AP NEWS

Council to vote on Hispanic Chamber

March 26, 2018 GMT

The Odessa City Council is scheduled to go through with canceling the contract of the Odessa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday as city officials prepare to consider giving the long struggling organization another chance to receive public money.

The City Council will vote on ratifying the decision of the Odessa Development Corporation earlier this month to end the contract with Hispanic Chamber. The ODC’s unanimous decision followed the abrupt removal of Hispanic Chamber leaders who were about to propose reforms, which would have included doing away with a controversial publicly funded job heading a troubled effort to build business ties with Mexico.

Even if the Hispanic Chamber’s contract is terminated Tuesday, the organization would keep getting public money for about two months. Meanwhile, the Hispanic Chamber could ask for new funding.

District 5 Councilman Filiberto Gonzales was one of Hispanic Chamber officials who ousted the new leaders but denies that his dual roles present a conflict of interest. He has declined to answer questions from the Odessa American.

Public funds budgeted for the Hispanic Chamber this year totaled more than $305,000, paid in monthly installments. Of that money, about $167,000 was dedicated to the Mexico Initiative.

“It is expected that representatives of both the ODC board and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board of directors will be present at the meeting to answer questions about the termination and expected renewal,” an agenda for the Tuesday meeting states, referring to consideration of a new contract in the coming months.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE CITY COUNCIL WILL:

Consider approving City Council minutes from the March 13 and March 20 meetings.Consider accepting a donation from Atmos Energy and appropriating the funds to Odessa Fire/Rescue.Consider approving for the second and final time an ordinance adopting a new Atmos Gas Tariff and Rate Review Mechanism.Consider authorizing Odessa Fire/Rescue to accept Texas Law Enforcement Officer Standards Education funds.Consider accepting the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.Consider awarding a contract for the 2018 sealcoating project.Consider awarding a contract for the 2018 pavement rejuvenation project.Open a public hearing and consider second and final approval of an ordinance granting a request by Betenbough Homes for development of 84 single-family lots on the northeast corner of 91st Street and Rainbow Drive, after city staff met with a concerned citizen and developed plans for an additional stop sign along 91st Street to help reduce speeding.Open a public hearing and consider second and final approval of a request by ICA Properties for original zoning of Future Development-Drill Reservation on a 4.2 acre tract and .15 acre tract northwest and northeast of the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Dorado Drive.Open a public hearing and consider second and final approval of a request by Vickie and Thomas Hurt to rezone from Single Family-Two to Retail-One northeast of the intersection of Catalina Drive and West 24th Street.Open a public hearing and consider second and final approval a request by Verna Headlee for original zoning of a roughly 2 acre tract from Future Development to retail southeast of the intersection of Loop 338 and E. 56th St.Open a public hearing and consider second and final approval of a request by Leeco Energy & Investments to rezone from Single Family-Three to Special Dwelling District northeast of the intersection of East 52nd Street and Conley Avenue.Open a public hearing and consider first approval of a request by Leeco Energy & Investments for a specific use permit to allow a salon or boutique in an Office Zoning District west of the intersection of East Ridge Road and Parks Legado Road.Open a public hearing and consider first approval of a request by SMBC Leasing & Finance Inc. for original zoning of Planned Development-Light Industrial east of the intersection of South Faudree Road and Interstate 20.Consider first approval of an ordinance renewing the night curfew for people under 17.Consider a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Department of Public Safety for Allied Agency Training.Consider board appointments.Consider approving a $30,000 facade grant for Yung Ham LLC (Crenshaw Flooring).Review meeting agenda items and discuss the Scott Theater sign in a briefing session before the regular meeting.