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HomeMy WebLinkAboutMIN 10.12.2010 CC-WThe City Council of the City of Georgetown, Texas, met in Regular Session on the above date with Mayor George Garver presiding. Council Present: Council Absent: Gabe Sansing, Danny Meigs, Bill Sattler, Pat Patty Eason Berryman, Dale Ross, Tommy Gonzalez Staff Present: Paul E. Brandenburg, City Manager; Mark Sokolow, City Attorney; Jessica Brettle, City Secretary, Elizabeth Cook, Community Development Director; Jim Briggs, Assistant City Manager; Micki Rundell, Chief Financial Officer; A Presentation, update and regional programs by Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) -- Betty Voights, Executive Director, Capital Area Council of Governments With a Powerpoint Presentation, Voights said it is CAPCOG's 40th year anniversary this year. She said they have decided to go out and make sure the area cities and counties know what CAPCOG is all about. She said they have been doing this for about three months and she noted they will keep doing it until they hit most of the cities and counties. She noted, if Council has a question, feel free to ask. She said they cover ten counties and it is an interesting region because it is very urban in the core and rural on the edges. She said Llano county is probably their most rural because it is quite elderly. She spoke about the definition of a Council of Government. She said they are created in the Local Government Code Chapter 391 and they are a political subdivision like a city or county, though they can not levy taxes or enforce laws. She described the main reasons for a Council of Government is to promote collaboration across city and county boundaries. She said there are 24 council of governments in Texas and the Governor designates each one. She said, when cities and counties join the council of government, they get a slot on the general assembly. She said there are other types of organizations such as school districts that serve but noted only the cities and counties on the general assembly can serve on the executive committee board. She continued to speak about their membership. She gave the City Council a listing of those who serve on the executive committee. She spoke about how CAPCOG is funded. She said almost all of their money comes from state or federal agencies. She listed how much money they receive from federal funds, federal through State funds and State direct funds. Voights listed the many divisions of CAPCOG including aging, community and economic development, emergency communications, homeland security, regional training academy and administration. She described each of these divisions and what services they provide to the community. She said, regarding the aging division, they provide funding to CARTS (Capital Area Rural Transportation System) to provide transport for medical trips for seniors. She said their staff also does benefits counseling information and referral care coordination. She described their ombudsmen program and said they have someone in all of their facilities that serves as a patient advocate. She spoke about their caregiver program and said it recognizes that the folks that take care of seniors and disabled people need attention as well. She said community and economic development is their smallest department. She said that department is an information clearinghouse, a state data center affiliate and it provides demographics, economic data, impact analyses profiles and technical City Council Meeting Minutes/ Page 1 of 5 Pages assistant for other community and economic development planning in other cities. She listed many ways CAPCOG economic development department has helped surrounding cities in the area. She said, if the city has a project and needs economic development money, they will help the city apply for grants. She mentioned their emergency communications department. She said the COGS in Texas do this because, back in the late 1980s, the government really wanted the 911 service to be available statewide. She said they pay the phone bills for the centers where the 911 operators sit. She added they also provide training and the mapping for the 911 call takers. She mentioned the Homeland Security Department and spoke about how it was formed after September 11, 2001. She said they do planning and regional coordination which provides regional preparedness, technical response, public health/medical and long-term communications interoperability. She said, with the homeland security money, they bought an ENS (Emergency Notification System), or reverse 911 system. She described their WebEOC program which will show the police, EMS and Firefighters what help is needed at what location through a website. Berryman asked and Voights spoke more about the radio communications interoperability and how it would work in Williamson County. Voights said they are moving toward a more seamless emergency public communication system. She spoke about their regional services division, which is in charge of the smaller programs including air quality planning, criminal justice planning and funding, solid waste planning and grants, transportation and land use planning, Texas review and comment system, TX CDBG regional review committee and Geographic Information Services (GIS) program. She spoke about their CARTPO (Capital Area Regional Transportation Organization) committee. She said they have a regional peace