Council approves 2019 Effective Tax Rate

By Lisa Morton

Van Horn City Council met Monday at 7:00 p.m. for this first of two regular meetings to be held each month. Members present were Lyndon McDonald, Rudy Hinojos, Michael Garibay, Karolyne Carloss, Mayor Pam Young and City Administrator, Fran Malafronte. Alderman Joseph Corrales was absent.

Council reviewed minutes from the regular meeting on July 25, 2019 and special meetings on July 30 and August 5, 2019. Minutes were approved with July 25th minutes correction, item to consider contribution for employee spouse/child for 2020-2021 Health Insurance Renewal with Texas Municipal League to include the agreed recommendation by Council for a Town Hall type meeting with TML representative in January 2020.

A bill from DJ Rewind and David Rivera, was approved in the amount of $500 for music at the Convention Center on Saturday’s 2019 Dust-Up Golf Tournament. Malafronte said the DJ music will be open to the public after all participants of the golf tournament have eaten sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m.

Departmental Operations updates were presented by Utilities Director, Edward Torres including additional soil sample submissions from the drained ponds at Mountain View Golf Course for TECQ testing requirements. Torres also mentioned that city employees would work the event rather than participate as golfers so he can review preparations and maintenance for future tournaments.

Repairs of half of over a dozen water leaks on the water line that services Sierra Blanca were made with the help of the Water Department in Sierra Blanca. Torres reported that fill culverts would be installed soon, and additional dirt work completed with another 150 dump truckloads to the already 500 loads removed at the site.

Torres requested another cathodic well be installed this year to increase the psi flow of natural gas lines to meet compliance regulations. Although another $38,000 was not budgeted for 2019-2020, Malafronte said funds could be transferred from another line item in the budget to purchase the necessary equipment.

Council approved the 2019 Effective Tax Rate of $.0497253 per $100 valuation and a tax base of $69,946,940. Malafronte reported the Tax Base was approximately $3,000,000 lower than 2018 due to taxpayer property value protests on appraisals for homes appraised. Malafronte said the tax base generates about $360,000 in revenue.

Under Reports line item, Alderman Garibay showed the council markers from the City of Andrews and revisited his request for renderings and quotes for the purchase of signs/markers for Van Horn.

In other Town of Van Horn business:

Approved payment to Acosta Drilling for anode ground bed for $38,650.00.

Approved Loan Documents with Government Capital for Landfill Compactor for $270,000.00 at 3.495% for 5 years.

Approved renewal of contract with United Rentals for another month’s use of a water truck.