San Antonio Councilman Mario Bravo wants fines for city contractors that miss deadlines

Revenue from the fines would compensate businesses located within 500 feet of delayed construction projects.

click to enlarge District 1 City Councilman Mario Bravo's latest council consideration request comes less than a month after the city approved grants for businesses owners affected by construction around the St. Mary's Strip and other zones. - Sanford Nowlin
Sanford Nowlin
District 1 City Councilman Mario Bravo's latest council consideration request comes less than a month after the city approved grants for businesses owners affected by construction around the St. Mary's Strip and other zones.
With the next citywide election just three months away, District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo says he wants to hold city contractors accountable for the  construction nightmare along the St. Mary's Strip.

On Monday, Bravo filed a council consideration request (CCR) that, if ultimately approved by the entire council, would reward city contractors for completing projects ahead of schedule.

However, there's a kicker: the resolution also proposes fining contractors for every day a project goes over its initial deadline. In turn, the city would use revenue from those fines to compensate businesses within 500 feet of the delayed project.

"Delayed city construction projects have for too long hurt our local businesses," Bravo said in a statement. "This is the next step toward making government more efficient and getting city projects delivered on time with minimal disruption."

Bravo's downtown district includes the Strip and other commercial corridors that have been strangled by ongoing construction work.

So far, four council members — Jalen Mckee-Rodriguez, Teri Castillo, John Courage and Melissa Cabello Havrda — have signed on to support Bravo's CCR.

CCRs are formal paperwork filed to get a proposal in front of the full council. However, such measures can take weeks or months before they're placed on the agenda for final debate.

Bravo's resolution comes less than a month after council approved grants of up to $35,000 for businesses along the Strip and in other construction zones to cover lost revenue. Business owners should be able to apply for the grants as soon as Feb. 13, with cash hitting their accounts by March 20, according to the city.

Bravo's CCR also follows council's unanimous approval last month of a proposal from Havrda that establishes a scoring system for contractors, rating them on their ability to finish on time and on budget. Those who fail to meet those goals run the risk of losing future city contract work.

Bravo's CCR hasn't yet been added to the council's agenda ahead of its Feb. 8 B Session.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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