City Aldermen and Mayor sworn in to office

Mayor Glen Humphries administers the Oath of Office to Pam Young and Rudy Hinojos after his swearing in.

Photo by Edna Clark

By Edna Clark

Van Horn City Council met on May 31, with all members present.  Alderman Lyndon McDonald opened the meeting with concerns about increased street and sewer line expenses.  City Secretary, Fran Malafronte, assured Council that these expenses were being covered through increased sales tax, hotel/motel taxes, and bulk RACK water sales.

Water/Gas Manager, Dion Corralez, addressed Council on city services.  An upcoming gas company audit is scheduled for summer, 2016.  Another potential revenue source, Joel’s Construction, has contacted Corralez about the city providing gas for the company during the Interstate 10 repaving project.  According to Corralez, the project will net the city approximately $10,000 per month of unprecedented revenue.

Corralez advised the Council that both garbage trucks are in operation, with #2 truck dedicated to cardboard pickups.  The Thrift Water Well continues to cause problems for city workers, and alternate methods are being evaluated for repair.  Animal control officers will continue daily rounds to pick up strays.  Citizens are encouraged to contact the city offices with animal control needs.  City street workers have completed an enclosed area around the Housing Authority.

Van Horn City Clean Up prizes were awarded to some enterprising young people.  Zerian Tarango, Beatrice Marta, the Hinojos Family, and the Tarango family received laptop computers.  The 2016 Sophomore Class received first place group awards while the 4-H Club received second place group awards.

Mayor Glenn Humphries was sworn in for another four years in office.  Miss Pam Young and Alderman Rudy Hinojos were sworn in as Van Horn City Aldermen and will serve the next four years in this capacity.  Mayor Humphries expressed thanks and appreciation for departing Alderman Mingo Corralez who vowed to be back next year.

Council Designations of duties were assigned.  Alderman Young will serve as Administrative Office Commissioner, Golf Recreation Commissioner, and Mayor Pro Tem.  Alderman Hinojos will serve as Grants/Intergovernmental Affairs Commissioner, Law Enforcement/ Animal Control Commissioner, and Swimming Pool Recreation Commissioner.  Alderman McDonald continues as Convention Center Commissioner, Court Commissioner, and Streets & Alleys Commissioner. Alderman Ryan Martinez remains as Equipment/Maintenance Commissioner, Law Enforcement/Animal Control Commissioner with Hinojos, and Little League/Youth Sports Recreation Commissioner.  Alderman Nuny Morriss completes the duties as Library Commissioner, Natural Gas Commissioner, and Water/Sewer Commissioner.

The Women’s Service League representatives Lisa Cottrell and Nancy Hernandez addressed Council and asked for additional help with the upcoming Frontier Days on June 25.  Council approved closing the golf course until 11:00 a.m. on this day for the Okie Dokie 5K Fun Run.  City employee manpower, netting, and barricades for a Street Dance were approved.  Pending a mutually agreed upon fireworks site, Council approved giving the League $5,000 for the fireworks display, in addition to previously allotted money for the celebration.  Alderman McDonald expressed concerns about having fireworks inside the city limits as requested by the League which will provide liability insurance for the fireworks display.

Council approved the waiving of City Pool fees on June 10 for the Explosion Cheer Team end of year party.

$250 for prizes was approved for the City/County Library Summer Reading Program, titled “Get Ready, Get Set, and Read.”

             No action was taken on Lyle Overhulser public comment.

Alderman Morriss requested review of contracts with Brune & Burnett Enterprises for city advertising billboards.  Council determined that there is only one contract for which the city is responsible.  Payment of $2250 will be made for Billboard #1 by the Hampton Inn.  Billboard #1 and #2 were previously contracted by the defunct Chamber of Commerce and another unknown entity,  not the Town of Van Horn.

Ordinance NO. 16-04-386, concerning RV Parks inside the city limits, was amended to state that an RV Park must be a minimum of one continuous acre of undeveloped land.  The land must be a full acre devoted strictly to the RV Park.  If a house is located on the property, it would be deemed commercial property and lose any homeowner status.  The ordinance will not allow any exception to its ruling.

Council approved donating one of the golf course’s decommissioned golf carts to CCAISD per the district’s request.

Additional old equipment was added to the CCAISD June 11 Auction.

Raw Bulk RACK Water rates at the Airport Well location were approved at $25 fee plus $20 for each 1000 gallons of untreated water.

Ms. Malafronte told Council that she still had not received any news on the acquisition of a new fire truck.  She also related that there were no summer youth program positions as no funds were allocated during budget time.  The Code Enforcement pickup, recently stolen from behind City Hall, was recovered.  City Hall cameras were able to determine the identity of the culprit.  Charges have been placed against a male individual.

A public notice will be published making all RV inhabitants inside the city limits aware that sub-metering is illegal, according to TCEQ.  Any units that are found to be using utilities without a designated meter will be fined and ordered to correct the situation.  If situation is not corrected, the Town of Van Horn will terminate the service of the primary user without further notice.  The Town of Van Horn has an ordinance of the books regulating water usage and will enforce the ordinance.


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