By Edna Clark
The City Council of the Town of Van Horn met on Monday, October 30, with four of five aldermen present and Mayor Pro Tem Pam Young presiding. Absent were Alderman Ryan Martinez and City Attorney Steve Mitchell.
City Secretary Fran Malafronte reported that City finances continue to improve even with the large expenditures over recent months. Council approved payment of $170,000 in bills.
Gas Department Manager Edward Torres told Council that his employees are working well and continue to make necessary repairs to gas lines. Torres assured Council that the sand plants are progressing well and that there is an excellent working relationship between the City and sand plant management.
Water Department employee Jamie Hudson stated that the South Well at the airport continues to cause problems. City crews are trying to make the water well operational again.
Council approved a proposal of $54,000 from Brock and Bustillos to design, implement, and oversee the construction and installation of a new welded steel ground storage water tank. As has been previously reported, the new water tank is necessary because of the age and leaking of the current water tank.
Due to the age of water and gas department vehicles, Council approved a lease purchase financing agreement with Ally Municipal for two 2018 customized trucks. Ms. Malafronte and Council agreed that the $30,000 and $33,000 were very good prices for the two trucks which were included in the annual 2017-2018 budget.
Mayor Pro Tem Young was authorized to execute a deed with the Lipsey family to purchase a 50 feet strip of land adjacent to the City landfill. As part of the agreement, prior to March 01, 2018, the City must construct a 6 foot tall chain link fence along the eastern border of the strip of land.
Payment of $5,000 to Eugenio Lozano for construction of a metal fence at the Sanchez Yard was approved.
Council accepted a proposal from Civicplus for the development, design, training, and support of a new Town of Van Horn website. Initial cost will be $9,000, and subsequent annual fees will be $2,500.
In the pursuit of a better, reliable water system, Council approved a proposal from Brock and Bustillos for a feasibility study regarding a third pressure zone. This pressure zone would increase water pressure and efficiency for businesses and residences alike.
Ms. Malafronte advised Council that the Board of Regents of the University of Texas will require a 10 year easement for a natural gas pipeline located on University of Texas land near the rest stop located east of Van Horn. As there are sufficient funds in the gas department reserve account, payment for the easement will be made as soon as an invoice is received from the Board of Regents.