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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership GRCC
Galveston County
League City City Council
by Garrett Bryce w/photos courtesy League City
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

League City City Council on Tuesday voted 6-2, with Nick Long and Dan Becker opposed, to authorize staff to proceed with the design and construction of a new animal shelter, in an amount not to exceed $7.5 million.

Police Chief Gary Ratliff gave a presentation on the item, noting that the initial estimates for the project exceeded the budget by more than $2 million.

The item was reduced in scope to construct a facility totaling 15,080 square feet, as opposed to more than 19,000 square feet.

“The cost per square foot is $384 per square foot,” Ratliff said. Listen (17:32)

He also said that the new facility would be in a visible location that would increase visits to the shelter.

“The hope and the desire is, is that even though the shelter is not exactly as designed at 19-to-20,000 square feet, by these improvements we have and a new facility that it will increase the rate of adoption,” he said.

The approval came after two motions to amend the item failed.

Becker initially made a motion to place the item on the November election ballot as a referendum to seek voter approval.

The city council voted 2-6, with only Becker and Long in favor of approval, to deny the motion.

The city council also voted 2-6, with only Becker and Long in favor, to deny Becker's second proposed amendment, which was to cap the expenditure at $3.5 million instead of $7.5 million.

Long stated that the city should shift is priorities to focus on drainage projects and recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

“We need to focus on the homeless people, and then worry about the homeless pets next,” Long said. “It is very difficult for me to try look people in the eye in Bay Ridge, or in the other neighborhoods that are sitting in trailers right now, and tell them we are going to re-prioritize $7, $8 million over to the animal shelter.”

Council Member Hank Dugie stated that the project has been committed to the Capital Improvement Plan years prior, and had been a long time effort. He also stressed the condition of the current animal shelter.

“Their current space, if you've been there, is no longer functional,” Dugie said.

Becker discussed the cost of the shelter, stating that the cost, including contingency, was approximately $490 per square foot, which he said exceeded residential and commercial building costs in the area.

“We're not building a high-end, five-star hotel, we're building an animal shelter that should have concrete floors and have galvanized chain link fence and posts to kennel dogs,” Becker said.

The city council voted unanimously to grant a variance to the city's ordinances and waive costs associated with traffic control for the 64th Annual League City Music Fest and BBQ Cook Off, which takes place May 4-5.

The city council voted unanimously to authorize the issuance of $3,650,000 in bonds by Galveston County Municipal Utility District No. 44.

The city council voted 7-0, with Long not present at the time of the vote, to approve an amended and restated utility agreement with Forestar (USA) Real Estate Group, Inc. regarding Galveston County Municipal Utility District No. 36.

The item was approved with conditions, including a requirement for dedications for a fire station to be located on 3 acres within the district and a water tower to be located on 2 acres within the district. Other conditions included two lanes of Maple Leaf going north, and two lanes going south to McFarland Road. Final placement of all four mentioned items are to be determined by the city manager at his discretion.

The city council voted 7-0, with Becker away, to approve the city's emergency pumping policy.

The city council took no action resulting from executive session discussions concerning the potential sale or purchase of real property interests.

The city council took no action resulting from executive session discussions regarding legal issues related to MUD utility agreements.

The city council took no action regarding contemplated litigation concerning the CenterPoint 2018 Annual Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program rate adjustment. The item was pulled from the agenda.

All other items were approved by unanimous vote. All members were present, with Long attending via teleconferencing. Agenda  Supplmental

During the meeting, the city council heard a presentation regarding Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones No. 2, Victory Lakes, and No. 4, Westwood. Listen (13:44)

Also during the meeting, the city presented telecommunication awards and issued a proclamation declaring April 8-14 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

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