CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2007-R-04

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON STREET

LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

FEBRUARY 20, 2007

5:30 P.M.

I.          CALL TO ORDER

 

            With a quorum present, Mayor Raul G.  Salinas called the meeting to order.

 

II.        PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

            Mayor Raul G.  Salinas led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

III.       ROLL CALL

 

            In attendance:

 

            Raul G.  Salinas,                                                                       Mayor

            Mike Garza,                                                                             Council Member, District I

            Michael Landeck,                                                                     Council Member, District III

            Johnny Amaya,                                                                         Council Member, District IV

            Johnny Rendon,                                                                        Council Member, District V

            Gene Belmares,                                                                        Council Member, District VI

            Juan Chavez                                                                             Council Member, District VII

            Juan Ramirez,                                                                           Mayor Pro Tem, District VIII

            Gustavo Guevara, Jr.,                                                               City Secretary

            Cynthia Collazo,                                                                       Acting City Manager

            Horacio De Leon,                                                                     Assistant City Manager

            Rafael Garcia,                                                                           Assistant City Manager

            Valeria Acevedo,                                                                      City Attorney, Interim  

 

            Motion to excuse Cm. Garcia.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Amaya

            Second:  Cm. Garza

            For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0       

 

IV.       MINUTES

 

            Approval of the minutes of September 5, 2006, September 18, 2006, and October 6, 2006.

 

            Motion to approve.

           

            Moved:  Cm. Chavez

            Second:  Cm. Amaya

            For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

V.        COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

            Recognitions

 

            a.  Recognition of Wayo and Jesus Ruiz, from Ruiz Homes Inc., for their continued support

                 of education and their promotion of goodwill for the community.

 

                 Mayor Salinas presented Wayo and Jesus Ruiz with a 7 Flags Certificate of Recognition.

 

            b.  Recognition of the City Departments that have recycled the most materials in October,

                 November, and December 2006.

 

                 Ms. Soñia Garza, Recycling Coordinator, reported that the following Departments                     recycled the most materials for November 2006; for the Small Department Category, the                Environmental Department collected 286 lbs.; for the Medium Department category the                  Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau collected 392 lbs.; and for the Large Department               Category, City Hall collected 1,820 lbs.  She also reported that for December 2006 the                 following Departments recycled the most materials for December 2006;  for the Small                     Department Category, the Environmental Department collected 153 lbs.; for the Medium                Department Category, Public Works collected 440 lbs.; for the Large Department                          Category, City Hall collected 2,390 lbs.

 

            c.  Recognition of Adelfa Flores, of the Bridge Department, on her selection as February                              2007 employee of the month.

 

                  Mario Maldonado, Bridge Director, stated that Adelfa Flores was hired in 1998 as a                             Bridge Collector and a year later she was promoted to Cashier Teller in 1999.  In 2001             she was again promoted to Bridge Shift Supervisor.  He stated that she is responsible for                 providing customer service centers for the bridge system and was instrumental in                              implementing and marketing the Laredo Trade Tag in 2000.  He also stated that she                         was involved in the opening of El Portal where she implemented a new toll collection                   system for pedestrians.  He reported that Ms. Flores was chosen for the February 2007           Employee of the Month because of her hard work to help the less fortunate in our                             community.  She assisted staff in fundraising for the American Cancer Society and                              the Sacred Heart Children’s Home.

 

            Communiqués

 

            a.  Update via telephone conference by the City’s legislative consultants regarding federal

                 and state legislative sessions.

 

Andrea McWilliam, State Lobbyist, reported that in a meeting recently held with the Governor’s Office, because of  our trade corridor status and the economic issues affecting Laredo, that perhaps a TXDOT District that belonged to Laredo might benefit the City in several ways.  The Governor’s Office ascertained that it would take an administrative change at TXDOT rather than a legislative change and they offered to facilitate a meeting with TXDOT to get the District for Laredo.  She also reported that there are currently thirteen issues on the Legislative Agenda.  She reported that there is a Change of Venue Project Bill to allow Laredo to conduct an election to change the description of a venue project which was filed by  Representative Ryan Guillen. She also mentioned that she has been working,  on any type of bill that could potentially erode the City’s home-ruled city status.  Furthermore, she stated that the bill that they requested in reference to the Texas Municipal Retirement System that allows retirees  to return to work without a penalty has been set for a hearing this Thursday at 10:30 am in Austin, Texas.  In addition, she stated that the Texas Recreation Park Account Grant Program, an omnibus bill, filed is unprecedented.  She stated that this bill sponsored by State Representative Ryan Guillen and State Representative Richard Raymund has picked up 120 authors and it will likely get some funding.  Finally, she reported that she is currently tracking any bills that may filed that might take away Laredo’s Municipal Authority as it relates to right of way and pipeline owners. 

 

                 Jerry Leter, Federal Consultant, reported that the most important events that have                      happened in these first six weeks have been the committee assignments that our                              Members of Congress were given.  He also reported that there were no changes in the                  Senate only in the House of Representatives.  He informed City Council that                                  Representative Henry Cuellar was not only appointed to the Homeland Security                             Committee, but was also named Chair of the Police and First Responder Readiness Sub-           Committee.  He added  that it is great because many of the Legislative agendas will go                  to the Homeland Security Committee.  In addition he commented that another                               important assignment was that Congressman Ciro Rodriguez was given a seat on the                              Appropriations Committee.  He reported that a Continuing Resolution was done to fund               the government  for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2007. The 2007 Continuing Resolution      was changed and it was stripped of all earmarks, therefore, the City needs to be ready                  with projects because there are undedicated dollars.  He explained that when the                            agencies are visited in March,  there should be a project in mind to pursue this money.                  He also stated the earmarks from previous legislation were in the Transportation Bill          

                 and will  they will be continued to be funded.  He commented that the biggest impact

                 that can be made in Laredo is it’s eligibility through various funding formulas. Lastly, he              he informed the City Council that neither the money nor the will appears to be present to                do the wall, but there is still the fear that there may be litigation.  

 

 

                 Cm. Garza commented on a tragic accident that happened near San Antonio involving 

                 the Cadena family and their three children that were hurt.  He mentioned that several

                 Council Members and Mayor Raul Salinas have committed some funds to defray some 

                 of the costs incurred.  He announced that Miss Soñia Farajo will be in charge of the fund 

                 if anyone would like to participate.  He mentioned that housing is already being provided            to them in San Antonio.   In addition he reported that he was very appreciative that the      Acting City Manger took the initiative to provide them with an item that will allow the                City Council to start dialoguing the issue of the budget process.  Lastly, he mentioned                             that he appreciated the Mayor for inspiring the students of Cigarroa High School to do                   well in the exams coming up since it is a very difficult time for the students.  He                           commented that he spoke with Representative Ryan Guillen who is pushing to try to        

                 eliminate these type of tests.  

 

                 Cm. Landeck added that the Council Members have committed themselves to $1,000.00          to help the Cadena family.  He mentioned that he will have to leave the meeting for two      hours to teach and asked if his items could be delayed till he returns.

 

                Cm. Amaya informed the citizens of Laredo that there will be a re-opening of the Dr.                              Cecilia May Moreno Splash Skate Park which the City invested $250,000.000.

 

                Cm. Rendon congratulated everyone involved in the Washington’s Birthday Celebration.

 

                Cm. Belmares reiterated the sentiments of Cm. Rendon on the Washington’s Birthday                             Celebration.  He invited everyone to the Border Olympics.  He mentioned that this week           there will be high school students competing in golf, tennis, softball and baseball.  He                      also            mentioned that following week there will be track and field with 20 high schools                             and 9 universities attending.  He congratulated all the schools for all of the work they                      have done to prepare the children for the TASK test.  He thanked State Representative                         Ryan Guillen, Senator Zaffirini and State Representative Richard Raymund for all the                 work they have done in filing our bills. 

           

                Cm. Chavez stated that he had completed one year in the City Council and thanked                   everyone for there words of wisdom. He mentioned that he is ready for another year.

 

                Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez had not items to discuss.

 

                Mayor Salinas congratulated the Washington’s  Birthday Celebration for the tremendous            job they do.  He congratulated Lulac #7 and #12 for the great work they do to raise 

                money for scholarships.  He thanked Jay St. John for raising over $2,500.00 for the

                Cadena family.  He saluted the students of Cigarroa High School.  He asked for every

                one to pray for Mexico’s Congressman Horacio Garza Garza who was recently

                ambushed. He recognized Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon for extraditing 16 drug

                dealers to the United States.  He also saluted the Police Department and those who serve

                 in the counties, cities, state, and federal government who risk their lives to protect us.

 

            Citizen comments

 

            Citizens are required to fill out a witness card and identify themselves at the microphone.              Comments should be relevant to City business and delivered in a professional manner.  No             derogatory remarks will be permitted.  There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker.

