City receives “boring” audit and names new utilities director

By Gilda Morales

City Council met in regular session Tuesday night and heard from auditor Rick Knapp on the state of the city. Knapp gave the city a clean bill of health and told the council that it had been a “boring audit” which is what auditors want, and gave the city’s financial personnel kudos on their work.

Council then moved on to unanimously approve the filing of a grant application with the Rio Grande COG (council of governments) for a regional solid waste grant, which the City would put to use toward the purchase of new dumpsters. Jerry Carvajal grant writer and administrator updated council on the upcoming 2019-2020 application process for the Texas Community Development Block Grant funding cycle.

Jamie Hudson reported that his department has been busy repairing leaks and dealing with the city’s wells to keep them operational but stated that there had been no significant problems since the last meeting. Edward Torres told Council that his department is in the middle of a comprehensive inspection by the Railroad Commission, which has gone very well to this point, with the inspector being very complimentary on the improvements made by the gas department from last year.

Council went into executive session and emerged to vote unanimously on a new organizational plan that would promote Edward Torres to a newly created position as Utilities Director and adding $5000 to his salary to compensate him for his new responsibilities. Mr. Torres will be in charge of the water and gas departments along with other areas except for the golf course, and he will report directly to City Administrator, Fran Malafronte effective immediately.