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MIN FEB 18 2003 M I N U T E S - CITY OF BEAUMONT Lulu L. Smith, Mayor Pro Tern EVELYN M. LORD, MAYOR Guy N. Goodson Andrew P. Cokinos CITY COUNCIL MEETING Becky Ames Bobbie J. Patterson February 18,2003 Audwin Samuel Lane Nichols, City Attorney Kyle Hayes, City Manager Susan Henderson, City Clerk The City Council of the City of Beaumont, Texas, met in a regular session on February 18, 2003, at the City Hall Council Chambers, 801 Main Street, Beaumont, Texas, at 1:30 p.m. to consider the following: OPENING Invocation Pledge of Allegiance Roll Call Presentations, Recognition and Proclamations Public Comment: Persons may speak on scheduled agenda items Consent Agenda Mayor Evelyn Lord called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. Rev. Michel Pavez, Priest of St. Michael Orthodox Christian Church, led the invocation. Ryan Sheffler, a senior at Monsignor Kelly High School, led the pledge of allegiance. Roll call was made by Susan Henderson, City Clerk. Present at the start of the meeting were: Mayor Lord, Mayor Pro Tern Smith, Councilmembers Goodson, Cokinos, Ames, Samuel and Patterson. Also present was Kyle Hayes, City Manager; Lane Nichols, City Attorney; Susan Henderson, City Clerk; and Tina Broussard, Deputy Clerk. Proclamations, Presentations and Recognitions • A Proclamation was read by Councilmember Bobbie Patterson. The Proclamation was issued to the Texas Society of Professional Engineers in celebration of Engineers Week, to be recognized February 16, 2003 through February 22, 2003. Michele Falgout and Butch Wilson received the Proclamation. • A Proclamation was read by Mayor Evelyn Lord. The Proclamation was issued to recognize the scholastic achievements of Ryan Scheffler, a senior at Monsignor Kelly High School. Ryan has been selected as a candidate in the 2003 Presidential Scholar's Program. This achievement is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating seniors in the United States. Public Comment: Persons were allowed time to speak on Agenda Items No. 1 and 2 under General Business Items and those items listed on the Consent Agenda. None CONSENT AGENDA Approval of minutes - February 11, 2003 Confirmation of committee appointments - Resolution 03-045 Joey Hilliard would be appointed to the Board of Adjustment(Zoning). The term would commence February 18, 2003 and expire February 17, 2005. (Mayor Evelyn M. Lord) Charlotte Wills would be appointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The term would commence February 18, 2003 and expire February 17, 2005. (Councilmember Lulu Smith) Harriet Babineaux would be appointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The term would commence February 18, 2003 and expire February 17, 2005. (Councilmember Andrew P. Cokinos) Terleen Hurst would be appointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The term would commence February 18, 2003 and expire February 17, 2005. (Councilmember Becky Ames) Martha Simien would be appointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The term would commence February 18, 2003 and expire February 17, 2005. (Councilmember Becky Ames) Karen Neild would be reappointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The current term would expire July 24, 2004. (Councilmember Becky Ames) Emma Brown would be reappointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The current term would expire May 11, 2004. (Councilmember Andrew P. Cokinos) Marie Easley would be reappointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The current term would expire February 15, 2004. (Councilmember Andrew P. Cokinos) Lillie Green would be reappointed to the Drug Free Beaumont Commission. The current term would expire March 23, 2004. (Councilmember Andrew P. Cokinos) A) Approve a resolution accepting maintenance of the street, storm sewer, water an sanitary sewer improvements in Willow Creek Country Club Estates Phase I, Section VI Subdivision - Resolution No. 03-046 B) Approve a contract for the purchase of corrugated polyethylene pipe- Resolution No. 03-047 Councilmember Goodson moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Mayor Pro Tern Smith seconded the motion. MOTION PASSED. Ayes: Mayor Lord, Mayor Pro Tern Smith, Councilmembers Goodson, Cokinos, Ames, Samuel and Patterson Nays: None Minutes -February 18,2003 Page 2 GENERAL BUSINESS: 1. Consider approving a resolution authorizing publication of notice of intention to issue $9 million in Certificates of Obligation. Mayor Pro Tern Smith moved to approve Resolution No. 03-048 authorizing publication of notice of intention to