CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2007-R-10

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON STREET

LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

MAY 21, 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

            Hector Garcia,                                                                          Council Member, District II

            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

            Carlos Villarreal,                                                                       City Attorney

            Cynthia Collazo,                                                                       Deputy City Manager

            Horacio De Leon,                                                                     Assistant City Manager

            Jesus Olivares,                                                                          Assistant City Manager

            Anthony McGettrick,                                                                Assistant City Attorney

 

IV.       MINUTES

      

            None.

 

V.        COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

            Recognitions

 

            a.  Recognition of the 2007 School Bell Awards Recipients.

                Mayor and City Council presented the following students with a Seven Flags Certificate             for receiving the 2007 School Bell Award which read “Your dedication and achievement            in the field of Education is truly an inspiration to the children of this great City”:

 

                Norma Elizabeth Hachar,                  Mary Help of Christians

                Martha Montemayor,                        St. Augustine Elementary

                Dennis P Crowell,                             Laredo Community College

                Maria Gloria Gonzalez,                     Heights Elementary

                Jose G. Monte,                                 Lamar Middle School

                Kamel Shrek,                                   Martin High School

                Sean Sedwell                                    TAMIU

                Ana Maria R. Garcia,                       George Washington Middle School

                Hilda Dovalina Castro,                      Nye Elementary

                Rosalinda Arzola,                             United South High School

                       

            b.  Recognition of Yu Juan “Rena Ren”, of the Library Department, on her selection as May           2007 employee of the month.

 

                 Janice Weber, Library Director, stated that Rena Ren has been working with the Library           for six years.  She has done an extraordinary job in collaborating with the businesses in      the  community.  She noted that she is very involved with the State and National

                 Library Associations.  She has worked with local school districts in organizing the

                 Forth Annual Poetry Festival which had over 1,000 participants.  She went on to say that

                 she is very deserving of being Employee of the Month because she is kind and good

                 at promoting customer service.  

 

            Communiqués

 

            a.  Presentation by Webb County Commissioner Jerry Garza of a $5,000.00 donation to the

                 All America Award Program.

 

                 Jerry Garza, County Commissioner, noted that Laredoans know that the City of Laredo            is an “All American City” and he wants the nation to know.  In the spirit of                                      cooperation that the County and City have embarked on, he thought it would be                             beneficial to embark on the mission of competing for the All American Award Program.                  He noted that the County is 100% behind the cities effort to certify the title of All

                 America Award Program.  He presented City Council a check for $5,000.00 to be used

                 in obtaining the title for the City.

 

            b.  Presentation titled "Council for Educational Excellence" by Dr. Juan L. Maldonado,

                 President Elect, Laredo Community College.

 

                 Dr.  Juan L. Maldonado, President Elect, Laredo Community College, thanked Council

                 for allowing him to give a presentation that has been born out of two primary inheritants.  

                 The first which mandates that all public institutions of education in Texas must develop

                 the type of programming and curriculum that is going to provide students with early

                 college programs; with curriculums that have them college ready by the time they finish

                 high school; and allow students an opportunity to select a specific career.  That mandate

                 combined with a mandate from our community which shows concerns for drop out rates

                 and scores which gave birth to this effort.  He noted that he was in attendance to seek

                 their participation in the Council for educational excellence. 

 

 

 

Cm. Garcia announced that the Sister Cities Youth Committee recently visited San Miguel De Allende where they were able to meet ambassadors from all over the world including Peru, South Africa, Austria, El Salvador, Korea, Turkey, Japan, Costa Rica, Hungry, Greece, and Russia.  He noted that the Youth Committee did an outstanding job in representing the city of Laredo. 

 

Cm. Landeck said that he had the opportunity to attend an event at the City of Laredo Police Department where stellar employees were recognized during National Police Week. He noted that it was a very special event and he felt honored to be able to attend.   

 

Cm. Amaya mentioned that the District IV Scholarship Committee selected twenty-five students throughout Laredo to receive scholarships to further their education.  He announced that the Committee has been able to distribute over $50,000 in the past five years to qualified students.

 

Cm. Rendon thanked City of Laredo Public Works for working on the erosion at the Blas Casteneda Park Creek Area.   He also announced that he had attended scholarship night at several schools and he thanked the Council Members for distributing scholarships to the graduating Seniors.

 

Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez thanked AEP for installing lights between Garden and Jefferson on Juarez/Convent and on San Augustine and Flores.  He said that the neighbors are grateful and are positive that it will reduce the criminal activity within that area.

 

Mayor Salinas thanked GEO for committing to annually distributing $25,000 to graduating seniors graduating from high schools throughout Laredo including San Augustine.  He also thanked City of Laredo Public Works Department and TxDOT for repairing a pothole on the Del Mar exit.  He noted that he was thankful to TxDOT for the keeping a positive communication with the City of Laredo.  He complimented the Chief and his staff for organizing the annual awards night for the Police Department during the National Police Week.   He further explained that he had received a lot of “hate” mail because he was opposed to the fence between Mexico and Texas.  He said that he feels that the fence would not be the answer to terrorism.  He added that the fight against terrorism should be fought with eyes and ears on both sides of the border and the participation of each individual. 

 

            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.

 

            Tom Vaugh spoke on the wetlands stating that the Council should take some action in    protecting the acreage across the airport as wetlands.

 

            Estela Quintanilla spoke on the 4th of July celebration and asked for support in advertising             for the whole city.

 

            Elizabeth Prieto asked Mayor and Council for their support for a girl’s soccer field.

 

            Jose Prieto asked for support for a girl’s soccer field.

 

            Richard Geissler spoke on the Casa Blanca wetlands and its protection.

            Daniel de la Miyar spoke on behalf of SCAN and on teen drinking as their advice to the             parents to create awareness.

 

            Roberto Angel Limon spoke on the protection of the wetlands at Lake Casa Blanca. 

 

VI.       APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSIONS, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

 

            a.  Appointment by Mayor Raul G. Salinas of Ignacio Alaniz, Fred De Luna, Starr Zolton,

                 Benjamin Hinojosa, and Manuel Guerra to the Building Standards Board.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Rendon

                 Second:  Cm. Garza

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            b.  Appointment by Mayor Raul G. Salinas of Steven L. Mondragon, P.H.D., Edna

                 Castañeda, Jorge Gonzalez, and Sonia Benavides to the Housing Finance Corporation                              Board.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garza

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            c.   Confirmation of Robert Saucedo, Monica Perales Garcia, Carolyn Wilbur, Crisanta

                 Musset, Tracey Melendez and Robert Palomin to the Keep Laredo Beautiful, Inc. Board

                 of Directors.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garza

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

VII.     GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

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

 

            1.  Discussion with possible action on issues related to the wetlands and green space of

                 Lake Casa Blanca with presentations by Remy Salinas and Dr. Jim Earhart.

 

                 Remy Salinas suggested rescinding the sale of the wetlands and green space and look                                into constructing a water park in order to take advantage of the improvements that are

                 already underground on the 88 acres.  He said that this is a lesson that he thinks that the

                 City Council and the City Administration can take to heart.  He noted that there are

                 professional real estate developers that look out for assurances and check encumbrances

                 to make sure that there are no errors in property closings.  

