CITY OF LAREDO

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2007-R-22

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON STREET

LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

NOVEMBER 19, 2007

5:30 P.M.

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER

 

            With a quorum present, Mayor Raul 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,                                                            Mayor Pro Tem, District VI

            Juan Chavez                                                                 Council Member, District VII

            Juan Ramirez,                                                               Council Member, District VIII

            Gustavo Guevara, Jr.,                                                   City Secretary

            Carlos Villarreal,                                                           City Manager

            Cynthia Collazo,                                                           Deputy City Manager

            Horacio De Leon,                                                         Assistant City Manager

            Jesus Olivares,                                                              Assistant City Manager

            Raul Casso,                                                                  City Attorney

 

IV.       MINUTES

 

            Approval of the minutes of July 2, 2007, October 30, 2007 and November 5, 2007.

 

            Motion to approve.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Ramirez

            Second:  Cm. Amaya

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

 

 

 

V.        COMMUNICATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

            Recognitions

            Recognition of Gerardo “Jerry” Piña of the Environmental Services Department on his    selection as the November employee of the month.

 

            Riazul Mia, Environmental Services Director, spoke of what an honor it is to have          Gerardo “Jerry” Pina as an employee for the Environmental Services Department. 

 

            The Mayor and City Council presented Gerardo “Jerry” Pina of the Environmental Services             Department a City Manager’s  Certificate of Recognition on his selection as the November             employee of the month. 

 

            Communiqués

 

            Mayor Salinas announced that the City of Laredo was fortunate to have two great visitors            that serve at the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C. including Kay Bailey             Hutchison, United States Senator; and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House for the United             States Congress.  He noted that he met with both visitors and stressed the importance of the             different alternatives to the “wall”.  He continued to say that he has received over 1,000             letters of hate mail from throughout the United States which threatened him and his family             for his conversation on the Glen Beck show.  He reassured everyone that the City of Laredo      is a great City and he will always stand tall for the City of Laredo.

 

            Cm. Garza congratulated high school football teams in South Laredo especially United   South High School.  He also congratulated Nixon High School for going to the play-offs.         He informed the viewing public that Cynthia Espinoza represented him at an event at       Cigarroa Recreation Center where several sponsors presented sixteen food baskets with      turkeys to less   fortunate families.  He advised that the program is called “adopt a family”         program which provides food for the family for one year.  He continued to discuss where          350 elderly individuals from various daycares were presented food, gifts, and games on       behalf of Judge Veliz,    Mayor Salinas, Council Member Chavez, and the Laredo Fire      Fighter’s Association.  He wished all the families a Happy Thanksgiving. 

 

            Cm. Garcia mentioned that he had the opportunity to meet with the new Mayor of Nuevo             Laredo prior to the election and he looks forward to working with the officials from Nuevo             Laredo.  He thanked HEB for the Feast of Sharing and for assisting him with a 100 turkey             drive in his district.  He said that he also distributed 25 food baskets assembled by the   Laredo Commission for Women in the Laredo Independent School District areas.  Finally,         he thanked all the City of Laredo employees that assisted with the Lou Gerick’s Disease   Walk. 

 

            He congratulated the new Mayor of Nuevo Laredo.  He said that the new Mayor, Mr. Barrios, is very sincere about his willingness to cooperate with the City of Laredo

 

            Cm. Amaya said that he along with the District IV Special Project Committee members,             Laredo Police Department, and the Laredo Fire Department will be holding their turkey             give-aways to over two hundred of the less fortunate families.  He added that in the seven             years as Council Member he has been able to provide 1,200 families turkeys for             Thanksgiving.

 

            Cm. Rendon congratulated John Ofilia, Public Works Director, and his staff for expediting             their work on Jacaman Road.  He mentioned a dinner/dance where 1,200 individuals will go      to the Casa Blanca Ball Room  to enjoy the Thanksgiving Celebration.  He advised that he             had read a proclamation in the Mayors honor to fight the hunger and homeless and he said           that he was moved because he saw so many individuals stepping up to help the homeless. 

 

            Cm. Belmares thanked HEB for everything that they have done for the people of Laredo.              He also congratulated the local football teams for their year of performance.  He also             congratulated the four United High School marching bands for their award winning             presentation during half time.  He wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. 

 

            Cm. Chavez gave a brief update on the Bristol Road and Railroad Bridge projects in his             district.  

 

            Cm. Ramirez reminded everyone to pray for the men and women serving in the armed   forces across the world.  He invited everyone to attend the “Tree Lighting Ceremony” at the     Civic Center.   

           

            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.

 

            Susan Ghertner, Environmental Affairs Associate from HEB, gave a short power point             presentation on the efforts that HEB is taking to be environmentally friendly.  She           applauded the Council’s recent decision of going “plastic free” and introduced a new bag    that HEB will be offering interested shoppers who would like to go plastic free. 

 

            Maria Eugenia Guerra, Publisher of Laredos, expressed her dissatisfaction of a proposed             donation by the GEO Group.  She encouraged City Council to vote against accepting the             $250,000.00 donation by the GEO.  

 

            Ron Rodriguez, Attorney at Law, was representing two families that have suffered the    death of a loved one at the hands of the GEO Group.  He encouraged City Council to reject          the donation from the GEO Group noting that it would be shameful for them to encourage an establishment like theirs to be built in the City of Laredo.

 

            Dr.  Jim Earhart thanked City Council for the efforts that have come forth concerning the             plastic bags.

 

            Remy Salinas spoke against accepting the $250,000.00 donation from the GEO Group.  He             also spoke about a service plan that is attached to the annexation items on the agenda.  He             also encouraged City Council to postpone the annexations on the agenda until after the park             dedication ordinance workshop is held.   

 

            Faviola Flores, Attorney at Law, asked Council to continue their positive trend in the City             and deny acceptance of the $250,000 donation from the GEO Group.

 

            Ricardo Soliz spoke against accepting money from the GEO Group.    

           

VI.       APPOINTMENTS TO COMMISSIONS, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

 

            A.  Reaffirming the appointment of Sandra Rocha-Taylor, representing the Avenida San

                  Bernardo Assoc. and the Pan American Courts Hotel, to the Convention and Visitors                              Bureau Advisory Committee as sponsored by Council Member Juan Chavez, District                            VII.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

            B.  Reaffirming the appointment of Clema Owen, representing the Embassy Suites, to the                Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Committee as sponsored by Council Member  

                 Juan Ramirez, District VII.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

                 Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

            C.  Reaffirming the appointment of Lisa Morales, representing the Washington’s Birthday                 Celebration Association, to the Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Committee  

                  sponsored by Council Member Hector Garcia, District II.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

     Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

            D.  Reaffirming the appointment of Guillermo “Memo” Treviño, representing the Laredo   

                  Chamber of Commerce, to the Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Committee  

                  sponsored by Council Member Mike Garza, District I.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

     Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                 Second:  Cm. Amaya

                 For:     8                                          Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

 

VII. GENERAL COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

1.  A.  Request by Council Member Mike Garza

 

                  1. Status report on the Municipal Golf Course Project and related funding, with possible                action.

 

                      Miguel Pescador, Parks & Recreation, confirmed that the City of Laredo had                            a range from $2,250,000 to $5,450,000 during the feasibility study for the golf                       course.  The feasibility study indicated that there is a market for a golf course.    

