Recap of June 5, 2012 City Council Meeting

Filed under: City |

REGULAR MEETING -7:00 P.M.
Council Chambers, City Hall
203 E. Wheatland Road

In attendance:

Mayor David Green
Mayor Pro-Tem Johnette Jameson, District 5
Janet Harris, Member at Large
Don Freeman, Member District 1
Dr. Stephen Jones, Member District 2
Leslie Thomas, Member District 3
Grady Smithey, Member District 4

REVISED AGENDA

Invocation
Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor’s Report
Recognition of Visitors / Proclamations / Presentations
Citizens Public Comment Period
[Each speaker will be allowed two (2) minutes to address the council.]

No speakers signed up to speak, no proclamations or presentations. Green reminded the citizens about Bike Friendly Duncanville’s Ticket to Ride on Thursday, June 21. Everyone is invited to ride their bicycles to Roma’s at 100 S. Main Street, Suite 102, for dinner at 6PM. Followed by a group ride to Armstrong Park for the free concert in the park with Me & My Monkey, a Beatles tribute band at 7:30PM. Riders are reminded to ride safe, wear a helmet, and remember to bring your blanket if you choose to sit on the lawn to enjoy the show.

CONSENT ITEM(S)

1C. Approval of minutes.

2C. Award of one-year bid and approval of an expenditure in the amount of $55,389.84 with D&A Building Services, Inc. for Duncanville Fieldhouse janitorial services.

Item 3c was pulled to vote on separately. Smithey motioned to approve items 1c and 2c, with Freeman seconding. Motion passed by a vote of 7-0.

3C. Approval of2012 update of the DCEDC Community Enhancement Program (CEP).

Smithey motioned to approve with Freeman seconding.

Thomas said that she wanted to see this item sent back to the DCEDC for fine tuning. Because of limited resources, she wants them to reflect on what they believe they can really accomplish with the resources they have for the next year. Motioned to send back, with Jameson seconding.

Smithey asked Jack Coleman, DCEDC President, to speak as to why they arrived at the decision they did.

Coleman said that after a long study they came up with this program and it tied in with the budget they had. Coleman stated that for the council to think this was a dream just isn’t true. He also stated that this program shows what the board thinks they can do. If they are asked to review this again, they would like to include, such as; beautification program, paying down the debt on the Fieldhouse, and others. Coleman went on to point out that the board had to be long range planners.

Thomas told Coleman that she had read the CEP and would encourage them to put into the plan what they would plan to accomplish this year and what they would do if more money became available.

Smithey asked Finance Director Richard Summerlin to address the sales tax issue. Summerlin advised that the city had seen a 6% increase over last year for the last seven months. Summerlin stated that he believed that this was possibly due to the increase in activity at the Duncanville Fieldhouse.

Coleman stated that the board is happy with what the presented and that it was tied to the available budget and the board feels they can accomplish all of the items this year.

Harris pointed out that this was aggressive plan and she was concerned about manpower and time.

Thomas pointed out again that she would like to see a bulleted list of what the mandate is for this year.

Coleman advised that if the council wanted a more pinpointed focus that could be done.

Smithey said that the council could approve the CEP and the budget with the amendment to address the priorities.

Thomas stated that she doesn’t believe the CEP reflects what the budget will allow.

Freeman stated he was at the meeting and could see how hard it was come up with the plan. He stated that what the DCEDC game them is an overall plan, and that the board was smart enough to do what needs to be done first.

Jameson stated that she was concerned about specifically naming The Buxton Group in the CEP to perform a study for the board, while there are other groups that do that type of study and would rather it remain generic.

Coleman stated that the board would be more than glad to look at it and tighten it up.

Thomas’ amendment to the motion was voted on and passed by a vote of 4-3, with Freeman, Green, and Smithey voting against. The vote was 6-1, Smithey voting against, to send the CEP back to the DCEDC.

REPORTS/RECOMMENDATIONS/REQUESTS

4. Consider approval of Ordinance No. 2175 amending the Code of Ordinances Appendix A, Zoning, and the zoning map to provide for a Specific Use (“SU”) Permit to allow a flea market (indoor only) on property zoned General Retail (“GR”) on a portion of Block A, Lot 2A, Mower World Addition, more commonly known as 435 East Danieldale Road; providing severability, repealing and savings clauses; providing a penalty of fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each and every offense; and providing an effective date.

