CITY OF LAREDO

SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING

M2007-SC-01

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

1110 HOUSTON

LAREDO, TEXAS78040

JANUARY 9, 2007

5:30 P.M.

†††††††††††††††††††††††

 

I.††††††††† CALL TO ORDER

 

With a quorum present, Mayor Pro Tempore Ramirez called the meeting to order.

 

II.††††††† ROLL CALL

 

††††††††††† In attendance:

 

††††††††††† Mike Garza,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Council Member, District I

††††††††††† Hector Garcia,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Council Member, District II

††††††††††† Mike Landeck,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Council Member, District III

††††††††††† Johnny Amaya,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Council Member, District IV

††††††††††† Johnny Rendon,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Council Member, District V

††††††††††† Gene Belmares,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Council Member, District VI

††††††††††† Juan Chavez,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Council Member, District VII

††††††††††† Juan Ramirez,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mayor Pro Tem, District VIII

††††††††††† Gustavo Guevara, Jr.,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† City Secretary

††††††††††† Cynthia Collazo,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Acting City Manager

††††††††††† Rafael Garcia,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Assistant City Manager

††††††††††† Horacio De Leon,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Assistant City Manager

††††††††††† Valeria Acevedo,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Acting City Attorney

 

††††††††††† Motion to excuse Mayor Salinas.

 

††††††††††† Moved:Cm. Garza

††††††††††† Second:Cm. Amaya

††††††††††† For:†††† 6†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Against:0††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Abstain:0

 

††††††††††† Mayor Pro Tempore was chairing the meeting.

 

III.†††††† PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

††††††††††† Mayor Pro Tempore led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

IV.†††††† DISCUSSION WITH POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING SHORT TERM GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR ACTING CITY MANAGER.

 

††††††††††† Cynthia Collazo, Acting City Manager, explained that a packet had been provided to ††† Council on Friday.She noted that she had outlined short term goals and objectives.She ††††††††† explained that she had categorized them in three different categories.She discussed the ††† following projects.

†††††††††††

††††††††††† Cm. Garcia expressed his dissatisfaction with Council by requesting goals for the Acting ††††††††††† City Manager because he said that she is doing an outstanding job.He added that she is ††††††††††† working hard to keep the City of Laredo running and that alone is enough to keep her busy ††††††††††† until Council hires a new City Manager.

 

††††††††††† Cm. Garza said that the City Council should set attainable goals for the Acting City †††††† Manager.He said that if the Acting City Manager has problems with the goals then she †††† should express her concerns. He said that the goals would be able to maintain focused on issues that they are already working on.

 

††††††††††† Short Term Goals and Objectives

 

††††††††††† Ongoing Projects:

 

1.      El Portal

El Portal is a multi-million dollar project that will enchange the economic development for the Cit of LaredoNon-Commercial vehicle traffic and pedestrian walkway will continue to maintain the City in the forefront as the Gateway to Mexico.Retail space is an economic catalyst for retain sales and tourism.This project is on schedule.Expected completion date is April 10, 2007.

 

2.      Secondary water and New Water Plant

 

This project is under negotiations.A proposal by Dimmit Untility Water Supply was selected in late December for negotiation.At the end of February, it is expected to have a draft contract that would clearly establish a time line with deliverables that include guarantees for water availability, finaicial capacity, regulatory permitting.Deadlines have been extended by legislation which will allow us additional negotiation time.

3.      Golf Course

 

Negotiations are under way for a 19 hole golf course with a private developer.The proposed land donation of approximately 279 acres with an additional 120 acres for a recreational tract will be used for a championship municipal golf course with an estimated amount of $5.1 million bond to be sold in the early part of the year.

 

4.      One Stop Center

 

Planned is a complete service oriented center to address the entire needs of the development industry at one centralized location.Plans are to relocate the Community Prolicing Program to an alternative site on Lincoln and Flores in order to create space for other departments to be housed at this location.

 

5.      Airport Retail

 

The sale of 88 acres of land across the street from the terminal on Loop 20 will offer retail shops and many other economic amenities.The sale amount is estimated to be $16 million; which will later be leveraged for airport development.Bids are scheduled to be opened on February 16th and will be presented to City Council at the first meeting in March 2007.

 

6.      Drug and Alcohol Policy

 

The current policy is being amended and presented to the Health & Benefits Committee on January 20, 2007.The policy will include the random testing for drug and alcohol for all city employees.In addition, staff will meet with both the Police and Fire Unions, followed by a presentation to the entire City Council

 

7.      Take home vehicles

 

Finalize the take home vehicle policy in order to decrease maintenance and gasoline expenses without affecting emergency personnel such as those civil service employees.A report will be presented to City Council in February 2007.

