CITY OF LAREDO

                                                   CITY COUNCIL MEETING

                                                                  M2003-R-10

                                                  CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

                                                     1110 HOUSTON STREET

                                                      LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

                                                                MAY 19, 2003

                                                                    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

 

            The Mayor led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

III.       ROLL CALL

 

            In attendance:

 

            Elizabeth G.  Flores,                                                                 Mayor

            Alfredo Agredano,                                                                    Mayor Pro Tempore, District I

            Hector Garcia,                                                                          Council Member, District II

            John C.  Galo,                                                                          Council Member, District III

            Johnny Amaya,                                                                         Council Member, District IV

            Eliseo Valdez, Jr.,                                                                     Council Member, District V

            Gene Belmares,                                                                        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.       MINUTES

 

            None.

V.        COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

            Announcements

 

None.

 

            Invitations

 

Dr.  Jose Luis Gonzalez, extended an invitation to the Mayor and Council for a celebration in Monclova, Mexico. 

 

 

 

            Recognitions

 

a.  Recognition of Michelle Inocencio, J.W. Nixon High School graduation senior on her

     award of a 4 year scholarship to Texas A & M for her athletic and academic

     achievements.  Ms. Inocencio is a member of Club Olympia funded by the City of

     Laredo and 2-time national javelin champion.

 

Mayor Flores presented a Seven Flags Certificate of Recognition to Michelle Inocencio for her outstanding achievements as a 2-time National Javelin Champion.  The honor student from J. W. Nixon also qualified in the try outs for a spot in the United States Track and Field Team and the United States Pan American Games.  She is the first female from Laredo to ever achieve this goal. 

 

            Communiqués

 

Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano thanked the citizens of Laredo for donating over three tons of food to a food drive sponsored by the U. S. Post Office employees. 

 

Cm.  Garcia congratulated Housing Partners, a housing corporation, as they celebrated their grand opening for the Clark Crossing Apartments which is a 12.4 million dollar project.  He noted that the complex has 160 units that will assist low-income families.  He also took the time to wish United South High School Basketball players luck as they will participate in quarter finals. 

 

Cm.  Galo thanked the Parks and Recreation Department and the Police Department for their assistance with the United States Tennis Association Clinic held at United High School North and the Market Tennis Courts.  Over 500 children participated in the annual event.  He also gave a comprehensive report on his trip to Washington where he represented the Council at the Border Trade Alliance meeting.  He covered the current issues which included splitting the border in corridors, House Bill 1096 and Bill 596, extension of the entry exit, and finally the gas tax.  He stressed the City’s desire to push for modern technology that will expedite entry at our borders.   

 

Cm.  Amaya thanked individuals that were involved in the completion of the McPherson Widening Project. 

 

Cm.  Belmares thanked the Mayor for allowing him to represent the City at the Crime Stopper’s State Convention.  The Crime Stoppers is a phenomenal program that has 267 organizations throughout Texas.  He also asked the public to observe Memorial Day. 

 

Cm.  J.  Valdez thanked the City of Laredo’s Engineering and Public Works Department for doing and outstanding job with the street resurfacing project at the Dell Wood Subdivision.  He announced that more projects are scheduled for the Dell Wood Subdivision. 

 

Cm.  Ramirez thanked the City of Laredo’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Police Department for a reception that was held at Zacate Creek for the students from Texas A & M International University. 

 

 

            a.  Presentation of the 2002-2003 cooperative employees participating in the City of Laredo           Administrative and Industrial Cooperative Training Programs.

 

Dan Migura, Administrative Service Director, explained that each year the City budgets funds to provide a corporative opportunity at the local high schools to participate in our work efforts.  This year the City has 23 students that were provided funding.

 

Jerry Elizondo, COOP Supervisor, explained the process on the selection and placing of COOP students.  He introduced the following students:

 

1.  Lorena P.  Acosta          Library                                     Alexander High School

2.  Jose Aranda III              City Manager’s Office  United High School

3.  Glenda Arredondo          PARD – Tarver                        Martin High School

4.  Joe Butcher                    Health                                      Alexander High School

5.  Leticia Canales               PARD – Cigarroa                     Cigarroa High School

6.  Jennifer Garibay  PARD – Tarver                        Nixon High School

7.  Leybi Garza                    Engineering                               Martin High School

8.  Miriam Garza                 PARD – Hillside                       Nixon High School

9.  Valeria Gomez                ASD – Employee Health           United High School

10.  Gabriel Gomez PARD – Cigarroa                     Cigarroa High School

11.  Marcos Gonzalez          PARD – DD Hachar                Cigarroa High School

12.  Ruby Guerrero ASD – Training                        United South High School

13.  Alcide Jaramillo            Police                                       United South High School

14.  Ena J.  Lopez               Tax                                          Cigarroa High School

15.  Delia Miles                   PARD – DD Hachar                Nixon High School

16.  Lydia A.  Perez            PARD – Administration            United South High School

17.  Valeria Rodriguez         Finance – Purchasing                United South High School

18.  Claudia Rodriguez        PARD – Tarver                        Nixon High School

19.  Jessica Sanchez            ASD – Human Resources         United South High School

20.  Jessica J.  Thomas        PARD – Farias             Martin High School

21.  Ana L.  Vasquez           Secretary’s Office                     United South High School

22.  Teresa Perez                Bridge                                      Martin High School

23.  Rosario Velasquez        Finance                                    Nixon High School

 

VI.       APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSIONS, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

 

            None.

 

VII.     PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

            1.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance Map of the City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 9, Block 351, Eastern Division, located at 114 Lyon 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 denial of the proposed zone change.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

 

 

                 Moved:  Cm.  Galo

                 Second:  Cm.  Garcia

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ron Whitehawk, on behalf of the property owner, asked for delay for a month of this zone change.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and postpone for 30 days.

 

                 Moved:  Cm.  Amaya

                 Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            2.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance Map of the City of Laredo by authorizing the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit for a child daycare facility on 1.42 acres, as further described by metes and bounds on attached Exhibit “A,” located approximately at 3351 Clark Boulevard; providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of the proposed permit.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm.  Galo

                 Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm.  Garcia

                 Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Garcia

 

            3.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance Map of the City of Laredo by rezoning 2.2882 acres, as further described by metes and bounds on                      attached Exhibit “A,” located south of Don Camillo Boulevard and west of Highway 83, from R-1A (Single Family Reduced Area 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.  Galo

                 Second:  Cm.  Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ron Whitehawk, on behalf of the property owner, spoke in favor of the zone change.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm.  Amaya

                 Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Galo

 

            4.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance Map of the City of Laredo by rezoning 5.02 acres, as further described by metes and bounds on attached Exhibit “A,” located east of Highway 83 and northeast of the American Towers Plat No. 2 from R-1 (Single Family Residential District) to M-1 (Light Manufacturing District); providing for publication and effective date.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended denial of the proposed change.

 

     Motion to open the public hearing.

 

     Moved:  Cm.  Galo

     Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

     For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

     There was no public input.

 

     Motion to close the public hearing and postpone.

 

     Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

     Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

     For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

5.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance Map of the

     City of Laredo by rezoning 42.44 acres, as further described by metes and bounds on    

     attached Exhibit “A,” located approximately at the 2600 block of Del Mar Boulevard,

     from R-1 (Single Family Residential 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.  Galo

     Second:   Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

     For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

     Cm.  E.  Valdez was not present.

 

     There was no public input.

 

     Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

 

     Moved:  Cm.  Belmares

     Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

     For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

     Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Belmares

   

     Cm.  E.  Valdez not present.