 

             Sgt. Armando Elizondo, President of the Laredo Police Officer’s Association, stated that                         they oppose the granting of accessibility to police communications to anyone other than a           law enforcement agency.  He stated that the safety of the officers are risk.

 

             Rolando Herrera, read the following letter and asked the Council to Consider Exhibit “A”

 

             We respectfully recommend the following for your consideration

 

            1.  The creation of a Veteran’s Center that can be used for a number of activities/services                             for area veterans including a Veteran’s Museum.

 

            2.  Location:  Present location of Dr. Al King Baseball Field on 2900 Block of San Dario - 1          square block - Highly visible location by I-35.

 

            3.  Recommend Mayor form a committee for further study.

 

            Presented by Mrs. Teresa Hernandez (Widow of the late Jesus Hernandez, active member 

            of G.I. Formum.)

 

            Tim Guttierrez from KGNS asked for the news media access to police emergency and public safety radio frequency scanners.

 

            Osvaldo Corral, KLDO News Manager, also requested the same scanner use from the             Police Department and Fire Department.

 

            Eloy Vega from the Fire Department, commented that as first responders they assist in   getting the right information out to the public.

           

            David Gonzalez, driver for the Laredo Fire Department, stated that the media should be on        a need to know basis and spoke against allowing the media access to the Fire Department            radio.

 

VI.       APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSIONS, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

 

            a.  Abolishing the Metro Government Committee and creating and naming the appointees of            Council Member Hector Garcia, Council Member Mike Garza, Council Member Johnny                Rendon, Acting City Manager Cynthia Collazo, Finance Director Rosario Cabello, and      Acting City Attorney Valeria Acevedo to the City-County Government Issues

                 Committee.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garza

                 Second:  Cm. Chavez

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            b.  Creating and naming the members to an Ad Hoc Civil Service Committee that will

                 address the creation of a Civil Service Commission.  This ad hoc committee will consist

                 of the following members:  Council Member Juan Chavez, Council Member Dr. Michael

                 Landeck, and Council Member Hector Garcia; members representing the community

                 Israel Reyna and Rene de la Viña; staff members will consist of the City Manager or

                 designee and the Human Resources Director.

 

                 Motion to replace Council Member Hector Garcia with Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez                            and approve as amended.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garza

                 Second:  Cm. Belmares

                 For:       7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            c.  Appointment by Mayor Raul G. Salinas of Mike Treviño and Eladio Montalvo to the               

                 Blue Ribbon Health Issues Committee.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Rendon

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

VII.     GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

            1.  A.  Request by Mayor Raul G. Salinas

 

            1.  Presentation by Rio Grande International Study Group regarding secondary water

                 source.

 

                 Jim Earhart and Jerry Pinzon, representing the Rio Grande International Studies Center,             presented the following power point presentation which may be viewed at the City 

                 Secretary‘s Office:

 

                 Strategies for Managing Water in Laredo, Texas

                 Lake Casa Blanca as A Supplementary Water Source

                 Rio Grande International Study Center

 

Ÿ         Piping Water from Dimmit County is not the best option for providing Laredo’s long term water needs.

Ÿ         Expensive 76- mile system of pump stations and pipelines

Ÿ         Piping ground water from Dimmit County will

            -Reduce local control of Laredo’s water future.

            -Double the cost of water to Laredo consumers.

            -Be risky venture in which no Laredo taxpayer money should be spent.         

            (What guarantees are given for water quality and quantity?)

Ÿ         Bold steps must be taken to provide sufficient water of good quality for growth and development.

Ÿ         Laredo needs an emergency water source in the event of chemical spills and terrorist attacks.

Ÿ         Planning for a good water future is a complex process requiring much study and effort to determine the best use of available resources.

Ÿ         Better options exist than bringing ground water from outside Webb County.  These strategies, under local control, include:

            -Aggressively purchasing Rio Grande water rights.

            -Modernizing Laredo’s water delivery system.

            -Developing Lake Casa Blanca as a supplemental water source.

            -Using proven conservation models in aggressively reducing consumer water        usage.

Ÿ         Better options exist than bringing ground water from outside Webb County.  These options include:

            -Aggressively purchasing Rio Grande water rights.

            -Modernizing Laredo’s water delivery system.

            -Developing Lake Casa Blanca as a supplemental water source.

            -Using proven conservation models in aggressively reducing consumer water        usage.

Ÿ         The Rio Grande can provide municipal water indefinitely, making the purchase of water rights a good investment.

Ÿ         During the 1990’s drought the U.S. share of water stored in Amistad Reservoir was three times the quantity of water currently used by all Texas cities along the river.

Ÿ         More water rights will come onto the market as:

            -Urbanization of agricultural land occurs in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

            -Coastal cities depend more on desalinization.

            -Farmers develop more efficient agricultural irrigation practices.

Ÿ         Block the marketing of water.

Ÿ         Pumping water from the Rio Grande basin will reduce the flow of water in the Rio Grande.

Ÿ         Laredo should work with other municipalities to create legislation allowing cities along the Rio Grande to store unused water in Amistad Reservoir.

Ÿ         Better options exist than bringing ground water from outside Webb County.  These option include:

            -Aggressively purchasing Rio Grande water rights.

            -Modernizing Laredo’s water delivery system.

            -Developing Lake Casa Blanca as a supplemental water source.

            -Using proven conservation models in aggressively reducing consumer water        usage.

Ÿ         Laredo may be losing 15% to 25% of its treated water from broken water lines.  That’s 6 to 10 million gallons of treated water wasted every day.

Ÿ         Lack of adequate water delivery infrastructure

            -Cost employee time, equipment, and materials in patching the existing                system to stop leaks.

            -Cost in street repairs resulting from damage associated with the numerous         water line breaks.

            -Creates inconvenience to automobile traffic.

Ÿ         Better option exist than bringing ground water from outside Webb County.  These options include:

            -Aggressively purchasing Rio Grande water rights.

            -Modernizing Laredo’s water delivery system.

            -Developing Lake Casa Blanca as a supplemental water source.

            -Using proven conservation models in aggressively reducing consumer water        usage.

Ÿ         No trucks.  No trains.  No warehouses.

Ÿ         Build a regional wastewater treatment plant to generate up to 20 MGD of reusable water.

Ÿ         Divert Zacate Creek storm water into Lake Casa Blanca to increased stored water and to provide flood control along McPherson road.

Ÿ         Better options exist than bringing ground water from outside Webb County.  These options include:

            -Aggressively purchasing Rio Grande water rights.

            -Modernizing Laredo’s water delivery system.

            -Developing Lake Casa Blanca as a supplemental water source.

            -Using proven conservation models in aggressively reducing consumer water        usage.

Ÿ         Implementing conservation measures such as Xeriscape and efficient plumbing can save 12,000,000 gallons of water per day.

Ÿ         Resources for Local Water Planning

            -Purchase Rio Grande water rights.

            -Develop incentives to promote consumer water conservation.

            -Upgrade water delivery infrastructure.

            -Construct a water recycling system by integrating Lake Casa Blanca with   

              regional wastewater and potable water treatment plants.

         -Work for legislation allowing saved water to be banked in Amistad   

          Reservoir.

            -Seek legislation blocking the transfer of water from the Rio Grande basin.        

Ÿ         Water is More Important than Oil for the Future.  Let Us Act Now!

Ÿ         Actions to Consider

            -Dredge Lake Casa Blanca to increase storage capacity.

            -Build a regional waste water treatment plant.

            -Transfer Zacate Creek Floodwaters to Lake Casa Blanca.

            -Modernize water delivery system.

            -Work with Texas Legislature.

            -Develop Water Conservation Plan.

            -Buy more water rights.

Ÿ         Lake Casa Blanca, has a surface area of 1,656 acres and drains 117 square miles with 20,000 acre-feet of Storage Capacity.

Ÿ         Actions to Consider

            -Dredge Lake Casa Blanca to increase storage capacity.

            -Build a regional waste water treatment plant.

            -Transfer Zacate Creek Floodwaters to Lake Casa Blanca.

            -Modernize water delivery system.

            -Work with Texas Legislature.

            -Develop Water Conservation Plan.     

Ÿ         Estimated Pipeline Construction Costs in Williamson County, Texas

            -Georgetown and round Rock, Texas $41.2 million/28 miles of pipeline $1.5       million/mile

            -Jarrell and Schwertner, Texas $170 million/45 miles of pipeline $3.8

             million/mile

Ÿ         Actions to Consider

            -Dredge Lake Casa Blanca to increase storage capacity.

            -Build a regional waste water treatment plant.

            -Transfer Zacate Creek Floodwaters to Lake Casa Blanca.

            -Modernize water delivery system.

