Town clean-up competition set

By Lisa Morton

The Wastewater Management Plan and Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) for the Town of Van Horn was brought to the front of the agenda line at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Raul Issa and Sergio Adame with Brock & Bustillos gave a brief update on the Capital Improvement Plan, including an overall status, outline of three phases of the project, and a screen demonstration of the Geographic Information System (GIS) inventory, which is the backbone of the CIP. Issa reported that the inventory of the water and sanitation sewer systems in Phase I of the project is at 80%. The inventory process includes identification and prioritization of elements needs and maintenance, with a separate analysis of the sewage treatment plant / lagoon system and the sludge that has accumulated.

The main purpose of the CIP will follow in Phase II of the project with a draft of priority items and a cost estimate on a 5-year scheduling term. It will be released for review and completion by the City Council when available. Phase III is the RGI software program to be used as a living inventory that can be customized to the specific needs in the CIP. The software license will be turned over to the city with a recommendation for a second license at a cost of about $1,000 annually per license. Brock & Bustillos would continue as advisors to the program.

Jerry Carbajal of GrantWorks in Alpine, was next on the agenda for the Council to approve annual proclamations and resolutions as required by certain grants. Council approved the Fair Housing Proclamation for the 2021-2022 TxCDBG Grant designating April as Fair Housing Month as part of the Citizens Participation Plan required by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).

Council then approved a resolution with changes naming the City Administrator as one of the Executive Officers and designated signatory of the contract, as well as authorizing the submission of an application to the TDA for the 2021-2022 Community Development Fund. The application identified three areas of street improvement in the city funded by the $350,000 grant of which 10% must be matched by the Town of Van Horn.

Finally, Council approved the Corrective Action Plan TxCDBG Grant #7214891, Generators addressing the timely disbursement of funds to vendors once they are deposited into city accounts required by the Financial Management Guidelines.

The Council went into Executive Session Under Section 551.071 (Legal) and Section 551.074 (Personnel) of the Texas Government Code at 7:22 p.m. and reconvened in Open Forum Session about 9:00 p.m. with no action taken.

Utilities Director Edward Torres reported on new water meter project and the installation work set for April 26th with an expected completion date of 4-6 weeks and with a required completion date of 180 days. Customer Notices will be mailed in the next water bills explaining the process and service interruptions. Torres advised council that he will not be able to service work orders for natural gas customer taps. There has been a recent increase in these orders that cannot be completed before the new owner of the utility, West Texas Gas, assumes responsibility on May 1.

Approved street maintenance and repairs.

Adopted Ordinance No. 21-04-421 Gas Tariff.

Approved Scott-Hulse Ratify Business Associates Agreement as presented.

Tabled Salary Adjustments.

Approved lease for golf carts.

Approved Saturday, April 24, 2021 for the annual Clean-up Campaign including food and prizes. (see public notice on page 4)

Tabled approval of the minutes of Regular Meeting February 23, 2021, March 23, 2021 and Special Meeting March 30, 2021.

Council was made aware of CDC guidelines that will require the city to provide bottled water for visitors at the City Pool opening soon.

A list of surplus equipment and items is being created for council to approve for auction at the joint event with the school and the county on June 5.