City Council hears about alternative electricity source

By Edna Clark

The Town of Van Horn’s City Council met on Tuesday, September 12, with all members present and Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Young presiding.

Gas Department Edward Torres reported that another snag had been found in natural gas lines located east of town that will provide natural gas to the sand plant. The 4-inch gas lines shown on existing maps are actually 3 inch lines and not conducive to providing necessary natural gas flow for plant operations.  According to Torres, plant management is asking for possible assistance from the City in the cost of replacing 2 ½ miles of the natural gas lines. Council members asked City Secretary Fran Malafronte to look for possibilities to replace the substandard gas lines helping the sand plant. The sand plant management has absorbed all costs for current operations without City help.

Water Department employee Jamie Hudson told Council that crews have been replacing sewer lines inside City Limits. Parts for the airport and second station wells have been received and ready for installation and repairs. Lead and copper water samples have been submitted and found to be within normal limits.  Hudson asked Council to reconsider its decision during the August 29 meeting on purchasing the bolted steel water tank over a welded steel tank. Upkeep and maintenance costs of the bolted tank far outweigh the cost of a welded tank. Council concurred.

With this knowledge and the sand plant management’s volunteering, at no charge, to tear down an unused elevated water tank located where the new tank can be placed, Council voted to purchase a welded steel water tank. Ms. Malafronte will contact water tank contractors and the USDA for financial assistance to begin construction of a new water tank.

Council heard from Darlene Elder and Dylan Energy Systems concerning a new electricity generating product. Dylan representatives presented details of a steam based turbine system that can generate uninterrupted electricity to Van Horn and surrounding areas at a fraction of residents’ current electrical costs.  Council asked Mrs. Elder and Dylan representatives to provide more information on how City infrastructure and services can benefit from a possible affiliation.

City Council approved Ordinance No. 17-09-395, the effective property tax rate at $0.439987 per $100 valuation for Calendar Year 2017 and tax base of $75,636.10. The 2017 property tax rate has declined slightly from 2016 rates.

Alderman Lyndon McDonald expressed concerns about continued conditions of the Mountain View Golf Course greens. Ms. Malafronte reassured Council that golf course conditions were improving and that the current pond water pH is within normal limits.

Council approved the closing of Mountain View Golf Course from September 25 through October 2 for aerating of the greens.

The next regularly scheduled Town of Van Horn City Council meeting will be September 26 at 7:00 p.m.. Council members encourage citizens to come out and see their representatives at work.