View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

The City Council of the City of Taylor met on August 11, 2005, at City Hall, 400 Porter St., Taylor, Texas.  Mayor Don Hill declared a quorum and called the special meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following present:

 

Mayor Don Hill                                                            City Manager Frank Salvato

Mayor Pro Tem John McDonald                                  City Clerk, Susan Brock

Council Member Rod Hortenstine                                 City Attorney, Ted Hejl       

Council Member Bernabe Gonzales

Council Member Ella Jez

 

INVOCATION

Police Chief Jeff Straub led the group in prayer.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

CITIZENS COMMUNICATION

No citizens came forward at this time.

CONSENT AGENDA

1.         MINUTES FROM JULY 14, JULY 21, AND JULY 26, 2005.


Mayor Pro Tem McDonald made a motion to accept the minutes as presented and Council member Hortenstine seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

REGULAR AGENDA – REVIEW/DISCUSS & CONSIDER/ACTION:

2.         PRESENTATION BY KEEP TAYLOR BEAUTIFUL TO RECOGNIZE THE CITY OF TAYLOR AS A KEEP TEXAS BEAUTIFUL GOLD STAR AFFILIATE.

Miles Baska, President of Keep Taylor Beautiful, Lee Anderson, and Jonathan Kamenicky presented an award to the Mayor and City Council recognizing the City of Taylor as a Gold Star Affiliate of the Keep Texas Beautiful Organization.  The award is given to cities who have implemented community programs to prevent litter, minimize solid waste, beautify public areas, and to educate citizens. 

 

3.         CONSIDER EMPLOYEE AND RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS.


Starla Hall, Director of Human Resources, presented Council with information regarding several health benefits options for both employees and retirees as a result of recent bids received.    Only three bids were received and staff believes that the bid submitted by Scott & White is the best one for the City based on services and costs.  Scott & White is offering three plans:  the Current Custom plan, Plan 20, and Consumer Choice Plan 30.  Ms. Hall met with 79 of the 126 current employees to explain the different plans being presented and how much of an increase each one would be.  They were asked to complete a survey form indicating which plan they prefer and the majority of respondents selected the Current Custom Plan without any deductible.
 
a)  Based on the survey results and Council opinion, Mayor Pro Tem McDonald made a motion to select the Current Plan without Deductible and to also offer employees the Consumer Plan 30 for the 2005/2006 Fiscal Year.  Council member Gonzales seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.  Council also supported an option for employees to retain the dollar amount difference from what the city pays under the current plan or to apply it to the premium of any other employee benefit selected if the cost is less than the Current Plan. 

b)  Ms. Hall also provided council with information regarding alternative plans for retirees including a separate pool or a “blended” option.  Based on the information and figures presented, Mayor Pro Tem McDonald made a motion to keep the retirees in a separate pool and Council member Jez seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

c)  In a separate motion, Mayor Pro Tem McDonald made a motion to continue to pay the full premium for the current retirees but beginning with new retirees entering the plan to only pay the same amount designated for the active employees.  Council member Hortenstine seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Four voted AYE; One voted NO= Council member Gonzales.

d)  Council also agreed to continue to keep the current policy of extending health benefits for retirees for five years or until they reach the age of 65.

 

4.         CONSIDER AWARDING HOME GRANT TO NEW RECIPIENT.

Bob VanTil, Director of Community Development, presented background information on the HOME grant program and the current status of the recipients list.  The grant is administered through the City by James Conquest of Leo Woods and Associates, our grant administrator.  Since the grant was awarded, one of the recipients, Mrs. Henderson, has passed away and the Committee was able to reconsider an “8th Recipient” to receive an award.    The Committee asked Mr. Conquest to revisit the two applicants who they ranked as next in line.  Committee members received his information and made a recommendation to select Mrs. Strather at 120 Royal Street as the next recipient of the HOME grant award.  As per the Committee’s recommendation, Mayor Pro Tem McDonald made a motion to award the next HOME Grant award to Mrs. Ray Ella Strather and Council member Jez seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

 

