City of Houston Agenda 8-1-06

Once again, it's time to check up on our hirelings, and see what they're doing with the fine city we entrusted to them.

Readers are cautioned that I delete what I judge to be extraneous text, and often paraphrase in order to make the legalese a lot more readable; also that comments added are a mix of my own opinions, best guesses, snarking, and judgments, and therefore may not be entirely accurate. Such deletions may accidentally result in a key omission; if you wish to read the original text, please read the posted agenda on the city's website. Beginning with this week, I'm dropping the practice of including both the Tuesday and Wednesday date in the title; it's just confusing.

Public Comment, 8/1/06, 2 pm:
Citizens desiring to address the council must register in advance with the City Secretary.


This week, no fewer than nine people have signed up to speak to the council regarding the River Oaks Theater or shopping center. Nice to know that citizens understand what's important in Houston, and that preservation of old properties is definitely important. Even movie theaters and warehouses.

Action Meeting, 8/2/06, 9:00 am:

MAYOR’S REPORT - Charter Amendment Issues


I don’t know what this is about, but since the charter is essentially the constitution of the city, the most basic of laws governing Houston, we’d better pay close attention to this because it may mark an attempt to alter fundamentally some portion of the power balance in the city. Given the last few mayors' penchants for placing governance of the city into the hands of unelected and unaccountable boards and authorities, we should be watching this item. Given that it is at least two weeks before the minutes of any given council meeting appear, if the local media do not do their job of alerting citizens to questionable dealings at council, there's little chance most citizens will ever notice anything in a timely manner.

9:00 A.M. - Report from city controller and the city administration regarding the current financial status of the city including but not limited to, a revenue, expenditure and encumbrance report for the General Fund, all special revenue funds and all enterprise funds, and a report on the status of bond funds and a Quarterly Investment Report by the City Controller

Head below the fold for the rest. There are some interesting items in there, as always.

Item 1: - Miscellaneous

1. RECOMMENDATION from Director Affirmative Action and Contract Compliance for approval to set Affirmative Action Goals.


Gobbledygook to adopt the federal FAA and DOT affirmative action goals as the city goals for the next year. As has been seen here, many times the contractors either don’t meet the goal or achieve waivers. Either the city meets the federal guidelines (which have recently changed) or we're not eligible for federal funds. This is to establish that the city's guidelines = federal guidelines.

Items 2 – 6: Accept Work

2. RECOMMENDATION from Director Houston Airport System for approval of final contract amount of $18,399,882.61 and acceptance of work on contract with W. W. WEBBER, LLC (previously known as W. W. WEBBER, INC) for Relocation for Taxiways “Y” & “Z” at William P. Hobby Airport - 00.22% over the original contract amount.


Electrical ductwork and painting changes account for the minor overage. They met their MWBE goal and received a "satisfactory" rating.

3. RECOMMENDATION from Director Houston Airport System for approval of final contract amount of $82,542.00 and acceptance of work on contract with STEWART-MATL, LTD. for Central FIS (Federal Inspection Services) Building Related Projects at George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston - 13.55% over the original contract amount.


First of two sizable contracts for this facility. Hidden away in the backup is that the total contract was for $13,411,000, and that change order #1 added $1,817,469 to the contract, bringing it to $15,288,469 total. The overrun was caused by changes required by the Transportation Security Administration and Continental Airlines. Wait, what? Continental Airlines made the city spend extra money? If they wanted a custom job done, why aren't they paying for it? (Who came up with this contract anyway?)

Clearly, I do not understand high finance and municipal operations, especially considering what the extra money in this ordinance is for: Art. Of the contracted amount, $1,796,000 was planned for art. Instead it ran over by $82,542, so the Aviation administration is asking the council for authorization to pay.

MWBE participation was rated "Outstanding" with over 20% of the contract to qualifying subcontractors.