 

6.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance Map of the

City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 1A, Block 1, Pan American Mobile Home Park Subdivision, located approximately at 4502 Game Creek Boulevard, from AG (Agricultural District) to R-1MH (Single Family Manufactured Housing 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.  Amaya

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

Second:  Cm.  Ramirez

For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

 

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

City of Laredo by rezoning 6.07 acres, as further described by metes and bounds on attached Exhibit “A,” located east of Highway 83 and north of Cielito Lindo Boulevard, from B-1 (Limited Commercial 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 and approval of a B-3 zone change.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ron Whitehawk, on behalf of the Joe Moore family, spoke in favor of the zone change request.

 

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

 

 

Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

Second:  Cm.  Galo

For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

           

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

City of Laredo by rezoning 4.6243 acres, as further described by metes and bounds on attached Exhibit “A,” located south of Highway 359 and approximately one and a half miles east of Loop 20, 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 denial of the proposed B-4 and approval of a B-3 zone change.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ron Whitehawk, representing the property owners, asked to allow property to go as a B-3 as recommended by staff.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Garcia

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Garcia

 

9.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Section 23-3 and Section 23-5 of

Chapter 23 (Parks and Recreation) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Laredo to allow for rate changes in Public Swimming Pool Admission Fees from $0.50 to $0.75 for children and from $0.75 to $1.25 for adults (ages 13 and older), and to provide for the addition of Section 23-6 for New Recreational Fields Facility Fees and Section 23-7 for the creation of user fees for recreational equipment rentals; providing for publication and effective date.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

 

Moved:  Cm.  Ramirez

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

10.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the City of Laredo FY 2002-2003

annual budget in the amount of $5,350.00 in additional funds from the Texas Department of Health for the OPHP-Bioterrorism Preparedness Program of the City of Laredo Health Department for the period beginning September 1, 2002 through August 31, 2003.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

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

grant from the Texas Book Festival in the amount of $2,500.00 and amending the City of Laredo FY 2002-2003 annual budget in the amount of $2,500.00.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

Second:  Cm.  J.  Valdez

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

 

 

12.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance authorizing Aleskar Villarreal, d/b/a

Villarreal Dumps and Backhoe Service, Inc. a non-exclusive franchise, to construct, maintain and operate a commercial container refuse gathering and disposing service in the City of Laredo, Texas, and providing the terms, conditions, obligations, and limitations upon and under which such franchise shall be exercised; providing indemnity to the City, City retains authority to regulate rates except for rate increases resulting from increased landfill fees which are passed on to the customer; providing for increased service rates; providing for franchise payments; and providing for severability. 

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

13.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance authorizing the City Manager to enter into

an agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the amount of $20,609.00 and amending the FY 2002-2003 City of Laredo budget by $1,391.00.  The agreement’s purpose is to reimburse costs for overtime incurred by the Laredo Police Department in providing resources for joint operational task forces.  The term of this agreement is from October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2003.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

 

14.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Section 2-3 of Article I of Chapter

2, Administration, of the Code of Ordinances copies of public information therein set forth, the schedule of charges for copies of public information therein set forth in Sections 111.61-111.71 of the Texas Administrative Code containing the schedule of charges for producing public information under the Public Information Act, Government Code, Chapter 552, Subchapter F.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

15.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Chapter 19 Motor Vehicle and      

Traffic, Article VIII, Stopping, Standing or Parking, Section 19-361, controlled access parking lots and Section 19-362, Controlled Access Parking Lot Rates and Hours of Operation, of the Code of Ordinances, City of Laredo: authorizing the establishment of parking rates, enforcement regulations, and hours of operation for all newly acquired City-owned parking lot facilities, providing for effective date and publication.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

There was no public input.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Garcia

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

VIII.    GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

       

            16.  A.  Request by Council Member Hector J. Garcia

                                   

1.  Update on abandoned homes in District II.

 

Erasmo Villarreal, Community Development Director, discussed the abandoned homes located in District II.  He said that staff has worked on renting the homes with realtors and because of the purchase price and market rent; they are not able to rent the homes.  He discussed several suggestions for the homes including five demolitions.  He went on to advise the Council that the homes are taken care of by City staff.  He said that staff will be addressing the sub-committee of the Municipal Housing for suggestions in lowering the rent on the homes according to different conditions and vacancy term.  He also said that he would be meeting with the director of United Water so they can continue to maintain the property properly.

 

Cm.  Galo asked staff to schedule a Municipal Housing Committee Meeting so they could address the issue. 

 

Cynthia Collazo, Assistant City Manager, advised that staff would bring the item back at the next City Council Meeting with different options for approval. 

 

                   B.  Request by Council Member Gene Belmares

 

1.  Report by Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, on the traffic study on the

     intersection of Winfield and Alexander Estates.

 

Robert Peña, from the Traffic Department, discussed the traffic study on the intersection of Winfield and Alexander Estates.  He noted that the intersection does warrant a traffic light; however, because of the geometry it is not feasible.  The cost of the traffic signal would be $100,000.  He discussed alternate routes that will be available in the future.  The routes would alleviate vehicular congestion.

 

Cm.  Belmares asked staff to research all options and return to Council.  He also asked them to reduce the cost of resolving the congestion for that area. 

 

2.  Discussion with possible action on the creation of a dual fuel ordinance

providing new homeowners with a true option for natural gas with a presentation by John Hickle.  (Co-sponsored by Council Member Hector J. Garcia and Council Member Jose A. Valdez).

 

John Hickle, from Proviron Natural Gas, discussed the following issues:

 

·        99% of Natural Gas used in the United States is domestically produced

·        Webb County and the City of Laredo play a substantial role in this vital national energy source

·        Every year the DOE produces a report on the average cost of five residential energy sources and Natural Gas continues to lead the way in affordable energy at about $8.00 while the same electric energy cost $24.00

·        Natural gas as well as other utilities are key components in the energy diversity of any city including Laredo

·        When companies are looking for new places to do business a viable utility infrastructure plays an important role in the decision process

·        The need for families to enjoy “affordable living” has also increased with so much pressure on family incomes

·        Many Laredoans are benefiting with Affordable Housing thanks to the efforts of this Council

·        Affordable living builds on this effort by using the right energy for the job from air-conditioning to water heating some choices are better for the consumer

·        While natural gas can and does play a key role in “energy diversity” for our community and “affordable living” for our citizens we need to make this a reality for more Laredoans

·        Helping Laredoans get connected with affordability

 

Natural Gas costs less in 2003 than other Home Energies, DOE says remains Best Home-Energy Value for five of the last six years.

 

Washington, D. C.  – Natural gas will cost less to use this year than other major home energy sources, and the yellow Energyguide labels on many new appliances will reflect this cost information starting May 9, according to the U. S.  Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

 

“An average homeowner can save hundreds of dollars each year on energy costs by using natural gas to heat their homes, produce hoe water and dry their clothes,” said Tom Moskitis, AGA director of external affairs.  “For example, an average household can save more than $200 per year in energy costs by using a natural gas water heater instead of similar electric unit. That adds up to big savings - - nearly $1,900 over the nine-year life of a water heater.”

 

Here is what one million British thermal units (Btus) of various residential energy sources will cost in 2003, according to DOE:

 

Natural Gas                       $8.16

No. 2  Heating Oil $8.80

Kerosene                          $10.59

Propane                            $13.25

Electricity                          $24.65

 

These estimates by the American Gas Association are based on DOE’s 2003 representative annual costs of energy, using equipment listed in the latest Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute equipment directories.  The estimate is based on a 2,072 square-foot home located in a moderately cold temperature region, such as St.  Louis, with updated energy efficiency features that reflect the 2000 “international Energy Conservation Code.” 