            -Work with Texas Legislature.

            -Develop Water Conservation Plan.     

Ÿ         Block the selling of water from the Rio Grande watershed.

Ÿ         Allow the banking of river water not used in a calendar year.

Ÿ         Study the feasibility of increasing Lake Casa Blanca’s storage capacity by dredging.

Ÿ         Actions to Consider

            -Dredge Lake Casa Blanca to increase storage capacity.

            -Build a regional waste water treatment plant.

            -Transfer Zacate Creek Floodwaters to Lake Casa Blanca.

            -Modernize water delivery system.

            -Work with Texas Legislature.

            -Develop Water Conservation Plan.     

Ÿ         Implementing conservation measures such as Xeriscape and efficient plumbing could save 12,000,000 gallons per day.

Ÿ         Summary

            -Increase capacity of Lake Casa Blanca

            -Increase water flow into Lake Casa Blanca by combining watersheds and                       constructing a regional wastewater treatment plant.

            -Work for legislation to block the transfer of water from the Rio Grande                            watershed and to allow saved water to be banked in Amistad Reservoir.

            -Conserve water by modernizing Laredo’s water delivery system and  

             developing a water conservation program similar to the San Antonio      

             model.

Ÿ         Laredo needs and emergency water source for insurance against potential

            -Chemical spills from international trade.

            -Terrorist attacks.

            -Drought

Ÿ         Lake Amistad Supplies Water to Laredo

Ÿ         In the worst drought conditions since the construction of Amistad Reservoir, there was at least 2.5 times the annual quantity of water no used by Laredo and other Texas cities down river.

Ÿ         As urban growth replaces agriculture in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and as coastal cities convert to desalinization, water rights will become increasingly available for purchase.  Laredo should be poised to aggressively purchase water rights as they become available.

Ÿ         Water is a highly complex issue.

Ÿ         Laredo’s readily available resources, under local control, should be maximized to meet the water needs of a growing city.

Ÿ         The same length of pipeline required to convey water to Laredo could take water to cities between San Antonio and Austin.

Ÿ         The Rio Grande is a local resource that is and will remain Laredo’s primary water supply.  It should be managed accordingly.

Ÿ         10 MGD x 365 = 3,650,000/325,851 = 11,201 acre-feet

Ÿ         11,201 x 2300 = $25,762,300

Ÿ         We believe, however, that much better options exist for solving Laredo’s water needs than bringing ground water from outside Webb County.  These strategies, under local control, include:

            -Aggressively purchasing Rio Grande water rights.

            -Modernizing Laredo’s water delivery system.

            -Developing Lake Casa Blanca as a supplemental water source.

            -Using the San Antonio conservation model in aggressively reducing                    consumer water usage.

            -Piping water from wells owned by Webb County.

Ÿ         Laredo city government should give much more deliberation to this matter before committing Laredo water users to such a costly and uncertain project.

Ÿ         Is near water users.

Ÿ         Is economical.

Ÿ         Is locally controlled.

Ÿ         Does not reduce Laredo’s share of river water.

Ÿ         Has no adjacent warehouses nor rail or truck bridge crossings.

Ÿ         Purchasing water rights is an investment in the future.

            -In the current market the rights to an acre-foot of water sells for $2300.

            -Water right holders can sell excess water each year for $100 per acre-foot.

Ÿ         Lack of adequate water delivery infrastructure

            -Costs employee time, equipment, and materials in patching the existing                            system to stop leaks.

            -Costs in street repairs resulting from damage associated with the numerous         water line breaks.

            -Creates inconvenience to automobile traffic.

            -May be a causal factor in the high incidence of Helicobacter pylori found in      Laredo

 

                 B.  Request by Council Member Hector J. Garcia

 

            1.  Discussion with possible action on changing the Easter holiday from Friday to Monday.

             

                 Motion to change the Easter holiday from Friday to Monday. 

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Amaya

                 Second:  Cm. Garza

                 For:       6                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

                                                                        Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

           

           Cm. Landeck left at 7:06 and returned at 9:00pm.

           

                 C.  Request by Council Member Dr. Michael Landeck

 

            1.  Discussion with possible action on policies regarding over/under money collections by

                 City employees especially in the Bridge Department including a policy comparative                    analysis across departments.

 

                 Cm. Landeck asked if it would be possible to go back to the $10.00 with the proviso                                 that whatever is missing has to be paid back. 

 

                Motion that City employees will not be cited for over/under $10.00 but the City                         employee must repay the money adding that monies above $10.00 will require for the                    employee to enter into a disciplinary actions.  

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                 Second:  Cm. Garza

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

                 D.  Request by Council Member Gene Belmares

           

            1.  Discussion with possible action on re-designating streets to be recycled in District VI.

 

                 Cm. Belmares stated that he would like to allocate resources to Shiloh east of University            block on Alameda. He also stated that the other allocation would be for International,                     west of McPherson from one Chicane to Sandy Lane.  He requested that a list be given

                 to him by the Public Works Director, substituting those streets he feels would be                        acceptable.  He stated that he would allocate money from the discretionary fund to cover                those streets as well.  He mentioned that the streets are wider than standard                                 neighborhood streets and may require additional money.

              

            2.  Discussion with possible action on implementing a water distribution action plan for

                 summer 2007.

 

                  Cm. Belmares stated that the reason he brought this item back was because this is more             of a distribution issue and several improvements have been made to the system.  He                         stated that he wants to be sure that the City is ready for the summer of 2007.  He is                       concerns are the following: that redundancies are in place; that waterline scheduled will                 make the time frame; and the water tanks that are in construction will make the time                      frame as well: and lastly, the implementing of conservation. 

 

                  Carl Schwing, Director of  Utilities, informed City Council that the major improvement               currently is the  TAMIU tank which will be filled  with water on the weekend of the 3rd         of March 2007.  In addition he reported that currently one water pump and two re-lift                        water pumps are out of service.  He mentioned that estimates for this should come in by               this week and he will come back to City Council to request funds for the repairs.  He                               reported that four inspectors are being sent to the field for the enforcement of water                             conservation.  He also reported that since 1983, the City of Austin, there has been no                   increase in water and has actually decreased over 25%.  He stated that using the same                        percentage for the City , Laredo would save us $59,000,000.00.  He informed City                          Council that he will come back with a final report.

 

                  Cm. Garza mentioned that he would like the City Manager to look into an incentive for              citizens that would like to choose some conservation plans of there own xeriscaping or         reducing their dependency on water and provide financial incentives or abatements to                    encourage conservation.

 

                 E.  Request by Council Member Juan Chavez

 

            1.  Update on the San Gabriel Bridge, with possible action.

 

                  Alejandro Labrada, Public Works Director, reported that this project started back in                              2006 and started as emergency project.  He reported that the bridge was demolished,                           tested.  He stated that after the plans were prepared, construction began.   He reported            that the project is to be finished in April 2007.

 

            2.  Discussion with possible action on setting new paving standards and provide funding for

                 streets that run through warehouses and high truck traffic areas with possible action.

 

                 Cm. Chavez stated that ¾ of the warehouses are located in his district and because of                                  this the streets need repair.

 

                 Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, reported that he provided a report on the current                        requirements that will be introduced in an ordinance revision for paving.  He mentioned      that he has addressed the issues of streets in industrial areas and is recommending the                 

                 use of concrete instead of asphalt in all intersections and strategic areas where there are             many turning movements.  He stated that when driveways are constructed in an                  industrial area, the street will be looked into because turning movement will tear up the      asphalt.

 

                 Cm. Chavez recommended that Mr. Rivera present Council with a cost amount to pave             all areas.  He suggested to also go out for a bond and added that revenues can be taken   

                 from the World Trade and Colombia Bridge to fund the bond.

 

VIII.    PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

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

                 Universal Service Program grant from the Schools & Libraries Division/Universal                       Services Administrative Company/FCC in the amount of $117,532.00, which includes

                 $11,647.00 in matching funds from General Fund, for multi-year E-Rate discounts and

                 communication and technology infrastructure enhancements and to amend FY 06-07

                 Friends of the Library Fund Budget by appropriating said funds, and extending the

                 contracts previously awarded to AT&T and  CALENCE to July 7, 2008.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm.  Chavez

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

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

                 lease renewal with Securitas Security Services, USA, Inc., for approximately 120 square

                 feet of office and an exclusive office entry lane of approximately 540 square feet at

                 Bridge II.

                 A.  Lease term for one (1) year commencing April 1, 2007 and ending on March 31,

                       2008.

                 B.  Monthly rent shall be $2,500.00 for approximately 120 square feet of office space

                       and an exclusive office entry lane of approximately 540 square feet at Bridge II.