officer training academy and said they do four basic peace officer academies per year. She mentioned they have also had 100% pass rate so far. She said they also provide in-service continuing education for current law enforcement officials as well as a jailers courses. She noted they conduct a survey with the sheriffs and police officers about their training wants and needs. She described their administrative services division and showed Council a pie chart demonstrating their funding and budget expenditures. She added emergency communications make up the largest piece at 45%. She said they get asked to do many types of programs and said they can do any programs that cities or counties as them to do, but they have to find funding for it. She said there is a little over $300,000 in their budget that is flexible. She added, other than that, their monies are project specific. She described their 2011 Projects. She said, in their training center, they are offering courses on economic development targeted for elected officials, managing a disaster, advanced GIS classes and Human Resources issues. She noted CAPCOG was asked to do an assessment of growth and development in a four country area: land use, water, transportation and economic development. She said this will be done in with this assessment next year. She described their smart -grid simulator. She noted they are doing a call for projects for the geo-spatial base map project. She described next generation 911 and said it will be in place when they get a system that is completely digital. She added this will allow them to receive text 911 messages from the community as well Berryman said they have provided a lot to Georgetown in terms of waste management and the city's police and fire. She noted they are a major funder for the Children's Advocacy Center and Emergency Battery Home. She said they are numerous charities that are being supported by CAPCOG and added they are also a big research group. She said they are a great source of data and added they were showing the group that Georgetown is the regional hub for biotech firms. She said CAPCOG offers the city a great value for all they do. There were many comments. Mayor thanked Voights for her informative presentation. B Presentation by the Texas Housing Foundation regarding the status of a pending Cooperation Agreement between the City of Georgetown and the Texas Housing Foundation -- Mike Mayfield, Texas Housing Foundation Brandenburg gave a summary of the item. He introduced Mark Mayfield, of the Texas Housing Foundation, to the Council. Mayfield said he began as the director of the Marble Falls Housing Authority in 1987 and said he is still the director. He said is also the director and President of the Texas Housing Foundation and he spoke about the creation of that organization. He said, being in a dynamic area, they have seen a lot of growth in this area and a need for affordable housing that follows that growth. He said the Texas Housing Foundation was birthed in an effort to meet those needs. He said he was contacted by Nikki Brennan at the Georgetown Housing Authority to see if the Foundation would look at the Gateway Northwest property in order to get the property developed. He gave a brief breakdown of the Texas Housing Foundation. He said public housing authorities are a result of Chapter 392 of the Texas Local Government Code. He said the idea of the Texas Housing Foundation was formed in 2005. He added according to the Code, there can be three types of housing authorities, including a municipal housing authority, a county housing authority and a regional housing authority. He said the Texas Housing Foundation is a regional housing authority. He said every housing authority will enter into a contractual agreement with the Texas Department of Housing and Urban Development. He said that becomes its source of revenues and programs. He said, in his years of serving in a public housing program, he has seen many pitfalls within the program. He continued to speak about the creation of the Foundation and of a program that will not have a connection with the federal government. He said, if a city wants a vibrant community, affordable housing can not be ignored. He said the Texas Housing Foundation was City Council Meeting Minutes/ Page 2 of 5 Pages created by Resolution in January of 2006. He said the Texas Housing Foundation does not have a contractual agreement with the federal government or any governing body. He said it is a three member board made up of members from Blanco, Burnet and Llano counties. He spoke about the vision of the organization. He noted, to his knowledge, this is the only housing authority in the country that does not receive funding from any governmental entity. He spoke about the properties they have developed since 1995. He said, in each of these properties, they had to go into with a cooperative agreement which will be before the Council at the Council meeting. He provided the Council with statistics of all that the Foundation has accomplished since it began in 1995. He spoke about Community Resource Centers of Texas and said they started in Burnet County and began thanks to the Texas Housing Foundation. He spoke about what the Center provides to the community. He said they have a property that is being built in Liberty Hill and he spoke about their other properties. Mayor asked that Mayfield summarize the steps the Foundation would go