Note: Since these log files are derived from the Closed Captions created during the Channel 6 live cablecasts, there are occasional spelling and grammatical errors. These Closed Caption logs are not official records of Council Meetings and cannot be relied on for official purposes. For official records, please contact the City Clerk at 974-2210.
Good morning. I'm austin mayor lee leffingwell. And we will begin today with the invocation from bishop horne, restoration temple.
chavez first of all for the invitation and just for the acknowledgment that we all need a greater power than ours to govern and make decisions, for that reason, please bow our heads.
Father god we come today, we thank you for allowing us the opportunity to speak today.
We ask that you give wisdom, knowledge, understanding to all of the councilmembers as decisions are made to govern this city.
Where he drive out evil force and every evil power that would bring anything that would shame our city of austin.
And we pray that your glory and your power would rest upon this meeting today and that everything be done in decency and in order.
In jesus' name, amen.
Mayor Leffingwell: Please be seated.
And -- one more piece of business before we start the meeting.
I would like to take a moment of personal privilege to introduce a special visitor who has just walked into town. Literally. Come on up.
Mayor Leffingwell: Today we have with us troy yokum, who is an iraq war veteran who is walking across the country, literally back and forth, to promote veterans issues. And I think most of you know that I'm a veteran myself, so I'm all in favor of troy doing this walk for us. It's very important that we take care of those who have served their country. He began in louisville, kentucky, walked to san diego, now he's working his way back to the east, coming -- obviously he's here in austin now, will be from here, work his way up and back eventually to louisville where he started. 7,000 Miles is the estimated distance that we will have walked. Which is quite a feat. He looks pretty good for having -- having already walked over -- almost 4,000 miles that you have walked so far? 47 -- 4700 Miles so far. And still counting. His wife is here. Come on up if you would like, please. And two dogs. [Laughter] now, I have to say, I have to qualify that by saying that the dogs have not walked the entire distance. They have a little cart that they take the dogs in and give them a rest. As you can see they've got very short legs. This is emmy and harley, and we're just very proud to have you with us here today. And welcome you to austin. Troy, I believe, has a -- has a louisville slugger bat, he thought that was more appropriate than having a card to sign and I totally agree. So I will sign the bat and then troy will take about 30 second or so speak to us and then we will have a short one minute video commemorating his walk. Putting my signature right on the sweet spot. [ Applause ]
in no way does 30 second give me enough time to sum up every single person that I have met walking across america. For the last nine months and one week. I have met thousands and thousands of veterans who have many, many issues. And a lot of those issues come right here to the state of texas. If you have read anything hood recently, they have now experienced a suicide problem. Where it's 8 times more than last year. But across the nation, we are having a much bigger, bigger problem. Where 18 veterans a day are committing suicide. Obviously, there are strides being made to take care of these problems. But we haven't really cracked the solution yet. Obviously, there is many, many times that I have sat in city council meetings from the smallest cities to the largest towns and to me it's the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us who need our help in this time. It's a problem not just here in austin, it's a problem every single place. The towns that I walked into in just this last week kept talking about very minimal support in austin for veterans. And I like to think that austin still has a place in the heart of many of our veterans and that there is help for each and every single one of them here. Thank you so much. [ Applause ] [ applause ] smile thank all four of you so much for what you are doing in service to our country and what you've done in the past. We wish you god's speed for the rest of your journey. So -- a quorum is present, so I'll call this meeting of the austin city council to order on thursday, January 27th, 2011 AT 10:12 A.M. We're meeting in the council chambers, austin city hall, 301 west willie nelson boulevard, austin, texas. We begin with our changes and corrections to today's agenda. 2, add recommended by the electric utility commission. On item 4, add recommended by the electric utility commission. On item 24, add recommended by the resource management commission, reviewed by the electric utility commission. 36, add as a co-sponsor, councilmember randi shade. Our time certain items for today are 10:30 a.m. Briefings, we have a brief on the 140 gpcd water conservation plan. A briefing on sustainable urban agriculture. And also a briefing by austin energy with a worrily -- with a quarterly report. 00 noon we will have our general citizens communications. 00, we will take up our zoning matters. , we'll have public hearings with 30, we will have live music and proclamations -- proclamations, the musician for tonight is haley harris. The consent agenda for today is items 1 through 39, with the exceptions which I will read in just a moment. But first I want to read 33, which remains on the consent agenda, these are our appointments to our boards and commissions. First, to the austin community technology and telecommunication commission, elizabeth quintanilla is nominated by councilmember riley. Our intergovernmental bodies to the austin travis county integral care board of trustees known as mhmr, formerly, robert chapa, junior, is appointed or nominated by yours truly, mayor leffingwell. And to the central health board of managers, formerly known as the travis county health care district, katrina daniel is the council's nominee. Those are our nominees to the boards and commissions. There are no waivers requested this week. Pulled off the consent 19, is pulled by -- excuse me, mayor pro tem martinez. 20, pulled for discussion by councilmember spelman. Item 26, pulled for comments by councilmember cole. Item 30, pulled for discussion by councilmember riley. And item 36, is pulled by councilmember morrison. Are there -- I have no items that are pulled because of -- pulled off the consent agenda because of a number of speakers. We do have some folks -- well, correction. We now have item 26, item 26 is already pulled. Thank you. So we have no additional items pulled for -- pulled for -- for speakers. So with that, council, i will entertain a motion to approve the -- councilmember spelman?
Spelman: Mayor, could you speak to the series of items [indiscernible] 3 and 8.
Mayor Leffingwell: Items 3 and 8?
They are on the consent agenda.
Spelman: I understood they were withdrawn.
Mayor Leffingwell: Perhaps we could have staff address that, because I have no --
Spelman: They are not on the list.
Rudy garza, assistant city manager, items 3 and 8 are the items on the holly decommissioning contract award, which I notified you last week via memo that we were withdrawing that item for consideration and are rebidding the project.
Mayor Leffingwell: Items number 3 and 8 are withdrawn from the agenda.
Mayor Leffingwell: That does not show on my change and correction sheet.
Spelman: With that i will move approval of the consent agenda.
Mayor Leffingwell: Councilmember spelman moves approval. Mayor pro tem seconds. Any discussion? Let me check and make sure if we have some items. We have one person signed up to speak on 19. That's already been pulled. 20 Has been pulled. 26 Has been pulled. All in favor of the motion say aye. Speaking only if there are questions. All in favor say aye.
Opposed say no. Passes on a vote of 7-0. We will now turn to the items pulled off the consent agenda. Beginning with item no. 19. Mayor pro tem martinez?
Thank you, mayor, the city manager and I were just having a conversation about item 19. Welcome, kevin, I wanted to just have a little conversation and a couple of questions. Some issues that are being brought forward, I certainly want to support this item, will support this item. I think obviously establishing new business and new employment opportunities in central east austin is critically important. The one thing, though, that is being brought to light that I am concerned about, and that I hope we can address as well as what we're doing here today is that we have some businesses on east seventh street that are severely impacted by the construction project that's going on and that's been going on for some time and going to continue, as much so -- this is just anecdotal evidence, but they have relayed to me a drop of 40 to 60% in gross sales receipts at restaurants and stores along east seventh street. Some of which who actually have a cdbg loan from the city of austin to build their business. And I -- I understand at least in part their plight and their request to say why can't you help us as well keep our doors open as opposed to just helping new doors open because if I shut my restaurant down, all my employees are just going to go work at this new hotel restaurant that you are building, so you really didn't create any new jobs. So I want to know what we can do to create this billion or what we're thinking about doing to create that balance.
Thank you, mayor pro tem. The -- the issue of the major reconstruction at 7th street is affecting the businesses negatively. In discussions with the -- with the neighborhood housing department, there is one business that does have a loan, but -- but they are double checking, but i believe it is just one business. I would like to ask the -- the transportation department, who is directly impacted and is -- has put together some efforts to try and draw business back to that area, to -- to address your question.
Great, thank you.
Mayor, council, howard lazarus. The promise on east seventh street has been under construction since last march when we had the ground breaking. That project was split into two contracts to try and expedite construction. The contract terms and conditions also contained incentives for the contractors to finish early. Right now both contracts are either on schedule or ahead of schedule, the schedule completion date is in august. One of the contractors is a little bit ahead of schedule. The other is no worse than on schedule. Throughout the construction project, our project manager has been meeting with the property owners and the businesses along east seventh street to address their concerns. Every property owner, every business, has had access and very visible signage throughout the project. There is no doubt that traffic has been adversely impacted at times, as we have replaced all of the underground utilities and progressed on the project. But from a construction standpoint, I think that we have done everything that we can be to responsive to the property owners' needs and to expedite the project so that the negative impacts on the accessibility has been mitigated.
Martinez: Howard, in those incentives, you said one is possibly going to finish ahead of schedule, one is on schedule. Are the incentives to the extent to where they are actually trying to achieve those incentives? I don't know if -- sounds like there may not be enough incentives if they are just going to be on schedule.
No, they are significant in terms of payment to the contractors. It's enough to get their attention. As I said, one of the contractors has made significant efforts, that's I think on the west side of the project, the accelerated construction.
So -- maybe moving forward we can have this conversation, but one of the things that comes to mind is in the future, issues like this, that have a severe impact on the businesses, maybe we -- pain we continue to offer incentives. But if those incentives aren't -- if they don't meet the demands to reach those incentives, that -- that somehow that allotment or portion of that contract be dedicated to -- to maintaining those businesses. So if the project does take the entire time and they don't finish early, the business -- the impact on the businesses is somehow alleviated due to, you know, the traffic problems and signage and all of that.
I can understand the two parts. The first is on that future arterial projects, as we also do, we will continue to look at impacts and construction staging. In this case because of the pricing that we got and because of the desire to get the project done as quickly as possible, we allowed the contractors to work on a longer stretch of road. In the future when we look at arterials we can dictate the means of construction more but we can also expect to pay more in return for construction by being more restrictive. With regard to the second point that you brought up, to the best of my knowledge we have not made payments for interruption of businesses or made those provisions in contracts. I think that's more of a legal and policy decision better addressed outside of the [indiscernible]
Martinez: I know that you weren't here, but there are some folks that were here, we had some projects in the past, specifically barton springs road, west of lamar, it was very difficult time but we did some strong outreach to let folks know businesses are open, please come, it might be a little bit of a headache, they are still open. We did the same thing on 11th and sixth street when we shut down that entire intersection for a project, we actually did psa's leapt folks know how to get around the problem, how to navigate. What have we done on seventh street.
We've had outreach, notifications, public service announcements just as you've mentioned. Those have been effective to varying degrees, we will continue to do that. We will make sure that as we go through each major arterial project that we'll have a very good and very strong outreach and communication plan.
Martinez: Thanks, howard.
I would like to say that in terms of our small business strategy and our redevelopment strategy, that our goal with saltillo plaza, which is our first of what I hope will be a city-wide effort to revitalize business corridors and business areas in the urban fabric throughout the city, that in -- in that the location that we've -- our first step, we're proposing to create 209 jobs and $55 million of private investment. We would like to replicate this, I think that -- i think on 7th street you have pointed to a location that will be on the low side of the bell shaped curve because of the economic issues. And the lack of access. But once the road is finished, it -- they will have a much better curb side appeal, have moreccess, and we would intend to come back and offer assistance through our small business development and go to the federal sources again and see if we can't get them back up to the top. Because then they'll have a better infrastructure, more traffic, better curb side appeal. So I think that we will have an opportunity to follow up, just like we're doing in saltillo.
Martinez: Can we just make sure that we communicate this to those business owners. I think they are feeling somewhat like I don't know like they're being ignored or left out somehow because they see us putting our efforts towards these bedi grants, but yet they have been reaching out to us, say we're having severe issues here. I just want to make sure that we have good communication strategy in plan. Letting them know not only are we going to assist them during this difficult time, once it's all up and done we're coming back around again to lift you back up to where you once were and hopefully get better.
We certainly will. One of the ironic occurrences as a result of going after the bedi, this urban redevelopment competition, is that city-wide now businesses and urban corridors throughout the -- throughout austin now know of the availability of this. And so we've been approached by businesses in montopolis and other areas. We haven't gotten the first one. But now that they're aware that we're going to do this, they are encouraging us to go forward. I do take it very seriously, I will communicate to them.
Thank you, mayor.
Mayor Leffingwell: Councilmember spelman?
Spelman: Howard, i would like to ask you a question, if I could. I would like to ask somebody in public works a question, if I could.
I saw you walking all the way up to the top of the room, I can stop you. Come back. There's a couple of ways of dealing with a problem like this. One of them is to increase the speed with which you get the whole work done. If -- you are talking about that seems to be our philosophy of trying to solve a problem like this is get 7th street done as quickly as possible. It will be fast. That seems to be the way that you do the work if you want to get the whole project done as quickly as possible is tear up the entire street from one end to the next, keep it up until its done, but the entire period in which you have got things torn up is going to be shorter in part because the whole street is open, lay down all of the underground utilities more efficiently because of that and so on. Another way of solving the problem it seems to me is to do it in pieces, tear up say a two block section, get that right, pave it back over, go to the next two block section. Although it may take longer to do, may cost more, nobody is going to be hurt for longer than a relatively short period of time because the section in front of their store is only going to be torn up for a little while. You have got bottlenecks on seventh street but not the phenomenon that you have now, all of the people that used to take seventh street avoid it like the plague like because it's so difficult to navigate. First, is that two directions, are those two directions of appropriate appropriate characterization of ways we can solve this problem.
I think they are all context and location specific and sensitive. We don't do every project the same way.
Spelman: Sure. Would it make sense in a project like this, if we find ourselves in a similar position, to consider doing this in chunks of maybe a block or two or three rather than all at once? Am I right in believing it would take a little bit longer to do and cost a little bit more?
Correct. Any time that you put restrictions on the means and methods by which the contractor does, it's work. You can expect cost and schedule impacts. But again everything has to be done within the context of where the project is and every project is different.
Spelman: Okay. In this context would it have been possible to have done at least some significant part of this project in pieces rather than tearing up basically all of seventh street?
It would have been possible.
Spelman: How much more would it have cost us, do you have a sense of that?
I don't. I can tell you that the cost savings versus the estimate that we got on this project were significant to the tune of probably 50% versus the estimate. But I can't project out what it would have cost [indiscernible]
would it be possible, again, the seventh street project is obviously idiosyncratic, we're never going to find a situation exactly like this again. Barton springs west was essentially the same idea, an entire stretch torn up, had we done it in pieces it would have had a different effect on local businesses local traffic patterns. Is this something we can consider the next time we run into a situation conceptually like this?
Yes, we can. Again, every project is different. Depending on the nature of the water line, utility lines, subsurface work that you have to do, every project is different. Sometimes it's difficult to do half a water main and leave customers without water service for an extended period of time. So in this particular case, based on the scope of work that had to be done, the best decision when we put the project out for bid was -- was to split it into parts and do as much as of the subsurface work as we could at one time to get through it as quickly and minimize and mitigate the interruptions and inconvenience.
Spelman: Is there a way of -- so that basically picked option a and not option b, which I think probably makes good sense. But there are places where option b would seems to me there are places where we ought to at least consider option b doing this in pieces even if it costs more and from beginning to end of project takes a little bit longer just because we're minimizing the effects on the short term of businesses where the tearing up is actually taking place.
We have done that. Mayor pro tem mentioned the project on lamar which we did a couple of years ago. That was done differently. The work on brazos street is being done on more of a block by block basis. As I said, it's -- we do everything that we can to mitigate the impact. Bework with the businesses along the work. Certainly we can do more outreach as mayor pro tem mentioned as well and we'll continue to try to get better in that and continually improve. But we work with the community not against it.
Spelman: I understand. So long as we have a process in place to help us decide the extent to which we're going to tear up the whole street for a short period of time or parts of the street in doing a -- that we have a procedure for thinking that through.
There was consider outreach on 7th street before the contract went out as well. I don't want to leave you with the impression that we didn't do that. We talked with many of the businesses, property owners, as we put the construction methodology together.
Spelman: Thinking about this from the point of view of a business owner, probably sounds better to minimize the total length of time the street is torn up. Once you are actually halfway through the project and realize that you have several more months to go and your profit margins have gone down a lot, you might want to think it's a different kind of problem. So long as we have a procedure to think about that. And that's always an option available to you I'm a happy guy. Thanks. spencer did you have a comment? You will be next, councilmember.
Betsy spencer, neighborhood housing community development. I wanted you to know we have do have one commercial loan on 7th street, we are currently in conversation with that business owner to modify the loan to reduce their monthly payments because of the burden. We are working with that owner so we can assist with that.
Mayor Leffingwell: Excellent. Councilmember cole?
Cole: I want to ask a few questions of kevin. We certainly are support i have been of the department and all of the professional staff's efforts to try to tain assistance from thefederal government, especially because it is consistent w policies. Of smart growth and urba redevelopment. But I also understand that this is a very competitive grant, but we make these kind of efforts often. So what I really want to ask you is do you know any of the schools that are -- that are feeder schools for this area? Or does anybody on staff know that?
Excuse me. Councilmember. The feeder schools? The school systems? I have visited one of the -- one of the schools and -- but I -- in terms of its competitiveness, are you asking in terms of how this grant would be competitive nationally?
Cole: Well, specifically, let me just tell you the issue that I'm getting at is that we're going to apply for a -- an $8 million loan. And a 2 million-dollar grant and then think that you also described a potential $55 million in investment. Can you give us a little bit more background of what you contemplate that investment to be?
When we were made available of this national urban development competition, which is with the housing and urban development, it's the urban development part of it, it's set up for brown field or polluted problems and industrial and commercial areas in locations in inner cities or in this project competition inner cities where there's both pollution and disinvestment. And you -- the criteria for being successful is you have to leverage a certain amount of private investment and the grant, the bedi grant, is tied together with the -- with the 108 loan program to minimize the potential for failure. So that the successful applicants, the businesses, would get a grant as well as a one percent or a two percent loan. And so -- so what we did was -- we tried to find a location that had a master plan. That would be competitive. And to be competitive, you have to -- you have to have some kind of a hook, some kind of a reason why they would fund you as opposed to detroit or cleveland or other locations. The plans for saltillo are really beautiful neighborhood plans. Where they are calling for this to be kind of the hispanic downtown of austin. It's around a -- a brand new opened transit village. And the plans are such that it would make it a very competitive proposal. We polled, sent out letters to all 50 businesses on both sides of the railroad tracks. And of those 50 businesses, four responded that they would like to participate. And so I have previously distributed what those four businesses are. But every business has to -- has to indicate in their business plan how many jobs they would create, how they would conform to the plans developed by the community and there were four. The first one was called corozon, which is the largest of the projects. It is currently, as you enter the area off i-35, it is the -- it is the 1895 building that is kind of a hispanic mission style building that is currently housing about 50 individual entrepreneurs that work in the film and music industry.
Cole: Let me stop you there, kevin, because i think the kind of simple point that I'm trying to make --
Cole: It's not you. Is that we -- we seek grants like this and it whos like apparently the federal government also offers grants like this and that is a very positive step to urban redevelopment. But it not the complete stepment and a part of that step that I think we as a city need to work on is what does it mean to the schools? Are we getting families back in austin? Because I've been disturbed recently by the numbers of families that we have lost and how inconsistent that is with several of our policies regarding transportation and smart growth and density and it doesn't seem consistent to me for us to just continue on that without a serious look at it. And so that's why I'm bringing it up in this context. But I understand why we are doing this, I wholeheartedly support it. I don't know if we have a motion, mayor, but I will move approval.
Mayor Leffingwell: We do have a speaker. If you will just hold that thought for a second.
And councilmember cole, you asked me what time it was. I was telling you how to build a clock and i apologize. In looking at the schools there, first that community has 30 -- almost 31% poverty. Based upon the crime reports, the crime reports are that over half of the people -- over 500 persons per thousand report crimes. In the school, in the major elementary school, 90% of the kids have title I foods which means subsidized lunches. Our goal is to create a catalyst where there would at least be 209 families that have somebody who is working. And they can then begin to -- to take care of the family, help the schools. If we could repeat this all over the city, I think we can have a major impact, but 209 people in that community is our goal to get jobs for. We're required to have at least half of that 51% jobs created in that community. So I -- I think it goes to your objective of trying to -- to get enough people working in those communities that they can support their families going to this -- that are in the school system.
Cole: Thank you, kevin.
Mayor Leffingwell: Councilmember riley?
Riley: Mayor, I will wait on my questions until after we hear from the speaker.
Mayor Leffingwell: Okay. Same? Okay. All right, councilmember morrison?
Morrison: Thank you. Two thing. One for kevin and thank you for bringing that up, councilmember cole. I wanted to remind folks that we in working with the school districts had adopted an approach of doing an educational impact assessment when the -- when specifically we are doing developments that come through planning and development review. I know that that's being finalized finally through the planning commission. But what this raises the issue that really we need to have that kind of look and hopefully maybe can use the same kind of tool when you are doing work like this and neighborhood housing. So I'll look forward to chatting with you in the near future about making getting all of those things connected because absolutely one of the key things that that -- that we share with the school district is wanting to make sure that we understand the impact our decisions have on the schools and vice versa, the impact that the school's decisions have on policies that we have in the city. So I will look forward to talking with you about that. I also had a question for howard, mr. lazarus. This is one of the things that I think you and I had an opportunity to talk about a few months ago. That is some of my colleagues here brought up the issue that we've had other big projects that went on in the past where we've been able to really work well and how those kind of things are -- are being integrated here. As you said, every project is different, it has to be taken into account, different things have to be taken into account. One of the projects I had mentioned to you was when sixth and lamar was redone a few years ago, the amazing thing about that project was at the end of it, all of the small businesses got together with the city and did a huge celebration about how it was just the most model project in the world and even though it was really congested intersection the folks had fared well. One of the keys to that was not only was the reaching out in the original contracting phase and not only was the city addressing in a reactive way the concerns of the businesses, they met every week with the businesses so that the -- so that the detailed plans of how the access was being done could be addressed together, collectively, to have it be done right. I know we chatted a little bit that. Wanted to ask if that's been put into effect at all or how things are going in terms of -- of the frequency of interaction with the businesses?
The project manager does meet with the businesses on a weekly basis.
Morrison: Great. Thank you, I appreciate that. I think one of the things is that being accident to maintain the news -- being able to maintain the institutional history of what worked and what didn't work. Thank you, mayor.
Mayor Leffingwell: Thank you, councilmember. Just to follow up very briefly, the process to integrate the zoning and land use planning decisions with the school infrastructure was begun over two years ago. And so I think if we had a little bit more -- I realize this is a city. This is a bureaucracy and things take time. But that should have been expedited long ago and i would urge the -- everyone to make everything -- to take all steps necessary to make sure we expedite the process from here on because -- because when we began it, we had kind of a minor problem. Now we have a big problem. So with that, I will -- i will go to our speakers. Our speaker. Gloria morales. Gloria morales. Gloria is not in the chamber. So councilmember riley?
the okay, just got another speaker. John bush. You have try three minute.
I'm the executive director of texans for accountable government. I just had a couple quick points. This development in getting these grants, it's all part of a push for sustainable development. Councilmember cole brought up smart growth. Of course I have mentioned in the past about agenda 21, I won't get into the details of that. I do want to put out a lot of the stuff that we are pushing, our vision statement, three e' from agenda 21, environment, equity, economy. I want to point out many of these programs that you guys are taking money from the federal government to carry out or programs that we are throwing city money at, they claim to be for sustainable development and smart growth, when in reality they define the three e's. They are defying. The first e is environment, plainly clear, evidenced by the fact that I drive past that red line every single day, I'm sure that you do councilmember martinez, we live in the same neighborhood. It's empty every time. Five to seven passengers during high traffic time. Maybe I'm missing it when it's full. Every single time that I've seen it less than 10% occupied. I think the reason is because you didn't let the market dictate where this rail should be. You dictated it by your desired growth zones, goes back to smart growth, central planning, regional planning for envision central texas, another front for agenda 21. When it comes to additionally I believe if you have to throw all of this money to incentivize growth, it's unnatural growth and eventually it's going to falter. So of course it takes carbon emissions to produce all of this development and if it goes by the wayside, then it just going to be a waste and tear up the economy. When it comes to the economy, we need to pay more attention to the market and what the people are calling for and demanding for. If you have to take 800,000 or however much you are taking from the federal government in order to incentivize growth -- when it comes to socioequity this is the biggest problem. The gentleman said they are trying to create a hispanic downtown. I'm sure you are well aware this smart growth is driving out residents that cannot afford the property taxes, it's happening all over the city. You guys need to take note of it, because it's your policies that are causing it. Here we go again. Another smart growth sustainable development initiative that is actually contrary to the three e's, environment, economy and equity that our city supposedly prides ours in. So take a step back and please let the market dictate where this growth should happen. Not some, you know, not it all city planner. Know it all city planner. Thank you.
Mayor Leffingwell: [Indiscernible] written signed up against, not wishing to speak. Councilmember riley?
Riley: Thank you, a question for kevin. I do support this item, I'm hopeful and optimistic that the businesses that are going to be supported by these grant applications would succeed and thrive around the saltillo t.o.d. But with any new business there's always a rick of failure, with the -- risk of failure. With the city's role in this, the city would bear some degree of risk. I want to ask if you can briefly summarize what we've done in terms of due diligence to ensure that the degree of risk is acceptable. Secondly, give a general outline of the protections and remedies in place in the case of defaults on the loans.
Thank you very much, councilman. The -- the protections start at the federal level. This is a unique grant loan combination. The bedi grant, which is the brown field grant, is designed to go with the 108 low interest loan program to make a combination that businesses can use that minimizes the risk. Simply by getting a grant of 10%, a low interest loan of 40%, the businesses are in a really great position to be successful. So at the federal level, it is designed to way and we have -- we have reviewed and discussed this strategy with the -- with the federal government. And -- and their failure rate is minuscule. Secondly, at the local level, all of the businesses have to put up 50% of their own money. They have to put in 40% equity and 10% cash, so they have some skin in the game. We have reviewed on a preliminary basis in order to submit to the federal agencies their business plans. Their credit worthiness and most importantly, every business has had to collateral equal to the amount -- equal to what you would see with a small community bank. Because the interest loans will be -- we are estimating now at 2%, that 2% we would put into a reserve as a back stop in the unlikely event that a business is -- had a problem. I don't appears patriot, these are -- I don't anticipate that, these are four strong businesses that put up collateral and this is what we would hope for. Thank you.
Mayor Leffingwell: Councilmember shade.
Shade: I have a question of what the grant can be used for, we have gotten a lot of questions about cleaning up the capital metro site for housing. Is that something that could be used for this type of a grant?
