CITY OF LAREDO
                         CITY COUNCIL WORKSHOP
                                  WITH
                   THE CITY'S LEGISLATIVE CONSULTANT

                         CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
                          1110 HOUSTON STREET
                             LAREDO, TEXAS
                               5:30 P.M.


                                MINUTES


      M-98-W-11                                  FEBRUARY 25, 1998

   I.  CALL TO ORDER

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

  II.  PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

       Mayor Elizabeth G. Flores led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 III.  ROLL CALL
       IN ATTENDANCE:
       ELIZABETH G. FLORES,    MAYOR
       JOSE R. PEREZ, JR.,     COUNCILMEMBER, DISTRICT I
       LOUIS H. BRUNI,                "     , DISTRICT II
       ELISEO VALDEZ,                 "     , DISTRICT V
       JOE A. GUERRA,                 "     , DISTRICT VI
       MARIO G. ALVARADO,             "     , DISTRICT VII
       CONSUELO "CHELO" MONTALVO,     "     , DISTRICT VIII
       GUSTAVO GUEVARA, JR.,   CITY SECRETARY
       FLORENCIO PENA, III,    CITY MANAGER
       JAIME L. FLORES,        CITY ATTORNEY

       ABSENCES:

       Motion to excuse Cw. Moreno and Cm. Casso.

       Moved : Cw. Montalvo
       Second: Cm. Guerra
       For:  6                          Against:  0         Abstain:  0


  IV.  PRESENTATION BY THE CITY'S LEGISLATIVE CONSULTANT REGARDING THE SCOPE OF
       SERVICES THEY WILL BE PROVIDING TO THE CITY OF LAREDO, WITH POSSIBLE
       ACTION.

       Florencio Pena, City Manager, said that over the last year there
       was considerable discussion by council of the need to have legislative
       representation in Austin and through the work of the committee over the
       last three months, council selected the firm represented by Mario
       Martinez.  He said they will go over their scope of services, to have a
       general understanding of the issues that affect cities, and hear
       council's concerns and issues.
       He introduced Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. Bob Strauser, and Ms. Judy Roach
       who gave a presentation of issues as they see them and as they are
       happening in Austin and as they affect the City.

       Mr. Mario Martinez gave opening remarks and introduced Mr. Bob Strauser.
       He said he works exclusively on legislative issues.  He thinks of most
       importance to the city are probably annexation issues, transportation,
       infrastructure issues, NAFTA, water studies, housing, health issues, and
       telecommunications.

       He spoke of interim studies of annexation.  He said that as far as
       studies of annexation are concern, Lt. Governor Bullock gave an interim
       charge of annexation to study the issue pertaining to annexation.  The
       primary intent of that committee is to go throughout the state and hold
       public hearings primarily to get public testimony by city and county
       officials, but also from the general constituency.  Many of the issues
       that have been raised from that is that some of the outer lined areas are
       for their own reasons not wanting to be annexed.  Whether they feel it is
       primarily because the city is using them as a tax base or whether their
       concern might be that they are not receiving the proper services that
       other areas would be receiving or they are not receiving the same
       standard of services.  What the committee is presently doing at this
       time, with its public hearings and the primary areas they are
       concentrating on, are specifically looking at fees in lieu of services.
       They are looking at the possibility of creating some formulas whereby a
       proposed area in the right of not having to be annexed can go ahead and
       pay a city a given fees in lieu of the services, that is one option being
       considered.  Another consideration being looked at is the standardization
       of services.  If a given proposed area is going to be annexed they want
       to make sure they are in the proposed area, they want to make sure that
       they are going to receive those standards (same quality of level that
       city is offering to their inner city constituency) they want to be
       assured that not within a specified period of time, but immediately upon
       being annexed that they will start in a position of receiving those
       services.

       Another issue being entertained is the voting issue.  Allowing a proposed
       area that is to be annexed, the opportunity to vote to either opt out of
       being annexed or not.  Out of the three he feels, that the voting issue,
       is one that is not being given that much consideration at this time,
       needless-to-say, next week the annexation committee is to give Mr.
       Bullock the initial status report. That report will have the number of
       meetings held, where the have been held, what areas are proposed for new
       hearings, and then specifically those areas of concentration just listed
       and to what degree they have been discussed.

