Development paid.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:    6                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

                   Cm. Bruni not present.

 

25.  Approving monthly adjustments to the tax roll.  The amount to be adjusted for the

month of January 2002, represents an increase in levy of $55,591.60.  These adjustments are determined by the Webb County Appraisal District and court orders.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:    6                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                  Cm. Bruni not present.

 

26.  Consideration for approval of acceptance of the City-Wide Sidewalks Project No. 13

(16 Blocks), Project No. 16 (12 Blocks) and Project No. 17b (8 Blocks) plus additive alternates 1 and 2 (2 Blocks in Project 16) for a net total of 38 Blocks and release of retainage in the amount of $33,192.48 to Pete Gallegos Paving, Inc., Laredo, Texas.  Final contract amount is $331,924.75.  Funding is available in the Capital Improvement Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:    6                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

27.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of computers through the State of Texas

Department of Information Resources (DIR) cooperative purchase contracts for all City departments.  The City is able to utilize the Department of Information Resources purchasing power in acquiring information systems such as personal computers.  Funding is available in the respective department's capital outlay budget.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Cm. Amaya

For:    6                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

28.  Consideration to award an annual supply contract number FY 02-045 to the LOW

BIDDERS, Petroleum Trader Corp., Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in the estimated amount of $650,000.00 for the purchase of transport loads of unleaded fuel; and Arguindegui Oil Co., Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount of $450,000.00, for the purchase of transport and tank wagon loads of diesel fuel, for the City of Laredo's fleet.  The transport load contract pricing per gallon for unleaded fuel is approximately $0.0048/gallon less than the previous contract price.   Funding is available in the Fleet Maintenance Fund.

 

Motion to postpone.

 

Cm. Guerra moved to postpone awarding of the contract; motion dies for lack of a second.

 

Motion to reject all bids and extend the current contract for six weeks in order to allow the Purchasing Department to go through the bid process.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Ramirez

Second:  Cm.  Guerra

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

29.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of two service trucks through the Texas Local

Government Purchasing Cooperative (Buy Board) contract from Lawrence Marshall Dealerships, Austin, Texas, in the total amount of $65,880.00.  These trucks will be assigned to the Utilities Department Wastewater Collection Division.  Funding is available in the Utilities Department budget.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

30.  Motion to consider amendment of the third party funding contract for Laredo Webb

County Food Bank in order to amend Section 4 that $2,500.00 of the $30,000.00 will be allocated to Veterans; and to add Section 4.1 to list the documents required of applicants who are Veterans.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

31.  Consideration to award contract FY 01-019 to the Low Bidder, Quest Enterprises, Inc.,

Walsenburg, Colorado in the amount of $50,446.00 for the purchase of protective clothing (bunker gear) for the Fire Department.  The clothing includes fifty protective suits for conventional fire fighting situations.  The proposed gear meets all the standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  Funding is available in the 2002-A PPFCO Contractual Obligation Bond.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present. 

 

32.  Consideration of approval of Change Order Number 4 an increase of $175,000.00 to

the contract with Marshall Company, Corpus Christi, Texas, for the Fire Fighting/Law Enforcement facility for additional improvements to the air rescue fire fighting system, to add a motor operated valve and fencing for the water meter bypass, drain for the hose drying tower, and other additional miscellaneous items and add an additional 65 working days to the construction contract time.  Funding is available in the Fire Training Facility Budget and Utilities Department Budget.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

33.  Consider approval of a motion authorizing the City Manager to negotiate a Water

       Supply Agreement with the Laredo City Water Local Government Corporation.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Bruni

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

34.  Consideration for approval of change order no. 4 an increase of $74,144.98 to the

Jacaman Road Extension construction contract with Brothers Paving, Inc. Laredo, Texas, for upgrading 8" to 12" waterline and for additional CP&L conduits for the additional street lights, and to cover the cost of the Contractor's bond for the Jacaman Road from the Airport property line east to Bob Bullock Loop, and for Sinatra Parkway from the current terminus of Sinatra Parkway north to the intersection of Jacaman Road in conjunction with the Laredo Entertainment Center (LEC) Project.  Funding is available in the Jacaman Road Extension.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

XIII.    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.

 

35.  Request for executive session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.072 in

regards to deliberating the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property for a proposed City Landfill site, because deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person; and return to Open Session for possible action.

 

Motion to go into Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.072 in regards to deliberating the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property for a proposed City Landfill site, because deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person; and return to Open Session for possible action.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

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

 

Motion to authorize the City Manager to enter into an earnest money contract for the purchase of approximately 1,500 acres, located five miles east of IH 35 at approximately mile marker 15, for use as a City of Laredo landfill at Two Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars and no cents ($2,500.00) an acre.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Guerra

Second:  Cm. Agredano

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Cm. Bruni not present.

 

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

regards to deliberating the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property in the vicinity of the Riverfront Development Project, because deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person; and return to Open Session for possible action.

 

Motion to go into Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.072 in regards to deliberating the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property in the vicinity of the Riverfront Development Project, because deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person; and return to Open Session for possible action.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

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

 

XIV.    RECESS AND CONVENE AS THE LAREDO CITY WATER LOCAL

GOVERNMENT CORPORATION

 

Motion to recess as City Council and convene as the Laredo Water Local Government Corporation.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Bruni

For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

37.  Consider approval of a motion to authorize the President of the Laredo City Water

       Local Government to negotiate a Water Supply Agreement with the City of Laredo.

 

       Motion to approve.

 

       Moved:  Cm.  Galo

       Second:  Cm.  Bruni

       For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

                       

38.  Consider approval of a motion authorizing the President of Laredo City Water Local

Government Corporation to negotiate a Water Supply Agreement with MWH Americas, Inc., for the Secondary Water Supply Project.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

39.  2002-RW-001  Authorizing the Board of Directors of the Laredo City

Water Local Government Corporation to appoint new corporate officers

 including President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

 

Motion to approve 2002-RW-001.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Bruni

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     7                           Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

Motion to adjourn as the Laredo City Water Local Government Corporation and reconvene as Laredo City Council.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Bruni

For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XV.      ADJOURNMENT

 

Motion to adjourn.                                                                                            Time:  9:10 p.m.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez, Jr.

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Cm. Bruni not present.

 

I, Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, do hereby certify that the above minutes contained in pages 01 through 31 are true, complete, and correct proceedings of the City Council meeting held on February 25, 2002

 

                                                                                                ______________________________

                                                                                                Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                      City Secretary