Towing for no insurance, LP&L no longer secret & other matters - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Towing for no insurance, LP&L no longer secret & other matters

By James Clark - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock City Council takes on a long list of important issues on Thursday.  What follows is a partial recap.

Towing For No Insurance

Should uninsured motorists have their cars or trucks towed away by Lubbock police?  The Lubbock City Council takes up an ordinance that would allow police to do just that after a traffic stop.  The ordinance would not allow a traffic stop for insurance alone.  But after another moving violation police would have the option to tow a vehicle for no insurance. 

The owner could get the vehicle back after paying the towing fee, impound fee and purchasing liability insurance. 

LP&L No Longer Secret

Much of the city-owned electric utility has been kept secret from Lubbock residents over the years to protect it from competition.  That could change after a proposal this week. 

From its inception until October 29th of last year Lubbock Power and Light competed against Xcel Energy or its forerunners.  Now that LP&L bought out Xcel's distribution system inside the city, District Five City Councilwoman Karen Gibson  proposes to repeal LP&L's competitive status. 

That would mean most of LP&L's business would be subject to open records. 

City Redistricting

Just like Congress and the Texas Legislature, the City of Lubbock must redistrict now that new Census results are coming in.  On Thursday the City Council will consider creating a Redistricting Advisory Committee.  It would be 15 members who must deliver recommendations no later than November 1, 2011.

Political Version Of Hired Guns 

City officials don't always lobby lawmakers themselves.  They hire two firms to do it for them.  The City Council will vote on $165,000 to hire the law firm of Hance & Scarborough for two years to work in Austin. 

The City Council will also vote on $192,000 for a two-year contract with Meyers & Associates for lobbying work in Washington D.C. The Meyers & Associates includes up to $24,000 in expenses.

Home Sweet Condemned Home

Last year the city purchased more than 20 homes at replacement value along 98th Street in Southwest Lubbock due to sinking dirt.  The sinking dirt severely damaged the street and threatened to damage nearby homes. 

This week the City Council will sell 12 of those homes for a grand total of $8,950.  But there's a catch.  The new owner, McDowell House & Structural Movers of Amarillo, must move or demolish the homes. 

McDowell gets to keep the houses or any scrap material and the city is spared an estimated $120,000 in demolition costs. 

Still Cleaning Up After Alex

The City continues its cleanup from Hurricane Alex.  Projects include: replace Maxey Park playground surface, repair Maxey Park concession building, repair Maxey Park irrigation pump house, replace Miller Park playground surface, repair Dupree Park irrigation pump house, and repair Elmore and Kastman Parks electrical systems. 

If the cost of opening an Emergency Operations Center, and a damaged police car are also added in, then the total cost is $402,054, of which FEMA will reimburse the city $292,683.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11.  All rights reserved.

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