4. RECOMMENDATION from Director Houston Airport System for approval of final contract amount of $168,494,988.80 (no, I didn't stutter on the keyboard -- Ubu) and acceptance of work on contract with CLARK/MISSION, a Joint Venture for ISEP (International Services Expansion Program) Central FIS Building Superstructure and APM (Automated People Mover) Station & Platform at George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston - 15.45% over the original contract amount.


Once again, the backup proves interesting... It seems there were three major change orders. The first, in 2004, was the largest, at over seven million. It funded changes required by the TSA, "emergency busing upgrades" and a "complete signage and graphics package", whatever those were. The second, also in 2004 and for over one million, was to pay for modifications to the structure required by the baggage scanning system the TSA selected. The third, in 2005, stemmed in part from inadequate prior site inspection. Some "previously unknown underground conditions" had to be fixed; in addition, there were more security related changes and additional busing requirements mandated by the TSA and Continental.

MWBE participation was rated "Outstanding" with over 20% of the contract to qualifying subcontractors.

5. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering for approval of final contract amount of $3,116,013.91 and acceptance of work on contract with ALLCO, INC for Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation by Method of Point Repair - 02.18% under the original contract amount.


To summarize some history, at the end of the Lanier administration, Public Works began shedding workers to reduce costs. Naturally this led to an increasing backlog of undone repair work and a collapsing water/sewer system during the Brown years, especially given that he continued the staff cuts, with gusto. When the public became increasingly outraged over sewer stoppages and loss of water service, the problems were blamed on various things, including 'rain', 'drought', 'hot weather', and 'cold weather'. (To my knowledge, planetary alignments were never accused of causing trouble.) Even the Chronically Biased, in an editorial entitled Sewer Rats" (not available online, unless to subscribers), were forced to note that there might be problems. Eventually, Brown hit on a solution of hiring out the repair work to contractors who were essentially put "on retainer" and dispatched to specific problems identified by PW&E.

In this specific case, the term of the contract has run its course, and PW&E is requesting final approval of the payments to the contractor. Over 500 specific repairs have been made by this contractor in the last 10 years. The contractor barely missed MWBE goals and received a "Satisfactory" rating.

6. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering for approval of final contract amount of $2,660,282.31 and acceptance of work on contract with ALLCO, INC for Sewer Rehabilitation by Sliplining, - 00.54% over the original contract amount.


Sliplining is the practice of putting a new line inside the old one, thus avoiding digging up the entire line. There are several ways of doing this, but they are beyond the scope of this site. There have been almost 50 repairs made by this method in the last 50 years. The contractor met MWBE goals and received a "Satisfactory" rating.

However, not all of this story is told by these two motions, and when you try to do something on the cheap, it always bites you in the end. See item #38 below.

Items 7 – 12: Purchasing And Tabulation Of Bids

7. INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL CLEANER, INC for Floor Maintenance Equipment for Houston Airport System - $29,484.00 - Enterprise Fund


The exact equipment isn't specified. The low bidder was $5,000 less, but was determined not to meet specs.

8. CONSOLIDATED TRAFFIC CONTROLS, INC for Emitters through the Houston-Galveston Area Council for the Fire Department - $40,245.92 - General Fund

In the 1990's, Public Works began fitting high-volume traffic signals with pre-emption devices activated by transmitters on fire engines. Recently, METRO came behind them and "upgraded" the equipment. Unfortunately, the upgrades do not function with some HFD transmitters, so the city gets to foot the bill for replacing the older transmitters. The new ones are warrantied for 10 years, but expected to work for 20 or until the next METRO upgrade. (Side note... would the "upgraded" intersections happen to be along Main and Fannin? Just curious as to what other traffic lights METRO would be meddling with...)

9. MUSTANG CAT (BID NO. 4) - $262,703.70 and LANSDOWNE-MOODY COMPANY, L.P. (BID NO. 4) - $25,415.32 for Backhoe Loader and Bulldozer for Department of Public Works & Engineering - $293,999.00 minus a commission fee for Internet-based reverse auction services under contract with the Texas Procurement Center, LLC, for a net award amount not to exceed $288,119.02 - Enterprise Fund


Replacement of two 20-year-old pieces of equipment. MWBE goal waived.