                 C.  The lease may be terminated by either party with a thirty (30) day written notice.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garza

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm.  Amaya

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            4.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2006-2007 budgets

                 for Risk Management fund by $325,182.00 and 2005 Certificate of Obligation (C.O.)                             fund by $352,874.00 by appropriating revenues and expenditures in both funds.  Funds

                 are provided by the Texas Municipal League (TML) for the replacement of the fire

                 pumper truck involved in an accident and damaged beyond repair.  Funds will be used to

                 reimburse the 2005 C.O. for the purchase of a replacement fire pumper truck.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Amaya

                 Second:  Cm. Rendon

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

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

                 agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the amount of $15,573.00 and

                 amend the Fiscal Year 2006-2007 City of Laredo Budget by $15,573.00.  The

                 agreement’s purpose is to reimburse the cost of overtime incurred by the Laredo Police

                 Department in providing resources of OCDEFT (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement

                 Task Forces).  The term of this agreement is from October 1, 2006 through September

                 30, 2007.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            6.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Ordinance 2006-O-175 to accept a

                 supplemental grant in the amount of $67,000.00 from the Texas Automobile Theft

                 Prevention Authority and to amend the City of Laredo’s Fiscal Year 2006-2007 annual

                 budget in the amount of $67,000.00.  This supplemental grant of $67,000.00 is 100%

                 funded and at no cost to the City.  The 2006-2007 Texas Automobile Theft Prevention

                 Authority grant for the Laredo Autotheft Task Force will now total $413,000.00.  The                              funding period for this grant is from September 1, 2006 through August 31, 2007.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

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

                 City of Laredo FY 2006-2007 annual budget by increasing revenues and expenditures of

                 $18,579.00 in additional funds from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission

                 for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); extending the grant period ending

                 November 30, 2006 to March 31, 2007 and authorizing the City Manager to execute said

                 contract. 

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            8.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance finding after reasonable notice and hearing,

                 that AEP Texas Central Company’s existing rates are unreasonable; finding that AEP

                 Texas Central Company’s requested  revenue resulting from electric transmission and

                 distribution rates and charges within the City should be reduced; determining just and

                 reasonable rates; adopting recommendations of consultants; providing for recovery of

                 rate case expenses; preserving regularity rights of the City; and ordaining other

                 provisions related to the subject matter hereof.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            9.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the City of Laredo Fiscal Year

                 2006-2007 General Fund Budget by appropriating $2,500,000.00 from the opening

                 balance for various one time expenditures and or capital improvements. 

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Rendon

                 For:    7                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

           

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     7                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            10.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending section 12-81 [Purpose and

                   Schedule] of Article IV [Fire Prevention Fees] of Chapter 12 [Fire Prevention &

                   Protection] of the Code of Ordinances to revise and amend the fees for inspection

                   services, and adding the new sprinkler installation, sprinkler system

                   modification/remodel, new fire alarm system installation, fire alarm

                   modification/remodel, fire alarm connected to sprinkler system, fire alarm panel

                   replacement; and providing for effective date. 

 

                   Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Rendon

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

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

                   the City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 8, Block 809, Eastern Division, located at 1502

                   Wooster Street, from B-1 (Limited Commercial District) to R-3 (Mixed Residential

                   District).  The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the zone

                   change.  District III  

 

                   Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Rendon

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Ignacio Centeno, property owner, spoke in favor to build a residential home.

             

                   Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                   Second:  Cm. Chavez

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Garcia

 

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

                   the City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 3, Block 1343, Eastern Division, located at 2315

                   Market Street, from R-3 (Mixed Residential District) to B-3 (Community Business \

                   District).  The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the zone

                   change.  District III

 

                   Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Rendon

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   There was no public input.

             

                   Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                   Second:  Cm. Chavez

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Landeck

 

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

                   the City of Laredo by rezoning Lots 8 through 18, Block 8, Del Mar Village

                   Subdivision, located at 313 West Village Boulevard, from B-3 (Community Business

                   District) to B-4 (Highway Commercial District).  The Planning and Zoning

                   Commission recommended approval of this zone change.   District V

 

                   Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Marina Cantu Ramirez spoke in favor of the zone change request.

             

                   Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Rendon

                   Second:  Cm. Belmares

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Rendon

 

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

                   the City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 6, Block 199, Eastern Division, located at 3419

                   Springfield Avenue, from B-1 (Limited Commercial District) to B-3 (Community

                   Business District).  The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of the

                   zone change.   District IV

 

                   Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Rendon

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Margarito Escalon, applicant, stated that he is requesting the zone change for a tire                                        shop.

             

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

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Amaya

                   Second:  Cm. Chavez

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm.  Amaya

 

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

                   the City of Laredo by rezoning Lot 12, Block 2, Tesoro Plaza Subdivision, located at

                   5217 Tesoro Plaza Drive, from B-3 (Community Business District) to B-4 (Highway

                   Commercial District).  The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of

                   the zone change.  District VII

 

                   Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Rendon

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Saturino Valdez requested the zone change for the purpose of constructing a parking                             lot.

             

                   Cm. Chavez stated that his concern is that Tesoro Plaza St. is very narrow.  He                         emphasized that he feels that it is impossible to assign the area a B-4 because it will                           endanger the people of the area.

 

                   Motion to close the public hearing and concur with the Planning and Zoning to deny                                 the zone change. 

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                   Second:  Cm. Garza

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Chavez

 

IX.       INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

            16.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a telephone equipment easement with

                   Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P. d/b/a AT&T Texas consisting of a tract of land

                   containing 0.9851 acres being part or portion out of Lot 1, Block 2, at Laredo

                   International Airport Passenger Terminal Subdivision recorded in Volume 16, Pages

                   45-47, to provide service to the Laredo Town Center project at the Laredo International

                   Airport; providing for an effective date.

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            17.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a cattle grazing lease agreement with A/C

                   Cattle Company, Laredo, Texas for approximately 1,484 acres of undeveloped land

                   located in north Laredo.  The grazing lease revenues will be $15,685.88 per year with

                   all revenues generated being realized in the Solid Waste Fund.  The proposed lease

                   term is for three (3) years with an option to extend for two (2) one year terms,

                   commencing April 1, 2007 and providing for an effective date.

 

                   Motion to table.

 

                   Moved:  Cm.  Garza

                   Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            18.  Amending the City of Laredo Code of Ordinances by amending Chapter 18, Section18-

                   2.2 by providing that the Building Department is responsible for issuance of

                   amusement redemption machine permits; providing for publication and an effective                    date.

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            19.  Amending Chapter 2, Article II, Division 3, Section 2-58 (a), entitled holidays of the

                   Code of Ordinances of the City of Laredo, subparagraph (4) by modifying the Friday

                   before Easter Sunday Holiday to Monday after Easter Sunday, for all City employees,

                   except as otherwise stated in any collective bargaining agreement.  (subject upon

                   approval of item #1-B)

 

                   No action taken.

 

            20.  Closing as public easements the following three street sections in the Eastern Division,

                   City of Laredo, Webb County, Texas:

 

                        A.  Frees Street between the west right-of-way line of U. S. Highway 83 and the

                              west right-of-way line of Meadow Ave. including its intersections with Meadow

                              and Mendiola Avenues;

                        B.  Meadow Avenue between Frees Street and the original South City limits; and

                        C.  Mendiola Avenue between Frees Street and the original South City limits;

                              While retaining all utility easements thereon; and providing for an effective date.

 

            Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

X.        FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES 

 

            Motion to waive the final reading of Ordinances 2007-O-018, 2007-O-019, 2007-O-020,             2007-O-021, 2007-O-022, 2007-O-023, 2007-O-024, 2007-O-025, 2007-O-026

 

            Moved:  Cm. Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Amaya

            For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            21.  2007-O-018  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a $ 5,000.00 grant from the

                                         Laredo Day Break Rotary Club and amend the City of Laredo Fiscal Year

                                         2006-2007 General Fund Annual Budget by appropriating revenues and

                                         expenditures in the amount of $5,000.00 in the form of a donation to

                                         purchase trees for the purpose of enhancing two areas adjacent to the

                                         Zacate Creek located along Clark and O’kane Streets and in the

                                         intersection of Monterrey and Guadalupe Streets respectively.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-018.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                   2007-O-019  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a lease agreement with Laredo

                                         Equities, LLC for the use of Veteran’s Field.  The lease term is for one

                                         season beginning on May 1, 2007 and ending on October 1, 2007 a rental

                                         rate of $50,000.00 per season or $1.00 per ticket sold per year if the total

                                         amount of ticket sales is greater than $50,000.00.  Laredo Equities will

                                         also be responsible for all maintenance, utilities and repairs to Veterans

                                         Field during the term of the lease as outlined in the lease agreement

                                         terms.  (As amended)

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-019.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                   2007-O-020  Amending the City of Laredo Bridge System 2006-2007 Bridge annual