       Cm. Guerra pointed out that we seem to be landlocked as far as expansion,
       we cannot expand any more because in many instances we do not have the
       infrastructure, the water and sewer lines to adjoin properties (farm and
       ranch) that could be annexed and developed.  Developers tell him that
       they would be in favor of us altering or revising our ordinance so that
       we could extend those lines on a reimbursement basis if needed.  He said
       that would make the price of land more competitive and expressed that is
       why the price of land is so high and expensive here.

       Cm. Bruni said that he thinks that the price of land is probably high is
       because there is less than four or five gentlemen that own all the land
       around the City of Laredo and when there is only four or five key
       developers or key property owners that own the land he thinks that is why
       the price is so high not because of the extending of infrastructure to
       these areas.  He is in favor of the developers paying for infrastructure.

       Mr. Bob Strauser spoke in relation to NAFTA implementation and the impact
       on the border area.  He said the principle of the committees is to bring
       back recommendations on problems created by NAFTA in the border area, how
       NAFTA has affected employment, identify specific impact, state laws that
       have to be changed by those impacts, infrastructure, and transportation
       needs.  He said they held five meeting in Corpus Christi and talked in
       particular about highway impact funds needed in the valley and in border
       areas.  They also spoke of the need of changing the formulas for delivery
       of those funds.  He said that delivery of funds on the basis of
       overweight permits is not satisfactory in the immediate area of the
       border.   There was extensive testimony regarding Laredo and Corpus in
       the Corpus Christi hearing.  He said Senator Truan has been invited to
       come to Laredo to address the A & M Conference being held here and it
       would be useful for him to be invited for him to summarize where he
       thinks he is going with the committee and the recommendations of it.  He
       had to file an interim report by the end of the week on where he is going
       with the committee and the report will be finalized by September.

       Cm. Valdez was concerned about the formula being use that
       affects the valley.  He said NAFTA has imposed in our community and has
       affected the quality of life for many people and the formula needs to be
       revisited and these people need to be pressured for more money for
       infrastructure.  We need more commitment at the state level.

       Mr. Martinez pointed that federal and state legislation relate together,
       one of the major focuses he will be having for the city in Washington on
       this session is the re-authorization of ISTEA funds.  The trend in that
       legislation is to give more flexibility to the states', so how the state
       decides to spend that money is going to be very important, but they will
       also be focusing for Laredo in particular to see that there is monies set
       aside for border infrastructure in the ISTEA, the formula used to decide
       how much goes to each state, how much for border infrastructure, that it
       is favorable to the City.

       Cm. Guerra mentioned several points of importance so that Mr.  Martinez
       and Ms. Betty Cain are aware of these points and maybe together they can
       work on them and help us bring some type of a solution at the federal and
       state level.
           .
       1) Laredo handles the largest number of international trade along the
          entire Southwestern U.S. border with Mexico.
       2) Bridge No. 1 is being promoted by Nuevo Laredo Custom Brokers to
          handle cargo inspite of structural problems in the Mexican side which
          caused a portion of the bridge to collapse last year.
       3) In order to increase traffic flow at Bridge No. 2 an additional road
          needs to be constructed at the U.S. Customs Import lot which cost the
          City $350,000.  The city estimates that by placing additional
          inspection station Customs would be able to increase their clearance
          of cargo at 25%.
       4) In order to increase efficiency at the Colombia Bridge, Customs needs
          two additional inspections and another two exits.
       5) The Colombia Bridge was built to handle 5,500 trailers daily at
          present there are days when the volume exceeds 3,200.

       Mr. Strauser continued with the third issue, and said that discussed was
       on the follow-up to passage of Senate Bill 1, water planning for the
       state.  He said the Regional Districts have been formed and the initial
       appointees have been made, Laredo has theirs,
       "M" obviously.  There will be a state wide water plan within two years.
       He said Senate Bill No. 1 is written that you will not have a municipal
       water permit approved unless it is consistent with that reasonable plan
       and that state plan, so that needs monitoring on the next meetings.  He
       expects the Interim Committee makes recommendations of what they perceive
       to be unfinished business of the committee.  He said they might want to
       make a record before that committee.  In referenced to Senate Bill No. 1,
       he said that working in conjunction with Senator Zaffirini and
       Representative Henry Cuellar they would like to attempt to try to bring
       the Conference Committee on water to Laredo and have a hearing here.  It
       is extremely important, it is needed, and he feels that with the support
       of the Senator, the Representative, that of the Mayor and Council he
       feels confident that we might be able to have them here immediately
       addressing the concerns of Laredo, but most importantly of the State of
       Texas.