 

                      Cm. Garza expressed his concerns regarding the golf course.  He said that the golf                                  project was earmarked $5.6 million 2009 project which was accelerated. He

                     noted that the location that is being discussed is a far distance from the City of

                     Laredo; therefore, he questioned what kind of improvements necessary to get to the                                site. 

 

                     Tomas Rodriquez, Jr., Utilities Director, provided a comprehensive report on

                     additional costs that need to be considered for the proposed golf course.  He

                     recommended for the City to lease the water rights of 339 acres because 500 acre feet

                     would be provided by the owner of the golf course.  The cost of that would be $6 an

                     acre foot which computes to $20,340.  In addition to the water rights the Council

                     needs to consider a system that will suspend solids from the Rio Grande for irrigation

                     and that would be $1.6 million dollars.  He mentioned the extension of the water line

                     to Santa Isabel Creek which would cost an estimated $528,000.  Finally, the City

                     would need to pump the raw sewerage to Laredo Columbia which would cost an

                     additional $1.1 million dollars.  He further mentioned that the original contract reads                   that the developer will cover some of the above mentioned costs. 

     

                     Cm. Garza said that the new proposal should be very specific. He said that they should

                     include the mileage parameters in the proposal indicating the true distance so all costs

                     can be considered.  He said that the City of Laredo should also approach Webb

                     County for assistance in the project.     

                    

                     Gary Jacobs, representing families of interested investors in golf course, said that the                  golf course is a quality of life vision for the Council Members to embrace.  He

                     encouraged City Council to instruct the City Manager to negotiate with the family

                     who won the bid submitted by the City.  He added that the group of investors

                     (seventeen individuals) have complied to all of the requests and are anxious to see the

                     project to fruition.   He went on to say that the golf course will pay for itself by                           attracting the retiring generation and it will allow the City of Laredo to compete with

                     other cities throughout the United States.

 

                     Cm. Garza asked Gary Jacobs what the total cost would be for their proposed golf site.

 

                     Gary Jacobs answered that the City of Laredo has had several meetings with the

                     interested party and the agreed price included the donation of one million dollars in

                     cash, the land donation of 300 acres, and $5.5 million dollars from the City of Laredo

                     He spoke against working with any other entity at this moment. 

 

                     Cm. Garza said that it would behoove the City to include the County in the golf course

                     negotiations because they could save the City of Laredo a lot of money that could be

                     utilized for more important issues. 

 

                     Gary Jacobs informed City Council that if they approve the motion that he would not

                     submit a proposal and the City of Laredo will forgo the largest single gift in the

                     history of Laredo

 

                     Motion to instruct the City Manager to initiate a new Request for Proposals on the                                     Municipal Golf Course Project.  The proposal should be cost specific regarding all

                     issues including water rights, irrigation costs, extension of water lines, and the cost to

                     pump the raw sewerage. 

 

                     Moved:  Cm. Garza        

                     Second:  Cm. Chavez

                     For:     3                                      Against:  5                                            Abstain:  0

                     Cm. Garza                                   Cm. Landeck

                     Cm. Garcia                                  Cm. Amaya

                     Cm. Chavez                                Cm. Rendon

                                                                        Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                                                        Cm. Ramirez

 

                     Motion to proceed with the existing project on the Municipal Golf Course.

 

                     Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                     Second:  Cm. Landeck

                     For:     5                                      Against:  3                                            Abstain:  0

                     Cm. Garcia                                  Cm. Garza

                     Cm. Landeck                              Cm. Chavez

                     Cm. Amaya                                 Cm. Ramirez   

                     Cm. Rendon

                     Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares 

 

                2.  Discussion on the item requested by L.I.S.D. Board of Trustees related to Zapata                                   Hwy., discussed at the November 5th Council Meeting.

 

                     Cm. Garza expressed his concerns regarding the safety of pedestrians crossing the                                   Zapata Highway.

 

                     Carlos Rodriguez and Danny McGee from Texas Department of Transportation,                      discussed several alternatives for pedestrians crossing the Zapata Hiway.   He                         informed Council that he has been working with law enforcers in controlling the speed               limit and jaywalking.  He continued to say that TxDOT has a temporary 30 mph zone                      in the said location.   He said that the second avenue that they are considering is                      education.  He said that they have met with L.I.S.D. school officials regarding the

                     education perspective.  Finally, the third alternative is engineering.  The Pedestrian                                    bridge is not used effectively.  After researching the item it was reported pedestrians                  refuse to use pedestrian walkways.  He said the problem with the walkways is they

                     make you go up and then straight horizontally. The cost of the walkway is over a                        million dollars without the right-of-way.        

                       

                     Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, explained that if there is a barrier then the pedestrian

                     walkway is used; however, if pedestrians have the opportunity to cross with no barrier

                     then they will not use the walkway.              

 

                     Cm. Garza advised that officials need to look at all the options for creating a safer

                     crossing for pedestrians.  He noted that he has met with Mr.  Medina and he suggested              lowering the speed limit or installing flashers in the area. 

                    

                     Danny McGee explained that TxDOT has installed an additional piece of raised                         median just south of Zacatecas because that is where the young man was recently hit

                     by a car.

 

                     Cm. Garza explained that the other problem is enforcement.  Our police officers need

                     to strictly enforce the speed limit in that area.  He asked TxDOT to submit several

                     alternatives for the site.

 

                3.  Discussion with possible action on using the old Mercy Building for assisted                               housing.

 

                     Cm. Garza stated that using the old Mercy Building for assisted housing is a great

                     opportunity for the City of Laredo because they can obtain loans. 

 

                     Mayor Salinas said that there is a long waiting list for housing.  He noted that the City

                     could contact the local legislators and encourage them to assist the City of Laredo

 

                     Cm. Garcia added that the City of Laredo could host the Veteran’s Clinic at the

                     location.

 

                     Cm. Chavez shared that he had requested information from the Community                                              Development Director, Ronnie Acosta.   

 

                     Ronnie Acosta, Community Development, reported that she provided statistics

                     regarding the elderly in the community.  She said that the elderly make up 12% of all

                     renters in Webb County and of those 16% are low income.  Also 68% are faced with

                     housing problems. 

 

                     Motion to proceed with the feasibility study and the purchase of the old Mercy                          Regional Medical Building for assisted housing. 

