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Posted on: July 19, 2017

Council Connection

At their Monday, July 3, 2017 Regular Meeting, City Council Members declared July Parks and Recreation Month, approved a City naming policy on the second and final reading and adopted a new personnel manual on the first of two readings. District C Councilmember Anthony Maroulis was absent. Here is a full rundown of Council’s actions from that meeting:

  • Oversaw two $10,000 check presentations from the Missouri City Police and Fire Auxiliary to the City’s Fire and Rescue Services Department and Police Department, respectively. Funds were raised during the Auxiliary’s annual fundraiser banquet and auction held Friday, April 28 at the Community Center, 1522 Texas Pkwy. In previous years, donated funds have helped Public Safety teams purchase essential equipment and technology needed to improve operations.
  • Proclaimed July as “Parks and Recreation Month” in Missouri City. As area families enjoy this summer of fun, make sure to schedule a visit to Missouri City’s first-class Recreation & Tennis Center, 2701 Cypress Point Dr., and sign up for some exciting events. On the upcoming agenda are the following activities:
    1. Breakfast & Bingo: Thursday, July 20, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Parks & Recreation Department hosts senior bingo monthly for area residents who are 50 and older. Residents are invited to fellowship with their peers, enjoy breakfast and play friendly rounds of bingo for great prizes! Tickets can be purchased at the door. Breakfast will be available from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Bingo rounds will follow after.
    2. Introduction to Lacrosse: Saturday, July 22, 10 noon. Come see why lacrosse is the fastest growing game in America! Learn the fundamentals from coaches on-site at Ridgeview Park, 3902 Ridgeview Dr. No registration required, all ages and levels of experience welcome and equipment is provided.
    3. Dance Camp: Monday, July 24, noon to 4 p.m. All-Star Academy Summer Dance Camp is a five-day camp that exposes our youth to the fundamentals of ballet, hip hop, and pom-pom. This camp is for students 4- to 12-years-old. For more details and to register, call 281.403.8637 or stop by the Recreation Center & Tennis Center.
    4. Senior Foodies: Thursday, July 27, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Are you a food enthusiast? Enjoy meeting new friends? Join us for Senior Foodies! This program for seniors ages 50 and older is an opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant with great company. All participants are encouraged to RSVP. On the day of the event, we will meet at the designated lunch location. Separate checks will be issued for each participant. This month’s restaurant is Café Adobe at 2329 Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77478.
    5. How Does it Work? Friday, July 28, 11 a.m. to noon. Join us for a tour of the Niagara Bottling Plant. Get a behind the scenes look at the bottling process for a large manufacturing facility right here in Missouri City! On the day of the tour, we will meet at the main entrance of Niagara located at 14810 Fairway Pines Dr. To participate in the tour, you must RSVP through the Recreation & Tennis Center. Stop by the center or call 281-403-8637. Tour spots are limited, so call today!
    6. Pickledon: Friday, July 28, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Join us for an evening of Pickleball fun; maximum12 Teams. Raffle tickets will be given out to players wearing ALL white. An Entry Form must be mailed/dropped off by July 20.
    7. LEGO Summer Camp: Monday, July 31 to Friday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to noon (5-7 year olds) and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (8-12 year olds). The Force Awakens in this introductory engineering course for young Jedi! Explore engineering principles by designing and building projects such as LEGO X-Wings, R2 Units, Energy Catapults, Defense Turrets, Pod Racers, Star Destroyers, and Settlements from a galaxy far, far away. Create motorized and architectural projects with imagination and engineering to defeat the Empire! Led by an experienced Play-Well instructor. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Sign up at the Recreation & Tennis Center or by calling 281.403.8637.
    8. Oktoberfest : September, 2017. Oktoberfest will showcase German and Texas culture in one fantastic day at the Community Center, 1522 Texas Pkwy. Put on your Lederhosen and Dirndls, enjoy a variety of German beer and great music. More details forthcoming.
