City of Nederland Logo
City of Nederland R. A. "Dick" Nugent, Mayor
Don Albanese, Mayor Pro Tem
Talmadge Austin, Councilmember
Billy Neal, Councilmember
Craig J. Belaire, Councilmember
Christopher Duque, City Manager

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

Meeting Minutes from Monday, May 24, 2004

REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE

CITY OF NEDERLAND

6:00 p.m. May 24, 2004
  1. MEETING

    The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Homer E. Nagel 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 Neal and seconded by Councilmember Phillips to approve the minutes of the May 10, 2004 meeting as written. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nagel, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Phillips.
    Noes: None.

  3. ELECTIONS

    LaDonna Floyd, City Clerk, read the returns of the May 15, 2004 General Election. There were a total of 1,246 ballots cast. Each candidate received the following number of votes:

    Mayor
     
    Early Voting
     
    Election Day
     
    Total
     
    Jeff Darby
    R. A. "Dick" Nugent
    339
    411
    241
    240
    580
    651
    Council, Ward II
     
         
    Billy Neal
    (Unopposed)
    562 377 939
    Council, Ward IV
     
         
    Bert Rogers
    (Unopposed)
    487 340 827

    A motion was made by Mayor Nagel and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Sawyer to accept the election returns as read. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nagel, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Phillips.
    Noes: None.

    LaDonna Floyd, City Clerk, administered the Oath of Office to Mayor R. A. Nugent; Billy Neal, Councilmember Ward II; and, Bert E. Rogers, Councilmember Ward IV.

    Mayor Nagel congratulated Mayor Nugent on his election win. Mr. Nagel also thanked the city staff for all their support in serving the citizens of Nederland for the many years he served not only as Mayor, but also as a Councilmember.

    Andre Wimer, City Manager, presented former Mayor Nagel with the photograph that has hung in the foyer of City Hall and thanked him on behalf of city staff and citizens for his desire to serve his community for so many years.

    Cheryl Dowden, Director of Finance, presented former Mayor Nagel with his $1.00 salary for the past year's service.

  4. RECESS

    A recess was called at 6:09 p.m.

  5. RECONVENE

    The regular meeting was reconvened at 6:20 p.m. by Mayor Nugent.

  6. ELECTIONS (Continued)

    A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Sawyer and seconded by Councilmember Radcliff to authorize payment to the election officials in accordance with the Texas Election Code in the total amount of $408.00. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Councilmember Neal and seconded by Mayor Nugent to elect Robert Sawyer as Mayor pro tempore in accordance with Section 3.06 of the City Charter. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  7. GROUP HEALTH BENEFITS

    Terry Hale, Hale Benefits Analysis Services, Ltd., gave a brief report on the bids received for the City's employee health insurance benefits. He stated that three bidders responded to the City's request for proposals. Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana, and United Health Care each submitted two proposals. This year's bid process and analysis was more difficult than in previous years because the City's claims experience changed significantly from the prior years. The loss ratio for this year is 104.4%. In addition the City had 11 individuals that had claims over $10,000 that had to be reported in the bid specifications compared to two the prior year. Mr. Hale added that the best bid to maintain current benefits is a 25% increase, which is still below the national average. After careful review of all bids received Mr. Hale recommends that the City remain with Blue Cross/Blue Shield with the same level of benefits.

    A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Sawyer and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to award bids received for employee group health benefits at the current level of benefits. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  8. WATER AND SEWER

    Rick Bourque, Schaumburg & Polk, Inc., gave a brief report on the results of the recent smoke testing. The smoke testing was performed on sanitary sewer lines in two areas. The first area is from Avenue C and Helena and from 31st Street to Hwy. 69. The second area is from Helena to Seattle from 30th Street to Hwy. 69. He added that the information collected was evaluated in conjunction with existing information from the 1997 SSES and city staff's experience to recommend rehabilitation. Mr. Bourque presented Council with a map indicating line defects. He stated that they did locate lines that need to be repaired or placed on a list for future repair work. Mr. Wimer stated that staff will develop a list and prioritize the repairs with cost estimates for a recommendation to Council.

    Mr. Wimer reminded Council that in 1997 the implementation of the EPA fee on water bills was authorized. The fee was enacted to fund mandated improvements to the City's wastewater collection system identified by the 1997 SSES. The fee generates approximately $360,000/year which has been dedicated to SSES related improvements. Within the next few weeks, the City will be submitting documentation to the EPA noting completion of work identified in the Consent Order. He added that the initial purpose of the fee will be fulfilled. Based upon staff's knowledge of the system and the need to continually upgrade sewer lines, he recommends that the fee be retained at the current level, although it could be incorporated into the standard rate structure as opposed to being a separate listing. He suggested that $300,000 of the fee amount collected be used for improvements and the remaining $60,000 be for operating expenditures in the Water and Sewer Fund.

    A motion was made by Councilmember Radcliff and seconded by Councilmember Neal to continue the EPA fee as recommended. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    Mr. Wimer reminded Council that City staff has been evaluating and researching the feasibility of installing "radio read" water meters throughout the City. The technology eliminates the necessity to manually read meters. This type meter electronically transmit readings to a receiver unit carried in a City vehicle. He added that he believes this technology is reliable and cost effective enough to warrant consideration by the City. The initial cost estimate to replace all water meters is approximately $1.5 million. Based upon increased accuracy of the new meters and elimination of a significant portion of the costs associated with meter reading, it appears that this conversion to radio reads would be financially viable for the City. This would require some type of debt mechanism to fund the initial cost; a portion of the increased revenue would then be used to fund the debt service requirements. The City of Port Neches is working in conjunction with us in hopes that additional cost savings could be achieved. Staff will continue the evaluation, along with staff from Port Neches and will make a recommendation to Council at a later date.

  9. BIDS/PURCHASES

    A motion was made by Councilmember Neal and seconded by Mayor Nugent to reject bids received for large water meter replacement. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Sawyer and seconded by Councilmember Radcliff to authorize the purchase of a personal accountability and identification system for the Fire Department in the amount of $24,900; $22,499 being paid from the 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant, with the City's match of $2,500. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  10. TAX WAIVERS

    A motion was made by Councilmember Radcliff and seconded by Councilmember Rogers to authorize the waiver of penalty and interest on tax Account No. 066550-000600 in the amount of $12.69, and Account No. 066500-000700 in the amount of $9.08. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  11. PAYMENTS

    A motion was made by Councilmember Rogers and seconded by Councilmember Neal to approve payments to Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. as follows: $7,860.00, smoke testing; $749.20, South 5th Street sewer rehabilitation; $3,399.82, 2002-2003 collection system rehabilitation (Year 5); and, $579.08, wastewater system improvements (Treatment Plant). MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

    A motion was made by Councilmember Neal and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Sawyer to approve payment to Brystar Contracting, Inc. in the amount of $122,229.85, wastewater collection system improvements (Years 4 & 5). MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

  12. EXECUTIVE SESSION

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

  13. OFFICIALS' COMMENTS

    Andre Wimer, City Manager, reported that the drainage work in Allan Meadows should being next week. He added that the intersection project at Helena @ 27th Street should begin next Tuesday with estimated completion in mid-July.

  14. ADJOURN

    There being no further business, a motion was made by Mayor Nugent and seconded by Councilmember Radcliff to adjourn the meeting at 7:28 p.m. MOTION CARRIED.
    Ayes: Mayor Nugent, Councilmembers Sawyer, Neal, Radcliff, and Rogers.
    Noes: None.

END Meeting Minutes from Monday, May 24, 2004


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