issue $9 million in Certificates of Obligation. Councilmember Goodson seconded the motion. MOTION PASSED. Ayes: Mayor Lord, Mayor Pro Tern Smith, Councilmembers Goodson, Cokinos, Ames, Samuel and Patterson Nays: None 2. Consider approving a contract with Beaumont Products and Services, Inc. for arterial litter removal. Councilmember Patterson moved to approve Resolution 03-049 awarding a contract with Beaumont Products and Services, Inc.for providing litter removal services on City rights-of- way and other specified areas in the amount of $11.85 per hour, per person worked. Councilmember Ames seconded the motion. MOTION PASSED. Ayes: Mayor Lord, Mayor Pro Tern Smith, Councilmembers Goodson, Cokinos, Ames, Samuel and Patterson Nays: None WORK SESSION Report from Drainage District No. 6 Richard LeBlanc, General Manager of Drainage District No. 6 and Doug Canant, engineer for Drainage District No. 6 presented to City Council three major improvement projects being proposed for the area of Beaumont drained by the Caldwood Cutoff Canal. Butch Wilson, of Leap Engineering, prepared and presented the Caldwood Cutoff Drainage Study, which was commissioned by the Drainage District in November 2002. This study provided statistical information on this area's current flooding problems, proposed improvements, as well as consequential scenarios if the proposed improvements are not made. The study is attached hereto and made apart of as Exhibit "A." Audio and video tapes are available upon request in the City Clerk's office. Minutes -February 18,2003 Page 3 Presentation relating to the preservation of the Bessie Heights Marsh Tom Bell, who represented Citizens for the Preservation of Bessie Heights, asked City Council to join the Citizens Group and the City of Port Neches in a petition brought against defendants, Kirby Inland Marine, Inc. of Texas and Western Towing Company. The legal action is filed against the two companies in opposition to their plan to construct a barge mooring facility on the Neches River less than Y2 mile East of the City of Port Neches and less than 20 feet from the banks of the wetlands of the Bessie Heights Marsh. The citizen's group consists of citizens from Jefferson and Orange Counties who recreate and live in and around the Neches River and the Bessie Heights Marsh. Mr. Bell requested Council to consider granting a resolution supporting the Citizens for the Preservation of Bessie Heights, if Council would not elect to join the pending legal action. Bessie Heights is part of the Nelda Stark Wildlife Management Area administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and includes 2,500 acres of wetland. In 1999, the Federal and State government along with private partners initiated the restoration of 222 acres of the Bessie Heights Marsh at a cost of almost $1 million. The group's primary concerns against the barge mooring facility are that the facility's operation will damage the local economy, present an environmental hazard and jeopardize the safety and security of Jefferson and Orange County residents, the Marsh, its marine life and wildlife. Audio and video tapes are available upon request in the City Clerk's office. Discuss potential sale of certain park properties Tom Warner, Public Works Director, presented to Council a list of City Parks, proposed by Parks and Recreation staff to be sold. Mr. Warner indicated that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board advised staff to obtain public opinion by presenting the list to citizens when the various neighborhood association meetings are held. Each park on the list was reviewed for sale using certain criteria. Mr. Warner presented Council with a review packet detailing the results of the evaluations made on each park. The review packet is attached hereto and made apart of as Exhibit "B." Audio and video tapes are available upon request in the City Clerk's office. COMMENTS Councilmembers comment on various matters Councilmember Goodson stated he would be in favor of City Council reviewing the City Charter to possibly propose changes in the City Charter regarding the current election process of At Large and Ward Councilmembers. Councilmember Goodson mentioned an article in the Beaumont Enterprise that referenced a longstanding debate about the City's yearly elections. He also stated that other possible Charter changes should also be reviewed because Charter amendments can only be done every three years. Minutes -February 18,2003 Page 4 Mayor Pro Tern Smith - None Councilmember Cokinos congratulated Mayor Lord on being honored as the Woman of the Year, by the Quota International of