                

                 Dr.  Earhart presented City Council with a box with 10,000 signatures from citizens

                 opposing the proposed changes to the wetlands on Lake Casa Blanca.  He said that the

                 citizens of Laredo do not want to see the proposed changes take place because they have

                 been using the lake for generations and they care about it. 

 

                 Motion to instruct the staff of the City of Laredo not to sign a contract regarding the                  wetlands until all the legal issues are clarified. 

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                 Second:  Cm. Ramirez

 

                 Cm. Garza explained that the entire process of the sale for the project started before                                 several of the Council Members were on board; therefore, he was not sure of possible                                legal ramifications since there is a lease agreement with the developer.          

               

                 Remy Salinas commented that the lease agreement could be voided depending on the

                 grant assurances.

   

                 Jose Flores, Airport Director, advised that the federal aviation administration is fully                   aware that there is a proposal to sell the said property.  They are also aware that this

                 property is under a long term lease.  The City of Laredo has not heard any objections

                 from the federal aviation administration. The federal government conveys “excess” land              for aeronautical purpose so communities can develop properties and attempt to be as self

                 sufficient. The FAA would benefit if the City of Laredo could be more self sufficient. 

 

                 Cm. Garza asked if the 404 permit was denied. 

 

                 Remy Salinas said that he had researched 404 permits in this district and there had been             no denials.  He noted that this district is under a tremendous amount of political pressure

                 to approve and that is the problem.  He said that lobbyists approached the Corp of

                 Engineers regarding the approval of 404 permits in this area.

 

                 Cm. Garza asked if the destruction of this wetland would destroy Lake Casa Blanca.

   

                 Remy Salinas said that it would not destroy the lake but it would set precedence. He

                 continued to say that if this destruction of wetlands takes place that the City is subjecting

                 the entire upper watershed to the same type of treatment.  He said that developers are

                 running out of land inside the Loop

 

                 Cm. Garza made note that the citizens may have been misled when they signed the                     petition.  He said that they may believe that the development of said area would

                 completely destroy Lake Casa Blanca. 

 

                 Remy Salinas said that Cm. Garza was discrediting the population of Laredo.   He                     continued by saying they read the petition and their votes should not be discredited in                      any way.

                

                 Remy Salinas said that the subject property has a federal project on it which carries a lot            of responsibility. 

 

                 Jose Flores, Airport Director, explained that Mr.  Salinas assumes that federal funding                             was used for the oversizing of the storm drainage system and the construction of the

                 detention pond; however, federal government never pays 100% for a project and there

                 were local monies used in the project.  Staff is in the process of finding out exactly the

                 source of funding which took place over twelve years ago. 

 

                 Cm. Landeck said that he thinks it is also important to bring in the issue of the           green                         space that Mr.  Salinas is talking about because he doesn’t see any advantage to the

                 developer even if it passes the 404 permit, because he may not be able to get through

                 green space. He mentioned that there were different interpretations whether the land is

                 grandfathered or not and if it does fall under the green space order, more clarification is

                 needed before further errors are made by the City.  He asked Council to support him by

                 stopping all action on the item in order to do further legal clarifications. 

 

                 T. J Connelly , from Merchants Holding, stated that he would like to address a couple of           issues.  He began by stating that destroying the wetlands or polluting Lake Casa Blanca

                 is not an option with this development.  The developer is investing $120 million dollars

                 to build the development that would abut Lake Casa Blanca and the wetlands.  The

                 wetlands and Lake Casa Blanca add value to his $120 dollar development that will

                 increase retail, hotel and restaurant values.  It is in the developer’s best interest to ensure

                 that the quality of Lake Casa Blanca not be held to the standard that it is in today, but it

                 improves the rendering that you were shown on the type of infiltration system.  He

                 continued by saying that there is federal laws that prohibit lobbying the Corp of

                 Engineers.  He stated that the Corp of Engineers will dictate to the developer the level of

                 quality insurance that they need to put into the development.  The developer is installing

                 a one million dollar state of the art infiltration system unlike any other development in

                 Laredo.  He advised that the developer has spent a large amount of money in advance of

                 being granted the 404 permit, because he has been working as a developer for 30 years

                 and he has complied in California, George, and Florida

                       

                 Cm. Landeck asked Mr. Connelly is he felt that his company would abide by the green              space ordinance in this particular development. 

 

                 Mr. Connelly said that he would have to defer that to the legal department. He

                 concurred with Council Garza that this process began under a former Council and Mayor

                 and he acknowledged that a contract was in place.  He reassured Council that the

                 developer will continue to follow all the rules on the books and he asked Council to

                 honor the contract.  He said that it has always been the intent of Merchants Holdings to

                 develop 88 acres to achieve the return on the $120 million dollar investment. He stressed

                 that Merchants Holdings has not deviated from their plan.

           

                Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, explained that the Attorneys have noted that the plat                              indicates vested rights; hence, the developer does not have to comply with the green                 space ordinance.  More dialogue might surface to be able to allay some of the fears of                   some of the individuals attending Council, but that is what we understand as far as our                             City Attorney’s call as far as the law is concerned. 

 

                 Cm. Landeck said that he wants to know from the City Manager if the information is                                correct that the City is going to sign the contract on the 31st.  In order not to complicate

                 the issues,  he suggested for City staff not to sign it on the 31st until some of these issues

                 are resolved. 

 

                 Mr. Connelly asked Council to allow staff to proceed with the developer’s stand point.              He said that the company has complied with all of the rules and obligations.  He added

                 that they have gone through the public comment period with the Corp of Engineers and              they are proceeding in their plans for the filtration system.  He said that they would not

                 support any delays. 

 

                 Anthony McGettrick, Assistant City Attorney, advised that there is no “contract” to be

                signed.  He noted that they are awaiting the deed from the City to the company.   

 

                 Cm. Landeck inquired if the closing could be stopped. 

                

                 Jose Flores, Airport Director, advised that the bid specifications required closing thirty               days; however, it was amended to sixty days and that would expire on June 4, 2007

                             

                 Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, said that he would want to go on record noting that

                 there is a major replat.  He said that if anyone thinks that the Corps of Engineers or any

                 federal agency is going to be operating on whether they are “obtaining” their number of

                 permits, they are misinformed.  He said that he has worked with the Corp of Engineers

                 for 37 years and he has never seen the Corp submit a decision based on whether they are

                 going to give you a permit or whether they think that they will be generating more

                 money associated with permits.  They are very stringent and technical.  He added that

                 the City of Laredo cannot stop the development because there is an agreement in place. 

 

                 Cm. Landeck noted that he did not say a word about the Corp of Engineers and it was

                 not included in his motion. 

 

                 Carlos Villarreal explained that he was responding to other statements that have been                                made at this meeting.