10. HOUSTON FREIGHTLINER, INC - $3,047,063.00 and MCNEILUS TRUCK AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY - $2,781,472.00 for Cabs & Chassis and Side Loading Refuse Collection Bodies through the Houston-Galveston Area Council for the Solid Waste Management Department -Equipment Acquisition Consolidated Fund


The city's Solid Waste Department successfully competed against Republic Waste Services ("Where we bill for services we didn't deliver!") for a contract to serve 85,000 customers. To handle the additional customers beginning in 2007, 31 new trucks are needed.

11. KRIS COMPACTION, INC for Trailer-Mounted Light Towers for Various Departments $27,996.00 - Enterprise Fund


Four new generator-powered lights on towers, mounted on trailers. Three will replace old equipment in PW&E; one will go to the airport system to allow nighttime painting operations.

12. BUCKEYE CLEANING CENTER - $1,786,075.60, LONE STAR TISSUE, INC - $958,498.00 and UNISOURCE WORLDWIDE, INC - $1,053,361.70 for Paper, Disposable Products (Facial Tissue, Hand Towels, Toilet Paper) for Various Departments - General and Enterprise Funds


Almost four million dollars for, ahem, disposable paper products? You could seriously TP the mayor's house with that much paper...

13. RESOLUTION designating a certain property within the City of Houston as a Historic Landmark (S. F. Carter-Second National Bank Building - 806 Main Street)


The building in question meets only 3 of the 8 criteria for such designation, so why was it unanimously recommended by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission? Hmmmmmm. Anyone remember this item (below) from last week?

24. ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE VII OF CHAPTER 33 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS, relating to Historic Preservation.
"First, amend Section 33 .225 to eliminate the requirement that a copy of a record of proceedings from both the HAHC and the Planning Commission be attached when the application is forwarded to Council. Waiting on signed minutes from each of these commissions can delay an application up to four months. Second, amend Section 33.226 to eliminate the requirement that the Department provide a 30 day notice of a public hearing before the HAHC for an application that was submitted by the property owner.

While the bolded change wasn't effective at the time of the meetings about this property, the first change is effective now. In short, this request and each of the following could have appeared on the agenda without the written record of what was said and what evidence may have been presented at the hearing -- and future hearings will effectively be closed to the public as no one will know of them ahead of time. (Is that legal?)

14. RESOLUTION designating a certain property within the City of Houston as a Historic Landmark (Gift Raps Inc. Warehouse - 2422 Bartlett Street)


Maybe you were wondering why I made that wisecrack about warehouses at the beginning? I was tempted to hunt this place up today for a picture but didn't have the time. It's a 1950s-era warehouse near Kirby & Hwy 59, and the only notable claim to fame seems to be that the guy who had it built supposedly came up with the idea of putting toilet paper on rolls instead of folding it. From the description of the warehouse (and my opinion of 1950s-era architecture), that is quite appropriate.

15. RESOLUTION designating certain properties within the City of Houston as protected landmarks (Founders’ Memorial Park - 1217 W. Dallas, Beazley-Telschow House - 1816 Kane, 1940 Houston Municipal Air Terminal - 8325 Travelaire, Ladner House - 3362 Del Monte and Minella House - 6328 Brookside Drive)


Does anyone have any information as to what this designation entails and allows? Are there any advantages that accrue to the property owner, such as a tax break? The Founders' Memorial Park is an inactive graveyard in which several founders of Houston are buried. Inarguably, it belongs on this list. A brief review of the other properties indicates that they probably belong as well; the Beazley-Telschow house is a sixth-ward structure built in the 1880s.

16. ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 2 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS, relating to Functions of the Building Services Department concerning acquisition of Real Property.


