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MIN OCT 25 2005 M I N U T E S - CITY OF BEAUMONT Lulu L. Smith, Ward I GUY N. GOODSON, MAYOR Nancy Beaulieu, Ward If Andrew P. Cokinos, At-Large CITY COUNCIL MEETING Becky Ames,At-Large Audwin Samuel, Mayor Pro Tem, Ward III October 25, 2005 Bobbie J. Patterson, Ward IV Tyrone E. Cooper, City Attorney Kyle Hayes, City Manager Rose Ann Jones, City Clerk The City Council of the City of Beaumont, Texas, met in a regular session on October 25, 2005, 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 and Recognition * Public Comment: Persons may speak on the Consent Agenda * Consent Agenda Mayor Goodson called the council meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. Pastor Frederick Mattox of the House of Refuge Baptist Church gave the invocation. Mayor Pro Tern Samuel led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was made by Rose Ann Jones, City Clerk. Present at the meeting were Mayor Goodson, Mayor Pro Tern Samuel, Councilmembers Smith, Beaulieu, Ames (arrived at 1:35 p.m.) and Patterson. Absent: Councilmember Cokinos. Also present were Kyle Hayes, City Manager; Tyrone Cooper, City Attorney; Rose Ann Jones, City Clerk. Proclamations, Presentations, Recognitions Presentations on Hurricane Rita Recovery: *Report by Chief Micky Bertrand - Emergency Management Coordinator; update on evacuees returning *Report by Kerrick Henry - SBC update; approximately 700 customers not connected *Report by Gary Underwood - Time Warner/Roadrunner update; 90% restored Public Comment: Persons may speak on the Consent Agenda. None CONSENT AGENDA * Approval of minutes - Minutes of October 18, 2005 * Confirmation of committee appointments - None Minutes-October 25,2005 A) Approve an agreement for the placement of fiber optic cable in the public right-of-way - Resolution 05-217 Councilmember Ames made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Councilmember Beaulieu seconded the motion. AYES: MAYOR GOODSON, MAYOR PRO TEM SAMUEL, COUNCILMEMBERS SMITH, BEAULIEU,AMES AND PATTERSON NAYS: NONE MOTION PASSED GENERAL BUSINESS 1. PUBIC HEARING: Receive comments regarding the reallocation of funds from the 2004 Consolidated Block Grant Program for Some Other Place, Southeast Texas Food Bank and the Salvation Army Staff recommended Council conduct a public hearing to receive comments and approve a proposal to reallocate $75,000 from the 2004 Consolidated Block Grant Program, Infrastructure line item, to Some Other Place($25,000), Southeast Texas Food Bank ($25,000) and the Salvation Army ($25,000), in order to assist with disaster relief efforts. Public Hearing was opened at 1:50 p.m. and closed at 1:52 p.m. with no citizen comments. Consider approving the reallocation of the funds from the 2004 Consolidated Block Grant Program for Some Other Place, Southeast Texas Food Bank and the Salvation Army - Resolution 05-218 Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Rita, the Administration proposes reallocating funds to public service organizations that are providing disaster relief to Beaumont residents. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") has waived the mandatory 15% cap on public services expenditures to enable affected entitlement cities to use their available funding to assist with disaster relief efforts. Funding is available from the 2004 Consolidated Grant Program. Mayor Pro Tern Samuel moved to APPROVE RESOLUTION 05-218 AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO REALLOCATE$75,000 FROM THE 2004 CONSOLIDATED BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM,INFRASTRUCTURE LINE ITEM,TO SOME OTHER PLACE($25,000,SOUTHEAST TEXAS FOOD BANK($25,000),AND THE SALVATION ARMY($25,000,IN ORDER TO ASSIST WITH DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS. Councilmember Smith seconded the motion. AYES: MAYOR GOODSON, MAYOR PRO TEM SAMUEL, COUNCILMEMBERS SMITH, BEAULIEU,AMES AND PATTERSON Page 2 of 7 Minutes-October 25,2005 NAYS: NONE MOTION PASSED 2. PUBLIC HEARING: Receive comments regarding the reallocation of funds from the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Consolidated Block Grant Programs for the administration of an Emergency Repair Program WORKSESSION - Discuss the reallocation of funds from the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Consolidated Block Grant Programs Consider approving the reallocation of funds from the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Consolidated Block Grant Programs for the administration of an Emergency Repair Program The Worksession for the City Council was held from 1:55 p.m. until 2:43 p.m. At this time, Council had a chance to discuss among themselves and with other city staff members the process of this allocation of funds. Representatives from staff included Janett Lewis and Max Duplant as well as Tyrone Cooper for legal concerns. Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Rita, the Administration proposed implementing an Emergency Repair Program, in order to provide urgent Community Development and Housing assistance to homeowners and small businesses impacted by this storm. The Emergency Repair Program would provide grants to homeowners for repairs that are of an urgent need, with first priority given to persons age 62 and above who are also disabled. Second priority would be to persons age 62 and above. Third priority would be to persons who are disabled. Grants would also be available to small businesses for urgent repairs that have deemed the business inoperable. The $765,312 may be allocated by City Council for Residential Emergency Repair, Small Business Emergency Repair and Tenant- Based Rental Assistance. Funding is available from the 1998 (Small Business Revolving Loan Fund - $258,000), 2000 (Charlton-Pollard Park-$127,058; Charlton Pollard Strip Center- $126,000), 2002 (Acquisition - $85,376; Infrastructure - $53,878), 2003 (Infrastructure - $100,000) and 2004 (Infrastructure - $15,000) Consolidated Grant Programs. The Public Hearing was held following the Worksession starting at 2:44 p.m. and ending at 2:50 p.m. Staff recommended Council conduct a public hearing to receive comments and approve a proposal to reallocate funds from the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Consolidated Block Grant Programs totaling $765,312 which would allow for the administration of an Emergency Repair Program based upon urgent need. Page 3 of 7 Minutes-October 25,2005 Public Comments: Rosetta Jones 2137 Orange, PO Box 1008 Beaumont TX Excited about the prospect of fund money being available to those in need; suggested that perhaps some matching funds might be available and suggested CHDO's as a possible source Joseph Lewis Box 62 Beaumont TX Spoke in favor of this program and has always been in favor of rehabilitation of homes instead of demolishing homes; would like to see some safeguards put in place to protect the homeowners Priscilla Hunt 3523 Westmoreland Beaumont TX Resident of the Pear Orchard area and is pleased that the City is doing something to benefit those who really need help especially the long time homeowners Following the Worksession and the Public Hearing, City Council decided to defer this agenda item until more information could be made available. 3. PUBLIC HEARING: Receive comments regarding CenterPoint Energy's request to increase rates within the City of Beaumont service area Administration recommended Council conduct a public hearing to hear statements from representatives of CenterPoint Energy and the City of Beaumont, as well as citizens' comments on CenterPoint's previously filed request for a rate increase. On Tuesday, October 18, 2005, Council scheduled a public hearing for today, October 25, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. to receive statements and citizen comments on CenterPoint's request for a rate increase in the City of Beaumont service area. CenterPoint was provided a copy of the resolution calling the public hearing and a separate letter was faxed and mailed notifying the company of the hearing. Brad Tutunjian, representing CenterPoint Energy,gave a brief statement stating that their lawyers have reviewed the resolution passed by the City and that it proposes several legal issues. He stated that some of these issues were already addressed in a letter dated October 21, 2005, sent by CenterPoint to Mr. Jim Boyle and our City Attorney on this matter. It is the opinion of CenterPoint Energy's lawyers that the time period within which this city initiated the hearing of CenterPoint Energy's proposed rate has expired, CenterPoint Energy did not want to offend anybody by not attending this meeting and for that reason and out of respect for this City and its Council is the reason why he is here today. The consequences of the city's resolution noticing the hearing as well as all other issues related to CenterPoint's Energy Statement of Intent are matters for the lawyers to address. CenterPoint Energy did publish notice in the Beaumont Enterprise for four consecutive weeks as fully required by law. The Railroad Commission filing has no affect on the city's responsibility to make a decision regarding CenterPoint Energy's rate request within this statutory time period which ends November 2, 2005. Page 4 of 7 Minutes-October 25,2005 Daniel Lawton, representing the City of Beaumont and the Coalition of Cities, gave a brief statement to address a few of the issues regarding the CenterPoint Energy's rate case. Some important facts that should be considered are all the cities in the coalition have original jurisdiction over the rates and services of the utilities that serve within the municipal boundaries of Beaumont. When you ask for a rate increase you must publish a notice to the public of the proposed increase, CenterPoint never published such a notice. They published a Notice of Intent to Change Rates. The Notice is not done correctly. They did not publish all the information necessary as required by law. Without proper notice to the public, the case is void. This notice is not proper. He is asking the company to re-file the case, give proper notice to the public and let everything move on. Another important part of this case is the base year used for rates. The test year the company is using is well over a year old. They are suppose to use the most recent calendar year quarter available. The company filed some information recently that showed that the updated costs to the City's system has gone down over two million dollars. CenterPoint Energy does not intend to answer any questions about its updated