 

                Cm.  Landeck said there is a lack of clarity about the green space and whether the

                company is free to do whatever they want to with the green space.  He said that he was

                asking for legal clarification on the postponement.  He said that since the City had

                originally required a 30 day deadline and they changed it to sixty days; therefore, he

                wanted to move the date to 90 days which would allow Council enough time to research

                all the other issues including the 404 permit.

 

                 Anthony McGettrick, City Attorney, advised that he had written an opinion which gave

                 his opinion and he stands by it.  He said that if Council decides not to have faith in him

                 as an attorney then so be it.  He said that it is under his conclusion that under the state

                 law if the buyer does not change the plat they have a vested right to proceed by taking

                 advantage of the exception granted under the Green Space Ordinance.  He said that he

                 did not want his opinion to be abated.  He stressed that he feels that the property is

                 vested.   The one proviso is if the buyer changes the plat then he may be creating a                     problem.

 

                 Cm. Landeck mentioned that he is aware that the Attorney General has sent decisions of

                 the courts which are contrary to his decision. 

 

                 Anthony McGettrick, Assistant City Attorney, disagreed with Cm. Landeck because he

                 said that he had discussed the opinion of the Attorney General in his memorandum

                 which suggests to him that some or all of the Council Members did not bothered reading            it.   

 

                 Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, concurred with Mr. McGettrick noting that staff had

                 held a meeting to discuss all angles from all sides taking into consideration some of the

                 observations.  He said that it is a big difference when you are changing from one lot

                 verses the opinion that was handed out by the 4th Court of Appeals that indicates that it is

                 going from one lot to one hundred and fifty four lots.  He noted that the number in lots is

                 why there has been a change made. 

 

                 Cm. Landeck expressed his concerns that the opinion of the City Attorney will destroy              the whole green space.  

 

                 Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, explained that it would not destroy the green space. 

 

                 Anthony McGettrick, Assistant City Attorney, said that there is one thing that should be

                 know about his opinion.  He said that the City could claim the exemption and he did not

                 mandate it.  He said that as a legislative body they can take another view of whether they

                 should claim that exemption, but there are factors pro and con because this transaction

                 has been of long standing. 

           

                Motion to table.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                Second: 

                

                Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, noted that a motion to table takes precedence over          any other motion.   

                

                Mayor called for a second.

 

                Motion failed.               

 

                Cm. Belmares pointed out that the developer has a contract and regardless of City                     Council’s decision to sign the closing they can continue their construction.  

                

                Cm. Landeck noted that if the City continues to proceed with the sale it would be a step            in the wrong direction. 

 

                Mayor Salinas called for the question.

 

                Motion to instruct staff not to sign the contract on the closing of the 88.6913 acres.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Landeck.

                Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                For:     2                                           Against:  5                                            Abstain:  1

                Cm. Landeck                                   Cm. Garza                                            Cm. Chavez

                Cm. Ramirez                                    Cm. Garcia

                                                                        Cm. Amaya

                                                                        Cm. Rendon

                                                                        Cm. Belmares

 

                 Motion fails.

 

                 B.  Request by Council Member Juan Chavez

 

            1.  Motion to sell, through a bidding process, most surplus residential lots, and residential

                 homes with possible action.

 

                 Cm. Chavez mentioned that there is a list of city lots to be sold through a bidding                       process provided by the City Manager that may need to be amended by the City Council

                 members.  He said that he would like to delete a lot on La Herradura street.

 

                 Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, advised that he would provide a list of the individual                               lots for Council to review.  He said that the lots must sell at market value; therefore,

                 he would be getting appraisals on the lots.

 

                 Motion to instruct staff to proceed.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            2.  Status report on the water conservation enforcement, with possible action

 

                 Tomas Rodriguez, Utilities Director, said that forty enforcement inspectors were trained             on water enforcement law and the department has hired a Water Conservation Inspector

                 who works after five and on weekends.  He has issued 19 door hanger warnings and 64

                 written warnings.  On May 5th & 6th the inspectors worked over time to enforce the water

                 conservations. 

 

                 C.  Request by Mayor Pro-Tempore Juan Ramirez

 

            1.  Discussion with possible action on the Fourth of July Parade.

 

                 Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez said that the City of Laredo will be organizing a Fourth of             July Parade that will begin at St. Peter’s Plaza at nine o’clock in the morning.  He

                 continued by saying that it will continue east on Matamores and then North on San

                 Bernardo to the Civic Center.  Once the parade is finished, the City has organized events

                 for the public to enjoy.

 

            2.  Discussion with possible action to consider designating the south side of the Seven Flags

                 Park located at 1508 Monterrey Street to the Laredo Girls Soccer League.

 

                 Miguel Pescador, Parks Director, reported that the problem is the shortage of soccer                            fields for all the different leagues.  He noted that the soccer sport is growing at a

                 tremendous rate.  He recommended allowing the leagues to play at the Seven Flags Park,

                 but do a month or per season schedule based on requests.   He added that all leagues

                 should be able to play at the same field because of the demand for the sport.  He

                 informed Council that the Seven Flags Park was established with CDBG funds which

                 caused a concern for staff. 

 

                 Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, said that staff would meet with city administrators to                 

                 work out the logistics for the Laredo Girls Soccer League.  He assured the Council that             he would work with the girls soccer league.

 

VIII.    PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

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

                 two (2) year concession agreement between the City of Laredo and Miguel Angel Inclan,          D.B.A “La Sabrosita” for the right to sell food and non-alcoholic beverages from a cart

                 at the corners of Lincoln and Convent, and Hidalgo and Convent for a total lease amount           of $565.00 per month.   

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0 

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

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

                 2006-2007 Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Budget by appropriating revenues and                                 expenditures in the amount of $30,000.00 for the All America City Award Program and

                 accepting the donations from various businesses and/or agencies that will help defray the

                 cost of the competition.

 

                 Motion to postpone.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

                

            4.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance authorizing the City Manager to sign the

                 supplemental agreement to the standard utility agreement of March 12, 2007, with the

                 Texas Department of Transportation, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit A;

                 authorizing and amendment to the Fiscal Year 2006-2007 Sanitary Sewer Construction

                 TXDOT improvements line item to increase the amount appropriated to $81,310.00 for

                 construction of a wastewater line at the Highway Loop 20 from 0.2 miles North of Spur            400 to 1.68 miles North of US Highway 59; and authorizing Kiewit Texas Construction

                 L.P. to construct the sanitary sewer line as proposed in the supplemental agreement No.1

                 U-11024 approved by the Texas Department of Transportation.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0 

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            5.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the             City of Laredo by authorizing a Special Use Permit for a communication tower on .92

                 acres, as further described by metes and bounds in attached Exhibit “A”, located on the

                 West side of Bob Bullock Loop North of Winfield Parkway.  The Planning & Zoning

                 Commission recommended approval of the Special Use Permit.   District VI

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0 

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Belmares

                                                                                       

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

                 City of Laredo by rezoning 9.98 acres, as further described by metes and bounds in

                 attached Exhibit “A”, located North of Shiloh Drive East of Livingston Drive, from R-1

                 (Single-Family Residential District) to R-2 (Multi-Family Residential District).  The

                 Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the zone change.  District                               VI

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0 

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Belmares

 

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

                 City of Laredo by rezoning all of Blocks 1713 and 1782 and 15,433.46 square feet out of

                 New York Avenue, bounded on the North by the South line of Chacon Street, on the

                 East by the West line of Block 1782, Eastern Division, as further described by metes and

                 bounds in attached “Exhibit A”, from R-3 (Mixed Residential District) to R-2 (Multi-

                 Family Residential District).  The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended

                 approval of the zone change.   District III

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 There was no public input.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0 

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Landeck

              

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

                 City of Laredo by authorizing a Conditional Use Permit for a duplex on Lots 1, 2 and 3,

                 Block 998, Eastern Division, located at 1803 Chacon Street.  The Planning & Zoning

                 Commission recommended approval of the Conditional Use Permit.   District III

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Keith Selman, Planning Director, explained that there was an amendment to the                         communication, because the Planning & Zoning Commission supported a sixth                    condition that does not show up in the Ordinance but it is in the communication.  The                    sixth condition says that the site will be subject to revocation of Conditional Use Permit

                 if found to be in violation of any city ordinance.

