Rack water on boon for city

By Edna Clark

The Town of Van Horn City Council met on Tuesday, April 12 with all members present.  City Secretary, Fran Malafronte, reported that an-unused water well at the airport had been opened to provide RACK (bulk) water to contractors. An old water tank has been repaired and is storing water for potential water buyers. Currently, there are five customers taking advantage of the water sales, ultimately providing the city with unexpected revenue.

Malafronte related that city offices have been inundated with calls from citizens and businesses inside the city limits about setting up new RV and mobile home parks that do not meet TCEQ requirements and regulations. Homes outside of the city limits on Highway 90 that are on city water have complained about low water pressure due to excessive water use. According to Malafronte, the issue is being addressed, and new water taps are being installed to prevent illegal water access and insure adequate water for legal users.

Alderman Lyndon McDonald reported that PUMPCO, which is located on Highway 90 by the TX DOT offices, has hired its own onsite emergency response units. The company has also created an area-friendly yard for its business.

Council voted to maintain the current Public Utility Commission (PUC) Consumer Price Index rates without any increase for this calendar year. This is one of the taxes and surcharges that are seen on landline telephone bills.

Due to increased traffic and speeds on the west end of West First Street, council voted to place Two-Way STOP signs at the intersection of West First and Bell Streets. The possibility of more STOP signs on the intersections of West First Street and the other north-south streets will be addressed at the next council meeting.

Ordinance NO. 16-04-385. This ordinance protects local citizens from stressing local resources and infrastructure and prevents creating an unsafe and potentially dangerous environment.  It will also insure that the City does not run afoul of TCEQ regulations ruling clean water access and dumping of waste. It was passed to regulate any new RV parks being created inside the city limits. New RV parks must be at least one acre in size and meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations. TCEQ regulates areas that supply water, treat or dispose of wastewater, dispose of waste, or disturb one acre or more of land for construction. This ordinance prohibits individuals or businesses from being able to hook up travel trailers to utilities currently in place.

Council approved a request from the City of Fort Stockton for a mutual assistance agreement for the repair and/or maintenance of natural gas lines. With this agreement, the two cities will assist the other with their conjoining natural gas lines.

Malafronte advised council that some Culberson County residents have been approved for new homes/improvements under new HOME GRANTS; therefore, new home building will start shortly. Also, Malafronte noted that the new fire truck has yet to be put out for bids, pending replies from Jerry Carvajal with GrantWorks.

McDonald advised council that the Convention Center has received its American with Disabilities Act (ADA) inspections report. Multiple ADA regulations citations that must be addressed immediately were noted. These citations, apparently, are the result of poor workmanship from the contractor when the Convention Center was remodeled. McDonald stated that there is a large gap at the top of the garage doors which has allowed wind damage to occur inside the building. Malafronte stated that she would have the contractor at the next council meeting to address and correct these issues.

Reminder: The Annual Van Horn Cleanup Day is April 23 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to participate in cleaning and keeping our town clean.


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