through if the Council deemed it appropriate to approve the request and Cooperative Agreement. Mayfield said there will be a Resolution that will be before the Council that says there is a need for affordable housing in the area. He said this Resolution will allow the City to work with a housing authority other than the municipal authority that already exists. He said that is state law. He said the City will have no liabilities and added the Texas Housing Foundation will assume all liabilities for the project. He said this is both a for profit and non-profit development. He added this will be a stand alone financial development in that they will seek funding from various sources. He said they will probably seek housing tax credits through the State of Texas. He spoke about the many ways the Foundation can obtain funds for the project. He noted there will be no liability to the City. He spoke about the fact that the Foundation will be involved with the final product for the entire life of it. He said they will manage the property and they will do all of the maintenance of the property. Mayor asked and Mayfield confirmed, if Council were to approve the Resolution tonight, it will just open the door for the Foundation to be able to follow the next steps necessary to see if this project can be a reality. Mayfield said, if this is approved, they will do their due diligence to see that this property gets built. He added he knows what they are doing and he feels they can put this development on the ground with the support of the local government. He noted they need political support as it is part of the scoring criteria for funding. He said every project they have begun, they have completed. He said, without the cooperative agreement, their hands are tied. Gonzalez asked and Mayfield said the Texas Housing Foundation was created as a result of the growth of the Marble Falls Housing Authority. He continued to describe the history of the Authority and how it evolved into the Housing Foundation. Gonzalez said and Mayfield confirmed, as the Texas Housing Foundation, there has been only one 28 unit development completed. Mayfield also said that there are other developers that are in process and under construction currently. Gonzalez asked and Mayfield said their resident income levels and rent amounts are reviewed at least every year. He said, if a development has residents out of the income bracket, it will lose its tax credits and that is a death knell of the property. Gonzalez asked and Mayfield said the residents only have to be qualified when they move in initially and it does not matter if they receive a raise during their stay that would bring them out of the income bracket. He said, when that happens, those people would move out to buy homes or they will move to a different development. Sattler asked and Mayfield said he knows Georgetown needs affordable housing because of his experience in the area. He said Cypress Creek and Mariposa are both at over 90% occupancy. He added, before they go in and develop a property, they have to go in and obtain surveys and third parties reports that show the need. He said he is sure that has already taken place before the project first came to the Council. He said he also looks at new permits and development patterns to determine the need. He said, when they engage in these developments, their credibility is on the line and their guarantees are written at the bottom of this projects. He said, if one of their development fail, then they fail as well. Sattler asked and Mayfield noted they will have to do more research before they can determine the need. Ross asked and Mayfield said his goal is to buy the land from the Housing Authority in order to move forward with the project. Ross asked and Mayfield said, however, they will need to secure funding before they buy the land from the Housing Authority. Ross asked and Mayfield spoke more about where their funding will come from. Mayfield said, if they are not able to secure tax credits from the government, they will seek other sources as well and he described those various sources. Ross asked and Mayfield said if they go through the tax credit route the pre application will be due at the beginning of the year. Ross asked and Mayfield said, if the Foundation goes through the full application process, any tax credits will be awarded in the end of July, 2011. He noted, if they were to receive those credits, they would take the land out. Ross asked and Mayfield said it would be required under this program that the Housing Authority not pursue the sale of the land until July to see if they get the credits. Mayfield said he can not guarantee that this is going to happen but noted they are going to use their due diligence to make it happen. Ross asked and Mayfield said, without the resolution and the blessing of the governing body, it will be useless for Foundation to pursue this endeavor. Mayfield said they could work as a consultation role with the Housing Authority if that is something they would like. Ross asked and Mayfield said, if this project was built, the Housing Authority would not have any role or responsibility over the project. Ross said, when he is asked to cast a vote, he will need to have more information before he can do City Council Meeting Minutes/ Page 3 of 5 Pages so. He said Council does not have a lot of financial information to review and he does not have enough information