City updates software and security

Van Horn City Council met in regular session last Tuesday in a short, but productive meeting which was heavy on technical projects on the agenda. David Rivera, with Zap’D, was present to provide Council with information on several projects in the works to upgrade billing and meter-reading software for the City. All upgrades were unanimously approved by Council, which is trying to act proactively to avoid any problems in the future

Council also agreed to a proposal by Zap’D to install new hard drives and Windows software on 4 computers donated by Blue Origin and to place the computers in different departments as needed. Also, in an effort to provide enhanced security at the City Pool and the landfill, Council approved another proposal from Mr. Rivera to install security cameras at the landfill with Wi-Fi access, and to install an additional camera at the pool. A proposal to upgrade the billing program, Hill Country software to a cloud-based system instead of using servers was also unanimously approved.

Albert Barragan spoke to Council under the Public Comment section of the agenda and questioned why a City truck was repossessed and wanted to know who was responsible for “paying the bills.” Mayor Becky Brewster, with the blessing of City Attorney, Steve Mitchell, responded to Barragan that he was wrong in assuming that the City had not paid the bills, and that it was actually the finance company that had mishandled the payments and erroneously picked up the truck.

In other actions, Council:

Approved a request from Sarah Urias and Veronica Mendoza of Aliviane to have the City waive the pool fees for a Nonprofit Organization pool party on August 12, 2021

Approved the 2020 recapitulation, Town of Van Horn 2020 property taxes from the Culberson County Appraisal District and acknowledged the certification of the 2021 Appraisal Roll for the Town of Van Horn

Approved a zoning variance for Nestor Mendoza to change Lots 1 & 2, Block 103, Van Horn Subdivision, Culberson County from B1 Residential to R3 Residential Mobile Homes

Heard a request from Alderman Garibay to fix or remove the street lights on Broadway, pending further studies on solving the long standing problem

Heard departmental reports