 

Motion to instruct staff to create an ordinance which will require the builder to install duel option in all newly constructed homes.       

 

Moved:  Cm.  Belmares

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

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

 

1.  Discussion with possible action regarding the implementation of safety measures

to reduce crime rate in District VII to include maintenance by Union Pacific of railroad right-of-way, area lighting, etc.

 

Cm.  J.  Valdez said the recent increase in crime in District VII influenced him to place the item on the agenda.   

 

Agustin Dovalina, Chief of Police, noted that staff has met with the Cm.  Valdez to hear his concerns regarding criminal activity in District VII.  The Chief has instructed sector personnel to enhance the patrol surveillance for  areas where crime trends have been indicated.  Officers are setting up crime watch programs to enhance their ability to be able to resolve criminal activity.  The police department is working very hard to deter criminal activity in District VII.  

 

Cm.  Valdez also discussed his concerns in regards to the maintenance along the Union Pacific railroad right-of-way.  He asked for more lighting to be installed for the safety of individuals.  He also asked staff to remove some brush on vacant lots in that area. 

 

Linda Barrera, tenant of Versailles Apartment,  said that  burglaries have increased in District VII.  She went on to say the problem is not with the Police Department but is due to the lack of officers for the district.  She asked Council for more officers.     

 

Chief Dovalina said that staff has been talking about breaking up the district to enhance the different departments.  When the next class of cadets graduates, the City will have an additional 12 officers available for targeting different areas.   There are 38 vacancies in the department.

 

2.  Discussion with possible action regarding status of all park projects in District

     VII. 

 

Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, discussed the following projects in District VII:

 

Lafayette Park – Community Development Block Grant-funded Park.  The park consists of several parcels of land under the Lafayette Bridge in West Laredo.  Park amenities include a covered basketball court with landscaping, irrigation system tables, benches, and barbeque pits.

 

Lafayette/Farias Spray Park – draft of RFP and equipment is being worked on for a turn-key design project.  Release of RFP for both Lafayett and Farias should be done within the next 30 days. 

 

Father McNaboe Jr./Sr.  Baseball Field – Property is in the process of acquisition.  A proposed donation from property owners has been initiated with a “Special Warranty Deed” submitted by the donor.  Legal staff has reviewed and recommended language that is to be included in the final draft Webb County has appropriated $50,000 for field lighting and approved an Inter-local Agreement to participate in the joint-use and development of this baseball field.  Design of Grading plans and approval of IBWC are currently in process.

 

Father McNaboe Master Plan Amendment – Discussion of other improvements not consistent with the existing master plan at Father to the original design that reflects the existing skate park south of the entrance and other proposed amenities along this same flood plain need to be designed and reviewed by an architect/engineer and IBWC.  Inquiries with the architect of record and City Engineer have taken place and an assessment and cost estimate needs to be finalized for a possible RFQ.  Father McNaboe concrete stairs and ADA ramp cost:  $28,000 for in-house without ramp and $50,000 in house with ramp. 

 

3.  Discussion with possible action to implement a master plan for the revitalization

     of San Bernardo Avenue to include widening of sidewalks, trees, etc.

 

Cm.  Valdez expressed his desire to update a project survey for revitalization of San Bernardo Avenue.  He noted that the detailed project should include ways to fund the revitalization in the Capital Improvement Plan. 

 

Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, acknowledged that funding has been a challenge for the revitalization of San Bernardo Avenue.  He noted the costs of underground utilities are his major concern. 

 

Cm.  E.  Valdez suggested tax incentives or abatements for business owners.  He noted the relief would encourage business owners to be more receptive about the revitalization of San Bernardo Avenue.      

         

                   D.  Request by Council Member Juan Ramirez

 

1.  Discussion with possible action directing the City Manager to finalize

negotiations with Laredo Independent School District in order to allow them to proceed with the construction of McDonnell and Bruni Elementary Schools. 

 

Cm.  Ramirez said the negotiations with Laredo Independent School District have been completed and no discussion was needed.      

    

IX.       INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

17.  Designating as a one-way northbound and one-way southbound the east side IH-35

frontage road and the west side IH-35 frontage road, respectively, between Loop 20 and Uniroyal Drive, as requested by Texas Department of Transportation, providing for the installation of appropriate signs to indicate one-way traffic in the designated direction and providing for publication and effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

18.  Adding new Article VIII of Chapter 28 to the Code of Ordinances, consisting of

Sections 28.151 to 28.157; providing for definitions; requiring a license agreement in order to install an oil or gas pipeline on public property; providing for an annual public property use fee for location of same and the mode of computing said fee; providing for a one time crossing fee for excavation and installation of a pipeline on a city street and the mode of computation of same; providing for application of a crossing fee for any alteration or removal of a pipeline; providing for publication and effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

19.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute all necessary documents to effectively convey

fee simple title to the “Surface Only”, at its adjusted market value of $24,223.00 of certain property being described as 0.2442 of an acre (10,636.20 sq. ft.), more or less, of a tract of land out of Maryland Avenue between the South right-of-way line of Market Street and 103.75 feet north of the north right-of-way line of Cortez Street to Isabel R. Martinez; provided that the City of Laredo retains a 21 foot wide Storm Drainage and an AEP-CPL easement.  Said tract being situated in the Eastern Division, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas being generally described on the  attached exhibit; and providing for an effective date.

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

20.  Adding new Chapter 34 to the Code of Ordinances, consisting of Sections 101-109;

providing for definitions; setting forth prohibited financial interest of City officers and City employees; providing for forfeiture if there is a conflict of interest as defined herein; providing for voiding of any contract entered into in violation of this ordinance; providing for relationship to Chapter 171 of the Local Government Code; providing for publication; and providing for effective date.

 

Frank Garza, of Counsel, representative from the law offices of Davidson and Troilo, gave a presentation before Council on the drafting of this ordinance.   The comprehensive report was distributed to the Mayor, Council and City Manager; however, was not given to the City Secretary’s Office for the public to view. 

 

Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

X.        FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES 

 

Motion to waive the final readings of Ordinance # 2003-O-113, # 2003-O-115, # 2003-O-116, # 2003-O-117, # 2003-O-118, # 2003-O-119, # 2003-O-120 and # 2003-O-121.

 

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Galo

            Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

21.  2003-O-113  Amending the City of Laredo 2002-2003 annual budget by increasing

Texas Department’s Health share of program income and expenditures for the Maternal and Child Health Program of the City of Laredo Health Department in the amount of $42,893.00 from ($27,107.00 to $70,000.00) for the period beginning September 1, 2002 through August 31, 2003.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-113.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                   2003-O-115  Amending the City of Laredo FY 2002-2003 annual budget to recognize

    additional revenues from a grant amendment received from the Federal

    Aviation Administration being grant offer No. 3-48-0136-33-02 increasing    

    the amount from $41,626.00 to $63,543.00 an increase of $21,917.00 for    

    the purpose of reimbursing the City of Laredo for increased law

    enforcement services provided by the Laredo Police Department

    immediately following the tragic event of September 11, 2001 and

    providing for an effective date.  The grant does not require a local match.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-115.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                  2003-O-116  Authorizing the issuance of the City of Laredo, Texas General Obligation

    Refunding Bonds, Series 2003; approving an official statement;

    authorizing the execution of a purchase agreement and an escrow

    agreement; making provisions for the security thereof; establishing

    procedures for selling and delivering the bonds; and ordaining other

    matters related to the subject.