Southeast Texas. The event honoring Mayor Lord was held on Thursday, February 13, 2003 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Councilmember Ames echoed Councilmember Goodson's comments on the possibility of amending the election process in the City Charter. Councilmember Ames said she supports this idea because she feels in general, most citizens would remember a designated voting day in the month of November. She also felt voter participation would increase by having all Council seats on the ballot at the same time. Councilmember Samuel stated that because a general consensus was apparent among Council to review amending the City Charter's election process,a workshop should be scheduled to facilitate further discussions. Councilmember Samuel also commended City Manager Kyle Hayes on continuing to provide Council with updated information, as well as his continued efforts to find ways to streamline the budget. Councilmember Patterson stated she agreed with the idea to review amending the City Charter regarding the current election process,Councilmember Patterson said she had requested such a review a few years ago.Councilmember Patterson stated previous research indicated that changing the election process,as well as changing Councilmember terms to four yearterms could save the City more than $30,000.00, the amount currently spent to conduct elections annually. Councilmember Patterson also felt that voter participation would be enhanced if the number of elections often held in one year were decreased. Mayor Evelyn Lord agreed with the comments expressed by other Councilmembers that Council should form a Charter review committee may be in order, as well as scheduling a workshop to discuss changing the Charter's current election process. City Manager Kyle Hayes announced the City received more than $3 million for sales tax on February 14, 2003. Mr. Hayes reported the amount was $34,000.00 above the amount budgeted in the year to date collections. City Attorney Lane Nichols stated a Charter Review Committee has been formed when City Charter amendments were warranted. Mr. Nichols said he would research and provide Councilmembers with previous information compiled from past discussions conducted about changing the City's election process. Public Comments (Persons are limited to three minutes) Lindsay Walker 1140 Ivy Lane Beaumont, TX Mr. Walker stated he was representing the City's parks as a Pro Bono Defense Attorney. Mr. Walker said he was against the sale of any City park because of the rich history associated with each one of them. He asked that Council allow various community and social groups volunteer to maintain the parks listed for a proposed sale. He also suggested the City contact various Adult Probation Departments to work out a program where persons sentenced to perform community service forvarious crimes would cut grass and help maintain City parks,thus reducing maintenance costs. Minutes -February 18,2003 Page 5 Verna Fontenot 7415 Oaks Lane Beaumont, TX Mrs. Fontenot addressed Council with her concerns about the final phase of the Concord Road project being completed before the improvements proposed by Drainage District No. 6 for the Caldwood Cutoff Canal are made. Mrs. Fontenot stated she understood from City staff that the final phase of Concord Road would not be finished because City funds are not available. She asked to be informed if the Delaware to Pine Street improvement had been completed. Mrs. Fontenot stated that the heavy flooding experienced in the North End of Beaumont was due to such projects not being finished. She expressed her concern about the dangers currently caused by the Concord Road construction in neighborhood traffic, to the children walking to school, as well as other traffic concerns. Roberto Flores 4520 Buchanan Beaumont, TX Mr. Flores addressed Council about monies allocated by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and approved by City Council in 2001. The funds were allocated for improvement projects to be made at various park sites. He noted that these approved projects had not yet begun. Mr. Flores also stated that the community around Fletcher Mini Park has heavily utilized this park for many years to conduct various events and festivals. He stated improvements for this park had been requested by citizens of this neighborhood to improve how these events are conducted. Mr. Flores said the requested improvements would provide lighting within the park, update current equipment on the park and to provide a proper electrical source. Al Price 3395 Elinor Beaumont, TX Mr. Price invited City Council and all