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Houston Maritime Museum
Harris County
Houston City Council
by John David Suayan with photos courtesy HTV
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Houston City Council today voted unanimously to approve a software license agreement for the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics between the city and The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory LLC.

ESSENCE is a royalty-free license with automatic renewals of successive ten-year periods, and can be terminated by either party for any reason upon 60 days advance written notice. Item Summary

Council Member Jack Christie, while supporting the ordinance, stated warned about a “software creep” he asserted will force the city to pay increasing costs. Listen (1:19)

“Just be cautious of the software creep that seems to be always billing the city for a lot more money,” said Christie.

The city council voted unanimously to approve a $3,900,000 performance based loan and a $2,050,000 repayable loan between the city and HCHA Development Corporation, an affiliate of the Harris County Housing Authority, for the construction of a 200-unit multifamily rental complex, and authorize cooperation between the city and HCHA for the development of Fenix Estates.

The city council voted unanimously to approve and authorize second amendment to the Community Development block Grant Disaster Recovery Program Round 2.2 Non-Housing Grant Agreement between the city and The General Land Office of the State of Texas, to extend the term and to revise the Performance Statement And Implementation Schedule.

The following five items were delayed by using the tag rule:

  • Resolution of the City Council adopting the Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) Budget Schedule for the City Budgets, tagged by Steve Le.
  • Ordinance appropriating $750,000.00 out of Street & Traffic Control and Storm Drainage DDSRF; approving and authorizing Professional Engineering Services Contract between the City of Houston and Huitt-Zollars, Inc. for Negotiated Work Orders for Pre-Engineering of Storm Water Drainage Improvements, tagged by Michael Kubosh.
  • Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 2016-910, as amended, to increase the maximum contract amount for Professional Services Agreement between the City of Houston and Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP for Legal Services to the City in connection with Pension Reform, tagged by Kubosh.
  • Ordinance amending Exhibit “A” of the City of Houston Ordinance No. 2015-642 to add four (4) Engineer Operator positions, delete four (4) Firefighter positions, and substituting the amended exhibit as part of the current Houston Fire Department Classified Personnel Ordinance, tagged by Brenda Stardig.
  • Ordinance appropriating $3,228,000.00 out of Street & Traffic Control and Storm Drainage DDSRF as an additional appropriation to Professional Engineering Services Contract between the City of Houston and Halff Associates, Inc. for the Storm Water Engineering Program Support (Approved by Ordinance No. 2015-0621, as amended); providing funding for CIP Cost Recovery relating to construction of facilities financed by the Street & Traffic Control and Storm Drainage DDSRF, tagged by Kubosh.

An item appropriating additional funds for the Task Order and Job Order Program for FY2017 was pulled from the agenda and not considered for action by the city council.

All other agenda items were approved unanimously with all members present. Agenda




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