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City breezes through meeting

The Levelland City Council zipped through a seven item agenda Monday night, amending the 2013-2014 budget, approving an interlocal agreement with the Texas Municipal League and continued Cobra insurance coverage through the TML employee benefit pool.

The council approved the quarterly financial report, named Janie Flores, the city’s Administrative Aide to the Director of Community Development, as the city’s Civil Rights Officer. 

The council also approved its annual services agreement with the Levelland Chamber of Commerce and tabled an agreement with Hockley County for a joint election administrator.

The council approved a resolution to amend the current budget by over $1.7 million. The budget ended Tuesday, Sept. 30.

City manager Rick Osburn explained that because of some of the city’s major projects, the budget needed to be amended to reflect changes.

The largest item reflected the landfill project. The budget included $1.2 million in Enterprise Fund revenue to be transferred to the Capital Projects Financing Fund to pay the landfill contractor. The city only makes transfers as the contractor completes portions of the work and submits pay requests. Since the work has been delayed by rain, the city needed to adjust the Enterprise Fund.

The Sports Complex is ahead of schedule and expenditures needed to be adjusted to pay for the work.

Three of the adjustments involved economic development projects including the rail spur project, the LEDC lawsuit against Chi Energy and rail park street improvements. 

After reviewing the recommended budget adjustments, the council approved a resolution authorizing the changes.

The council also approved the Texas Municipal League Multistate Intergovernmental Employee Benefit Pool Interlocal Agreement.  

City Secretary Beth Walls explained that within the past year, the Texas Municipal League entered an agreement to insure public employees in the state of Oklahoma. By increasing the number of covered employees and increasing the size of the pool, the risk is spread out more and the cost of insurance is held down. As a result of this action, the name has been changes to reflect the addition of Oklahoma to the pool. The new interlocal agreement reflects the name change and replaces the current agreement.

Ms. Walls also explained that federal law requires the city of offer Continuation of Coverage benefits (COBRA) to employees who leave the city’s employment. These benefits are administered by the Texas Municipal League MultiState Intergovernmental Employee Benefits Plan. 

The council voted to continue having TML provide that service during the coming year. 

The council also reviewed and accepted the quarterly investment report provided by City Finance Director Daniel Downs. 

From April 1 through June 30, the city had total pooled investments of $5.3 million which earned $8,884.12. 

It also had interest bearing cash accounts of $10.7 million which earned $17,749.12. 

Erik Rejino explained that since the city has received a Texas Capital Fund Grant, it must have a Civil Rights officer and recommended that the person appointed to that position be Janie Flores, who also serves as the city’s Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity Standards Officer.

The council approved her appointment. 

The council also approved an annual service agreement with the Levelland Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will provide assistance with reviewing applications and administering the Motel Occupancy Fund, provide general administration and operate the Main Street Program.

The agreement authorized the chamber to receive $20,000 from the Motel Occupancy Tax Fund to be used for administration of the fund, up to $15,000 of general revenue for general administrative expense, and $9,872 monthly for operation of the Main Street Program.  The chamber will also receive $2,500 monthly from the Motel Occupancy Tax Fund for marketing and coordination services to creating overnight visitor stays in Levelland.

In the agreement, the council budgeted $5,000 for Early Settlers Day; $15,000 for Travel Host advertising; $2,000 for Texas Travel Industry; $20,000 for the Motel Tax Administration; $1,7000 for Texas Lodging Association; $1,000 for Film Friendly Texas; $3,000 for the Texas Plains Trail Membership; $3,000 for Mallet Advertising; and $30,000 for the Event Marketing Coordination for a total of $80,700, all to be paid from the Motel Tax Fund. 

The council agreed to table a joint election administrator agreement with Hockley County. The county has budgeted $79,896 for the position with each taxing entity asked to pay an amount based on the size of the entity. The city’s share would be $10,000. 

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