As the city has grown, so has its administrative infrastructure, including buildings. Public Works was originally responsible for acquisition and maintenance of the city's "physical plant," and thus only PW&E could acquire more property for the city to use. Several years ago, the BSD was created by splitting off plant management into its own department. This has left acquisition authority with one department, and management with another. This change will give the BSD similar authority to acquire property for City use, in cooperation with PW&E.

17. ORDINANCE AMENDING CITY OF HOUSTON FIRE CODE and CHAPTER 20 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS, relating to propane use by Mobile Food Units; containing other provisions relating to the foregoing subject; declaring certain conduct to be unlawful and providing a penalty therefor.


Backup for this item is missing. I'd like to take a moment to point out that many of the "mobile food units" in this city aren't mobile. They sit at the same location, day in, day out, with permanent gas and electric connections -- but are exempt from many of the food service regulations that other food establishments must meet. And they aren't subject to the same inspections either. It's worth noting that most city food service inspectors will not eat at them.

18. ORDINANCE ordering a Special Election to be held jointly on November 7, 2006, for the purpose of submitting to the qualified electors of the City of Houston, Texas, certain propositions for the issuance of Public Improvement Bonds for various purposes.


What purposes? The backup for this item is missing.

19. ORDINANCE authorizing the reallocation of the amounts which may be issued for authorized purposes of the City of Houston, Texas, General Obligation Commercial Paper Notes, Series D.


Instead of annually issuing long-term bonds to pay for public works improvements, the city is taking out commercial loans ("paper notes") and then later refinancing with long-term bonds to pay for the notes. (Don't ask me why, I just know that the bond rating companies haven't been happy with the city's financial practices for some time now.) This act is to use one "group" of such loans for another purpose.

20. ORDINANCE supplementing the City of Houston, Texas Master Ordinance providing for the issuance of Combined Utility System Revenue Obligations to authorize one or more qualified Hedge Agreements with respect to certain Outstanding Combined Utility System Bonds and related agreements; making other provisions incident thereto.


The backup for this item is missing.

21. ORDINANCE finding and determining that public convenience and necessity no longer require the continued use of a portion of Pawnee Street, from Almeda Road east to its terminus at the railroad tracks, comprising 2 tracts of land, containing, respectively, 6,482 square feet and 6,544 square feet of land; vacating and abandoning said parcels to MDM Realty, LLC, and to Marcos Masson, the abutting owners, in consideration of their dedication of three rights of way, containing, respectively, 419 square feet, 419 square feet and 1,398 square feet of land, and the payment of $151,060.00,


Undeveloped roadway ROW.

22. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing Special Warranty Deed conveying to CLEAR CREEK RANCH, INC, a parcel of land containing 1.7308 acres (75,392 square feet), more or less, being a portion of a certain 76.8135 acre tract of land described by final judgment of the County Civil Court at Law No. Four (4) of Harris County, Texas, Cause No. 477,270, located in the G. P. Burnett Survey and the H.T&B.R.R. Company Survey, A-1382, Harris County, Texas (excess Blackhawk Boulevard right-of-way at 9400 block of Fuqua Street); in consideration of Clear Creek Ranch, Inc.’s payment of $154,486.00.


Selling an oddly shaped corner lot.

23. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing Special Warranty Deed conveying to FRANK T. GUZMAN, a parcel of land containing 0.1696 acre (7,387 square feet), more or less, being out of Lot 17, Block 5, of the Golf View Manor Addition, located in the H.B. Prentiss Survey, A-56, Harris County, Texas, (A former water plant site located at Iron Rock Avenue and South Wayside Drive, Parcel S85-051); in consideration of Frank T. Guzman’s payment of $23,550.00, and other consideration to the City.


Pretty straightforward; an abandoned wellhead; property no longer needed.

24. ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-1248 relating to the addition of certain land to Bissonnet Municipal Utility District; consenting to the addition of 87.2876 acres of land to BISSONNET MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT for inclusion in its district


This is to fix a clerical error; originally passed as 87.2875 acres. Ye gads.

25. ORDINANCE consenting to the creation of FORT BEND COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 134


Developers of some tracts around the South Sam Houston tollway and Mykawa road are forming a district; the city will provide water and sewer service to the district, which in turn will provide the same to its customers.

