Lubbock City Council Discusses NELCDC Mismanagement, Grants Group More Control of Mineral Interest Revenues
At their November 20 meeting the Lubbock City Council met in an open work session with members of the North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation to address criticisms of mismanagement within the organization.
Councilman Victor Hernandez said the council took many steps to change management in ways that will promote confidence in the public including budgetary and information sharing issues.
There were a lot of areas that needed to be improved upon and I think this council realized that and took some affirmative steps today."
He also said that other issues remain but they will be addressed as they arise.
In open session the council voted on a resolution introduced by Hernandez which would give the Central Business District Tax Increment Financing (TIF) more control over money allocated from the Mineral Interest revenues fund.
Ninety percent of the Mineral Interest revenue goes to NELCDC, 25 percent of which is allocated to TIF specifically for downtown development, according to Hernandez. The other 10 percent remains in the city’s general fund.
Hernandez said the resolution will be beneficial by placing more accountability on the NELCDC and allows TIF to more intimately manage downtown development.
“It allows for the downtown TIF to manage the funds as opposed to it just being left up in the air for either city management or even the council," said Hernandez. "We do have a standing organization that looks after the downtown area and it is right that they should manage those moneys.”
The resolution passed 4-2 with council members Karen Gibson and Jeff Griffith dissenting. Mayor Glen Robertson was absent from the meeting.
Other Council Business
The council again discussed the Omni building in executive session. The defunct building was finally purchased by the city at their previous meeting after months of deliberation and feasibility studies.
Council members considered a resolution execute a contract with TxDOT to accept more grant money to assist in the yearly operation of Citibus. The budget needed to be amended because more assistance was received than projected.
A resolution was passed acknowledging the transfer of $3.72 million worth of debt from Bank of America to Clayton Holdings. The city is currently in an estimated $45 million worth of debt to Bank of America.
Four second readings of land annexations in South Lubbock were postponed until a later meeting due to Mayor Robertson’s absence. The annexations total more than 775 acres.
Special Recognitions and Board Appointments
There were a number of presentations including one declaring National Adoption Day in Lubbock on November 21, and special recognition of the Salvation Army in support of their Christmas Bell Ringing Campaign. The Lubbock area Salvation Army has set a fundraising goal of $225,000 which funds many of their programs throughout the year.
A number of Lubbock employees were presented pins for 35 years of service to the city. Recipients were Ricky Cross and Ray Dennis of the Lubbock Police Department; John Fowler of the Lubbock Fire Department; Socorro Gonzales of the Municipal Court system; and Betty Hereford of the Information Technologies department.
Board appointments included: Arnold Mincey, Frank Sitton and Grady Terrill to the Airport Board; Greg Taylor to the Audit and Investment Committee; Jay House to the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA); Stephanie Hill and James Tucker to the Electric Utility Board; Kristin Murray to the Market Lubbock Board of Directors; Steve Messengale and James Rogers to the Planning and Zoning Commission; and David Bloodworth the the Urban Design & Historic Preservation Commission.
Lastly, a number of other board appointment considerations were postponed due to Mayor Robertson’s absence.