 

8.      River Vega Master Plan

 

A contract has been awarded to Carter & Burgess to design a master plan.The study includes approximately 250 acres of vacant land to be designed for future nature trailís, green space and Economic Development to the area from LCC to Zacata Creek.Staff will continue to work on this project.

 

††††††††††† 9.Recreational Center in District II

 

The acquisition of property should be completed within the next 30-60 days.The purchase of a tract of land is located South of Clark and West of Loop 20.

 

10.  The Request for Proposals for design of Recreational Center in District VII.

 

The selection of an architect and negotiation of the design contract should be††

completed over the next 60 days.

 

11.  Slaughter Park

 

The 37 acres land will be used for the multi-purpose soccer fields, playground areas, nature trails, and other recreational amenities.The construction plans and bid documents are expected to be completed within the next 60 days.

 

††††††††††† 12.Gale Drainage Project

 

This project include the reconstruction of a road to improve drainage problems and is scheduled to be substantially completed and opened by late January.The completion of the entire project is scheduled 6 to 8 weeks later.

 

13.  Laredo Police Officers Association and the City of Laredo Contract

 

The current 5 year contract will expire this year, a City Team will be assembled in††

order to negotiate a new civil service contract.

†††††††††††

 

††††††††††† Project Needing City Council Direction:

 

1.      Regional Mobility Authority (RMSís)

 

Do we move in the direction of creating an RMA?If so, staff will proceed in scheduling a presentation to the City Council by TxDOT.

2.      Convention Center

 

A direction for the acquisition, design and construction of a new convention center in the downtown area along the Rio Grande River is needed since the acquisition of land has not been initiated.

†††††††††††

††††††††††† Coordinated Projects:

 

1.      Bridge V and the Rail Road Bridge

 

A resolution will be presented January 16th in order to repeal the current resolution in place related to the County and Bridge V.A City Council workshop will be scheduled in order to consider a partnership with Webb County at a date to be determined by City Council.

 

2.      International Trade Partnership

 

Continue working in partnership with the local business community such as LDF in oder to strengthen ties with other trade partners crucial to the economic viability of the city such as the Port of Lazaro Cardenas.

 

3.      Water Park Project

 

Continue finalizing the Water Park Project and determine the conditions and/or terms of the exchange/purchase/trade with Webb County of the land for the water park.

 

4.      Down Ramp Connector Road

 

Proceed with finalizing the coordinated efforts with GSA to meet all requirements in orer to proceed with bidding of the Santa Ursula Connector Road.Bids are estimated to be opened in March 2007.

 

5.      International Bus Processing Facility

 

Continue working with GSA to proceed with constructing a bus processing facility at

Bridge II with the assistance of Congressman Henry Cuellar.This project is crucial and the assistance of Congressman Cuellar is of utmost importance to be able to prioritize this much needed project.USBP processes over 100 buses daily and on holidays the number increases to 150.These conditions are not acceptable for the travelers, inspectors, and the motoring public.

 

6.      Booth Expansion at Bridge IV

 

Consideration to add booths at the CBP facility at Bridge IV to process additional commercial traffic.On December 21, 2006 a meeting was coordinated by Congressman Cuellar and Mayor Salinas with GSA Regional Administrator Scott Armey.Staff will continue to coordinate efforts to proceed with the additional improvements for this project.

 

7.      Bridge IV Hazmat Containment

 

Continue to work on finalizing the Presidential Permit amendment to allow for the crossing of hazmat materials through the World Trade Bridge.The site for the containment facility is presently being reviewed by GSA for final determination.We will need to hold an additional Public Hearing, once complete we will forward the application to TxDOT.Upon their approval, the amendment will be submitted to the State Department.

 

V.                 Discussion with possible action regarding amending the federal and state legislative agendas to add, delete, and amend legislative issues; and setting legislative priorities.

 

††††††††††† ††††† Cm. Landeck advised that the Legislative Issues Committee met to discuss the issues of ††††† ††††††going through the proposals that have been submitted for the state and for the federal

††††††††††† ††††† initiatives.He said that the general feeling of the Committee was that it would be more

††††††††††† ††††† beneficial to the City of Laredo to make sure that the Committee prioritizes the

††††††††††† ††††† initiatives.He went on to say that they have divided it into four priorities and into ††† ††††††††††† ††††††initiatives with appropriations request.†† After researching materials, the Committee ††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††agreed that they need to have specific grants when they travel to Austin or Washington

††††††††††† ††††† for funds.He further explained that there would be a workshop on the legislative

††††††††††† ††††† issues.

