City Council to hold emergency special meeting tonight

Recent leaks and defects may affect the town’s water supply, according to the agenda posted at city hall.

-Advocate Photo
-Advocate Photo

By Dan Baeza

The Van Horn City Council approved its budget for the coming 2018-2019 fiscal year, learned of more water issues, and authorized an emergency special meeting during its last two sessions.

In addition to Tuesday’s meeting, the Council met on March 30 to adopt the fiscal year budget for 2018-2019. The council formally approved $4,785,500.00 as it was presented. The budgeted expenditures are: General Fund, $1,462,000.00; Water Revenue Fund, $1,110,500.00; Gas Fund, $800,000.00; Convention Center Fund, $465,000.00; Golf Course Fund, $269,500.00; Library Fund, $134,500.00; Streets Fund, $43,000.00; Motel Tax Fund, $501,000.00. The complete budgets, as adopted, are on file at city hall and are open to inspection by the public.

Jamie Hudson from Public Works & Utilities presented the council with updates concerning the water system in both meetings. He informed the council that the current radio system installed is obsolete and not backward compatible. Hudson advised the Council that a few hydrants in town have been leaking, and remarked that the city needs to take a proactive approach to maintenance to prevent more problems in the future. Hudson reported that attempts to prolong the life of the existing tank by patching with 50 gallons of epoxy have been largely unsuccessful, pushing the need for a Special Meeting tonight at 8:30 p.m. to address the issue.

Hudson advised the Council about the need to purchase, in conjunction with Culberson County-Allamoore ISD, a 6-inch water tap to accommodate the new school construction, but no action was taken.

Financial Director, Jodi Corrales informed the Council that a reimbursement of sales tax received on a property sale in the amount of $4,685 would have to be paid, but City Administrator Fran Malafronte advised the Council that the amount could easily be reimbursed in one month from various city coffers.

More discussion under Departmental Operations brought City Code Enforcement Officer Rachel Mendez forward where she advised the Council that legal research revealed the City cannot ticket overnight parkers who park on private property. The Code Enforcement Officer will no longer ticket these individuals and private property owners will be responsible taking any action against violators.

An item on the agenda was discussed regarding the food and scheduling of the Town Clean-up. Due to conflicting schedules, the event will be postponed until a later date.

On motion by Lyndon McDonald, seconded by Nuny Morriss, the Council approved a feasibility study from Brock and Bustillos regarding the intertwined water system supplying Sierra Blanca.

A new pickup purchase for the code enforcement officers was tabled and the purchase of 3 generators is proceeding.


An agenda for the Friday, April 13, Special Meeting posted at city hall includes two items:

Discuss/Act on finance agreement for new 250,000-gallon water storage tank. Recent leaks and defects may affect the town’s water supply.

Discuss/Act on engineering plans for new 250,000-gallon water storage tank.

The meeting will be at city hall, at 8:30 pm. Citizens and the public are welcome and encouraged to attend.