By Edna Clark
The Town of Van Horn City Council met on Tuesday evening, April 11 with all members present, and Mayor Glenn Humphries presiding.
Council voted against an increase in the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUC) 2017 Price Index (CPI) adjustment to municipal telecommunications right-of-way access line rates. This fee is one that is included in landline telephones, cell phones, and internet bills. This Council saw no need to subject the citizens of Van Horn to more taxes for communication that what is currently required.
Council approved a letter to the TCEQ requesting a Certification of Arid Exemption for the Town of Van Horn Landfill Permit No. 693A. Since Van Horn receives limited rainfall, which causes chemicals to leech into surrounding soil and water sources in rainy areas, the Van Horn qualifies for this exemption.
City Administrator Fran Malafronte advised Council that ongoing work to reopen the Landfill is progressing well. Because of the location of the landfill, land adjacent to it is condemned and deemed uninhabitable and unusable. Council approved for City Attorney Steve Mitchell to negotiate with land owner, Culley Lipsey, about purchasing, at current market value, 1.6 acres of the condemned land. The land in question represents 50 feet by 1400 feet located to the east of the landfill.
April 9 – 15 was proclaimed National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week.
Don’t forget the 2017 Spring Cleanup scheduled for April 22 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Deadline for entering is April 19 at City Hall. Money prizes, computer tablets, and a raffle for a flat screen TV will be awarded for participating cleaners.
Ms. Malafronte related to Council that there might be more Department of Agriculture grant money available for which the City can apply. Currently, the Block Grant application for generators at Van Horn’s water wells is still being reviewed. Since the Town of Van Horn received money from the Block Grants in 2016, other applying municipalities have greater chances of being awarded the Block Grant money for 2017.
Alderman Rudy Hinojos requested that Ms. Malafronte have City Street employees evaluate and repair an area on Houston and Tenth Streets. Street damage occurred when a storage pod was placed in an adjacent yard. He asked for continued contact with the Pilot Travel Center due to Pilot truck customers blocking Fire Brush Street.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 25 at 7:00 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to attend the well-organized City Council meetings of a properly functioning City Council.