Missouri City City Council on Monday voted unanimously to approve the city’s membership in the Gulf Coast Coalition of Cities.
“Cities are often the only consumer advocates that work to keep utility rates reasonable,” City Attorney Caroline Kelley said. “For the past 15 years, the city, in working with the GCCC, has defended the interests of the residential and commercial customers within its limits. By joining together, the members of the GCCC have been able to present a strong voice to the Railroad Commission, Public Utility Commission and courts. This has served to reduce the prices that member cities and their residents pay for gas and electricity.”
The coalition has operated on an informal basis for the past 15 years, but due to changes in rate cases and other matters, the coalition requested a formal relationship between its member cities.
“In order to continue to be an effective voice at the Public Utility Commission, Railroad Commission, the Legislature, and in the courts, GCCC is requesting cities adopt this resolution formalizing their membership and authorizing intervention in ratemaking proceedings where reimbursement of municipal expenses is authorized,” Kelley said.
The cities are also being assessed a $0.15 per capita fee to fund non-reimbursable utility rate proceedings. Missouri City will pay a total of $10,026 through the assessment.
The city council voted to award a $37,850 contract to Net Services, LLC for the construction of golf course netting improvements at the city’s driving range practice facility.
The city council voted to adopt the Fort Bend County Disaster Debris Management Plan, as well as an addendum to the plan for collection and disposal of debris.
The adopted plan was revised to reflect changes in federal guidance, lessons learned following Hurricane Ike, and input from county departments, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Judy Lefevers.
“The Fort Bend County Disaster Debris Management Plan identifies the actions required to plan for and respond to a natural or human-caused debris-generating event,” Lefevers said. “It is designed to identify county, joint resolution jurisdictions (JRJ), state, and federal agencies responsible for debris operations with respect to executing a coordinated response to a major debris-generating event that affects the citizens of Fort Bend County, Texas.”
All items were approved. All votes were unanimous with council members Don Smith and Robin Elackatt absent. Agenda
During the meeting, the city council discussed issues regarding future participation with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. Missouri City is a member of the 14 multi-cities for METRO. The transit authority is planning to hold a referendum in November regarding the future of the General Mobility Program, which provides a portion of METRO’s sales tax revenues to fund mobility projects.
“The City of Missouri City is the only city in Fort Bend County that is a member of METRO,” Mayor Allen Owen said.
Owen noted that Missouri City, along with Humble and Katy, receive half of sales tax revenues collected by METRO for general mobility projects, as opposed to 25 percent other members of the multi-cities in METRO. Owen said that METRO’s proposal for the referendum would continue to provide funds to Missouri City, Katy and Humble at a “disproportionate amount”.
“They left the three of us alone, for now,” Owen said.
However, Owen noted that the proposal, which had been suggested by METRO Board Chair Gilbert Garcia, does not specify whether the “disproportionate amount” for the three cities is the 50 percent currently received.
“I have not seen anything that assures us that that “disproportionate amount” is still 50 percent,” Owen said. “I am assuming that it is, but I don’t know that for sure.”
He said that the city would have to discuss options for its future with METRO after the ballot wording is finalized.
“Past that point, I can’t discuss what those options are, because under our current contract, we cannot as a body take any action, or even discuss any actions that would indicate we would be getting out of METRO,” Owen said. “If we were to do that, then they could stop the funding tomorrow.” Meeting Video