to determine whether his company is viable for this project or not. Mayfield noted the Housing Authority contacted him to see what the options could be and to see if the Housing Foundation can see that this property get developed. He said he needs the blessing of the community before he can move forward. He added the Housing Authority has gone into great detail to see that this property be developed. He said the property itself has been a victim of the markets and Ross agreed. Mayfield said he can not guarantee that the same community that was approved last time will be built but he said they will try to stay with it as planned. Meigs asked and Berryman confirmed a past Council approved the project. Meigs asked and Mayfield said he has 24 years dealing with the public housing industry. Meigs asked and Mayfield said, if the resolution is approved he will do his best to move forward with the plan and develop the property. Brandenburg said, if the project starts to be developed, there will have to be a site plan submittal to the City staff but it does not need approval from the Council. Brandenburg noted it will only come back to Council if they start to request funds. Sattler asked and Mayfield said it is not their intent to request money from the City. Mayfield said he is proud that they have never requested revenue from any state or local governing body. He said they create mechanisms to get the property developed on their own and added they are a tax exempt entity. He added affordable housing needs will never go away but said the way the communities have gone about creating these developments in the past is flawed. He said this will be a property that the city will be very proud of and it will never be a property that the City will need to subsidize. He stressed that he will never come to the City Council for money. There was much discussion. Mayor said Mayfield is here at the request of the Housing Authority and asked if a member of the Housing Authority would like to say anything. Speaker, John Gavurnik, said he has been a member of the Housing Authority since March and he is also a local Georgetown builder and developer. Gavurnik asked and Nikki Brennan, Executive Director of the Housing Authority, confirmed there is a waiting list of over 500 people for the low income housing properties in Georgetown. Brennan said, though this is regarding low income housing, it shows a need for an affordable housing in the community. Gavurnik said Cypress Creek development is 94% occupied and San Gabriel Senior Center is 94% occupied. Brennan listed the waiting lists for the low income housing developments in the area. She said the tax credit developments in Georgetown also have very high occupancy. She said 73% of jobs in Williamson County are service industry jobs, which would fall within the median income for the proposed project. She said there are approximately 16,000 single parent family homes in Georgetown as well. Brennan said the Authority renegotiated their mortgage payment for the Gateway Northwest property and brought it down to $6220 a month. She said they only have $81,000 in unrestricted funds to pay the mortgage for this property and added the funds will run out before September 2011. Mayor asked and Gavurnik said the timeline for possible tax credits described by Mayfield would bring the Authority close to their funding deadline. Berryman asked and Mayfield confirmed the tax credits would be determined at the end of July. Berryman asked what would happen if they don't get the tax credits. Mayfield described the possible other sources of revenue for the project. Gavurnik said they have no other choice right now because they have the property on the market but they do not have any money and they have not had any valid offers on the land. Gonzalez spoke about the risk factor of waiting to sell the property until July 2011 and not taking any offers they may get before then. He said, if the Authority did that, they are rolling all of the dice on the fact that this project will happen. Ross said that's great but noted those provisions are not in the cooperative agreement or the resolution. Ross said he hopes this would be a parallel track where the Authority would work with Mayfield and then also be trying to sell the land. Mayfield said that could definitely be a side agreement but they need the blessing of the Council before they can begin any processes. Johnny Lacey, a member of the Housing Authority, said they have spoken to Mayfield about being able to sell the land before this project comes to fruition. He added they would still have to pay Mayfield for their consulting services. Gavrunik said he knows there were some concerns about the drainage issues and added the current plans he received from Steger and Bizzell allow for drainage improvements on that property. He said the drainage will not be 100% solved, but it will be a lot better. Mayor reviewed the issue before the Council and said the Cooperative Agreement and Resolution will be on the council meeting agenda for further discussion and possible approval. Recessed to Executive Session under Sections 551.071, 551.072 and 551.087 -- 4:47 p.m. Returned to Open Session and adjourned -- 5:44 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 PM. Approved : Attest: City Council Meeting Minutes/ Page 4 of 5 Pages Ma´┐Żbr George Garver qXy Secretary Jessica Brettle City Council Meeting Minutes/ Page 5 of 5 Pages