Smithey moved to approve with the Freeman seconding. Jameson stated she did not support a flea market last meeting , and doesn’t now. Thomas echoed the same sentiments.

Freeman stated that the owner has already started remodeling, and that a contract had been signed for the work on the parking lot. He also stated that since only new merchandise would be carried that he felt the term flea market was not correct. He also stated that by the time the work is finished, the owner would be putting in $1 million into the building.

Motion passed by a vote of 4-3, with Thomas, Jones, and Jameson voting against.

5. Receive Duncanville Fieldhouse quarterly report.

Keith Howell, Duncanville Fieldhouse Manager gave the following report:

  • Total rental events at the facility – 409
  • Total tournament rentals – 7
  • Spring and Select Basketball League – 177 games
  • Presidential Hoops Classic (13 teams)
  • The Big Event (68 teams)
  • Continuing after school program, camps, fitness membership and classes
  • Total Gross Revenue
    • January – $35,564
    • February – $42,272
    • March – $44,672
    • April – $67,672
    • May – $26,239
  • Revenue from Leagues, Tournaments, Rentals and Programs
    • January – $24,417
    • February – $32,076
    • March – $29,817
    • April – $40,403
    • May – $17,892
  • Total Cafe, Beverage and General Store Sales
    • January – $11,147
    • February – $10,196
    • March – $14,855
    • Apr i l – $27,268
    • May – $8,347
  • Several major tournaments are in the works
  • Naming rights are being pursued for the Duncanville Fieldhouse
  • Northwood University has held tryouts at the facility and are in negotiations to use the facility for practices

Steve Martin, Sandra Meadows Classic Tournament Director, spoke on the impact of these tournaments to Duncanville. Martin advised that during the Christmas tournament , teams spend between $64,000 and $70,000 during the three day run. This does not include what parents and fans spend.

Freeman asked if the tournament was at its capacity.

Martin stated that the Classic is a very prestigious tournament and that he is experiencing difficulty filling the bracket now because of the level of competition. Some state championship teams from other states are choosing to not return due to the competition. Martin did state that if the tournament size expanded, then the use of the Fieldhouse would be required.

Harris stated that she appreciated the report from Mr. Howell.

6. Discuss and consider action regarding a special events permit application requesting closure of Wes Jespersen Way on July 4, 2012.

The closure would be from 6PM to 10:30PM. Harris motioned for approval, and Jameson seconded. Item passed by a 7-0 vote.

7. Discuss and consider use of City parks and facilities for participation in the USDA Summer Food Service Program.

City Manager Dan O’Leary stated that two weeks ago it came to his attention that this program was going on and that some on the council were unaware of it. O’Leary asked them to suspend the program for 2 weeks to allow the council to be made aware of, and discuss, the program. O’Leary pointed out that there have been no health violations, and the USDA approves the grants for the groups running the program. He also pointed out that the organizations run the program and no city staff assists. The program serves breakfast and lunch at Pyburn Park, Alexander Park, Chris Paris Park, Red Bird Park, and Lakeside Park.

Kenneth Woods administrates Help is Here, Inc. and Carla Lacy Blackwell administrates Operation Advantage, Inc. Help is Here is in Lakeside, Chris Paris, Red Bird Parks, and the Duncanville Recreation Center. Advantage is in Pyburn and Alexander Parks.

Woods stated that over the past two years, over 10,000 meals have been served by his program. The program itself is over 40 years old and is administered by the USDA and the Texas Department of Agriculture. Woods pointed out that the USDA did a study in 2010-2011 that showed Texas had 9 million children that qualified for the program, and only 2.9 million were being reached.

Blackwell stated that the Texas Department of Agriculture looks at the schools and if more than 50% of students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program, then the area qualifies for the program. All Duncanville ISD schools qualify at over 50%, with some schools approaching 80%. Blackwell stated that the program’s goal is to make a healthy meal available to these children without requiring the child to prepare it. That is why the USDA contracts with non-profits to reach as many children as possible.