    9. Community Night Out: Saturday, Oct. 7, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. The Show Me City is proud to host its Second Annual Community Night Out at the City Hall Complex, 1522 Texas Pkwy. Residents and visitors are invited to dance their way into a fall evening of fun and fellowship at the free special event that will feature live performances by national performing artists Kim Waters (Jazz), Kyle Turner (Jazz), Step Rideau & the Zydeco Outlaws (Zydeco), Coffey Anderson (Country), local acts, and a great laser show. Festivities will also include food trucks, bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, face painting, public safety apparatus, event booths that highlight local businesses, and more. You don’t want to miss it!
  • Heard announcements from City Manager Anthony Snipes, which included the following:
    1. Missouri City’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget year began on Saturday, July 1; detailed specifics of the plan were featured in the June 30 City Manager Update. Some highlights include:
      • The total adopted budget is for $137,322,554, with a General Fund Budget of $48,157,672.
      • The fiscal year runs through June 30, 2018 and will raise more total property taxes than last year’s budget by $1,773,544, which is a 5 percent increase.
      • The largest source of revenue to the General Fund are property taxes at 55 percent and sales taxes at 18 percent.
      • Also, at the start of FY18, the City Manager’s Office realigned the organization. As part of their new roles, City Manager Snipes and Assistant City Managers Bill Atkinson and Scott Elmer will continue to focus on assuring that the City is a High Performance Organization through initiatives focused on creating efficiencies, data-driven decision making, transparency and empowering employees.
    2. On Tuesday, July 4, the nation observed Independence Day:
      • All non-emergency City Offices were closed, and Municipal Solid Waste collection took place on the regular schedule. Learn more about holiday collection scheduling on the City’s website.
      • Mr. Snipes reminded residents to join City staff for the Annual July 4th celebration from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Buffalo Run Park.
      • Mr. Snipes announced that the City has a new Snapchat account, and to engage our youth City staff hosted a Snapchat Filter Contest where the winning filter was made available for all Snapchat users at the July 4 Celebration. Residents Debbie Cooper Mansfield’s winning design (available here) was chosen and used at this year’s July 4th celebration.
    3. In honor of Parks & Recreation Month, Mr. Snipes recognized the Parks & Recreation team for doing a great job day in and day out as they maintain City’s green spaces and manage first-class programs:
      • Currently, staff is overseeing the Summer Camp, Dance Camps, Tennis Tournaments, Pickledon and much more. Mr. Snipes encouraged all residents to take advantage of indoor fitness programs and to head outside and enjoy a family picnic this summer at one of the 20 Scenic parks in Missouri City.
    4. On the infrastructure front, Gregory Boulevard Construction is complete:
      • Mr. Snipes invited Council and residents to join him, Councilmember Ford, the Fondren Park HOA and community leaders at a ribbon cutting for the roadway on Saturday, July 8. Photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony can be viewed on the City’s Facebook page.
      • On Thursday, June 29, the City also hosted a ribbon cutting for the newly opened Hurricane Lane and a groundbreaking ceremony for the future Trammel-Fresno Road expansion. Mr. Snipes thanked Mayor Allen Owen, District B Councilmember Don Smith and At-Large Position 1 Councilmember Jerry Wyatt for their leadership on these events. Photos from these ceremonies are available on the City’s Facebook page.
    5. Mr. Snipes reminded audience members about the July Leadership Luncheon.
      • Rep. Ron Reynolds gave an overview of the 85th Texas Legislative Session at the Thursday, July 13 Leadership Luncheon at Ben E. Keith. He provided insight on issues legislators discussed during the regular session and details of their special meeting, which is in session. See photos and learn more about the Leadership Luncheon on the City’s Facebook page.
    6. Mr. Snipes thanked the following:
      • The Police & Fire Auxiliary for their generous donation to the City’s Public Safety departments.
      • Councilmember Ford for joining City staff on Thursday, June 29 for the Walk & Drive Tour in the Hunters Glen I & II subdivisions. These tours allow City staff to meet one-on-one with residents and stakeholders to address concerns within their community and strengthen existing community partnerships. See photos from the tour Here.
      • Mayor Pro Tem Emery, Councilmember Maroulis and others for joining Mr. Snipes at the Youth Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, June 27, which resulted in a very interesting – and productive – conversation with future leaders. This was the City’s first Youth Town Hall, but staff members are planning to host more of these meetings in the future. See photos from the Youth Town Hall meeting Here.