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce as amended.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0 

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Landeck

                                                                               

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

                 City of Laredo by rezoning .72 acres, as further described by metes and bounds in

                 attached Exhibit “A”, located at 18211 F.M. 1472, from AG (Agricultural District) to B-

                 4 (Highway Commercial District).  The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended               denial of the zone change.  District VII

 

                 Motion to postpone.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                 Second:  Cm. Garza

                 For:      8                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

                  

IX.       INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

            10.  Defining the actual and necessary expenses which may be reimbursed to the Mayor and

                   Council Members pursuant to Section 2.02 of the City Charter and providing for the

                   procedures for such reimbursement.

 

                   Anthony McGettrick, City Attorney, said that there was a typing error which states that             in Section 6 where in references made to Section 3 it should read Section 5.  That is

                   Section VI will read “no final payment will be paid on any reimbursement for expenses

                   until the supporting paper work is provided as required by Section V rather than III .   

 

                   Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, read “Section III B was left at home office cost                        determined basis of actual square footage and percentage of use allowance for parking,

                   utilities, taxes, and insurance is provided for on a form to be provided by the Director                of Financial Services but not to exceed (blank) for month”.  He said that staff needs a

                   recommendation for that space.   

 

                   Cm. Garza recommended not exceeding the allowance for vehicle usage.

 

                   Cm. Ramirez said that it depends on the area. 

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

            11.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a Ground Lease with T-Mobile Texas, LP, a

                   Delaware limited partnership, for ground space at 2417 N. New York Avenue, Laredo,            Webb County, Texas and being more fully described in Exhibit “A” of Ground Lease,

                   to construct on such premises an equipment building or cabinets on a platform and a

                   110’ monopole tower (“Tower”), more fully described in Exhibit “C” of the lease

                   agreement, for the purpose of providing cell services and for co-locations, if approved

                   by Landlord, and related equipment for use in connection with its communications

                   business.  The term of the lease is five (5) years commencing June 5, 2007 and ending

                   June 4, 2012 with four (4) successive renewal terms of five (5) years.  Annual base rent

                   shall be $15,000.00 each year during the term of the lease and will be increased by five

                   percent (5%) on each anniversary of the commencement date, providing for effective

                   date.

 

                   Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

X.        FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES 

 

            Motion to approve the Final Reading of Ordinances # 2007-O-085, 2007-O-086, 2007-O-            087, 2007-O-088, and 2007-O-089. 

 

            Moved:  Cm. Garza

            Second:  Cm. Belmares

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

            12.  2007-O-085  Amending the City of Laredo Fiscal Year 2007 Solid Waste Fund Budget

                                         by appropriating a drawdown of $1,609,960.00 from the opening balance

                                         and appropriating it for equipment acquisition. The project consists of a

                                         Holt Cat Excavator, John Deere Dozer and (2) two Articulated Dump

                                         Trucks. The bid price includes provisions for a five year warranty.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-085.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Garcia

                                         For:     8                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0  

 

                   2007-O-086  Accepting funds in the amount of $10,710.00 from the South Texas 9-1-1

                                         Regional Administration Division to cost share personnel at the Laredo

                                         Police Department Public Safety Answering Point in accordance with

                                         Section 771.0751 of the Texas Health and Safety Code and Rule 251.3

                                         Use of Revenue in Certain Counties from the Commission of State

                                         Emergency Communications; and amending Fiscal Year 2006-2007

                                         General Fund Budget of the City of Laredo by appropriating revenues and

                                         expenditures in the amount of $10,710.00 for salary expense for the                                                      Laredo Police Department Communications Division salaries.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-086.

           

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Garcia

                                         For:      8                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0  

 

                   2007-O-087  Authorizing the City Manager to accept and execute the Local Projects

                                         Grant Program in the amount of $10,000.00 from the Texas Department

                                         of State Health Services and to amend the Fiscal Year 2006-2007 Special

                                         Fire Grant budget to appropriate the said grant award.  The funds will be                                   used to purchase one (1) Life Pak 12 EKG which will replace the current                                  aging EKG equipment.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-087.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Garcia

                                         For:      8                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0  

 

                   2007-O-088  Authorizing the City Manager to exercise the first five year renewal

                                         option for the lease agreement by and between the City of Laredo, and

                                         Greyhound Lines, Inc. /Valley Transit Company joint venture for a

                                         certain premise of 5,000 square feet of commercial area together with a

                                         bus parking area containing approximately 18,000 square feet at the

                                         Laredo Intermodal Transit Center and described as all of Block Number

                                         49, located in the Western Division, City of Laredo, Webb County,

                                         Texas.  The term of the lease shall commence on July 1, 2007 and end on                                  June 30, 2012, for the monthly rent of $9,572.61 per month.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-088.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Garcia

                                         For:      8                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0  

 

                   2007-O-089  An ordinance deleting Section 24.1.7 [Tree Board] of the Land

                                         Development Code to abolish the Tree Board; and amending Section 23-

                                         18 [Duties] of Article II [Parks and Recreation Board] of Chapter 23

                                         [Parks and Recreation] of the Code of Ordinances, to add to the duties of

                                         that board, the duties formerly carried out by the Tree Board; and                                             amending Section 23-16 [Established] to provide for ex-officio members

                                         for the Parks and Recreation Board.  The Planning and Zoning

                                         Commission recommended approval of this item.

 

                                         Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-089.