The grant is focused on job creation and urban development. It goes to private companies. It is structured for those purposes and not for the capital metro property. We did have a lot of questions from the community and from businesses who thought that we were developing the 11 acres at capital metro. That is not the case. So the grant and the loan package are not designed for -- for the capital metro type of property. But for private businesses where you create jobs.
But -- but are there other opportunities that we can be going after that might support that idea?
And we are aggressively pursuing those, I assume.
Yes, we've had those inquiries. We would be delighted to -- to pursue those.
Shade: They would go hand in hand if we start getting the businesses revitalized clearly, so thank you very much.
Councilmember moves to approve item 19. Is there a second? Councilmember shade. Discussion? All in favor say aye.
Opposed say no. Passes on a vote of 7-0. We will go to item 20, pulled by councilmember spelman.
As all of us know, item 20 is -- arose through a complicated series of events. But briefly chief kerr if you could -- I have a couple of questions for you, but first I want to run past what seems to have gone on here, battalion chief position was open, you chose not the highest person on the promotion list but went down to the next person to the promotion list. The person who is the highest person to the current promotion list went to an arbitrator, the arbitrator found for the applicant, now we are creating a battalion position for that person to avoid having to demoment somebody that you promoted am I right?
That's correct, sir.
Spelman: What in your mind is the kind of person who is the best kind of battalion chief, what are you looking for in a battalion chief?
We look for someone that exhibits good leadership and high integrity, trustworthy, can help lead the organization and help us move forward in our vision.
Spelman: What's your vision in that respect?
Our vision is to be recognized as the best fire department in the country.
Spelman: Okay. Up until recently, we have chosen battalion chiefs and other high ranks in the fire departments through a written test. In your opinion, could a written test identify people who have the leadership and trustworthiness that you are looking for.
I don't think that necessarily does. That's why most recently we have gone to an assessment process that help us identify our current battalion chiefs.
Okay. Could you real briefly identify what that assessment center process looks like.
It does have a written component to it, but it also has an incident scenario that helps or looks at are they capable are working under stress and managing an incident as it escalates from an operational or tactical perspective and then in another part of it is an employee relationship type scenario where they need to manage conflict or determine what is -- what is the issue with that employee and then find some resolution and some solutions for that.
What the assessment center does is put them in a scenario where they have a serious fire or a serious incident to manage to see how well they do under stress to help them put them in another scenario where they have to deal with conflict between people who are -- who to report to, that puts them on an on the job like scenario.
That's correct. We find in research and studies have shown that when you put people in those type of situations, you actually are evaluating them and you are choosing people based upon their ability to -- to perform in that particular job.
Spelman: Okay. Do you think that the assessment process that you have developed is going to help you identify people with leadership and trustworthiness?
We do believe that. In fact we have selected two that are doing a phenomenal job. That's not to say that our previous process and our current battalion chiefs are not doing a good job and are not well suited for those positions.
Spelman: I bet the vast court reporter of people who did a good job on that exam turned out to be excellent battalion chiefs, but there's a little bit of a coin flip involved, reducing uncertainty and ensures that all of the battalion chief and high ranking fire officials are really good at what they do.
It does. It gives us a greater chance at identifying those that are going to be most successful.
Last question, chief. Who benefits when you get the kind of battalion chiefs and executive team leaders that you are looking for?
The city and the community, the people that we serve.
Spelman: How about the firefighters themselves, do they benefit, too?
They absolutely do.
Well, they benefit because we have good leadership at the top and it's those people that are looking out for them and as a battalion chief you either head up a bureau or you head up in most cases you are heading up an operations battalion and it's really important, one of my other visions is that everybody goes home and when people are doing a good job and they have good leadership in all aspects of the organization, it helps us send people home.
Spelman: This move from the written test to the assessment center is going to be good for the public, it's going to be good for the taxpayers, it's going to be bad for fires and good for firefighters.
Spelman: Okay. I'm very unhappy with having no choice but to pass this item as a practical necessity. However, I will move approval.
Mayor Leffingwell: Motion by councilmember spelman to approve, seconded by councilmember cole. I do have one question. And I think you will be prepared because I have already asked you. The question is is this extra battalion chief position superfluous or is it something that's needed for other reasons in any event, anyhow?
Sir, it is a needed position. The organization has been growing tremendously and there's always more and more work to be done and to be accomplished and this particular individual will be assigned to head up the program and the management of the project that will eventually supply uniforms to almost 1100 firefighters and there's probably a dozen pieces of equipment that are currently supplied through materials management which is -- which is slowly being fazed out as a city program. We are preparing, this individual will oversee that.
So it's fair to conclude that creating this extra position is not just to overcome this -- this obstacle that's come up? For this -- for this situation that has arisen, it's something that needs to be done anyway?
It's something that would need to be done anyway. We'll probably be coming back to you in the future asking for additional positions. As these projects and programs start to evolve and need more oversight.
Mayor Leffingwell: Thank you. Further discussion? All in favor say aye.
Mayor Leffingwell: Opposed say no? Passions on a vote of 6-0 with councilmember cole off the dais. We will go to item 26. Item 26, pulled by councilmember cole not on the dais, so council we will -- we will -- we do have a couple of speakers. We will go to our speakers and then councilmember cole can comment when she gets back. Debbie russell. Three minutes.
Thank you, mayor. Thank you, councilmember cole for pulling this as well. I'm interested to see what your take is. As you prepare to move forward and prepare budget team a grant database, I do want to alert you to a couple of things that I hope will be addressed in other avenues. Maybe the public safety commission or coming back to council. But we have a problem with these databases, I do speak on behalf of afl-cio of texas. In terms of state code right now is way too broad in terms of how you get in. Of course there's absolutely nothing that allows for a process to get out or appeal that you've been put on to a database. We're talking about kids here, talking about our children and there is a whole litany of items in which you can make this database that are -- that are in and of themselves very ludicrous when you look at them, what colors they wear, what part of town they live in. These types of things that can put you into this database. You should not be punished for what part of town you live in. You should not be punished for choosing to wear blue or red instead of beige. If we are going to have all of our children wear beige, let's go ahead and make that law right now. This item is yes we need technology, but we need to temper this technology. We need to make sure that it's done in a constitutional framework and right now these types of databases are not being done that way. I urge you to take extra steps and look at this more carefully as we move forward. Thank you.
Thank you. Speaker john bush. You have three minutes.
John bush, executive director of texans for accountability government. This is my pet issue, the center. I just want to give you a quick notice to you guys, recall you did take an oath to uphold the constitution, that may not mean much to most of you because you vote to violate it almost every council meeting. It's starting to mean a lot to the voters as you might be able to tell. I would appreciate if you took more time and consideration on items such as these, I know you are bogged down, but a lot of the community find this stuff to be very important. To touch on a few things of the gang database, state law allows them to put records and information for children. There's no exemption. It says any age, any child. I'm curious if you guys were aware of that. They say in order to get into the database you have to meet two of five criteria, two of which are if you get caught someone that's a known gang area or arrested in trouble associating with known gang criminals, the other one is if you have any gang insignia, colors, shoe laces, whatnot. I went to the texas homeland security conference last year, they were encouraging their officers to go troll, that's the now term, to trol through people's facebook accidents. So say they arrest a young kid, a 14-year-old, 13-year-old, who has gotten in with the wrong crowd now that's one of the criteria, they want to put more people in the database, because more gang members that you have in your gate take base, the more -- susceptible you are. They will find anything, if you are wearing a red shirt or something. I believe I viewed this movie called the secret about the law, of attraction, if you put things out there, it will become true. If we put these young youth in these gang databases we are going to give them a fine reputation to live up to. They are eventually going to fill that spot in the database. Even in england they are starting to do that because their family has gang history, this is not the solution to the problem. More and more intelligence led policing. We think that we can solve the problems like this fusion center or databases are going to be a panacea, but I think it will take away and we let these kids -- to -- we need to let them know why it's wrong, it's going to increase the occurrence of profiling, we're going to put young youth in the wrong place at the wrong time involved in the wrong crowd in a database again they are going to fulfill their reputation of being in that database, another thing, i know there's a lot of controversy going on about the open meetings act. This is coming from the urban area security initiatives, there's an urban area working group which the mayor chairs. I'm curious why it's exempt from the open meetings act. I find that unacceptable. You can ask any of the the fusion directors, they say we don't even focus on terrorism, the terrorism is so small we dedicate our resources to crime all sorts of other things, I would like to see the urban area working group opened up to public scrutiny, who knows what's going on there. Thanks.
Mayor Leffingwell: Councilmember cole?
Thank you, mayor. First, I want to say that i understand many of the russell -- john, I can't remember your last name, let me call you mr. john. Have raised in terms of civil liberties issues with youth and in particular when you talk about gangs, most the times you are talking about minority gangs, so i would like to get some answers to a couple of questions about this software and how it's going to work and -- and privacy issues that -- that -- john bush, came to me, yeah. Mayor pro tem, city manager, my name is patty. Specifically designed to address gang databases in the state of texas. We are asking for this computer software that will allow travis county aisd and the austin police department to use one computer system for -- for gang database tracking. Right now we have three separate systems, even though we are on task force together, we have three separate systems that means we have three different ways of gathering information and three different ways of analyzing the information. This particular software will allow the people within our region to have the same information, the same data entered each and every time. This grant not only allows for the software but also for the maintenance of the software and for training of every individual that will be using the software. Something that we don't have right now.
So chief, assistant chief, I certainly appreciate the collaboration among the governmental entities and -- and i believe really believe that we need to do more of that in lots of areas, essentially social services, but also -- also public safety. Let me ask you, how is the initial determination made that someone is a gang member? What triggers that? Are they -- is there an offense, a violation or --
thank you for the question. I actually brought commander chris nobel with me today, the commander over that particular section. I'm going to ask him to answer that question for you because they just had a meeting on it.
Cole: Thank you, commander.
Good morning, to specifically answer your question, yes, there are several triggers that -- that when we do encounter an individual that -- that -- within those -- within those -- if they fall within the criteria as outlined by state law or the code of criminal procedure, they can be included in the gang database.
Cole: Can you give me a few examples of what state law requires?
As was given by the previous speaker. If you are in a known gang area or if you are wearing gang affiliated clothing, colors or you self admit as a gang member or -- for certain examples, they were very good examples that he did give.
Cole: Okay. So I understand this is just the software and I'm asking questions different than that.
I'm asking about the trigger points set out in state law. I guess I need to direct a question more to legal in terms of -- of what authority, if any, we have to review those -- those requirements.
I can briefly touch on that for you.
The information collected within the -- within the database, we cannot release it, it is protected information bylaw. Some -- you all have been on the public safety, former public safety commission task force now the commission, when we have been asked for -- for particulars out of that database in the past, we can't give that information to you. We can, you know, talk in very broad terms with regard to trends and -- and intelligence and analysis. But as far as -- as far as individual members, who is in the database, that is privileged information and cannot be divulged.
And -- and -- but maybe that is going to come out and eventually answer my question. When you read off the -- getting in the database that seemed very discretionary, just up to the officer.
That is why it takes several or more than one of the criteria. That being set as -- to use the facebook analogy that was brought up. We can't use that because that was not information collected directly from the individual during the contact stop with the officer, such as being a self admission to the officer that I am a gang member or personally seeing what the individual was wearing at a particular time. So as far as to be included in that database, it is very specific. And -- and it is -- we just don't put people in it -- randomly, of course. It is -- it is overall it's not an easy thing to accomplish. That's why the -- what's why -- in broad terms, that is why our gang membership numbers are not that high in that database.
Cole: Do you know what they are off the top of your head.
It changes daily. I could not give you the accurate number. I could get that to you within 15 to 20 minutes.
You would say [indiscernible] for the other urban districts.
In my opinion, it is low, yes, compared to our cities of our size.
First of all, this database is to replace an existing database that we've had for 10 years.
And -- and the -- again this is already protected. By state law. And that -- that -- so as far as the -- the whole point being this is nothing new. Tom difference with that -- the only difference with this software as opposed to what we have now, we are able to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies within the region. Whereas before we have not been able to. Everybody has their own freestanding software and -- and -- and takes out -- it makes it consistent amongst us all as to how we are collecting that information.
I certainly support the collaboration, I hope that it leads to efficiency in cost. But of course -- of course we want to make sure that -- that we are -- that we are complying with the civil liberties and constitutional rights.
Cole: Thank you, mayor.
Mayor Leffingwell: Yeah. I would just add that -- that -- that this regional intelligence center when we have the three county area, williamson, travis, hays county, is -- when it went into being, had one of the strongest privacy policies in the country of any regional intelligence center. And as we go forward, we continue to monitor that policy. The -- the public safety commission has oversight of that group and they will make -- they will make recommendations for changes in that policy as we go forward. But I want to reiterate, we went in from the get go with one of the strongest privacy policies in the country. And I just want to say that I am very proud that we opened this center last month. It was done with federal funding. We continue as of now we're still a tier 2 city, which means that we're eligible for federal funds to -- to improve and enhance the center but we are -- we are technically due to rotate off october 1st off of funding status of the tier 2 city. To make sure we are working very hard, make sure that we continue the funding for the center because it is a vital tool for law enforcement in our region. Okay? Councilmember morrison? [One moment please for change in captioners]
discussion about what kind of data w requirements was that it had to be tied to potential clients. So could you talk a little bit, I guess I'm not quite getting why if you wear a certain color and fit one of the other triggers, that it fits that requirement of data that can be maintained in the a rig. I know there's a term for that criminal tie.
There's direct nexus between gang membership and crime, specifically narcotics related crime and weapons violations. And with that, the collaboration with the other law enforcement agencies, specifically for tracking weapons shipments and things of that nature from the border through austin and other parts north, it all ties together. That is the connect sh unbetween gang involvement.
Really two steps there, talking about are we doing an appropriate job of identifying that someone is high probability in a gang with the two triggers requirement, and then the second thing is the logical tie, if you are in a gang, then you are--
just because are you a gang member does not mean, it's not against the law to be a gang member per se. But it goes back to the strong connection between gang membership and crime.
And that fits the technical limitations we have in terms of the data that can be maintained in the aric.
As far as being able to collect or how to document somebody into the system, they do have to trigger two of the category or criteria. They do have to trigger the criteria in order to even be documented into the system. However, I don't know if I'm answering your question.
This is consistent with what we have done.
Maybe I'm not understanding what we are looking at here. As I reads the backup, we're going to be using a joint database now. The other difference is this database will be part of the ari aric. So before this data was not part of the aric.
Yes, aric is going to allow it to be combined.
But the data was always collected by the individual agencies.
Okay, thank you. council member.
Let me follow up. We have a certain number of criteria. If you meet a certain number we will put you in the apd section of the database.
Some of the people we have put in the database will in fact be gang members, some will in fact be engaged in illegal activity or have been engaged in illegal activity. Some of them won't. Do we have a sense for how accurate our designations are. Once we get to the database, 50, 75, 90 percent chance they are actually a gang member or engaged in illegal activity?
As far as saying ner a gang member, once they meet two of the criteria, state law acknowledges they are a gang member as such they remain in the database for the specified amount of time, I believe it's two years. If there's no other activity, they are automatically purged from the system.
People do get purged from the system. If we don't hear from them, they are not arrest ed for a crime, after two years they go away.
That is correct.
If we find they made a mistake, I wouldn't try and give you a specific hypothetical, but I can imagine there's situations where we just mischaracterize somebody.
If we find out we made a mistake, is there a procedure for getting somebody out of the database?
Just a deletion. It would be a conversation between the supervisor of the gang unit and the person who has discovered that information, which would usually be our crime analyst, our gang crime analyst assigned to the unit who is responsible for the input of that and for maintaining the records, to make sure people are deleted on schedule. It is a very simple process.
The fact we have a process suggests that we have actually done that. Have we actually done that, delete somebody from the database?
As far as under the circumstances you mentioned, not that I'm aware of. But under just purging the system on an annual basis, then yes.
Okay. So we do purge the system and take a certain number of people out because nothing has happened.
Okay. We have, I think one of the reasons why this is raising people's concerns is that we have a certain, people in the city of austin have a certain faith in the police department and we understand this is continuing practices which are long-standing practices of the a apd. But here we are combining our database with databases from other jurisdictions why we don't have any control and don't have the sale faith that those other jurisdictions are abiding by the same rules that we are. What assurance can you give me that round rock, the asid, travis county, are going to be working under the same rules?
That is because they are working in conjunction with us on this project, this grant. Travis county, aisd police and austin police department, in order to use the system, they will have to be trained and they will have to adhere to the requirements of the training.
It's just like us giving them access to our current system. In order for them to use it, they have to be be trained and adhere to the rules and regulations like anyone else.
In order to get into the database, we are going to have uniform requiremented for all three of those jurisdictions.
Getting out of the database, same uniform requirements in all three jurisdictions. We are going to purge everybody everybody's records every two years if there's been no activity. Is it two years or three? Mr. bush thinks it is three. I'm acknowledging, sir, what you said. It's exactly pertinent. I think it's against the rules of the council for you to speak up. Thanks.
The answer to the question that you asked us is that we have a records retention of two years with the austin police department. I believe he is talking about some of the state records.
Okay. So state has its own requirement requirements for its own systems systems. Our internal requirements are two years for our own stuff, and that will be binding, and also on the aisd police and the travis county sheriff. Last question. You talked about security and not releasing information inside the system, for which I thank you. Do we have, characterize for me the strength of our security measures with respect to people hacking the database, people who don't have authorization getting access to it.
The answer to that question I'll have to bring up one of our i.t. people. Obviously, our system is as good what is they tell us it is. I have been with the department for about 25, 26 years, and i haven't, have not personally witnessed an incident yet. I'll ask paul to come up and speak with you.
Very fast question, paul.
Good morning, powell hopping gartener. I'm the deputy information officer. We have isolated the data and maintain behind separate areas and are following all the appropriate guidelines. We believe that it is protected correctly.
Okay, the federal guidelines, our own local guidelines, this is a very, a city which is more sensitive to computer security than the vast majority because we have so many good technicians out there who can both protect and also hack stuff if they so please. Have these data ever been hacked hacked?
No, they have not.
Any police department data been hacked that you are aware of?
No, not that I'm aware of.
So we have a real good track record with being able to maintain security so far.
We also in addition follow the guidelines for criminal justice information systems which require the segregation of that data. That information is segregated in the rest of the city that work operations. We are following the appropriate guidelines.
Thank you, paul. One last question for chief robinson. Will the predicate characteristics that are requir required to get into this database be part of the policy that our privacy working group is going to be looking over?
I believe so.
And when does that privacy working group get start .
On this we have our privacy in place. They have to adhere to the current standing one.
We have a policy now. It's my understanding that the city and the other member of ari aric were going to be appointing somebody to look over that policy and ensure that it's in apple pie order.
Yeah, I believe that was in response to the question about a aric.
Thank you, chief. is there a motion on item 26? Council member spelman moves approval of item 26. Second by council member cole. Discussion? Passes on vote of 7-0. Item 30 pulled by council memori memorily.
Thanks, mayor. Item 30 would authorize negotiation and execution of an advance funding agreement with the texas department of transportation for intersection improvements around the area of the northbound access round on i 35 AROUND 5 1st STREET ON BOTH Sides of the street. That is an area with a very interesting history of traffic management. As we have tried various approaches to dealing with the traffic pressures in that area including pressures related to north bound traffic on I 35 and the access road as well as cameron road as it approach that had intersection. What you see there today is a fairly tangled configuration that reflected that history. Currently northbound drivers on the I 35 access road who want to GET TO 5 1st STREET ARE ROUTED Around the jug handle that takes them along up through the miller development. Meanwhile if you are on cameron road and you're headed towards i 35, once you used to be able to get direct access to I 35 southbound, there's now an abandoned bridge on the north SIDE OF 5 1st STREET. It's still there, you can see the remnants especially on the west side as it used to loop around, but it is abandoned. What you see as a result, there are some serious traffic issues and we have gotten complaints. And still interesting, fairly high degree of high pedestrian activity there. In fact if you look on google maps and use the satellite view, you can actually see the little foot path worn into the grass unto the abandoned bridge between cameron road unto the abandoned bridge. Just the other day visiting the site with staff, in the few minutes we were out there we saw bicycle and pedestrian traffic using the abandoned bridge in both direct shunce. A lot of interesting issues there. This project would seek to un untangle that mess through a shifting from a jug handle to a goose neck, as one writer has put it. And that would solve some problems, but I have some concern that we may not have thought through all of the issues in the area, especially those related to impacts on bicycles and pedestrians. There are a lot of folks very interested in that. Since there are impacts on both the miller and the wind sore park neighborhood and others surrounding the area. There would be considerable interest in engaging as we try to come up with the final design for that project. So my concern about this project this item on the agenda, was that it is an advance funding agreement that contemplates that we will be committing to funding on construction even before we have sorted through all of those issues impacting bicycles and pedestrians as well as traffic in that very difficult area. So my hope was that we would be able to, in the course of negotiating this advance funding agreement with texas dot, that we would be able to secure terms that would provide a pause between design and construction of the project so that it would, so that after going through a design process, engaging the stakeholders, the miller transportation committee, the neighborhood association and other stakeholders, the project would come back to council for review and approval before construction begins. If I could hear from staff, do you feel that that would be workable in the course as we seek to negotiate that advanced funding agreement with texas dot dot.
Thank you, council member. This is robert spiller, part of the transportation, we're the sponsoring organization for this this. Absolutely, there's actually a formal opportunity to come back to council before funds are actually authorized, although this is a signing and agreement or authorization to negotiate an execute an agreement with texas dot, contemplating the funding of the project. There is actually a formal step to come back to council for authorization prior to construction. We have termed that a formal concurrence point. There will be opportunities after the concept is completed. There will be multiple concurrence points, at which time I believe we will be successful in meeting the demands. At that point that would be an opportunity to pull funding. All of these projects are subject to funding being available. So there's obviously an opportunity to do that. I will take it as direction from you to make sure we negotiate that into our final agreement.
Great, great. Okay. With that, mayor, I'm going to move approval of this item with the direction to staff that we just discussed, that would contemplate a process of negotiation with interested stakeholders on the design of the improvements at this intersection, followed by a formal concurrence from this council before construction proceeds. council member moves approval with additional direction. Seconded by council member spelman. Discussion? All in favor say aye. Opposed no. Passed 7.0.
Thank you, this was a member brought forward to do a cost analysis of the city's boards and commission systems to look at how much it's costing us in terms of staff time, facilities times, indirect and direct costs costs. While I certainly appreciate that is a good thing to go forward and make sure that we have that information in front of us, I did want to mention just the concern that I think it's very important that we keep in mind that we not just take a look in isolation, but really make sure that as we're going forward, we look for ways to understand and perhaps even quantify also the benefit to the community that is being brought by all our boards and commission commissions. I think that certainly everybody understands that they bring transparency and really help to enhance public participation in our city. I so like to keep in mind that i guess we have about 400 or 450 citizens volunteering their team team. Sometimes when you are trying to calculate volunteer time, the amount of dollars that the work brings forward for you, it's sort of a minimum wage that is used, minimum wage to assess the value. But I think it's really important that we keep in mind that we have experts in their fields that are serving on a monthly basis, and often more often. There's way we could pay them to be consultants without busting our budget. And not only that, but I do think it's important that we keep in mind the really critical work that they do that may not ever be able to be done in any other fashion. The one example I wanted to highlight is the great work that the animal advisory commission has done over the past year, where they were working very regularly, meeting very regularly, but did cost staff time, and what they came up with was a very detailed policy that allowed us as a council to adopt something that looks very likely to be able to bring us to become a no-kill city in the near future. Something that we set as a goal years and years ago, and finally we're going to be able to achieve that goal because of the work of the animal advisory committee. We did recently adopt some new guidelines and new ordinance for boards and commissions that is going to be minimizing the amount of of staff time going into that. I appreciate that. So I do want to make sure we keep that in mind. I'm going to look forward to making working with staff and my colleagues here to see if there's a way that we can't also in the meantime, while this work is going on, get some kind of quantifiable information with regard to the amount of money that it does bring us in terms of the volunteer hours. With that, I will certainly turn the mike over to one of my colleagues. council amen spelman.
I understand what council member morrison is talking about and agree completely as former commission member. Several of us were former members. The work, now that I think about it, as a current volunteer, the work I currently do, which costs the city absolutely nothing and costs me a bunch of money, but i won't get into complaining right now. But it's the same situation a lot of committee members are in. It costs time to provide the city. On the other hand, just another issue, we like public safety and like potable water and clean reliable electricity. That doesn't prevent us from also wanting to seek the means of getting those other things that we want as efficiently as possible at the lowest cost to the taxpayers. We are training to maintain these terrific benefits of having an involved citizenry and transparent government t at a reasonable cost to all of us. I move approval, mayor. council member spelman moves to approval item 36 .
Council member cole: second. second by council member cole . i second what the members have said and in these times where we are seeing dramatic cuts at the state level, and we have to be necessarily concerned about what impact that is going to have on us as a local level, not only is it wise that we are looking at the cost of of boards and commissions, not only because that may be a staggering number, but also because we do not know what additional items we may need to send to them I think this analysis is worth on several fronts. council member shade.
I was going to say, echoing the same comments, I think what is important to remember is that the boards and commissions serve at the pleasure of the council. I know their job is to advise the counsel. I think that there's no question that as the council has priorities, the example that council member morrison mentioned, the no-kill policy was something where we needed extra time and advice and the support of the commission was extremely important to the efforts that have been going on. So might have made sense from a cost perspective to have added more time and more meetings, but again, at what cost to the other boards and commissions maybe where, I mean there's no sun set provisions, never a time that we have in the past reviewed whether or not, well, there has been a time we reviewed whether or not we need to keep some of these boards and commissions in play, but even the roles have changed as our city's role has changed in some of these areas. So I'm really looking forward to us as a council having more information and more data so that we can look at this. Then we have a better way to articulate why we need certain boards and commissions to help us and why we need certain boards and commissions to spend more time and perhaps others to spend less time. Time is a very valuable resource and expensive from a staff and volunteer perspective. So I was happy to sign on and i look forward to supporting this and working with my colleagues on this. I will just say, having been a former board member myself, and having dealt with the budget proposals for that particular board, i feel now and even felt then that the fiscal impact of the board was not exactly accurate or as thorough as it should have been. For example, on the environmental board, the total cost of staff support was attributing the board liaison salary to the budget for supporting that board. We all know in many cases it's much more. There are a lot of other staff involved. There are committees and subcommittees off these boards and commissions. My only, if we are going to do this, my only request is that we do it in a real world way and come up with a k rat --accurate number that gives us a way to accurately assess the cost and also at the same time a way to control the costs. council member shade . when you were making your comments, i was reminded of of something. I heard a situation recently, one of the nominees on unone of the boards and commissions talking about one of the staff measures to reduce paper and costs associated with the production of those packets in advance. You know, it's put her in a situation where she, you know, a busy mom who serves as a volunteer. The expectation for her to print out all this material in advance that is not a cost I would like for that volunteer to have to incur. That is also not, and think what she was, it was suggested she should bring her laptop to the meeting so that he would be able to look at everything on line. Again, that is not a realistic option for this particular board member. I think that is really another thing where we have staff who perhaps trying to save money and resources in some ways that is not advantageous to the people serving in the way that the mayor explained. Again, I think it's all the way around a way for the board members to, for us to again do a better job. I agree with the mayor that it needs to be real world numbers and cost allocations are always somewhat subjective so I'll be looking with that same type of critical eye as well. I thank him for his comments.
