City of Nederland Logo
City of Nederland Don Albanese, Mayor
Billy Neal, Mayor Pro Tem
Talmadge Austin, Councilmember
Emmett Hollier, Councilmember
Sylvia Root, Councilmember
Christopher Duque, City Manager

P.O. Box 967 * Nederland, Texas 77627 * 409.723.1503 * Fax 409.723.1550
 

Meeting Minutes from Monday, November 27, 2006

REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE

CITY OF NEDERLAND

6:00 p.m. November 27, 2006
  1. MEETING

    The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor R. A. Nugent at the Nederland City Office Building, 1400 Boston Avenue, Nederland, Texas. See attached for quorum.

  2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

    A motion was made by Councilmember Sheffield and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin to approve the minutes of the November 13, 2006 meeting as written. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  3. PROCLAMATION

    Mayor Nugent read a Proclamation declaring November 27, 2006 as "John and Stephen Darby Day" in Nederland. The Proclamation was presented to commend the children on their heroic efforts to save their family during a recent fire in their home.

    A motion was made by Mayor Nugent and seconded by Councilmember Sheffield to approve the Proclamation declaring November 27, 2006 as "John and Stephen Darby Day" in Nederland, Texas. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  4. LICENSE TO ENCROACH

    A motion was made by Mayor Nugent and seconded by Councilmember Neal to postpone approving Resolution No. 2006-13, authorizing a License to Encroach at 907 - 30th Street and authorizing the City Manager to sign the document if a variance is granted by the City. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  5. PUBLIC HEARING

    A motion was made by Councilmember Rogers and seconded by Councilmember Neal to approve calling for a Joint Public Hearing between the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission to be held January 22, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. regarding the rezoning the property described as Lots 1 thru 10, Block 2, J. D. Ford Addition, from Light Industrial to Single-Family Residential Zoning. Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  6. ORDINANCE

    André Wimer, City Manager, explained that proposed Ordinance No. 2006-16, utility rates and regulations, was drafted in order to correct an error in calculations. The most significant proposed change involves the manner in which customers with a single meter that serves multiple units (apartments, trailer parks, shopping centers, etc.) will be billed. Currently, such customers are assessed a single minimum bill charge ($15.70 for water and sewer) for the first 2,000 gallons and then the charge for each additional 1,000 gallons ($5.15 for water and sewer) is applied. As proposed, a minimum bill would be applied to each unit and, as calculated by staff based on historical consumption data, the net effect is approximately a $5.40 per unit increase per month. This amount of increase occurs because the addition of the minimum bill charges ($15.70), which includes 2,000 gallons, removes a portion of the additional 1,000 gallon ($5.15) charges.

    Ricky Salenga, Cottages of Nederland, Inc., questioned the City's need to increase the water rates at this time. He asked if the rates would be based on 100% occupancy because many apartment complexes are still being renovated due to damage caused by Hurricane Rita and most are not fully occupied. Mr. Wimer stated that some cities base their rates on 90-95% occupancy and that is something that the City Council may want to consider. Mr. Salenga also asked about the possibility of having each apartment metered. Mr. Wimer informed him that he could certainly have that done but all the lines, meters, etc. would be paid for by the owners, not the City.

    David Schaper, TriPro Mangement, Inc., stated that rent is based on market factors and not on what they feel individual renters use per household. He added that renters have signed at least a 12-month lease, therefore, any increase in rent must wait until the lease expires or another renter moves in. An increase in rates by any entity causes the value of his property to decrease. Mr. Schaper further stated that this proposed increase is 100% profit to the City with no additional services being added for tenants.

    Lloyd Kemp,104-116 Nederland Avneue, stated that he has owned this complex for three months and that his tenants also have a 12-month lease, therefore, he could not pass along an increase until those leases expire. He asked that the City Council consider not approving the entire increase at one time, but perhaps over time.

    Mr. Wimer asked the Council if they would like to consider postponing the increase to allow for the owners to plan for an increase, as well as consider a lower than 100% occupancy rate.

    Councilmember Sheffield suggested that the increase be effective July 1, 2007 and possibly allow for an owner to justify why his occupancy rate should be lower than that stated in an ordinance.