                                         budget by appropriating $326,561.00 from the Bridge System

                                         Construction fund balance to the Improvements Other than Buildings

                                         Account.  Funding will be used for expenses related to the Bridge of the

                                         Americas Modification Project “El Portal” and other Bridge related

                                         projects.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-020.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                   2007-O-021  Amending Chapter 32, “Vehicles for Hire”, Article II, Taxicabs, of the

                                         Code of Ordinances of the City of Laredo:  specifically Section 32-22

                                         initial application for annual permit, 32-35 application, and Section 32-37

                                         Term and Renewal, providing for severability and for an effective date

                                         and publication.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-021.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                   2007-O-022  Amending the City of Laredo FY 2006-2007 annual budget by increasing

                                         revenues and expenditures in the Special Police fund in the amount of

                                         $14,877.00. The increase is to reimburse costs for overtime incurred by

                                         the Laredo Police Department officers in providing resources for the

                                         Weed and Seed Community Building Program.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-022.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                   2007-O-023  Amending the City of Laredo Fiscal Year 2006-2007 annual budget by

                                         increasing the grant award amount by $22,344.00 for a total amount of

                                         $110,144.00; and authorizing the City Manager to execute the

                                         amendment (Exhibit 1) the HOPWA Program Contract #019-3-06 (07)

                                         with the South Texas Development Council increasing the HIV/AIDS

                                         Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Project (HOPWA) grant

                                         award amount by $22,344.00 for a total amount of $110,144.00 and

                                         extending the term by two (2) additional months from January 31, 2007 to

                                         March 31, 2007.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-023.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

                   2007-O-024  Amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the City of Laredo by rezoning

                                         Lots 5 and 6, Block 274, Eastern Division, located at 2019 Marcella

                                         Avenue, from R-3 (Mixed Residential District) to R-O

                                         (Residential/Office District); providing for publication and an effective                                                    date.   District III 

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-024.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

                               

                   2007-O-025  Amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the City of Laredo by rezoning

                                         20.82 acres, as further described by metes and bounds in attached Exhibit

                                         "A", located on the west side of Highway 83 south of Mangana-Hein

                                         Road, from B-3 (Community Business District) to M-1 (Light

                                         Manufacturing District); providing for publication and an effective date.                                      District III 

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-025.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

                                       

                   2007-O-026  Amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the City of Laredo by rezoning

                                         1.28 acres, as further described by metes and bounds in attached Exhibit                                   “A”, located on the northeast corner of Concord Hills Boulevard and

                                         Gage Loop, from R-1A (Single Family Reduced Area District) to B-1

                                         (Limited Commercial District); providing for publication and an effective                                    date.  District II   

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-026.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                         For:      7                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XI.       RESOLUTIONS

 

            22.  2007-R-010  A resolution of the City of Laredo City Council authorizing the City

                                        Manager to execute an Interlocal Agreement with Webb County for the

                                        purpose of accepting a contribution in the amount of $175,000.00 from

                                        Webb County for the construction of the El Eden Recreational Facility.

 

                                        Cindy Collazo, Acting City Manager, informed City Council that the                                          Webb County Attorney advised to amend the resolution to provide                                           specific language.  She stated that it will be introduced and then brought                                     back.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution 2007-R-010.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            23.  2007-R-011  Requesting financial assistance of $325,000.00 from the Texas Water

                                        Development Board (Sewer Improvement Assistance); authorizing the

                                        filing of an application for assistance; and making certain findings in

                                        connection therewith.

                                                                            

                                        Motion to approve Resolution 2007-R-011.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            24.  2007-R-012  Resolution requesting financial assistance of $628,000.00 from the Texas

                                        Water Development Board (Water Improvement Assistance); authorizing

                                        the filing of an application for assistance; and making certain findings in

                                        connection therewith.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution 2007-R-012.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            25.  2007-R-013  Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a memorandum of

                                        understanding  between the City of Laredo and CLEAResult, Inc., for the

                                        2007 “Texas CitySmart Program”.  AEP has contracted with CLEAResult,

                                        Inc., in order to assist cities in reducing energy costs, reduce operating

                                        expenses and provide improved working environments.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution 2007-R-013.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     7                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XII.     MOTIONS

 

            26.  Authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with Mega Services, LLC, El

                   Paso, Texas, to provide and implement a security system to secure the water supply at

                   the Jefferson Water Treatment Plant.  The total contract amount is $285,500.00. 

                   Funding for this “Critical Design Review Water Quality Monitoring and Security

                   System Project” will be available upon receipt of federal and/or state funds.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            27.  Authorizing the City Manager to provide final payment and release retain age along

                   with final Change Order No. 3 in the amount of $2,774.68 to LEM Construction

                   Company, Inc., for the Zacate Creek Odor Control and Rehabilitation Improvement

                   Project.  The revised contract amount is $3,752,217.57.  Funding is available in the

                   2004 Revenue Bond.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            28.  Authorizing the City Manager to amend a contract with NRS Engineering for an

                   amount not to exceed $29,000.00 for completion of the negotiations of the Secondary

                   Water Project development agreement.  The total amended contract will be $49,900.00. 

                   Funding is available in the Groundwater Development line item of the Water

                   Availability Fund.

 

                   Motion to table.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Rendon

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            29.  Consideration to renew the billing service contract with National Reimbursement

                   Services, Inc. (NRS), Houston, Texas for providing billing services for the Fire

                   Department’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operation on a month-to-month

                   basis as mutually agreed by the City and NRS. This shall remain in effect until the City                makes a determination in response to RFP FY 07-059 under the terms and conditions of

                   the existing contract.  

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            30. Consideration to authorize a contract with Med-Eng Systems, Inc., Ottawa, Ontario,

                  Canada, for the purchase of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit (EDO)/Improvised

                  Explosive Detonation Device (IEDD) protective equipment for the Police Department’s

                  bomb squad.  The purchase includes EOD bomb suits, helmets and breathing apparatus

                  visors in the total amount of $27,585.00.  Med-Eng Systems, Inc. is the sole source

                  manufacturer of the EOD/IEDD Protective Equipment.  Funding is available in the

                  Police Department Homeland Security Grant funds.

 

                  Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            31.  Consideration for approval to award an engineering contract to Carter & Burgess, Inc.,

                   Fort Worth, Texas, for an amount of $197,771.00 for the design and preparation of

                   plans and specifications for the Laredo International Airport Runway 14/32 Keel

                   Section Rehabilitation.  Funding is available in the Airport Construction Fund-FAA

                   Proposed Rehabilitation Grant.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            32.  Authorizing the award of a contract in the amount of $249,894.10 to Kimley-Horn and

                   Associates, Inc., for the development of the Downtown Signalization Study.  Funding

                   for this project is available through the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

                   account using federal planning grant (PL 112) funds.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            33.  Authorizing the award of a contract in the amount of $65,028.00 to Alliance

                   Transportation Group, Inc., for the development of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and

                   Efficient Transportation Equity Act:  A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Compliance

                   Project.  Funding is available through the Metropolitan Organization (MPO) account

                   using federal planning grant (PL 112) funds.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            34.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of two (2) service trucks and one (1) utility

                   truck for the Utilities Department in the total amount of $84,628.00 from Philpot

                   Motors, through the BuyBoard Cooperative Purchasing Program’s contract pricing. 

                   Funding is available in the Utilities Department fund.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            35.  Authorizing the City Manager to transfer Unit 6119 (1999 Vac-con Combo Unit

                   V309S) Truck from the Environmental Services Department to the Utilities

                   Department, and compensate the respective department in the amount of $40,000.00

                   from the Waste Water Fund.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            36.  Consideration to award a supply contract number FY 07-049 to the low bidder, HD

                   Supply Waterworks, San Antonio, Texas, in the base amount of $109,158.09 for the

                   purchase of rubber couplings and fittings used for wastewater applications for the

                   Utilities Department.  This will be a year supply contract with an option to extend for

                   an additional year.  These materials are purchased on an as needed basis by the Utilities

                   Department-Wastewater Operations for construction and repair projects.  Funding is

                   available in the Utilities Department.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            37.  Consideration to award a supply contract number FY07-050 to the low bidder,

                   Ferguson Waterworks, McAllen, Texas in the estimated amount of $575,942.00 for the

                   purchase of PVC pipe used by the Utilities Department. This will be a sixty (60) day                

                   supply contract.  At the end of the sixty days, staff will review the market price for this

                   commodity and will recommend extending this contract for an additional sixty day

                   period or to solicit new bids.  These materials are purchased on an as needed basis by               the Utilities Department Operations for construction and repair projects.  Funding is

                   available in the Utilities Department Fund.  