Mayor pro tem.
I realize this will probably raise some eyebrows from folks thinking we're trying to limit our boards and commissions. I don't view it that way. I view it as creating efficiencies. We have had the renaissance market for how many years? They haven't been able to meet for lack of a quorum? That to me is inefficientants, causing staff time unnecessarily to schedule meetings, they show up without a quorum, no public discussion, no work gets done, no recommendations go council. Those are the things that i think are behind this item being on the agenda. Therefore, I think it's appropriate. I realize this is going to be a difficult conversation just as it was with renaissance market. But if three of our colleagues are willing to lay on this grenade, I'm willing to stand behind and take some shrapnel if I have to. I'll be supporting the item. it may be appropriate to apply the same process to council committees. City manager.
Thank you just a question for clarification for the sponsors of this item. Looking at the language here. It says conduct a cost analysis. Should I construe, and maybe perhaps some comments by council member morrison, when you say that, you are talking about a cost and benefit analysis? Or just cost analysis?
The current resolution only calls for a cost analysis. Benefit analysis would be a much much greater and more difficult undertaking. I think all of us here have a pretty clear sense there are tremendous benefits associated with the system. We don't need to put a pencil to that to know that. anything further? Council member cole, the last word . mayor, there is not an item that i specifically discussed with the cosponsors. We will be discussing it here. I would like the city manager to know that I am particularly focused on staff time because i know that we have limits there. Of course I know we don't put any demands on staff. But the boards--
mayor leffingwell: no . that was a joke, marc. that is why he was laughing . but that is the area that I think is really important that we become focused. And we have things often coming up, big things like the budget or the comprehensive plan or climate protection that we put on the table. A lot of times we don't consider the staff time that is being put into other committee work. And we also don't think about that in terms of budgeting and filling vac kiss. So --vacancies. We're trying to get a sense of the analysis that you do as we try to plan policy decisions and to integrate our efforts better. all in favor of the motion say aye. Opposed say no. Passes on a vote of 7-0. Council, without objection, we have three briefings scheduled. One is is recorded to be very short. Without objection, I'd like to take that one first since we only have 15 minutes before noon citizens communication. And the other two on water and energy, we will not get those briefings until after citizens communications and after or after. So go to lunch. Ms. hensley.
Thank you, director of parks and recreation, I'm here to give you a brief presentation on austin sustainable urban agriculture. On november 19, 2009, council approved a resolution that requested the sustainable food policy board explore streamlin streamlining the process to provide and promote the process establishment of community gardens and responsible urban farms. A cross departmental effort was undertaking to determine the requirements for implementation and what I'm going to do is share with you our recommendations that will come forward to you in another form in february for approval. Do I want to mention that 12 city departments were involved with this and working with the sustainable food policy board and came together and collaboratively worked to help this move forward. The recommendations and currently are to repeal the current qualified community 4 provision. It's part of the land develop development code that was specific to parks and recreation recreation. It replaces a repealed chapter, no longer there, with a new sustainable urban agricultural chap that establishes permanent use and regulations for public property. It defines city supported community gardens and establishes a permit requirement requirement. It will amend and modify the city code title 25 and 30 and chapter 1411 of the zoning permits and license agreements. It will add community gardens to agricultural uses as permitted use in all zoning districts as opposed to only a few. It establishes the process for water taps fee waivers and community license agreement process and how to go through that. It will also if approved authorize igs didel fees and fee waivers for fiscal year 2010-201 2010-2011 for feed ordinance. That would be a garden permit application fee of $50, a license agreement application fee, which is only applicable on city owned property, for $100. It waives the cite plan exemption fee for city supported gardens on private land or on public land without a generally permit process. There's fee there for the generally permit process. It waives the plumbing permit inspection fee. What that is primarily is that it checks for the hose connections, back flow prevention, and perhaps a connection area. It waives the five-eighth inch connection, cost and connection fees. That would be where there is no water on the property or you could use a secondary tap. Then it waives the utility cut inspection fees associated with the water meter installation. That is where the city would have to, if necessary, go in and cut for the service. Categoer of community gardens would be city supported community garden which would be located on eligible city land with or without a water tap located on noncity land which would be private land and granted temporary water tap permit and fee waiver. Both would have to follow applicable processes and guidelines. On noncity supported land for community garden, it would be located on private land and does not require and is not request requesting a temporary water tap permit or fee waiver. To kind of briefly go through the process for this, for the city supported community garden on noncity land, would be a non nonprofit files the application for the garden permit on noncity land, which means they just needs to make sure they were non nonprofit and they would come and work through the single point of contact to file their requests for the permit. The city would then review, approve and issue the garden permit. The nonprofit would proceed to obtain the water service, with i --which would mean they would prepare and submit to the engineer drawers, temporary permit and fee waiver, apply for the plumbing permit and the non nonprofit would obtain an excavation and right-of-way in feeded. That would be a right-of-way permit if needed meter is installed and street excavation prepared if needed. Process for city supported community gardens on eligible city land. The real estate department currently houses this list of eligible city land identified from the various . Twelve different departments helped us. It was appropriate for city supported gardens. Some of the land was just not conducive nor would et be supported for community garden. The nonprofit files the application for the garden permit then the nonprofit files the application for the community garden license agreement. This is on city land that is eligible there are major terms that we would ask that they would be going through if it was on city property. Than would be one of those would be that at any time the city within 30 calendar days notice could terminate the agreement if there were problems. We ask for standard insurance requirements. This is something we do with all of our partners using city property. The field survey would be needed needed. It's waived, sorry, we're only asking for a sketch. All those other things like field surveys and other things that have been costing a lot of money for individuals or groups to have to do a community garden are now waived and we're only asking for boundary sketch. The land department or city attorney may add special requirements. What that might mean is if it's under a department that had some special land use issues or that was close or within a proximity of some water quality I can't did--areas, they may have to ask for further setback or more specific information. Also it requires that there be an annual report and it would be signed off by the managing department of the city owned land, whether that be watershed protection, parks and recreation any other city department. Urban farms. City owned land may be used as urban farm under appropriate contracting methods determined by the city manager. Number one, urban farms added as permitted use of p, public zoning district as concession, and we're recommending as example that city owned land we would bid that out as a concession process and then proposals would be looked at on a competitive basis. Urban farms are acres 1-5 parcels and we currently have identified 12 sites that meet that criteria with an additional six sites that are bigger than five acres. So we actually are working right now to see where we can at least have two identified sites perhaps in the queue for urban farms. These are the tasks that have been accomplished by staff to date. I just have to say, I know I'm on a limited time. But in a time where I know people are criticizing efforts with government and everything else, this has been a city staffed of 12 different departments pulled together to reduce the amount of paperwork, to reduce the cost to citizens and community groups, and to make it more efficient for our community to be able to do this. So when you look at all the things that have been done through the possible code modifications, drafting legal languages for the code revisions looking at public properties for urban agricultural uses, creating screening requirements, preparing proposed fees and fee waivers, keeping everybody notified, involving our friends at sustainable food policy board this has been a true labor of love and great effort here in this city. These are the boards and commissions that have heard this effort and the presentation and have all unanimously voted to approve and support this to council. Why of --every one of these have supported and been excited about it. The sqe how to implement this. From this point forward until the fiscal year we start to prepare for in october, the parks and recreation department has identified one vacant position and half time vacant position that we will move forward if approved by council to hire a conservation program coordinator. This position will directly coordinate with the chief sustainability oft tor also assess other issues that have been identified by the sustain sustainable food policy board and plan of action will come back for those additional items no later than october of 2011. So this will be then funded and has been requested to be funded in the next budget process as a new position, but we'll be able to take care of it until that time. And that concludes the presentation. And I'm here to answer questions questions. Our wonderful staff who have done all this great work are also here to answer questions. thank you sara. As you know, the city has e embarkd on this year long process called let's move. It's part of a national movement movement. Of course, let's move implies exercise, and we're already heavily engaged in that. But also has a nutritional element. So I would suspect there are ways to collaborate, for example with aisd, get them involved with this program. Sounds like something that might be something students would be anxious to get involved in, get outdoors, get a little work in, a little plowing, a little digging, and also enjoy the benefits of their labor at the end of the day. So I want my staff to be talking with you and your folks to see how we can collaborate and make that part of our initiative.
Absolutely. I think we can do that. We have some ideas already of how we can begin that process. thank you you. Mayor pro tem.
Thank you for all this work to get to this interest po. I think it's something the community has been waiting on a long time. I believe with the player there are opportunities not only here but to expand this and I hope that we would consider as we get this program going and obviously get settled down, talk to the county as well about their tons of public right-of-way, talk to state representative rodriguez is considering amending the transportation code to allow community gardens in state highways right-of-ways where accessible and where there's water available. Again, I think this is just the tip of iceberg on things that we can do. Speaking of right-of-way, the question I had, what if any conversations took place about potentially using rights of way that are accessible by citizens nor community guard , specifically under things like big power lines that go through neighborhoods and we have to have setbacks and nothing can be built under them but there is this large strip of land.
I'll be honest with you, i don't know if staff have directly had that, but I can tell you if we haven't, we certainly will. They did a pretty thorough job with all the departments looking at all the possible land. Margaret russell, who I have to say with the respect of the others has really been the leader behind this, do you want to answer that, margaret? I don't want to misinform.
Greetings. The land underneath the power lines, we were in discussion regarding that. We just have to leave a border so that vehicles, maintenance vehicles can access that. But we are making use of those lands.
Great. Thanks marringrest --margaret. To follow up, did we have a conversation about potentially floodplain buyout where the infrastructure is already there, water is already there, we have scraped these houses because we had to buy them along onion agreement and other areas, could we potentially use those?
When we were screening for properties, we did not screen out anything within floodplains, but we did remove land that was all within a hundred feet of creeks. But that was for community gardens. We understood the treatment of that land to be less invasive than perhaps urban farm. So there would be less disturbance of the surface and less equipment that might get washed downstream. We would require the shed to be up out of the floodplain area.
Thank you. Thanks mayor. council memberriley.
I want to thank staff and everyone else who has been involved. It's exciting to be here today. This rents the culmination of literally years of work on the part of a lot of folks, including folks in the community community. Groups like the coalition of austin community gardens, the whole array of commissions that you have outlined here, including especially sustainable food policy board, and also staff, all the departments that have worked so hard for so long. Really a tremendous chiefment to get to where we are and I'm excited about it. I do want to ask one question about the staffing. I think it's a great achievement 5 full time employees focused on these issues. I want to ask the title, conservation program coordinator coordinator. My understanding is the position will entail responsibilities related to both community gardens and urban agricultural in generally. Not everybody would necessarily think of those things at first when they see the term conservation program coordinator coordinator. Can you help me understand why we have that title?
I can actually. In this situation what we were trying to do is look at a position we had exiting in our plethora of titles and trying to not create more titles, working with hr, that are hard to match when you starts looking at ways across the city to do market salary survey and studies. We used the existing title, however we know that when we come back and advertise and look at there, we may have to put in parentheses what it really means as far as the job title. And latia came on board a little bit in the middle of this a help helping us to look. I'm in the saying we are stuck, but we wanted to move quickly and get this thing moving and going. This was our best effort to find a good comparable title at this time within the range of what we had to work with. But as latia and I talked about, things are fluid and we know things are going to be moving and shifting as we look at how well we can serve the community with this position.
So you expect these positions would be focused principally on urban agriculture.
And community gardens.
Rightnumber within focus is community gardens, being the single point of contact making sure nobody has problems trying to get through to be able to work this, get through and get a communities garden. They are going to walk them through this whole thing. There will be a website set up and it will be linked to other departments. There's a lot of great things that the staff are working on. You know, fine tuning. The urban farms, they will also be working on. But as you know there's a list of ten other items from the sustainable food policy boards and others that community groups have mentioned that need work. We have committed we will work on those in conjunction with luc lucia and the chief sustain sustainability officer to identify sort of a plan of action that will come back in 20 2011 of october and lay that out and possibly look at the need for other resources that we may have to request.
Thanks so much.
Thank you. thank you very much. That brings us to our 12 noon citizens communications. First speaker, ronnie reeferseed reeferseed. His topic is peace, freedom, fluoride. You have three minutes.
Thank you, sir. Yes, I'm ronnie reeferseed, asking remember me? My first amendment right to speak is defined 75 percent of the time by these criminals. I'm a long time peace and freedom activist here in austin, the dead baby capital in texas, that is right, the entire state, only our home hijacks taxpayer dollars from everybody to pay for abortions. For that however we cannot blame these particular people. By the way, half the citizen speakers here today are about flouride. This council consistently decides ho hijack over a million of our taxpayer dollars each year to force sludge down our throdes. Contains not only sodium flouride but poisons from lump number plants and others. Remember I asked everyone to raise their hand if they drank tap water? Not a single one raised hands. The information is out there. Search engine flouride. Sodium flouride is the most violent toxin. I wonder why they keep pushing it. It's evil, people. Speaking of evil, I hope we noticed when our indonesian subject, so-called president barack obamaa viewed slogans to pacify the uninformed and said no matter what you people say or do, by the way including our newly elected congress, complete with tea party active itself, you can't stop this awful so-called healthcare debacle. Yes, we can and we will. He is ignoring the reason his party lost was the scam. Rejust our legislative bran of has blossomed with two doctors paul, doctor ron and his son, senator from kentucky. The truth about toxic sludge in our watt, the poison in the air from the chem trails in the sky, the truth about the deadly sterile izing gmo crops has hit the fan. Every day more people are facing the facts. One great source is the alex jones radio show right here in a growing list, my favorite on line with lots of new articles, we will documented new articles every day at info wars.com. Another great source is american free press.knit. And/or call 888-699 news to subscribe to this great weekly newspaper. ron paul celebrates his chairing of the committee which oversees the the. It is high time congress insist on getting complete information on what the fed has been doing for how long and for whom. Yes, we are winning. next speaker, walter ol nick--olenick nick--olenick. Segue, the topic is water flouride.
Good afternoon, council. I have a three minute audio for you today. Roll that. . . . . (Off microphone)
it's a good one. (Off microphone) all right right. We're not going to be able to get the video, audio. Okay. olenick, you have about a minute and a half left. Did you want to say something in that time?
No. all right right. We will go to the next speaker then and see if you can work that out. Cynthia valdez to talk about single member districts and east austin developments. Welcome to you. You have three minutes.
My name is, well, good afternoon. We want austin to be a truly great community. So it is incumbent to work together to achieve this as of yet unrealized dream. To those of who what strive to protect austin's character, please understand that for many of us living in neighborhoods filled with people of color, people of poverty, we have yet to elect any city council person that truly rents us in our area. Pseudogentleman who long ago agreed to allot only one city seat for latino and one for african american, did so out of fear the white man's time was up up. And that something drastic needed to be done to manage those people of color whose votes could one day outnumber theirs. These men of little faith had no vision, no understanding of the huge condition. What they did have was the economic and political power to control and determine what the character and face of of austin would look like for years to come. My name is cynthia valdez and I'm here before you representing mazres and dids 7. As members of the coalition of advocacy organizations and people that believe in the creation of a fair and representative city, we ask you to please include us in the development of another opportunity, another opportunity to provide this city's elected officials the ability to do the right thing. To allow the implementation of a single member district style of electing its highest ranching officials so that each and every citizen will have an equal and equitable voice in the determination of their respective lives, and the ability to hold that office holder responsible for its individual votes on the city council and accountable to the voters of those that elected them. Long ago our ancestors fought for self determination and taxation with representation as tools necessary for the develop development of an environment that would allow all the ability to achieve their highest quality of life. That cannot happen unless we have single member districts. We whole heartedly support this and ask each of you to commit to this end. We congratulate each of you who now believe that it is an opportunity we have now within our reach, an opportunity to realize that dream. As a former light district director and plaintiff for single member district with naac naacp during the '80s, we encourage you to act desice ofly and quickly. We hope you will each work diligently to eliminate the current aty equated system of electing the city's highest ranching officials.
Mayor leffingwell: thank you.
Is that it?
Mayor leffingwell: yes. You have a few seconds left.
I just wanted to, again, i understand that based on what the newspaper has been reporting there now appears to be a change in the winds, and that you all are coming together of a like mind, that we have, who live in this community, have for some long waited to see happen, and that was the realization of the single member district. We urge you to do that as quickly as possible. Thank you. next speaker linda greene. The case against flouride book.
This is how I have to get my refills of reverse osmosis water water. Weighs quite a bit when you lug 30 pounds of water around with you. You can get it at whole foods. An amazing press release issued department of health and human services stated children are afflicted with dental fluorosis, the first clinical sign of poisoning. I'm going to try to show a little bit of the clip from the abc nightly news called government says too much flouride in water, if possible. For more than two years flouride free austin has presented city council with a huge amount of scientific evidence of damage not only to teeth but also kidney, thyroid, brain, risk of brittle bone, broken broken, arthritis by just ingesting a few parts per million. Since its release of the case against flouride back in october paul connet, you have had five copies of the book since its release this past october, the case against flouride, we have hoped that you have had a chance to study this. Also we're hoping that you will watch the many you tube interviews by doctor paul as he was here and spoke to city council there november. Is it not, I have this question to all of you, is it not your immediate urgent and ethical duty to warn the public of this medication which you inject into our waters and our bodies without our consent. This is a legal question as well well. For many reasons, I believe the city of city of austin an obligations to advise and warn citizens of the flouride dangers on every water bill. These are my two requests and demands of city council. Because point 7 parts per million, which we have currently is not necessarily a safe dose of medication. Any questions? thank you linda.
Thank you. trav travis snavely.
I am here to state my opposition to full body scanners at the austin air part. Tsa said scanners would mostly likely arrive as early as march of this year. We have to take action quickly to keep them out of our city. As you know on December 14, the air part anned advisory commission than nousely passed a resolution opposing full body scanners in austin. In the resolution, the commission, quote, recommends that the city council oppose the installation of ait body scanners, abia, and further oppose the practice of invasive body searching and encourage the council to enform the tsa and state and federal delegations of opposition. Reasons given within the resolution reflect testimonies have you been hearing from residents over the past few weeks. The medical and health issues have not been conclusively determined. Privacy rights of citizens would be violated. The scanners may be ineffective or marginally ineffective. The scanners and pat downs violate our fourth amendment rights against unreasonable searches. We are free from unreasonable searches, not guilty until proven innocent. Fourth amendment inforces this right and it is no the su spend spended when purchasing an airline ticket. I want to bring up the effects of the scanners and enhanced pat downs are continue to go have on business and tourism in this city and country. In a reuters article, november 1 11, 2010, jeff freeman, executive environment president travel association, spoke of public reaction to the scanners and pat downs. He said, we have received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from travelers vowing to stop flying. You can't talk on the one hand about creating jobs in this country and getting this economy back on track and on the other hand discourage millions of americans from flying which is the gateway to commerce. According to 2008 study by the travel association, travelers in the united states avoided 41 million trips because of perceived problems with the air travel system. The survey report stated these a avoided trips cost detrimental effects on the country's tourism industry and tourism businesses. Scanners had already been installed in many cities. I'm sure if the survey were taken now avoided trips and dollars lost, much higher. The economy in the united states has declined and continues to decline and austin is not immune immune. In orders to bol store and aid our economy the city thought have a welcoming attitude. These travelers and tour ist united states should feel welcome. Airports procedures are not welcoming. I came across an article on the com that sums the idea well. I quote from the article. The rest of the world-- that is your time.
Thank you very much. thank you you. Next speaker is philip greene. Speak ing on the topic of flouride also.
Thank you, council members. The topical affects of flouride I am not here to disputes. Since the 1950s there have been no evidence supporting benefit of flouride being taken internally. Contrarily, there have been studies showing detrimental effect even in small doses. Recent reports stating that 41 percent of children between ages of 12 and 15 have dental fluorosis firmed these studies. You have been presented for years study after study showing the detrimental effects of flouridation by scientists such as senior tox col gift william marcus whose studies showed flouride produced bone and liver cancer in rates. phil is morins of the dental institute whose research found central nervous system disorders and behavior and nerve impulse disorders. gorge walb walbit has warned of the dangers and was one of the first to warn of smoking and dangers of penicillin. Have been given studies from the national cancer institute who found flourides increase cancer by 50 percent. Nies released results to show link between flouride water and one of dozens of studies showing similar rids. The city council has been presented with scores of testimony providing the dangers and you have done nothing. I can only assume that your in inaction is a results of your failure to research the information presented for you. Because if any one of you had truly taken the time to look at evidence against flouride it would not be in our drinking water today. In fact the fda has never approved flouride. If you go to the epa's website, it is listed as a contaminant. How much is in the water that we drink here? If you drink eight glasses per day you are receiving almost three milligrams of flouride. Three mill grahams is the same dosage used in the '60s and '70s to treat hypo thyroidism. This is a medical amount and should not be added to water. This one can you please at point 7 parts per million contains as much flouride as found in the pea size amount of tooth paste the cdc and american dental association warn as hazardous and if the swallowed to seek medical attention. They have warned mothers not give tap water to children under 12 months. By your inaction you have opened yourself and the city to a host of litigation for deer lick shun of duty and disregard to the health of constituents. Today you have a choice to continue your stands of denial or vote to end water flourid flouridation and become another stepping zone to awakening americans to the dangers of flouride. Thank you.
Mayor leffingwell: .
I'd like to-- anna maciel. Your time has expired.
For the record, thank you. give it to the clerk. Anna maciel. We'll go to the next speaker. Kenneth lewis. All right. False arrest and compensation.
Good afternoon. Citizens against false arrest, compensation and statute of limitation. Mayor, council, city marring, my name is ken yeth lewis, I am continuing my fight and appeal for justice and compensation for the false arrest and who arivic experience I suffered and en enendured in march of 07 to the present. I am broadening to the churches and citizenry of austin. If you or relatives or friends know others who have experienced this injustice of loss of freedom, financial loss of 5-6 5-6,000, looking at prospect to life in prison, I strongly encourage you to call, write or lobby in person the official offices. If we don't demand justice, to rid the police departments of rowing and racist officers, who will. We must insist on the highest standards and except tags of professional objecttive ty, integrity and ethics. In addition to the air fore forementioned, I'm asking the mayor and council to ask that the chief and the police department commence keeping false arrest statistics with emphasis on ethnicity, gender, age and location of arrest. Since data and statistics is kept on just about everything else, I strongly feel sphis -- --statistics would be significant to be you in the database. My attempt to obtain this information, I spoke with apd records and research and was informed statistics are not kept kept. In my efforts to be compensated for false arrest, I remind the council, city manager and mayor officers, the attorney who represented month me, stated to me in the case my case had a four year statute of limitation, which if true in march the statute would expire in march. Again, as I appeal to the sense of decency and justice of the citizenry of austin to call, write or lobby your council, representative in my behalf, also to the collect you shun of apd false arrest data, sh should become your civic responsibility for justice in austin texas. This campaign for justice will continue through 2011. Happy new year, and thank you for hearing me. I will speak on my next experience with the police office. That will be the next time the police came. I had a who arivic experience with the police monitor's office office. That was a who ar who arivic experience also. Thank you.
Debbie russell. Three minutes.
Thank you very much. richard franklin. mayor and council. Five and a half years ago this city began yet another series of discussions about the myriad of problems that face and still face the african american in austin. We followed that up with an additional discussion about almost the exact same issues that face the latino population and are still facing the same problems. Recently the city I found out dedicated two years of some type of funding to undo well over 100 years of neglect. There has been no money to speak of of for the last three yoo erse to increase the quality of life for african americans and latinos. The most recent census tells us that african americans rather than sustaining neighborhoods are leaving in droves. Moving to the outlying areas or going away all together. The policies that continue to divest these devastated communities has the effect of a double punch to the gut. First these people can't afford to live in this city. Second, the city continues to make decisions that are detrimental to those who live east of 35 with no regards to the long-term consequences. Those of us who live in the etj, where no one hears our screams, have had to fight and continue to fight sludge plants, cream tore yum, trash dumps and the list goes on and on. Now we have to continue with up to 1100 new roof tops on 969 which is a two-line highway and a race track no one has asked what the long-term effects will be on this community, not to mention the $4 million the city will have to contribute year throi have a race track while we have budget shortfalls. I say all that to say this. This body and austin are living in historic times. The first african american female council member, first african american city manager, first latino police chief, first african american school superintendent. With all that, what will be your legacy? Will you be remembered as place holders, maintainers of the status quo? Or will you be remembered as change agents? Those that made the hard decisions that voted to improve the quality of life for the least of us, for the homeless, for the helpless, for the hope hopeless, for those of us who fight the righteous fight for the voiceless, don't count the homeless, help them. Don't study the african american problem, invest in them. I am pleading with you as you deliberate and make your decisions and vote on them, please make the have-nots your first priority and not an after thought. Help us by lifting from the bottom and always remember the children. I thank you for your time.
(Applause) those are all the speakers for today. So without objection, the council will go, okay, all right go ahead. Try next time. Without objection, the city council will go into closed session pursuant to section 551. 551.071 Of the government. You got it? All right. Third try. Go ahead.