 

                     Moved:  Cm. Garza

                     Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                     For:       8                                    Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            B.  Request by Council Member Dr. Michael Landeck

 

                  1.  Discussion with possible action regarding amendments and possible additions to the                   redemption machines “maquinitas” or 8-liners ordinance, with all possible changes                     regarding facilities, operation, fees and any other related issues.  (Co-sponsored by                      Council Member Juan Chavez)

 

                       Cm. Landeck said that during the last meeting several Council Members brought up

                       the problem with the maquinitas.  He said that it is coming clear to him that the City

                       is dealing with an issue that is destroying families in the community.  He noted that

                       the City of Laredo is losing time in dealing with the maquinitas which will allow

                       additional families to be destroyed.    He said that he feels uncomfortable ignoring

                       the community problem.

 

                       Motion to freeze the issuance of license to new or existing maquinita businesses until

                       the City Council can attend a workshop regarding the businesses. 

 

                      Moved:  Cm. Landeck

                      Second:  Mayor pro Tempore Belmares

           

                      Second was withdrawn.

 

                      Raul Casso, City Attorney, said that temporary moratoriums are to address specific

                      problems.  The harm that the maquinitas are doing will continue to exist during a                         moratorium by virtue of the permits that are currently in existence.  The permits that                  would be denied under the moratorium would not impact the community because the

                      problem will continue to happen; hence, the purpose of protecting the public’s health

                      and safety is questionable.  A moratorium is not proper for this problem.  He                             encouraged City Council to focus on the workshop where the City of Laredo can                                initiate a comprehensive plan that includes enforcement. 

 

                      Cm. Garcia stressed the importance of tough enforcement on existing businesses. 

                     

                      Cm. Landeck continued to stress that the community is suffering from the maquinita

                      businesses and he is very disappointed that the answer is that the City has no legal

                      means to protect this community from further damage.

 

                      Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares explained that the City of Laredo is a HomeRule City

                      and they have latitude as to what they can and cannot say regarding issues in the

                      community.

 

                      Motion to table the item until the scheduled workshop.

 

                     Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                     Second:  Cm. Garcia

                     For:     8                                      Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0    

 

                2.  Discussion with possible action in order to eliminate from the contract with Poznecki                  and Camarillo, Inc., the condition not allowing Poznecki et. al., to meet with                             representatives of the third site i.e. Project 45 or the other DD Hachar Foundation                               site, and further to meet with interested City Councilmen and any other person or             

                      group that City Council may deem necessary for better understanding and possible                     

                      clarifications related to the selection/recommendation of a site for Bridge 5 as well as                 related issues.

 

                      Cm. Landeck noted that he wanted to remind City Council and the public that all                                     interested parties were all in agreement to build a commercial bridge because Laredo

                      has no need for a non-commercial bridge.  He expressed his concerns regarding the

                      bridge.  He said that the decision is not reflected in the Poznecki reports.  They are

                      talking about relieving Bridge I & II from non-commercial traffic and connecting to

                      the other side of Nuevo Laredo to a resort center.   He said that he feels that one of

                      the problems that the City is having with this report is that neither he or other Council

                      Members and Commissioners have any possibility to discuss issues with Poznecki

                      and to share with them thoughts.  He further stated that it would be in the interests of

                      everyone to remove the communication restriction with Poznecki.  He suggested

                      creating a workshop with Poznecki to exchange ideas and express concerns.  

 

                      Motion to remove the restriction and work closely with Poznecki Company.

 

                      Moved:  Cm. Landeck   

                      Second: 

           

                      No second – motion dies.

 

            C.  Request by Council Member Johnny Rendon

 

                  1. Presentation and possible action on the City of Laredo contracting with Laredo                          Community College for specific economic development services. 

 

                      Blas Casteneda, Chief Officer for External Affairs at Laredo Community College,

                      gave the following presentation. 

 

                       Laredo Community College

                       Economic Development Center

 

                       Contents

 

                       LCC and Economic Development

                       EDC Mission & Vision

                       Current State of Things

                       Strategies Proposed

 

                       Connecting Education to the Global Economy

 

                       “People must be educated about modern economy and global competition and                                  drawn into the process of better preparing for it” Michael Porter, Bishop William       

        

                      Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

 

                      Economic Development at a glance

                      Business Attraction

                      Business Retention & Expansion

                      Diverse Competitive Workforce

 

 

                       Mission Statement

 

                       To develop, in conjunction with city and county leadership, workforce boards,

                       economic development organizations, the private section, labor and community

                       groups, and other stakeholders; innovative solutions in identified strategic priority

                       areas for growth and development. 

 

                       Vision

 

                       To advance Laredo and South Texas economic prosperity through high quality

                      education and services focusing on continuous workforce improvement, technology

                      deployment, and business development. 

 

                      Working towards a brighter future now

 

                       What are the current drivers of our local economy?

                       How much potential do we have?

                       How do we better utilize our strengths?

                       Where do we see ourselves in 20 years from now?

                       Which region (s) should Laredo seek to integrate with?  (If Laredo is interested in the

                       strategy)

 

                       Motion to instruct the City Manager to work out a contractual agreement with the

                       Laredo Community College for specific economic development services.   

 

                       Moved:  Cm. Rendon

                       Second:  Cm. Chavez

                       For:      8                                               Against: 0                                 Abstain:  0

 

                       Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, stressed the importance of being specific about the

                       type of service that will be offered by the Laredo Community College.  He noted that

                       it should include the dates of service and the amount of money that should be set

                       forth in said fashion.  He noted that he would not want to be looking at an overall

                       figure that is not budgeted. 

 

                  2.  Status report on the storm drainage project in Belmont Plaza Subdivision at Sage

                       Drive and Esperanza Drive.

 

                       Riazul Mia, Environmental Services Director, said that this project was awarded on

                       October 1, 2007.  The consultant has 90 days and they have completed their survey

                       by gathering the data from TxDOT and Utilities.  The design is 20% complete and

                      the City of Laredo should receive the final plan by the end of January 2008 which

                      will allow the City to initiate a bid.   

 

                  3.  Discussion with possible action to provide funding for speed humps on Chaparral                                     Street between Alabama Avenue and Gallagher.

 

                       Roberto Murillo, Traffic Director, indicated that the records show that for Chaparral

                       there was a motion to place four speed humps; however, the City of Laredo staff has

                       not obtained the required signatures that are required to proceed.  He said that

                      Alabama needs three speed humps at a total cost of $5,400.  Gallagher needs three

                      speed humps. 

 

                      Motion to use the Discretionary Funds of District V for the speed humps on Alabama

                      and Gallagher. 

 

                      Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                      Second:  Cm. Amaya

                      For:     8                                     Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                  4.  Status report on the dome for the basketball court in Eistetter Park.

 

                       Rogelio Rivera, City Engineer, reported that the City of Laredo has a contract for the

                      design and the contractor has been given a notice to proceed.  The project should be                 complete in ten weeks.

  

            D.  Request by Council Member Juan Ramirez

 

                  1.  Status report on the Plaza Theater, with possible action.

 

                       Ronnie Acosta, Community Development Director, gave a comprehensive report on

                       the Plaza Theater noting that the city of Laredo purchased the facility with CDBG

                       funds in 1999.  She further explained that the facility has a new roof, petitions have

                       been removed as well as asbestos.  The stressed that the effort of the City is to

                       preserve the integrity of the structure.  She added that the total cost to renovate the

                       building is $6.1 million dollars.  She informed City Council that the Ad-Hoc that was

                       created to discuss issues of the Plaza Theater was complete because they were used

                       to consider the feasibility study. 

