Valentine city service rate increase approved

Names new street Danny Flores Avenue

By Lisa Morton

A Public Hearing of the City of Valentine Council was held recently in conjunction with a regular meeting and city business. Council opened the public hearing forum of the meeting recognizing those in attendance for comments and to answer questions or concerns regarding a proposed increase for trash collection included on monthly water/sewer bills due to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and a resulting cost increase from service provider Republic Services.

Last year, Valentine Mayor Summer Webb attended a meeting of the Town of Van Horn to discuss the possibility of contracting trash service due to their soon-to-be-reopened landfill. The proposal was discussed and the biggest challenge seemed to be the already overstretched trash collection man-hours to accomplish the out-of-town job request. Once the landfill opened, Van Horn City Council formally agreed not to accept trash from other municipalities as a matter of capacity.

Currently, the City of Valentine has 60 public utility service accounts, 19 service accounts are designated at a reduced rate for property owners that use water service occasionally or have a secondary home, and 4 service accounts are at a reduced Senior Citizens rate. After much discussion, Council approved a 3.1% increase to recover 2020 charges. In addition to what was later determined, per notification from the provider, of a 3.5% rate increase. Council also approved in the same motion the addition of a $10/month fee for roll-off services. The town does not have a landfill and Mayor Webb strongly discouraged illegal dumping that was taking place at the old town dumpsite and in other areas of Valentine.

Council approved the elimination of the reduced rate for occasional use services and amended the Senior discount to those 65 years or older living alone to 15%. The new trash collections rate will take effect January 2022. Council also approved, in the same motion, a new $10/month fee for roll-off service provided by Hazel Canyon. City Secretary, Albert Miller mentioned that the water/sewer rates would also be under review before the first of the year.

Mayor Webb advised residents in attendance that were requesting water and sewer service within the city limits but not close to existing infrastructure, that the city would obtain an estimate for extending service from an engineering firm as required by TCEQ providing the estimated costs as soon as it is available.

Mayor Webb advised council she would be applying for a Solid Waste Grant in hopes of eliminating many used tires in town. Webb said Valentine received a $16,000 relief grant from the effects of the pandemic and hopes to receive additional funding including border relief grants.

In a unanimous decision, Valentine City Council named the alley between Nevada Avenue and Montana Avenue, Danny Flores Avenue. Daniel P. FLores was a 1966 graduate of Valentine High School. During his time in Valentine in the sixties, the population was 420. Danny was one of seven in his graduating class. He attended Sul Ross State University and was drafted into the Army and was engaged to be married. He was killed in action while driving a munition’s truck when it hit a landmine. Danny is buried in Valentine.