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The City Council of the City of Taylor met on August 14, 2008 at City Hall, 400 Porter St., Taylor, Texas.  Mayor Hortenstine declared a quorum and called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following present:

 

Mayor Pro Tem Ella Jez                                      Frank Salvato, City Manager

Council Member Bernabe Gonzales                    Assistant City Manager, Jim Dunaway

Council Member Don Hill                                   City Attorney, Ted Hejl

Council Member John McDonald                       City Clerk, Susan Brock

INVOCATION

Mr. Danny Thomas led the group in prayer.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

CITIZENS COMMUNICATION

Sharon and Brad Toups who reside at 516 W. 5th Street in Taylor addressed the Council regarding a request to amend the Animal Ordinance with respect to the new restrictions on raising fowl, specifically chickens, within the city limits.

CONSENT AGENDA

1.      MINUTES FOR JULY 17, JULY 22, JULY 31, AND AUGUST 5, 2008.
Council Member Hill moved to approve the minutes as presented and Council Member McDonald seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted Aye.  Motion passed.

REGULAR AGENDA – REVIEW/DISCUSS & CONSIDER/ACTION:

2.      RECOGNIZE MEMBERS OF THE DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD SUBCOMMITTEE. 
Mayor Hortenstine presented certificates of appreciation to members of the Downtown Neighborhood Subcommittee which included Ed Komandosky, Scott Green, and Gayle Collins.  Members not present included Kent Kostka, Claire Maxwell, Shane Polach, and Sue Tilden.

3.      CONDUCT FIRST PUBLIC HEARING ON 2008/2009 AD VALOREM TAX RATE AND DISCUSS 2008/2009 BUDGET
Ms. Rosemarie Dennis, Finance Director, and Ms. Starla Hall, Human Resources Director, presented additional information regarding revenues and personnel issues.  Mr. Salvato stated that there were three positions in need of reclassification and, if approved, changes would be postponed until April when sales tax revenues could be reevaluated with salary regrades for police dispatcher positions effective October 1.    Mayor Hortenstine called the Public Hearing open; with no public comment, the hearing was closed.  Mayor Hortenstine restated that the Council has set the maximum effective rate at 0.79, the same as last year with no increase for fiscal year 2008/2009.

4.      CONDUCT PUBLIC HEARING AND CONSIDER INTRODUCING ORDINANCE 2008-25 TO REZONE PROPERTY OWNED BY EDWARD RAY TEALER, SR. LOCATED AT 1013 TO 1019 SCOTT STREET, ALSO KNOWN AS BLOCK 1, LOTS 19-22, CITY OF TAYLOR, FROM LIGHT INDUSTRIAL (M-1) TO SINGLE FAMILY (R-1). 
Mr. John Elsden, City Planner, presented a request from Mr. Edward Tealer, Sr. to rezone his properties in order for him to expand his single family residence.  Mr. Tealer was present to respond to any questions.  With no further discussion, Mayor Hortenstine asked Mr. Hejl to read the caption of the ordinance and declared Ordinance 2008-25 introduced.

                 

ORDINANCE 2008-25

 

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE OFFICIAL ZONING MAP ADOPTED BY ORDINANCE NO. 2001-17 BY THE CITY OF TAYLOR, TEXAS ON APRIL 24, 2001, AS HERETOFORE AMENDED, BY CHANGING THE CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY DESCRIBED AS BLOCK 1 LOTS 19 THROUGH 22, SITUATED IN THE ALEXANDER ADDITION, CITY OF TAYLOR, LOCATED AT 1013 TO 1019 SCOTT STREET, FROM LIGHT INDUSTRIAL (M-1) TO SINGLE FAMILY (R-1).

       

5.      CONSIDER RENEWING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH BENETEX GROUP.  
Ms. Starla Hall, Director of Human Resources, presented an overview of the services provided by BeneTex and a request to renew their agreement for two years.  She reminded Council that they have continually provided exceptional service and that their consulting fee has remained the same since 2003.  This year they successfully renegotiated health insurance rates for City employees to a lower rate, saving both the City and the employee money with regards to health insurance premiums.
 
Council Member McDonald moved to renew the professional services agreement with BeneTex for two years and Council Member Gonzales seconded he motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

6.      CONSIDER HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR CITY EMPLOYEES.
Ms. Hall presented an overview of health and dental insurance benefits for City employees.  Mayor Pro Tem Jez moved to accept the plan as presented, enter into agreement with Scott and White for one year and to apply $81.25 to employee salary as an incentive for those who choose to enroll in the Consumer Choice Health Plan.  Council Member Hill seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

7.      CONSIDER TIME WARNER DIGITAL CONVERSION OF LOCAL ACCESS CHANNEL 10.  
Mr. Salvato presented information regarding an announcement from Time Warner that they would be migrating Channel 10 from an analog broadcast to a digital broadcast as early as August 11.  Additionally, they advised that a digital converter box would be required and would only be provided free for one year when at the end of the first year customers would be charged $6.99/month to keep the box and to continue to receive access to Channel 10.  Ms. Patty Gonzales, Director of Government Affairs for Time Warner, was present to respond to questions and concerns.  She indicated that perhaps up to fifty percent of their customers could be affected.  Council expressed their concern for the mandatory charge after one year and the loss of access to city information by citizens who do not opt to pay for the converter box.

Mayor Pro Tem Jez moved to deny the Time Warner digital conversion for Channel 10 and Council Member Hill seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.