      • Councilmember Wyatt and staff for partnering with City staff at the At-Large Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, June 20. Also in attendance were Mayor Pro Tem Emery and Councilmember Maroulis. More than 80 residents attended and had a great discussion about FY 2018 budget, Community Center renovations, Missouri City library Expansion, the new HCC campus and other resident concerns. See photos from the At-Large Town Hall meeting Here.
    7. To finish his announcements, Mr. Snipes provided the following kudos:
      • To the City’s Human Resources and Organizational Development team for hosting the City’s inaugural Employee Engagement Conference on Wednesday, June 21 at the City Centre at Quail Valley. The conference was designed to encourage, inspire, educate and motivate staff under the City’s new “Together, We Excel!” credo and to further propel the City toward becoming a High Performance Organization. See photos from the Employee Engagement Conference Here.
  • Held a public hearing and approved an ordinance on the first of two readings for a Specific Use Permit to construct a 120-foot-tall monopole telecommunications tower on a leased area of approximately 2,400 square feet. The subject site is located on the Elkins High School campus, north of Knights Court, south of Oilfield Road, east of Thompson Ferry Road and west of State Highway 6. In order to provide needed cellular phone coverage and an enhanced 911 emergency services network for T-Mobile’s existing customers in the Riverstone neighborhood, the applicant requested approval of a Specific Use Permit to construct a 120-foot-tall monopole telecommunications tower to replace an existing softball light-standard light pole on the campus of Elkins High School, 7007 Knights Ct.
  • Held a public hearing and approved an ordinance on the first of two readings to zone an approximate 7.53-acre tract of land from SD, suburban district to R, rural single-family residential district to allow for the development of a residential dwelling unit. The subject site is located on the unimproved extension of Knight Road (on the west side) and east of the Estates of Silver Ridge subdivision. Frank Hilson III is the property owner.
  • Held a public hearing and approved an ordinance on the first of two readings to zone an approximate 1.2392-acre tract of land from LC-1, local retail restricted district to PD, Planned Development District to allow for additional permitted uses and to increase the maximum single tenant size in the existing building. The subject site is located at 4340 Sienna Pkwy., north of the intersection of Silver Ridge Boulevard and Sienna Parkway, south of the Primrose School of Sienna, east of a Pepperoni’s restaurant and west of the Silver Ridge residential subdivision. In 2015, the subject site was zoned LC-1, local retail restricted district from SD, suburban district when the developer sought to construct a multitenant shopping center that allowed for a tenant mix consistent with uses permitted in the LC-2, local retail district. Residents of the surrounding subdivisions objected to the intensity of uses proposed in the LC-2 district and expressed concerns regarding the impact of the development on traffic as well as the effect on the vegetation that existed on the property. Since that time, the shopping center has been constructed, and the developer has met with residents to discuss possible types of business to be located within the center. The developer is now seeking to zone the subject site as a PD to expand the permitted uses as requested from residents in the adjacent Silver Ridge neighborhood.
  • Held the first and final public hearing and approved a resolution that adopts a schedule of fees for City residential and commercial solid waste and recycling collection services. The City chose WCA as the exclusive provider of commercial and residential solid waste services as well as certain levels of residential recycling services and began service on Jan. 1, 2016. The City has received a request, per the contract, for the annual rate adjustments for Consumer Price Index and fuel adjustments combined of $0.06 per household per month. This will raise the monthly charge to $12.65 per household per month. Financial Services staff will be contacting the billing entities for residential service to advise them of the change in rates, so that they can be applied appropriately starting in January of 2018.
