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Posted on: July 13, 2022

Shenandoah City Council Meeting July 13, 2022 Update

Supporting Documents for Agenda Items can be found HERE.  

2022 – 2023 Proposed Operating Budget 

Missed the Council meeting? Check out our YouTube channel and watch at your convenience. 

Attendance: Present:   Mayor John Escoto Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Bradt (Position 4), Jim Pollard (Position 3)   Ted Fletcher (Position 2) and Ron Raymaker (Position 1) Absent:   Mike McLeod (Position 5)

ITEM 6: MCED Board of Managers  -  The Montgomery County Emergency Communication District Board consists of five members who serve staggered terms of two years. Two are appointed by a majority vote of cities within the county, two others are appointed by the County Commissioners Court, and the remaining member is appointed by the fire chiefs of the volunteer fire departments.  The position of Richard Tramm, former city manager of Montgomery, is now open.  Council voted 4-0 to support Kathie Reyer for the position.

ITEM 7: Entergy Rate Increase-  On July 1, 2022, Entergy Texas, Inc. filed a statement of intent to increase the system-wide base rate. If approved, the average monthly increase would be approximately $13.50 per residential customer, depending on usage. Entergy has proposed an effective date of August 5 for the increase. The proposed Ordinance would suspend that effective date for 90 days to allow The Lawton Law Firm to review the request and make a recommendation to the Cities.  Council voted 4-0 to suspend the effective date for 90 days.

ITEM 8: Toddler Park Parking Design Change - This project is currently under design. Energy Transfer owns the gas line and 30’ easement that runs through the Toddler Park. Staff has contacted Energy Transfer regarding an encroachment on their easement for the parking lot and the request was denied. Energy Transfer does not allow parking lots on their easement. This required the parking spaces to be moved further west.  Discussion only; no Council action required.

ITEM 9: Budget Amendments- Staff sought approval of the proposed budget amendments. A budget amendment is either an increase or a decrease to a particular line item within the budget to account for any unexpected expenditures or unexpected increase or decrease in costs on budgeted items.  Council voted 4-0 to approve the third quarter budget amendment.

ITEM 10:  Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool (TMLIRP) Rerate Exposure  - TMLIRP is the City’s insurance company and each year the City must review the coverage limits and inform TMLIRP of any requested changes. The rerate exposure was reviewed by the City attorney several years ago and changes were suggested based on legal limitations. The limits are provided to Council annually for approval and are shown in the supporting documents above. These limits and deductibles are recommended by the City Attorney and have been approved by Council for the past seven years.    Council voted 4-0  to approve the rerate.

ITEM 11:  Water & Sewer Impact Fee Fund Creation  - The city adopted an impact fee requirement for new development to help pay for necessary infrastructure improvements to handle increased demand. Council must approve the creation of all accounting funds. This fund will be used for the collection of impact fees to keep them separate from the operational water & sewer fund since these funds will be used for certain projects and expenses tied to the expansion of facilities with respect to additional demand. The new Water & Sewer Impact Fee Fund will be fund 610 in the city’s financials.   Council voted 4-0  to approve the creation of the fund.

ITEMS 12-14:  Minimum Lot Frontage Variance Request  - The property owner of  2.203 acres of land has requested a variance to the required minimum lot frontage. The property is located within the Commercial Corridor Zoning District “CC”. The commercial corridor zoning district requires a minimum lot frontage of 200’ and the property only provides a frontage distance of 159.74’. The City annexed the property into the City limits on June 24, 2015. An application for a zoning amendment to zone the property was approved in 2018. A public hearing was held.    Council voted 4-0  to approve the variance.

ITEMS 15-17:  Minimum Vegetation Barrier Variance Request- The property owner of the same  2.203 acres of land also requested a variance to the required minimum vegetation barriers along the north side property line. Shenandoah’s Vegetation Ordinance requires a 15’ vegetation buffer along commercial property lines. Based on the constructed site width and the property line being the city's northern limits,  it is requested the property landscape buffer along the north property line be 10’. The City annexed the property into the City limits on June 24, 2015 and zoned it as commercial corridor in 2018. A public hearing was held. Council voted 4-0  to approve the variance.

