By Edna Clark
Low water pressure for established utility customers has prompted council members to pass an ordinance to protect these customers and the citizens of Van Horn. According to City Secretary Fran Malafronte, City Hall has been inundated with calls from current water and sewer customers who have been affected by the influx of travel trailers and RVs outside city limits.
Malafronte told Council that according to regulations, the city cannot prevent new RV parks outside the city limits; however, the utilities that are provided by the city can be regulated. Dion Corrales recommended to Council that only one inch taps be provided to new customers in the hopes of providing adequate water services to all customers. Malafonte advised Council that some private property owners had requested two inch taps to provide water to their travel trailer tenants.
Contractor, Jeff McCoy, told Council that he is planning on constructing a 10-unit RV park north of Clark Heights. The RV Park will be used to generate revenue that he needs to eventually build homes in a new platted subdivision where the park would be located. McCoy requested a two inch tap to provide water for his future subdivision but was only approved for a one inch tap.
In view of the numerous requests from private and commercial customers for access to water and in fairness to all, Council voted to allow one inch taps to be installed to new customers. New water taps, however, will only be installed only if potential customers show proof of TCEQ certified septic systems or access to city sewer lines. Water will be shut off to anyone who cannot meet these requirements. Commercial rates for utilities for RV parks will be addressed in regular session next week.
Malafronte and Corrales stressed that this ordinance affects only those customers outside the city limits. Public safety is of utmost importance and provision of water outside the city limits will be closely monitored. Inside the city limits, travel trailers and/or RVs on private property cannot be rented out for living quarters. Property owners will receive citations if inhabited units are found.