Speed limits to slow along I-10

Council tables bids for downtown revitalization

The Van Horn City Council met in regular session last Monday minus two council members but managed to pass several important items on the agenda. Council unanimously approved a request from TX-Dot to reduce the speed limit from 80 miles per hour to 65 miles per hour temporarily during their rehabilitation project. The project will tentatively start next month and will run along the west side city limits to Highway 90.

Jerry Carbajal, grant manager from GrantWorks, updated council on several projects that have been delayed from lack of bidders. The Downtown revitalization project was let for bids four times before getting any bids. Per Mr. Carbajal, there were two bids, on for $469,000 from a contractor in Austin and another bid from a contractor in Ft. Davis for $396,000. The initial grant was budgeted for $312,000 with an $82,000 match from the city. Mr. Carbajal advised the Council that there would be a shortfall of more than $136,000 and recommended that the awarding of the bid be tabled for now. He stated that unless the City could find the money to increase their amount of the match, the only other options would be to remove some of the items from the project or check with the Texas Department of Agriculture to see if more money was available to help.

Mr. Carbajal had the same recommendation for tabling the awarding for the bid for the TxCDBG grant for sewer collection system improvement. The reason for the recommendation was the same as for the revitalization project-a shortfall in the amount of $15,000. Carbajal gave Council the option to table the awarding of the bid or to go ahead and award it and consider change orders to remain within the budget. He also said that he needed to get clarification from the Texas Department of Agriculture on the exact cost per linear foot of the project. Council took Mr. Carbajal’s recommendations to heart and voted to table the bid award.

Council then heard report from Mark Cabezuela, City Administrator on the following items:

The UPRR Elm Street Boring Project contract has been executed and the project is expected to begin in early September

Solicitation is underway to seek an engineering firm to draw up plans for the elevated tower/3rd pressure zone

Heard from the museum board on plans for their landscaping project to include replacing the current lawn with concrete and the placement of a flagpole

Advised Council that the McVay Courts demolition is well underway

Advised that the transfer of the deed for El Mercado to the EDC is complete

Mr. Cabezuela also gave Council the monthly financial report, and the payment of bills before convening in Executive Session. No action was taken on the two items that were discussed in Executive session- regarding a request from Mr. Bhakta to build a 15-unit complex behind the Holiday Inn and to consider a request from the EDC board to consider providing an employee a benefit package to be reimbursed by the EDC.


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