This week, City Council convened virtually for the first time.
- Public Session was held yesterday with residents calling in to give comments.
- New guidelines are in place for speakers to participate remotely
- Agenda Session was held this morning. Here were some of the notable items:
- Item #6 – QIAGEN, INC for approval of spending authority for Emergency Purchase of Microbiology Equipment Testing Stations related to COVID-19 Pandemic for the Houston Health Department – $106,495.30 – General Fund
- The Director of the Houston Health Department and the Chief Procurement Officer recommend that City Council approve spending authority in an amount not to exceed $106,495.30 for microbiology equipment testing stations, and that authorization be given to issue a purchase order to Qiagen, Inc. for the Houston Health Department (HHD).
- The Strategic Procurement Division issued an emergency purchase order to Qiagen, LLC on March 09, 2020 related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. HHD’s immediate response to address the emergency was to expand laboratory microbiology equipment testing stations for the 2019-nCoV, the causative agent of COVID-19 citywide. The public health emergency caused by this novel virus required Qiagen, Inc.’s proprietary equipment and they were selected for its quality of services and immediate response time to deliver and address the emergency health and safety situation.
- Item #12 – RESOLUTION of City Council amending Resolution No. 2020-19 to adopt a Modified Budget Schedule for the City Budgets for Fiscal Year 2021 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021)
- This modified schedule is made necessary by Council action taken on May 13, 2020, which changed the public hearing date for the Fiscal year 2021 City Budget from May 27, 2020 to June 3, 2020.
- Item #19 – ORDINANCE approving and authorizing first amendment to contract between City of Houston and Houston’s CAPITAL INVESTING IN DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT OF ADULTS, INC, extending the term of the contract and providing additional Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”) Funds for the continued administration, implementation, oversight and delivery of a Workforce Development Program – 1 Year – $200,000.00 – Grant Fund
- Capital IDEA lifts low-income working families out of poverty by enabling participants to pursue associate degrees in higher-paying and in-demand professional fields/careers that lead to life-long independence. Currently, Capital IDEA has 238 participants enrolled, participating in various stages of the program as follows: 6 are in developmental instruction in basic math, English, and writing; 42 are in prerequisite courses for college; 51 are enrolled in required core classes for their major; and 139 students have graduated. Of the 139 graduates, 14 are currently preparing to take the State Board of examination, 75 are seeking employment, and 50 have obtained living wage employment within the past two years and are actively being tracked. The agency anticipates 36 graduates in the class of 2020.
- Item #22 – *PULLED* – ORDINANCE allocating $1,000,000.00 in TIRZ Affordable Housing Funds to provide Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance to income eligible first-time homebuyers through the Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP)
- HAP provides financial assistance to income-eligible first-time homebuyers to purchase a home within incorporated areas of the city of Houston. In order to allow the applicants to close on their homes within contract deadlines, HAP works with participating lenders to deliver up to $30,000.00 per applicant for down payment and closing costs to purchase the home.
- The goal of the program is to increase homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate- income applicants, within the incorporated areas of Houston. HAP is also designed to expand the supply of quality, safe, affordable housing within Houston, and to continue to improve homeownership affordability by facilitating the movement of individuals into new or existing homes.
- Funding for this item is included in the FY2020 Adopted Budget. Therefore, no fiscal note is required as stated in the Financial Policies.