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Brazoria County
Pearland City Council
by Garrett Bryce
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pearland City Council on Monday voted unanimously to approve a resolution opposing a proposal by the Texas Legislature to eliminate funding for Brazosport College, located in Lake Jackson.

Under House Bill 1, the Texas Legislature has proposed cuts to state allocations for community colleges, as well as the elimination of state funding for four colleges, including Brazosport.

“Since its establishment in 1968, Brazosport College has played an important role in the personal successes of more than 125,000 students and has become a key provider of a highly-trained workforce for local industry employers in Brazoria County, offering a broad range of courses and classes to address diverse educational goals,” said the resolution.

The city council voted unanimously to adopt updates to the city’s tax abatement guidelines and criteria.

The city council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of an $89,838 bucket truck from Commercial Truck Group.

“The bucket truck will be used primarily for safely servicing traffic signals, traffic signal preemption devices, and traffic detectors throughout the city,” City Manager Bill Eisen said. “The city currently maintains 20 signalized intersections, with 10 more either substantially complete or under construction, and an additional 50 currently maintained by TxDOT which will become the city’s responsibility on or about April 1, 2011.”

The city council voted unanimously to provide notice to CenterPoint Energy Entex of the city’s intent to not renew a Cost of Service Adjustment Rate Schedule with the utility for natural gas services. The item involves a tariff approved by the Texas Railroad Commission regarding CenterPoint’s natural gas service.

“Under that tariff CenterPoint is allowed to implement changes in rates on an annual basis without a meaningful review of the reasonableness of the proposed increase, without review of its current cost of capital, without review of its current depreciation expenses, without meaningful review of its affiliate transactions, and without review of the proper rate design for any changes in rates under the COSA tariff,” City Attorney Darrin Coker said.  “Additionally, changes in rates under the COSA tariff violate the City’s procedural safeguards provided under the Gas Utility Regulatory Act.”

The tariff was appealed in court by the Texas Coast Utilities Coalition, of which Pearland is a member, and declared an illegal tariff by the 345th Judicial District Court, according to Coker. However, the item is under appeal.

The city must provide notice not to renew the current rate schedule with CenterPoint, or it would be automatically renewed for an additional three years, Coker said.

The city council took no action regarding the sale, exchange or lease of real property. The item was discussed during an executive session.

The city council took no action regarding Municipal Utility Districts. The item was discussed during an executive session.

The city council took no action regarding appointments to various boards and commissions.  The item was discussed during executive session, as well.

All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Council Member Felicia Kyle was absent. Agenda

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