Health advocate. I have been in practice for the past six years under business model. We are unable to travel through throughout the entire state of georgia. This allows me to have a flexible schedule where I can focus on community outreach which typically relate to environmental health. I am a member of many professional societies, including the ama, the national medical associate eyes, the nap, medical association of georgia and Atlanta and american academy for advancement of sciences. And I have no conflicts of interest, no sponsor ships and no endorse mentsat this time. So growing up, I was like you guys. You know, and the public at large . I always viewed flouride as new trent lining calcium and iron. Good for the teeth and never a question of harm to human health health. Throughout my medical training, consisting of medical school and pediatric residency which includ included a health elective, i was never taught about flouride, only encouraged to use it. Only more recently that I grew my personal awareness and realize how prevalent it is in the environment, the cumulative and toxic fact and fractured regulations. I now see it as the number wub leading public health threat in the goz--georgia and the nation. I maim some recommendations in the releases you have. Most all the newborns I have seen are fed on this water. Water quality reports made valuable to the public, most parents don't know how to access ran not aware that it's in the tap water. Even though nursery water label clearly states it contains flouride, few parents are aware or know it's a medicine. They purchase because it's especially made for babies, which brings to light the advertising techniques. Even though the ada no longer recommends flourided water since 2006, the policy change has yet to reach the medical and dental community as well as the public at large. As also mentioned, I diagnose five times a day cases that are generally mild, but all degrees of negative growth are seen. Many will have the same capacity and I can remember as a child we used to look at the white spots on each other's nails and count them but never knew what it was caused by. Dental fluorosis is indicative of exposure prior to age 6 and is typically the first sign, fortunately not permanent by preventable. In the most severe form patients don't complain. I'm usually the most concerned parties. I'm alarmed that many children do swallow tooth paste. Most parents aren't aware. thank you very much. Now, without objection, the city council will go into closed session pursuant to section 551. 071 Of the government code for consultation with legal counsel to take up one item. Item 43, concerning city council appointments made under article 6 of the city charter. Council will also go into closed session pursuant to section 551. 074 Of the government code which allows discussion of personnel matters to take up one item, item 44, concerning compensation and benefits for the city auditor. Is there any objection to going into executive session on the items announced? Hearing none, council will now go into executive session. . . . . . [Rumbling] Announcer: What if a disaster strikes without warning? What if life as you know it has completely turned on its head? What if everything familiar becomes anything but? Before a disaster turns your family's world upside down, it's up to you to be ready. Get a kit. make a plan. be informed today. Test test test test test test manitowoc test test test test test test test test test test floird!
May Leffingwell: We are ouof closed ssion. In closedsession wetook up and discussed legal issues relad t item 43 and personnel matters related to item 44. And related to executive session, without objection, council, item 45 is withdrawn from the agenda. Now we ill go to our briefing, and first we'll take up our mning briefings, we'll take up the austin energy quarterly report. Caught yo by surprise there, larry?
May Leffingwell: Okay.
We just have to get th presentation loaded up here. Well, good afternoon. I'm larry weise, general manager austin energy, and here today to produce a report on a quarterly. Last year the council approved action that austin energy would come before the council each quarter. This is the first f those repors, this January. I'll talk about the followup reports coming up here a minute. Tops im going to eview tois the ate review and redesign update. And the second part of my upte today will cover renewable energy acquisitions. And this is a followup from the last council meeting,'ll be discussing the forecasting of an affordable resource plan and howwe will go about making sure ur generation plant ge approved in an an then some more direct to me, the f austin energy, some near-term strategies, me items that we're working on. In the rate review, the goal I to assure austin ener can successfully continue to provide clean, affordable, reliable energy and customer service. We want toprovide ver competite rates, our costs are distributed faly and to redesign rates to meet business objectives. So of thse business objectives are efficie energy use our net metered distribution system which includes solar behind the meter, other innovations that customfrs may choose, and electric vehicles and ther innovations also very important to maintain the utility's financial health and involving the public. In the rate review time line, this year we have a public involvement process, and in 2010 the me line up here has renue requirement, the cost of service model, rate design,! Rate filing packageand euc, elctrif utility commission, and council proceedings. The time line that we're shooting f right now is that somime around the begiing of 2012 we would have new rates, a new rat design to implement wi our retail customers. This public involvement prcess involves a public involvement committee. This is simila to what went -- that the city went through with the water rtes. The wnter and spring 2011, this pblic involvement committee I engad. Thsummer and fall of 11 the goal is outreacto interested vic grps. Wctober an updatefor the pulic involvement coittee and at we found when we ent outside the groups. And then electri utility commission review and commendation in December f 011that iswhen we expect to come to the council to discuss rate action on ou rate design. The public involvement mmitteis a diverse 14-member committee, represents all cusomer groups and includes residential rate advocates. That rate advocate is actually select by austin energy as an expertwithin the rate residential sector and if there's any questis on that, I'llha mark ce up and talk about the process on that, but roles and rponsibilities clude education of cost, electric service and rate structures. So in effect we're creating skme customers who are rally expertat ho in a very short order ad how we actuall rate design, and they represent the interests of their customers grps and mmunicate with their customer groups and provide input on the rate structures we have in his process. They are made up of a residential group, commercial, key accounts, n othr. And that's the spectrum of cusmer groups tht we ha at austin energy sere. Th publicmeetings are held with independt facilitator. The ublic is not engaged in king comments, but they are able to come and sit and listen to what happens. There's the facilitator through ourconsultant.w. Beckthey have selected a process manager that helps with this. Education on the cost of providing electric service and rate structures, there's a lot documents, a lot of handouts that are iven to these folks. And ty had their first meeting January 13th and i hope they ae all willing to me back because it's going to be quite a lot of work and education. The etings provided heduled time for member dialogue and input, and we have wesite for this rate process. It's rates.austinenergy.com. And it's up and running. The schedule fo the pubc involvement committee and rate redesign, they meet from m atow lake CEER, January th, February -- can see the schedule up there and t different topics that they are going to cover. And that's all I had on the rate rview process, a now i want to jump into another part, second part of what i want to talk aboutoday and that is what are we doing about reble energy project acquisitions well, fst ofall, we don't have an energy plan approved. I'm gog to talk bout that next. I guess in the slide deck, thought about one doing one before the other she but this isn important tp. But weave an energy resource plan, approval pending affordability major. Ther are two projects already approved bycounci that re coming forward, a biomass oject on line by mid 2012 and the webberville solar project on line end of 2011. Other new aquition, the first of february, austin energy is releasing request for proposals. Theseare for short-term and what I call medium-tem renewable acquisitions to make sure our exisingreen choice portfolio is filled and make sure we have our ongoing renewable targets taken care. And then we are spending a lo of time in the strategy of acquiring wid resources. We aren gauge underand two wind projects and the enrg plan, one is 20 megawatts in 2011, and that's -- and another one is 150 megawatts in 2013. We will be coming to the council on anything larger than 10 megawts which is e policy on any of these acquisitons. Our renewable additions of -- to get to 35% total energy from renewable looks ke th. We have the projects I just spoke of, but b band is o wind resource and that's where our primary i look toategic lick that we are going to develop a lot of renewable resources fro in the past this is the chart that shows the differe resources that we have had nd the cost in averagecents pe kilowa hour and the total at tom. So in 2009 we had a very 9 cents per kilott hour for renewab energy. That's -- that's very good, frkly. In the futre, I changes. We have in th bottom right-hand corner, we ended up 2 cents, and that reflects the wind acquisitions that we see coming forward, the solar that I talked about earlier, and the biomass facily, and you can see what those two cos are. Sor project around 16 cent a kiloatt hr. At the end of the le o those urchase pour agements we will have to loo at replacing those down the road. That's what we're doing with renewae acquisitions in the near term. Next, followup to the last meting, forecasting an affordable reurce plan. 2007 Theclimate protection plan ws approved pril 22, 2010 the city council approved it. Our enerating plan dependent on developing a met to do to measure the pan's affordability. I ca to you in December, was sent back to the drawing oard come back wih something a little different and that's when I intended to in the following slides. The plan's goals include three 35% of the austin will come from qualiind renewable source. It's affordable and redistrictable as possible. We've heard that from our customer grou very strongly, allsectors f our cusomers. And to rach generation plan als by 2020. That is a goal. Here is thegeneration plan, the template. It shows r exisin coal and nuclear gas facilities owned by austinenergy. Those include decker, sandhill, and in addition ib 2015 of 200 megawatts which rds out our sa hill facility. Biomass includes the 100 megawatts in nacogdoches. I don't know if I pronounced that right cause I'm nd of n around here.
Mayor Leffingwell: You did, it's nachodohes. I did say it ight? In 2015, that is a mystery to me on biomass. We have wption to get some more but e'll watch that one ve cosely. I want to emphasize that the future members as they get towards 2020, in my mind they are a little loser than in the beginning part of this our acquisition sttegy. Clearly you can see that wind, 1,000 megawatts of windby 20 is an important strategic move. I believe that the wind market is very good right now or us and I would like to move fairly aggressively in that acquisition strategy during the course of 2011 and 2012. And the solar target, 2001, very ambitious. That als incdes solar behind the meter in customers' homes. If we provide the incentives for solar to be behind the meter, it hel ith coumers' bills. Then you can see the growth of the portfolio by 2020 getting to 35%. This slide is one from yu ast presentation. It shows thehistoryof austin energy rates. E gold line is the actual rates, and with the fuel charge changing drastically year to year that's the swing that you see in thbt. And this is average syst tes in this chart. The last one I showed you was residential oly, sothis one is average stem. S. And so you can see that as compar to a reference line that we're using of 2%, that 6 over that period of time ince 1994, which was the last time the rates were redeigned, the rate structure as edesigned, but the fuel took took care of any additional charge. 7% since1994 so nw we're goingo go through the rate case. We have tdesign a nw base rate. We have to put in place mething to measure our future progress. And this is what we'r proposing. We're long at the two similar lines that we had, of course, the cpu electric we can only assume it's flat in the future and we all kw it's not we know that just forecasting 2%, that is a flat line, and then we've done our very best to recast what we think the future is going to hold after we do this initial rate bump or increase. And I caution that this is a conservative estimate. I don't want to read hard into there that if you did, you would say well, that looks prey close to maybe 14% rate increase. This an overall rvenue increase which I tried to emphasize at the last meeting. That's really how we look at it is we need that much additional revenu utity-wide in order to make our rates come out. How the different rate lasses are afect depends on our rate work that happens this year. So that is ot across the board, that is not generic, what that shows and demonstrates as we come out o this rateedesign, we will have this one-time adjument and tn the future will be monitod very closely. Every time we bring major resource isshw the impact and the impact on the futu everything we do. So it's a tool. We know he w can't really und by -- we could, guess, but we would lik to have the flexibility to be oming back here every quarter to have the opportunity to talk every time we hae a major acquition of a resource, we come back and discuss the vry targets that we're talking about today. That's te goal. Oops. Our reven requirements forecast driven by sumptions. They all are. And th economic outlook nd inflation, a renewed emphasis on cost reduction strategies. Frnkly have not been at austin energy long enough to start getting into line by ne capital projcts and other items that are there. That all helps it. And the early forecast years are more firm dta. Now, when we come back to the next council briefing, it will be in April. We will come back wth our five-year financial forecast and that will start reflting some of that data. And the later forecast years are more deedent on assumptions that likely will change. These forecasts are used to cacula our system average. We'll indicate a need for future rate increases, an the rate review resets revenue requirements in 2012. That's an mportant feture of this work that wre doing this year. So our reommendation is that at the nexcouncil meing that we ask for approval of our generation plan, which is rellyfundamentally of o generation resurces, plus is matrix, if you will, or this chart forecasting method of tracking our costs in the fure. And that we operate within a range between this hisoric 7% for cpi electric, following a rate review that sets evenue requirements for 2012. Now, in my mind as a goal fr me, I mean my goal isto beat that I would like to get belowthe 2% line. We had a discussion last time about, well, if we really wanted that goal, maybe we have to change the year which w implement. We're going to need flexibility going forward. This is a big job to get to 35%. I believe it's doable and i think thelexibility for the professionals that run austin energy for you, I think we ed to have a little t o room. But that comes every time we bring you a renewable project, and we look at these -- the acquisition costs a what that does to it. The -- we plan to update this tool annually,and I talked about resource acquisitions that we bring and we'll repo in our five-year forecast each spring which comes up in April. So our future council communication time line, in r 2011 we'll a five-year financial foreca. In july I will come back and have a smorgasbord of things going on,try to keep it impacan useful. And then in august we will be briefin out the udget. And then october come back here again and d a tilt operational stratic update that's the pla and I think it works great for to us come and condense it. Lastly, near-term strategies for e. I've been here -- I haven't counted the days, but im getting close to four months on the job. And the question is what are my topprioities. And I think that these -- there are some others,but these are principally the larger ones. This rate review, the energy resoce plan with affordability ures. I want to get this launched so we can get to the 35%. I wat to continue internal organizional and financial review. That's a lot of -- I've been spending a lot of personal time othose two. And then in-depth review of our capital iprovement plan which drives our budget and how much money we eed and that drives our rates. And then I believe with our customers in the various groups and the dialogue I've had we need to continue to improve our communications and our transparency. The issues that we have out there andhere are the costs and what is ourstrategy going forward. So I blaste through that pretty fa and 'm available for any questions.
Mayor Leffingwell: Just a process question. You've advanced te otion of affordability goal being on an equal footing with the time line and the rewable energy portfolio component. Soproess-wise, do we need to formally incorporate it in the generation plan for 2020, the affordability plan? Generation plan forward, it would be that chart that had all the differenttargets, and I don't thi that's set in stoneeither. That's probably going to need to chan.
Mayor effingwell: Iwant a way to esure that it is a goal as much as the other als. Noof tm are set in stone. None of the goals are set in stone. They are all goas.
Mayor Leffingwell: But i want to make sure that in some ray that is memorialized so that every time we talk generation plan, we're talkg about all three of those legs of the sto.
We can cerainly incorporate that into it. We can figure out the anguage to do that to make sure that was the intent.
Mayor Leffingwell: Okay. Can talk about how to do that or rocess-wise if we edo come back and do some kind ofamendment or whatever, we can lk about later, but somethg to think about. The other thing in the affordability component, there was some discussion at the last meeting about not only having a goal cap of 2%, but also in some way addressing outside factors. So let's say tat everybody in the electric genation business one yea experienced a 30% increase due o world war iii or something like that so that that would be captured as well. We wouldn't say that we couldn't do anything because the prices we -- were increased that much. So we had talked about maintaining our position, you know, 40% or so of the average or maximum texas utilit rates. SO IS THERE rOME RASON THAT Was not included? I would just like to hear your rationale on that. I'm not making any suggestions right now.
No, I probably glanced over that, but at the last presentation we sai we would bench mark and that's what u are specifically talking about, yes, we will do that. >ayor Leffiwell: THAT'S The bench mark as compared to the overrecall energy situation.
We wa to keep ourselves -- I think wh we're really trying to say we want to keep ouelves in the marketplace relative to where we areoday in the future. The way we look at that, we bench mk ourselves and come up with a tool to try to keep ourselves where we were n the past.
Mayor Leffingwell: And one final question is the extra 50 mewatts of biomass, are you anticipating tha cos from a ncrease to the existing contract thate have or a new contra? Or do you know?
Mayor Leffingwell: Is it too early to know?
I don't know. I -- I -- well, I'll just tell youthat I don't think getting any mofrom te existing facility is really high o my list.
Mayor Lefngwell: Well I kno -- yeah. No comment there but I think that's a goodcoent on our part. Thank you. [Laught
Mayor Leffngwell: But as we all know thatthis is flexible, this chart that you had laid out. So by saying we're going to have 50 more watts of biomass, that's the plan in 2016. That might well be somethin else. That mightbe wind or that might be --
Mayor Lefingwell: -- hydroectricr whatever.
Mayor Leffingwell: I just ]ant to make sure because i think we're discovering ae forward there that the biomass is a little more problematic than we first suspected. Okay. Councilmember cole and hen councilmemr riley.
Cole: Thank yov I really appreciate your work in ying to give usa lipse of wht both reneable means in conjuncti with affordability because I share the mayor's concern with movi forwar and oing both. Let me ask about the webberville solar. You said by the end of 2011. Can yo give us an idea ow that's going r anything you need fm councilin that connection?
What I know is that it has -- they have gotten their permi recently. These types of installations can be pu together petty fas and as far as know, they are on targe o meet thr time line.
Col THAT'S VERY GOOD News. Okay. The second thing I was going toask is I notice on the forecasting tols to measure affordability, that we have psumedtt we're going to have a rate case, an i understand t that is just a reasonab asumption that we just ptty much have to do it just to get us there in terms of ourrenewable goals. But when we talk about b 2 goal up until 2020,i'm wondering ho that compares to prior rate cases because i n't 5- ever since I've n council we have not had a rate cse6 when was the last rate case? >>He last one was in 199. In 1994, then sn thereafter to handle increasing cost mostly associated with fuel and generation, there was a fuel adjustment charge, a fuelcharge put in pace. And that's been used since hen to deal with thosecosts separately, and the -- so that's the last time. 1994. That th rates havebeen redesigned, that is, differen nimum charges, those types of elements.
Cole: And I understand there's been a lot of changes since 1994. And so we just don't -- you ar notnecessarily predicting in smaller increments what to forecast. Mayorleffinell said what if the etraordinary happened ad you said w'll have to make a change and I guess I'm asking what is the ordinary. What we normally project a rate case every five to ten years as opposed to what you just said?
Well, that's a good question. There's really no right way to do it. The policy makers can -- i mean we can go along for a few years and then do a rate bump. There's some utilities that prefer to do small increases over time more frequently so there isn't any rate shck. So there's -- and thosere really policy gudelines. It's really what I have always professionally looked to from e policy makers is to how you wantto represent and chgethat cerainly what we're not suesting there following this 2% is w d a 2% rate increase every year we're not uggeing any kind of futurate changes at that int. At we're saying is we want an initial rate change in 2012 to 13 period and afr that point I time we want to monitor ourselves and see how we do going forward and use that as returns. -- Does that makereference
Cole: Yes, and make changes in our renewables or rates.
We want tbe flexible. We want to come back frequently, let you know what we're doing avd have the flexibility to make chang to the generatn plan ifthat's what it is or make other adjustments to make surewe keep our rates affordable. That's the gl.
Cole: Thank you.
Mayor Leffingwell: Councilmember riley. [One moment, please, for change in captioners]
you mentioned the rfp in slide 1p.
T rfp for new acquisitions. Can you tells a little more about that rfp, when we could expe that to be issued and what would entail?
It's on slide 10.
Yes is the answer. [LAUGHTERm We, our intert is in short-term three to seven medium term, one to three for sho-tm, medium three to seven years,nd this is for solar and wind only, is what we're looking for. We have -- it's very general. We just literally want to shake the tree and find out what's out tre so as we<% start looking at other acquisitns we have some mease of whau the costs are. There's several- we've been approached by several companies almost weekly on different -- different ideas and different -- different generating projects that a lot of people have, so we think it's thet prudent way in our business is to go out dog that. We will issue the rfp february 1, 2011. We'll have a deadline f written or email questions is february the 11th and then rfp responses are due on the 21st of february.
And would the rfp specify mount of megawatts or -- what would be the scale --
up to 200 megawatts of utility scale wind and renewable ener projects.
Would the be any -- any langge in thefp requiring, for instance, local manufacring or a sem blil facilitie or -- assembly facilities or any other details of the projects?
I'm not aware of any of that, but I can check -- I'll have to check on that.
I would like to follow up on tt.
Iw san antonio expects tossue an rfp on february 1, and they are including a requirement alg those lines in their! Rfp, so I would le to take a lo at that. On the next slide about -- that shows the graph of the renewable additions, I know th if we focus in on sor, I can't reay tell what the shading issues but it loo like the solarwn is somewhat large than the solar ppa on slide 11.
Yeah, I'm trying to look it here. I might have to look at a different set of slides.
I was just curious about that because I know some other cities, they're FINDING THAT PPAs N BE A More effective way of procuring solar because it reires privateroviders to make use of federal tax credits, and I'm just curious why our expectations would be focused more on owning the sol as opposed to ppa.
Well, we want to encourage the distributed behind the meter, but we're still lookingt tility scale as well. And so I think that's the point of yr question.
Yeah,ut I meaou could do -- you could have a utility scale with a ppa. I mean
And, in fact, webberville essentially --
right. Exactly. Exactly. We'll be looking at our RFPs THAT COME IN, AND We'll be looking at -- and when you tk about local, expectation is all local projects will be solar projects, and I'm expecting that we'll get some, and those solar projects, pending on the developer, they can eitr look at STRUCTURED PPAs WITH -- Giving us the option t purchase it after the tax period. That's very common,e call it in the industry flip, and the other one is we look at me of ayndicated utility-scale project. So we' be looking at those. The numbers on those compared to wind are pretty steep,nd so we will probably always emphasize that bance, bnd I know at solar prices are coming down a little bit, and so i think that we're looking for a mix, a we're going to LOOK THROUGH OUR RFPs TO Sewhat out there. But the webber value project, w may be looking at more of those projects ke that.
But we wl be focusing on ways to maximize the use of the federal tax credits THROUGH PPAs, A SO WE Are not necessbrily wedded to owning the solar.
That's correct. >>E'll be looking at the PPAs. Ani it makes more sense from the standpoint of using th federal taxredits to FOCUS MORE ON PPAs THAN Owning, then that's something the utili wl entertain?
Yh, and auestion in my mind with the current congress is are we going to have taxredits nex year. I mean, I don't know. Th will certainly change the business model
sure. Anthen lastl over on the energy resource plan laid out in slide 16, jus wanted to ask, itaid -- thehart doesn't really speak to base versus[inaudible]. And I want to askou about that. At thipoint as wlook at our nee going forward, tell me what it is that we really need to be worri -- focused on on procuring going forward? Where is the bigeed that you see is it in peak or be load?
It's in peak. It's in peak. Our base load generation with s and the nuclear and our gas facilities, a we ju entered a nodal market wither cot and gas prices are so cheap that the market is flushed for base resources. Our resources right now, i think the opportunity for us right now is with t wind projectshat are here in texas. Thers several that ar out there. One advantage for us having a high reniewbl goal is -- -- renewable gl, we're unique, where is the market. We want to acqre these resources and we're at a perfect time to be doi it, in my opinion. So that's -- that's the gd news. I thinon the solar front a similar story. Ant to develop se local facilities here, but those are all energy needs. Now, with our existing gas facilities that we have at san hill, in effect we can ca it firm wind. In other words, we can dispatch those resources against ourind or oars and we can make that wind or othe a we can maket mind almost like base load. There's analysis our staff does every week on how t nodal market is working and w we can move that and ma that more efficient and we're learning every day on how to optimize the model and make it better. So that's how we're handlin that.
We're doing ptty well on base load. When we talked about issng an rfp, for instance, we're focusingn renewles for peak pposes. That's what our foc is on --
well, the renewals come as a form of energy. Solsav some that are not necessarily good to peak and others are good. But we have other tools to dispatch around hat. We confirmed that with our other resources and we pay congtion costs to ercott and the othe costshat are out there, but I emphasize in no way do we charactize renewables as 100% base load.
But on base load our needs are pretty well meant.
So our big need,ur purchases at ts point going to be on p
yes. And at san hill ther I a combustion turbo facity, technology, very large machine. It has a steam generator, combined cycle and one turbine. In the budget is the addition of an additional turbe s both turbines produce steam to run to the steam generator. That cpletes thatacity and makes it the highest level of efficiency. That is in the budge to complete that facility. That's the last base loa soce thas in this is planned right now.
So that will be ptty well set o the base load. And can youust tell me in general,ould yourize nuclear as a ak load or a base load resource.
Base load mee going forward.
No, but we're certainly open tlooking at all resources becausthis is a plan. It gs for ten years. It's 2009n the chart and it's 2011 right now so i guess two years have already slipped by. So it moves prey fast.
Okay. Thanks. Larry.
Council member slman?
Larry, I have fewer questions than I did because brother riley has already coved the material that i was most interested in, s much better than I would have done it than myself, and I won't ask you whether we need base load or not. He asked that question six times. I alst want to ask you the seventh but can stop now. [Laughter] let me ask you in a slightly different place. Focusing on the affordabily issue, i understand these are just goals, there's norigger that something mandatoas to happen if f some reason we are not able to meet any of these goals, but of cose we're going to try to stay within that 2%, and as I derstand it, it's not 74, that's what we think it's going to be for the foreseeable futureecause [e don't know what the cpi for utility --
right, all we know is the historz of the past.
Right. So that's a straight line because we don't kno any better. But at some point, each year wel know what the c is. It's going to ratchet up or down and we're going to stay wherever that is versus a historic forecast.
That's right. That's at a good deal, and i also thinks the mayor pointed out we also want to do that in conjunction with benchmarki, because we can slow down our acquisitions a little bit and control our costs a little bit. That's really -- that' the flexibility that we need going forward. So then we can keepetween the lines, so t speak, of where we are in tms of our cost structure. And I think we'll need frequent feedback fromur policy mers as we acquire these resources to make sur we're all talking about the same thing and all looking at the same lines, the right way.
Spelman: okay. I underand. Apropos of which, let me -- let me pitch you an idea. What you've got in slide no17, that's the one whereyou've got 2% growth rate, the cpi and then our average rate hto. Our average rate history it seems to me is skewed b the fact that we haven't had a rate case since 1994, and our rate structures have ippeto the point of irrelevancy to some extent, and actually we're bleeding a fair amount of money every year. So a fairer exchange -- a fairer eimateor the basis of our growth rate, it seems to me, would not be the growth rate in our rates, which we know are too low, but the growth rate in r, say, average cost for kilowatt-hours or costs, construe. Woer how that graph would look differently if we were looking at changes in cost perear, n changes in the rates that we were actually charging.
And you're tking, really, about chart 18, correct?
No, I was -- first talking aut -- started talking about chart 17, which establishes that 2% growth rate as our historic average. Do we still have a 2% growt rate not in rates b in costs?
Oh, I see what you're talking about. Well, I don't know if you -- you probably d remember because there's so much materi tt comes befe you, but in decber we had rt of a revenue forecast.
Right. We talked about 1. Something billion now and then ten years from now we're going to need about 1.5 billion.
That type of forast includes that. That's all in. That's all in revenue. This average system rate on page 1 for the future, that includes that analysis. That includes -- that is what our average system rate needs to be to collect the revenue nessary to run the business on tt same forecast.
Spelman: okay. So this s anll in number to include what fuel is going to cost --
Obviously we're going to be wrong because all forecaing are wrong.
Right, by dinition. more or less, but your best guess is we're going to be able to stay not even betwe 2% -- i concede, the mayor -- I can see the mayor wants to quote yokeybeara again.
Thiss iogi beara again.
I can see your scenario. We reforecasted where we're from.
Right. That's really where I'm getting at.
