Water Boiling Order issued once again for Van Horn residents

By Edna Clark

With Mayor Pro Tem Pam Young presiding and four of five aldermen present, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the Town of Van Horn City Council was made aware of a water boiling order issued by TCEQ.

As of 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15, residents were faced with boiling tap water for consumption until further notice.

City Secretary Fran Malafronte told Council that water samples from Elm Street at the UPRR crossing were to be sent in for testing on Wednesday morning.  Pending negative results from the water samples, the Town of Van Horn remains under a water boiling order.

Ms. Malafronte stated that water test results could be received by Friday, August 18.  If negative, the water boiling order will be rescinded at that time.  The Van Horn Advocate will post notice on their Facebook page as soon as it is received.

Gas Department Supervisor Edward Torres advised Council that many of the gas line leaks in the Lobo area have been corrected. Propane tanks have been installed in the area by the City to be able to cut off defective natural gas lines, yet continue to provide energy to 2 customers.

Torres told Council that the sand plant which will be located east of the City is making daily progress in building a six-inch natural gas line for powering the plant. A two-inch line will remain in place to provide residential natural gas to current customers.

Council voted to table a request for a contract between Woodland Midstream Utility, LLC and Texas Western Municipal Gas, pending legal review by City Attorney Steve Mitchell. This contract, which will be addressed during the August 29 City Council meeting, affects the sand plant and transportation of natural gas to the plant.

Additionally, Torres related that natural gas transportation to the Jobe plant is also progressing well and that Jobe is better able to meet demands for service.

Council approved C&L Gas Card as the fuel provider for the Town of Van Horn operations.

CCAISD Robotics Sponsor Adrian Norman and Principal Aaron Hannah requested an Interlocal agreement for use of the Bell Street gas company building for the Robotics Team to use. When CCAISD began demolition of the high school building, City Council approved such an agreement for last year’s Robotics Team’s construction of its robot for competition.

Pending CCAISD School Board approval, Council approved the agreement while stressing that a CCAISD employee must be with students at all times when using the building.

Independent insurance agent Ken Roberts addressed Council and requested that he be contracted with to be the City’s insurance agent. Roberts told Council that if hired, he would work at no charge for the first year.

Working with TML Insurance previously, Roberts told Council that he had saved the City of Marfa thousands of dollars on its employee insurance and hoped to do the same for Town of Van Horn employees. Council requested that he allow until the August 29 meeting to review his proposal and make a decision then.

Council approved renewing a contract with Andy Brune for advertising billboards.

Ms. Malafronte advised Council that certified taxable values for the City was $76,000,000. Council approved an effective tax rate for 2017 of $0.439987.

Ms. Malafronte told Council that the State of Texas recommended additional money be assessed in municipal court charges to pay for increased security and technology for Municipal Courts.

Council approved Ordinances NO. 17-08-393 and NO.17-08-394 to increase municipal case court costs to $68 from $61 per case to cover the new expenses.  Traffic citations are not covered in the Municipal Court; therefore, the $68 fine does not apply to those offenses.

The Type I landfill permit with RSB budgeted amount was amended to $26,000.  Ms. Malafronte told Council that changing the type of refuse allowed in the landfill would increase the lifespan approximately twenty years.

Ms. Malafronte ended the meeting by telling Council that the USDA representative encouraged Council to include water shut-off valves in water lines when funding for the new water tank is established.  The installation of new water line valves could prevent the entire town from being without water such as what happened yesterday with the repair of the Elm Street water leaks.


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