Green pointed out that only three schools in Duncanville are participating, and Hastings is the only elementary school.

Jones has served on both sides and his church in Pleasant Grove was involved and saw an drop in their numbers due to an over saturation of groups serving meals.

Woods stated that they were actually seeing an increase in children involved in the program. He went on to point out that they are doing other things to benefit the children. He cited examples of the fire department coming out, and a volunteer mobile dental clinic had been to the location.

Blackwell advised that the TDA does a good job of making sure that they control over saturation. Woods said that the TDA used to have a 3 mile limit that stated programs couldn’t be within three miles of each other, but that was reduced to one mile. They can be closer if a barrier, such as a highway, would make it dangerous for children to get to the program. A majority of the children walk to the programs.

Woods stated that on the day they were asked to suspend the services he sent teams to Lakeside Park and Red Bird Park to see how many children came to the location. The teams collected signatures from them, including an address, and presented that to the council.

Jones pointed out that Lakeside was within a mile of DHS.

Woods stated that they get the word out about the program through press releases, flyers, and signs at the location.

Freeman asked about liability insurance and Woods stated it wasn’t required by the USDA, but they had a $1 million dollar liability policy.

Julie Fort, City Attorney, had some questions regarding the organizations structure.

Using a twelve year old map from the 2000 census that Dallas County uses to identify blighted neighborhoods for federal funds, Johnette Jameson showed that some of the parks were in what the map showed not to be low income areas. She was reminded again that the USDA uses numbers from the free and reduced lunch program, not property values.

Green pointed out that the meals have be served with the five food groups identified by the FDA

While the council had requested a monthly menu for the program, both Blackwell and Woods advised that it wasn’t possible to provide an exact menu because they relied on what was available at the stores they used, or was donated to them. Donations are from such entities as the North Texas Food Bank. But, four of the five meals served are hot meals.

Thomas stated that policy issues need to be addressed and needs to be work shopped, she made a suggestion to allow the programs to continue through the summer, with fees and permits waved, with the City placed on the insurance rider to cover them. She also included that the item needs to be work shopped in time for next summer.

Harris praised the program and apologized for the “grilling” the two organizations received. She said that she was simply concerned about feeding the kids.

Smithey moved to allow the program to operate for the remainder of the summer, with the insurance rider, and all fees and permits be waived. Freeman seconded the motion.

Smithey went on to tell both programs that he was extremely happy they were providing the program.

The item passes 7-0.

8. Discuss and consider action regarding the agreement between the City of Duncanville and Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. for Photo Red Light Enforcement Program.

This item was moved to after Item 10. Thomas stated that a year ago the city council voted to extend the contract with Redflex for another ten years so that Duncanville would be “grandfathered” should the state legislature take any action on the cameras. She asked this item be placed on the agenda to have the cameras removed. She went on to explain that she understood former city manager Kent Cagle to say that the council could get out of the contract whenever it wanted.

Green stated that is not what he understood.

Freeman stated he felt the council was misled. He said he understood that the city could get out of the contract once the equipment was paid off, and that was due to happen later this summer.

Smithey made a motion to move the discussion to executive session due to the possible lawsuits involved, with Thomas seconding the motion.

During this Jameson had requested that a video of the meeting be shown so that she could see what was said at the meeting. During the video Cagle stated that the equipment wouldn’t be paid off until after February 2013.

The motion passed 7-0 to continue discussions in Executive Session.

9. Discuss and consider approval of a DCEDC expenditure in the amount of $5,000 for a sign grant for the property located at 646 E. Highway 67.

Smithey made a motion to approve, Freeman seconded, motion passed by a 7-0 vote.

10. Receive Councilmember Reports – Items of community interest regarding which no action will be taken, as authorized by Section 551.0415 of the Government Code.

Harris commented on the regional Juneteenth Celebration held in DeSoto and what a successful event it was.

11. Recess into Executive Session pursuant to G.C. Section 551.071, Consultation with City Attorney regarding pending litigation (Community Bank v. City of Duncanville).

12. Consider any action necessary pursuant to discussion in Executive Session.

Due to the lateness of the hour this information will need to be updated when the details are available.