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            38.  Consideration to award contract FY07-052 for tire repair services to the low bidders,

                   Tire Centers, Laredo, Texas and Beltran’s Road Service, Laredo, Texas. This contract

                   is based on the lowest cost format utilizing service call rate, after hour rate, holiday

                   rates, and tire repair rate.  City departments will be able to contact the vendors for

                   passenger vehicle, heavy truck, and construction equipment tire repairs. The term of

                   this contract will be for a one year period with an option to extend this contract for one

                   additional one year term.  Funding is available in the Fleet budget. 

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            39.  Consideration to award a supply contract number FY07-043 to the following low

                   bidders:  Leyendecker Materials, Laredo, Texas in the estimated amount of                                              $1,543,750.00, for the purchase of asphalt (F.O.B plant), black base (F.O.B plant),

                   flexible base (F.O.B plant), sand (F.O.B plant and site delivered), and gravel (F.O.B

                   plant and site delivered) ; Brothers Materials, Laredo, Texas in the estimated amount of

                   $96,450.00 for the purchase of asphalt (site delivered), flexible base (site delivered) and

                   black base (site delivered);  City Ready Mix, Laredo, Texas in the estimated amount of

                   $229,500.00, for the purchase of ready mix cement Site Delivered);  Ergon Asphalt,

                   Austin, Texas, in the estimated amount $18,446.00, for the purchase of asphalt oils and             emulsions (F.O.B plant and site delivered).  These will be the primary vendors for the

                   purchase of materials required for all city paving and construction projects.  The term

                   of this contract is for a one year period and is subject to the availability of funds.  All

                   materials are purchased on an as needed basis utilizing the Public Works Department,

                   Utilities Department, and construction projects budgets. 

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            40.  Consideration to award an annual contract number FY07-045 to the low bidders, Al &

                   Rob Sales, Laredo, Texas, in the estimated annual amount of $88,865.10, for the

                   purchase of uniform trousers; and V F Imagewear, Inc.,  Nashville, Tn. in the estimated

                   amount of $79,367.60, for the purchase of uniform shirts for the Police Department. 

                   All items will be purchased on an as-needed basis. Funding is available in the Police

                   Department budget.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            41.  Consideration to award a contract to Sungard H.T.E. Inc., Lake Mary, FL., for the

                   purchase of Click2Gov an online e-commerce system in the total amount of

                   $86,409.00.  This system will allow for payment of water utilities, property taxes, and

                   parking tickets with a major credit card or recurring bank draft via the internet. 

                   Funding is available in the 2006 Public Property Finance Contractual Obligation bond

                   proceeds.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            42.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of one (1) cab and chassis in the total amount

                   of $93,653.00 from Chastang’s Bayou City Ford; and one, 23 cubic yard, front loader

                   refuse packer in the total amount of $76,878.00 from Heil of Texas, through the

                   Houston Galveston Area Council of Governments (HGAC) cooperative purchasing

                   program’s contract pricing.  Funding is available in the Solid Waste budget.

 

                  Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            43.  Authorizing the issuance of a request for proposals (RFP) for the Bruni Plaza

                   Preservation and Restoration Project, located at 1120 San Bernardo Avenue, as further

                   described as all of Block 194, Eastern Division.  Funding is available in Planning and

                   Zoning Department budget.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            44.  Refund of property tax in the amount of $624.07 payable to the Laredo National Bank

                   due to an erroneous payment.  Account number 938-50001-020.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            45.  Approving monthly adjustments to the tax roll.  The amounts to be adjusted for the

                   month of January 2007, represents an increase of $184,338.32.  These adjustments are

                  determined by Webb County Appraisal District and by court orders.

 

                  Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            46.  Consideration to approve a contract with Selectron Technologies, Inc., Portland,

                   Oregon, in the amount of $72,290.00 for providing a software and hardware Automated

                   Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Customer Service System for the Utility Billing

                   operation.  Funding is available in the Utility Billing Division budget.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XIII.    STAFF REPORTS

 

            47.  A.  Presentation by Keith Selman, Planning Department Director, regarding the Laredo

                         Railroad Quiet Zone Study, conducted by the Metropolitan Planning Organization,

                        with possible action.

 

                        Keith Selman, Planning and Zoning Director, reported that 3 elements of the                              Railroad Quite Zone Study was delivered to the Council Members. The first                              element was the analysis of the railroad crossing itself; the second was a Noise                          Study; and lastly the Final Report on what needs to be done in the implementation a                  Railroad Quiet Zone.  He presented the following power point presentation which                                 may be viewed at the City Secretary‘s Office:

                       

                        Railroad Quiet Zone Study

                        Sponsored by The Laredo Urban Transportation Study

                        (MPO) and the City of Laredo

 

                        Prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates

 

                        Quiet Zone Definition

Ÿ         Quiet zones are areas where locomotive engineers are permitted not to blow their train horns as they approach a grade crossing

Ÿ         For Quiet Zone establishment, specific safety requirements of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) must be met.

Ÿ         FRA is the federal agency having oversight for safety on the national freight and passenger rail system.

Study Purpose

Ÿ         Because of concerns regarding sound levels near railroad lines, this study sought to determine measures needed to implement Quiet Zones.

Two Railroads Serve Laredo

Ÿ         Union Pacific Railroad

            -2 north-south lines

            -20 through trains/day

            -12-50 switch trains/day

            -Volume growing

            -46 crossings in study area (downtown to Loop 20 on the north)

Ÿ         Texas Mexican Railway

            -1 east-west line

            -10 through trains/day

            -2 switch train/day

            -Volume growing

            -38 crossings in study area (downtown to Loop 20 on the east)

Establishing a Quiet Zone

Ÿ         A Quiet Zone can be established if the Quiet Zone Risk Index (QZRI) is at, or

       below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold (NSRT).

QZRI Definition

Ÿ         QZRI means a measure of risk to the motoring public of crossing a Quiet Zone,

      after adjustment to account for increased risk due to the lack of locomotive horn         

      use at the crossing with a Quiet Zone.

            -QZRI may be reduced by implementation of supplementary safety measures             (SSMs), which include street closures, 4-quadrant gates, and 2-quadrant             gates with 200-foot medians.

            -QZRI also may be reduced by implementation of alternative safety                    measures, such as public education programs, photo enforcement, or                  engineering measures that reduce risks.

            -Calculation of QZRI is done via FRA’s Web site and its Quiet Zone                 Calculator.

            -This analysis assumed only SSMs.

QZRI Calculation Variables

Ÿ         Type of crossing warning device

Ÿ         Number of vehicles per day (2003)

Ÿ         Number of trains per day (2005)

Ÿ         Number of trains per daylight hour

Ÿ         Number of tracks

Ÿ         Paved roadway, yes or no

Ÿ         Maximum train speeds

Ÿ         Number of highway lanes

Ÿ         Number of years for highway accidents

Ÿ         Number of accidents in those years

NSRT Definition

Ÿ         NSRT means a measure of risk, calculated on a nationwide basis.

            -The number reflect the average level of risk to the motoring public at public        highway-rail crossings equipped with flashing lights and gates and at which           locomotive horns are sounded.

Ÿ         For this study, the number reported by the FRA was 17, 030

Ÿ         Map may viewed at the City Secretary’s Office.

Quiet Zone A along UP

Ÿ         QZRI=14,383 (NSRT = 17,030)

Ÿ         Improvements: $750,000

            -Ugarte St.:  gates and flashers

            -Boston St.:  gates and flashers

            -Madison St.:  gates and flashers

Ÿ         Closures

            - Pace St.

            -Philadelphia St.

            -Pierce St.

            -Lafayette St.

Quiet Zone B along UP

Ÿ         QZRI = 16,673 (NSRT = 17,030)

Ÿ         Improvements:  $250,000

            -Blair St.:  gates and flashers

Ÿ         Closures

            -Frankfort St.

            -Shea St.

Quiet Zone C along UP

Ÿ         QZRI = 16,836 (NSRT = 17,030)

Ÿ         Improvements:  $1,000,000

            -Gonzalez St.:  gates and flashers

            -Sanchez St.:  off-quad gates and flashers

            -Sanchez St.: gates and flashers

            -Santa Isabel Ave.:  gates and flashers

Ÿ         Closures

            -Bruni St.

            -Park St.

            -Garza St.

Quiet Zone D along UP & Tex-Mex

Ÿ         QZRI = 6,223 (NSRT = 17,030)

Ÿ         Improvements:  $1,500,00

            -Zaragoza St.:  gates and flashers

            -Hidalgo St.:  off-quad gates and flashers

            -UP lot (Houston St.):  gates and flashers

            -Iturbide St.:  gates and flashers

            -Santa Isabel/Washington St.:  gates and flashers

            -Zaragoza St.:  gates and flashers

Ÿ         Closure

            -Private UP Police crossing

Quiet Zone E along Tex-Mex

Ÿ         QZRI = 14,206 (NSRT = 17,030)

Ÿ         Improvements:  $500,000

            -Santa Rita Ave.:  gates and flashers

            -Marcella Ave.:  gates and flashers

Ÿ         Closures

            -Vidaurri Ave.