Do we rfallyave hiorically a 2% increase in cost or do weust have a 2% increase in rates because systematically too low because --
first answer is no. We're using it at a reference point. If you look at utility trends in all utilities particularly electric, those 2% numbers, 1 wellpoint points somethingthose re -- 1 point something, those are typically what we'v done for growth, rate changes -- it's kind of a boring business when you look back at the business because it does tre alo those lines. Wh's really important to understand is what we can't control is what if we had thisuge growth I the economy in the next five years and w add 50,000 you ow, that's the kd of thing you can't control. Those -- those are the vaables that I think of more importantly than some of the variables that we can control. We can control our relative costs that we have today. We can make srt decisions on generation. We caz play it out to wha year we want to get it and everything else, but there -- you know, everything I've learned about ausn -- the city of austin and the surrounding area that weerve is that we're on the tipping point of a really incredible economy here, and if the onomy gets a lot better, i meanwe could -- you know, it could be -- we could be growing the system very quickly. That puts a lot of dferent pressures on us, like capil improvement, more substations, more, you know, infrastructu. So with what we know based on our tnds of the past, this is what we see for t future.
That's with those variables understood.
Okay. So let me retranslate. You've got here 2% growth rate in rates, recognizing that o rates are lower than our costs right now but even when you feed in at difference bween our current cos and our current revenues, and you plug that in, if you looked at costs, say, per kilowatt hour, what the rates would have been if we had rearraed our rates every year, fo example, then we'd still be hitting somewhere pretty close to 10%.
Okay. So thatapped. And we are considerably less than what the cpi for utilities has done, which is 7%, so wee consjderably bett than the average utility nationwide in the sense of our groh rate over the last four years.
Right and despite what you hear about austinnergy is in trouble and their rates are all -- I d't believe that to be the case at all. I mean, our rates today are extremely good. Extrely good. We've been smart -- we've own it to you. We want to keep ourselves in the ame relative competitive posion. I think the disadvantages though, we're running 35 -- we want to run the 35% renewaes a little qumer than the marketplaceill. We have to watch tt.
Spelman: okay. Now, I understand that if you ok at our rates, and thst time you were here a few weeks ago you had this series of wonderful graphs with all the expensive utilities on one end and we'rway over on the other end, and it was lovely,ne after another. Butgain, our rates are systematically tolow because we're not covering our costs. Where is your expectation for where were g[ing to be in the ercott queue of providers of electricity or the natioide que when we true up our rates and start recovering revenues which are consistent with our costs? Are we going to be in the milea little above, a little below or are we still going to be on the end where we're cheaper than everybody.
I think we'll remain in the relative position that we are today. That's what I hope and what I believe that we can do, and that's goi to be a challengto do. So ihink that when we do our next quarterly -- when we do our next financial report, which will be in April, I plan to bring some nchmarking to that. So that gets to the question of howo we stand. But more importantly I think what you're asking is that when we do the new rate chan, we need to make sure we find out a way to keep ourselves in the se relative positn -- between nownd then what I would love to be able to do is pick up the newspaper and see all the utities around us raising their rates, hey, just bring it on, and that st takes the pressure off. But it does and it doesn't you ow, because we have to do what's important from -- sound business for us. I would really love it if we were still one of the cheapest utilities.
Yeah, I would too. in the country but I would love it even more if we werovering our costs, and along as we're covering our costs, then we'll let the chips fall wherever they have to fall. But your best gufss is we're going to be on the south end of that distribution, below the median. Yes. and your best guess basedn slide 18 is if the cpi for utilities is going up more than 2%, 2% is our historic average, and your best guess for what we're going t be doing between now and 2020 is less than 2%, then that means that our position in that distribution is going to be improving. Median it marching up to 74 and we'll be marching up at less than 2, that's your best guess, even with 35% renewables.
But remember we' seing the clock 2013, so the mathhanges between the old and the new. that's why I'm asking about the resting of the clock even after w ret the clock, y still think we're going to be on the right side of the distribion.
Spelman: okeydoke. I'm a happy guy. 20
Thanks. oh, I have one more thing. You have told us in july 2011 you're going to report to us on strategic issues?
Yes. I notice from your earlier slide you will have completed the rate strurg tring by at point. Yomay not have -- structuring, you may not have picked the numbers but you'll have the structure in place. D appreciatef you could tell uu about what the structures look like and any big changes in the mea by which we're going to be billing our customers at that point.
Right. You bet. You bet. Spelman: tnk you.
You bet. al right. Thanyou very much. We'll look fward to seeing you in threeonths.
Okay. thank you. And n we'll g to our briefing from t austin water utility on the conservation plan. Welcome.
Thank you, mayor council. Greg madaras, austin water utility director. If we could put up the presentaon. Got to back up a little I a little more, to a little more, to the front. There you g okay. Again, gg madaras, austin water. We're here todayo report 140 gpcd conservation plan, an just to give you an overview, we're going to started it withome slides, a little purposeackground ancontext just a few slides there, dive in little bit more specifically on the overview of the 140 plan as well as conclude with focus and next steps. And for council, the presentation today is just anverview. Really, the heart of the response of the 140 plan and the details is in the report that we've supplied you that's also going to be available on our web site today. It's a detled rort about 68 pages of in-depth analysis on the council resolution on 140 gpcd and again, a little bit of that context and purpose in may 2010 the city council accepted the citizens' water nservation implementation task force report. That contained their recommendations on additional water nservation measures to achieve 140 gallons per capita per day, or gpcd, by 2020. And accepting that report the council put together a resolution that called for us,he utility, to develop a plan based on tse task force recommendations that was technically andt benefit evaluated. You may recall the plan from the task fce didot he quantification to it and the council directed us to find that. It would provide a ten-year at incorporates educational programs, marketing and outreach and a selection of ct beneficial strategies, provide implementation schede, responsibility and estimated water savings and cost, and alysis to assisthe city council in assessing whether the goal is achievable and then a rept back to the council, and we're here today both in terms of presentation and written. How we got to the 140 plan, austin has had a long history of conservation progms dating back tohe 1980s AND '90S, A LOT OF Incentive and education driven proams that we've been using. Pricing strategies have been a part of our portfol for a long time, eggressive pricing, sin 1994, actually today we have the most aggresse pcing stragy for water use in the nation. In 2006 our conservation programs were reinvigorated through a council tk force that the goal t aga, focus more on peak as opposed to gallons per capita per day over a ten-yeareriod. That implementation process began in 2007 and contained new projectsuch a mandatory wateri schedules, growth of our reclaim pgram, plumbing code changes, [inaudible] our rate box. And we've had a lot of suess there. Sides reducing peak water demand, our current nsvation initiives have had consirable success reducing gallons her capita today. This line graph shows our trends over about 20 years and you can see or the last few years, particularly since the 2007 task force recommendation, that we've seen our gallons per capita per day drop. Matter of fact, our fy 2010 nuer is 135 gallons pe capita per day, which was actuly below the 140. It was rlly combination of conservation, weather, stage 2 restrictions from the droht that lingered over awell as a softer than normal economy. Leading up to 140,aybe a little background, why 140, why was that number selected as a goal. In 2006 the tex water development board, a state agcy, deloped a report recommending bestanement pracces with conservation. The rep suggested reducing water to texas cities a providers should attempt to reduce water by at least 1% annually unt reaching 140 gallons per capita per day. The texas water development board recmended gpcd as a good internal measure but deemphasized thi measure as a means to compare cities. Terms of our planha wee presented based on the taskor recommendations first, we've already implemented 21 of the 22 best management practices, so additional recommendations are really outse of that, tha the task force contained, and the plan that's before you that we'll discuss today would drop water use on u2% per year. Some years it uld be considerably more, some years less tn that, but on erage 1.52%. I would note for the council it bears watching that there'a current senate bi, senate bill 181, that deals directly with gallons per capitaer day reporting. It's going t seek to standardize the gpcd reporting across the state because there's a lot of variance in terms of how different agencies report, as well as lely focused on sector-based reporting, which is reporting not just total gallons per capita per day but breaking it out i terms of sectors, residential, commercial, instrialso there could be a little bit more fine resolution to gpcd use across the state diving into our 140 plan a little more specifically, and again, the report -- the details -- this details ts out in a lot o pages. We analyzed over 0 recommendations from the tizens task force, and we used various means to quanfy savings and cost. Course our own staff experience and judgme, but we did a lot of research on whatther cities have done. We used professional agencies like the american warworks association, we're a founding mfmber of the alliance for water efficiency, and they hav some tls that w use for cost benefit analysis as well as the water research foundati. And as we crafted the 140 plan based on the tk force recommendations, we had kind of six overalloals that we were seeking to achieves we worked throu that. One, we wanted to, of course, rch 140 by 2020 as directed by the council resolution we wanted tcontinueo make sure weere achieving the council's recommended peak demand reductions. We wanted cost-effeive strategies. We wanted to ensure eonservation reaches all customeregments, keep awareness of conservation and prote innovation in water conservation. On t screening side, we used -- we took the task force recommended msures and we used this tool by t development for water alliance thatps put geer the cost of the particular measure with the benefits, and again, this was just to compare one possible way to reduce water tonother. We nded to cft this mix of 100 different possible scarios the task force gave us. We neededo break that down intohat mostfficiently would get uu to 120, ande relied, among other things, but we used the alliance for watefficiency to do that, and we selected strategies from the task force recommendations that had a positive cost benef rio. Hower, the were a coue that had a negatjve cost benefit ratjo that complimented another program goal, anaga it's outlined in the repor for example, we think on the innovative side it's important for the utility to continue to pmote rainwater harvesting4 and at a small s rainwater harvesting is not typally a cost beneficial sategy, t it is a way for us to dialogueith peoe. It's often an early sn of people thinking about water conservation, so we have me of those measures that we kept in, even though they didn't meet the technical cost benef goal. But by and large all the recommended strategies from the task force that we quantified, we had positive rati. After completing that screening and coming up with the kind of mixture ofhe strategies tget to 120, we performed an overall financial analysis on those ervation msures and the impact of gettingo 140 over the nt 20 years and how that would impact utility revenues over that perifrom jt a total revenue perspecti. And I'll go into tt in just a moment. This graph herehows new conservation sategie that is, strategies that were not a part the 2007 task force recommendations that we're currently implementing and have upcoming. These e brand-new stratees that really emerged outf this latest task forceet of recommendations. And I won'to through a of these because they're in the report and we're going to talk about a few of them, but as you would expect, we have lot o measures that provide a litt bit of benefit, a quarter gallon pe capita savings, a half gallon,nd then the marginal return increases. We have some strategies that will achieve significantly more conseation benefits. The strategies at the botto that produce the higher lts are focused again on outdoor water, and paicular these stratees shift the utility into not only managing and controlling when folks water but erehey water, that this would get us involved more with restricting where irrigation systeould be installed on properties as a y to continue the march to control outdoor water, and again, we'll go into that in a little bit more, because those are a little different direction for the utilities conservation programs. Th next slide gives y another context about the soces of savings over the next 20 years. The darker green line at the bottom are conservion programs thatad started back a few years ago before the 2006 task force. The medium green color or the middle color a the savings that are comg from consertion tk force recommendations from 2006. Wee continuing to implement se. Those were a ten-year plan, so we weren't slated to complete the implementation of those till about 2017, so those will ctinue to add savings and then the yellowh line at the top are reflection the and-new recommendations we would implement and particular the ones ntrollinghere water is used on a property. Another way to look at some of these -- these new recommendations, some a going to be fairly easy to moderate to implement, and ain, the report tal about that, butne of the things we would do over time is shift away fro incentives. We think incentive have run their course, and to shift those resourc to more ter waste enforcement. We would hire more enforcement officers, or enforcement staff to be able to go out and patrol and beer covage to make sure that folks were complyi with -- to their watering schedvle andther related regulations. We wld like to make the mandatory two-day watering schedule year-round, for residentialustomers in the ordinance it's set up just to be for the irrigion period. After the drought of 2009 we kept it year-round right aftethe drought, and that seemed to be ptty well accept, and that is a -- you know, a pretty easy an. We'd recommend that. We'd like to do better marketing whe our reclaim lines are growing. We think we can get me reclaim customers, leverage, those reclaimed investments. We want to wor more closely wi hots and restaurants on some retrofits to their areas. We'd like to simplify water waste fines. Right now water waste fines, if you're fined, if you had a ticket written for water waste it's a cminal act2 and it has to go through misdemeanor court. Very cumbersome process. We think if we can transition thato administrative enfcement where maybe the fine is on yourill, that that would allow us to be more efficient on wat waste enforcement and then of course implementing marke and educationa strategies are fairly easy to get off e ground. So some ofhe new remmendations from t task force are fairly direct to lift off the ground. However, we would calyour attention to one that we believe are going to be more difficult and we would want to seek additional stakeholde input before w st launched. One, which I described earlier and we'll go into here more, is this change in moviowards where we control where folks can stall irrigation systems on theirroperty, that that's -- that's a significant change in direction, and actually has e highest savings for us, so that's something thawe would want to workith other skeholders. And kind of ming up with that, right nowhen you turn in an irrigatio plan, as long as you're a licsed irrigator, you get yr perm to build that the sa day. We'd like to move to a system where water staff would review the irrigation plans and reallyo into a lot of detail in making sure that those pla were well laid out and complied with all our rules and regulations. So that would slow dn the permitting process for irrigators, but I think maybe result in a better product from a conservation perspective. The last bullet here on stakeholder iut, ahough not new in terms of these latest recommendations, we haven't implemented it yet, we're waiting the new billing system t come up to speed, but we are going to propose and it has been proposed shifting to conservation rates for commercialnd multifamily. That would be crafting individual block rates for every comrcial and multi-family customer, and that will be a very significant change for that customer class, avd I think will need additional time and stakeholder input as we would implement that i councilirects us in that way. A little bit more iight into the task force remmendation on controllinwhere folks irrigate. For residential customers, what's in the 140 plan, that we would limit new pmanent irrigation systems to no me tha two and a half times the building footprint. So if you have a -- just making it up, if you have a thousand-square-foot building footprint, yo houses a thousand-square-foot,he building footprint, you would be allowed to install anustin irrigation system in -- aomatic irrigation system no more tha two and a half times that, or 2,500 square feet of your property, and the rest of that you'd have to figure out what kind of plants you wanted there or water it by hand because you couldn't put a permanent irrigation system in there. And this would apply -- this would be inhe pmbing if this wentorward, and it would apply to both new developme, of course, new houses being built, but because it would be in the plumbing code it would also apply to existing houses. So if you came in and said, hey, I don't have an irrigation system, I've lived in this home for 20 years, I want to put one in, it would apply to that irrigation system as well a a brand-new home that was being built, or if you had an existg irration system and you made a major modification that required a new permit, this wld also apply to tse kind of instances. And we provid a few sample ratios for you to get a sense f u know, how this ght impactifferent types of delopment, and these are medians. Weook the medians of tse vepments, so it's kind of theentral tendency. Devepment, more of a new urbanism type of developmt. The ratio to scwoolte of the strk -- square footage of the structure tthe irrigated area is about 1.6. If you lk in the northwest, averyanch, that's where I live, i selected that one, the ratio 9, s you'll get a sse that that would change the way some of the properties in avery ranch would be irrigated in the future, just for new homes. And circle c is a little bigger, whh means they have a little bigger lot size, the irrigate a little more, at about a 3 ratio. So if we had this n recommendation in place, eller development wouldn't really be affected much. Developments in avery, like avery d circle c, would have reduced areas of irrigation, and of course it cod vary. If you have other developments where you have very large lots, they wld be sigficaly impacted more than these. We would also apply this to commcial and multi-family, and in that particular instance we would have no 5 of their minimum retired landscape that they coutd irrigate. So each development has a certain amotf landscaping they have to do. 5 of your required landscape. The rest of it you couldn't irrigate with an automatic system and similarly we would apply design plan review. We'd like to review those plans before approving them. Right now they'reame-day approval. We would recommend as part of this, the task force recommends t review of those. This graph kind of sums it all up for you. It shows how gallons per capita peray would drop under this set of n conservation measures. The heavy yellow line is the 140 gpcd l the heavy red line is the average gallons per capita per day thatould drop over the next ten years, and you n see by 2020 it would cross the 140 some yearshen it's very wet,he blue dhed line at the bottom, demand -- or conservation -- the gallons per capita per day would be upo 15% lower than 140. And tn in drier years we uld see that to be about 10% higher. But again, what we are after here is the long-term avere of water use falling below 0 b 2020. A few slides on the impact, and again this is in the report too. We ran an overall analysis of achieng 140 over the next ten years from a revenue loss perspective, and by020, in the year 2020, under the 140 plan, the utiliti revenues wouldbe reduced bypproximately $100 million per year. And again, that's not year one, but by 2020, every year e ulity would be raising $100 million less as compared to where it is today. That tnstes to about 25 to5% in rates from -- on a residential customer perspective. And again, this is subtle. This is lostevenue, th when we talk about rate increases or rates to make that up, just for perspective, this isn't getting an additional 100 million for the utility this is recovering the lost revenue over the ten-year period tt that would -- that would come from the conservation. Now,e have forecasted some that already. Our five-year forecast, course narrower windows, this is of course a ten-year window, we have been forecasting the impacts of conservation in there, so some of that is already in our rate planning, but some of it isot. And again, we're estimating 18 to 24% through 2020 is not yet accounted for in our rates. And again, that amounts to about 9 to $10 per month in a customer bill. And again, I want to emphasize, this is revenue neutral to the utility. Many customers' bills would be going down through nservation, and that awe would need to deal with the lo of revenue and to cover the expenses of running the utility, these are some wf e matterwe would have to deal with. And I think, u know, you-all know we're a very capital intensive utility. Things we did in 1990 we're ill going to be paying for in 2020, so it's critical that we kp thetility financially stable through the conservation straties. So how wou we deal with the financial impacts? And aga, wf just wan to give you a sense of these. I think we're going to need to spend more time together, maybe in some work sessis, to factor this out. I think it's going to be a ole bunch of sategies. One is we're going to have think about the way we increase rates over the next te years. We, of course, will be looking towards operational cost reductions. We could lk at ways to reduce services to the community, as a way to offset the revenue losses through conservation. I think there's concepts that we've been exploring that we're see in the industry and would like to di deeper in. Maybe new fs, concepts like conservation rers. Maybe you would have a small fee that would start o small and as conservation programs picked up steam, you might have that coervation rider as a way to make up for offset revenues. You might look at oer fees,ees from devment or otherypes of fees that the utility may implement to try to offset some of the revenues welso need to manag volatili. We experieed that, I mean, this yea again, with conservation targeting the upper blocks where we rse a lot of our revenue, we have high volatility. So we implement more conservation when we have iny weather, we can see revenues drop by up to $50 million a year as we experienced it this last year, and to manage that volatility wdeed to work with the council on options for higher reserves, maybe more of a strategic resve, milar to what austin energy has, higher minimum charges. We hav very low minim charge we chargebout $6 a month minimum for water. E first 2,000 gallons of water oy cost you a dollar. So if you use, say, 2,000 gallons of water in a month, your water bill is $8. That's prey low. 'Ve raised the upper blocks way more than we have the lower blocks, and that's -- that's catching up with us a little bit, and as we implent m and more conservation, the uer blocks are going away. You can continue to raise those, but there's not the kind of water use there in the future to sustain the utility. We might think of things -- and this is maybe equivalent to, like, an ae fuel charge in the sense tt if there's heavy rain periods or maybe a heavy dught where we limit water to stage 2 restrictions and revenues plunge unexptedly, you might have version of a -- you know, like a fuel rider, our version of that, that would go up and down throughout the year to try to make up for those changes dueo weaer. So again, just some concepts that we're exploring and ki of trying to get on the radar scrn, because the two have be made up. We have to have utility that is sustainable fro water resources perspective as well as sustainle from a financial perspective. Okay. Focus on next steps, kind o in conclusion here. Again, one of -- the report that's really the substantive response to the councis resolution and it spenefits, the st befit analysis, the program, all of those thinks. What's going to happen next, we're going to continue to plement conseation programs. We still have a lot of work to do on the 2007 plan. There's still a lot of programs to implement there. That's not going to slow down. As the couil is probably going to want to take a lile time to maybe consider some of these new items, those are going to continue to mov forward. Aeain, I think it's important for us to pay close attention to thi legislative session. We've seenne bill filedn gpcd, and I think it would be to our benefit to wch all those bills to unfold. And one of our local senators, senator watson, is a spons of that bill. We want to contie our involvement in the lc rsm a cramanagementater management plan I want to spend a few moments talking about that because it's a regional perspective of how water fits in with the regional in the basin. We get our wer in two ways. One we have our ownater, turn of the century. They existed even before they wer highland lakes. The other is wee highland lakes water that we get through lcra tt provides backup to our river rides. And lcr they he the water management plan, and that guides when they release water. Because stin is not the only user of water. Ag users, environmental purposes, electric steam, that there's many users of highland lak water and the water management plan is a critical document that tceq approves that governors when and -- governs when and how lcra uses water, particularly if droughts. Just tw put it in perspective for you, this is e water use of highland lake water in 2009. The height of the drought you casee that austin's municipal supply, thate used abo 15% of the water inhe highlan lakes, and most of that was through our own natural run of river rits that t the stored water in the lakes, and you can some of the other use categor about 50%fhe water in e dught went downstream to ag users, so when you s the lakes dropping, I think that it must be austin dropping those lakes, but really it's irrigation users that use the bulk of the lake. And they're interruptible customers, that they're supposed to be interrupted during times of droht so that firm customers like austin could be more otected, and we need to continue to work with the lcra to shape that water management plan to make sure that it is protecte of firmater customers. And that's under way right now, that lcra has a process under way. They were ordered by tceq as a part of the 2009 drought to revisit the water management plan and put together stakehoer process. We're involved in that. You might recall I wrote conservation rolls up in a bigger way, that there might be a logical assumption that if we conserve water that it stays in the lake, but there's no part of the lake that is just reserved only for austin, and that we get special credit for our conservation an ironically, that conservation, it lea to higher lake levels, that leads to more what' called open supply or ag supply of war. So some of our conservation benefit is literally going downstam to ag users, and we're not against the ag users. They've been around for a long time and we're working this thrgh the [inaudible] process. Nor am I saying tha conservation not valued. All I'm saying is it's very important for the full benefits of our conservation to roll up into a basin plan. If we're really conservin but that water is not staying in the lakes during droughts, that's not achieving t total benefits that we want from conservation, and we want to keep this water management plan high on council's profile, it's very high for a city manager and utility, because we're dp intohis process and it's probablz going to take anoer year or two to sort this all out, but it'sery important long-term strategic goal that we influence that water management plan, becau that is critical during droughts. Learned aust how important that water management plan is and how we want to inflnce that in thees throughout this, we think there's a lot of ground here. The report is very detailed. A lot of things to not only the mixture of conservation programs but the financial side, how that rolls up into basin, and we think we'd like to have some work sessions with the council to at least have you consider that, to go into this a little bitore. And that's it. okay of questions and cments. First of all, I was on the task force, the 2007 task force, in fact, I was chair council member rileo was also on it -- rileyas also on it, he was not on the council then. He was representing the planning commission. Councilwoman coal was on it too. I thought you were u were going to say council member so would note that it looks like, just looking at the graphs, that about 70% of the savings you're talking about by 2020 come out of at plan, not out of any new measures. And with that in mind i would like to make the point that our guiding pnciples in that task force is that our efforts are going to be directed towards making water use more efficient and eliminatjng waste of water. What we were not trying to do change people's lives. We're not going to make mandatory requirements that changed theay they lived in their homes. This in certain aspects seems to be a departure from recommendations, specifically the limits on irrigation systems, impervious cover limits. For example, in the 2007 task force we talked about requiring a devoper to offer a zo scape type landscape as one of the options, to offer it. This looks like we're basically requiring it, not only for new development in a lot of instances, but also for existing development if someone had a piece of property that was already landscaped but decided to put an in an irrigation system, they wouldn't be able to do it. So this wou be trying to alte life-styles and behavior and I think is a radical departure from the principles that we operated byn the initial task force. The other suggeion that kindf surprised me a little bit was requiring a design review of irrigationeat that to death. Wead a lot of stakeholder input in the 2007 task force meetings on that subject. It was amantly opposed by stakehwlders, and the compromise that we reached was that an inspection of the finished system would be required. The objection on the part of the stakeholders being, okay, you're having us come to you in several different steps, f the dign part and then after we install it, we're also havg to come back and have you spect the finishe to mes the most important pt anyway. So that is going to meet with a lot of resistance. And I will just say, don't know what the process -- i heard u say it looks like it's going to be a change to the code, plumbingode, both of these things. Council approval?
Let me ask --
yeah, and I'll just say right now, I'm going to be opposed to blth of those changes because they are a departure from o philosophy all along in water conservation. And finally I want to e onearty goal itself. Wead discussed all along that it should not be a one size fits all operation, that different types o customer bases were going to require different ways of looking at it. For example, here in austin if we he some very heavy industrial users of water, to offset that, we would ve to impose much more draconian restrictionon homeowners, residential owners, other types of commercial property out o scale to what another city that didn't have those high-use industrial uses, for example, san antonio. They wouldn't -- their residential propeies wod have much more liberal water use -- water use than we d in ausn. And don't mention the fact that they have severe supply proble a we don't have severe supply problems. As you pointed out, we can -- conservation is a good thing. I'm allor it. In fact, I led the effort back in 200 for water conservation, but if we save a bunch of water doesn mean the river is going to be moreull and the estuaries are going to be more full downstream and the environmt going to be better off. What it's basically gng to mean for the most part is tha water I going to be available to other people for other uses. That even though we have the firm contracts and those other folks are second in line to us. So it would be an entiry different ory f all that water could be put to a true conservation purpose if we didn't use it. So it jt doesn't mak sense to me adopting draconian measures that they don't eve hav in cities in the desert, like phoenix and las vegas, just to make ourselves feel good about what we're doing and finally, I was looking at the resolution that we paed last may, and what it says is this report, the one you just gave, will ilude a list of thenecessary to achieve per capita water production goal of 140 gallons peray to assist the city council in sessing whether the goal is achievable. So I think when we make that assessment, we have t look at the specific proposals that you've outlined, one at a time, to see if that's the se. Okay? Anyone else? Council member riley? yeah, I do have just a few questions. Greg, I got to ask you about slide 6, where you mentioned at --we have already addressed 21 of 22 best management practices -- best management practices recommended by the texas water devepment board. So wt's the one -- the one best managemt practice uHAT WON E.
I knew you were -- I knew you were going to a that. I don't remember. I had itn my head this morning. Rita, could you help me?
