Office of Mayor considered vacant under State Law

By Edna Clark

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Van Horn City Council was held on Tuesday, August 29, with all aldermen present and Mayor Pro Temp, Pam Young, presiding.

City Finance Director Jodie Corrales addressed Council with the monthly financial reports.  Mrs. Corrales explained that July and August bills were higher than usual due to large costs involved in water and gas systems repairs.

Gas department supervisor Edward Torres advised Council that his department was running well, with construction of the Aequor sand plant and operations of the Jobe plant progressing daily.  According to Torres, City crews have received some supplies and will begin repairs to gas line leaks located inside city limits soon.

City Secretary Fran Malafronte advised Council that Elm Street at the Union Pacific railroad tracks will remain closed until all underground areas have dried completely.

Rick Knapp, CPA of Knapp & Company, PC, presented the 2016-2017 Town of Van Horn audit.  Knapp reported that the City was budgetary responsible and found that the City managed within its financial means.

Council denied the proposal presented by Ken Roberts, Insurance Agent, to act as a TML insurance representative.  Council asked Ms. Malafronte to contact the cities of Marfa, Alpine, and Fort Stockton to determine the status of insurance negotiations that Roberts has brokered.

Two bids were received for repairs to the South Airport Well.  The THI bid was in the amount of $63,013.50.  The other bid was from a company in Midland for an amount well over what the winning bid was.  Council also approved designs for a 250,000 gallon water tank to replace the current water tank that continues to slowly leak.

Alderman Lyndon McDonald was asked to contact THI for pricing for a portable light tower to be used in the event of night work.  The recent nighttime Elm Street work at the UPRR tracks brought the need for lighting to Council’s attention.

Pursuant to Texas Local Government Code Section 22.041 and Mayor Glenn Humphries’ continuous absences, Council Members declared the Office of Mayor to be vacant.  Humphries name will be removed from all City operations and banking signature cards.

Mayor Pro temp Pam Young will continue to preside at Council meetings and attend to the duties of the Mayor of the Town of Van Horn until a new mayor can be elected in the May, 2018 General Election.

Ms. Malafronte related to Council that there have been no updates on the generator grant application.  Alderman McDonald asked Ms. Malafronte for updates on Union Pacific Railroad clearing the drainage ditch on West First Street.  Recent heavy rains and overgrowth in the drainage ditch have contributed to flooding of homes in the area.  Council requested again that Ms. Malafronte and the City Code Enforcer contact Union Pacific Railroad officials to clear the drainage ditch.

Alderman Ryan Martinez asked for a date of the autumn citywide cleanup day.  Ms. Malafronte stated that she would check the CCAISD event calendar to determine the best day for the cleanup and put the date on the next Council meeting agenda.

Alderman Rudy Hinojos related that citizens in the West First through Fourth Streets areas remain concerned about deteriorating street and easement conditions caused by recent flooding.  Citizens may receive caliche to repair street and easement repairs around their homes. For assistance with the caliche, citizens should contact City Hall.

The next City Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m.


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