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Thursday, October 16, 2008

City Council recap 8/28/08

This will be basic recap of this meeting since it occurred nearly 2 months ago and since then we've been knee deep in budget writing since. I will keep it short. It is based on my notes I took during the meeting and does not include the official minutes or any additional handout information within the following text.

1) Citizen comments

School board president Teloa Swinney commented on the successful implementation of the new one-way signs and additional related safety signage by the police dept around the school. Additionally, she requested that the city turn on and pay for the streetlights surrounding the school.

Lineaus Lorette commented at length on the music at the Adobe Moon BBQ restaurant.

Lucy Garcia voiced her concerns about the lack of streetlights.

Juan Licon commented about the streetlights, the dog park and the dumpsters.

2) Council approved minutes of prior meeting

3) Mayor's Report- Dan Dunlap appraised council of the shortage of EMS officers and that hopefully there will be a training class at some point to augment staff. Reminded us that even with our temporary exemption from having to carry 2 EMT's per call we are still running short.

4) City Administrator's Report- James Mustard let us know that we applied for and received the Lone Star Library Grant, ( a yearly grant) for $4236.00 and that on August 18th ORCA did their walk-through to begin the conclusion phase of the major library renovation grant. Completion survey included HVAC, bathrooms, electrical. Our grant administrator will close out the grant since we passed.
Mustard gave a short update on the ongoing USDA grant for renovation of the MAC bathrooms and other facilities at the MAC to make it ADA compliant. USDA wants the architect to revise and review the documents. Bidding for project potentially in October. Grant funds amount to $249,000.

5) Councilmember Comments-
Myself and Rudy Garcia had comments. No notes taken. No other comments.

6) New Business

A) Resolution 08-16 to submit for the ORCA grant for sewer system rebuild and improvement, southwest side of Marfa.
Mayor and city admin spent some time with ORCA folks and determined we should receive this grant if we apply. We may have to decide on a shortening of the replacement line. City crews to handle all installation of replacement lines, etc. Matching funds from city will be $11,473. That's cash funds. Time and equipment maint & dep. not reimbursable. * inch line to be connected to existing relatively new line @ Waco St. New line should run from Waco to Sligo St minimum distance.
Passed unanimously
B) Presidio County Appraisal District budget. Submitted for approval Passed unanimously.
C) Gas Board Director: Appoint Gas Board Director. We could have chosen a councilmember. No volunteers. Rudy already serves. I declined. We re-appointed citizen Esther Ann White. Unanimous
D) Gas Corp Inter-Local Agreement- After much, much confusion about how the original by-laws and revised by-laws were or weren't written, approved , etc, etc there is finally some clarification to the issue. The original documents were finally found in Reeves County where the SWTMGC once owned some infrastructure. Sure enough, Marfa and Alpine both own 100% of the infrastructure within their own territories and split the rest 60/40 on the Alpine side. That was a revision signed by former Marfa mayor Fritz Kahl in 1998. So, overall the infrastructure location breakdown is as follows: Marfa 28%, Alpine 62%, and Ft. Davis 10%. It's clear that Alpine owns a significantly larger share of our gas corp than we do. Fortunately, as a not for profit, the gas corp board operates in the interest of the company as a whole and not individual shareholders. Based on this current reality, we approved a 10 year contract unanimously.
E) EMS mileage rates: EMS chief Bert LaGarde asks for an increase in the mileage rates for transport from $7 to $15. This is the covered Medicare rate and as covered by private insurance as well. Medicaid covers indigents (apparently). Approving this offsets the rising fuel costs with no direct increase to the patient. Approved 4-1 Manny Baeza dissents.
F) Ordincance 08-06- Wind Energy Systems- This ordinance was brought to us by the city administrator at the behest of a wind energy turbine dealer and several Marfa residents who are considering investing in wind power for their homes. After a lengthy demonstration of systems, back and forth on details regarding height, etc we resolved to table the issue until more information is gathered and presented. No action taken.
G) Golf Course budgeting request from Jay Foster representing Marfa Golf Association. Coach Foster responded to mine and others request for detailed information on what items the golf course requests for the 2009 fiscal budget. This is an ongoing issues, as the golf pro's salary is partially covered by the city and partially covered by MGA. Municipal laws prohibit the Marfa Parks and Rec dept from paying salaries, so some MGA salary cost has been traditionally offset by a Parks and Rec equipment contribution. Basically it's a messy situation, for more reasons than stated here. Coach Foster presented a bid for a commercial riding mower for $5,500 and council and the coach went through the basics of the MGA's membership, basic books, etc. Information is quite detailed when it comes to players, dues, youth programs, etc. Impressive presentation, in my opinion. I will not bother to post all the numbers here, as they are available from the MGA.
Council approved budget item Unanimously.
H) Discussion with action as appropriate to adopt new Duncan proposed contract rates. I won't get into this here as my information from this meeting is incomplete. This was a budget proposal adoption and not an actual contract signing. Unanimous.
More on this later as it's the biggest single issue this city will face over the next 5-10 years.
No further budget discussion
Adjourn

That's it for me tonight, folks. I'll try to get the rest of the meetings up to the current (Oct 14) up before this time next week. - David

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