By Lisa Morton
The regular meeting of the Van Horn City Council was well attended last Tuesday. The Council dove right in with direction on Departmental Operations activity presented by Utilities Director Edward Torres. Torres received a request from the Town of Sierra Blanca to purchase spare parts from an old water truck the Town of Van Horn has at their landfill. Torres was directed to ask Sierra Blanca to make an offer on the entire piece of equipment.
Torres included that gas operations will be audited on October 8th and reported that he plans to repair damage from a hit-n-run driver to a fire hydrant and curb by the Hospital.
Council then reconsidered the approval of making 7th Street from Houston to Travis, a one-way at the request of Superintendent Ken Baugh at the last Council meeting. Council approved his request at that time with Alderman Lyndon McDonald and Rudy Hinojos being the only dissenting votes. McDonald requested that Council revisit the issue citing citizen concerns with making the zone permanent. Aldermen Corrales, Carloss and Garibay reiterated that the students’ safety was the sole reason for the proposed one-way designation. Council voted again with the same result on a 3-2 vote, with McDonald and Hinojos voting against. As such, 7th Street from Houston to Travis will be designated a one-way street permanently.
Mayor Pam Young presented a proclamation that included designating this week as “National Gear Up Week,” celebrating educational achievements. Council unanimously approved the proclamation, with Mayor Young recognizing Van Horn School staff, students, and parents in attendance.
A motion to approve a proposal from LKG Welding to create a “Welcome to Van Horn” road sign at town entrances was tabled. Alderman Michael Garibay proposed allowing the Van Horn High School shop class students to submit their ideas to create the signs.
EDC President Becky Brewster requested the City Council accept the resignation of EDC Board Member Sandy Garibay and reopen the vacancy to applicants. Council was advised of 2 committees formed by the EDC addressing the viability of a Chamber of Commerce and restructuring the Façade Improvements Program.
The recent Town Hall meeting held through a Planning Grant with Culberson County and in conjunction with the EDC was reviewed by Alderman Karolyne Carloss. About 35 individuals participated in the event. Additional Planning Grant Town Hall Meetings will be scheduled to continue to build on ideas to promote Van Horn and Culberson County.
Alderman Carloss also requested Council consider the formation of a Hotel/Motel Tax Committee to be comprised of local business interests supported by volunteer council members Joseph Corrales and Rudy Hinojos. Mayor Young will draft a letter reaching out to hotel/motel owners and managers asking for their participation.
On other agenda items, Council voted on:
Approval of the September 10, 2019 Regular Meeting with a correction to the motion for the school zone One-Way designation with Aldermen McDonald and Hinojos opposed to it as a full-time designation.
Financial Report was approved including an addendum for August submitted by Jodi Corrales.
Approval of payment of bills in the amount of $143,911.70
Approval of a proposal for electrical updates to Okey D. Lucas Park in the amount of $6,972.00 with contract terms for a beginning and ending date.
Approval of a proposal from CAT Wagner through Buy Board for a new Kenworth Dump Truck in the amount of $155,600.00.
Approval of votes on Directors for the Rio Grande Electric Co-op for submission.
Briefly provided information and or discussed status of city pool project, painting the caboose at city hall and landscaping the site, painting a mural of a vintage Van Horn postcard on the county building wall facing the EDC downtown parking lot, and endorsed an application for a $75,000 Census Grant being submitted by Karolyne Carloss, to be placed on the next agenda.