26. ORDINANCE consenting to the addition of 17.605 acres of land to HARRIS COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 65, for inclusion in its district.

27. ORDINANCE consenting to the addition of 4.1791 acres of land to HARRIS COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 96, for inclusion in its district.

28. ORDINANCE consenting to the addition of 135.485 acres of land to HARRIS COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 381; for inclusion in its district.


Expansion of several districts in the ETJ.

29. ORDINANCE consenting to the creation of HARRIS COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 460.


This district is actually inside the city limits -- another to join the several dozen that exist here. Strange how the city can contain land to which it doesn't offer water and sewer service, but then that's no stranger than failing to offer adequate police protection, I suppose.

30. ORDINANCE consenting to the addition of 0.8942 acres of land to MONTGOMERY COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 19, for inclusion in its district

31. ORDINANCE consenting to the addition of 9.0758 acres of land to WEST HARRIS COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 5, for inclusion in its district


There are something like 300 of these districts in the county. And most of them are in Houston's ETJ. Most of the rest are actually in the city, but I think I mentioned that already.

32. ORDINANCE establishing the north and south sides of the 4100, 4200 and 4300 blocks of Clay Street within the City of Houston as a special minimum lot size requirement area pursuant to Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances, Houston, Texas


Once again, patchwork, not-zoning. I was curious to note the following recently:
"Council Member Edwards stated that the point was whether the community would support zoning for Houston; that they could not keep doing this community by community, the developers were ahead of them and at some point they needed to do serious work to save all communities, they needed to have a standard; that this was about flooding and everything and basically they could not protect communities with their deed restrictions and you almost had to be an attorney to make things work in the community so if they were ready for the big fight they needed to do this right and quit spinning their wheels." From the Houston City Council Minutes, 7/11/06, in response to citizen complaints about development in District B. However, further down in the same minutes:

ORDINANCE establishing the north and south sides of the 2300 block of Swift Boulevard . . . as a special minimum lot size requirement area . . . . All voting aye. Nays none. Council Member Holm absent.


Clearly, Councilmember Edwards can support zoning block by block, even if not community by community.

33. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing contract between the City of Houston and SERVICE OF THE EMERGENCY AID RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS, INC, providing up to $591,723.61 for the Administration and Operation of a Supportive Services Project under the Housing Opportunities For Persons With AIDS (“HOPWA”) Program


It's been twenty-five years. Can't we cure this blasted disease yet? (Yes, I know we can't cure cancer or the common cold either. But you can't catch cancer during sex and the common cold is only fatal if you're Russian. So I'm cranky on the subject.)

34. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing interlocal agreement between the City of Houston and HARRIS COUNTY to receive and utilize funds from the Metropolitan Statistical Area Cities Readiness Initiative Grant - $73,161.00 - Grant Fund


Other than the fact that it involves some sort of anti-terrorism grant funding, the RCA is remarkably information-free.

35. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing Utility Functions and Services Allocation Agreement between the City of Houston and BGM LAND INVESTMENTS, LTD. on behalf of proposed Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 439 -


To translate the RCA: In the area of East Little York and Wayside, a developer will form a utility district. The city will then "front" (i.e., pay for) the cost of constructing the utilities or pay for the bonds used to finance the construction. In return, the city will gain ownership of the utilities. "Projected build out of the District will result in an estimated $161,230,000 in assessed value. The projected, total annual water/wastewater revenue to be generated by the District is approximately $794,429.00. . . The City will acquire the infrastructure of the District, and will collect taxes and wastewater and water revenues from residents of the District on the same basis as all other city customers." It is really good to be a developer in Houston; the city stands ready to ensure you don't have to risk much. But why is there a proposed district if the city's going to end up owning the system and serving the customers? Oh wait, if the properties don't sell and the assessed value doesn't appear, then the developer isn't on the hook to the city in any way, right? The district is. Yes, it's really good to be a developer.

