Van Horn awarded $100k grant for COVID response

By Gilda Morales

The Town of Van Horn City Council held a Special Meeting last Monday to address several items that needed immediate attention. However, several items on the agenda ended up getting tabled.

Council went into executive session for more than 45 minutes to address personnel and legal items, but no action was taken after coming back to open session.

City Administrator Fran Malafronte recommended hiring 4 local youth for a summer city internship program. Applications for the positions will be available at city hall. The internship (formerly the PIC program) will include those hired to work 20 hours per week for 6 weeks at a rate of pay of $10 per hour.

A review of emergency repairs to the North Well revealed damage to the motor caused after an electrical power surge last week. Malafronte will file an insurance claim for the loss with current expenses for the well at $22,139.00 and an estimated $5,000-$10,000 more for the motor repair.

The City reviewed the TML Insurance renewal premium of $63,194 showing a slight increase from last year secondary to the Covid-19 epidemic. No consideration for additional coverage for employee families was considered.

Malafronte advised Council that the City had been granted a $101,860.00 Grant from the Texas Department of Emergency Management to be used for COVID-19 acceptable expenses. Some of the acceptable expenses discussed included monitoring stations for public and employees access performing temperature checks and providing mandated facial coverings at City Hall. City Council approved the grant unanimously.