 

                       Motion to instruct the City Manager to initiate a Request for Proposals for the Plaza                   Theater to see if a private investor will show interested in renovating the building.

 

                       Moved:  Cm. Ramirez

                       Second:  Cm. Garcia

                       For:     8                                    Against: 0                                             Abstain:  0

 

                  2.  Discussion with possible action on the upcoming expiration date of the contract with                   First Transit.

 

                       Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, reported that he has not seen the contract from First                 Transit.  He advised that there had been some miscommunication related to the

                       naming of the manager but as a company and as a whole they have been doing a

                       good job operating the transit system.  He noted that there is nothing that precludes                    him from bringing back a recommendation to go with first Transit at the end of                          January.

 

                       Cm. Garcia said that he was concerned about some of the issues that the City

                       Manager mentioned but he is currently pleased with the current administration. 

 

 

                       Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, noted that he would be in a position to make a

                       recommendation to City Council regarding First Transit based on all the scenarios

                       that have been presented to City Council.  He added that the company has the

                       expertise to create a better system.  He informed City Council that he would be                         placing the item back on the agenda.  

 

                  3.  Discussion with possible action on placing a statue between Santa Ursula Avenue                                  and San Dario Avenue on Matamoros Street on the east side of the Laredo National                 Bank.

 

                       Cm. Ramirez said that he brought the item to City Council because he had discussed                  the item four years ago. Huntsville placed a statue of Sam Houston and that has been

                       an attraction to that City – they create an attraction.

 

                       Cm. Garza suggested creation of an ad-hoc committee.

 

                       Cm. Garcia expressed his dissatisfaction of placing a statue between Santa Ursula                                    Avenue and Dan Dario Avenue

 

                       Cm. Ramirez advised that is would assist with the tourist dollars. 

 

                       Mayor Salinas recommended reaching out to the private sector to obtain donations

                       for the statue.  He further stated that he would review the item and consider creation

                       of an ad hoc committee. 

 

                 4.  Discussion with possible action on placing sidewalks in District VIII at the following                   locations:

 

                      1. 1700 block of San Jorge Avenue (east side)

                      2. 1800 block of San Jorge Avenue (east side)

                      3. 2500 block of Salinas Avenue (west side)

                      4. 2500 block of Juarez Avenue (west side)

                      5. 2500 block of Davis Avenue (west side)

                      6. 2600 block of Main Avenue (west side)

                      7. 1800 block of Constantinople Street (north side)

 

                       Motion to use the discretionary fund of District VIII for placing sidewalks in District

                       VIII at the following locations:

             

                      1. 1700 block of San Jorge Avenue (east side)

                      2. 1800 block of San Jorge Avenue (east side)

                      3. 2500 block of Salinas Avenue (west side)

                      4. 2500 block of Juarez Avenue (west side)

                      5. 2500 block of Davis Avenue (west side)

                      6. 2600 block of Main Avenue (west side)

                      7. 1800 block of Constantinople Street (north side)

 

                       Moved:  Cm. Ramirez

                       Second:  Cm. Amaya

                       For:     8                                    Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

 

VIII.  PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

          2.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Article II, Section 2-16,                

               “Departments of the City,” of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Laredo, Texas, by                                  creating, consolidating and eliminating departments; and providing for severability and                                 an effective date.

 

               Motion to open the public hearing.

 

               Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

               Second:  Cm. Amaya

               For:     8                                            Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

                             

              Motion to close the public hearing and introduce with changes discussed including         

              separating the Environmental Services and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

 

              Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares recommended that City Council should postpone the                  creation of and Economic Development department because of the contractual agreement

              discussion with Laredo Community College

 

              Cm. Landeck said that he was not invited to the discussion regarding the structural

              changes.  He said that the last decision that the City Council made was to accept the

              recommendations of the Water’s Group Corporation with the exception of the Police

              Department.  He said that what he would expect to see today is the chart of the Water’s

              Corporation put on the table because there are many changes that have been done to the

              chart that is being presented.  He questioned the structure that was being provided at the

              current meeting.

 

              Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, explained that according to the City Charter the Tax

              Department and the Planning and Zoning Department must remain as a stand alone

              department.  He said that he has been requested of evening out the departments as far as

              responsibilities.  He noted that he has met with different Council Members for

              recommendation.    

 

              Cm. Landeck expressed that he does not feel that the City Manager is handing the                     reorganization of the City Council properly.  He stressed that the discussion needs to be                           brought before the public.   He stressed that all comments need to be brought before the                          public.

 

              Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, said that it has been very hard for him because there has

              been so many recommendations made that eventually the City of Laredo has to operate. 

              He said that is was difficult for him to have a reorganization with the instructions that

              there will be an organization but no people should be affected by salary.  He said that it is           quiet hard to have a reorganization in that vein.  Regardless of what staff does the                         organization cannot conflict with the City Charter.  He stressed that he is ready to comply            with whatever City Council wishes. 

 

              Cm. Landeck said that staff should be careful with following City Charter procedures.                              The City Charter states that the organization should be done by the City Council and the

              positioning of the staff should be done by City Manager.    

 

              City Manager, Carlos Villarreal, addressed Council and agreed to bring back what was                           originally voted on according to the motion.  Staff can make changes according to what

              they feel is necessary as per the City Charter.  Staff can then return to City Council with

              another organizational chart indicating changes that balance the different department. 

              Thirdly, staff could return to City Council for the final approval.   

 

              Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares said that he would return to City Council with an item                to eliminate the Economic Development Department. 

 

              Moved:  Cm. Garza

              Second:  Cm. Landeck

              For:    4                                              Against:  4                                            Abstain:  0

              Cm. Garza                                          Cm. Garcia

              Cm. Landeck                                     Cm. Rendon

              Cm. Amaya                                        Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

              Cm. Chavez                                       Cm. Ramirez

           

              Mayor Salinas voted in favor for tie breaker.  

 

              Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

         3.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Chapter 2 Administration Article VI           Investment Policy of the Code of Ordinances in order to:

              1.  Add new Section 2.257 Authorizing Investment Advisors; and

              2.  Add new Section 2.270 Investment Strategy by Fund Type;

              3.  Deleting part of renumbered Section 2.258 Authorized Investments, to delete thereform             (d) Bankers Notes and (e) Commercial Paper; and

              4.  Amending and modifying the other sections of Article IV in order to make the article                  comply with Chapter 2256 of the Government Code known as the Public-Investment                       Act; and providing for an effective date.

 

              Motion to open the public hearing.

 

              Moved:  Cm. Garza

              Second:  Cm. Amaya

              For:     8                                             Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

              There was no public input.

