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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 Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE

CITY OF NEDERLAND

6:00 p.m. October 16, 2007
  1. MEETING

    The special meeting was called to order at 6:10 p.m. by Mayor Nugent at the Nederland City Office Building, 1400 Boston Avenue, Nederland, Texas. See attached for quorum.

  2. TEXAS GAS SERVICE

    Dan Lawton, The Lawton Law Firm, gave a presentation regarding the July 10, 2007 rate increase request submitted by Texas Gas Service (TGS). He explained that TGS filed for the increase in order to pay for Hurricane Rita damages sustained to their system and to recover costs associated with system upgrades and improvements. The cities of Nederland, Port Neches, Groves, and Port Arthur worked together and voted to suspend the effective date until November 12, 2007. All four cities must take formal action to either approve or deny the rates by November 12, 2007. P & L Concepts was hired to perform an analysis of TGS and that was presented to the cities recently. Upon review of the analysis, a meeting was held between the cities and The Lawton Law Firm and it was determined that some amount of increase was justified, however, not the entire amount included in the filing. A meeting was held with representatives of TGS and many issues were resolved and Mr. Lawton is recommending that all four cities accept an increase in revenue for TGS in the amount of $425,000. The agreement also will allow TGS to file an annual rate request with each city to either increase or decrease the rates. Unless each city takes affirmative action it will be an automatic denial unless approved by the City. Should a requested increase be denied, TGS would have the option to file their rate request with the Railroad Commission should TGS desire to do so. Mr. Lawton stated that these annual filing would also reduce the costs of litigation to each city. Jack Pous has reviewed the terms of the settlement and has recommended that each city adopt the proposal. Each city has been provided with a draft ordinance to adopt the proposal, rates, and cost of service adjustment.3

    The special meeting was recessed and a Public Hearing was called to order at 6:20 p.m. by Mayor Nugent.

    Councilmember Sawyer asked if there is a time limit for council action after the annual filings are received. Mr. Lawton said each city will have 90 days to reject or accept the filing.

    There being no further questions and/or comments the Public Hearing was adjourned at 6:21 p.m. by Mayor Nugent.

  3. STORMWATER REGULATION

    Kim Carroll, Carroll & Blackman, Inc., gave a brief report to the attending representatives of the Jefferson County Storm Water Coalition (Cities of Nederland, Port Neches, Groves, and Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7) relative to the Phase II MS4 Permit and Storm Water Management Program required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The MS4 Permit is required of systems located within the "Urbanized Area" as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Jefferson County Storm Water Coalition falls in this category. Mr. Carroll stated that TCEQ was to issue draft permits in the fall of 2002, but due to litigation and other matters they were not issued until August 13, 2007. An application will be necessary for all members of the Coalition and Carroll & Blackman, Inc. will be assisting each entity with the process. Each entity will also be required to develop and implement a comprehensive Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) in order to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the Maximum Extent Practical (MEP). The SWMP must conform to the "Six Minimum Measures" as outlined in the TPEDS General Permit. Mr. Carroll briefly reviewed the requirements of each of the minimum measures - public education; public involvement; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site runoff; post construction runoff; and good housekeeping and system operations. Additional permit requirements are to submit an annual report summarizing all activities each year of the 5 year permit term, and fully document all compliance activities. Mr. Carroll added that the formation of the Coalition would save each entity costs and time because many of the items can be accomplished jointly. Individual MS4 permit activities will require that each entity will be responsible for public education material distribution; data acquisition for documentation and reporting; illicit discharge elimination; construction and post construction ordinance enforcement; and good housekeeping and maintenance activities.

    Mr. Blackman reviewed the annual costs to each entity during the five year permit period.

  4. 2006 PORT SECURITY GRANT

    Port Neches Fire Chief, Steve Curran, gave a brief update on the status of the 2006 Port Security Grant. The grant was submitted on behalf of the cities of Nederland, Port Neches, Groves and Port Arthur. The original application was revised to include four towers rather than two and it was approved by the Department of Homeland Security. He explained all the aspects of the radio communications that will be purchased with grant funds. The Mid County Central Dispatch office that is located in the Nederland Police Department will also be enlarged and equipped with all new computer and radio equipment. An architect has been hired and preliminary drawings have been submitted of the new Central Dispatch offices. Drawdowns are ready to be submitted to DHS. The deadline to expend all grant funds is March 2009.

  5. OFFICIALS' COMMENTS

    Andre' Wimer, City Manager, reported that he attended a Texas Municipal Retirement System meeting in Austin to obtain information relative to anticipated changes to the operation of the system. There had been a concern on the ability of TMRS to adequately fund the system in future years. As such, the System will likely amend their investment policy to allow for investments other than bonds and require an increase in contributions from cities. Additional and more detailed information will be provided to cities within the next few months.

  6. ADJOURN

    There being no further business a motion was made by Mayor Nugent and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Rogers to adjourn the meeting at 7:05 p.m. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.
    Absent: Councilmember Griffin.

END Meeting Minutes from Tuesday, October 16, 2007


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