Monday, April 14, 2014

City Council Has Taxing Agenda

San Angelo's City Council went from meeting on April Fool's to Tax Day.   The April 15th agenda is chock full of meaty items.

1.  Approval of April 1 minutes:  Council approved pumping water from the South Pool in the consent agenda.  The proposal cited two possible ways to move water from the South Pool.  Given there was no discussion of this item last meeting, the public is unaware of the city's plans for pumping.  Will this be mentioned?

2.  Energy Demand Response Services RFP award:  Council will consider awarding the our energy saving franchise to Energy Curtailment Specialists of Buffalo, New York.  The energy saved will result from shifting water treatment to lower demand times of day.  The city expects to be paid $163,720.30 annually for its participation.  What additional operating costs come with this?  Will it impact overtime, employee schedules, even employee retention?

3.  Foster Road Gas Station:  One citizen called it a truck stop complete with hookers.  Council will revisit this hot item from last meeting.

4.  Water Conservation Plan:  Once again the city has a vague water conservation plan.  The last council talked for years about having specific incentives for citizens to reduce water use.  Citizens are still waiting.

5.  West Texas Water Partnership:  In Executive Session council will discuss the duty of the attorney to maintain confidentiality and invoices dated 2-24-14 and 3-7-14.

6.  Economic Development Negotiations:  Executive Session.  Who's next for incentives?  The Development Corporation gave no clue.

7.  SAPAC:  The Performing Arts Coalition is back.  They get to sublet renovated City Hall space for market rates while paying $1 per year.  It's nice for citizens to give SAPAC that cash generating franchise.  Councilman Morrison hasn't been a fan of aspects of the SAPAC arrangement.  Will that change as Mayor?

8.  Water Related Matters (in addition to Water Conservation Plan and South Pool pumping from last meeting).  The Water Advisory Board, historically a rubber stamp for San Angelo's Water Chief, will be discussed.  Current water sources are on the agenda as is the city's participation in weather modification.

9.  Water Fee Rebates:  This item is to be considered twice a year, April and November.  These dates virtually ensure citizens won't get a rebate.  The city makes big money off water in June, July and August.  April is too early and November too late.  Also, the city's fiscal year ends September 30.  The time to consider a rebate is in August or September.  It need only be done once a year and that time frame makes much more sense.

Update 4-17-14:  Staff recommended no action and Council concurred.

10.  Val Verde Water Company:   An offer letter will be discussed.

Update 4-17-14:  The offer letter was not discussed as the item needs to be addressed in Executive Session through a West Texas Water Partnership report.

11.  Record Accounting for the Martifer Hirschfeld incentive:    This will be interesting as Hirschfeld, which bought out Martifer, hasn't come close to meeting its employment commitments.

Update 4-17-14:  Council moved this item to their Executive Session, discussion of Martifer-Hirschfeld incentive.  They gave no report on this after executive session.

12.  Animal Shelter Advisory Committee:  I'm sure Bradley Petty is a great person, but his animal bonafides aren't apparent.  San Angelo has many dedicated animal experts and volunteers.  More of these people could and should be advising council.

That's enough for now.  The tale of the tape will be interesting. 

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