Council member, darrell slusher, assistant director austin energy. 'S gray water and the fundamenl reason is the state laws on gray water, and -- why would the texas water development board --
well, tt's a good question. We have some regulations too t it has to do with the ate law and the city rules% as well. But ours are based on state law. I think they would want to loosen it upsell, but i think the state overall is nothere yet. We can get you some more detail on that, but that's the one that we haven't done.
Rey: okay. Thanks. And then, greg, moving over to slide 11, as we look at the projected savings that we'ranticipating ov the next ten yea, we recently approved a new commercial landscaping ordince, and we talked about the possibility that -- currently it contemplates certn -- a different apprch with respect to 50% of the landscaped area on commercial sites, and we're hopeful that before too long we would be able to expand that to potentially cover all of the sites, the mmercial landscaping. Essentially we'd be using low-impact development standards for all commercial landscaping. Woulthat have any impact on the projected savings over the n ten years? Would that -- I know there is some iact and inow it wasn'tuge, butre we ticipating thathift? And I'm not sure if that would be traced to -- i don't think that was projected by -- well, I know the 2007 task force and I'mot sure if that was covered in a moreecent task force.
Yes, we have those type of savings I there. As an example, recently there was a change pass where we would -- the storm uld be directed into -- that's in the- type of things are incorporated -- but what we approved isn't exactly full strength. We're hopeful -- what we approved is essentially a pilot, and we're hopeful we'l be able to expand the scope of tse changes. I'm just curious a to whether that would have any impact iwe were to expand in the future.
I'm sure it would have some impt. but that's not cucted?
I think we had estimated about a quarter of a gallon per capita per day for the storm wate ordinance, so if you double that it would be about half aallon per capita per day.
Riley: okay. Good. Over on slide 1 this gets into the iue that the mas discussing, aut the irrigation design pn review, and I understand what the mayor was referring to, and in terms of the resistance to mandatory design review, but there are approaches that would move us in a similar dirfction through -- through less restrictive means. For instance, we could charge higher rates for those who -- I mean, you could -- youould, for instance, apply a surcharge forse who have -- who have irrigation systems - who have different types of irrition systems. Same thing down on the next slide where we talk about limiting permanent 5 times the buiing footprint, itead of setting up arequires a change in lifestyle, couldn't you pose a higher charge for those who choose to -- those non-recommended approaches and then direct the proceeds into -- into conservation programs? Did we consider approaches like that as opposed to setting these as mandatory limits?
Ihink there would be fferent regimes to implement that. I think wt you're ribing is more like a penalty, if you -- riley: exactly.
I think that -- that wod be something that --
riley: we can look at?
Council could direct us on
riley: okay. And similarlyin the past r genbuilding program is really out in front proming progressive practices on landscaping and ter conservation, and that -- as the greenbuilding program grew that was reall one way that we were getting those practices ou because we were working with those who wted to be early adoptersnd setting new standards on how -- on getting to better practices. So -- and in particular on the irrigation dign there, the latest thing the last few yea, a lot of folks have been adopting approaches that the kind of approach reflect I our commercial landscaping approach, ere instead of st focusing on the irrigation system we'd look athaping the earth so that it can absorb rainfall more efficiently on sitess opposed to just channelin it off. And so we could -- the greenbuilding program offers one way ofetting that out -- getting that sort of thing out there. Have we looked at stepping upur efforts to work with early adopters through ograms like the greenbuilding ogram and other voluntary programs to promote more -- better landscaping and irrigation practices that would tend to get usowards more conservation without being restrictive and mandatory?
Yes, that's why we have included such a strong educatnal and outreach element over the nexten years, because we to continue to shape behaviors like that. We've been closely partnered with the grow green program. We aually fund grow green I think $100,000 a year, helped craft some of their new programs. So under any circumstance we would continue those kd of educatnal and behavioral change type of initiatives.
Rey: okay. And then just a couple more questionsround slides 17 and , where we talked about the financial impacts to the utility. We'v got similar issues with our electriutility, where we're in a position of generating less revenuen account of selling less electricitand aving to -- having to shift our whole business model away from centralized distributiotion, and we've aed in the past about the possibilitof looking at a different business model with respect to the water utility to address essentially the same pblem of selling less of our product but still needing to sustain the business. Has the utili been looking at that -- I know you did speak about things on slide 18, about things like higher minimum charge and creatin conservation rider. Is that is that -- would those sorts of approaches represent a new business model for the utility?
Yes, those would be the kind of things that we would like to wk in a workshop or several with the council. We've been doing a lot of research there. I thinkyou know, we could)[give you a better s of the dynamics of how we raise revenue now, how that might the future, what other utilities are doing, but yes, that was the intention of ts slide, is start to paint a picture of the kind of optio that are out there to look at a -- an adaptive business that would be more successful in a world where water use is going down through conservation, as well as, you know, more varile weather. on that same slide, slide 18, you mentioned the possibility of creating new fees, like a conservation rider to offset lost revenue. Wi that sort of approach you could -- you could apply that sort of fee so that the would pay more of it, right? So somebodyho's just using a little bit of water ps just a little bit of that rider, and somebody who's usg -- is wasting a lot of ter is going to pay more of that conservation rider, and so guess --
council member riley? I'm sorry, but we're coming 30 time and we have a personnel problem later on this evening in that we're gvg t lose a couple of council members. And we have one item that we need to hav the whole council here that we can address very quickly, so -- and I know oths have estions besides yourself. So sorry to do this to you, but I'm going toave to ask you to stay for questions unti after live music and proclamations, and we'll st pause this part of our agenda rhtow and go to our zoning cases. guernsey, I would suggest that you dpo through the consent agenda for those cases that we -- where we have already held the plic hearing.
Okay. Thank you, mayor and council. I'll be as quick as I can here. 46 is 01, located at 700 grove boulevard. This is to change the future land use map for the eas side oltorf neighborhood plan combining area, to recreation/open space. This is for consent approval ov second and third reading. I'll just note that the urban forestry btard did consider the zoning case and the plan amendme but no action was taken by them. 47 is case c14-2010-013 for the same property a700 grove boulevar this is to change the zoning of the property to public neighborhood plan or p-np combining district zoning, and this is also ready for const appval on secd and third reading. 48 is case c14-2010 (0195 for the pperty located at 2631 south capitaof texas highway, and this to change the zoning to general commercial services, conditional erlay or cs-co combining dioning. I'd like to note that on the daisou have a reved ordinanc and under part 2 b it reads, a convenice storage use for the property builling or structure is 39 feet. An I'd just make sure that that got into the record. Also there are 32 prohibited uses and three conditional uses. 49 is c14h-2010-0039 for the property located at 4213 aven g to zone the property to [nhouse-condominium residence-neighborhood historic label or sf-6 nl. Cd comning district zoning. If you recall th was approved on a split vote of 4-3. There is a valid petition. The staff would offer this as a consent item for second reading only.
Mayor leffingll: okay. So the consent agenda is to 46 and 47 on second and third readings 48 on sond and third readings, and to approve 49 on second readg only. And I will leave it on consent and just state, show me voting no on item no. 49. mayor, I'd make a motion to take the item off consent. well we'll just take it off consent. You don't need a motion. It is removed from t consent agea. So I'll entertain a motion to approve the consent agenda with no. 49 off.
Cole: s moved. council member cole moves to approve theonsent agenda, second by council member morrison. Discussion? All in favor say a.
May leffingwe: aye. Opposed say no. Passes on a vote of 7-0. Let's go to item 49. And we've already -- this is for second reading only. Is there aotn on item 49 or questions for staff? mayor, I just want guernsey has any other updates. We've d this case around, I think, ove two years.
I+m going to let the presertion officer address -- I'm not aware of anything new.
Good evening, mayor, council members uncil member, no, tre's no updates since the last hearing. okay, and the public hearing is closed.
Correct. mayor, I know that this is a cas that has beenvery contentious for this neighborhood and that has been through lots of processes including litigation, and that we'd likeoee the neighborhood to move forward in coming together as a neighborhood, and also thathere are several family issues involved, and inight of that I will move to den the historic zoning. council member cole moves to deny. Is there a second? Second by council member shade. Discussion? Council member spelman. let me offer -- I understand council member cole'snteresting in allowing the neighborhood and the family to move forward. I think it's a very good id too. One wayr another, even if we were to hold this over for second reading, I think by the time two weeks are out we would allow everybody to move forward in one way or another in a couple weeks. I don't think there's any -- anybody who is interested in ing rward any furer than this. Bui do -- I have heard from some of the neighbors over the last couple of weeks who suggest tt if we were to zone historic, only oy the footprint of the building itself, allowing the rainder of the lot to be used for its zoned uses, that might make it possible for the famy to be able to maintain the historic dwelli and actually put it back up to historic character, but at the same time be able to build what they needed to build to be able to house family members and make a littl bit of money on the side without messing up t historic character of that lot. council member spelman, youe suggesting that there is a potential win-win here in two weeks? I am given to understand that emily little and karen mcgraw think it's possible. They believe it is possible. THEY THINK IT IS POSsIBLE TO Convince the family that they might be able to come out just fine with an alternative approach. -- I would like to give them an extra two weeks to be able to do that and offer the friendly -- it wouldn't be friendly, offer THE SUBSTITUtE MOTION TO Zonenly the footprint of the building historic, leaving the lot in its current situation. Motion -- substite motiony uncil member spelman to zone only the footprintf the originaluilding. second reading only. seco rebding only. Seconded by council member morrison. Council member shade? I'm going to be vong down that because I've sat through, you know, countless mediation sessions, and I've also spoken with emi little, who I belie has the right idea, and I believe that it definitely would be my preference that we would achieve a situation where the house or some pt of the house could be preserved and that theily could build whathey wanted with the neighborhood negotiating with them what's allowable in terms of sar and nccd. But I don't believe that in the next two weeks we're going to achieve that causas long as the historic zoning isforced upon this owner, I don't believe that they're going to be willing to niate that kind of discussion. And, you know, I fl ptty confident of that. So as much as iould love to see that behe outcome, ielieve that wh all at's occurred and all the discussions, and I've talked to tons of neighbors. It's very painful as I sbid last week, this is the most difficult case that I've seen, and I think that with theight attention to the original footprint of the home, I've seen a way that it would financially be beneficial to the family, but I think that what's been clear is that the family needs to be in conrol of the destiny of this piece of property, and if they are, i uhin they'd be more open to having that conversation, we'd be on a more level aying field. And even still, I just don think it's my role or the council's role to -- you know, to force that kind of discsion or negotiation to occur. It's got to be the parties, the neighborhood and the property owners, to engage in thatonversation. And so for uso force histor zoning, the only raonale for doing that would be for me to hope that that conversation happens. I have to go back to the original criteria a the staff's recommendation a the expes on all sides who have talked about this house, and I go back to the letters we've gotten from the herite society and so forth. So if it weren't for the power and passion of the neighborhood, I think it would have been a much easier case for me, on the criteria of historic zong alone. I, again, really, really hope and pray that the neighbors and the family who have been through so much will resolve things. They're going to be ighbors for a long time. Everybody rembers the dudney lives nextoor to this piece of property. Hemother is the longest living resident of this piece of property. It's where sylvia and t her family members grew up. This is a big deal what will happen to that home. So again, if -- I've written to many of you and I've talked to many of you, and i just don't see its -- you know, and I just think it keeps prolonging the pain i mean, and the outcome is pretty obvious that- so, I'm going to vote against it, iuess is a long way of sayi it.
Mayor leffingwell: okay. Al in favor of the substitute motion by council member spelm say aye. Aye. opposed say no.
Mayor leffingwell: . And the no votes are -- council member cole, you're a no vote, no votesre couvcil member cole, myself, councimember shade, mayor pro tem. The substitute motion fails. Takes us to the main mion by councilember cole to deny. All in favor -- coul I a a question? Ishis prepared for third reading? -no, this is second reading only. this is second reading only -- but is there --
we have an ordinance --
shade: you have what?
There is an ordinance. there is a what?
There is anrdinance preped for this case. for second and third reading, but it would have to aieve a certain number of votes?
Shade: how many votes? the motion was -- the substitute was to approve onsecond reading. The motion to deny does not require that it be approved for all threeeadings. So does everyone understand the motion by council member cole to deny? All in favor of that motion say aye.
Mayor leffingwell: aye. That passes on a vote of 4-3 with council member spelman, morrison and riley voting no. All opposed say n
no. Counci l, without objection we're in recess for liveusic and proclamations until approximately 6:30.
Mayor leffingwell: okay. If I could have your attention for just a minute. It's time for live music. In the live music capal of the world, auin, texas. We have a special treat for everyone tonight. Haley harris, who is a native austinite, not unlike myself. Congratulations,aley. She's a graduating senior right now, austin high school. In 2010 she was a featured vocalists at thf texas western swing hall of fame ow and was asked to peorm at live f the plazan october 2010 rig outside this building. She volunteers her time nging with the austin stone communityhurch choir, leading music f austin high young life and peorming [audible] f saving sophie, an organization that raises funds for cystic fibrosis. She's been accepted to enter beont university in nashville where she plans to study song writing and the music business. Please join me in welcoming haley harris. [Applause]
thank you for that. This song is called "come to " [ ?? music playing ?? ] [ ?? singing ?? ] [applause]
thank you. i thought I was hearing rose ann cash there for a minute. Very nice.
Thank you. do you have any -- do you have any upcoming performances scheduled that you'd like to tell usbout?
Well, not performances. I'm currently working on putting together a song writing demo to send it to belmt to apply for their song writing program, and I'm also working with some aust sinr songwriters on some collaborati efforts. Soaybe some in the future but none right now.
Mayor leffingwell: okay. Great. And you're going to the right place, I gue, nashville.
I'm really excited about nashville, except it's freezing there. I'd really le to stay in austin. so, haley,'ve got an official proclamation for you that i want to rd and then present to you. It says, be it known that whereas the city of austin, texas is blessed with many creative musicians whose talent extends to virtually ery musicalenre, and whereas our music scene thrives becau austin audiences support good music produced by legen, our local favorites and newcomers ali, and whereas we're pleased t local artists. Now, therefore, i, lee leffingwl, mayor of the city of austin, texas, the live music capit of the world, do hereby proclaim January 27, 2011 as haley harris day in austin, texas. [Applause] pretty good for a ki, huh?
cole: thank you. speck to come down. I'm doinfine. Hoare you?
Good. Here is one of austin's most renowned teachers, leaders and architects, and he has received a tremendous award,nd I think that it isitting f our city to cognize and congratulate him. And so I will read, certificate of congratulations for having been honored with the highest award gen ton archectural educator, speck is deserving of publiccclaim and recognition spk is the 2011 winr of a coveted honor giv by the american institute of architects and the sociation of collegiate hools of arctecture. The topaz medal for excellence in education. This medalecognizes his distinguished career as a member of the university of texas school ofrchitecture faculty, which he joined in 1975. He isenowned for combining teaching and pctice in ys that make architecture acceptable with a wide community of students. We are pleased to joinn recogning an architecture who is already near and dear to our hearts ashe designer of austin's airport andonvention cente this certificate i presented to larry speck with our legislation congratulations on ts 27thday of January in the year 2011. The city council of austin, texas, lee leffingwell, mayor, mayor pro tem mike martinez. I'll do this to y, chris riley, randi shade, laura morrison, bill spelman and sheryl cole. Thank you. [Applause]
you know, the very best thing about getting an award like this is you get all these former students who ite you messages back and you realize, you know, teaching iset. Teaching is an azing, amazing thing, and I am so lucky to be in such a great university, a gre school architecture, and have had so many amang students, some of whom are around in this room. So thank you very much, cheryl. Cheryl.
Cole: you're welcome. [Applause] well I was planning on presenting a couple of distinguished service awards for two employees who are aut to retire, bu I understand their retiremenhas been cancelled now, so we don't have to do that. [Applause and cering] [laughter] unfortunately, I'm just kidding. Come on up, pat, nancy. You got a crowd of folks out here who are well familiar to me as well as you, so it is a bittersweet occasion for all of us, pat a nancy. I've known tse folks since I firstad anything to do with the city, and I came on the city's environmental board back in 1999, appointed by then cwuncil member slusher, and these were people I got to know right away, workfd with -- with pat a nancy and so many others tt I see out here today over all these years. After I was eleed to council that relationship has continued and the respect that I have for these two fks has only grown over theears. Everyby talks about the environmental movement here in austin, how strong it is, how proud it is, everything that it has accomplisd. I wouldespectfully suggest for you that the leading edge of thatnvironmental movement heen right here on our city staff, ledy nancy mcclintock, pat murphy and others whose time has yet to come up here for this distinguished service award. Some ofhem are getting a little long in the tth out there, I can see. [Laughter] so may not be too long. Mike flaiday, already makin cabinets out in wimberley or omethi like that. [One moment, please, for ] his talent, his gift to the city has been to expertly balancenvironmental protection with other potentially conicting community goals and to find a way to achieve a fair and just result. This certificate is presentedn acknowledgmt and appreciation of his serve to our city and its citizens this 27th day of January, the year 2011 by the city cncil of austin, signed by myself, mor lee teffingwell. To my friend, pat murphy. [ Cheers andpplause ]
well, you did it, made me cry. Wow. Thank you so much for your kind words, mayor, and it's been incredible working here. I feel so blessed and so luy to have found such a good fit for my skills and to have fnd such amazi peop to work with. And I -- I leave here with a heavy heart,ut I'm going to try to have some fun and see what comes next in my life. It's such a pleasure as well and anonor toe retire alongside nancy, who has been my steadfast partner all these many years and all these amazing things that 've done. So much has happened in last 25 years that it' impossible to really go througit all, but we fought some big battles and weid it with integrity, we kept austin's rig to continue to protect environment and I think that we did a pretty darn good jo as a city of looking afterur environment and our quality of life, and I'm just honored to have had this career in such a wonderful city. Thank you souch. [ Applause ]
Mayor Leffingwell: Now we have another distinguished service award. Last chance, nancy. [ Laughter ]
Mayor Leffingwell: For her untiring service and commitment to our citizens as a leader in water quality prottion during her 25-year tenure as a dedicated employee of the city of austin, nancy McCLINTOCK IS DESERVING OF Public acclaim and recognition. Nancy played an essential role in shepherding the watershed protection department from its infancy to being nationally recognized -- a nationally cognized lder in natural resource stewardship that it is today. One of her greatest legacies is in ensuring the protection of more than 30,000 acres of ll country that feeds austin, austin's mbol of environmental health, barton springs. Nancy's code of conduct allowed her to reach across previously unbridgeable divides to unite diverse groups arod the goal of preserviurnique environment. Austin, central texas and the natiol watershed mmunity are better today and will remain sin the future because of the effort of this unique, this unique and caring person. This certificate is presented in acknowledgment and appreciation there of this 27th day of January, the year 2011. By the city councilf austin, signed by myself, mayor lee leffingwe. I'm very proud to bring out my good friend, previously, and hope in the future she's not goingoo far away, she's going toe here pickingnd singing and camping a little bit, nancy McCLINTOCK. [ Cheers and applause
there's really anybody in this room that doesn't know how hard this I for me. But I'm going to struggle through it. Pat d I have lived through seven mayors, but ne of themave ever said anything that nice. [ Laughter ] so I like you best. [ Laughter ] you would really think that after sebody had been here for 25 years that they would really know exactly what they wanted to say when they meo this momt in their career, but every time i have tried to think about this it dissolves me. So I have been avoiding it a little bit. But I guess I'd lik to reiterate what I said when i told you all that I was retiring, which is that i have felt for a very long t[me that am the luckiest person in the world. To get to be in the lead of time to protect austin's beautiful water, and I have the honor of representin the work of the amazing and passionate and brilliant staff, many of whom are he today and looking at your faces right now, it's just as well as the surprised fas of many of the other folks in the community who have also worked alongside us and slogged through incredibly difficu tes. And again for all theight reasons. And I love seeing you all here. I'm very, very grateful for it. IT HASLSO BEEN A JOiFUL Time for me. I have not ever tried to hide from anybody what a really very good time I was having and how much I have loved my job and how much i have loved you all and how much I've loved ts cit so I just want you ts know that I have really tried to be - that I'm grateful that the trust you put in me and I have really tried to be worthy of it. I thank you a]l. [ Cheers and applause ]
Mayor Leffingwell: I have done a lot of distinguished servicewards in the last almost two yea now since I'v been mayor, but I don't think I've seen this kind of response, so congratulations. Not a dry eye in the house. Joe, wouldou like to come up and s a couple of words?
Thank you, mayor. Knew this time would come, we just didn't know it would be on the same day you know, pat and nancy are verpeci peopl and beyondt their incredible accomplishments of what they've done for austin, environmental protection, and the national reputation that you have rned for this city, it's morebout -- just more pressed with how they did it in terms of their leadership skis, leading from the front and being at thisodium issues year after year. And e fact thaty're just really nice people. And we're going to miss you. And just know that you've inspired smany of us to be better people. And we're going to miss you. Farewell. We love you. And that's from all of the watehed protection staff and all of the other departments. Y'all stand u [ cheers and applause ] councilmember randi shade.
Shade: All right, we're calling on the flipped on christmas folks to come on up. Welcome. Is one is not quite as much of a tear jerker, but if I could get everyone's attentn real quick.
I could cry.
Shade: We could cry actually. I know there are a lot of people talking but I want everyone's attention, please. We have another proclamation. All right. It's quiet enough. I think most people know that austin is a hub of creative energy, music, fun. We try really hard to do family fun activities. And this last holiday season was no exception. But I think that everybody is also aware of the fact that we didn't get to do the holidays the way that we've been used to doing them here in austin because of a lot of budgetary issues. And I actually did a little bit of researc and just this past friday was at the funeral of emma long, who was the first woman to serve the austin city council. You may have read about it in the paper. She was also the first woman toerve -- to be elected to serve on any large city' city council. She was an extraordinary woman. She would have been 98 years old this next mon. And as it turns out, she was really on m mind a lot becausshe was the person who pulled together what was then a holiday committee in the 1960's, 1967 was the first year the concept was invented in 1965, but it took them two years,n 1967 they lit the zilker holiday tree for the first te. And it was tnks to the creativity of a whole lot of people. She was the woman who lit the first tree andince then there have been kids who get to light the tree. She was really on my mind because I had just been studying it. When we a I announced we weren't going to be funding the trail of lights this ar and people came out and said we need to create more traditio. We saw a lot of people, but at the top of the list were jan and tim. And they said we've got an idea. And the parks departmt people came together and a whole bunch oforporate sponsors. I see ward tisdale I here from amd, but a whole bunch of people came together to help us out. It was done withi three weeks literly, this sho[. I remember bei on the phone with parks staff, waing the area by the zilker tree of where this newite lite show could take place and I was on my way home for the thanksgiving weekend. That's how fast this ce together. It's really my pleasure to publicly thank these folks who are here. It was a month ago it seems like it was already a year ago because it aged us all prably. But anyway, let me read this proclamation. And I do have two copies, one for each of you, jan and tim, who were really e leaders of this. Be it known that whereas the city has a long history of supporting family friendly holiday traditions, most notably the lighting of the is zilker holiday tree and whereas in the absence of the trail of lht this year, veteran family entertainer jan bozar and tim gravas brought austin families a new light experience. Whereas a flipped on christmas, chore row graphed christmas lights ran for nine nigs andas enjoyed by more than 40,000 visitors, demonstrati that often times out of old traditions come wonderful nutri ditions now therefore I on behalf of lee leffingwell, may of the city of austin, do acknowledge a wonderful first season of the show a do here by proclaim the nine days before christmas as flipped on christmas day and so hopefully that will set the platform for next year as well. [ Applause ] and it is seriously my honor to say thank you. U each get a copy. And you may want to say a fewords. If you do, please fee free too that and then we'll get a picture with the mayor. We want to thank our crew and familynd some of our sponsors. (Indiscernible) was the first one to do a 10,000 matching grant and ward is dale and a number of other great sponsors made this possible for us. It's really the kids, it's the family. Everybody turned out to help. We're really appreciative of that. Thanks. [ Applause ] just real qck, happy to be created during holidays. That's it. Thank you.
Shade: I forgot to s one other thing before recognizing the sponsors that are here and the oers who participated. I need to also do a major shoutout to the austin community foundation, which is again another resource we have in this city where the leadership came togethernd said we'll help you with the nding for this, make it happen, make it easy for donors who want to step up. And tt also has an interesting story in that the very first person who started the austin community foundation many years ago was beverly sheffield who was our parks director. It was specifically because of these ideas of how we can work with the parks department to make things happen from when the community wants to step forward. So it was really a beautiful thing. I want to say thanks to them.
Randihadeks. No, she does. Nothing can happen like it happened if somebody like randi is not involved. I wanted to do ahoutout for her. Mrison: So february is arin hrt month. D it's a gre month to isewareness a pay attentiov to how iortant it is t be heart healthy. That's why we're all weari d t get ready that. Butne of the great things that we've got going o i an extra effortoaise awarens for women to be payi atttion to their spial heart r. And it's called go -- wt, n't tel me. Goed for women. That's what it i ani cld just loo down aty littlen because i have one tt uay go red to women. We'rhe to recognize t great workf folks that are working on that bec in fact 31% of all femal dehs in texasrom het or stroke. An in ave 68 men d from heart disea and stroke in texas everybody. So it really is setng to y spealttention to. D before I read the proclamation I doave to cognize unciembe speln because he are wore a tie today that hbd a lile tiny bit of red. I tnk tt took whole lot of effor on h part. He said hey, I didn'tn ketecognjzed fo my red yet. I promid to d that. But we' ftunate to be joined here by mark claon,senior vice5presiden of st. Davis health care,hich is the austin g red for women's sponsor. Barbara ellis, who is a paner with lk, lord, bizzell and little and the goed for women chair. We alsoave britn che and als mor a these e the mbers of the executive tm r the g red wen's summit and the cile of red, whi is a group of wen fighting heart dease in ral te and joel,e have been joined by joel romo, who is a senior dirfctor of government relations wh the heart atroke association. An I have aousin that lives I calornia that's on the nationa board o the american heart association, so she'u always rfally proud of me when I do somethi like this. I'm extra -- it's really aot of f, first of all, beuse you get to he fun little pins and wear red. But it+s such an important issue,o I really precia all your work. So iould like to readhis proclamation. It says be it known that whereas cardio vascular disease is our nation's mber o killer o wom with nearly 421,000 american femas dying of the disease ch year, an average of one death perinute. And wheas nearly as many wo die of heart disease, stroke and all otherardio vascular disses as fro the nex foureadinkauses of death combined, including all cancers. Yet only 16 percent of wen identified cardio vascular disee as the greatest health problem facinghem. And whereas durinebruar amfric heart mon, auerican heart association encourages women toearn their persona risk for heart disea and to educate themselves about pper nutritio psical activity and oth healthy life-style choices th are eenal toiving a heart healthy life now thefore i, lee leffgwell, maywr of t city of austiv, tav do enurage all citizens to support the fight agbinst heart ase ando here by proclaim february 4th au national wear red d i austiv, thbnk y very much.