 

                                         Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                         Second:  Cm. Garcia

                                         For:      8                             Against:  0                                Abstain:  0  

 

XI.       RESOLUTIONS

 

            13.  2007-R-034  Authorizing the City Manager to enter into and execute an Interlocal                                          Agreement between the City of Laredo, Webb County Sheriff’s Office,

                                        Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife Parks

                                        Division, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division,

                                        for a three year period beginning June 1, 2007 and ending May 31, 2010.                                 The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to solidify the

                                        area’s law enforcement agencies commitment to assist Texas Parks and

                                        Wildlife in providing law enforcement response and services to the Lake

                                        Casa Blanca International State Park.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution # 2007-R-034.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            14.  2007-R-036  Authorizing the Mayor of the City of Laredo to execute the Metropolitan

                                        Planning Contract between the Texas Department of Transportation, the                                    Laredo Urban Transportation Study which has been designated the

                                        Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Laredo Urbanized

                                        area, and the City of Laredo, which serves as the fiscal agent for the MPO.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution # 2007-R-036.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            15.  2007-R-037  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a grant in the amount of

                                        $20,000.00 from the Texas Department of Transportation to fund the

                                        Click it or Ticket Program.  The Texas Department of Transportation will

                                        be designating $20,000.00 and the City of Laredo will be designating

                                        $5,490.00 in matching funds.  The funding period for this grant will be

                                        from October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2007.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution # 2007-R-037.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            16.  2007-R-039  Authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement between the City

                                        of Laredo and Laredo Independent School District to provide library

                                        services at Cigarroa High School for the South Laredo area.  Funding is                                                available in the General Fund-Library Department.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution # 2007-R-039 with amending the word

                                        “High” school to Middle School.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Garza

                                        Second:  Cm. Garcia

                                        For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            17.  2007-R-041  Adopting and directing the implementation of the guidelines and

                                        standards for assignment of municipal vehicles, and for the provision of

                                        travel allowances in lieu of assignment of a municipal vehicle to certain

                                        directors and other employees of the City, as set forth in attached Exhibit

                                        A.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution # 2007-R-041.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     8                               Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            18.  2007-R-042  Approving amendment No. 2 of the Operating Agreement between the

                                        City of Laredo and Arena Ventures, L.L.C. to provide an estimated

                                        $412,000.00 with assistance in deferring such costs as the following:

                                        Renewal and Replacement fund, Casualty, Boiler and Machinery, and

                                        General Liability insurance and marketing expenditures.  Funding is

                                        available in the Arena Fund, Risk Fund, and Hotel Motel Fund.

 

                                        Motion to approve Resolution # 2007-R-042.

 

                                        Moved:  Cm. Belmares

                                        Second:  Cm. Amaya

                                        For:     7                               Against:  1                                Abstain:  0

                                                                                    Cm. Ramirez

 

XII.     MOTIONS

 

            19.  Appointment of Mayor Pro Tempore as per Ordinance 90-O-101.  City Council shall

                   confirm one of the Council Members who shall be known and designated as Mayor Pro            Tempore.

 

                   Cm. Garcia proposed an ordinance in the future that would allow the Mayor Pro

                   Tempore to receive compensation for his/her title.  He suggested for the new salary to                be between what the Mayor receives and what City Council receives. 

 

                   Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, asked Council to allow him time to research the item

                   and return to Council with recommendations as to when they would be able to bring

                   forth an ordinance changing the salary. 

 

                   Motion to confirm Cm. Belmares as the Mayor Pro Tempore.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            20.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute two addendums to existing Interlocal                           Agreements for E9-1-1 Service, PSAP Equipment, and Address/Addressing

                   Maintenance between the City of Laredo and individually the Counties of Webb, Starr,

                   Jim Hogg, and Zapata, and Cities of Roma, Rio Grande City, and Laredo which further

                   outline 9-1-1 database maintenance responsibilities for each.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against: 0                                             Abstain:  0

 

            21.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with The Waters Consulting Group,

                   Inc. for consulting services for an organization analysis study in the amount of

                   $39,000.00 plus project related expenses.  Funding is available in the General Fund. 

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            22.  Consideration to award contract 07-110 to A-1 Dry Cleaners, Laredo, Texas, in the

                   estimated amount of $57,720.00 for dry cleaning services for uniformed police officers;

                   and consideration to award contract FY07-109 to Valu Care Cleaners, Laredo, Texas,

                   in the estimated amount of $32,940.00 for providing dry cleaning services for non

                   uniformed police officers.  The City must provide dry cleaning services as a condition

                   of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The term of these agreements shall be for one

                   year with an option to renew for one (1) additional year.  Funding is available in the

                   Police Department Budget.

 

                   Motion to table.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                   Second:  Cm. Garcia

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            23.  Consideration for approval of change order no. 1 an increase of $71,335.00 for

                   additional dense concrete overlay repair, additional concrete pavement reconstruction

                   and additional clean/sealing pavement joints and to add ten (10) working days to the                                  contract time to the construction contract with Restek, Inc., Austin, Texas, for the

                   Laredo Colombia International Bridge Superstructure Rehabilitation.  Current

                   construction contract amount is $503,972.90.  Funding is available in the Laredo

                   Bridge System Fund – Revenue Bond 2005A.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            24.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of two articulated dump trucks and one

                   excavator in the total amount of $1,088,500.00 from Holt Caterpillar, Laredo, Texas;

                   and one landfill dozer in the total amount of $509,500.00 from RDO Equipment

                   Company, Mercedes, Texas for the Solid Waste Department.  Funding is available in

                   the Solid Waste budget.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:                                                Abstain:

 

            25.  Authorizing the award of a contract in the amount of $210,977.20 to Kimley-Horn and

                   Associates, Inc., for the development of plans to implement the initial phase of the City

                   of Laredo Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Master Plan.  Funding is available                                  from the Federal Surface Transportation Funds.

 

                   Motion to postpone.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            26.  Consideration to award contract FY07-091 to the low bidder, UTW Tire Company,

                   Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount of $120,000.00 for the removal and disposal of

                   tires at the City Landfill.  Staff estimates that 600 tons of used tires will be disposed per             year.  Funding is available in the Solid Waste budget. 

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            27.  Authorization to award and execute a contract with Ricardo Aguero DBA Larecon,

                   LLC of Laredo, Texas, in the amount of $54,157.50 for the emergency by-pass

                   pumping of the existing sanitary sewer flows.  The contract consists of the installation,

                   mobilization and one week rent of by-pass pumps including the forklift to move the

                   equipment to two (2) different locations. Funding is available in the 2006 Sewer Bond-

                   TXDOT US Highway 59/Loop 20/US Highway 359 Project Account.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            28.  Refund of property tax in the amount of $1,914.23 payable to First American Title

                   Insurance Company of Texas due to an overpayment from Account #945-00851-396.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

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

                   month of April 2007, represents a decrease of $12,025.14.  These adjustments are

                   determined by Webb County Appraisal District and by court orders.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            30.  Consideration to award contract FY07-116 to Gutierrez Machine Shop, Laredo, Texas

                   in the estimated amount of $140,000.00 for professional welding services for the

                   Utilities Department.  The services requested include site repairs to various water and

                   wastewater treatment plants, lift stations, and other municipal utility facilities.  The

                   contract takes into account the following hourly pay rates; regular, overtime, holiday,

                   service call, and the cost of materials.  Funding is available in the Utilities Department

                   budget.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            31.  Award of a construction contract to the lowest bidder Landmark Structures Inc., Fort

                   Worth, Texas in the amount of $1,960,654.00 for the construction of the Sierra Vista

                   1.5 Million Gallon Elevated Storage Tank to be located Northeast of Hwy 83 and La                              Pita Mangana Rd. The 1.5 Million Gallon Elevated Storage Tank will provide adequate

                   pressure to the immediate area and will provide the adequate water storage capacity for

                   the summer peak demands. The contract will be awarded with a construction time of

                   400 calendar days.  Funding is available in the 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005 and 2006 Water

                   Bond Issuance.