citizens of Beaumont to the annual fund raiser for the home buyer education program of the Southeast Texas Community Development Corporation. Mr. Price indicated that this year's event is being held on Friday, February 28, 2003 at the Julie Rogers Theatre at 7:30 p.m. and will feature two young adults who were born and reared in Beaumont. These young adults have excelled in the art of music. The two featured attractions for this event are Kimbla Beasley, daughter of Reverend O.J. and Maxine Beasley, and Gerald Beckett, son of William and Geraldine Beckett. Alvin Spikes 3210 Roberts Beaumont, TX Mr. Spikes presented a petition to the City Clerk signed by home and business owners, located within the City. Mr. Spikes indicated that these citizens are interested in the buyout program and other home improvement funding programs currently offered by FEMA, for families affected by heavy flooding within the City. Mr. Spikes asked the Mayor to appoint an individual to serve as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Agent and who would help to facilitate this program for citizens needing this aide. Mr. Spikes stated the citizen's group primary concern is for the area extending north to south from Blanchette Street to Washington Boulevard, and east to west from 4th Street to 11th Street, which has flooded on many occasions. Mr. Spikes said many homeowners within this area are no longer allowed to pay the preferred insurance premium by many insurance companies,because of past claims made following heavy flooding. He noted that according to the Texas Community Disaster Relief Fund more than $3 million are available to such home owners and businesses. Minutes -February 18,2003 Page 6 Ron Balmer 32 Avenue of the Oaks Beaumont, TX Mr. Balmer requested Council to have the City's Water Department review the south side of Calder Street and the Avenue of the Oaks residential addition to plan for possible drainage improvements that would alleviate the current flooding and drainage problems in this area. Mr. Balmer noted numerous flooding problems for this side of town and also offered a few suggestions that may decrease stormwater runoff. Kerry James 5040 Chambers Beaumont, TX Mr. James read a letter to the United States Government. Mr. James expressed his opposition to the United States entering into war against the Middle East. Don Ryan 5765 Longwood Beaumont, TX Mr. Ryan commended City staff and the staff of Drainage District No. 6 for the flood improvement proposals presented to City Council. Mr. Ryan stated he has experienced flooding and drainage problems in the past, and looks forward to the relief to be provided by the proposed improvements. Michael Getz 1190 Shakespeare Beaumont, TX Mr. Getz told Council that he was on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. He stated that the board members had taken a bus tour of various parks within the City, including those parks earmarked to be sold. The tour was conducted so Board members could personally view how well the parks were being used and to inspect equipment located on each park. Mr. Getz stated he was alarmed by the list presented to Council of those parks identified to be sold. He stated that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board had voted unanimously to retain Weiss Park, Ida Reed Park and Jacob Park for public use. Kathryn Phelan 2460 Long Beaumont, TX Mrs. Phelan also expressed her opposition to the proposed sale of any City parks. Mrs. Phelan stated that she did not understand how the City could sell many of these parks since many were donated to the City. She noted that her family, as well the Old Town neighborhood, uses Ida Reed Park. Mrs. Phelan also suggested that Council and staff consider allowing various garden, social and community groups adopt various parks within the City to beautify and maintain them. Dotie Westerfield 2401 Evalon Beaumont, TX Mrs. Westerfield suggested that an arrangement be made with various community groups to maintain those parks identified to be sold,similar to the agreement St.Anne's Catholic School has with the City. The agreement allows the school to maintain the park adjacent to their school in exchange for the use of the park. Mrs. Westerfield also questioned how some of the parks earmarked for the proposed sale were allowed to reach a deteriorated state. Minutes -February 18,2003 Page 7 With no further business, Council meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m. Audio and video tapes are available upon request in the City Clerk's Office. Mayor Evelyn Llprd — 11,0AA, JIflmIJJ.4Ca2I, Susa a rs i rk Minutes -February 18,2003 Page 8