Council hits pause on development

Orders city officer election for May 2

Town of Van Horn City Council met in a regular meeting Tuesday evening. After some preliminary business, Mr. Adrian Norman of CCASID was recognized and introduced students from his drone class for a short video presentation.

The first order of business was to order the May 2 City Officer election. Voters will elect a mayor and two full-term (2-year) aldermen on May 2, 2020. Applications for a place on the ballot shall be filed by February 14, 2020.

Mayor Summer Webb of Valentine was recognized and proposed possibly contracting with the Town of Van Horn for waste disposal service to Valentine.

There was a full house in attendance as a couple of property developers took the mic addressing the council on plans to build in Van Horn. Concerns regarding water/sewer infrastructure to accommodate new builds took-up the majority of the discussions with Alderman McDonald stating that if the City approved any more permits to build before infrastructure was weighed, it would create a “backward domino effect”.

As previously reported, the council voted to declare a moratorium on certain new commercial development. A recent report on the town’s water and wastewater capacities outlined several issues that would need to be addressed. This “pause on development”, hopefully, will allow the town to prepare a strategy for future growth and will enable the town to meet the demands of any future development in an orderly fashion without causing any disruptions of city services to existing businesses.

It was noted at the meeting the aim of the moratorium is not to stifle future economic growth. It is to enable future economic growth in an orderly fashion while assuring potential developments that the community is able to meet all their demands for water, sewer, solid waste, fire protection, and other services.

In other business of the city council:

Approved minutes of January 14, 2020 as presented.

Approved Financial Reports as presented.

Approved Payment of Current Bills as presented.

Called the 2020 Election and for the appointment of election judges at the same pay rate.

Reviewed bids for engineering of golf course ponds with regard to TCEQ requirements.

Denied the issuing of building permit for a multi-dwelling unit (hotel) east of 1805 SE Frontage Rd.