ITEM 18:  Conroe-The Woodlands Urbanized  Area Mobility Committee - Per the bylaws of the UZA Mobility Committee, any membership changes must be adopted by Resolution of the City Council. The primary representative must be an elected official of the organization and the alternate can be either an elected official or an employee. Former Mayor Wheeler was the primary representative of the City and Kathie Reyer has been the alternate. The Resolution will appoint Mayor Escoto as the primary representative and Kathie Reyer will remain as the alternate.   Council voted 4-0  to approve the representation change.

ITEMS 19-20:  Authorize Representatives as Signers for Appropriate Texpool/Texpool Prime and Allegiance Bank Accounts   - Staff recommends Council adopt the new resolutions authorizing representatives including new Councilmember Jim Pollard to serve as signers on TexPool and bank accounts.   Council voted 4-0  to approve the authorized signer representatives. 

ITEM 21: Budget Calendar Changes -  Staff requested moving the workshop dates from a Friday/Saturday to a Thursday/Friday matching the meeting schedule last year. New proposed dates for these items are: August 10:  item to vote if the city will be adopting a tax rate higher or lower than the no new revenue rate provided by the Tax Assessor for the 2022 Tax Rate;  August 4, August 10( if needed), 5:30 pm: 2022-2023 Budget workshop. Council voted 4-0 to approve calendar changes.

ITEM 22: Discussion of the 2022 – 2023 Proposed Budget -  Discussion included: no updates from the first budget discussion, general questions;  individual budgets that were discussed: • General Fund Revenue • Non-Department • Emergency Management • CVB • Technology (moved to the third discussion) • Police (moved to the third discussion).  Discussion only; no action needed. 

ITEM 23: Minutes of the May 11 Regular and May 18 Special Meeting  - Council voted 4-0 to approve the minutes as presented. 

ITEM 24:  City Attorney Update - Update on Frank Powell

  • Regarding Powell's allegation that the City Administrator. City Attorney Updates violated TOMA on the agenda requirements
    • TML response: Depending on the nature of what will be discussed by the City Attorney and City Administrator, this may be sufficient notice under Gov’t Code Sec. 551.0415. If the subject of the report requires no action to be taken and the topics fall within the “community interest” definition of Sec. 551.0415, it’s likely to be fine. Those topics may include:

      (1) expressions of thanks, congratulations, or condolence;

      (2) information regarding holiday schedules;

      (3) an honorary or salutary recognition of a public official, public employee, or other citizens, except that a discussion regarding a change in status of a person’s public office or public employment is not an honorary or salutary recognition for purposes of this subdivision;

      (4) a reminder about an upcoming event organized or sponsored by the governing body;

      (5) information regarding a social, ceremonial, or community event organized or sponsored by an entity other than the governing body that was attended or is scheduled to be attended by a member of the governing body or an official or employee of the political subdivision; and

      (6) announcements involving an imminent threat to the public health and safety of people in the political subdivision that has arisen after the posting of the agenda.

  • Regarding Powell's allegation of conflict of interest on City Administration home rental
    • Facts: Facts:  The City Engineer is appointed City Council and has been the City Engineer since 2003.  The City Administrator began renting from the owner of Bleyl Engineering starting on January 1, 2021.  It is my understanding that the City Administrator pays market value rent.  The City Engineer is appointed by City Council, all contracts are awarded by City Council and contract bids are handled by the Director of Public Works
    • TML response:  I am not aware of any law that prohibits a City Administrator from renting a property from the City Engineer. Chapter 171 of the Local Gov’t Code, which regulates public officials’ conflicts of interest is likely not applicable in this case as the city administrator is not a public official who exercises responsibilities beyond those that are advisory in nature.
  • Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law of Judge Sanda Peake, 257Th Judicial District Court of Harris County, in a $491K judgment against Powell

City Administrator Updates

  • None that weren't already discussed

Executive Session:  None Scheduled

 The meeting was adjourned at 8:04  pm.

Upcoming Events/Meetings

July 27: Municipal Development District, 6 pm

July 27 City Council Regular Meeting, 7 pm

August 4: 2022-20234 Budget Workshop, Day 1, 5:30 pm

August 6: Back to School Pool Party, 11 am - 1 pm

August 9: Civic Club, 6 pm

August 10: 2022-20234 Budget Workshop, Day 2 (If needed), 5:30 pm

August 10:  City Council, 7 pm

August 16: Planning and Zoning Commission, 6 pm

August 24: Municipal Development District, 6 pm

August 24: City Council, 7 pm

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