 

††††††††††† ††††† Federal Agenda

 

††††††††††† ††††† Health††††††††††††††††††† Support Core Public Health Services and Infrastructure

††††††††††† ††††† Bridge††††††††††††††††††† Bus Processing Facility (1)

††††††††††† ††††† Planning††††††††††††††††† Railway Operational Improvements (1)

††††††††††† ††††† Police†††††††††††††††††††† Funding First Responders (1)

††††††††††† ††††† Fire††††††††††††††††††††††† Staffing for Adequate fire and Emergency Response (1)

††††††††††† ††††† Airport†††††††††††††††††† Rehabilitate General Aviation Apron; Phase III (2)

††††††††††† ††††† Fire††††††††††††††††††††††† Emergency Operations Center

††††††††††† ††††† Health††††††††††††††††††† Federally Designated US/Mexico Region with Designation Funds

††††††††††† ††††† Transit††††††††††††††††††† Capital Program to Replace Aging Fleet

††††††††††† ††††† Transit††††††††††††††††††† Funding for New maintenance and

 

††††††††††† ††††† Legislative Initiatives Without Appropriations Requests

 

††††††††††† ††††† Bridge††††††††††††††††††† Proposed International Fifth Bridge/Railroad Road Bridge

††††††††††† ††††† Bridge††††††††††††††††††† Border Fence

††††††††††† ††††† Bridge††††††††††††††††††† Nationalization of Vechildes (added)

††††††††††† ††††† Bridge††††††††††††††††††† U. S. Visit (2)

††††††††††† ††††† Airport†††††††††††††††††† Mexican Customs at the Laredo International Airport (2)

††††††††††† ††††† Solid Waste††††††††††† Approval Pending of Wetland Permit for Landfill (2)

††††††††††† ††††† Telecomm††††††††††††† Preservation of City Authority and Right of Compensation for use of

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Transition to Digital Television with Extended Timeline for U. S. ††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mexico Boarder Region (2)

 

††††††††††† ††††† Motion to accept the Federal and State agendas as provided by the City of Laredo staff.

 

††††††††††† ††††† Moved:Cm. Landeck

††††††††††† ††††† Second:Cm. Amaya

††††† ††††† ††††††For:†††† 7†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Against:0††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Abstain:0

 

VI.              PUBLIC HEARING

 

1.Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending the City of Laredo Code of

Ordinances, Chapter 28, (Streets, Sidewalks and Public Places), Article III Ė Civic Center, Division 2-Rental Rates for Facility, Personnel and Equipment Services, by providing for a one time waiver of approximately $5,790.00 in fees for the use of the Civic Center Facilities and Equipment during the 5th International Sister Cities Festival to take place from January 23 Ė 28, 2007.

 

Motion to open the public hearing.

 

Moved:Cm. Landeck

Second:Cm. Garza

For:†††† 6††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Against:0††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Abstain:0

 

There was no public input.

 

Cm. Garcia joined the meeting at 5:38 p.m.

 

Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

Moved: Cm. Belmares

Second:Cm. Amaya

For:†††† 7††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Against:0††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Abstain:0

VII.†††† RESOLUTION

 

††††††††††† 2.2007-R-002Ratifying the contract of October 24, 2005 with Killam Ranch Properties,

Ltd., a copy of which is attached as exhibit 1; approving the first amendment to that contract, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit 2; and (1) accepting the donation of the waterline easement, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit D of exhibit 2; and (2) accepting the donation of the waterline easement; a copy of which is attached as Exhibit E of Exhibit2; and (3) authorizing the release of the easement [which is Exhibit C of Exhibit1], a copy of which release is attached as Exhibit F, because of the grant of the easement referred to in (1) and (2).

 

Motion to approve Resolution # 2007-R-002.

 

Moved:Cm. Belmares

Second:Cm. Rendon

For:†††6†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Against:0††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Abstain:1

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Cm. Landeck

 

VIII.††† 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.

 

IX.†††††† ADJOURNMENT

 

††††††††††† Motion to adjourn.

 

††††††††††† Moved:Cm. Amaya

††††††††††† Second:Cm. Belmares

††††††††††† For:†††† 7†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Against:0††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Abstain:0

 

 

†††