JULY 28, 2004

5:35 p.m.





During this Capital Improvement Program Workshop, capital projects of the City of Laredo will be open for discussion.  These discussions may include matters relating to the programming of revenues and expenditures, estimated project costs, potential or planned land acquisitions, operation and maintenance costs, funding sources, and any other matters necessary to accomplish the development and a five year capital improvement plan for the City of Laredo.


 I.         CALL TO ORDER


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


II.        ROLL CALL


            In attendance:


            Elizabeth G.  Flores,                                                     Mayor

            Alfredo Agredano,                                                        Council Member, District I

            Hector Garcia,                                                              Council Member, District II

            John C.  Galo,                                                              Council Member, District III

            Johnny Amaya,                                                             Mayor Pro Tempore, District IV

            Johnny Rendon,                                                            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,                                                           Deputy City Manager

            Anthony McGettrick,                                                    Assistant City Attorney




Larry Dovalina, City Manager, stated that the City has indicated in the past to City Council that they were working on the budgets with anticipation that they would set up a Capital Improvements Program over the next five years that would have $60,000,000.00 to $70,000,000.00 available.  This is the first time that the City has ever done this where the current monies are built up without an increase in any taxes because of the way the debt service is being paid.  He explained that there are windows of opportunity through the years that allows for leveraging certain amounts of categories.  He added that one of the Master Plans that is not as well known is the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.  Because many of the bond projects are included in the proposals tonight, he felt it necessary for Council to see the direction of the Parks Master Plan and where they believe staff should go. 


1.  Presentation by Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Director, regarding the Parks

     Master Plan.


Jessica Hein, Administrative Assistant, provided some background on the five-year capital improvement program.  She stated that staff’s recommendation includes the projects to be funded in this five-year contractual obligation plan.  She mentioned that staff took many factors into consideration to program these projects into their appropriate years over the five-year period.  Primarily any projects that had a different funding source were not included in the five-year contractual obligation sale.  She expressed her gratitude to the staff that participated in the development of the Capital Improvement Program:  Rogelio Rivera, Keith Selman, Susana Ramos, and Gabriel Martinez and the department directors. 


Horacio De Leon, Parks and Recreation Department, submitted a comprehensive report on the Parks Master Plan.  He stated that there was a shift back in 2001 to change the priorities through the master plan from specific projects to different amenities.  He stated that this is a big window of opportunity for the City to take advantage of and to carry out many more projects for the citizens under this funding source.  He is very excited because a good amount of the focus will be on the Parks and Recreation Department.  He provided an overview on the purpose of the plan, the goals and objectives of the plan, as well as the elements of the plan.   


2.  Presentation regarding the proposed FY 2005 – 2009 Capital Improvement Program for

     the City of Laredo.

Susana Ramos, Administrative Assistant II, provided a Power Point presentation on the five-year capital improvement program that was presented to City Council last month. 

The presentation outlined the five years, including the five-year tax supported contractual obligation debt issuances in the amount of $75,555,000.00.  She reviewed the different capital improvement projects that the city staff is recommending to be undertaken over the next five years. 


Larry Dovalina, City Manager, stated that the City has a bonded debt service tax rate of $0.14 and as the City pays or retires the bonds, the amount of tax dedicated to retire that debt becomes available for the issuance of new bonds without having to increase the tax rate.  He mentioned that this is what is called a “window of opportunity” which the City has taken advantage of over the past three years.  As a result, the City has been able to issue new bonds without having to increase the tax rate by using the amount of money being saved. 


A complete copy of the Capital Improvement Program is available at the City Secretary’s Office for public review or can be viewed on the City’s website.




IV.       MOTION


3.  Authorizing the City Manager to publish a newspaper advertisement for public hearing

for 10 consecutive days to inform the general public that three copies of the Capital Improvement Program are available at the City Secretary’s Office and Public Library, pursuant to Section 6.07 of the City Charter.


Motion to accept the amendments to the Capital Improvement Program as listed in the memorandum dated July 28, 2004, sent from the City Manager to the Mayor and City Council which consists of fourteen amendments.


Moved:  Cm. Agredano

Second:  Cm. Belmares

For:    8                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0


Motion to approve the Capital Improvement Program. 


Moved:  Cm. Galo

Second:  Mayor Pro Tem Amaya

For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0



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.




      Motion to adjourn.                                                                                            Time:  9:15 p.m.


            Moved:  Cm. Galo

            Second:  Cm. J. Valdez, Jr.

            For:  8                                                  Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0


I, Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the minutes contained in pages 01 through 03 and they are true, complete, and correct proceedings of the City Council Workshop held on July 28, 2004.




                                                                                    Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                              City Secretary