 

                   Tomas Rodriguez, Utilities Director, explained that when this item was placed on the

                   agenda, he had been employed for one day.  He said that after a short time, he has

                   changed his opinion as to what he had recommended.  He said that he needs to

                   recommend a 2 million gallon tank.

 

                   Motion to approve with the amendment on the amount to state “$2,076,404.00.”

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                  

                   Motion withdrawn.

 

                   Motion to table.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            32.  Consideration to authorize a two year contract with Verizon Wireless, Laurel, MD, for

                   providing digital wireless broadband service at a unit cost of $48.59 per account per

                   month for the Police and Fire Departments.  Wireless broadband network is required to

                   provide the communication link between the Police/Fire Dispatch center to mobile data

                   terminals (MDT) installed on first responder vehicles and notebook computers.  There               is a current requirement for 272 units however the number of active accounts is

                   contingent upon the needs of the Police and Fire Departments and available funding. 

                   Based on 272 units the estimated annual cost would be $158,597.76.  Funding is

                   available in the Police and Fire Departments budgets.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            33.  Consideration to award contracts to 30 qualified book vendors for library materials

                   collection development for books and audio-visual products for a period of two years. 

                   Subject to future budget appropriations.  Funding is available in the Library

                   Department Budget.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XIII.    STAFF REPORTS

 

            34.  A.  Presentation by Jessica L. Newsome-Hein, Communications and Administrative

                         Services Director, regarding the 3-1-1 customer service program.

 

                         Jessica L. Newsome-Hein, Director of Communications and Administrative

                         Services Director, gave a comprehensive presentation on the 3-1-1 customer service

                         program. 

 

                         What is 3-1-1?

 

§         Phone number designated by the FCC in 1997 for non-emergency governmental services.

§         Purpose of 3-1-1 is to enhance customer service to area residents.

§         Easy to remember number for residents to call for information or to request services.

§         Provide consistent information through consolidated call center.

§         Track, refer, and respond to residents’ service requests through consolidated call center.

 

                        Information requests – examples (70% of total calls)

 

§         Where do I pay my parking ticket?

§         What are the hours of operation?

§         What is the garbage pick up schedule?

§         When does City Council meet?

§         Who is my Council Member?

 

                        Service requests – examples (30% of calls)

 

§         Dead animal pick up.

§         Pot hole repair.

§         Remove abandoned vehicle.

§         Report weeded lots.

 

                         3-1-1 System Components

 

                        Telephone Network

                        Call Center

                        Call Management

                        Customer Relationship Management

 

                        3-1-1 System Components

 

                        Telephone Network

 

                        Routes all 3-1-1 calls to a centralized call center.

                        Allows access to landline, wireless, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calls.

                        Provides access to hearing impaired/deaf callers.

 

                        Call Center

 

§         Centralized center that answers all incoming 3-1-1 calls.

§         Highly trained staff to handle different types of information and service requests.

§         Allow for other modes of communication from residents such as fax, email, on-line,                  etc

§         Computer telephony integration.

 

                        Call Management

 

                        Provides call statistics for all calls to 3-1-1 call center such as:

 

§         Total number of calls

§         Calls answered

§         Calls not answered

§         Length of time to answer call

§         Call duration

 

                        Measures the performance of customer service representatives.

                        Determines staff size and shifts based on call statistics.

 

                        Components

 

                        Customer Relationship Management

 

§         Software application used to efficiently handle information and service requests.

§         Routes service requests to appropriate department.

§         Tracks and manages service requests through completion.

§         Provides reports to determine most frequent service and information requests.

§         Provides tracking number to citizens to follow up on service request.

 

                        San Antonio’s 3-1-1

 

§         Nationally recognized 3-1-1 system in operation since 2000.

§         Emphasis on excellent customer service.

§         Performance measure driven for both customer service representatives and departments handling requests.

§         Majority of service requests are from four major departments:

 

·        Environmental Services

·        Public Works

·        Animal Control

·        Code Compliance

                       

                        San Antonio3-1-1

 

                        Statistics

 

                        $1.6 million operation budget

                        1.1 million calls to 3-1-1

                        38 customer service representatives

                        70% informational calls

                        30% service requests

                        94% of calls answered; 6% of calls are not answered

                        Average talk time per call is two minutes

 

                        Recommendations

 

§         City Council and City Manager support

§         Department cooperation

§         Redeployment of existing resources

§         Keep 9-1-1 call takers separate from 3-1-1

§         Provide extensive training to customer service representatives prior to implementation

§         Establish performance standards early.

§         Phase in advertising of new 3-1-1 system.

 

                        Cities with 3-1-1 in United States

 

                        San Francisco, San Jose Riverside, Los Angeles, California.

                        Reno, Las Vegas, Nevada.

                        Denver, Colorado.

                        Albuquerque, New Mexico.

                        Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Texas.

                        New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama.

                        Orange County, Miami-Dade, Florida.

                        Columbia, Georgia.

                       

                        External City Survey

 

                        Surveyed 15 cities with current 3-1-1 systems

 

                        Population

                        Call volume

                        Staff size

                        Hours of operation

                        Yearly costs

                        Charge to residents

                        Software used

                       

                        Most Frequent Requests

 

                        Garbage Pick-Up

                        Code Violations

                        Animal Control

                        Abandoned Vehicles

                        Parking Issues

                        Potholes

                        Graffiti Removal

                        Parks & Recreation

                        Traffic Signals

                       

                        External City Survey

 

                        City                             Population       Call Volume                Staff                Costs

                        Akron, OH                   210,795           160,000                       14                    711,000

                        Chattanooga, TN          154,762           193,000                       10                    500,000

                        Riverside City, CA       290,086           167,000                       10                    700,000

                        Hampton, VA               145,579           273,000                       10                    420,000

                        Reno, NV                    203,550           50,000                         4                      350,000

 

                        City of Laredo 3-1-1 Proposal

                        Call center hours of operation

 

                        7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (16 hours a day)

                        Monday through Sunday (7 days per weeks)

                        Expected call volume at 100% = 200,000 per year

 

                        Performance standards

 

                        80% of calls or better answered within 30 seconds.

                        Average talk time 2 minutes.

 

                        What’s Needed?

 

                        Center Staffing Software, Cc-Modeler Professional, Erlang C model.