 

              Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

              Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

              Second:  Cm. Garcia

              For:     8                                             Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

              Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

        4.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance providing for the taxation of goods-in-transit

             pursuant to Section 11.253 (j) of the Texas Property Tax Code.  Goods-in-transit are              exempt from taxation, unless the taxing unit provides for the taxation prior to January 1st             of the tax year in which the tax is proposed.  The goods-in-transit shall remain subject to                taxation until this action is rescinded or repealed.

 

             Motion to open the public hearing.

 

             Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares 

             Second:  Cm. Amaya

             For:     8                                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and reject.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Chavez

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

        5.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the                           City of Laredo by authorizing a Conditional Use Permit for an amusement redemption                machine establishment on Lots 2A and 2B, Block 1, Bartlett Apartments Subdivision at                          Jacaman Ranch, located at 6508 N. Bartlett Avenue.  The Planning and Zoning                                      Commission recommended approval of the Conditional Use Permit. District V

 

             Motion to open the public hearing.

 

             Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

             Second:  Cm. Amaya

             For:     8                                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

              Mario Santos requested an amusement machine business for 175 machines, they are

              moving from another building from McPherson to Bartlett Ave.

 

              Motion to close the public hearing and table until discussion at a workshop.

 

              Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

              Second:  Cm. Landeck

              For:     8                                             Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

       6.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance (Map) of the             City of Laredo by authorizing the Conditional Use Permit for a birthing clinic on Lots 4, 9,             and 10, Block 941, Western Division, located at 3712 Santa Ursula Avenue.  The Planning             and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the Conditional Use Permit. District VII

 

             Motion to open the public hearing.

 

 

 

             Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares 

             Second:  Cm. Garcia

             For:     8                                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Cm.  Chavez advised that this area is covered with asphalt.  He suggested donating the required trees and scrubs to the Parks & Recreation Department.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Chavez

            Second:  Cm. Landeck

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Ordinance Introduction:  Cm. Chavez

 

       7.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the City of Laredo Code of             Ordinances, Chapter 17 Library, Article 1, in General, Section “Fines and Fees for Library             Services”, allowing for the addition of a new fee associated with the Laredo Public Library             Main Branch becoming a Passport Acceptance Facility; Providing for publication and    effective date.

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares 

            Second:  Cm. Garcia

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Landeck

            For:     5                                               Against:  1                                            Abstain:  0

                                                                        Cm. Chavez

 

            Ordinance Introduction:  City Council except for Council Member Chavez

            Cm. Garza and Cm. Amaya were not present.

 

       8.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Section 903.2.7 of the International             Building Code [Adopted as the Building Code of the City under Section 7-1 of Chapter 7 of             the Code of Ordinances] in order to provide for deletion of requirement of an automatic             sprinkler system for a four (4) Dwelling Unit; providing for publication and effective date.

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

             Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

             Second:  Cm. Garcia

             For:     8                                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Chavez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

      9.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Section 108.3 of the International    Building Code [Adopted as the Building Code of the City under Section 7 Chapter 7 of the        Code of Ordinances] in order to:

 

            1.  Coret a printing error; and

            2.  Reduce the building permit valuation for utility buildings from $20.40 to $11.00;

                 and providing for an effective date and publication.

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Garcia

            Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Garcia

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

      10.  Amending Chapter 12 [Fire Prevention and Protection] of the Code of Ordinances in the   

             following respects:

            

              1.  Amending Section 903.27 of the International Fire Code [Adopted as the Fire Code of  

                  the City under Section 12-2 of Chapter 12 of the Code of Ordinances] in order to                     provide for deletion of the requirement of the requirement of an automatic sprinkler                          system for a four dwelling unit:

             2.  Deletion of Section 12-5 [Fire Prevention Code]

             3.  Deleting Section 12-6 [Life Safety Code 101] and providing for an effective date and               

                  publication.

 

             Motion to open the public hearing.

 

             Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

             Second:  Cm. Chavez

             For:     6                                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

             There was no public input.

 

             Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

             Moved:  Cm. Belmares

             Second:  Cm. Ramirez

             For:     6                                              Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

             Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

     11.   Second (2nd) public hearing for the voluntary annexation of eleven (11) tracts of land:

 

            Tract 1:  Ed-Sal Tract – 4.02 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Garcia

            Second:  Cm. Chavez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 2:  RRTAIT Tract– 84.77 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor  Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Chavez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved: Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 3:  Killam Charco Tract – 88.56 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 4:  Killam Quiote Tract – 194.08 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 5:  AFW Investments II Tract – 105.19 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 6:  H-5 Tract – 59.94 acres, more or less;

           

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 7:  A.R. and Alicia Sanchez Tract – 10.85 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

            Tract 8:  4V Holdings Tract – 172.13 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 9:  South Webb County Tract – 1330.83 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares 

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 10:  Tanquecitos South Acres Tract – 21.60 acres, more or less;

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rerndon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            Tract 11: Daughters of Mary Help Tract – 30.00 acres, more or less);

for a total of 2,101.97 acres, more or less, as described in the attached tract summaries, as required by Section 43.063 of the Texas Local Government Code.

 

            Motion to open the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

            There was no public input.

 

            Motion to close the public hearing.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

     

IX.  INTRODUCTORY ORDINANCES

 

        12.  Amending the lease between the City of Laredo & Webb County of Lots 9 & 10, Block           320, Eastern Division, a copy of which amendment is attached as Exhibit A, in which the               changes are as follows:

 

               1.  Providing for contribution from the City of $300,000.00 towards the cost of                                            constructing the community center for the elderly on the leased premises;

               2.  Adding a tract of 5,069.85 sq. ft., out of Lexington Avenue between Stewart Street and            Reynolds Street, described by metes and bounds and survey attached as Exhibit 3 of                         Exhibit A and

               3.  Adding a tract of land of 7,717.28 sq. ft., out of the north half of Lexington Avenue                                fronting Stewart Street described by metes and bounds and survey attached as Exhibit               A; and providing for effective date.

 

            Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

X.        FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES 

 

            Motion to waive the Final Readings of Ordinances # 2007-O-232, # 2007-O-233, #2007-O-            234, # 2007-O-235, # 2007-O-236, # 2007-O-237, # 2007-O-238, # 2007-O-239, # 2007-O-        240, # 2007-O-239, # 2007-O-240, and # 2007-O-241.

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Chavez

            For:           6                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

     13.   2007-O-232   Amending the City of Laredo Fiscal Year 2007-2008 Financial Task Force                               budget by increasing expenses in the amount of $10,000.00 for an                                                         interdiction project awarded by the Office of the National Drug Control                                                 Policy (ONDCP) High Density Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).  Funds will                              be used to pay fringe benefit expenses for a drug interdiction unit comprised                                   of Financial Task Force agents and Laredo Police Officers from January 1,                                  2004 through December 31, 2007.  Fringe benefits will be funded from the                                  opening fund balance.

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-232.

 

                                    Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

           

             2007-O-233   Amending the City of Laredo Health Department Fiscal Year 2007-2008                                               budget by appropriating revenues and expenditures in the amount of                                          $172,239.00, from the Texas Department of State Health Services-Office of                             Border Health for the Department’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness-                            Early Warning Infections Disease Surveillance for early detection and rapid                              response from October 1, 2007 through July 31, 2008, and authorizing the                                                City Manager to execute the contract.