            -Santa Cleotilde Ave.

            -Davis Ave.

            -Juarez Ave.

            -Flores Ave.

            -San Agustin Ave.

            -San Jorge Ave.

            -Sanders Ave.

Quiet Zone F along Tex-Mex

Ÿ         QZRI = 16,580 (NSRT = 17,030)

Ÿ         Improvements:  $1,250,00

            -Buena Vista Ave.:  gates and flashers

            -Bartlett Ave.:  gates and flashers

            -Malinche Ave.:  gates and flashers

            -Market St.:  gates and and flashers

            -Arkansas Ave.:  gates and flashers

Ÿ         Closures

            -Stone Ave.

            -Seymour Ave.

Findings

Ÿ         New gates and flashers assumed at 21 crossings

Ÿ         Improvement cost:  $5.25 million

Ÿ         Closure assumed of 20 private and public crossings

Ÿ         Assuming either enhanced protection or crossing closures, or both, each zone’s QZRI beat the NSRT

Ÿ         All Quiet Zones appear capable of being established

Next Steps

Ÿ         Refine to Quiet Zone concepts

                                    -Additional closures?

                                    -Combining Quiet Zones?

                                    -Calculating QZRI with future year motor vehicle and train volumes?

Ÿ         Informal review with FRA

Ÿ         Share data with UP and Tex-Mex for comment

Ÿ         With the above accomplished, proceed with formal steps to establish Quiet Zones

 

                        Motion to instruct staff to submit report to the Federal Railroad for their review.

 

                        Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

                        Second:  Cm. Chavez

                        For:     7                                   Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                

                   B.  Update on secondary water negotiations and setting up a workshop date, with

                        possible action.

 

                        Bill Norris reported that on the negotiations with Dimmit County.  He stated that                                    through scientific evidence, water is there.  He also stated that they have reached the                  point where the price has been negotiated and the price is beyond the 23 years after                  the bonds have been sold off.  He mentioned that the financing could be done by                                    appointing another city/local government, a separate entity, where they would be in                    charge of the bonds.  He mentioned that he met with the City’s bond councilor, and                    Estrada, Hinojosa, the City’s financial advisor and talked about the different ways it                   can be structured.  He reported that they could convert their water supply                                              corporation into MUD or SUD.  He emphasized that it is a take and pay contract and                cited as an example that if water has not been delivered to the City after three                            years, the City does not pay anything in the three year period.  He mentioned that

the only risk for the City is time.  Lastly, he reported that the price is lower than  what was originally planned into the budget which allows the potential to dual track additional water rights and everything else associated with the increased water                 treatment plant capacity.

 

                   C.  Update on the proposed split payment program for payment of property taxes, with

                        possible action.

 

                         No action taken on this item.

 

                   D.  Presentation by the Parkland Dedication Ordinance Ad Hoc Committee regarding

                         the revised draft of the proposed Parkland Dedication Ordinance, with possible

                         action.

 

                         Nathan Bratton, Parkland Dedication Ordinance Ad Hoc Committee Chairman,                                    stated that the draft ordinance is now 23 pages long and he would like direction                                      from the City Council on how to proceed.

 

                         Motion to instruct staff to setup a workshop.

 

                         Moved:  Cm. Garza

                         Second:  Cm. Landeck

                         For:     7                                  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.

 

            48.  Request for Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.071

                   (1) (B) to consult with Tax Attorney representing the City of Laredo and consider a

                   settlement offer regarding pending litigation:  Cause No. 2005-CVQ00883-D1 Ramona

                   Uvalle Ibarra vs. City of Laredo, et al, in the 49th District Court of Webb County,

                   Texas, and return to open session for possible action.

 

                    Motion to go into Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section                                  551.071 (1) (B) to consult with Tax Attorney representing the City of Laredo and                    consider a settlement offer regarding pending litigation:  Cause No. 2005-CVQ00883-

                   D1 Ramona Uvalle Ibarra vs. City of Laredo, et al, in the 49th District Court of Webb

                   County, Texas, and return to open session for possible action.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garza

                   Second:  Cm. Belmares

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

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

 

                   Motion to authorize the City Manager to accept a settlement offer regarding pending                                litigation:  Cause Number 2005-CVQ-0883-D1 Ramon Uvalle Ibarra vs City of Laredo,          et al in the 49th Judicial District Court of Webb County, Texas where Ramona Uvalle            Ibarra shall pay to the City of Laredo the sum of $68,500 (Sixty Eight Thousand Five                 Hundred Dollars) and a dismissal with prejudice against the City in the above suit, and                    dismissal of Cause No. 2004-CVF-001677-D2 Marcos Ibarra, et al vs The City of                         Laredo, et al in the 111th District Court of Webb County, Texas; with the said $68,500          to constitute payment of all delinquent taxes, penalties and interest, from tax year 2003                   and prior, on the property made subject to the said Cause 2005-CVQ-00883-D1, and                         the City granting a quitclaim deed in favor of the said Ramona Uvalle Ibarra or her                       designees on the property made subject to the said cause number 2005-CVQ-00883-

                   D1.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                   Second:  Cm. Garza

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                   Cm. Landeck present.

 

            49.  Request by City Council for executive session pursuant to the Texas Government Code,

                   Section 551.071(1) (B) to consult with its attorney to obtain legal advice regarding a

                   proposed settlement offer to Montemayor Construction regarding a contractual dispute

                   for asphalt repairs and landscaping services; and return to open session for possible

                   action on same.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garza

                   Second:  Cm. Belmares

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

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

 

                   Motion to amend the contract FY05-123 with Marco A. Montemayor and Sheila                      Montemayor d/b/a Montemayor Construction, for asphalt repairs and landscaping                            services to add $45,716.95, for a final total contract amount of $535,716.95; and                            authorizing the City Manager to enter into a compromise and settlement agreement                            whereby the City will make that final payment of $39,423.95 for asphalt repairs and                                     $6,293.00 in landscaping, in exchange for a mutual full release of any and all claims                           between the parties relating to said contract.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garza

                   Second:  Cm. Belmares

                   For:     7                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XV.      ADJOURNMENT

 

CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

A-2007-S-04

SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA

 

I.                               PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

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

      the FY 2007 Federal Planning Funds (PL112) in the amount of $480,039.00 and

      amending the City of Laredo’s 2006-2007 General Fund budget to match PL112’s

      budget by increasing revenues by $168,544.00 and expenditures by $168,244.00.  The

      PL112 Funds come from the 2006-2007 approved Unified Planning Work Program

      (UPWP).

 

      Motion to open the public hearing.

 

      Moved:  Cm. Belmares

      Second:  Cm. Amaya

      For:     7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

      There was no public input.

 

      Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

      Moved:  Cm. Belmares

      Second:  Cm. Rendon

      For:     7                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0       

 

      Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

II.     INTRODUCTORY  ORDINANCE

 

 2.  Approving the public sale of a tract of land containing 88.6913-acres, more or less,

     legally described as Lot Numbers One (1), Two (2), and Three (3), in Block Number

     Two (2), Laredo International Airport Passenger Terminal Subdivision, as per Plat

     recorded in Volume 16, pages 45-47, Webb County Plat Records and authorizing the

     City Manager to execute all conveyance documents to sole bidder Laredo Town Center,

     L.P. in the amount of $15,865,000.00; the Laredo Town Center bid offer is subject to the

     closing being held sixty (60) days after City Council award of the sale instead of the

     thirty (30) days specified in the bid specifications, and further contingent upon Laredo

     Town Center receiving clear title to the subject property, and providing for an effective

     date.

 

     Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

III.       GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

3.  A.  Request by Council Member Dr. Michael Landeck

 

1.  Discussion with possible action regarding any issues related to the Secondary

     Water Source. (Co-sponsored by Council Member Juan Chavez)

 

     Cm.  Landeck summarized the analysis of the water source proposal.  He stated that after he read the analysis he had some very serious doubts as to the availability and sustainability from water from Dimmit County.  He stated that there are serious concerns about legal issues and added that there is no scientific proof that water is available.  He stated that there are some serious questions about the pipe line since it has never produced before. Next, he mentioned that there is a speculation that we will not have to treat the water meanwhile Dr. Earheart and others have stated that all kinds of things can happen to water when it travels some 80 miles through a pipe.  He included security issue thay may arise if the City can not convince the owners of land along the pipeline to give us their land.  Finally, he stated that there is no mention as to how much they would have to finance.  He recommended that the City take some time and stop doing what we are doing now. 

 

    Motion to stop all activities on the Dimmit Utilities Water Supply and to have a work        

    shop to discuss new alternatives.

