Council still split on golf course improvements

By Lisa Morton

A regular meeting of the Van Horn City Council took shape last Tuesday when Mayor Becky Brewster opened the floor to Public Comment and Council heard from Elbert Bassham of Marfa who is working on a Texas Mountain Trail EDA Tourism Grant that could list several points of interest in Van Horn and Culberson County and promote tourism in the area. Mayor Brewster requested Bassham request an agenda item for the next meeting for the council to act.

Amanda Frazier of Burgess and Niple, engineers for the sewer treatments facility project, took the floor to present plans for a Dissolved air flotation (DAF) system in response to the TCEQ Enforcement Order issued on October 1st.. In addition, the engineering firm will secure surveyors for the irrigation issues at the municipal golf course and the Elm St. railroad crossing water/sewer lines project as a next step. Reapplication of the City’s current TLAP “land application” permit application would take less than 330 days vs the Reuse 210 application, (that could also be attached to a TLAP permit), of about 30 days. This golf course project would take on additional costs of bringing in clay soils for the ponds necessary to meet TCEQ requirements.

Although Alderman Michael Garibay was quick to move for the less restrictive permit and shorter processing time, Alderman McDonald and Mayor Brewster voiced hesitation to commit to certain aspects of the golf course improvement project citing the priority should be with other water infrastructure needs including regular problems with water leaks and for consumers having to boil water to ensure non-contamination. On a vote of 3 for and 2 against, Council approved starting the permit process.

Utilities Director, Edward Torres provided a departmental operations report that included a well-functioning SCADA system. Torres recognized the timely paperwork submitted by Grace Dickenson regarding the landfill which has been operating for a year. Data showed 11.5 tons of brush has been diverted, 9.5 tons of metal, 2.5 tons of cardboard and 1.9 tons of dead animals.

In other city business and discussions:

Approved minutes of Regular meeting of 09-21-21 as correct and meetings 10-12-21, 10-19-21 and 11-01-21 as presented.

Approved the Financial Reports as presented with Mayor Brewster reporting a stable balance.

Approved payment of bills in the amount of $24,853.35.

On recommendation of Water Department Operator Jaime Hudson, Council approved an indefinite moratorium on accepting raw sewage from outside septic servicing companies, on recommendation of Jaime Hudson, Water Department Operator.

Approved Resolution to split 38 votes allocated to the City for the 5 nominated members of the Culberson County Appraisal District Board.

Approved quote from Gary Roofing for repair to the golf course roof in the amount of $7,000.

Directed Mayor to solicit bids for repairs at the CCVB including floors and slide-up door.

Approved 2022 City Holiday Calendar as presented.

Approved items requested in cooperation with Van Horn School for this year’s Giving Tree.

Approved resolution for temporary street closure of Broadway for the Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

Approved moving employees Veteran’s Day Holiday to Friday, November 12, 2021.

Approved contract with Granworks for administrative services related to the American Rescue Plan.