 

    Noe Hinojosa, from Estrada Hinojosa, gave the following presentation:

 

 

$4,590,000

General Obligation

Refunding Bonds, Series 2003

 

    Pricing Report

 

    Financing Team

 

    Issuer                                   City of Laredo, Texas

                                                4,590,000 General Obligation Refunding

                                                Bond, Series 2003

 

    Financial Advisor                  Estrada Hinojosa & Company, Inc.

 

    Bond Counsel                       McCall, Parkhurst & Horton L. L. P.

 

    Underwriter                          A. G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.

 

    Underwriter’s Counsel          Loeffler jonas & Tuggey LLP

 

    Paying Agent                        JPMorgan Chase Bank

 

A chart indicating Bond Buyer Indices can be viewed at the City  Secretary’s Office.

 

Rating & Credit Enhancement

 

The City of Laredo, Texas General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2003 received a Aaa/AAA/AAA rating and is issued by virtue of the MBIA guarantee.

 

 

Insurance Companies

 

 

 

MBIA

AMBAC

FSA

XLCA

FGIC

------------------------

---------------

---------------

-------------

---------------

------------------

Insurance Premium

22.00 bps

27.00 bps

30.00 bps

30.00 bps

30.70 bps

------------------------

---------------

---------------

-------------

---------------

------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MBIA

AMBAC

FSA

XLCA

 

------------------------

---------------

---------------

-------------

--------------

------------------

Dollar Equivalent:

$10,922.24

$13,404.57

$14,893.96

$14,893.96

$15,241.49

------------------------

---------------

---------------

-------------

---------------

------------------

Diff. from lowest:

 

2,482.33

3,971.72

3,971.72

4,319.25

 

 

 

 

 

    The Obligation’s underlying credit rating is:

 

    Moody’s                             S&P                                        Fitch

 

    A2                                       A                                             A+

 

The Aaa/AAA/AAA ratings represent the highest quality rating assigned by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch for long term debt.  This rating is based upon MBIA’s guarantee and not the City’s stand-alone financial condition.      

 

Moody’s Rating

 

Issue

 

Combination Tax and Sewer System Revenue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2003

 

Sale Amount                                     $3,660,000                  A2

Expected Sale Date                                      05/05/03

Rating Description                                        General Obligation and Sewer System Revenue

 

Combination Tax Revenue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2003

Sale Amount                                                 $3,550,000                  A2

Expected Sale Date                                      05/05/03

Rating Description                                        General Obligation and Bridge System Revenue

 

Public Property Finance Contractual Obligations, Series 2003

Sale Amount                                                 $2,825,000                  A2

Expected Sale Date                                      05/05/03

Rating Description                                        General Obligation, Limited

 

General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2003

Sale Amount                                                 $4,757,000                  A2

Expected Sale Date                                      05/05/03

Rating Description                                        General Obligation

 

Moody’s Assigns A2 Rating to City of Laredo’s $3.66 Million

Combination Tax and Sewer System Revenue CO, Series 2003,

Combination Tax and Revenue CO, Series 2003 and $2.825 Million

PPFCO, Series 2003

 

Rating Affects $157 Million in General Obligation Debt In Current Issues

 

Opinion

 

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an A2 rating to the City of

Laredo, Texas $3,660,000 Combination Tax and Sewer System Revenue

Certificates of Obligation, Series 2003, $3,550,000 Combination Tax and

Revenue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2003        $2,825,000 Public

Property Finance Contractual Obligations (PPFCO), Series 2003 and

$4.575 million General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2003.  At the

same time, Moody’s has affirmed the A2 rating on the City’s $157.7

million in outstanding GO debt including the current issues.  All three

issues are secured by an ad valorem tax levied on all property in the city,

within the limits prescribed by law.  The Certificates, which will be used

for drainage and facility improvements, are additionally secured by

surplus revenues not to exceed $1,000 of the City’s bridge system.  The

Sewer Certificates are secured by an additional pledge of the surplus

revenues of the sewer system and will be used to make sewer system

improvements.  The PPFCOs, which mature in five years, will be sued to

purchase equipment. The refunding will refund certain outstanding debt of

the City for a slight net present value savings and will create capacity for a

future tax supported bond issue to impact FYE 2005.  The A2 rating

reflects the City’s growing and diversifying tax base and management’s

ability to handle increasing service demands and capital needs associated

with a rapidly growing population.  The rating also reflects the City’s

manageable debt burden despite ongoing debt requirement s and healthy

financial operations supported by a diverse stream of revenues. 

 

Laredo’s role as an important economic center for the State and Nation

has grown significantly with activities related to NAFTA.  Laredo is the largest land port in the nation, and 60% of trade coming into Texas comes through Laredo.  Tax base growth has reflected this activity and over the last five years, taxable values have increased a healthy average of 7.9% annually.  The fiscal 2003 sizable tax base of $5.5 billion grew 9.6 over the previous year, which is up from the 7-8% projection.

 

The growth and diversification of the city’s tax base along with the ties created by NAFTA have increased the city’s resiliency to possible fluctuations in the economy of Nuevo Laredo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas (Baa3 Global Scale, Local Currency) by tying it to the broader Mexican economy.  The city’s unemployment rate has been maintained in the 6% to 8%range for the last three years.  The latest unemployment rate of 7.9% for January of 2003 is similar to the 7.6% recorded during the same month in 2002, indicating that despite a slowdown in the National economy, unemployment rates are remaining steady in Laredo.

 

Relatively high debt levels reflect the city and areas’ rapid economic and population growth and the funding of related capital needs at the city and overlapping county and school districts.  Direct debt is high but manageable at 3.5% of full value and includes the sales tax revenue debt, which is expected to be supported by the pledged revenue source.  This level is likely to continue as additional borrowing is further mitigated with growth in property values.  The majority of overlapping debt belongs to united I. S. D. growth in property values.  The majority of overlapping debt belongs to United ISD (Baa1) and Laredo I. S. D., (Baa1), and this debt burden has benefited from state aid provided to these districts for debt relief.  Overall debt is 6.4% and takes into consideration State aid for the school district’s debt service requirements.  Amortization of existing debt is a favorable 76% in ten years and is reflected in a relatively high annual debt service expenditure of 31% for FY2002, consistent with the last several years.  The city funds capital projects on a pay-go basis at approximately $3.5 million a year, which provides it with a measure of flexibility, if needed, in meeting the fixed cost of debt repayment. 

 

Fiscal years 2000 and 2001 each recorded an increase to the fund balance.  The surpluses were the result of better than expected revenues and less than budgeted expenditures indicating conservative budgeting by City officials.  The 2002 fund balance decreased to $11.7 million from $14.7 million in the previous year due to some one-time capital expenditures.  Property tax revenues make up 32%of fiscal 2002 General Fund revenues, with sales taxes comprising 18% of the same year’s revenues.  Sales tax revenue are slightly ahead of the 5% growth budgeted for the current fiscal year.  Bridge revenues are slightly below budget but 5.5% above this same time last year.  The city has adopted a 15% general fund reserve policy, although it is not expected to draw to this level.  Moody’s believes that management has institutionalized conservation practices that will continue to guide fiscal actions in the future and allow the city to implement the necessary programs and services to meet the needs of a growing population while maintaining a fund balance consistent with current levels. 