 

    Moved:  Cm. Landeck

    Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

    For:     8                                        Against:  0                                               Abstain:  0

  

   Motion withdrawn.

 

   Motion to stop further work on this proposal until staff prepares a workshop to discuss the proposal with all other alternatives. 

 

   Moved:  Cm.  Landeck

   Second:  Cm.  Chavez

   For:     8                                                                                   

 

     B.    Request by Council Member Gene Belmares

 

1. A presentation by the Citizens’ Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAC) on

    alternatives to the Border security wall, with possible action. (Co-sponsored by Council

    Member Hector “Tito” Garcia)

 

     Robert Gilpin, Chairman of the Environmental Advisory Committee, read the following

     letter:

 

     “Dear Mayor Salinas and Council Members:

 

                        We the members of the Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee would like to offer a border perspective in the building of a fence(wall) along our region. We believe that our recommendations are not only in the best interest of our community, but also for our country.

 

                        As a committee, we see the need for realistic and effective security measures.  Unfortunately, some have been led to believe that a fence(wall) is an all encompassing response.  As far as our region is concerned, a fence (wall) does not equate to a security barrier.  We believe that the construction and maintenance of a fence(wall) would be very impractical.  Unlike other regions where fences (walls) have only been marginally successful, our region has immense tributaries that feed into a river that his hydrologically very active.  Effectively spanning these tributaries with a barrier, would likely prove to be impossible.  The soils along our river are fine silts which easily erode and constantly shift due to the hydrological activity in our region.  The soils are also very easy to dig into with a simple shovel so tunneling under a fence would routinely take less than a few minutes.  The river itself is a far greater obstacle than a fence(wall).  A fence(wall) would actually facilitate a staging area between the river and itself for illegal traffic to regroup and recover in order to more successfully penetrate border security. 

 

                        Apart from being impractical, we see it as having extreme negative effects on our environment.  The placement of a fence(wall) along with its construction would have ravaging consequences on our environment, cultural and internal relationships.

 

                        Constructing a fence(wall) would have a direct destructive impact on our environment on many different levels.  There would be damage to our terrain, wildlife, and habitat as well as the water quality to name a few.

 

                        The reduced access to water could increase the survival pressure on sensitive wildlife.  Wildlife that the multi-million dollar industry of ECO-TOURISM (birding) and white tail deer hunting depends on.

 

                        The fence(wall) would also infringe on the personal property rights of landowners in our region, who have historically cooperated with local, state and federal authorities in their efforts to enforce our laws.

 

                        Our committee believes that the limited funding appropriations would be better utilized on cost effective options with less environmental impact such as:

 

                                    1.  Increase number of Border Patrol Agents

                                    2.  Supply tactical infrastructures such as:

                                                a.  Strategic placement of substations

                                                b.  Strategic placement of towers with high-tech sensors and cameras

                                    3.  Establish system of roads leading to, but not on the river vega for                          efficient river access

                                    4.  Increase number of piloted flight patrols supported by unmanned air                       vehicles (UAV-drones)

                                    5.  Have foot, bicycle, and horse patrols which would be better suited to the              topographical and environmental conditions present in our region

                                    6.  Construct check dams that would facilitate constant river levels in certain              portions of the river to allow for river boat patrols

                                    7.  Extend electrical utilities access to support increased land owner activity                in secluded areas

                                    8.  Establish land owner watch groups

 

                        We are in agreement with our Congressman Henry Cuellar, Mayor Raul Salinas, and City Council that a strong fair policy addressing immigration would go a long way in reducing the number of illegal crossings.

 

                        We thank you for the opportunity to express our concerns and hope that our recommendations would meet with your approval.”

 

                     Sincerely,

 

                     Robert J. Gilpin,

                     Chairman

 

     C.   Request by Council Member Juan Chavez

 

1.  Discussion with possible action on a plan to inform the public of all emergencies and

     public safety issues through the use of the local media. (Co-sponsored by the Mayor)

 

     Cm. Chavez stated that his main reason for this item is his concern for the safety of the

     public. He stated that the only way to make the public safe is to dissimilate any

     information as far as emergencies are concerned. 

 

                  Police Chief Augustine Dovalina reported that he was surprised that the media would          

                  like the City provide accessibility to the media as well as the public which would                          

                  jeopardize both fire and police personnel.   He emphasized the he never said that he or 

                  the Police Department or the Fire Department was against scanners.  He stated that he

                  has always had an open communication with the media as much as possible.  He 

                  informed the City Council that there is a process in place where the Police Department 

                  has a Public Information Officers that is dedicated to inform the media.  He read the   

                  following memo:

 

         “The recent news story about  the dissemination of information to the media stemming form the City’s recently acquired 800 MHz. digital trunk radio system was unfortunately and inaccurate and incomplete report on the communications of the Laredo Police and Fire Departments to the local media.  This memo that I have provided for you serves to clear up any confusion and answer any questions that you may have a bout the system, explain the process by which the Police and Fire Departments came to this decision with the media and of course provide you with a historical background for the reason behind the purchase behind this multi-million dollars piece of equipment.  For years the City of Laredo has been lobbying both our state and federal legislature for funds to purchase this state of the art digital radio equipment.  Because of our location on the border obviously often times the many antennas and frequencies on the other side of the border would often interfere with and interrupt our abilities to communicate with other officers or firefighters putting both their lives and any operations that they were conducting in obviously in jeopardy. Since the attacks of 911 this issue of communication or inoperability became very pressing for us because of our greater responsibility of not only protecting the citizens of Laredo but also because of our role in the fight against terror to protect the US border.  The immense cost of this particular system is about 8 million dollars was prohibited for the City of Laredo to go at it alone, which is why we lobbied for federal funds to help cover the cost.  Finally we were able to get the system through the Department Homeland Security which secured 1.2 million to help offset the funds that were going to be used to purchase this vital piece of equipment, and last year we were finally able to come online with the 800 MHz. Digital radio trunk system.  Now, the new digital radio trunk system provides encrypted channels that allow for clear protected means of communication between officers and firefighters, something that we did not have before.  This has greatly aided in their ability to conduct operations without any interference from any outsiders and that includes the media or otherwise that could potentially jeopardize their safety or that of our mission whether it is a bomb threat on one of the bridges or chasing a suspected criminal on the streets.   Now, of course, with new technologies, comes greater capabilities for access and protection and determining how to best balance these two issues is a decision made in concert between the Police Department and Fire Department including our Legal Department and the City’s Public Information Officer as well as with the concern of not denying anybody the rights, and that’s the right to be protected and the right to be informed.  Under the previous analog radio system that we did have in place the media as well as anyone else who had scanner equipment had immediate access to police and fire communications compromising lives and operations.  With the new digital system, the Police and Fire Department were finally able to have a secure method of communication.  Now, the City of Laredo received requests from the media for access to the communication system, however after researching the facts and other possibilities we decided against allowing the media access to radio trunk system.  The letter alerting the media to this fact was sent to all three media outlets and in fact a follow up meeting was held with both KGNS TV and the Laredo Morning Times to once again voice our position to for denying this particular request.  Now one reason that was cited was that federal statutes including the use of Homeland Security funds allowed us to protect access to our radio trunk system from the media.  At no time was media coverage being denied any outlets, at no time were we violating their right to freedom of speech or freedom of press.  We were simply informing them that they could not have access to secure channels of communications of our police officers and firefighters, however, we pointed out that the Police Department and the Fire Department, Public Information Officers would always be on the scene of any major situation or that the PIO’s would immediately follow up with the media to provide all pertinent information to them.  Additionally, the City of Laredo Public Information Officer could also assist in disseminating information to the media if necessary.  Since the inception of the new radio system, the media outlets have been shut out of covering any police or fire situation.  But I’ll tell you what they have been losing out on is there ability to be the first t on scene to boost their ratings and get exclusive footage.   I understand that.  Now, one thing that is very important is the vital piece of information that was currently omitted from the news story was the fact that KGNS TV, did in fact submit an open records request for encrypted codes to our radio communications system.  The City of Laredo requested an opinion from the Texas Attorney General seeking confirmation that these communications were not public information.  Now, the Attorney General agreed, among other reasons, his letter stated that “Release of the encrypted radio codes would compromise the safety and strategies of the City of Laredo’s Police, Fire Departments and terrorism or criminally related situations as persons would have access to personnel deployment information and other vital law enforcement  information.”

 

                Cm. Chavez suggested that the Police Department and Fire Department work closely    

                with the media to disseminate any information.

 

IV.       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.

I.                                                             

V.      ADJOURNMENT

 

Motion to adjourn.                                                                                Time:  11:15 p.m.

 

Moved:  Cm. Amaya

Second:  Cm. Garza

For:     7                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0