City continues to work on infrastructure woes

The bone-dry pool. The City Park pool is closed indefinitely due to potential liability and safety concerns. The pool, which is 45 years old, will not open this summer and plans are to either repair or replace it with a splash pad/water park type facility. -Advocate Photo
The bone-dry pool. The City Park pool is closed indefinitely due to potential liability and safety concerns. The pool, which is 45 years old, will not open this summer and plans are to either repair or replace it with a splash pad/water park type facility. -Advocate Photo

City council has met three times since May 15 to address persistent issues with leaks at the shop tank and trying to ensure that locals have access to the City Pool as soon as possible.

At the May 15 meeting, Jaime Hudson, assistant chief water operator, reported that Taylor Underwater has been treating the shop tank and airport tank with epoxy in an attempt to stop persistent leaks until a new tank can be completed in 6 to 8 months. The airport well will require an epoxy liner which will be applied this winter, when the tank can be drained because of less water usage.

Council also heard from Hudson on the state of the City Pool, which was originally built in 1973, and which is also leaking. More concerning, was the condition of the pool building which has shifted and which Mr. Hudson warned, could be a liability issue. Council concurred that in light of the poor state of the facility, it might be more prudent to not open the pool this year and concentrate on the construction of the new water park for next year.

Fractures developing along the city pool building  -Advocate Photo
Fractures developing along the city pool building -Advocate Photo

On a positive note, Mr. Hudson informed the council that he had just returned from Abilene, where Van Horn’s drinking water was awarded First Place for the best tasting drinking water for populations under 10,000. Sweetwater won for populations over 10,000, but Van Horn won the honor of advancing to the State contest in Corpus Christi next February.

Council also heard from gas department manager, Edward Torres about ongoing negotiations with TXDOT on easements for construction of a new roadside park east on Van Horn off Interstate 10.

In other business, Council approved the design and bid from Signtronix, for installation of a new lighted sign at the convention center, approved the request by Mayor Pam Young to install street lights at the south side of East Cactus between Van Horn Drive and Date Street, and in front of 406 Austin Street for safety purposes.

At the regular meeting on May 30, Council heard a report from gas department manager, Edward Torres, on requirements from the Railroad Commission on auditing Drug and Alcohol testing procedures. Mr. Torres also advised Council on eliminating obsolete gas lines in Wildhorse and Lobo and reported that repair work will begin soon on the oldest gas lines in town in the Clark Heights area.

Newly elected officials, Mike Garibay, Rudy Hinojos and Pam Young, were all issued Certificates of Election before reciting the Oath of Office and officially being sworn into office. Council then moved to agenda items, including approving a request from City Administrator, Fran Malafronte to hire students for the Voluntary PIC program for the summer, which will run 8 to 10 weeks. Council also unanimously approved plans from Brock and Bustillos, for construction of a new, 250,000 ground storage tank

Council met in special session on June 4th, with one item on the agenda. Council voted unanimously to approve a quote form AcCynmar Pool of El Paso to repair the City Pool so that the summer swimming season can be salvaged. An opening date has not yet been finalized.