8.      CONSIDER INTRODUCING ORDINANCE 2008-24 ELECTING FOR THE CITY TO MAKE CURRENT SERVICE AND PRIOR SERVICE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CITY’S ACCOUNT IN THE MUNICIPAL ACCUMULATION FUND OF THE TEXAS MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TMRS) AT THE ACTUARIALLY DETERMINED RATE OF TOTAL EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION.
Ms. Rosemarie Dennis, Finance Director, presented a request for permission to increase contributions to the retirement fund due to a recent change in the TMRS actuarial tables.  The proposed ordinance would allow the City to impose its own limit on the contribution rate by using its discretion in determining which potential plan improvements to adopt based on the calculated contribution rate.  By removing the statutory rate limit of 11.50% the City’s full contribution rate for 2009 will be 12.75%. 


           
Without further discussion, Mayor Hortenstine asked Mr. Hejl to read the caption of the               ordinance and declared Ordinance 2008-24 introduced. 

 

ORDINANCE NO. 2008-24

 

AN ORDINANCE ELECTING FOR THE CITY TO MAKE CURRENT SERVICE AND PRIOR SERVICE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CITY’S ACCOUNT IN THE MUNICIPAL ACCUMULATION FUND OF THE TEXAS MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM AT THE ACTUARIALLY DETERMINED RATE OF TOTAL EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION.

             

 

9.      CONSIDER REQUEST FROM AIRPORT ADVISORY BOARD TO HOST FLY-IN WITH MOTOR SPORTS VENUE ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2008 AT THE TAYLOR MUNICIPAL AIRPORT.
Mr. Danny Thomas, Director of Public Works, presented a request from the Airport Advisory Board to permit a new expanded version of the annual Fly In which would include a classic car show this year.   He emphasized that plans are underway to insure that safety and traffic concerns are addressed early on.  Mr. Dayton Dabbs, member of the Airport Advisory Board, was present to respond to questions.  The hope is to attract larger interest in the event by expanding the venue.

Council Member Hill moved to approve the Fly-In program as presented and Council Member McDonald seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

10.  CONSIDER INTRODUCING ORDINANCE 2008-26 AMENDING SIGN ORDINANCE TO ADD SIGN DEFINITIONS.
Mr. Elsden presented a request to consider an amendment to the existing Sign Ordinance in order to better define two specific types of signs:  Swinging and mailbox signs.  Without further discussion Mayor Hortenstine asked Mr. Hejl to read the caption of the ordinance and declared Ordinance 2008-26 introduced. 


 

ORDINANCE 2008-26

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TAYLOR, TEXAS, AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 2008-20 TO ADD DEFINITIONS FOR SIGNS WITHIN THE DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD ZONING DISTRICT; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE.

     

11.  CONSIDER AMENDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GRANT AGREEMENT WITH TCAT FOUNDATION FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE EAST WILLIAMSON COUNTY HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER (EWCHEC).
Mr. Salvato presented a request to consider amending the agreement approved by Council at the July 22, 2008 meeting regarding the funding of EWCHEC.  The original agreement committed the city to an annual contribution of $100,000 for 20 years to assist TCAT with debt service payments on the first building.  Since that meeting, a concern has been raised that the annual bond payment will not be sufficient to build the first 25,000 square foot building.  This amendment would increase the City’s annual contribution to $125,000.  

Council Member Gonzales moved to amend the Economic Development Agreement as presented with the City contribution increased to $125,000 and Mayor Pro Tem Jez seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

12.  CONSIDER REQUEST FOR THE CITY TO BECOME A MEMBER OF TRANSPORTATION EXCELLENCE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (TEX-21) ORGANIZATION.
Mr. Dunaway presented a request from the TEX-21 Organization for the City of Taylor to become a member.  This group concentrates on transportation issues and transportation public policy at a “grass roots” level.  Membership fees are based on population and the City of Taylor membership fee would be $2,500.  Some council members were familiar with the group and their efforts and opted not to join at this time.

Council Member McDonald moved to deny membership in the TEX-21 organization and Council Member Hill seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

13.  CONSIDER APPROVING RESOLUTION R08-10 SUPPORTING THE DISCONTINUATION OF THE DIVERSION OF TRANSPORTATION USER REVENUES TO NON-TRANSPORTATION USES AND THE APPROPRIATION OF ALL REVENUE GENERATED FROM HIGHWAY USER FEES AND TAXES TO FUND TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS.
Mr. Dunaway presented a letter from Mayor David Dorman, City of Melissa, Texas, requesting support in the form of a resolution on a transportation funding issue.  Mayor Dorman’s concern is for cities to join forces and to request that the Texas Legislature end the appropriation of the State highway fund for other non-related State expenses.  Council agreed with the concept but would like to see the issue addressed in a unified manner by the Texas Municipal League rather than city by city.  

Council agreed to pass on this item and seek input from the Texas Municipal League before proceeding.

14.  EXECUTIVE SESSION.  The Taylor City Council will hold a closed executive meeting pursuant to the provisions of the Open Meetings Law, Chapter 551, Government Code, in accordance with the authority contained in Section 551.087 to discuss or deliberate regarding commercial and/or financial information on a business prospect that the City of Taylor, Texas seeks to have locate, stay, or expand in or near the city of Taylor, Texas and with which the City of Taylor, Texas is conducting economic development negotiations and/or to deliberate the offer of financial or other incentives to the business prospect.

15.  CONSIDER ACTION FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION.
Council met in Executive Session beginning at 7:23 p.m.  Mayor Hortenstine reconvened the meeting into Open Session at 7:38 p.m. and stated that no action was taken during any of the Executive Sessions.

ADJOURN

      With no further business; Mayor Hortenstine adjourned the meeting at 7:38 p.m.


                                                                                                     

                                                                                                      ___________________________

                                                                                                      Rod Hortenstine, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

___________________________

Susan Brock, City Clerk