36. ORDINANCE awarding construction contract to BIG STATE, EXCAVATION, INC for Water, Sanitary Sewer and Storm Drainage Systems to serve Section One of the Wayside Village Subdivision, approving and authorizing an assignment of the construction contract to the WOODMERE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY

37. ORDINANCE appropriating $117,454.37 out of Water & Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund and approving and authorizing Developer Participation Contract between the City of Houston and WOODMERE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, LTD. for Construction of Water and Sanitary Sewer lines to serve development on Wayside Drive.


If I've read the minutes of the prior meetings correctly, these have to do with the near-northeast side development that Councilmember Brown and many community activists objected to recently, leading to their delay.

38. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing contract between the City of Houston and J. C. FOY, L.C., for Professional Litigation Support Services - $150,000.00 - Enterprise Fund


These are for Mr. Foy to serve as an expert witness in a lawsuit that Allco has brought aganist the city of Houston, alleging that it has suffered over $1.7 million in damages (presumably due to cost overruns) caused by inadequate engineering drawings being unavailable for three of the projects on which it did point repairs. Without commenting on this specific suit, I'd like to point out that unexpected conditions can be major headaches, and contractors building things don't always follow the plan. For example, several years ago one major sewer project got held up for several weeks when the excavation machine hit the base of a highway sign that it should have cleared by six feet. They couldn't even back up and go around it...the machine had no reverse gear!

39. ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2005-405, which approved contract with SAP PUBLIC SERVICES, INC for an Enterprise Resource Planning System to increase the maximum contract amount - $1,600,000.00 - Central Service Revolving Fund. "Over the past three weeks, we have generated significant momentum. The first check run printed 5 checks; the July 17th check run printed over 720 checks. This significant increase in volume reflects a citywide effort to deal with issues and adapt to the new processes implemented along with our new System. During the first three weeks of operation, City personnel have processed over 14,000 financial transactions and the Business Readiness Leads are confident that personnel in their departments will successfully climb the steep learning curve required to master the sophisticated functionality of our new System."


Oh, it's got a steep learning curve all right. The RCA paints a rosy picture of the new SAP system for governing all the city's procurement and inventory management. The fact that the $1.6 million is for additional training suggests that it isn't so much an improvement, as it is a "complication." I had to take the training and all I can say is I've had worse, and seen less user-friendly programs, but not many. It's a prime example of something designed by engineers and systems analysts, not the people who actually have to use it. The fact that I can't order some needed parts right now because the vendor isn't in the system doesn't endear the program to me either. Oh, and the training? It's all online and self-paced -- the city sent something like 2,300 employees through it.

One point six million for more training should pay for a lot more employees to spend time on the web learning, instead of, you know, doing their jobs.

40. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing Amendment No. 2 to Contract No. C51809 between the City of Houston and VERIZON SELECT SERVICES, INC to extend the contract term for Telecommunications Equipment Maintenance Services.


Maintenance of the communications services at the airports.

41. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing first amendment to contract between the City of Houston and MULTIFORCE SYSTEMS CORPORATION (C#53088) for Automated Fuel System Maintenance and Support Services for Various Departments


Extending an existing contract; this company and its proprietary hardware/software is used to authorize, monitor, and identify fleet fuel usage from automated facilities, including by vehicle and driver.

Items 42 and 43: Property

42. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering, reviewed and approved by the Joint Referral Committee, on request from Laura Jordan, Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc., on behalf of Martin A. Kaplan and K. L. Harkins, Jr., for abandonment and sale of an 18-foot-wide alley and a 10-foot-wide utility easement from Yale Street ±353 feet west, between West 21st Street and West 22nd Street, in exchange for the conveyance to the City of right-of-way for, and construction of, an 18-foot-wide alley along the western property line of Lot 36, Block 73 to West 21st Street, all located within the Houston Heights Addition, out of the John Austin 2 Leagues Survey, TWO APPRAISERS and one ALTERNATE APPRAISER - DISTRICT H ‑ GARCIA

43. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering, reviewed and approved by the Joint Referral Committee, on request from J. Kent Marsh, Knudson & Associates on behalf of Gateway Medical Properties, Ltd., [MacGregor 288 Development, L.L.C. (Derrick Roach, Executive Vice President), general partner], for abandonment and sale of a portion of MacGregor Way from Highway 288 to Riverside Drive, and a portion of Old MacGregor Drive from MacGregor Way to Highway 288, in exchange for the conveyance to the City of a storm sewer easement, all located in Riverside Terrace Subdivision, Fifth Section, out of the G. P. Foster Survey.


The old road is off to the side and unused, except as an accessway to the sole property owner's lot. One storm sewer line is also being abandoned and replaced, hence the easement.

Items 44-53: Matters Held

44. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Planning & Development to amend Motion #2002-237 to extend parking regulations for an existing permit area.

45. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering for approval of final contract amount of $2,642,039.75 and acceptance of work on contract with ACM CONTRACTORS, INC for Neighborhood Street Reconstruction Project No. 432B, - 03.34% over the original contract amount - DISTRICT D ‑ EDWARDS

46. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering for approval of final contract amount of $1,331,729.07 and acceptance of work on contract with ALLCO, INC for Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation by Point Repair Method, GFS R-0266-80-3 (4235-8) - 10.32% under the original contract amount

47. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering for approval of final contract amount of $912,142.26 and acceptance of work on contract with RELIANCE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, L.P. for Water Line Replacement Project in Airport South Subdivision and Yale Street Bridge Crossing, - 04.63% under the original contract amount

48. MOTION by Council Member Khan/Seconded by Council Member Alvarado to adopt recommendation from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering for approval of final contract amount of $1,103,037.99 and acceptance of work on contract with R. K. WHEATON, INC for Construction of Water Line Replacement in Sunbeam Area,--04.45% under the original contract amount -

49. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department of Public Works & Engineering for approval of final contract amount of $7,829,129.50 and acceptance of work on contract with JALCO, INC for Slipline of existing 42-inch water line with 36-inch HDPE from Holmes Road to Sims Bayou Pump Station, GFS S-0900-A8-3 (WA10448-10) - 04.19% under the original contract amount


All of the above items were tagged by Councilmember Edwards last week, which delayed consideration until this week. Perhaps #44 was tagged because of Edwards' objections to "community by community zoning." Item #47 was also tagged by Green. (What is it with Houston and "colorful" politicians? White, Brown, Brown again, Green...)

50. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department Finance & Administration to adopt award to REPUBLIC WASTE SERVICES OF TEXAS, LTD. for Two Self-Contained Compactors for Houston Airport System - $43,094.00 - Enterprise Fund


Hopefully, they won't bill us for three.

51. RECOMMENDATION from Director Department Finance & Administration to adopt award to ADOBE EQUIPMENT for spending authority to Address Emergency Retrofit of Fuel Transport Vehicles for Department of Public Works & Engineering - $236,500.00 - Fleet Management Fund


As I mentioned last week, it was a great deal until we found out that the vehicles didn't meet EPA standards.

52. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing contract between the City and the U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN RESOURCES, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION for Participation in a National Network for Laboratory Surveillance known as Pulsenet USA Public Health Laboratories

53. ORDINANCE approving and authorizing first amendment to contract between the City and BAKER BOTTS L.L.P. for Legal Services pertaining to Houston’s SafeClear Program


Legal representation to fight continued appeals of the city's partial win of the lawsuit against this program.

And that's all for another week!

UPDATE: In the minutes of the 7/11/06 meeting, I find where Mayor White says that there are only 14 in-city MUD districts, but there were hundreds at one time. Absorbtion of those districts would explain the addition of 40,000 new accounts in the last ten years.

BLOGSERVATION: Isiah Carey's Insite (Items 32,35-37)

Posted by Ubu Roi @ 07/30/06 11:34 PM | Print |

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