5.         CONSIDER PURCHASE OF NEW LIGHTING FOR ROBINSON PARK BASEBALL FIELDS.

Mr. Salvato presented a request to purchase new lighting for the baseball field at Robinson Park.  It appears the light poles and equipment are no longer serviceable due to their age and condition.  Mr. Salvato presented an estimate of costs to replace only the broken bulbs at this time to provide lighting immediately for any night games.  Ultimately, staff recommend replacing the existing poles and lighting with new equipment.  However, the cost for replacement exceeds $25,000 and the project will have to go out for bid and require the field to be out of use while the repairs are being made.  Members from the local soft ball league were present and urged council to take action as soon as possible due to the popularity of the fields.  Council member Gonzales made it clear that anything less than complete replacement of the faulty equipment would be unsatisfactory to him.  Mayor Pro Tem McDonald expressed his concern that staff follow the Parks Plan recommendations for any improvements at the City Parks and that any monies spent on the light repairs be considered as part of the total monies targeted for the entire Robinson Park improvement plan.  Council member Jez made a motion to replace the eleven bulbs immediately and begin the process of prioritizing the needs outlined in the Murphy and Robinson Park Plans and have Hall Bargainer present a proposal to replace the poles and lights.  Council member Hortenstine seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Three voted AYE (Jez, Hortenstine, Hill) and two voted NO:  (Gonzales and McDonald).

 

6.         AD VALOREM TAX RATE AND 2005-2006 BUDGET

·             ESTABLISH UPPER LIMIT OF THE AD VALOREM TAX RATE AND TAKE RECORD VOTE, TO BE DISCUSSED AT A PUBLIC HEARING.

·             DESIGNATE THE DAY TIME, AND PLACE OF A PUBLIC HEARING ON AD VALOREM TAX RATE AND 2005-2006 BUDGET


Staff presented council with a chart detailing the impact of ad valorem tax rates and the effect they would have on the 2005/2006 Fiscal Year Budget.  After reviewing the data presented, Council member Hortenstine made a motion to set the upper limit of the ad valorem tax rate for 2205/2006 at 0.7865 and Council member Jez seconded the motion.  RECORD VOTE:

 

                  Mayor Hill                                                                      Aye

                  Mayor Pro Tem McDonald                                             Aye

                  Council member Jez                                                        Aye

                  Council member Gonzales                                               Aye

                  Council member Hortenstine                                            Aye

 

Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

 

Council member Jez made a motion to set the dates for the public hearings for August 23 and August 30, 2005 to be held at City Hall, 400 Porter Street, at 6:00 pm.  Mayor Pro Tem McDonald seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

 

7.         CONSIDER REIMBURSEMENT RESOLUTION R05-26 TO REIMBURSE FOR CERTAIN COSTS.


Mr. Salvato presented a Resolution addressing the need for staff to move forward with the planning and design for the street repairs and utility line relocation around the new fire station and park improvements (which may include an indoor recreational facility).  Prior to spending funds that might be received from a future Certificate of Obligation Bond issue, Council is required to adopt a reimbursement resolution.  However, adopting the resolution does not obligate the City to proceed with these projects.   Mayor Pro Tem McDonald expressed his concern about repairing these streets near the new fire station while other residential streets are also in need of repair.  Mr. Salvato reminded council that there is a Street Rehabilitation Program in place to rank the needs for street repairs and that it is reviewed annually.  Continued discussion led to a comment that it could become a safety issue for the fire trucks if the streets are in disrepair as the trucks leave the new station.  Council member Hortenstine made a motion to approve Resolution R05-26 and Council member Jez seconded the motion.  VOTE:  Five voted AYE.  Motion passed.

 

8.         EXECUTIVE SESSIONS:  The Taylor City Council will hold closed executive meetings 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 deliberate the offer of financial or other incentives to the business prospect; and Section  551.071 of the Texas Government Code in order to meet with its City Attorney on a matter in which the duty of the Attorney to the governmental body under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas authorize and allow such a closed meeting and which Rules conflict with the Texas Open Meetings Act.


Mayor Hill Mayor Hill closed the public meeting pursuant to Section 551.071 and Section 551.087 of the Texas Government Code to adjourn into executive session.

 

9.         ACTION ON EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Mayor Hill called the meeting back to order at 8:37 pm and announced that there was no action taken during the Executive Sessions. 

ADJOURN

With no further business, the council meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

 

                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                         _________________________

                                                                                                                                                         Donald R. Hill, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

___________________________

Susan Brock, City Clerk