New motels get the go-ahead —maybe

By Gilda Morales

The Van Horn City Council met in regular session last Tuesday and provided some long-awaited good news for one local hotel owner. Council voted unanimously to grant Dr. Bhakta, the owner of the local Holiday Inn Express, a building permit for a new hotel. However, the permit was granted with the understanding that the attorneys for the City and Dr. Bhakta must meet and come to an agreement regarding water and sewer availability.

Council tabled another request from Ken Pansuria with Super 8, to expand its current motel by 50 rooms and convert it to a Best Western. The request will be considered after City engineers report to Council on the proposed expansion at the next meeting.

Continuing with hotel improvement projects, Council heard a proposal by Jeff McCoy and Starvanna Cottrell, representing Hotel El Capitan. McCoy detailed the improvements to the current parking lot and areas on the south and east, which will include curbs, sidewalks and gutters as well as landscaping and lighting. The improvement will expand the parking capacity of the current parking lot and bring the area into ADA compliance with the sidewalk addition. With no cost to the City, the request was approved with the understanding that an easement be provided by the City.

In other action, Council:

Approved a request from Marcial Gonzalez, on behalf of the local Knights of Columbus to have green fees waived at the golf course for a benefit tournament.

Approved a request from Alderman Garibay to rent a water truck for the golf course for one month.

Adopted a resolution No. 22-04-004 to submit a grant application to the USBR (Bureau of Reclamation) FY2022 SWEP (small scale water efficiency projects).

Went into executive session to review and consider potential action the Town of Van Horn on the proposed Rule 11 agreement between the Town of Van Horn and Hudspeth County Water Control Improvement District No. 1 in connection with the pending lawsuit identified by cause No. 2020-DCV3703 (No action taken in open session).

Tabled an agenda item proposed by Mayor Brewster to authorize her to handle certain disciplinary actions.