By Becky Brewster
Culberson County Commissioners met in Regular Session on March 12. County Judge Carlos Urias reported that TxDOT has approved the engineering firm to begin the design for the upgrades at the Culberson County Airport. After this phase is completed, it is anticipated that bids for construction will be solicited.
The Court awarded a contract to Jose Parada to clean out the levee for $7,000. Gary Fuentes inspected the levee to determine what needed to be done which includes clearing an 8’ strip for approximately half a mile as well as clearing the arroyo. Fuentes will supervise and approve the work. The project is scheduled to be finished by May 15, of this year.
County Judge Carlos Urias reported on the recent inspection of the County jail. He noted that the inspection went well with only a few simple punch list items that needed to be addressed. “No huge concern there,” stated Urias.
The TxCDBG grant program requires that grant recipients take steps to affirmatively further fair housing in their communities. Culberson County has two active grants: the restroom/concession stand renovations at the Veteran’s Memorial Park and a recently awarded planning grant. The Court proclaimed April 2018 as Fair Housing Month and will publicize Fair Housing during the month of April.
The Commissioners also approved an agreement for the lease-purchase for a new truck for the County Judge with Citizen’s Bank of Las Cruces in the amount of $26,043.32. This vehicle will replace the old sedan currently being used by the Judge. The Court deferred the purchase of a vehicle for the Sheriff’s Department pending further input on the specifications of the vehicle that is needed.
The Court approved the payment of a cash match of up to $20,000 for a grant to purchase a new fire truck for the Van Horn Volunteer Fire Department. The amount was included in the budget for this fiscal year. This amount will be reduced if the Town of Van Horn also commits to the required match.
To round out the meeting, the Court held a lively discussion on the trimming of the six trees at the Courthouse, debating on how far down the branches should be trimmed. The Court agreed to have the trees trimmed at a cost of $450 each with the County removing the debris.
In other County business, the Court also
• Received an update of the surfacing of John Conoly Road and FM 2185.
• Passed a resolution designating County signatories for the planning grant.
• Heard reports on various County Projects.
• Approved monthly reports.
• Approved monthly payroll and expenses for February and payment of current bills.