 

                        Input:

 

                        200,000 calls per year

                        7:00 a.m to 11:00 p.m.; Monday to Sunday

                        80% of incoming calls answered within 30 seconds

                        3 minutes average processing time per call

                        Call volume per hour based on historical data from non-emergency service number

                        Output:

                        7 CSR’s required per day

                        8 truck lines required to not get a busy signal

 

                        Timeline

 

                        Phase I:            October 1, 2007March 31, 2008

                        Phase II:           April 1, 2008September 30, 2008

                        Phase III:          October 1, 2008

 

                        Projected FY 07-08 Costs

 

                        Component                 Non Recurring Cost               Recurring Cost

                        Personnel                     $0                                            $237,347

                        Network                      $4,245                                     $18,840

                        Hardware                     $53,500                                   $7,500

                        Software                      $16,000                                   $27,500

                        Advertising                   $15,000                                   $5,000

                        Miscellaneous               $6,500                                     $25,750

                        Total                           $95,245                                   $321,937

 

                        FY07-08 General Fund Impact

 

                        Existing FTE transfers

                        Customer Service Coordinator position to 3-1-1 Supervisor

                        Clerk II to CSR

 

                        Enterprise and special revenue fund department administrative use fee

                        Utilities, Solid Waste, Environmental Services, Community Development, etc.

                        321,937 Total Budget

                        Less $37,824 for Supervisor transfer

                        Less $29,400 for CSR transfer

                        Less $193,162 for Administrative Free Transfers

                        Equals $61,551 General Fund Budget for FY07-08

 

                        Final Steps

 

                        PUC application

                        Location

                        Budget

                        Plan

                        Implement

 

                        Commissioner Garza gave a brief overview of the history of the 3-1-1.  He made                                   note that the permit has been submitted and should be approved by the Public                           Utilities Commission within the month.  He expressed his satisfaction with working                     hand in hand with the City of Laredo

 

                   B.  Presentation on the “Amerisafe-America Segura” campaign that promotes an

                        attitude of safety at the U.S. border with Mexico, by Mr. Al Gamez, Marketing                                     Director for SafeMex, a travel assistance service.

 

                        Promotional Campaign

 

                        Campaign Name                       :                       Safe-Borders

                        Promotion Brand                      :                       Amiersafe.us

                        Product Brand                          :                       SafeMex

                        Term of Campaign                    :                       July – December 2007

 

                        Campaign

 

                        Objectives:  Operate a multi-media campaign based on Print with support of all                                     types of media including Radio, TX and Websites with general actions of Promotion                  and Public Relations with the final objective being to bring Tourism to Laredo and                      regain the Image deterioration caused by the delinquency of the northern Mexico                                   region and border.

 

                        Objectives

 

                        Regain the security Image in destinations of the campaign.

                        Promote Tourism services (Promotion)

                        Increase actual hotel occupancy

                        Spread a new Image of the northern region of Mexico and south of Texas to capture                 new Tourism business.

                        Gain support from destinations within the route to obtain a Co-Op Campaign

                        Obtain the cooperation of Authorities and media for a Security campaign.

 

                        News:

 

                        The principle novelty of the campaign consists on the fact that travelers that use the                    route are offered Assistance services to obtain the perception of personal security                                  and effectively increase the travelers security conditions in all their stay and give                          them also amenities, services, and discounts.

 

                        Benefits:

 

                        The campaign spreads new elements of security in the border and in the                                                 international trip (Texas-Mexico) and invites the travel to the destinations of the                          promotion.

                        The reader responds to the free motivational offers and greater security in his trip                                   and can do it via electronic or telephone basis.

                        The idea for the success of the campaign is to motivate new markers, and they travel                  secure in terms of legal, medical, and roadside assistance and not just auto                                             insurance. 

 

                        Principle Offer:

 

                        The base of the Offer is:  The traveler will be able to join a “Travel Club” for free*                     that will give him coverage of Assistance in case of auto break down, accidents,                                     medical and legal emergency services throughout their trip in Mexico and also                            receive discounts and tourist support during their stay in Mexico.

 

                        Services for the Tourist!

 

                        Medical Assistance

                        Legal Assistance

                        Roadside Assistance

                        Tourism Assistance

 

                        Procedure

 

§         Response to the publicity via telephone or internet

§         The possible trip is registered without a charge

§         Data is collected and dates followed up

§         Travelers are explained the free services, the activation fee and the operations effecting the policy and support services

§         The policy is validated upon exiting the US

§         The traveler begins to enjoy the gratuity and discounts

 

                        Other activities of the participating Destinations

 

§         Diverse formats of communication so the traveler feels secure (Maps, 800 #, road squad cars, custom modules, etc.)

§         Security Spots, request support from mass media to be part of the campaign, PR activities and maintenance of good information sites.

§         Communication Hot Spots along the route

 

                        Support Activities

 

                        Invite the most important media of the destinations in the promotion so they form                                    part of the support campaign for the Tourism promotion that operates on both sides,                  for example:  MonterreyHouston providing support to press releases and verifying                 sensible information.

 

                        Members of the Campaign

 

                        Tourism promotion organizations

                        Events and Fairs that depend on Tourism

                        Hotel, Restaurants, and Tourism services associations

                        Transport Companies and Tourism services

                        Key association proposal with Forum 2007

 

                        Campaign

 

                        Amerisafe is a bi-national multi-media goodwill campaign that promotes Safety and                    Security at Texas Borders with Mexico and named “Safe Borders – Fronteras                           Seguras”.  The campaign initially targets a 450 miles radius from the Laredo-                             Mexico borders where there exists the greatest propensity of land travel and entry to                 Mexico via Laredo.  The campaign also targets a 600 mile radius from the Mexico                     border where there exists the greatest propensity of land travel from Mexico to                          Laredo and entry to the U. S.

 

                        Objective

 

                        The objective of the campaign is to generate tourism to Laredo enhancing the                             perception of Safety and Security.  To regain the deteriorated image caused by the                    violence of the region, which has caused the U. S. State Department to issue Mexico                 Travel Advisory Alerts, which has caused land tourism through the Border to                             plummet 22% in a short period of time.

 

                        Facts

 

                        Although the objective of the campaign is to generage tourism to Laredo we know                     the majority is pass through traffic into Mexico.  The Texas border cities like                              Laredo, the Gateway to Mexico; Eagle Pass, McAllen etc. lask the attractiveness as                  tourist destination cities.  What was once charming and fun to visit the Mexico                            Border for Bargain shopping has been replaced with fear and high alert by                                             sensationalized negative media releases responding to the violent isolated events at                     the Border areas.  The marketing result is that region’s commerce and tourism is                                    declining.  It is time for positive media stating “Good news is also News”.  Instead                     of focusing on the negative side, the campaign is addressing actual Number One                             concern of all travelers, which is Safety/Security.

 

                       

 

 

                        Promotion and Product Novelty

 

                        The travelers will respond to the “Safe Borders” advertisements and promotions.                                   The call to action is to dial an 800 number or go directly on-line and automatically                      be enrolled in an Assistance Safety Emergency Plan.  The campaign promotes an                                   Assistance Travel Plan for U S. Travelers and must not be mistaken or compared                                  with a travel insurance or auto insurance policy.  The Assistance Plan is guaranteed                    and underwritten by a recognized U S. insurance company and assistance services                     are rendered in Mexico under Safemex S. A.  In the event of an emergency in                            Mexico, the US traveler will count immediately with “LOCAL” and professional                                    service providers who respond within 30 minutes in aid of the traveler and includes                    Legal, Medical, Roadside and Tourism Assistance during the emergency event, and                   not after the event, like all the insurance policies do.