data and refuses to do so. Mr. Lawton also included some invoices from CenterPoint Energy which are extravagant. He stated that right now he feels the company's case is pragmatic with winter gas prices rising around the country and customers are going to see increases in their bills. He has recommended and the City has recommended by passing the ordinance, that they update their test year, fix the problems and then everybody can look at it. Public Comments: Frank Kiefer 3190 Willowood Drive Beaumont TX Asked that Council to strongly consider denying this rate increase Raquel E. Morel 2556 Broadway Street Beaumont TX Opposed against the increase in gas rates at this time This hearing will continue as a "Hearing in Progress" and all parties will be given notice of the date and time that this hearing will be continued. COUNCILMEMBER COMMENTS COUNCILMEMBER SMITH - NONE COUNCILMEMBER BEAULIEU - NONE COUNCILMEMBER AMES - NONE MAYOR PRO TEM SAMUEL - GAVE A REPORT ON HIS OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF BEAUMONT ON HOMELAND SECURITY WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; FEELS THAT FIRST RESPONDERS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE THE AUTHORITY AND SHOULD BE THE ONES TO RESPOND Page 5 of 7 Minutes-October 25,2005 AND PLAN NOT ONLY FOR MAN MADE DISASTERS BUT ALSO NATURAL DISASTERS; FEELS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS RECEPTIVE TO LEAVING RESPONSE EFFORTS LOCALLY AND THAT THEY WOULD WORK IN CONJUNCTION WITH US TO PROVIDE US WITH THOSE NECESSITIES AFTER AND DURING A DISASTER COUNCILMEMBER PATTERSON - EARLY VOTING HAS ALREADY BEGUN FOR THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS, THE ELECTION WILL BE HELD NOVEMBER 8T"; REMINDED CITIZENS NOT TO COVER THEIR FURNACE VENTS WITH A TARP AS THIS COULD CAUSE A FIRE OR CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING; COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS CITY ATTORNEY COOPER- NONE CITY MANAGER HAYES - NONE MAYOR GOODSON- ANNOUNCED THAT THE NATIONAL BUILDING CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION HAS PUBLISHED SOME UPDATES ON CONTRACTORS IN OUR AREA AND SUGGESTS THAT CITIZENS PURCHASE A CO DETECTOR; REMINDED CITIZENS THAT REPAIRS DONE TO YOUR HOME MUST BE INSPECTED BY OFFICIAL BUILDING INSPECTORS NOT ONLY TO PROTECT YOU NOW BUT ALSO TO PROTECT YOU IN THE FUTURE WITH YOUR WINDSTORM INSURANCE; CONTINUING EFFORTS ARE MADE IN FUNDING EFFORTS Public Comments (Persons are limited to three minutes) Raquel E. Morel 2556 Broadway Street Beaumont TX Wants to know what is being done about trees on sidewalks and who is responsible for their removal and what is available to the citizens Frank Kiefer 3190 Willowood Drive Beaumont TX Concerned about the razing of City Hall and the Civic Center; feels that the people should have a vote in this matter; read letter received by former Mayor Myers; hoped that Andrew Cokinois would return soon W. David Atkins 3940 Cheryl Beaumont TX Expressed thanks to the Mayor for his excellent work during Hurricane Rita; concerned about the rezoning of West Haven Subdivision single family by zone to ensure the privacy of the current owners Darya Pierce PO Box 9075 Beaumont TX Originally an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina; received rental assistance by the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission and upon evacuation from Hurricane Rita, the Page 6 of 7 Minutes-October 25,2005 apartment she was renting was damaged and no longer habitable and rental assistance is no longer available and she no longer has any place to live Louis Vaughn 9615 Mapes Beaumont TX Came in reference to the tenet rental assistant for evacuees and knows that there is emergency assistance available to them, has talked with the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission and knows that there is a plan in place for the monies but it has to come through a municipality Joseph Lewis PO Box 62 Beaumont TX Felt that the evacuation and hurricane situation was handled pretty good for the most part even though there were some areas that need improvement; main reason for speaking today was concern for an elderly women who is in a wheelchair who returned from evacuation and dropped off at her home which was inhabitable and just left there, tried to get some help from officials with no avail but finally Calvary Baptist Church is going to fix her damages; feels that downtown development needs to be postponed at this time due to the cost factor; feels that some sort of financing program needs to be made available Open session of meeting recessed at 3:30 p.m. EXECUTIVE SESSION Consider matters related to contemplated or pending litigation in accordance with Section 551.071 of the Government Code: Fuqua General Contractors, Inc. v City of Beaumont and Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. Consider matters related to employment, evaluation and duties of a public officer or employee in accordance with Section 551.074 of the Government Code: City Attorney City Manager There being no action taken in Executive Session, Council adjourned. Audio to es are available upon request in the City Clerk's Office. Guy N. Goodson, Mayor � '`�MCNT�10,' Rose Ann Jones, TRMC ,� City Clerk 2 r o#0 Page 7 of 7 Minutes-October 25,2005