The city council on Tuesday heard final details about the refinancing of a USDA water improvements loan that will save the Town of Van Horn $459,000.
The Town obtained the loan in 1997, and under the original provisions, the loan would not be paid off until 2038. Mike Blackmon who represents Government Capital Investment explained to Council that the refinancing plan would lower the interest rate by almost 50 percent, thus saving the City $459,000. The new refinancing arrangement will be paid off in 10 years. Council voted unanimously to approve the refinancing of the loan, and expressed its appreciation for his help in securing the refinancing agreement.
In other action, Council heard from Judge Carlos Urias and Commissioner Gilda Morales who were requesting a discount on water rates for the cemetery to continue until the county fiscal year ends in September. Mr. Urias assured council members that during the next county budget sessions, the county would honor its commitment to contribute 50 percent of the cost of operating the City-County Library. Council asked City and County attorney Steve Mitchell to draft an inter-local agreement between the two entities.
Council then moved to schedule a citywide clean up day for April 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with lunch provided for participants at the end of the clean up at the Convention Center. Prizes for this yearâ€™s project will include first, second and third prizes for bulk waste in the amounts of $500, $300, and $200 respectively. There will be a new competition for children, ages five through 14, for picking up the most number of trash bags brought to the dumpsite. The city will provide the “officialâ€ trash bags that must be used in the clean up. Prizes for this division will be two bicycles per each of three age groups.
Council members then approved an agreement between Sheriff Oscar Carrillo and Dion Corrales to hire current county jail detainees at the rate of $5 per hour per detainee, to help clean up Van Horn. Also passing unanimously was an interlocal agreement between the hospital district and the Town of Van Horn for the city to repair potholes on hospital grounds.
Council then voted to accept a $9,515 grant from the Tocker Foundation to be used for an automation upgrade. In the spirit of improving community cooperation, council voted to approve proposing a City-County golf tournament to the county, which may become an annual event to be tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 17.
Council also heard a request from Mr. Rodney Tilley and Moises Badillo to close Almond Street between East Broadway and Aster Street on Saturday, April 5 for the new Buzzard Festival. Councilman Mingo Corrales then asked council to have El Paso Electric place a streetlight near 120 Turney Avenue for safety reasons.