  • Appointed members to the following boards, commissions and committees:
    1. Community Development Advisory Committee: Monica Rasmus and Bertha Eugene
    2. Construction Board of Adjustments & Appeals: Sammy Freeman, William W. Johnson, George E. Johnson III and Alan Atwater
    3. Electrical Board: Buford Jurica, Joe Scanlin, and Frank Hester
    4. Planning and Zoning Commission: John T. O’Malley, Douglas Parker, Hugh Brightwell, Ramesh Anand and Timothy R. Haney
    5. Zoning Board of Adjustments & Appeals: Joe Workman, John D. Jobe, James G. Norcom, III. Robin Elackatt was also appointed as an Alternate
  • Authorized the City Manager to execute a $280,593.05 contract with Classic Irrigation for the Community Center Phase II Plaza. As part of the City Council’s desire to increase investment along Texas Parkway and reinvest in the City Hall campus and as part of Phase 2 of the Council approved Community Center project, staff solicited bids for the landscaping improvements outside of the Community Center. The City contracted with M2L in 2016 to provide design services for improvements primarily in the area surrounding the Community Center, both indoors and outdoors. From these design efforts with staff, plans and specifications were produced including grading, drainage, paver replacement, concrete flatwork, electrical and lighting, along with landscaping and irrigation improvements. City staff contacted three area providers known for their ability to possibly accomplish this large and complicated project. Each of the providers were provided all of the plans and specifications and were given the opportunity to perform a site visit for exact measurements, etc. Procurement and Public Works staff felt that the proposal from Classic Landscaping and Irrigation was most responsive and offered the City the “best value” for this project. Also, using Classic Irrigation and Landscape, LLC for this project will enable City staff to fast track the project for scheduled completion by October, 2017. As detailed in Texas Gov. Code, 252.022a (10), an exception can be made to the standard procurement practices based on the following: “a public improvement project, already in progress, authorized by the voters of the municipality, for which there is a deficiency of funds for completing the project in accordance with the plans and purposes authorized by the voters”. City staff has taken exception to standard procurement practices as this project clearly meets the standards outlined in this Code exception by virtue of the aforementioned 2014 Bond Package for Facilities-Community Center.
  • Authorized the City Manager to execute a $574,975 contract to Kelly R. Kaluza & Associates, Inc. for the engineering and design of the Knight Road extension. The project will give residents of Sienna Plantation an alternate north/south route to connect to SH6 and the Fort Bend Parkway. This project was approved in the 2013 Fort Bend County mobility bond election. As part of this interlocal agreement with Fort Bend County, the County will contribute up to $2.8 million toward the design and construction of this project, which is estimated at 50 percent of the total project cost. The City will contribute the other 50 percent as approved in the FY2017 five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) plan. City Council had previously authorized an interlocal agreement with Fort Bend County for the extension of Knight Road on May 15, 2017. This project will include 1.5 miles of two-lane asphalt roadway with shoulder from McKeever Road to SH6 and include a bridge over the American Water Canal. Kelly R. Kaluza & Associates, Inc. team was selected through the Missouri City and the Fort Bend County selection process to provide professional services for the engineering, design, surveying, bid and construction management and final documentation for this roadway extension project.
  • Authorized the purchase of staging equipment, delivery and training from Safeware, Inc. for a total cost of $129,745. Currently the City rents staging systems from regional vendors. The City has been advised by several prominent artists that our rentals are well below par for professional staging systems. The City Parks & Recreation Department reached out to an international company (Stageline, Inc.) that specializes in portable staging, particularly in municipalities. Most recently they were selected for staging by Fort Bend County and the City of Houston. The City Purchasing Division negotiated with the U.S. distributor for Stageline, Inc. (Safeware, Inc.), and through the U.S. Communities National Contract # 4400001839 determined a price point of $ 129,745, including delivery and training. The Purchase Order will be issued to Safeware, Inc. of Arvada, Colo.
  • Approved a parkland dedication of $93,800 for The Grove at Riverstone subdivision. The Grove at Riverstone is a 26.44-acre, single-family residential development to consist of 67 dwelling units. The subdivision is being developed by Newmark Homes Houston, LLC. The developer has proposed to pay cash in lieu of the provision of parkland within the subdivision. The Parks Board considered the proposal at their June 1, 2017 meeting and recommended unanimously to forward a positive recommendation to accept the developer’s proposal. The Planning and Zoning Commission considered the proposal at its June 14, 2017 meeting and forwards a positive recommendation. The proposed subdivision is located within Park Zone 8. The cash payment in lieu of parkland can be used on park development or acquisition only in Park Zone 8.