Thankou. [ Applause ]
I'm gngo be very brief bec ye had a ng sessi here. Mybther died at the age o 59 of a massive heart attk overnit. Heart disses an important partf myife. It's what d me to ts cause. D fm my perspecti, being invwlve wh the go red campaign, including national go r day if it saves life,hen it's woh all e efft. I apprecie the effortsf .avid's and the heart hoital for all their nancial support as well as their support for the cau and all the good tngs tha they do. Britney, shelly are part of a team of wom who are participating in the planning o the events. 'Re ing to have a gre day at the domain on february 4. We're going he a great day at the hilto hoteln rch 11th when we have r go r sumt. So for now -- mack brown came upith aloga several years ago, come EARLY, BE LOUD, STAi LATE, Wear orange. Weano atl tho things except please on < thank you. [ Applause ]
Morrison:ND I DO WANT To mention that we can be proud of the city atin because as anmployer, of course, is impornt to encourage our employees t have -- to pby special attention durin heart month. D on februy 4th,hich is on wear reday the city's healt connections ogram is going toe sponring a walk, aeart health wal at noon. It will b around town lake an we're encourang evybody to show up and join us. There willlse sinars at three city facilities regardg heart health. So I think our employees go to city source to fin out me detaile information. And thankou, gale, for reminding me to say all that thank you all for coming. And for your wk.
Mayor Leffingwell: We are out of recess. I lieve have a quorum, so we'll begin -- we'll resume our q and a period on t conservation program. And councilmember -- councilmember riley had the floor.
Riley: I'm right at the tail end of my questions. Greg, we were on slide 17 and 18, and talking about the iactn the bills of water customers. What we see here is the impact on the average resintial customer, stated as nine to $10 a month. What we were talking about is the fact -- is the idea that depending on how you were to structure any number of these programs, there could be very different impacts on different cat categories to consumers. It would be possible, for instance torks structu these things in such a way that the vy small, very low end users, those who are very careful in their water use, would bear a relatively small portion of the cost th we're talking about. And those that use a relatively larger amounts of water would -- and are less caful with the water would tend to pay more of the costs associated with the conservation. Yocoul have a range of impacts on different customers depending on their water usaee. Isn't that fair to say?
You could dial it in, but I think particularly over time where we would have to work with the council is the upper blocks, blocks four and five, that those are the blocks that are being targeted with conservion because a lot of our conservation programs are outdoor water, that those blocks in terms of the amount of water that flows through those are going to coinue to shrink. So prett soon thereon't be much left to bell at the upper blocks. -- It bill at the upper blocks. So wf would caution that -- that we would want those to shrink if our conservation programs are successful. Rey: I understand. On that and many oth aspects of the presentation we've had today, there is some additional work that cod be doneo consider how we might proceed. I know the resource management commission has been very interested in the issues in the past. Has this presentation been -- ge to the rmc?
No. We reviewed the council resolution and we thought it was pretty clear to come to council firs and tt you would give us additional input on where to go. Now, the original taskforce recommendations that didn't have the quantificatio that all went through resource management and other commissions,ut this analysis that we've done is -- council is our first stop.
Riley: Sure. I appreciate that. I woutd he that now that wee had the presentation here that aimilar presentation could be made to the resource management commission and then we could det their input on some of the questions we've talked about. Thanks.
Mayor Leffingwell: Councilmember spelman.
Spelman: Greg, in light of the fact that this ishe tail end of your 10:30 a.m. Briefing, I'll keep it really short. I've got a lot of qstions, but I've only gotwo important ones. Actually, three important ones. The first important one, 're framing this whole conservation issue in the rm of gallons per day gallons per capita per day, averaging over the entire 365 days per year. And not thinking of framing it in terms of peak gallons reduced. Is there aifference in how we would rank order the conservation measures you've consideredr how valuable they would be in terms of just absolute redtionsf we wer thinking in terms of peak times as opposed to averaged over the entire year?
Are you asking if you only wanted to reduce peaks, would you looat different set of --
Spelman: Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, I think that you would tune this up. I mean, as an example, extending the two-day watering schedule thrghout the year would have no impact on peaks because you're tking about the nter months and we don't hit peaks in winter months. So from a peak perspective, that would fall off the radar seen.
Spelman: We're already doing it for peak periods.
In general peaking is i association with outdoor water use so the items that deal with outdoor water uld be the ones that would rise to the surface from a peaking perspective. So a peaking filter would likely change some of the sequencing or t priorities.
Spelman: If we were -- I'm just looking at the raw numbers in your slide 10, for example. You've got those bar graphs. Irrigation design review, which I agree would be raising a lot of hack he wills among the development community, but it looks on this graph at lst to be the most effective conservation strategy you've considered relative to our costs. Because the design review issue would have a special effect on peaking issues, when everybo has the water on, I am guessing that that too would be a larger -- some multiple of two if we're talking about the reduction of the peak period. Help me thinkhrough a translation of that. If we're talking about one of these conservation tragedies, which is focused on irrigation, is there a number I could multiy this by to get a sense for what theeak effect is?
I think our peang factor across the whole system is about 1.6. Is that right? 1. So that's -- if you take our average demand, our typical peaking factor is about 1.6.
Spelman: Okay. So as a very rough type measure, I wanted to get back of the envelope estimate of these things, i could take the irrigation focused conservation strategies and multiply it 6 and gft a rough estimate of what we're talking about?
That would be a rule of thumb. And again, we really focused on the council resolution was wrapped around getting a gpcd number. We didn't structure this arou achieving a peak number. We would need to look at that more closely. But that's a general rule of thumb on some of that.
Spean: As the mayor reminded us, what feels like long tim ago -- and i subscribe wholly to much of what he said. The biggest reason for doing conservation is because it's the cheapest form of producing water, is n needg to use the water at all. And it makes -- it is easy to argue to almost anybody that if it's cheaper for member not to need the water at all than it is to use the water and produce it as efficiently as possible, it makes sense to conservation that we're meeting our customers' demands more efficiently by helping them not use water in the first place. Does that apply better to the peak piod or to the better averaged over the entire gear gpcd?
Well, it's a complicated question. I think you have to take into account the --ach utility's unue set of circumstances. We really work through a lot of differentaysf characterizing benefit. One of the things that is happening in austin is first werepaid for all of our water. We paid $100 million, which included a resertion fee for future water and prepaying for water. So water thate save now doesn't have a financial value from a raw water perspective until we hit that peak in the future. So that's a -- that's kind of a complicated thing. It not to say the water is not with value. It will have a lot of vue in the future, but the peaks currently that triggers not until about 2025 right now. And this -- the assumption assumption -- I don't want to bring up a dirty word, but plant 4 is going to continue. We don't plan for another plant expansion in this window, so that's not a cost. So it's a complicated cost question. From a screening perspective, we just looked at the cost to implement some of these conservation items versus the reduction in variable costs we would have, electricity, chemicals and the like, and that was the simple screening tool that we used. We didn't take thisn a judgment way like should we get to 140 or not. The resolution said figure out a way to get to 140 using those set of recommended taskforce items. And that is what we did.
Spelman: Let me pursue that very quickly. Just using the reduction in variable cost argument, that's the only benefit we're talking about because the water up until a limit which is several yrs at least into the future we've already paid for it, like you said. Is theariable ct rection going to be larger at the peak period than it would be averaged over the entire year?
Most likely, you're using most of your chemicals. Your chemical cost sliekly higher in peak years. I would probably want to reflect on that a little bit.
Spelman: Then the biggest argument for peak approach, I guess, would be with a longer time horizon, when do we have the next -- let's see if I can say this -- the nfxt expansion to water treatment plant 4.
I heard the word expansion and plant 4 from your dais position.
Mayor Leffingwell: He didn't choke either. That's goo Spelman: It got stu with the hamburger in my throat someplace. [ Laughter ] we would be able t avoid a further expansion or it would put it off for another five or seven years if we were able to pull the peaking numbers down a little bit, which would be a value by itself, but a more mplicated thing to cost t wh a further cost horizon.
It would be beyond the 2020 horizon, you're correct.
Spelman: Two other questions and they're short. The first one is one ofhe things which I expected to see in this list and didn't, and figured there's a gd reason fort, is reclamatn. I recognize we have a fairly aggressive reclamation program already, but it would seem to be reasonable to do to crank up our reclamation program and include that as a conservation strategy. Was that one of the strategies that you guys considered?
Yes. And it's in the report. Integrated plan includeus finishing the reclaed projects that were in the 2007 recommendations. That had a series of reclaim projects. And continuing reclaimed into the 20-year period. This plan includes about $60 million of investment and reclaim over t 10- period. Because that wasn't a brand new strategy in this overview I only highlighted the things that are ljke but it's in the report. I think if you -- which i know you will. You rd the report that you will see reclaim is an important part of our continued conservation, the gpcd goals.
Spean: But it was part of 2007 water conservation taskforce, it's a preexisting condition we've been pursuing for a long time.
Yes. And this plant -- we integrated that altogether. That would continue thrgh 2020 at about an average of six million dollars per year. >>pelman: WOULD IT MAKE Sense just in comparison with the strategies that you've hrd got on that graph to include another strategy which would be double the rate at which we were building out a reclamation pipeline?
We have noted in here as an example one of the suggestions was build claim water into the 130 corridor as an example. As we noted in here, we nd more time and analysis and probably an update to our master plan in order to make those disions on whether or not those kind of things are cost beneficial. And that's somhing that we're planning as uating our master plan. And for reclaimed. And as a part of thate'll get better numbers on cost benefit analysis of major reclaim expansion into new areas like 130 reclaim is a complicated animal too, though, particularly as you expand it out into more of the hinternds and serve residential customers. It is very cital intensive. And you can't just string a big old line out there that you have t build and loop an tank. And then the other part of reclaim is it will bring the financial picture as we would intensifyeclaim, because in essence with reclaim, we sell it at dollar or a thousand dollars. So we're investing tens of millions of dollars to take folks off of four, five, six or sevenollars potable waternd switch them to one dollar. Just as the financials, we've got to figure out a way to dea with that financial aspect.
Spelman: But it's ver much of a conservation strategy in a sense because we're paying people money to not pay us mon.
Spelman: But in the long run they would be able to have their water needs met at a lower cost if they could hook up to the purple pipe.
Aga, over a longer time frame, more than just 202
Spelman: That's the other thing is we were asking you for a 2020 time frame rather than a longer term one.
And our reclaim program has been focused on picking off bigger customers like and other cooling tanks andther -- gf course irrigation. So one of thehings I think we need toactor out in the next few years is do those economic issues change as you extend into residential areas? Because -- I don't want to go into it allow, but ere's me additional risk with reclaiming residential, a l more risk of cross control issues and any one residential customer, the benet you're getting is very small. You might be getting just a few thousand gallons. I thi we really need to run the numbers on expansiovs of reclaim into new areas like 130 or elsewhere. And that's talked about in this report too. Spelman: I'll look forward to reading it. It's clear the benefits of reclaimed water will be greatest at huge custome like dell children's or the university of texas. Okay. Last question. I'll keep it short. It's partl a comment because I think I kw what you're going to say. It seems to me the economist in me was stimulated this morning when I heard greg ipp of the economist magazine talk about the national and international economy. And e of the things he said, which reminded me of one of those -- it was one of those blinding fsh of the obvious moments. Prices matter. We care a lot about prices in the economics world. And it occurred to me that one of the great nservation methods that we are pursug, but we're not quite calling it a conservation measure is the increase in pricessociated with the capit improvements, which you utility is pursuinglmost all of which I fully support. And that increase in price isoing toave the effect because demand curves a downward sloping, causing people to back off on their consumption, at least to some extent. A few months ago when this sue first surfaced and i felt embarrassed for the first time when I heard it because I hadn't thought of it before, I did a little bit of backgrod work to see what's the prevailing elastity of that demand curve and found it was aroundegative 3, maybe negative 5 depending what your rate structure looked like. And that's consistent with in gpcd that we found in the last four years because our rates have only started to go up in the last few years. It was flator a long time. Our rates were flat for a longime. Now our rates are going up and sure enough consisten with that we have drought drowt. We have other rens for this. But it is interesting to me that about the same time our rates started to go up is about the same time our gpcd started too down. I wondered if this is something which y'all have been considering as a forecastg tool, because r rates are going up by a fairly substantial amount, how much c we expt our demand for water to go down and maybe that would be sufficient to get us to 140 gpcd or somewhere close to that?
Yes, that's a ftor that we're considering, and particularly I mentioned in the presentation we're getting ready once the new building system is in place to craft inclining block rate structures for commerci businesses a others and those water savings are calculated in this current gpcd from wn we would switch those rates. So yes, we are starting to forecast that as a part of the total impact of gpcd reductions.
I'm thinking the incline block rate structure is going to cause people to back off the highest rates for sure becau they can see how much money theyill save if they back off of that. People's water bills are now 50% highern they were a couple of years ago is itself going to have an effect of people taking shorter showers, flushing the toilet less often or irrigating lessven in the wintertime. It seems to me this is something worth pursuing and putting a pencil to to see how much we can expect given that we have so many capital improvements and our debt costs are going to be rising so much over the next few years.
Morrison: Thank you. Well, luckily a lot of my questions have alrea been asked. I just have aew, but I do want to go to something i just heard you say and i guess it's never sunk I to my bra before. You sai that we're actually not paying for water right now. We're -- because we've prepaid for water so it's on -- that means 're just paying our rights really cover just operaons and capital?
I think -- we did pay for water. In rghly 1999 the utility worked with the lcra and purchased $100 million of water. That iluded reserving water, reserving highland lakes water for backing up our river rights, as well as prepaying for the raw water that we use each year. So we borrowed tha money. That $100 million is in o current rates because that was a 30-year debt. So when I saye're not paying for water, we are paying for water in the sense that it's in the debt, but if we use 150,000-acre feet or 180,000-acr feet, we don't pay any more for that difference between 150 and 180, we can use as much as we want up to 201-acre feet before we hit that trigger. That was more what I was --
Morrison: So when I pay my water bill, you're using some of that -- we're using some of that to pay back that deb that we prepaid the water. So we reall are paying for it.
Morrison: It's not like free fuel or anything like that. I'm really glad I got that straightened out. It snded interesting. I do have a couple of qutions on sli number 17 when you're looking at the financial impacts. It would be a 25 to 35 percent increase in rates. Do you have that broken down so that we know oran you know at this poi how that would divide out, residentl versus commercial versus industrial?
No, we didn't go to that level. We really wanted to provide a higher financial analysis. It would take a lot more work and te and effort and probably input from council on again how we wanted to do rate design on some ofhese things. We did at the bottom try to give you a sense that a residential customer, that 20, 25 percent is nine to $10 a month. But the point here is tt many customers, if they implement conservation, their bill actually would go down as ty're using less water and switching out toilets and reducing their irrigation and things. So this is kind of revenue utral in a sense that it's not the utility raising an additional 100 mlion, it's trying to recover t 100 million that conservation --
Morrison: Right. Which really goes to cocilmember spelman comments about needing to understand that interaction between rates and amount of usage. But I do want to -- I'm curious also and I think it's on slideumber 11. It's the projected savings by the taskforce, and we have the gre what we already have in your plan and then the yellow, if i understand on topf it, is the new elements that you would be looking at that are required. We have a whole bunch of work already going that's going to take u quite a ways down the line. And so -- and so I guess my question -- my question is if you goack to slide number 17, that $100 million of revenue reduced, how much of that I because of the green and how much is because of the yellow? Or is it all because of the yellow?
No, it's not all because of the yellow of the it's a total impact over the 10-year period from all conservation programs that would add up to get us to the 140.
Morrison: And we already have the green ones in place and we're working on those, is that right? >>Ome of the green ones are in pce. Other green ones, which are in eence the 2006 taskforce recommendations, that was a 10 year plan, so we've completed about year three of that. Soe he seven more years ofhat plan to go. And as we would implement those seven years, there would be new programs coming there. I described the prici strategy for multi-family and commercial. That was a part of that plan. There are some other elements that areeto come. So those things that are new would would be a part of that as well as the n, new ones from thi latest taskforce round of recommendations.
Morrison: Okay. So the 100 million we're already looking at having to deal with some of that in the plans we have in place.
That's correct. We've been forecasting that in our five-year forecast. We've been discoting our revenues from four to.
Percent. As you extend that out to th 20%, evenhough you didn't add a new set, you would still have conservation impts from that. I think in general we're ahead of schedule, significantly ahead of schedule with the 2006 taskforce recommendations that we're achieving more of thos sooner. I think the drought accelerated that. I think when we went to stage 2 water restrictions, I've been describ as a shadow effect of the drought, that the drought has accelerated se of those things. I think it certainly accelerated compliance with the two a day watering schedule.
Morrison: It change some day people's behavior and they s with it. I know the mayor pro tem at our committee meeting was mentiong that. And so can you remind me that with the conserve vaightses we have inlace, what would be our projected usagey average usage by 2020? Would that get us quite a ways -- I assume it would get us quite a ways towards the 140?
It would on average -- again, a higher thing, but on average right around 150 is where we would end up. Again, just trying to project forward on that. Our average right now is about 167, I belve. So over theext seven to eit years as we implement more of that, that would fall to about the 150 range on average.
And I think that just highlights wt the importance of what councilmember rileyalked about in terms of we have to get a grip on a business model that can deal with fact that we're doing to be using less water.
Mayor Leffingwell: I would add one comment. The 2007 taskforce recommendations were not -- not exactly this way, but pretty much low hanging fruit. In other words, the were things that you could save a lot of water on andeally at aery l cost. But as you try to ramp that up and go bond that low hanging fruit, you get to a point of negative return where it costs you so much more to get just a little bit more in value that you have to srt questioning the worth of it. For example, we talked about the leak repairs in our system. And that was a component of the 20 recommendations. We decided we would try to reduce that by 30 percent over a 10-year period. And people say, well, 30 percent, that's not much. Why don't y do 90 percent or something le that. And the rson is because it cost you so much more as you get down towards zero. Linkage is kind of a hypeolic curve. So that is something we have to keep in mind going forward too, what is the cost befit of addg these additional things that yield relatively little compared to their costs. Anything else? Councilmember shade.
Shade: I think most of the questions have been asked, but I guess the one thing I would -- you may have addressed it earlier. During the water treatment plan debates that we had on ter treatment plant 4, we looked at a lot of different scenarios forrowth and you've already talked about the lcra triggerssue so I guess, you know, can we meet the nds that have for this aicipated growth of our populatio without being adepressive at water conservation?
Conservation is an important element for wur long-term water utility success, that's an esseial. When you live in an area that going to grow, that has air rid weather, significant droughts, conservation will always be an essential element of our long-term success. I think thatas true in the past and it will be true in the future.
Shade: I think so too. I think the points that have been raised about this idea of just getting our arms around the business model and what's going to have to change is a very -- is daunting, but it's also a great opportunity. And for those people who are out there talking about it's either/or, I'm jus reminded of a good mentor o mine who talked about the journey of or versus the general just of and. And I just am really looki forward to the work together this because I do think that it's evident that we have to do both. And ao if you look around at the other major cities in texas, you can see that they're all dling with this same challenge with infrastrture issues that need to be invested in. So I lkorward -- I know this is going to rmcext and this is going to be vetted a nber of ways. I'm looking forward to working with y'a on it.
Mayor Leffingwell: Yeah. And to try to just make a comment. I can't keep my mouth shut tonight on this subject. On reaching the trigger, before we started the 2007 water conservation plan, we're looking at reaching the trigger, I think if memory serves, about 2021, 22, something inhat range, all of that tt we saved brought us to 2025. So it's not a question of if we will ever reach the trigger, it's a question of when. And it is important that we delay long as it's practical and feasible because it saves us about $15 million a yearased on -- based on curre prices for water. Who knows what thell be in 2025. I don't tnk it's reastic to say we will never reach the trigger. We will reach it sooner or later. We'll just try to delay the pain as long as we can. Anything else? Thanks a lot, greg. Appreciate it. We'll be seeing you soon. So tha bringss back to mr. guernsey. guernsey, we're on to our zoning cases where we have not yet had a public hearing, correct?
That's correct. The 20 item starting on item number 50. Item number 50, I'l go through the tumedz I can offer for consent. Item number 50 is case c-14010-0034 for the propertyocated at 2500 west william cannon drive much this is a zoning change reques to limited office, conditional overlay combined district zoning. The zoning and platting commsion recommended the lo-co en89 district zoning with condions or change the conditions of zoning. Previously we had a valid petition we no longeave a valid petition. The petition now stands at 15.25%. And mayor, I don't believe we have any speakers tha haveigned up for this item, so I'd offer it as a consent item on all three readings. Item number 51 is case c-14-2010-0174 forhe property located at 11301 old san antonio road. This is to change the property to multi-famy residence, low density district zoning. The zoning and ptting commission didecommend the fm 2 district zoning with conditions and we would offer this for consent approval onirsteading only. Item nber 52 is -- assume 52 and 53 will beor discussion so we can hear the presentatio
if youould like a prentation, staff would be more than happy to provide that tension prengs to council.
Mayor Leffingwell: That is the request. So the csent agenda for those items where we've yet to hold a public hearing is to close the public hearing and approve on all three readings item 50, cloars the public hearing and approve on first reading only item 51. L in favor? L opposed say no? It passes on a vote of five to zero with martiz and councilmember cole off the dais.
Thank you, mayor and uncil. At this time I'll introduce st sadowsky, our historic preservation officer to present item fa '52 and item number 53. mayor, members of council. Sadowsky of the historic preservation home, planning development and review. Our first case up tonight is the zeta taw alpha house located on 2711 nueces street. This is crowrn h-2010-0026. And the request is from mf 4 np to mf nfp. This was designed in 1929 by the firm of page and southerland. The house was not built until 1939, though. It is one of the finest examples of large scale southern colonial revival architecture in the city and remains fullyntact. It's been associated forts tire assistance with the zeta taw alpha sorority that was founded in 1905. They had several other hous around town. They purchased this property in 1927, conacted with page and southerland to sorority house and then took the next veral years, 12 years, to acquire theand necessary. To build the large scale house that you see today. [One moment,leas for change in captioners]
it is completely iact. It was built b ernest parker who was one of the most prominent builds, designed by sutrland, ominent architect and associat wh zeta tau alph sorority ut, who dlud hopkins, who w founding member of the sorority. She nt on to be aery proment female phycian in dallas. Roberta crenshaw was the esident the sorority in the 1930s. She then went on to be -- served on the austin parks board. She restored the paramount theater, was a founder and member of the ballet society, charter member of the women's league of austin, and also the you mean layoff scawrpt garde and the history center, and IN THE 1960s WHEN LINDA Byrd johnson was in the sorority and a member of the house, an interesting story is because she had to have secret svice with her all the timehe couldn't actually live in a regular room because she had men surrounding her at all times, so she had to have special quaers on the ground floor othe house. It wasecommended b staff, the landmark commission and the planning commission. The staff recommended the house for historic zoning. and, sadowsky, that's first reading only?
First reading om. Questi questi ons? All right. Cocil mber shade. so I think most of the fraternitie and sorories h some prey prominent members that we could all enjoy, you know, hearing about are there other fraternities an sorority houses zoned historic?
We do, we have kappa kappa gma, on university avenue, on t mlk side of the campus and then the george pen dexter house, I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the frateity, it's AN 1890sOUSE ASSOCIATED With george pendexter, that has been a fraternity house for many years but those are the only two. and again, t architectural significance is that this is only large-scale in ournventory of the colonial style? Because weave lots of colonis.
We have lots of lonials. In fact, we have quite a number of southern colonials as well, but this one is exceptional in its scale. Most of the other southern colonial revivals that we have in austin are single-family residences. They're not nearly as ornate in their design or their scale. so where do you draw the line on scale? How big does it have to be for something to reach the next level in scale that makes th significant? Beuse we've got some pretty big houses -- yes, we do. that are in the southernolonial style.
I would say this one is probably twice the size of any other that we hav thisasesigned to be a different type of house, never degned to be a single-family. So it represent a different school of thought fars more institutional desn but using that southern colonial revival. And ouncil, I want t add too that this house, along with many other sorority and fraternity houses in west caus, are, in my opinion, particularly vulnerable, because these are obviously not the highest and best use of t land. These houses could be razed at any time a 20 story towers go in their pce. So when we have a case -- the reason I recommending this is because we have a case where we've got an almost textbook example of the style. We've got a long history of the sorority being inhis house, and as I said, you knowbeing in west cams, this is a very vulrable area bause that is an area that we want to see greater development and a house like this that representshe best o that style could easily fall to a wrecking ball. well, that's kd of interesting you bring it up because one of the -- mean, I'm -- I think the fraternity and sorority houses are actually not in danger as long as -- but i reize that the tax bills are really high and it' a big concern for the sororities a fraternities, so I recognize tha having some tax relief is a benit to these organizations. But because fraternities -- I mean, I can't imane that the zeta -- this home is owned by the zeta sorority, unless they decided to sell it, which would mean that they'd have some option to buy a different house, i can't -- I know too many of e sororitiesnd fraternity houses, that's just -- I think the risk of em being demoed for a complex is hard to imagine as long as they want to have a chapter house on the university of texas cpus and zeta is one of the stroest sorities there. So I don't think that's -- do you have some evidence that would suggest that this house is up for -- that they're in any threat of being demolished? This house? Or being sold? Because anybody that's on a foundation of a sorority board would never sell their house because they know they'd never be able to get anher one there.
No, I don't, but just having seen e level of development in west campus over the past five years where we have lost a number of -- a numbe of large houses thatere either used dorms or they were moved to other locations to make room for n dormitory or new artment cplexes in west campus, I think that we'reling with an area of the city that we have to take a little bit more -- no, again, I know th area well and I think it's important, but I don't think that it's a fair stement to say tt this sorority is in any -- this sorority house is in danger of being, you know, razed to become a west campus condo, because it's got such a strong organization. As long as there's members who want to be in this sorority and want to le ere, the foundation who owns this hse - but anyway, that's a whole other story. so wouldn't -- if somebody waed to tear it down and build a high rise, wouldn't they have to go to the historic landmark commission to get their demolition permit?
They would. it would trigger this whole process at that point.
They will, yes, sir.
