The Levelland City Council met last night in a regular meeting. The council did decide to issue a request for proposals for Legal Services. We will have details of this later in this story. The full report of the meeting is below………..
The council discussed the use agreements for the Levelland Oxy Sports Complex. Over the past 2 months staff has met with various stakeholders and potential users of the sports complex. The various league representatives have been consulted in the facility use agreements and all are in favor of the agreements as well as the Community Development Board. It was pointed out that previously the leagues had provided the Infield maintenance and preparation and it is now being proposed that the city will take care of that at both city park and the new sports complex. Councilmember Manuel Mendez asked about the city providing the bases and pitching plates at City Park instead of the league. It was noted by staff that their are no facilities at the city park to lock those items up when not in use as their will be at the sports complex. Councilmember Manuel Mendez stated that he does not want the city park to be ignored with the sports complex opening. It was noted by city staff that the city park will still be used for practices and some games. The sports complex will allow the city park to be freed up so that maintenance and repairs can be made. It was also pointed out that their will be no fee for local leagues to play at the sports complex however their would be a charge for outside tournaments. After some discussions the agreements were approved unanimously.
The council also discussed the sponsorship possibilities for the sports complex. The various leagues will take care of selling the sponsorships which would all be standard signs ordered by the city from a local vendor. The production cost for the sign would be $250 with a sponsorship cost of $200 per year. The production cost would be paid to the city and the sponsorship amount would go to the league. It was noted that it might be possible to get the signs cheaper outside of Levelland however the city wants to keep the business local since the facility is paid for by local tax dollars. They also discussed sponsorship availabilities on the scoreboard at the facility. They were approved with little discussion.
The council also approved VGI Technology of San Angelo for $40,996.67 for a video security system for the new landfill and the transfer station. The system was approved in the past budget. It was pointed out that the cameras will be recorded and stored for up to 30 days and can be downloaded and stored if needed. The footage would be available at any time to department heads and senior city management.
The city council also approved going out for bids for the vehicles approved in the 2014-2015 budget. The Police Department will go for 3 police cruisers and 1 unmarked unit, street department will get 1 new dump truck, Cemetary Department will get a new pickup and a new backhoe, Water Department will get a new pickup and the Wastewater Department will get a new Vac Trailer. It was noted that they will go out for bids at staggered times, police department will go out immediately because those vehicles are only built one time a year by the manufacturers.
The council also approved the annual report for the Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone #1 and 2.
The council discussed the lease of the wastewater farm. The city had gone out for proposals and the current operator Synatschk Farms submitted a proposal for the operator to replace the current center pivots and to not pay a cash lease to the city for the first 7 years and then the center pivots would be the property of the city and they would begin paying annual lease amount of $40,500. After much research, the city attorney has determined that it would put the city in violation of the public procurement law. The attorney visited with Synatschk Farms and they are willing to enter a new agreement with a cash lease paid annually at $40,500 and the city will replace the center pivots no later than the next budget year. It is estimated that the cost to replace the pivots is $250,000.
It has been discussed at several council meetings in the past and several council members have requested to look at alternatives of acquiring legal services. The city manager did point out that municipal law is a specialty. Rick Osburn stated that he would strongly urge the council to not exercise the option of not having a city attorney. He also stated he is not aware of another local attorney who practices municipal law. Manuel Mendez said he would be curious to see what the cost would be to look at outside legal counsel even noting that he feels their are conflicts of interest. He would like to see the council go out for proposals just to see what is available. He would like to see the cost of going to a consulting legal firm on a retainer basis. It was pointed out that a few months ago the Levelland Economic Development Corporation went through a request for qualifications/proposals for legal services and has contracted with a Lubbock firm for legal services. A citizen asked what conflict of interest the council or Mayor is referring too. The Mayor stated that the salary being paid to the current City Attorney was not approved by the council, however several council members stated it was approved in budget worksessions.
Prior to adjournment, Mayor Waymon Jackson spoke in open meeting and stated that he had heard from LISD concerning the need for 5 acres of land for the ag farm and they want the land near the wastewater treatment plant which is at the corner of Alamo Rd and Bison Road. The Mayor stated he could see no reason why the city could not give the land to the school. City Manager Rick Osburn stated that he had spoke to board president FE Shaheen earlier in the day and noted that he had visited with Superintendent Kelly Baggett on numerous occasions and had showed that piece of land to Baggett. Osburn said that the school district has not contacted the city formally to discuss the possibility of aquiring any land the city owns. He did note that he did not think the city could legally give the land to the school, however, they could look at a long term lease option and said it would be possible if the district would like to discuss it.