 

                        Border Benefits

 

                        The Assistance Policy will be activated upon arrival in Laredo BEFORE entering                                   Mexico.  Travelers will be advised to allow 1-2 extra days at Laredo to get all their                   papers in order.  Because we will know 1-4 months in advance before the traveler                                 arrives at the Border city, travelers will receive Calendars of Events that coincide                                   with their travel plans so that they can schedule extra days to stop, rent hotel rooms,                  shop, dine, attend concerts at Laredo before entering Mexico AND/OR returning                                  from Mexico.  All travelers will be encouraged to gas up and do maintenance on                                    their autos at Laredo, invited for 2 x 1 breakfast, offered discounts and will know                                  ahead of the time the merchants at Laredo that import Mexican goods without                           having to shop in Mexico.  Basically Laredo has 2 chances to benefit from the Safe                    Border campaign (Coming and going) Further, Laredo will be able to monitor the                                  campaign in real time using the Amerisafe software to track the direct response stats                  and forecast of future travelers that registered and received the Assistance Policy                                   just for responding and identifying the “safe border” campaign.\

 

                        Texas Benefits

 

                        Not only does Laredo stand to benefit the most from the tourism traffic generated by                 the Co-Op funds from Mexico and the Mexican Border States but the State of Texas                will benefit as well because all the land tourism traffic is from Texas and the out of                      the state Tourism will need to enter and travel the State to get to the Border.                              Therefore the Texas Co-Op funds will effectively target the Mexico markets to drive                  tourism and commerce from Mexico to the Texas Border cities.  Amerisafe will                                     deploy a public relations and press campaign inviting journalists and editors to visit                     Laredo and enjoy all what Laredo has to offer to the Mexican tourist.

 

                        Mexico Co-Op

 

                        Because the Country of Mexico understands the actual Border situation and sees                                   great benefits for its Destination cities along the route from the US Border, the                           Mexico Tourism board has agreed to (1) join the Safe Borders campaign and (2)                                  agree to co-op funds with the seven Mexican states most affected and hurt by the                                  22% drop in land tourism and (3) deploy a full media campaign promoting “land”                                   Tourism among both countries border.

 

                        Endorsement support Sponsor

 

                        The Amerisafe “Safe Borders – Fronteras Seguras” has the endorsement of the                                     Mexico Tourism Board and the MTB has organized the 7 Mexico states most                           affected and most to benefit by the campaign.  The 7 Mexico states will co-op funds                  with the MTB for the campaign/promotions in key US and Texas cities to attract                                    land tourism using the Texas border cities to enter into Mexico.

 

                        Texas Support

 

                        We request the City of Laredo to endorse the “Safe Borders – Fronteras Seguras”                                campaign, to become a sponsor, and participate with Co-Op funds with the Mexico                  Tourism Board.  The Laredo “Gateway to Mexico” involvement will send a direct                      security message to the Mexico states; it will create Goodwill along the border; it                                   will create positive media coverage; it will give editors Good News to report; it will                    help to spread a Positive Image along the Border, but most important will deliver a                     short term perception of Security which is on the mind of the traveler as he plans his                   visit to the Texas Border.

                        Time is of the essence and in some ways, we are operating in a crisis mode at the                                   Texas Border and request a fast track decision and respectfully request a                                               communiqué from Laredo so we may show Mexico and the Seven states that will                                  demonstrate to the Mexican officials Laredo is on board.

 

                   Motion to instruct the City Manager to consider the report and return to Council with                 recommendations.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                   Second:  Cm. Amaya

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XIV.    EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

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

 

XV.      RECESS AS THE LAREDO CITY COUNCIL AND CONVENE AS THE LAREDO             MUNICIPAL HOUSING CORPORATION

 

            Motion to recess as the Laredo City Council and convene as the Laredo Municipal        Housing Corporation.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Garza

            Second:  Cm. Amaya

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            35.  Consideration for approval to award a construction contract to the lowest bidder ALC

                   Construction, LLC., Laredo, Texas, in the amount of $104,000.00 for the Re-Roofing

                   Project at the Jose Flores Apartments (18 Duplexes Complex).  Funding is available in              the Laredo Municipal Housing Corporation Fund.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                   Second:  Cm. Garza

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XVI.    RECESS AS THE LAREDO MUNICIPAL HOUSING CORPORATION AND             CONVENE AS THE LAREDO MASS TRANSIT BOARD

 

            Motion to recess as the Laredo Municipal Housing Corporation and convene as the Laredo             Mass Transit Board.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Garza

            Second:  Cm. Amaya

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            36.  2007-RT-001  Authorizing the City of Laredo to file an application with the

                                           Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, United

                                           States of America, in the amount of $3,658,679.00 for Fiscal Year 2006-

                                           2007 and authorizing the City Manager to execute all related documents.

 

                                           Motion to approve 2007-RT-001.

 

                                           Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                                           Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

                                           For:     8                            Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            37.  2007-RT-002  Authorizing the City Manager to apply for Federal Public Transportation

                                           funds in the amount of $2,220,000.00 with the Federal Transit

                                           Administration, Department of Transportation which is authorized to                                                      distribute federal funds for transit capital under the bus and bus facilities                                     discretionary program grants (Section 5309).

 

                                           Motion to approve 2007-RT-002.

 

                                           Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                                           Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

                                           For:     8                            Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            38.  2007-RT-003  Authorizing the City Manager to apply for public transportation funds in

                                           the amount of $1,390,000.00 with the Texas Department of                                                                  Transportation which is authorized to apply for Federal funds for transit                                     capital under the bus and bus facilities discretionary program grants

                                           (Section 5309).

 

                                           Motion to approve 2007-RT-003.

 

                                           Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                                           Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

                                           For:     8                            Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

            39.  Consideration to award supply contracts (FY07-088) to the low bidders, Hollon Oil

                   Company, Weslaco, Texas in the estimated amount of $58,625.04, Lubrication

                   Engineers, Inc., Fort Weslaco, Texas, in the estimated amount of $43,716.00,

                   Arguindegui Oil Company, Laredo, Texas in the estimated amount of $7,154.00 and

                   Oil Patch Petroleum, Inc., Laredo, Texas, in the amount of $2,088.00 for the purchase

                   of engine oil and lubricants for the El Metro automotive fleet.  The bid pricing will be

                   for a one (1) year, with a one (1) year option and all items will be purchased on an as

                   needed basis.  Funding is available in the El Metro Operations Fund.

 

                   Motion to approve.

 

                   Moved:  Cm. Chavez

                   Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

                   For:     8                                        Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XVII.   RECESS AS THE LAREDO MASS TRANSIT AND RECONVENE AND ADJOURN AS       THE CITY OF LAREDO

 

            Motion to recess as the Laredo Mass Transit and reconvene and adjourn as the City of             Laredo.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Garza

            Second:  Cm. Chavez

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XVIII. ADJOURNMENT

           

            Motion to adjourn.                                                                                           

 

            Moved:  Cm. Amaya

            Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0