By Lisa Morton
A rescheduled regular meeting of the Town of Van Horn was conducted last Tuesday. Present were Mayor Brewster, City Administrator Fran Malafronte, City Attorney Steve Mitchell, Alderman Michale Garibay, Nuny Morriss, Joseph Corrales, and Lyndon McDonald. Alderman Rene Mendoza was absent. Regular business items were approved and an Executive Session was held with no action taken.
IT Consultant David Rivera was recognized for some housecleaning with the newly installed water meters in Van Horn. A software program is required to complete the interactive aspects of the meter reading system. Rivera stated that the new software could be up and running after the September billing cycle.
An engineering contract with Burgess and Niple was approved in the amount of $82,000 for the Elm St. water project at a railroad crossing, updating the total project cost to about $412,000.
CCAISD Principal Charles Gonzalez took the floor to propose changes for traffic and crosswalks in areas in front of the school and along the recently zoned 7th Street one-way. Gonzalez said parents are seeking relief from a 10 minute wait time picking up students after school. Alderman Corrales (also a Chief Deputy) agreed there was a safety issue after monitoring the area with school officials. A debate ensued about liabilities and legalities for the Town of Van Horn and the school district resulting in the agenda item being tabled for the next city council meeting scheduled for September 28th for additional information to be presented.
Council had to backpedal on a proposal that was approved last month, for administrative delivery service to complete project implementation for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP ACT) for funding administered by the US Department of Treasury, due to an administrative error. On the recommendation of City Attorney Steve Mitchell, Council approved to reject all previously submitted proposals. The request for service will be re-advertised for bids.
Council approved a Ranking Committee for administrative and engineering proposals, appointing Aldermen Michael Garibay and Lyndon McDonald and City employees Jamie Hudson and Grace Dickenson. The Ranking Committee will perform necessary research and verify qualifications to score proposals and meet grant requirements.
The request to extend City COVID-19 Sick Pay policy for 10 additional paid sick days that expired last month was approved without a retroactive date on the recommendation of Attorney Steve Mitchell. The additional paid sick days will be eligible until September 22, 2022.
Council denied request from the Van Horn Economic Development Board for full reappointment with staggered 2 year terms. Council directed Malafronte to advertise for application or re-application to the EDC and Zoning Boards. With the EDC Boards terms expiring on September 30, 2021, applications deadline is set for Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
Council was advised that Mountain View Golf Course would close for it’s annual aeration of the greens from September 27 until October 6, 2021.
Departmental Supervisors and Councilmen recognized city employees’ work at the recent golf tournament, for early report submissions and as hosts for visiting military groups.