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-233.

 

                                    Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

              2007-O-234  Amending the City of Laredo Health Department Fiscal Year 2007-2008                                               annual budget by appropriating revenues and expenditures in the amount                                                 $24,750.00 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San                                                  Antonio for the continuation of the Department’s South Texas Family AIDS                                Network grant award for the period beginning August 1, 2007 through July                               31, 2008 to provide patient care for HIV/AIDS patients.

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-234.

 

Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

        

              2007-O-235  Ratifying City Manager’s acceptance of a grant by the United States                                          Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Border 2012 Grant Program                               in the amount of $50,000.00 with the City designating $12,695.00 in                                      matching funds for a total of $62,695.00 and amending the City of Laredo’s                                   Fiscal Year 2007-2008 Annual Budget for the Environmental Services Fund                              by appropriating the said grant revenue to the appropriate expenditure                                      accounts.  Funds will be used for the production of the Dos Laredos Non-                                        Point Source Pollution Early Childhood Education Video.

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-235.

 

                                    Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

              2007-O-236  Amending the City of Laredo Fiscal Year 2007-2008 annual budget for the                                 parking meters fund by appropriating expenditures in the amount of                                            $300,000.00 from fund balance for the Riverfront Parking Lot Restructuring                              Project.

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-236.

 

                                    Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

              2007-O-237  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a Foreign Trade Zone Operation                                              Agreement with International Trade & Commerce, Inc., as zone site operator                            of site 1-D, located at 309 NAFTA Boulevard, effective February 1, 2007                                           and ending on March 31, 2009.  Providing for activation, administration and                              transaction fees to be paid to the City; providing for an effective date.

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-237.

 

                                    Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 

 

              2007-O-238  Establishing guidelines and criteria governing tax abatements by the City of                                 Laredo; providing for severability, publication and effective date.

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-238.

 

                                    Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

              2007-O-239  Amending the Code of Ordinance of the City of Laredo, Chapter 2, Article                               V. Boards, Commissions, Councils, etc., Division 4. Convention & Visitors    

                                    Bureau Advisory Board, Sec. 2-223; Membership criteria; term of office;                                               method of appointment; ex-officio members; by amending Sections (a) and                                (b);  This clarifies ordinance to specify that the committee be converted to a                               nine-person standing committee composed of appointees from each City                                               Council district and an appointee at large by the Mayor as directed through                                City Council action taken on May 14, 2007. (as amended)

 

                                    Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-239.

 

                                    Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

 

              2007-O-240  Amending Chapter 19, Article XI, Truck Traffic, Division 2, Truck Routes,                                Section 19-415 (A) (2), Departure from and Return to Designated Truck                                              Route; thereby eliminating existing conflict in the ordinance language                                           regarding the posting of “No Trucks” signs on streets that are not designated                                 as truck routes;  providing for severability, publication and effective date.

 

                                   Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-240.

 

                                   Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

             2007-O-241  Amending the City of Laredo Code Ordinances to clarify certain sections of                              the Vehicles for Hire Ordinance and to properly enforce taxicab operation           

                                   regulation as follows:

 

                                   1.  Section 32-28 (A), renewal of annual permit, of the Code of Ordinances in                                 order to clarify section;

                                   2.  Section 32-33 (3), Substitute or replace taxicabs, in order to add and                                                    clarify section;

                                   3.  Section 32-37 Term and Renewal, in order to clarify section;

                                   4.  Section 32-43.1, Suspension and Revocation of a taxicab license,                                            amending subsection (b) and adding a new subsection (12);

                                   5.  Section 32-65.1, Parking of Taxicabs, of the Code of Ordinances, in order                               to clarify section;

                                   6.  Section 32-70, property left in taxicab, in order to clarify section;

                                   7.  Section 32-71, Taximeters-Required, adding subsections (C) and (D);

                                   8.  Section 32-74, Vehicle Requirements and Inspections, in order to add                                                    Subsection (10); providing for severability, for an effective date and                                           publication.

                                   The Transportation/Traffic Safety Advisory Committee approved these                                      proposed amendments.

 

                                   Motion to adopt Ordinance 2007-O-241.

 

                                   Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                    Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                    For:     6                                   Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XI.  RESOLUTIONS

 

       14.  2007-R-088  Expressing the City of Laredo’s support for the construction of a Border                                               Safety Inspection Facility (BSIF) by the Texas Department of Transportation                                   at the World Trade International Bridge in the general location and in the                                                basic configuration as shown in Attachment A.

 

                                   Motion to approve 2007-R-088.

 

                                   Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                                   Second:  Cm. Rendon

                                   For:     6                                    Against:  0                                Abstain:  0

 

XII.  MOTIONS

 

         15.  Consideration to authorize change order no. 1 in the total amount of $34,316.00 to                    contract FY 07-153 awarded to Texas Wired Music, Inc., for the purchase of additional               audio visual equipment needed for the City Council chambers.  The revised contract total            will be $206,519.60.  Funding is available in the Information Technology and Support                 Services-Public Education and Government (PEG) Fee Fund.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Chavez 

                Second:  Cm. Amaya

                For:     8                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         16.  Consideration to authorize the purchase of one (1) 2007 GMC three (3) ton crew cab                                          utility truck in the amount of $69,345.00; one (1) 2008 GMC cab and chassis with crane           in the amount of $129,538.00; from Rush Truck Centers of Texas, L.P., through the                      Houston Galveston Area Council of Governments (HGAC) and Buy Boards  Cooperative             Purchasing Program.  This equipment will be assigned to the Utilities Department.                          Funding is available in the 2008 Utilities Budget.

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

                Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         17.  Consideration to exercise the renewal option for contract number FY07-096 awarded to           Double R Construction, Laredo, Texas, in the estimated amount of $275,000.00 for                      asphalt repairs.  The contract pricing is based on a fixed square footage rate of $2.75 for               asphalt repairs required due to utility repairs.  The term of this contract will be for a one                (1) year period.  Funding is available in the Water and Sewer Funds.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

                Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         18.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to transfer previous sale of surplus                         equipment from Rio Bravo, Texas, sold on April 4, 2007 to our Sister City of Lampazos               de Naranjo, Nuevo Leon which the City of Rio Bravo was not able to purchase.  The                        equipment consists of one (1) 1995 Mack Refuse Truck with a sale value of $4,500.00                             and one (1) 1993 GMC Sweeper with a sale value of $375.00.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

                Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         19.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to donate a 1994 Chevy Suburban to                    Cienega de Flores due to the fact that this vehicle must be exported to Mexico.  This                     suburban is a confiscated vehicle.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

    Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

                Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         20.  Authorizing the City Manager to acquire through negotiations, the “Surface Only” of Lot            4, Block 2, at 3507 East Ash, in an amount not to exceed $36,000.00, plus approximately            $850.00 in incidental expenses; Lot 5, Block 2, at 3509 East Ash Street, in an amount not             to exceed $121,000.00, plus approximately $1,300.00 in incidental expenses; and Lot 6,     Block 2 at 3511 East Ash Street, in an amount not to exceed $135,000.00, plus                                approximately $1,400.00 in incidental expenses; for the North Heights Subdivision,                      Phase II, Drainage Improvements Project, and authorizing additional future parcel                   acquisitions, as deemed necessary in said subdivision, for the completion of said                             Drainage Improvements Project.  These will be voluntary transactions.  Funding is                           available in North Heights Subdivision, Phase II, Drainage Improvements Project/ 2007        Certificate of Obligation Bond Issue.  