 

KEY STATISTICS:

 

Population estimate (2002):  200,000

Full valuation (FY2003):  $5.5 billion

Direct debt burden with sales tax revenue debt:  3.5%

Direct debt burden:  3.4%

Overall debt burden, with IFA and EDA funding: 6.4%

Property taxes as % of revenue, FY02:  32%

Sales taxes as % of revenues, FY02: 18%

2001 Undesignated General Fund balance:  $13.5 million

2002 Undesignated General Fund balance:  $10.9 million

City Unemployment (January 2003):  7.9%

 

FITCH RATING

 

Outlook

 

The A+ rating reflects Laredo’s continued sound financial management, favorable financial position, growing economic base, and above-average, but manageable, debt burden.  In line with Fitch Ratings’ emphasis on management practices, the rating also reflects the city’s extensive financial and capital planning, aggressive debt management, and conservative fund balance policy.  The rating also incorporates the area’s low wealth levels and historically high, but declining, unemployment rates, ongoing capital pressures associated with rapid population gains, and economic reliance on Mexico.

 

Rating Considerations

 

With its border location and extensive transportation network, the Laredo area economy has benefited from increased trade between the U. S. Mexico.  Despite historical economic fluctuations and political uncertainties in Mexico, Laredo’s future economic performance is expected to be far less cyclical than in the 1980’s due to greater diversification.  Financial results remain solid, even with growing service demands.  Reserve levels are favorable, helping to insulate the city from potential languid economic cycles and limitations on future surplus bridge revenues. 

 

Although aided by substantial enterprise fund support the city’s overall debt burden is above average at $2,482 per capita and 9.0% of taxable assessed valuation (TAV): however, substantial state support for local school district debt significantly reduces the effective debt burden to $1,414 per capita and 5.1% of TAV.  General obligation (GO) debt principal amortization is above average at 77% in 10 years and debt service carrying charges, totaling 21% in fiscal 2002, have been declining as a percentage of general and debt service fund expenditures.  The city’s 2002-2006 capital improvement plan (CIP) totals $440 million but only includes the GO debt financing for about 16% (69.4 million) of the total, with the remainder comprising state and federal grants.  The city projects it can issue %59.7 million in GO debt through fiscal 2009 with no tax rate impact, assuming conservation rates of TAV growth.

 

The Capital Improvement Plan does not include a possible $20 million project for securing a secondary water source that may require an eight-mile pipeline and a new water treatment plant.

 

As a result of the burgeoning trade activity with Mexico, border traffic continues to rise annually, although the heightened security after Sept. 11, 2001 and the recession did cause some stagnation in commercial and pedestrian traffic in fiscal years 2001-2002.  In fiscal 2002, toll bridge receipts grew by $2.7 million (or 9.6) but fell short of budgeted figures, which assumed even greater revenue growth due to a 50-cent toll increase that went into effect December 1, 2002.  For the first six months of fiscal 2003, toll bridge receipts were up 5.5% compared with the same period in fiscal 2002.  Constituting 26.4% (15.7 million) of fiscal 2002 general fund revenues and transfers in, toll bridge receipts are an important component of the city’s general fund.  Future bridge system revenue debt, for a planned fifth bridge, may cause a decline in toll receipt transfers to the general fund starting in fiscal 2005, but this assumes conservative assumptions of bridge traffic growth and no changes in the existing toll rate structure.  In recent years, approximately 38% of all grounded trade between the U. S. and Mexico was handled through the Port of Laredo.  Furthermore, the city benefits from increasing numbers of “maquiladora,” or twin-plant projects, with the warehousing and distribution of Mexican-assembled goods fueling $122.4 million in commercial building permits in fiscal 2001, nearly double fiscal 2000 levels.  Tourism also remains an important sector of the city’s economic base, while government employment continues to grow and account for a larger portion of the economy. 

 

Despite operating pressures associated with steady growth, recent financial performance has been positive, marked by strong year-end general fund balances and annual operating surpluses in four of the past five years.  A $2.0 million operating deficit was recorded in fiscal 2002 due to $1.5 million in pay-as-you-go funding for completion of the city’s fire and law enforcement training facility, plus a $1.1 million budget shortfall in budgeted revenues from the city’s bridge system due to heightened security after the events of Sept.  11, 2001.  Fiscal 2902 still ended with an $11.8 million total fund balance, totaling only 15.3% fund balance policy.  Including transfers in, the city’s diverse fiscal 2002 general fund revenue streams include property taxes (26.6%), charges for services (26.4%), and sales taxes (20.8%).  The fiscal 2003 budget is balanced and includes a five-cent increase to the city’s maintenance and operations tax rate, which has been allocated for the growing public safety needs of Laredo’s rapidly expanding population.  Continued strong growth in the city’s diverse revenue streams should help mitigate some operating pressure associated with rapid population growth.

 

Located in the ninth fastest growing metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in country in the 2000 census, Laredo grew 43.6% to 176,000.  The 2003 estimated population of 202,000 presents a 14% increase from 2000 levels.  After a long and steady decline to the 6% range, the city’s unemployment rate climbed to 7.9% in January 2003.  As is the case in Texas border counties, wealth levels are among the lowest in the U. S.   However, the area’s relatively low cost of living somewhat mitigates this as a credit concern.

 

Strengths

 

·        Favorable financial position and solid reserve levels.

·        Strong, growing international trade activity due to proximity to Mexico and favorable transportation network.

·        Recent economic stability and growth, despite economic fluctuations in Mexico.

 

     Risks

 

·        Low wealth levels and high but declining unemployment rates.

·        Ongoing operating and capital pressures associated with growth.

·        Susceptible to economic cycles in Mexico, although recovery has

      accelerated due to diversified revenue streams.

·        High overall debt burden, although mitigated by     

      substantial state support of overlapping school districts.

 

    Debt

 

Spurred by continuing rapid population growth, the city has been a frequent participant in the debt market.  Due to solid AV growth and substantial enterprise system support, the city’s direct debt burden remains modest at $495 per capita and 1.8% of TAV.  Included in this measure is $39.3 million of sales tax bonds.  Nine different enterprise and special revenue funds support $96.9 million, or 51.2% of outstanding GO debt.  Inclusion of $401.4 million of overlapping debt (74.2% of which is attributable to local school districts) increases debt ratios to well above average levels of $2,485 per capita and 9.0% of TAV.  However, due to very low school district property wealth levels, local districts receive substantial state debt service support totaling up to 85.7 of outstanding debt.  Therefore, the effective overall debt burden is significantly reduced and remains manageable at $1,414 per capita and 5.1% of TAV.  In addition, the city maintains an above-average principal amortization schedule, retiring 49% in five years and 77% in 10 years.  Due to this rapid amortization, debt service as a percentage of expenditures is above average at 21.2% in fiscal 2002 but has declined steadily from a high of 27.0% in fiscal 1995.

 

The city’s fiscal years 2002-2006 CIP totals $440.0 million, $69.4 million (16.0%) of which will comprise long-term debt.  Including the current offerings, the city projects it can issue up to $59.7 million through fiscal 2009, with no debt service tax rate impact.  In fact, the debt service tax rate is projected to decline modestly even number the assumption of conservation rates of TAV growth.  The CIP includes major urban revitalization efforts of the downtown located between bridges I and II and reclamation of the riverbank into a nature preserve.  Additional future debt may also be issued as part of the city’s efforts to develop a secondary groundwater source.  Preliminary estimates projected total project costs of $40 million - $60 million; however, more recent estimates are much less, at around $20 million, due to the location of a groundwater source much closer to the city.  It is anticipated this project will be financed through combination of water rate increases and long-term debt. 

