2016 Christmas events and prizes announced by City Council

By Edna Clark

The Town of Van Horn City Council met Tuesday, November 15, for a regularly scheduled meeting with four aldermen present. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for ailing Alderman Pam Young were extended.  City Secretary, Fran Malafronte, updated Council on the scheduled Christmas events and prize money for parade floats, pecan contest, and residential lighting contest.

The annual Lighted Christmas Parade is scheduled for December 10, at 6:30 p.m..  First prize for the floats is $350; second place is $250; third place is $150; and Honorable Mention is $100.   Also on December 10, is the annual Pecan Contest to be held at Hotel El Capitan from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m..  Those prize amounts are $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place.  December 20, is the day for the Residential Lighting Contest. Prize amounts are $250 for first place, $150 for second place, and $100 for third place.

Council approved renewal of a contract with Lamar Billboards for a Las Cruces, NM, billboard.  Council members advised Ms. Malafronte to obtain pictures showing the condition of all the billboards for which the City has contracts.  The Monahans billboard was destroyed during recent high winds and must be replaced by that contractor.

Gas/Water Manager, Dion Corralez, requested that Council approve Gasti, Inc. as the company to provide the City’s Distribution Integrity Management Plan (DIMP).   2012 State laws require more stringent gas line oversight. Gasti, Inc. is one of the companies that specialize in this oversight.  It will review and restructure the City’s gas line system to determine any risk factors for leaks and safety issues for $4500.  With Corralez’ recommendations and the success rate of past work areas, Council approved Gasti, Inc. for the City’s DIMP.

Council renewed the contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs for use of the Mayor’s office for individual veterans and group counseling services.

The City County Library meeting room will be the site of monthly fingerprinting sessions to accommodate area fingerprinting needs.  Currently, anyone needing fingerprinting for licensures, job requirements, etc. must go into El Paso or Odessa for the service.  Morphotrust USA aka IdentoGo will provide a computer based fingerprinting program. Contact information will be

To assist in street repairs, Dion Corralez requested the purchase of an oscillating steel drum roller at the cost of less than $50,000. The unit can be ordered now and paid for in April, 2017.   Corralez asked Council to install a 1300 feet gas line extension to accommodate a Jobe Materials expansion of its site located south of Van Horn. Cost of the gas line will be approximately $35,000.  This amount will be recouped by the City within six months of installation.   As there is currently a water line to the Jobe site, no new right of way easement will be required as the gas line will run concurrently with the water line.  City Attorney, Steve Mitchell, was advised to quickly draw up an agreement with Jobe to facilitate this new enterprise.

Council approved contracting with CCAISD for use of a portion of the gas company building on Bell Street for the Robotics Team when the current classroom is demolished for new school construction.  Mitchell advised Council that CCAISD insurance will cover students when working in the gas building. Council once again stressed that students are not to be unattended when working in the gas building.

Ms. Malafronte advised Council that the new fire truck is being built now with the additional $30,000 equipment being included.  She requested Council be prepared with ideas for the new Grant Proposal Projects during the December meetings. Council members related that City water issues need to be addressed.

Alderman Lyndon McDonald shared with Council that he, Malafronte, and Corralez had been on a very informative and productive conference call about the City Landfill.  Work continues toward reopening the landfill.

Several requests for street lights were made. Ms. Malafronte advised Council to make requests in writing for new lighting.  Corralez was advised to work with replacing the street light at the intersection of Seventh Street and Crocket Street.