  • Approved a parkland dedication of $728,000 for Parks Edge subdivision. Parks Edge is a proposed single-family residential subdivision to consist of 1,040 lots on approximately 352.6 acres of land. The subdivision is being developed by DRH Land Opportunities I, Inc. The proposed subdivision is located within PD, planned development district #95 and is governed by a development agreement and utility agreement with the City. The subdivision is also located within a municipal management district. The developer provided the attached proposal to provide 50 percent private parkland and 50 percent cash in lieu of the provision of parkland within the boundaries of the subdivision. The Parks Board considered the proposal on June 1, 2017 and recommended unanimously to forward a positive recommendation to accept the applicant’s proposal. The Planning and Zoning Commission considered the proposal at its June 14, 2017 meeting and forwards a positive recommendation. The proposed subdivision is located within Park Zone 10. The cash payment in lieu of parkland can be used on park development or acquisition only in Park Zone 10.
  • Approved ratifying the $105,000 purchase of emergency audio visual equipment for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC AMX and Extron system that controls all of the audio visual needs for the EOC training room, command center and small conference room stopped functioning prior to Council’s approval. AMX technicians were dispatched to repair and bring the system back to normal operations. The technicians diagnosed that the Main switcher that controls all the routing for the EOC system had completely failed and was beyond repairs and needed to be replaced. The original system was procured and installed when the building was constructed and is considered end-of-life.
  • Approved an ordinance on the first of two readings that adopts a new personnel manual. Certain City staff members met on February 6, 2017, April 5, 2017 and June 19, 2017, to discuss making various changes to the City’s Personnel Manual. City staff ultimately decided to postpone making substantial policy changes until the City’s benefits and compensation plans are reviewed in Fiscal Year 2018. However, the management team decided to move forward on a general “clean up” of the ordinance and the following more significant change (Additional policy changes may be recommended by City staff in the near future to address recommendations that may result from the Fiscal Year 2018 compensation and benefits study):
    1. Defining “Department Director” in the policy to include members of the leadership team;
    2. Removing the probationary period;
    3. Adding a provision that specifically states that the City may reassign or terminate the employment of an individual who is or becomes listed on a sex offender registry;
    4. Removing the description of the employee evaluation rating system to provide the City with more flexibility in selecting its administrative rating tools;
    5. Providing that the City Manager may administratively provide tuition reimbursement procedures;
    6. Clarifying that employees working non-traditional work schedules accrue vacation leave at the same rate as other 40-hour per week employees on traditional schedules;
    7. Removing the requirement that an employee must be employed with the City for six months before using accrued vacation or holiday leave;
    8. Revising the section relating to funeral leave to provide more specification;
    9. Providing references to federal law in the FMLA section of the policy;
    10. o Revising the policy to be more consistent with the City’s smoking ordinance set forth in Article IV, Chapter 70, of the Missouri City Code;
    11. Adding a new section to prohibit former employees from being in non-public City areas without being escorted by City employees and to require the return of City property at the time of separation; and
    12. Excluding appointed officials and department directors from being allowed to utilize the grievance process and setting a 30-day deadline by which all grievance reports must be filed.
  • Approved an ordinance on the first and final reading to amend the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Adopted Budget. The purpose of this amendment is to transfer funds from the Parkland Dedication Fund to the Parks Projects Fund. This will increase revenues and expenditures in the Parks Projects Fund by $129,745 to support the purchase of the Portable Stage. In addition, this amendment will appropriate funding in Fund 611 in the amount of $105,000 for an emergency purchase in our Emergency Operations Center for network cabling services.
  • Approved the Consent Agenda, which included the following:
    1. Approved the minutes of the special and regular City Council meetings of June 19, 2017.
    2. Approved an ordinance in the second and final reading that amends Chapter 38, Fire Prevention and Protection, of the Missouri City Code; amends regulations regarding fire lanes; and provides a penalty.
    3. Approved an ordinance on the second and final reading that adds a new Chapter 16, Naming of City Property and City Programs, of the Missouri City Code; and provides rules and regulations related to the naming of City property and City programs.

For updates, please watch the City website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).

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