 

                Motion to approve.

 

    Moved:  Cm. Garcia 

                Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

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

                month of October 2007 represent a decrease of $4,574.65.  These adjustments are                          determined by the Webb County Appraisal District and by court orders.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         22.  Consideration for approval to award a professional services contract to Brinkley Sargent    

                Architects, Dallas, Texas, for an amount not to exceed $330,500.00 for Phase I –                     Development of program and master plans for Northwest Center Park Site and Phase II –             Design and Construction of Recreation Center for the Northwest Recreation Center Park             to be located on a 7.027 acre site in Villas San Agustin Subdivision, Unit 3.  Design work           is to be on a fast track basis.  Funding is available in the 2005 CO Bond – Northwest                 Recreation Center/Pool.   

 

                Motion to table.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                Second:  Cm. Ramirez

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         23.  Consideration for approval of change order no. 1 a decrease of $20,117.00 for the      

                balance of quantities actually constructed in place and to add twenty-six (26) working                             days to the construction contract time due to rain delays and holidays, acceptance of the            Police Substation for Fire Station No. 14 at Cielito Lindo Blvd., and approval of a final     payment in the amount of $32,334.80 to Zertuche Construction Company, Laredo, Texas.           The final construction contract amount is $310,433.00.  Funding is available in the 2006             C.O. Bond.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         24.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to purchase turnstile spare equipment in the            amount of $79,369.76 from sole source provider, Transcore, L.P. for the electronic toll                             collection system.  Funding is available in the Bridge Department Budget.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         25.  Consideration to authorize the City Manager to purchase one (1) service truck from Rush          Truck Centers of Texas, L.P., in the total amount of $98,985.00 through the Houston                    Galveston Area Council of Government (HGAC) cooperative purchasing program’s                      contract pricing.  This truck will be assigned to the Fleet Maintenance Division.  Funding                is available in the Fleet Maintenance Budget.

 

                Motion to approve.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

         26.  Authorizing the City Manager to execute a Fiscal Year 2008 Third Party Funding                      contract with the Laredo Animal Protective Society providing $300,000.00 for shelter                   operations funded through the General Fund.

 

                Motion to approve to amend that the word “Third Party Funding” be changed to “contract         for services”.

 

                Moved:  Cm. Garcia

                Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                For:     6                                           Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

       27.  Authorizing the City Manager to accept a donation from the GEO Group in the amount of          $250,000.00.

 

               Motion not to accept.

 

               Moved:  Cm. Garza

               Second:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

               For:     8                                            Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

       28.  Consideration to award a contract to the low bidder Southwest Business Corporation in the       estimated amount of $250,126.00 for credit card processing fees.  The following                                     departments/divisions accept payments by credit card:  Utilities, Tax, Bridge, Landfill,                  Health Departments and others.  Credit card processing will be used in connection with the         Voice Response System, Click2Gov System and credit card terminals.  Funding is                        available in the respective departmental expense line items.

              

              Motion to approve.

 

               Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

               Second:  Cm. Ramirez

               For:     6                                            Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

        29.  Amending the 2007 Consolidated One-Year Action Plan by reprogramming a total of                              $825,000.00 of 33rd Action Year (AY) 2007 Community Development Block Grant                              (CDBG) funds for the purpose of funding the Chacon Creek/Guatemozin Street                                       Acquisition and Relocation project by redirecting funding for the following projects:

 

               Canizalez Park Pavilion and Improvements project …………..…... $100,000

               Cielito Lindo Park project …………………..…….…………………... $225,000

               Shade Structures along Zacate Creek……….……………………… $100,000

               Slaughter Park project…………………………………………….……$400,000

 

               Total Funds Reprogrammed………………………………………..…$825,000

 

               The Chacon Creek/Guatemozin Street Acquisition and Relocation project will enhance                            the floodplain and provide safety to the residents that will be relocated.  The park projects         are proposed to be funded through the 2007 Certificate of Obligation Bond funds.

 

               Motion to approve.

 

               Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

               Second:  Cm. Ramirez

               For:     6                                            Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

        30.  Authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract and award the 2007 Emergency                             Shelter Grant funds (ESG) made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban          Development to the following non-profit agencies:

               (1) $60,000.00 to the Laredo Homeless Coalition (LHC) for operation of the Guadalupe               and Lilia Martinez Resource Center,

               (2) $40,000.00 to the Laredo Homeless Coalition to provide Essential Services,

               (3) $9,479.00 to Casa de Misericordia (Casa) for operation of their shelter, and

               (4) $48,000.00 to Bethany House to provide Homeless Prevention assistance.

                    Funding is available in the 2007 Emergency Shelter Grant.

 

               Motion to approve.

 

               Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

               Second:  Cm. Ramirez

               For:     6                                            Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XIII. STAFF REPORTS

 

          31.  A.  Staff report by the Laredo Public Library regarding Long Range Plan, with                                              discussion and possible action.

 

                        Long Range Planning Committee

                        Carmen Escamilla – Advisory Committee Member

                        David Cardwell – Advisory Committee Member

                        Maria G.  Soliz – Assistant Library Director

                        Homero Vazquez-Garcia – Outreach Services Manager

                        Rena Ren, Librarian Manager – Public Services

                        Malia Watson, Librarian Manager – Technical Service

                        David Silva – Senior Programmer Analyst

                        Monica Resendiz, Circulation Supervisor

                        Irma Gonzalez, Library Tech.  III – Children’s

                        Edna Lopez, Library Tech. III – Tech. Services

 

                        Market Research

                        National Service Research

                        Andrea Thomas, Owner/Project Manager

 

                        Public Libraries 101

 

                        Nearly every Texas public library belongs to one of the ten regional library systems                    which are administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission                            (TSLAC).

 

                        TSLAC requires submission of an Annual Report and Application for System                            Membership.,  Libraries must meet certain minimum criteria for system membership                   and accreditation.

 

                        Benefits include collection development funds, consulting and continuing education                     services, and support for special projects and eligibility for certain grants.

 

                        In addition, there are also new recommended standards set by TSLAC and Texas                                 Library Association.

 

                        The purpose of these standards is to promote quality library services and to raise the                  expectations of library users in Texas.

 

                        Texas State Library and Archives Commission

 

                        New Accreditation Rule

 

                        Effective with this year’s report:

 

                        “a public library shall have a long-range plan that is approved by its governing                            board.  This plan must be reviewed and updated at least every five years and must                     include a collection development element”  

                        

                        The Library Long Range Plan was prepared using a two stage process.