Mayor leffingwell: okay. Do we have someone to speak fothe applicant and you'll tell us your na. You can have five minutes.
Okay. Good evening, my name is kelly mamood and I am the president of the house board for zeta tau alpha. The property that we're scussing is owned by the chapter of zeta tau alpha that's here, and they're responsible for maintaining the house and providing housing to 40 women who live in that house each year. The home is not only unique in its deep historyut in the fact that history continues to be made tre each year. 39 Ut women call this home -- call this house home each school year along with a house mother. The walls a pster, and last year we decided to retrofit a fire sprinkler system intohe house, and time and time again every contractor that came through the house when was trying to get bids told us that we should take down the plaster walls, replace them with sheetrock, it uld save us ousands of dollars. And as attractive as saving money sounded, the board did not want to remove the plaster wallshat represent the histwril nature of this home as wel as the walls that had seen so much history come through the house. The university of texas chapter was found by nine women in 1905, and one of those women was anita goth, who was a granddaughter of walter ts. After completing her studies at the university of texas anita married niles graham. Niles and anita lived attwood lawn, also known as the peas mansi. The original estate was about 3,000 acres niles real estate compa developed much of this into what is pemon and I thf tarrytown neighborhood. Nield and anita were -- n and anita were industrial instrumental in the construction of ts home. One of the first in this walls was julie anita graham and she teappedd texas where she like her mother was a member of zeta. Julie was a close friend of elisabet ney for years after her death she took care of the home and kept it open to the plicntil a occur yaiter could be curatould be informed. Crenshaw were oer notable curato, jean andrews, also known as the pepper lady, instrumental in the founding studies at university of texas anwent on to author several books. Steve also mentied linda byrd johnson lived there and the secret service lived downstairs in a closet. Something -- an example of history the making is in the '90s the house saw a student named betty winn arrive at ut. Betty as a chi fle saigon with her parents and moved and as a student at ue was a member of zeta and earned aoualism degree. Currently e's the anchor for cbs this morning and she'also been the ahor for cnn where she interviewed the dalai lama and nelson mandela. In 2007 the smithsonian institute recognized her as the first vietnamese american to anchor a television broadcastn the u.s. She was nam an outstanding texan in 2008. She's nded a scholarip at the sool of journism and is cfounder of help the hgry. On behalf of melf a the house board the current zetas living in the house and the hundreds of zeta alums spreadcross austin we thank you for consiring this home for hisrical designation, and I'm hap to answer any questions that you may h thank you. We have several speakers,bergon casey. Bergocasey was going to talk about the importance of preserving west campus and prelar perez had to leave a well.
What about suzanne deed deedrick?
Mayor leffingwelt: okay. mayor and members of the council. I'm suzanne dedrick and I'm the agent for the zeta tau alpha house. Along withhis application for city landmark status we also applied to t texas historical commission for this house to be considered as aecorded texasistoric landmark. 00odayust a few hours ago, we received call from the texas historical cmission,nd were very happy to receive the good news that the zeta house, the zeta tau alphase was approved than and is now an oicial texas historic landmark. The first house known as the university of texas zeta house was locatfd at 2403 whitees avenue. In 12 the zetas med to the house at 1811 corad the picture isp. That house I no longer there. For a short time after that 2700 guadalupe became their home. In 1927 the zetas purchased this house at 2711 nueces. They hired page sutherland, a prominent architectural firm, to design a new house. Paige sut sutherland finished them but the pla were stored away for 8 years until the zetas could purchase two adjoining lots. Paige sut eland made adjustments to theriginal plans and it was built by parker in 1937. Paer was master craftsman and buildern ausn for 30 years. He remodeled the governor's mansion in the 1960s. This pto taken in 1956 is of the current house. All of the previous hses that were shown have now been demolished. In the summer of 1965 interior alterations were made in preti f linda byrd johnson's move into the house. This is from linda's email to me this lt summer. I was living in ken solving when myather bece president and for a short time my sect service stayed there in a room with glass windows on the first floor so they could see eveone who came or left. I moved into the zeta house for my senior year, fall 1965 and spring 1966. They d have a command post in a small room next to mine on the first flo. As you kw, I spoke at the zetaouse celebrating our 100th birda I even got one of my secret servicemen to tell tales about uy days in the house. Linda went on with stories of her roommates and memories ofife in the zeta house. This grand old house, steeped in all its history, meets the city of austin's criter for historic zoning t house is 74 years old. The house has retained sufficient integrity of materials and design to conv its historic appearan. It is significant in i architecture and is associated with paige sutherland architects and ernest parker. The house is associated with very many significant people, both the landmark commission and the planning commission voted unanimoly to recommend the house, and as I stated earlier, it is now a registered texas historic landmark, which is another qualifieror a city landma thank you. thank you. Those are all the speakers that iave. There are no speakers signed up against, so, council -- council member spelman? I move approval of this item on first reading, but only if chris riley gives his usual 2
mayeffingwell: okay. A motion by council memr elman to close the public hearing d approve on first reading only. Second? Is there a second? Second by council member morrison. Council mber riley I'll support the motion based on the usual -- ywu can just stipula. the fact that are currently reexamining the benefits associated with this zoning as well as the criteria for historic zoning and our expectaon is that any changes made to the benefits associated with historic zoning would apply to cases thatre current unde review. At times there have been arguments about grandfathering but our expection is since people getting historic zoning now are on notice that this is currtly under review, be prepared for change in the fits associated with historicong to the -- to the extent that thatccurs in the not too distant future. Thank you. yeah, I'llust sayhat I have planned to support on fst reading. I am persuaded by today's designation as a texas historic landmark. I think th's a major factor to me. Councimember shade? yeah, I was going to sayi think that -- I'll support it on first reading, but I am going to look into this a little bit further. I think, you know, it's important to note that, you know, ias -- I niced in the original stuff, we have a house that'sarkd for t tipp family. We clearly have a lot of things, recognized as a landmark for the johns ons johnsons and several other peopl that have en named here. I am very aware of the important tax concerns for the houses in west campus and even tugh people's perception is that fraterties and sororities have tons of money, the faet is that as tuition has risen, the dues for the girls, the members is increasing. And so I recognize that that's a burden and it is a benefit to west campus to be able to maintain and preserve these houses. And so I think -- but I also would likeo say that many of the frateities and so report houses have incredible memberships and great associations, many of whom have been recognized, like I mentioned, in other -- with other properties around austin. So I'll support it on first reading with the disclaimers anthanyof the very good presentation tonight. further discussion? Council member morriso I just want to briefly thank the applicant for coming down and, really, the collection o interestg women and all that they've broht to america is really, I think, very compelling, and i appreciate the work that you're dng to preserv this building. all in favor of the motion sayye.
Mayor leffingwe: aye. Any opposed say no. Passes on first reading on a vote of 5-0. Mayor pro tem and council member cole off the dais.
Our second historic zoning case is c14h-2010-0031. Then fell beacham apartments at 1911 cli street a the zoning would go from mf-2-co mp to mf-2 comp. The cranfill-beacham apartments have a long history. They were built in 1959 and they're aociated with thomas cranield who lived doo to these. It's a historic landmark and was designed by harwell, hamilton, harris, who was the best known purveyor of mid-century architecture, th in california, texas, and later in carolina where he went to teach after leaving texas. He designed his own house, which is t deb end of cliff seet, and in 1958 cranfill hired harris to design this triplex one of the apartmentin here wou be for his partner, hans beacham, who lived here forhe remaind of his life. Cranfill -- excuse me -- was a noted authority on shakespearean affairs at the univsity of texas, and then was alson after I had art collector. Beacham, his partner, was a photogpher and an lustrator of children's books. Beacham of very well known forating portraits of famous people, very unorthodox portraits of them showing them not as posed portraits, but as vy real portraits, and he illustrated quite a numr of cldren's boo as well. The apartments are located behind another house on cliff street, so they have a semi secluded locatn. They are concrete block the on ground floor and board and baten upstairs. They surround a courtyard in the middle. These are all highlights of mid-century architecture, but the most prominent aspect of these is their ability to bring in light from t outside and blending the outside with the inside with the use of huge expanses of glass, like you see here. These overlook bamboo fores to the back, and here is a 1960 photograph of the inside of the same apartment her. Here it is today. So these are virtually unchanged. Very horizontal in their composition. Large use of glass, unorthodox material such as concrete block and very grik organic with their surroundgs. All hallmarks of the mid century modern style and consistent with cranfill, who like I sd his house is next door, and then hans beacham, who was a noted photographer and illustrator in his own right. So the landmark commission and planning commission have recommended theouse for historic zoning. Thank you. just a quick one. Steve, is this the highest and best use of this pbrticular property?
The zoning here is mf-2-co. So -- how high up could th go this property if this house were razed?
Don't know, council member. I wovld have to -- 40 feet.
Spelman: okay. So -- well, what I'm really getting at, I guess, is there any danger of thjs, i think drop-dead gorgeous house being torn down?
Not that I'm aware of, no.
Mayor leffingwellcouncil member morrison?
Morrisonz I'd like to make a motion -- we have a speaker. Morrison: oh, I'm sorry. the applicant is ernesto craig nolino. -- Cragnolino. And you'll have five minutes.
My presentation. Okay. My name ernesto cragnolino. I'm a professor of architecture and at the university of texas, and I'm an owner of the beacham apartments. I was introduced to the building at the university of texas and came to know them better at social event as a frien of mine's house, in unit 2. My wife and I secured a lease for his apartment a quickly realizethat I was an amazing place and tha the current owners didn't haven awareness of its importance in terms of history and architecture. We secured a way to purchase it the -- [inaudible] legacy building d now that all are in place we're trying to get historical status botat the local, state and the national levels in conjunction with our neighbor's house, which steve mentioned, also designed by harris, whi has the same status years ago. Harris -- harris -- it was a renowned modern architecture. His life and work have been chronicled I several works, a catalog proced by the center for thetudy of american architecture when alexander harris inherited e archi, released by germany and publishedy the california press,e's known for fusion of style -- richard passion for t work of frank lloyd wright. He chaioned rionalism, in the context of powerful relation of the human spirit and the process of discovery and the primal desire to communicate with nature. The time harrisame to texas in 1951 he was an established icon of calirnia, fellowship house of 1935 and the westin haven house of 1940 to 41. National reputation. He was brought to the school of architecture at ut when the school gained autonomy from the school of engineering and they were looking for an architect to forfy its reputatio the period of harris's tenure at ut was ver well documented in cargen's birth of an architectural undergrod. Harris was brought -- harris brought in a now very famous faculty member and created the cditions that supported innovative and critical thinkin tards architecture and transformed the current architecturat education in the united states. During h five-year tenure at ut harris designed limited nuer of buildings, one of which was the previously limited house for tom cranfill. At t end t ciewnts reet he wasubject to facultynfighting atthe university of texas and was forced toesign. He located to fortorth and dallas and cranfill call him back to redesign the house, the partner homes, beacham, the complex is located very close to the corner of mlk and lamar just west to the ut campus -- I'm sorry, at the edge of west campus. We're lucky eugh to have a full alexander archive, so we have a very clear sense of harris's commitment to deta and sophistication and architectural thinking on all scales. Like steve mentioned, the triplex exists -- behin existing duplex and basically shelters a majestic oak tree thatorms a courtyard at the fnt any an then the triplex harnesses that courtyard on the back. Here is a site plan of the existing condition. [Inaudible] walk you through this. This is the entry sequence, sort of illustratin harris's commitment to the process of discovery, which mentioned earlier, as you evter into the courtyard you gain a sense of that majestic oak. There's a fiberglass scree that holds that courtyard in, otects it from its neighbor, and [inaudie] board andaten detailing that steve had mentied. Other shots as ll as curren historical views of the interior of the apartment. Notae residents -- the current residents, one current residt, al nichols who lives in unit no. 1. He's beenhere since 196 when he came to teacht ut. He's a print maker. He was faculty a the university of texas a print maker, beautif ba teak nts and art, and of course as mentioned, hans who was a tremendous photographer and especlly renowned for his photographs of artists and writers, did a numbe of particularly poignant essays of the famous mexican-american latin authors. thank you. Those are all the speakers that we have. Phoebe allen is also in far, b oy for questions. Okay? Soomment questions motions? Councilember mrison? yes, I am ready to make a motion to support historic zoning here. I think this is a really interesting situation we have part of what's unique is the juxtaposition th the house because it's all one -- not unit but it's all one compound, you might call it, it seems, a little bit unusual in terms of it being condominiums and historic. But I do -- I heard what you said, steve, about not really knowing if it was in danger at all, but I would like to remind folks that this is the same neighborhood where we saw a long drawn-out issue about -- on david street, which -- with rard to remodeling or tearing down. That was the question, house that there is pressure there. And so I think that the architecture is extremely unique. It's an amazing specimen and beautiful. Council member spelman and i were both up here just saying we want to live there. Luckily it's a triex but anyway -- so io think it's very deserving of recognition, and saving for the future. So thank you for your work on that. so that's a motion by counl member mson to close the public hearing and approve on first reading. An seconded by council member spelman. Council mber riley? p
RILEY: I AM GOING TO Support the motion with the same caveat that I added on the last item, and I just -- I do want to just poi out that our backup on this includes a letter from larry speck, who we just presented -- who we just honored in our proclamions a short time ago, an he strongly supports this application. He sets out a number of reasons for that. So I will support the motion. well, I'll just say, I not going to sup it. I mean, it's a beautiful place, a nice condominium but I don't see the historic valuspect of it. Council member shade. yeah, I thi -- i was going to ask a question at first, which I you know, can you tell me more about the other houses zoned historic that's right there? I mean, and sort of this importance of the two? From the histoc association standpot?
Wel I think both, because the bothepresent designs by t same architect, one, the thomas cranfill's house was 1952. This is a later design, 1958. So it shows the progression of his architectural skill and design. And ao, I mean, they're very much rela in that cranll commissioned the same architect to build this triplex so it would be all in keeping with a compoun for lack of a betr word. another thing that really concerns me about this house is that -- i mean, that we already had one, I see what you're explaining, but this I not visible to the plic. I went by tre myself today. That really bothers me when you're trying to make a case for it being vuable to the public. It's not like the zeta house that anybo can go by and see. It's not accessible to the public. It's not even visible and I recognize -- ando ain, awering the -- i mean, it's the historic association,ou know, the value to t citizens that i feel like I need to be able to answer on ehf these, and I guess I'd ask you, how would you answer that to the person who says nobody can even see this house?
Well, there is a duplex in front of it right now that faces cliff strt, if you we you saw that. That may not always be the case. I mean, this may become more visible, and I think the public benefit is just knowing that this architecture does exist. I'velso been by the place several times, and you can see it from the street. You can't g up right next to it like yo could the zeta house, of crse -- we already have one in the inventory and the blic can see it, and if it was in danger of being demolished and we were talking about a neighborhood planning challenge, then it would be coming back before the council. I mean, and to the landmark commsion. Soyou know, it's hard to make a case right now for me, and so I'll also not be supporting it at thisoint, but I know this is first reading and there's opportunity to learn more. But those are just -- i mean, again, it's aays very difficult to be up here and to be in an way disrespectful to the homeowners, which, you know -- and to the research that's been done, but, you knw, the answer that we have just to make to the public is howt's of value to this city atarge, because every taxpayer is paying for this. I c't see it [inaudible] further discsion? All in favor of the moon SAY AiE.
Aye. posed say no?
Mayor leffingwell: no. So not having gotten four votes the application is denied.
Thank you. that brin us to item no. 54. Center point
good evening, mayor and council members. I'm ron della hawkins with tell comnications and regulatory affairs and this is rardi center point energy'sropol to increase customer gas rights for its 168 austin custome and after the hearing is closed, to csider an ordinance regarding the increase. The city has original jurisdiction ove gas ility rates set for customers within its city limits. Because this increase is a major change, state law requires council to hold a hearingithin 30 days after the effective date of the rates toetermine the propriety of the increase and to take action. Centpoint'effective date for these new rates in austin was January 7, 2011. The rate increase results in 5 million increase in annual revenues or approximately an increase of 21% excluding the cost of gas. According to information received from centerpoint yesterday, the -- the average residential customer bill willncrease about 48%, and the commercial 71%, and that is a little -- that is different than from what the backup eflects that you have. Inhe backup we had the residential increase wod have been 25% with the commercial being 14%. But we got updated infoation from centerpoint. Centerpoint is proposing a nerate structure that will increase the monthly base rate for residential customerrge by 62%. 75 to $19 per month reducing the commodity right rait to 1. To 16 cents per -- this rate design puts t cost of the gas of the utility operations on the l use residential customers who are often in the worst position to absorb such cost increases and it also -- this is allow us to join other service cities known as allianc center point nicipalities, to participate before the railroad commission of texas. This case is currently before the railroad commission this ordinance also orders centerpoint to roll back its chges tohose in effect on December 3, 2010. This concludes my presentation. Staff recommends that the city council deny the requested rate increase and authorize intervention with other cities inhe oceedings of theailroad commission, and nelda juarez, she is a reesentative with centerpoint, she is present and she would like just to make a few commes. Questi questi ons? Thank you. We'll go to our public hearing. Nelda juarez. Welcome, you have three minutes. Good evening. My name is nelda juarez. I'm the district direcr for centerpoint energy for the south tes division. As ron della mentioned, we d file atatement of intent on December the 3. We filed simultaneously at theailrd commission for ou customers and the environs and incorporated areas. It's being revied athe railad commission. The amount we' requested is $6.5 million. Our lacerate increase for the south texas division was five years ago, at which time we made se infrastructure improvements worth over $30 million. We're seeking 6.5%. The rate that we are proposing, although it seems that we're burdening the residential customer, for the city of austin and the information that rondella shared with you this eveni about the updat, when we previously filed we filed as a division, so consequently the talking points were for the division. And so specifically for the city of austin the average use for residential customer in the city of austin is 33 ccf, so that's why the increase only amounts to 48% versus what was previously submitted. We onl have 8 commercial customers in the city of austin, and they're ecifically -- these in new residential areas wre we have the builder, who makes the application for service initially befe it's transferred to the actual homeowner, so that's the only commercial accounts th we haze currently in the city of austin. What we're proposing is in addition, what has happened with the gas utilities is that becausef energy-efficient appliances and the conservation that our customers are doing, they're using less gas, but r costs for providing the service continue to rise, and so is kd disconnect, and so wt we're proposing, regardless of the customer's consumption, we still have an expense to read the meter, to send the bill, to respond to a gas leak, and too all the infrastructure imprents and operations on our system, so that's why we want to do it as a base rate, the $19 on the minimum bill. But in line th that we have prosed to reduce the commodity portion of the 94 per thousand cubic foot of gas, to 55 cubic -- I mean, 55 cents per 100 cubic foot o gas. This past January we d put th rates into effect. The avege residential use in the city of austin was 5500 cubic feet for the month of January. If we apptied that usage to e old rate it would have billed at $51.70. On the new re it actually billed at $51.29. So there was a savings of 41 nts. I would like to remind the council that we do have several cities who have denied the rate increase and have contested it. Its currently being reviewed at the railroad commission. There is hearing scheduled for the latter part of march -- and your time has expired.
The decision will be me by the end of mid-summer. thank you.
Thank you. those are all the speakers that we haveigned up. Any comments, council? mayor, actually juarez a couple questions if I could. council member spelman would like to ask you a question. juarez, I'm looking at the text of the ordinance befores, which if we passed it would deny your rate increase, it would hawe the effect ofur asking for a denial of your rate incree. And I'm looking a the facts that are before us and want to get your take on them. One of the arguments is that your rate increase is seeking an excessive retn on equity. It sayyour return on equity is 11.0%.
That is incorrect. The information that we supplied to the railroad commission as well as in the filing packet has a rate of return of 9.299%. 299% is accurate, not 11. That's your argument?
Spelman: okay. The oinance tt says that you are asking to raise the 75 to $19. Is that accurate?
That is correct. and the $19, that's to cover your fixed cost associated with covering each customer.
That'sorrect. and that you are asking to increase the small commercial customer charge from 15 to 25. Is that accurate?
That is correct.
Spelman: okay. Well -- and the increase on a monthly rate for the average ctomer, itays he, is going to be about $4 foridential customers. Is that about accurate? That'for the -- that's the aggregate of the entire division, because every single customer -- we have 66 communities that we serve in south texas. The customers' usage in laredo texas is about 2 ccf as opposed tohe actual usage in austin, which is 33. We have customers who actually are in the 5 consumption range. So if you do an average for thsouth texas division, 05, but specifically for austi it's $2.61. because we don't use as much gasn average cause it's a little bit warmer here than it is in other places where you serve; is that right? Or our houses are smaller --
no, actually in austin you use more than like in laredo, texas. Some other areas, and it's also based on the size of the homes, the appliances the houses. We're weather driven. Our busess is weather driven, so you will have those difrences. So t big difference isn't e weather, it's actually that these are smaller houses in the serce area of the austin area.
The service area over t entire sth texas.
How about the service commercial. It's $5. Are you saying it's different for the austin section?
It's actually higher than 60, and the rson being is since these uses tha are under the builder's name prior to transferring to residenti, they have minimum usage because typically you'll have a hot watereater with nobody opening uphe faucet and cling it. I' not sure i understand why that causes the increase to be higher.
Because the usage is less for the commercial customers here. We have commercial customers that could be a restaurant, could be a laundromat, could be a dry cleans in other comnunities, so their consumptn is higher. The minimum bill is going up, b the comdity portion of the bl is going down.
Spelman: I see. I gotcha. Okay.
So when there greater usage on commercial end, their bills are actlly imcted less. why do you figure the cy staff believes that your return on equity is 11% when you're maintaing it's 9.3?
I don't have an answer to that. I know what we submitted. I know that ther was -- it may have been -- ion really have an answer for you because I havhe documents that we supplied to he city, t same documents we supplied the railroad commission, and it does have a rate of return of 9.299%. let me asktaff first. Thank you, ms. juarez. I appreciate it.
Tha you. >>I, rondella. Same questio so how is it we came up with a rurn on equity of 11% and they came up wit 2.99?
If I recall, that was the amount thas in the packet - the rate fing packet that was given to us.
Spelman: okay. Did they just amend t cket?
We did not receive an ended packet. T I did receive an amended --he rate increases yesterday, with the actual average impact was to the residential and commercial customer, which is different than ats in yo backup materls. do you still think it's excessi, even with the amendments?
We are concerned about the new -- the rate design of how that -- that the base cost iseing -- it's more than doued, and that I a disincentive to conservation and -- yes, we believf that it's not reasonable. We would like to have a further heari at the railroad commission, ande would like to participate in those proceedgs, and we can oy do that through denying and becoming a part of the intervenors and being more involved in the review of the rate filing, more probably a thorough review than what happens at the commission lev. and I agree, and mayor, I move to close the public hearing and approve the ordinance before us. motion by council member spelman to close theublic hearing, and to approve the ordinance drafted by staff, whh is denial of the rate increasf. Second? Second by council member morrison. Further discussion? All inavor say aye.
Mayor leffingwell: aye. Opposed say no? Passesn a vote of 5-0, mayor pro tem and council membfr cole off the dais. Item 55.
Mayor and counc, on 55, it's conduct a public hearing and consider an appeal byamille per on a decision to approve an outdr music venue permit for the irie bean at 2310 south lamar boulevard, unit 102, and usual we go through --
mayor leffingwellrigh is the aone that contests the standing of this party to mak the appeal or in favor of postnement? pry would like to speak to you on a postponement.
Mayor leffingwellokay. Please come forward. U're camille perry?
There are actually two reasons I'd like to speak to a postponement. The first reason is we attempted to start to resolve this throu mediation yesterday, spent three and a half hours i mediation. " . mike blamy, w signed up to speak, left and was hoping to get back to speak night on thi appeal. Also, when w lef mediaon schooler asked if it was okay to talk to lorraine athton today, a I said yes, but I would like speak with her after spoke with her. And she called me and told schooler murray told her was robinson had agree to a postponent and had agreed to sound check of the equipment. So -- and that's been on-again, off-again all day long. Betweethen I got a call from cra hilling stating that she had gottean email murray telng me that I needed to be here, at the would be a hearing. bellamy and lorraine again, and lorraine said, no,hink that's -- there's a mistake there. She said call david murray again. I did. He said, I'm sorry for the mix-up. The is supposed to be an agreed-to postponement. So I cald her back and she saidi thought there was a mix-up, and that was the last I was able to speak with her. So she not here. I called jeff jack with zilker neighborhood association. He said, tell council that we are an interested party, and we thought thereas going to be a postponement. and may I respectfully suggest a third reason? We he to --
the second reason?
Mayor leffingwellz we have two council members absent from the dais. I'd personally feel more comfortable in anppeal process with full council.
I'm sorry. that's ok.
The second reason? no, no, I wajus offering you a third reason to yr -- added t your two you only got three?
[Indible] oh, you did?
I didn't think I did two. I thoht -- I thought i was -- I think I've only done one, and the second reason is -- can you do the second one in about ten seconds because yo time has expired.
I'll try. I really think that -- and i think the other parties that are interested believe there needs tw be a sound check with the neighbors and an agreement similar to the one with the austin java so all parties interested wl be on t same page, unlike the way it's been in the past with this particular thing. thank you. And council, just restating what I said earlier, i believe in an appeal situation it would be more fair to have wait till we have full council. So is there a motion? Council member morrison? I wondfr if we might just hear from the otr side, the irie bean folks,ust to hear about the impact of a postponement. we can hear from --
morrison: just briefly. we can hear fm regarding the refor postponement. yes, that's at I'd like to hear. rafael robinson.
Rafael robinson, and i guess the -- your qution -- to answer your qution why should we not postpone? are you oy with a postponement? No, I'm not. and could y tell us why?
We've already postponed once, and I don't believe that there wl be any different outcome in the future than wt you might find tonight. I think what the mayor is saying is that we're missing two council members so he's a little uncomfortable about whether the outcome would really be [inaudible]
well,his process has gone on qute a long time, and I think postpings just really taking more time from you guys's busy schedule, fro my schedule trying to run a local business. So I realldon't think it's necessar all right. Council? Council member spelman? I'm persuaded by your third argument and would move to postpone this issue for two weeks, or until our next regularly scheduled meeting. I believe that's in two weeks. i believe it's february 10. Council member spelman moves to postpone till february 10. I will second. Is there any further discussion o that? All favor say aye
Mayor leffingwell: aye. Opposed say no? I believe tt passes on a vote of 5-0 with the mayor pro tem and council member le off the dais. Correct me if I wrong. Thank you. So city clerk, I believe that's all the items we have on our agenda for tonight, and so without objection, we stand adjourned.