 

Finances

 

Although the city’s financial reserves remain adequate, an unanticipated $2.9 million operating deficit was recorded in fiscal 2002 due to $1.5 million in pay as you go funding for completion of the city’s fire and law enforcement training facility.  The city implemented some reductions to offset the capital outlay expenditure but heightened security after the events of Sept.  1, 2001 caused a $1.1 million shortfall in budgeted revenues from the city’s bridge system.  Fiscal 2002 ended up with an $11.8 million shortfall in budgeted revenues from the city’s bridge system.  Fiscal 2002 ended up with $11.8 million total fund balance, totaling 15.3% of expenditures only and in compliance with the city’s 15% fund balance policy.  However, to account for the use of all general fund resources, Fitch’s calculation of the fund balance includes transfers out (totaling $8.44 million in fiscal 2002) lowering the total fund balance to 13.8% in fiscal 2002.  Including transfers in, the city’s diverse fiscal 2002 general fund revenue streams include property taxes (26.6%), charges for services (26.4%), and sales taxes (20.8%)  Charges for services comprise mostly international toll bridge receipts, totaling $15.7 million in fiscal 2002.

 

The approval fiscal 2003 budget is balanced and includes general fund revenues and expenditures of $87.3 million, representing increases of 6.1% and 2.5%, respectively, from actual fiscal 2002 levels.  A five-cent increase to the maintenance and operations tax rate was adopted for the purpose of funding additional public safety needs of the city’s growing population.  The budget also includes the transfer of 30 police officers from a special police fund, whose grant has expired, to the general fund.  The budget provides a 2.8% cost of living adjustment for employees plus merit increase program.  The budge also project 5% growth in sales tax receipts, which, for the first half of fiscal 2003, are up 3.3% over the same period last year and are expected to meet budgeted targets due to the recent completion of large retail operations.  Although typical property tax collection rates are 95% or higher, the city conservatively budgets collection at 94%. 

 

Economy

 

Laredo, the county seat of Webb County, is located in southwestern Texas along the Rio Grande and the Mexico- U. S. Border.  As one of the fastest growing communities in the nation, Laredo’s population totaled 176,576 in the 2000 census, a 43.7% increase since the 1990 census.  The ongoing integration of the U. S. and Mexican economies has benefited the Laredo MSA. 

 

Its border location and extensive transportation network have made the area a major gateway to Mexico and reportedly the largest inland port in the country.  Laredo’s port of entry account for one-third of the U. S. Mexico overland (truck and rail) merchandise trade.  The area’s multimodal transportation system includes several major highways, including Interstate 35, which extends north to the Canadian border and south through the Pan American Highway to South American.  Also included are four international bridges connecting two Mexican states, as well as service by the Union Pacific and Texas-Mexico railroads.  The recent completion of a new city airport terminal provided added cargo capacity, complementing the area’s transportation infrastructure.  The Laredo airport now ranks eight among U. S. airports in the handling of Latin American cargo.

 

The area economy also benefits from various maquiladoras, or twin-plant programs.  Under these programs, primary manufacturing facilities are located in Nuevo Laredo (Laredo’s sister city with an estimated population of 300,000) and nearby Monterrey (Mexico’s industrial capital, with a metropolitan population estimated at more than three million) to take advantage of the relatively inexpensive labor costs.  Finishing operations are conduced in Laredo, which also includes warehousing and distribution of products.  While manufacturing represents less than 2% of employment, maquiladoras have resulted in significant development of freight handling. Warehousing, and distribution in the MSA’s transportation activity. 

 

Per capita personal income in Webb County for 2000 was $15,114, representing about 54% of the statewide average.  County median household buying income levels for 1999 represented about 73% of that of the state and 71% of that of the nation.  Apprehension about he county’s low wealth levels is partially mitigated by the area’s low cost of living. 

 

Unemployment rates have fallen significantly in recent years, although they remain well above state and national averages.  The city unemployment rate was not significantly affected by the recession through midyear 2002 but has now increased modestly to 7.9% in January 2003.

 

Wholesale and retail trade is the largest employment sector, with 26.0% of MSA jobs, followed by government at 23.3% and services at 21.8%.  Transportation and public utilities, the MSA’s fourth largest employment sector at 17.5% of all area jobs, is one of the fastest growing sectors, a result of maquiladora development and growth in the MSA’s transportation activity. 

 

Sources and Uses of Funds

 

$4,590,000

City of Laredo, Texas

General Obligation Refunding Bonds

Series 2003

 

Sources and Uses of Funds

 

 

 

Sources

 

Par Amount                          $4,590,000.00

Accrued Interest                          15,186.67

Net Premium                               81,041.40

Cash Contribution                        87,257.68

Total Sources:                      $4,773,485.75

 

Uses

 

Deposit to Escrow                $4,629,840.53

Accrued Interest                        15,186.67

Cost of Issuance, Insurance                                                                         

And Underwriter’s Discount  128,456.55

 

Total Uses:

                                            $4,773,485.75

                   

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-116.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                  2003-O-117  Accepting a grant awarded by the Office of the National Drug Control

    Policy (ONDCP) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in the

    amount of $688,313.00 at no cost to the City; and amending the City of

    Laredo FY 2003 Financial Task Force Budget in the amount of

    $83,484.00 to fund the Laredo Financial Disruption Task Force and

    amend the Special Police Budget in the amount of $5,040.00 to fund the

    STX Multi-Agency Drug Related Corruption Task Force. Funds will be

    used to pay personnel salaries, travel and operational expenses beginning

    January 1,2003 through December 31, 2003 and amending the City of

    Laredo FY 2002-2003 Full-Time Equivalents (FTE’s).

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-117.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

      2003-O-118  Amending Article XII, Chapter 19, Division 4, Section 19-601 of the Code

    of Ordinances; to (1) increase monthly contract parking rate for El Metro

    Transit Center from $40.00 to $50.00; (2) to increase the refundable key

    deposit from $10.00 to $25.00, (3) to increase the replacement charge for

    damaged key from $10.00 to $25.00; and (4) to reduce the advanced

    payment discount from $80.00 to $50.00 for a lump sum annual payment

    of $550.00, and providing for effective date and publication.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-118.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                  2003-O-119  Setting a daily rental rate for the El Metro Park & Ride Facility located at

    4600 Daugherty for $250.00 for private entities and $180.00 for non-profit

    organizations; providing for publication and effective date.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-119.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

      2003-O-120  Providing for fare increases for the fixed route transit service as follows: 

    from $.75 to $1.00 for adults and student fare from $.35 to $.50 providing

    for publication and effective date.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-120.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

                  2003-O-121  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease with Nextel WIP lease

    Corporation, d/b/a Nextel Partners, for approximately 559 square feet

    located at 8711 McPherson Road, Laredo, Webb County, Texas, and

    being more fully described in Exhibit “A” of lease agreement for the

    construction and operation of its communications equipment facility. 

    Term of the lease is fifty-two (52) months commencing June 20, 2003 and

    ending October 20, 2007 with four (4) successive renewal terms of five

    (5) years.  Annual base rent shall be $4,200.00 each year during the term

    of the lease and will be adjusted by four percent (4%) on each anniversary

    of the commencement date, providing for an effective date.

 

Motion to adopt Ordinance # 2003-O-121.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  E.  Valdez

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XI.       RESOLUTIONS

22.  2003-R-013  Amending the composition of the Metro Government Committee to

include members from Laredo Independent School District, United Independent School District, Laredo Community College, Texas A&M International University, and the County of Webb for the purpose of improving the lines of communication between local authorities on issues affecting the community; and adopting the Metro Government Committee charge as described in the attached document.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2003-R-013.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

23.  2003-R-054  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with Dr. Dennis

Cantu to remain as Medical Director/Supervisor for the Laredo Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Division for pre-hospital care of the City of Laredo.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2003-R-054.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

24.  2003-R-055  Accepting the donation of the “Surface Only” of a 0.1546 of an acre, more

or less, parcel of land, and a 1.0875 acre, more or less, parcel of land, as a Sanitary Sewer Easement, from Tanquecitos Land and Cattle Company, Ltd., a Texas Limited Partnership, and Three G’s, a Texas General Partnership, for the extension of sewer service lines to the Tanquecitos South Acres I Subdivision.  Said two parcels of land being situated in Porcion 31, Abstract 3116, City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas; being generally described below, and more particularly described by metes and bounds on attached Exhibits “A & B”.