 

                        Stage I – involved a community needs assessment and an analysis of the Public                          Library Standards.

 

                        Stage II involved recommendation of service priorities, goals, objectives, and action                   plans by the Long Range Planning Committee.

 

                        Laredo Public Library

 

                        Laredo Library citizen, Teen and Senior Community Needs Assessment Study

 

                        Methodology

 

                        Four focus groups sessions with Library users and non-users on May 22 and 23,                                   2007

 

                        Telephone survey with 400 randomly selected Laredo residents July 1 – 20.

 

                        Laredo Library staff asked 100 teens and 100 seniors throughout the community to                   complete the same survey document to gain additional input from these specific                          audiences.

 

                        Margin of error of the entire 600 sample size at 95% confidence level is plus or                          minus 4.1%.

 

                        Summary of Key Findings

 

                        Half of citizens surveyed have visited the library within the past year while 19%                          have never visited the library.

 

                        71% of seniors and 77% of teens surveyed have visited the library within the past                                  year 

 

                        Among respondents who have never used the library and hve not visited for more                                  than one year said the primary reasons for not using the library are:  no time, no                          need and use the internet.

 

                        The top library services used among library visitors were: check out a book, use the                   computers and use online database and resources.  34% of teens use the library for                   doing homework research. 

 

                        Summary of Key Findings

 

                        Satisfaction with library services (among library users):

 

                        All groups surveyed were most satisfied with the knowledgeable, courteous and                                     helpful staff, the children’s programs and the general library services they use.

 

                        Although most services had high satisfaction scores, those services with lower                            satisfaction were

 

                        Library services had high satisfaction scores, those services with lower satisfaction                     were:

                        Library services with lowest satisfaction among citizens and teens:  availability of                        computers and hours of operations

                        Library services with lowest satisfaction among seniors: availability CD’s DVD’s                                    and audio books and availability of computers.

                        Library services not used or users not being aware of services:  availability of CD’s                    DVD, audio books to check out, library web page and availability of children and                                  adult programs.  

                       

                        The library should study these services carefully to determine enhancements needed                   to increase library use and awareness among citizens.  The library must be effective                    and promoting programs, hours, and other special services and events. 

 

                        Summary of Key Findings

 

                        All respondents reported there was a need for several improvements that would                                     entice them to use the library more often.  The library should seriously consider                          these improvements as well as others mentioned to increase library use among all                                   citizens including teens and seniors:

 

                        Top improvements among citizens:

 

                        Convenient/expanded hours of operation

                        Add more up to date computers

                        Programs for children to promote reading and writing

                        More programs for families

                        Programs for teens to promote reading and writing

                       

                        Top Improvements for Seniors

 

                        Programs for adults/seniors

                        Programs for teens to promote reading and writing

                        Quiet places to research and read                    

                        Programs for children to promote reading and writing

 

                        Top improvements for teens:

 

                        More books for teens

                        Add more up to date computers

                        Establish a comfortable environment with couches, footstools, and bean bags

                        Programs for teens to promote reading and writing

                        Teens will be entices to use the library if it were a comfortable environment, had                                     more books for teens and more up-to-date computers.  They also want quite places                  to research or read, a café/lounge, convenient/expanded hours and more branches to                 serve the community.

 

                        Summary of Key Findings

 

                        Programs and services the respondents want that would entice them to use the                           library more often are listed below:

 

                        Top five among citizens:

           

                        Offered programs to promote reading and life long learning for all ages

                        Offered computer and internet training for children and teens

                        Offered homework centers/tutoring for school-aged children and teens

                        Offered more family events/programs

 

 

                        Top five among seniors:

 

                        Offered programs to promote reading and life long learning’s for all ages

                        Offered computer and internet training for adults

                        Offered guest speakers/author signing events

                        Had programs and other special events for adults and seniors

                        Offered computer and internet training for seniors

 

                        Top five among teens:

 

                        Offered computer and internet training for children and teens

                        Offered homework centers/tutoring for school-aged children and teens

                        Had programs and other special events for children and teens

                        Offered wider selection of video tapes, tapes, DVD’s CD’s for check out

                        Offered guest speakers/author signing events

 

                        The community is not very educated about the library, its services and programs.                                   The library must promote literacy throughout the community as well as it services                       and programs through advertising, newspaper (smart source section), radio PSA                                   announcements, collaboration with businesses, civic leaders, educators, schools,                                    special events and others.  The library should use these results as a guide to make                                  improvements and offer programs for specific audiences in order to increase use and                  awareness of the library and its offerings.

 

            Motion to approve the plan.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Garza

            Second:  Cm. Ramirez

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

XIV.    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:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

Second:  Cm. Rendon

For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

          32.  Consideration for approval of change order no. 1 a decrease of $12,895.65 for the                  balance of quantities actually constructed in place to the construction contract with ALC                 Construction, LLC., Laredo, Texas, and acceptance of the Re-Roofing Project at the Jose             Flores Apartments (18 Duplexes Complex).  Final construction contract amount is                        $91,104.35.  Funding is available in the Laredo Municipal Housing Corporation Budget.

 

                 Motion to approve.

 

 

 

                 Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

                 Second:  Cm. Chavez

                 For:      6                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

 XV.     RECESS AS THE LAREDO MUNICIPAL HOUSING CORPORATION AND       

            RECONVENE AND ADJOURN AS THE LAREDO CITY COUNCIL

 

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

 

Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

Second:  Cm. Ramirez

For:     6                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

XVI. 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.

 

  33.  Request for Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.071 (1) (B)       

         to consult with Assistant City Attorney on settlement offer regarding Shading Concepts, LLC,

         and return to open session for possible action.

 

         Motion to go into Executive Session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.071      

         (1) (B) to consult with Assistant City Attorney on settlement offer regarding Shading          

         Concepts, LLC, and return to open session for possible action.

 

          Moved:  Cm. Garza

          Second:  Cm. Chavez

          For:     8                                                 Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

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

 

Motion to accept settlement offer from shade concepts, LLC and to allow shade concepts to proceed with foundation repairs as offered and allow for city’s payment of invoice dated November 8, 2006, in the amount of $1,700.00 to Shade Concepts, LLC., on the condition that the $1,700 not be paid until project completion; that should shade concepts agree to work completion upon a reasonable time deemed by the City; that the job be completed to the Cities satisfaction; and, that the City’s approval of the completed work not be confused as any indemnification of Shade Concepts and that Shade Concepts warranty of such work not be waived. 

 

XVII.   ADJOURNMENT

 

            Motion to adjourn.                                                                               

 

            Moved:  Mayor Pro Tempore Belmares

            Second:  Cm. Rendon

            For:     8                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

           

I, Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the minutes contained in pages 01 to 35 and they are true, complete, and correct proceedings of the City Council meeting held on November 18, 2007

 

 

                                                                                    ______________________________

                                                                                    Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                                                    City Secretary