By Lisa Morton
Town of Van Horn City Council members Lyndon McDonald, Joseph Corrales, Rudy Hinojos, Karolyne Carloss, Michael Garibay, along with Mayor Pam Young and City Administrator Fran Malafronte met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 29.
After a few business items were addressed, Edward Torres briefed Council on the status of the city operations. Torres said city workers have been very busy this month addressing water leaks, sewer maintenance, and equipment maintenance. Recent repairs on a sewer line at Gramma Street was spotlighted by the TECQ, and an on-sight investigation of repairs and sewer overflow work was performed.
Torres said there is a shortlist for the completion of the landfill including work on the retention pond, markers, a pre-TECQ audit, and final TECQ audit. The project has been sidetracked when manpower is needed elsewhere in town.
City Administrator Malafronte announced that the annual Trans-Pecos Big Buck Tournament will need to be canceled as all avenues have been exhausted to find judges to facilitate the two-week event that ran for the past 26 years after Thanksgiving Day. Culberson County Extension Agents partnered with the City in previous years but were unavailable this year. Council was advised that the event might morph into a Texas Parks and Wildlife mandatory check station, possibly relocating to the El Mercado building on Broadway.
Malafronte received a preliminary notification on a USDA Block grant to be awarded to the Town of Van Horn, for new water meters that have the capability of “radio read,” with data on water usage being downloaded to the City computers automatically. This feature will eliminate human error in reading water meters and can alert city staff on unusual water usage that might signal a leak. The Department of Agriculture will conduct a site visit meeting on November 14 in preparation for the final award. Currently, 50% of the town’s water meters require a manual read, so the new meters will free-up city workers to do other work.
Alderman Carloss reported that a new community calendar was being distributed at the Halloween Festival on behalf of the Town of Van Horn that will be added to their website with printing capabilities.
In other Town of Van Horn business:
-Approved September 24, 2019 minutes.
-Approved the Financial Report as presented.
-Approved payment of bills in the amount of $110,833.11.
-Approved application process for the Texas Communities Count grant in the amount of $75,000 to aid in the 2020 census count.
-Approved, on recommendation from the VHEDC, the appointment of Dan Baeza to the Van Horn Economic Development Corporation Board.