Tract I- Being a tract of land containing 0.01546 acres, more or less, situated in Porcion 31, Abstract 3116, Jose Trevino, Original Grantee, Webb County, Texas.  Said 0.01546 acre tract being out of Tanquecitos Land and Cattle Company Ltd. Tract I called to contain 164.2018 acres as per deed dated August 1, 1980, and recorded in Volume 624, Page 313, Deed Records of Webb County, Texas.

Tract II- Being a tract of land containing 1.0875 acres, more or less, situated in Porcion 31, Abstract 3116, Jose Trevino, Original Grantee, Webb County, Texas.  Said 1.0875 acre tract being out of Tanquecitos Land and Cattle Company Ltd.,.  Tract I called to contain 164.2018 acres as per deed recorded in Volume 306, Pages 313-318, Official Public Records of Webb County, Texas.

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2003-R-055.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XII.     MOTIONS

 

25.   Authorizing the City Manager to execute a professional services contract with

Structural Engineering Associates, Inc. (SEA), in the amount of $49,000.00 for engineering services to provide feasibility studies for a bridge ramp from Santa Ursula to the former import lot parallel and adjacent to the Rio Grande.  Funding is available in the 2002 CO Issue.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

26.  Approval of a contract with Miller & Van Eaton, P.L.L.C., to provide legal services to

the City of Laredo in connection with advice regarding telecommunications regulation, procurement, cable television regulation and deployment on international cross border communication issues.  The contract term for this engagement is October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2004; and not to exceed $50,000.00.  Funding is available in General Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

27.  Consideration to rescind the contract awarded on April 21, 2003, to Video Service of       

America, Lincoln, NB, in the amount of $15,482.00 for the purchase of a studio camera and authorizing the purchase of this same camera from the second bidder, Visual Interactive, Houston, TX, in the amount of $16,204.00.  Video Service of America was unable to furnish the camera as specified.  Funding is available in the Public Access Channel Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

28.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of one (1) dump truck for cemetery operations

through the Houston Galveston Area Council of Governments (HGAC) Cooperative Purchasing Program, in the total amount of $46,393.00.  Delivery is expected within ninety to one hundred twenty days.  Funding is available in the  2002 PPFCO bond budget.

 

Motion to approve.

 

 

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

29.  Consideration to exercise the renewal contract option for one additional year for the

following annual contracts for repair parts and service for the heavy equipment fleet, sweepers, motorcycle, and lawn maintenance:  Rush Truck Center of Laredo, Texas (FY 02-078) in the estimated amount of $50,000.00; Industrial Disposal Supply, San Antonio, Texas, (FY02-080) in the estimated amount of $25,000.00; Corpus Christi, Texas (FY02-079) in the estimated amount of $25,000.00; and RPM Parts & Small Engine, Laredo, Texas (FY02-076) in the estimated amount of $5,000.00.  All parts will be purchased on an as needed basis.  The contract vendor for motorcycle parts, Corpus Christi Harley-Davidson, recently opened a store in Laredo.  All parts and services for our motorcycle fleet will be purchased from the Laredo store.  Funding is available in the Fleet Maintenance budget.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

30.  Consideration to award annual supply contracts (FY03-075) to the low bidders,

Arguindegui Oil Company, Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount of $20,025.00, Lone Star Lubricants, Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount of $14,700.00, Leyendecker Oil, Inc., Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount $5,325.60, and Oil Patch Petroleum Company, Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount $2,850.00 for the purchase of lubricants for the Fleet Maintenance Division.  The bid pricing will be firm for a one-year period and all items will be purchased on an as needed basis.  Funding is available in the  Fleet Maintenance Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

31.  Consideration to award a four-year copier rental contract (FY03-018) to Office

Communication Systems (OCS), Laredo, Texas, in the estimated annual amount of $135,162.72.  The contract vendor will provide seventy-four new copiers for all City operations.  This vendor is being recommended by the Copier Evaluation Committee.  This vendor has proposed the lowest cost per copy and is providing high quality digital copiers.  The cost per copy of $0.019980 will include the use of the copier, a maintenance agreement, and all consumable supplies (toner, developers) during the three-year period.  The digital copiers can also function as laser printers with optional features, as fax machines and scanners.  These copiers will be delivered within thirty days.  The new contract pricing is approximately 40% less than the previous contract pricing.  Funding is available in the respective departmental budgets.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

32.  Consideration to award contract number FY03-057 to the sole bidder, Landfill Service

Corporation, Apalachin, NY, in the amount of $253,803.12 for a two-year contract providing the equipment and materials for an alternative daily cover system for the landfill operation.  The system utilizes a spray applied, fiberized, cement mortar which includes the use of recycled materials to replace the use of limited onsite natural soils currently used by the City to cover the waste on a daily basis with a minimum of six inches of compacted soil.  This is approximately 1,500 cubic yards of soil at a minimum of six inches thick.  This system uses approximately one quarter inch of material and will further reduce the overall need for soil for cover.  This results in an increased cell capacity for future solid waste disposal and significant cost savings in heavy equipment and manpower.  Funding is available in the Solid Waste Fund.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

33.  Awarding a construction contract to the lowest bidder Price Construction, Ltd., Big

Springs, Texas, in the amount of $1,912,549.00 for the construction of the SH 359 work order #1 wastewater trunk line from Chacon Creek to Los Altos Project, subject to the approval of the Texas Water Development Board.  Work order #1 consists of installing a 24” PVC piping to provide a new wastewater trunk line from the existing 36” sanitary sewer collector near Chacon Creek to Los Altos along the Tex-Mex R.O.W.  The construction time is 330 calendar days.  Funding is available in the Colonias Construction Fees.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

34.  Amending the Tax Abatement Agreement between the City of Laredo and Lack’s

Valley Stores, Limited, a/k/a Laredo Lacks, Limited, by making minor modifications with all substantive terms and conditions remaining unchanged.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

 

35.  Approval of monthly adjustments to the tax roll.  The amount to be adjusted for the

month of April 2003, represents an increase of $9,772.22.  These adjustments are determined by Webb County Appraisal District and by court orders.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

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

  

a.  A refund in the amount of $2,827.75 payable to Laredo Cargo, Inc. due to an

    over payment by Laredo Cargo, Inc. on account #942-80008-050.

b.  A refund in the amount of $1,545.44 payable to Killam Industrial Development

Partnership Ltd., due to an over payment by Neel Title Corporation.  Account          #972-92015-080.

c.  A refund in the amount of $1,750.49 payable to Killam Industrial Development

Partnership Ltd., due to an over payment by Killam Industrial. Gaeli Enterprise had previously paid the tax.  Account #972-92015-050.

d.  A refund in the amount of $2,429.96 payable to Whataburger of Alice, Inc. due

     to a double payment.  Account #922-20001-030.

e.  A refund in the amount of $1,956.11 payable to Killam & Hurd c/o LB Walker

and Associates due to a Webb County Appraisal District change of value certified by the Appraisal Review Board. Clerical Error 25.25. Supp 8 Cause #2002-8282.  Account #801-11098-100.

