Multiple Issues & DART Update Fill Council Agenda

in Addison Texas Council by

Tuesday night’s Council session began with a brief Work Session, scheduled for 5:30 but started considerably later due to what was apparently a long Executive Session. In lieu of the short time, of the three items on the agenda, only the first two were handled, postponing the presentation and discussion of Revisions to City Council Procedures and moving this item to the Council’s next meeting.

What was covered was a presentation by Charles Goff regarding Texas Local Government Code Chapter 284: Deployment of Network Nodes in Public Right-of-Way and the Town’s Response.  After numerous clarifying questions and discussion about the potential aesthetic impact in various neighborhoods the Council agreed with the staff’s process and Goff indicated that proposed codes would be brought back to the Council for approval at the August 22nd Council meeting.

The other item discussed was Boards & Commission Application and Appointment Process.  An application form is on the Town’s website for anyone interested in being appointed to a Board or Commission.  Even individuals who expect to be reappointed must complete the application.  October 6 is the deadline.

Following a short break the regular meeting began.  Sheila Barkofske addressed the Council during the Public Comment section, stating once again the befuddlement of the Council being unwilling to draw upon the experience and knowledge of former Mayor Todd Meier in helping to represent the Town’s effort to ensure that the DART Board follows through on its longtime commitment to bring the Cotton Belt to Addison.  You may want to view her strong commentary, which is one of the first things on the Council video.  As is practice, no Council response was provided.

City Manager Wes Pierson announced that on Saturday, August 12 at 9 a.m., all are invited to the official opening of the Joint Fire Training Center in Farmers Branch.

Item #18 to consider action on a Resolution to Approve a Contract with A-1 American Fencing for the Construction of a Fence Around the Development Site at the Addison Airport Southeast Quadrant and Authorize the City Manager to Execute the Agreement in an Amount Not to Exceed $60,590 was pulled from the Consent Agenda and warranted considerable discussion.  Both Councilmen Duffy and Braun expressed concerns regarding the cost and the fact that there was only one bidder.  Pierson explained that the process used was that the item was put out as a proposal as is routine, rather than going out to bid.  Duffy voiced his concern for not having more than one bid and noted that he would not like to see that situation in the future.  Pierson said in response that in the future they will double their efforts so that the process gives us [the Town] the best estimate and committed to “do our best to improve that.”

The next item on the agenda was presented by CFO Olivia Riley for a resolution to establish a potential maximum property tax rate of 0.57 cents per $100 of property valuation for the Town’s fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017 and ending September 30, 2018 and to designate dates for public hearings regarding the proposed budget and proposed tax rate for the 2017-18 year.

August 29 is the first public hearing on the tax rate.  September 5 is the second public hearing on the tax rate and the budget.

Jay Ihrig, Chair of the Arbor Foundation made a presentation to approve that three (3) kinetic butterfly sculptures be located within the right-of-way on the Southeast corner of Spring Valley Road and Vitruvian Way.   Ihrig said the butterflies will have the coloring of a monarch butterfly and will actually flutter in the wind and that they will be the 12th installation of pubic art in our Town.  “We are living in a growing art gallery,” he said.  Because the agenda noted the location of two sculptures the motion to approve was amended to include three and the motion passed unanimously.

During the preparation of the Utility Fund budget for fiscal year 2018, it was determined that projected water and sewer fees would not raise enough revenues to cover the budgeted expenditures necessary to maintain our current level of service.  To rectify this issue, the Town has hired a utility rate consultant, Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc. (RFC), to review current rate structure and to assist the Town in creating a new rate model that will allow the Town to achieve goals (infrastructure funding staffing, etc.) and sustainably maintain the desired level of service.

Rocky Craley, project manager with RFC made a comprehensive presentation to the Council, which included the following project objectives:

  • Develop comprehensive, long-term, user-friendly financial planning model for ongoing use to ensue continued sustainable operation of utilities.
  • Determine rate structure/schedule for equitable cost recovery between utility systems, customer classes, and fixed/variable user charges

Craley explained that he would be returning to the Council with updates over the next four months.

The remaining agenda items involved rezoning properties for the following:

  • Special use permit for a restaurant for 5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 610 in Village on the Parkway for Creamistry, an ice cream shop.
  • Special use permit for a restaurant at 14131 Midway Road, Suite 116, ground floor space at Greenhill Towers, for Point Coffee which currently serves those who office in Greenhill Towers. The rezoning will allow outdoor signage that will make the shop open to the public.
  • Special use permit for a commercial amusement and a special use permit for the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption for Pinot’s Palette, a paint and sip concept.
  • Zone change from local retail to commercial for the Mycon Building at 17311 Dallas Parkway to allow medical and dental use.

The Council next approved the Town’s sponsorship of five individuals for the 29th class of Leadership Metrocrest.  Recipients included three staff members and residents Lesli Gray and Marlin Willensen.

Considerable discussion surrounded the discussion of approving a Council member’s ability to use their title and official position for fundraising purposes.  The item was placed on the agenda because Councilman Tom Braun, who was previously active in helping to raise funds for a major display of former President George H. W. Bush memorabilia to be displayed at the George H. W. Bush Elementary School, would like to complete fundraising to pay for additional memorabilia.  According to the Town’s attorney, there is no precedent or ethics ordinance to address this issue.  After considerable discussion the Council—with Braun abstaining—voted to approve the request on this one individual basis.

Finally the meeting ended with City Manager Wes Pierson providing an update on recent activity relating to the DART Board of Directors and how the Town might communicate and promote Addison’s DART priorities regarding the Cotton Belt.

On July 31 all suburban Mayors and City Managers—with the exception of Glen Heights—met with the DART President and expressed that the D2 and Cotton Belt could not be separated if DART is to remain a regional entity.

Pierson noted that Ashley Mitchell, Deputy City Manager, had attended Tuesday’s Planning Committee meeting and Budget & Finance Committee meeting and reported back.  It appears that a single Integrated Parameter Resolution is in the making to finance both lines at the same time.  The resolution likely to be brought forth at the August 22 DART Board meeting is to adopt a resolution which describes both projects and contains a stipulation that financing capacity is available to issue the full amount of debt for both projects.

DART Board meetings are scheduled for September 12 and 26—the DART budget must be adopted in September.  Pierson announced that Council meetings for those dates have already been rescheduled for September 13 and 28 in case it’s necessary for the Council to attend those DART Board meetings.

In the meantime, on August 22 the DART Board will meet to take action on the recommended location of the D2, which will then be forward to the Dallas City Council.  September 8 is DART’s deadline for submitting documents to the Federal Transit Authority seeking $650M in funding for the D2 line.

Upcoming Activities

Thursday, August 10 4 p.m.

Council Budget Retreat

Addison Conference Center

Friday, August 11  4 p.m.

Council Budget Retreat

Addison Conference Center

Saturday, August 12  9 a.m.

Joint Fire Training Center Opening and Open House

13333 Hutton Dr.

Farmers Branch