    Joseph Neumann, 723 South 14th Street, agrees that the City should have rates that are the same for everyone and the proposed increase should be enacted.

    Jodi Wood, 2901 Helena, stated that her complex is considered townhomes because they are owned by the tenants and asked if this increase would also apply to them. Mr. Wimer stated that due to the fact that the complex only has a master meter that the increase would be added to their water bill too. He added that homeowners with individual meters pay for exactly what they use, whereas renters are all different and there is no way to determine who actually uses the most water.

    Jeff Ortiz, 1003 Avenue B #16, thanked Mr. Wimer for his explanation of why the City has proposed an increase. He also agreed that the effective date of July 1st would be easier for the owners to plan for.

    Mr. Wimer suggested that the increase be effective July 1, 2007, with a 90% occupancy rate.

    A motion was made by Councilmember Sheffield and seconded by Councilmember Neal to approve Ordinance No. 2006-16, utility rates and regulations, contingent upon Sections 10 and 11 becoming effective July 1, 2007, and adding a 90% occupancy rate. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  7. REQUEST

    Firdous Hamani, 2223 Nederland Avenue, addressed Council relative to requesting a delay in the demolition order that was issued by the City Council on August 28, 2006. The notices that were sent to him by the City were intercepted by a family member and were never received by him. Mr. Hamani stated that he still has a loan on this property and has been dealing with his insurance company since Hurricane Rita. He would like to make the necessary repairs to the store and gas pumps so that he can reopen as soon as possible. He added that he has a contractor hired to secure the building.

    André Wimer, City Manager, suggested that if the Council chooses to deny his request City staff will proceed to solicit quotes to demolish all the property that has been ordered demolished. If Mr. Hamani would begin repairs immediately staff will notify Council at the next meeting of any progress he has made. The next agenda will have an item to approve demolition quotes and this property will be included on the list of properties to be demolished. If Mr. Hamani does have the building up to code by the next meeting then the Council could then have the opportunity to proceed or stop the demolition order.

    A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to deny a request from Firdous Hamani to delay demolition of the property located at 2223 Nederland Avenue. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  8. TEXAS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

    A motion was made by Councilmember Rogers and seconded by Councilmember Neal to approve Resolution No. 2006-16, designating signatories for the City's Texas Community Development Block Grant from the Office of Rural Community Affairs. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  9. BIDS/PROPOSALS

    A motion was made by Councilmember Neal and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin to authorize the advertisement of bids for the water and sewer line replacement CDBG project. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  10. STREET LIGHTS

    A motion was made by Councilmember Neal and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to authorize the installation of street lights at the following locations: 203 - 24th Street and 920 South 29th Street. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  11. PAYMENTS

    A motion was made by Mayor Nugent and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin to approve payment to N & T Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $578.70, renovations to the Recreation Center and Hughes Library. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Councilmember Rogers and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin to approve payment to Don S. Reichle & Associates, Inc. in the amount of $2,600.00, storm damage repair of South 5th Street and Canal Avenue water tanks, and repair and painting of Hardy Avenue water tank. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to approve payment to Excavators & Constructors, Inc. in the amount of $9,568.33, emergency repairs to water line at the Water Treatment Plant. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to approve payment to Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. in the amount of $930.00, wastewater discharge permit. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to approve payment to N & T Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $38,563.93, renovations to the Fire Station. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Councilmember Sheffield and seconded by Councilmember Neal to approve payment to The LaBiche Architectural Group, Inc. in the amount of $1,715.62, Hurricane Rita restoration to City buildings. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Councilmember Rogers and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Griffin to approve payment to Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. in the amount of $9,831.99, Beauxart Garden Road improvement. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  12. EXECUTIVE SESSION

    A motion was made by Mayor Nugent and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to postpone the Executive Session. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  13. OFFICIALS' COMMENTS

    None.

  14. ADJOURN

    There being no further business a motion was made by Mayor Nugent and seconded by Councilmember Neal to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sheffield, Neal, Griffin, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

END Meeting Minutes from Monday, November 27, 2006


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