f.  A refund in the amount of $517.31 payable to Wang Ping Wen & Chen Hui Chen

due to a Webb County Appraisal District change of value certified by the Appraisal Review Board. Clerical Error 25.25 (Correction on Improvements). Supp 8, Cause #2002-4670.  Account #985-60005-150.

g.  A refund in the amount of $1,811.66 payable to Vaquillas Development, Ltd., c/o

Walker Plaza Building due to a Webb County Appraisal District change of value certified by the Appraisal Review Board. Double assessed property. Supp. 9, Cause #2002-5428,5427.  Account #900-90311-137.

h.  A refund in the amount of $4,021.35 payable to Rudolf Hess due to a Webb

County Appraisal District change of value certified by the Appraisal Review Board. Double assessed property. Supp. 9, Cause #2002,5428,5427.  Account #924-01008-100.

i.  A refund in the amount of $678.08 payable to First Nationwide Mortgage due to a

    double payment.  Account #970-10009-030.

j.  A refund in the amount of $564.58 payable to Ana I. Jones Due to a double

payment .  The taxes were paid by the tax payer and by Wells Fargo.  Account #985-40002-120.

 

Motion to approve.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XIII.    STAFF REPORTS

           

            37.       A.  Status report by Rick Johnson, Director of Operations for United Water

      regarding privatized water and wastewater operations.

 

Rick Johnson, Director of Operations for United Water, gave the following report:

 

Laredo/UW Partnership Operational review

 

Monthly Fee

Employee Issues

Contract Deliverables. 

 

Monthly Fee

 

United Water has billed a fixed monthly fee with incremental amounts for parts and materials related to street recycling in March and April.

 

Transition of Employee

 

All employees were offered employment and transitioned employees received and equal to or better than salary and benefits package:

 

Employee Transition Statistics

 

Employees pre-partnership (Sept. 2003)                  189

Employee offered Employment                                 189

Employees that accepted Employment                      188

Employees as of April 2003                         182

 

Highlights of the improved benefits include:

 

More medical plan options – “Mercy Health is using the United Water plan as a model for other companies:

 

Better life insurance – increased plan value and dependent coverage

 

Six-months of short-term disability, long-term disability and an employee assistance program (ESP)

 

Investment in the Employee

 

Training Statistics

 

Training Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

March

Total

Employee Safety Training, man hours

1,128

640

79

291

368

209

2,715

Technical Training, man hours

871

528

260

85

57

17

1,848

Total

1,999

1,168

339

376

455

226

4,563

 

                              To date, 2.5% of all employee hours worked have been spent in formal training.

 

                          A copy of the Organizational Structure is on file at the City Secretary’s Office. 

 

United Water has invested over 25,000 hours of off-site resources in the transition and technical support.

 

Capital Investment Update

 

United Water has encumbered $240,000 of the proposed investments.

Contract Delivery requirements

 

Required

Action

Status

Contract start

Transition of IPP administration

Complete

Contract start

Transition of Property

Complete

30

Safety of Property

 

60

Emergency Plan

 

60

Public Relations & Community Outreach

 

90

Customer Service Manual

 

90

Employee performance review

 

90

Exit Transition Plan

 

90

CMMS installed

 

120

Draft O & M Manual

 

120

Draft SOPs

 

180

Employee training Program

 

180

CMMS substantially operational

 

180

Collection Program plan

 

180

Complete Capital Improvement Plan

 

365

CMMS fully operational and integrated

 

365

 

 

 

 

Mr.  Johnson answered several questions that the Councilmember had for him.  They discussed several problems that are consistent with the same constituents.  He said he would have an answer for them the next time.  United Water is working work to provide Laredo with the best and quality care.  They are working on mitigating the odor in north Laredo.  In September we should see that issue subside some.  We used to get a report about how much water accountability…we used to get a report.  WE have obtained more

 

                        B.  Staff report regarding designation of drug and weapon free zones.

 

Chief Dovalina advised that over a year ago the Police Department was tasked with developing recommendations to make the parks and schools safer.  We formed a Task Force composed of police officers to curtail the amount of vandalism.  Later, a Task Force including the Planning Department, Legal Department, City Manager’s Office, and the Engineering Department, worked together to create a viable solution.   Our goal was to enhance punishment for arrests in the areas for parks and schools.  The Texas Penal. Code designates certain areas as drug free zones and weapon free zones.  Our current zone delineates a 300 foot radius for the weapon free zones and 1000 for drug free zones around schools and parks.  The punishment for these areas have been enhanced. 

 

Cynthia Collazo, Assistant City Manager, noted that we need to make sure we have the proper signage noting that you are entering a drug and weapon  free zone.  The majority do not have the sign.  It will reduce the level you cannot be arrested within 300 or 1000 signs. 

 

C.  Providing recommendation regarding the recent wage study for Pay Grades R22

     through R25, with possible action.

 

Larry Dovalina, City Manager,  recommended that Council initiate the adjustment for pay grades R22 through R 25 as recommended by the Employee Compensation Review Committee effective June 1, 2003.

 

Motion to adopt the recommendations regarding the recent wage study for Pay Grades R22 through R25 as stated by Dan Migura, Administrative Services Director to be effective June 1, 2003.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                          Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XIV.    EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

The City Council hereby reserves the right to go into executive session at any time during this public meeting, if such is requested by the City Attorney or other legal counsel for the City, pursuant to his or her duty under Section 551.071(2) of the Government Code, to consult privately with his or her client on an item on the agenda, or on a matter arising out of such item.

 

XV.      RECESS AS THE LAREDO CITY COUNCIL AND CONVENE AS THE LAREDO MASS TRANSIT BOARD

 

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

 

 

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Galo

            Second:  Cm.  Amaya

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

38.  Consideration to accept from the Island Transit System of the City of Galveston, Texas,

one 45’ 1992 Flexible CNG coach at no cost to the City of Laredo, for which that city does not have the required CNG to use it on Galveston Island.

 

Motion to approve. 

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

XVI.    RECESS AS THE LAREDO MASS TRANSIT BOARD AND RECONVENE AS        THE LAREDO CITY COUNCIL

 

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

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XVII.   ADJOURNMENT

 

CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2003-S-07

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON STREET

LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

MAY 19, 2003

5:30 P.M.

 

SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA

 

 

I.          EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

The City Council hereby reserves the right to go into executive session at any time during this public meeting, if such is requested by the City Attorney or other legal counsel for the City, pursuant to his or her duty under Section 551.071(2) of the Government Code, to consult privately with his or her client on an item on the agenda, or on a matter arising out of such item.

           

 

 

 

 

1.      Request for Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code  Section 551.072 in order to deliberate on the value of, and the possible purchase of, real property in or near the Central Business District, because deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the City Council in negotiations with third persons; and return to open session for possible action and direction to staff.

 

Motion to go into Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.072 in order to deliberate on the value of, and the possible purchase of, real property in or near the Central Business District, because deliberation in an open meeting would have detrimental effect on the position of the City Council in negotiations with third persons; and return to open session for possible action and direction to staff.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Agredano

For:     8                                       Against:  0                                        Abstain:  0

 

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

 

II.        ADJOURNMENT

 

Motion to adjourn.                                                                                            9:20 p.m.

 

Moved:  Cm.  Galo

Second:  Cm.  Amaya

For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain: 

 

I, Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, do herby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the minutes contained in pages 01 to 37 are true, complete, and correct proceedings of the City Council meeting held on May 19, 2003.

                                               

                                                                        __________________________________

                                                                                        Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                                                             City Secretary