       One other issue that he mentioned was the taxation issue.  He said that
       certainly taxation and the financing of public education preoccupied the
       last legislative session and had some bill passed or one like it passed
       in the House, it would have greatly expanded the sales tax base.  There
       is possibility that would have increased city revenues.  He said he does
       not really expect to see a major tax bill passed on the next session or
       that they bring those issues back.  He pointed that the committee is on
       the House, appointed, active, and thinks the concerns regarding city
       issues need to be watched closely, and maybe you will possibly want to
       appear before that committee on one of the seven meetings remaining to
       present testimony on the issue and on the need of tax incentives for
       economic development in a border region.

       Mr. Martinez stated that in the tax hearings there has been reference
       made to the border area, to the "Laredo area".  He strongly suggests that
       we play a major role.  In the testimony and in working with committee
       members they can get an invitation to come and address some of the
       concerns brought up, it would be beneficial to have the City of Laredo
       there showing their concern and addressing some of the questions that
       have come up on previous meetings.

       Cm. Bruni stated one of the main issues is water, and wants to make sure
       that the first order of business is pertaining to water.

       Mr. Martinez stated feels it is extremely important that they try to get
       the Conference Committee to come down to Laredo and hold a public hearing
       here.  He said Laredo is a dynamic community, is unique in its own right,
       it is one of the largest communities in the nation, the quickest growing,
       and those factors alone dictate the concern that the committee should
       have with the water needs facing the city and surrounding communities.
       He mentioned Mr. Ron Lewis Chairman of the House and Senator Buster Brown
       from the Senate.  He feels that in representing the city along with the
       council and the community leaders should work with them in trying to
       bring that particular committee to the city and strongly feels that can
       happen.

       Mr. Martinez spoke of another city concern, franchise fee or franchise
       tax, however it is referred.  He said the committee has met they are
       going to hold additional hearings.  There are individuals representing
       the Telecommunications Commission, they have been before the committee
       and have testified.  He added that TML has been responsive in dealing
       with the committee in representing the various municipalities.  It is his
       under-
       standing that at this time the interim report due on March 1st to Lt.
       Governor will primarily be indicating the committee hearings that have
       taken place, the proposed committee sites, and in essence addressing some
       of the concerns that have been brought up, there is no recommendation
       going to be made at this time in the initial report, but he has been told
       by the committee that there will be recommendations and to expect a bill
       to come out of that committee report.

       He spoke on Consolidation of local Governments and housing.
       He reported that the chairman stated that there will not be any
       legislation pertaining to the consolidation of governments.  He is not
       supportive of it, they did hold various hearings
       throughout the state.  In reference to housing, the committee report is
       out, it will be sent to Lt. Governor, and it basically reads the number
       of hearing they have held, their proposals, proposed site, comments, no
       recommendation, and no suggestion at this time on the issue related to
       housing.

       Mr. Pena stated they will be monitoring this items, staff is already
       involved in some these issues, there will come a time within the next
       three months or so when they need to decide what legislative issues we
       want to pursue heavily, so we can give them direction and they can give
       us direction as to how best get those accomplished for 1999.  He said
       that will happen around July, but at any point if council feels there
       some legislative issues they feel are important, to deliver them to him
       and he will deliver them to Mr. Martinez and they will begin formulating
       some kind of strategy so that in July when they have a regrouping they
       will have an understanding of the issues.

       Mr. Martinez concluded by briefing council about "Laredo Day" and the
       purpose of it which is basically to bring Laredo to the attention of the
       State of Texas at the State Capitol.  He said it is an opportunity to
       sell Laredo before the Legislature.

   V.  ADJOURNMENT

       Motion to adjourn.

       Moved : Cm. Valdez
       Second: Cm. Guerra
       For:  6                          Against:  0         Abstain:  0

       Adjournment time: 6:35 p.m.

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE MINUTES CONTAINED IN PAGES 01 TO 07
ARE TRUE, COMPLETE, AND CORRECT PROCEEDINGS OF THE CITY COUNCIL WORKSHOP WITH
THE CITY'S LEGISLATIVE CONSULTANT HELD ON FEBRUARY 25, 1998.  A CERTIFIED COPY
OF MINUTES IS ON FILE AT THE CITY SECRETARY'S OFFICE.



                                        ________________________
                                        GUSTAVO GUEVARA, JR.
                                        CITY SECRETARY

Minutes prepared by:  Delia Rodriguez
Minutes approved on: