City Council adopts budget

The Van Horn City Council met in regular session Tuesday night, with the meeting streamed to interested Van Horn residents via the city Facebook website. People watching the meetings were able to ask questions as long as their questions pertained to agenda items.

With little discussion, Council approved the Fiscal year 2020-2021 budget. Per Finance Director Jodi Corrales, there was little change from last year’s budget, with the majority of the budget going towards fixed expenses and little left for discretionary spending.

(Editor’s note: The Convention Center is funded entirely by motel tax, not through local taxpayer funding. Also not reflected is the City’s indebtedness, which was given as $1.9 million.)

The Van Horn Economic Development Corporation also submitted their FY 2020-2021 in the amount of $515,105.65. An abbreviated budget is as follows:

Required Water Improvements (annual payment), $40,000; Land/property acquisition, $100,000; Swimming Pool Building, $100,000; Façade improvements, $15,000; Murals, $7,500; Maintenance buildings/grounds. $9,000; VHEDC, $10,000;

(Editor’s note: entire EDC budget available at City Hall)

In other business,

Council approved a request from Zach Schaeffer, County Agent, for the City to provide water for their planned play days in an effort to keep the dust down.

Approved the amended fee schedules for the next fiscal year

Approved the PUC Consumer price index adjustment to municipal telecommunications right-of-way access line rates

Viewers who tuned in until the end of the meeting were able to witness a spirited discussion on the agenda item at the request from the Van Horn EDC. Councilwoman Karolyne Carloss, who is also a member of the EDC, expressed the corporation’s desire to “coordinate” with the City on Motel tax use, Code Enforcement, Zoning and Building Permits. Councilman McDonald was the most vocal in questioning the need for EDC involvement in City functions, since the processes are already there and administered by experienced city employees, and would duplicate current services. It was also brought up that local motel owners should be the ones deciding how they want the money they collect is used. (Editor’s note: the EDC is funded by a percentage of Sales Tax revenues, not Motel Tax revenues.) After considerable discussion, no action was taken on the issue.