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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Sept 13, 2016, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Here are my notes from the meeting. The meeting at 3:00 pm later in the day addressed the tax rate.


Presidio County Commissioners Court Regular Meeting Tuesday September 13th, 9:30 AM Presidio County Courthouse, Marfa.

All commissioners present.
Judge and County Attorney present.

Meeting convened at 9:44 AM

Item 4: public comments:
None

Item 5:Announcements from judge and commissioners.

Judge talks about the tragedy in Alpine last week. Concern about our own school. 
School had been locked down. Sheriff's office said that two officers had gone to the school initially, but one returned to jail shortly. Border patrol had zero agents in Marfa.
Texas DPS Sgt Snead was called and told judge that all troopers we're in Alpine assisting. Constable Marquez went to school to patrol at that point. DPS sent four game wardens to school here in Marfa. Judge communicated with MISD admin about safety and condition.
Word finally came about Alpine status and that situation was cleared. Judge Guevara, judge Beebe and Dina LaSoya went to school to speak to kids, reassure them and let them know that they can come to us for anything. 
Courthouse security in general discussed. Panic buttons, fire hoses missing, etc. This week we will have a round table discussion for a safety plan with elected officials and dept heads about security procedures at the courthouse. Thursday or Friday. Judge thanks everyone for their efforts.

Commissioners: Vasquez asks about jail roof meeting 2:00 PM Thursday at jail. Yes. 

Item 6: Mark Zollitsch from TAC regarding wellness program. Wellness incentive plan committee has met, proposed to adopt a two part wellness program. Annual physicals are the first part. Health assessment. Incentives for employees that complete items. Once first one is made, then secondary programs kick in. $50 gift card or a paid day off for first incentive. TAC rebates from Healthy County program will pay for this. 
Second part is tobacco cessation program. Tobacco surcharge would be in effect for users who do not quit. 
Judge asks about return of $74,000 we are projected to receive. Surplus distribution, not related to incentive program. Surplus is based on claims history. Judge says that the focus of the committee right now is to not punish people as much as reward them for participation. 
White talks about his own quitting chewing tobacco after forty years of using it when a growth was found. Was a great incentive to quit that same day the doctor found it.
Judge asks for a motion. White makes motion to adopt program. Seconded by Hernandez. Unanimous.

Item 7- Courthouse panic buttons. WAVE technologies. 
No presentation. Proposal within commissioners folders. White makes motion to approve. Judge asks for clarity on where in budget would this money come from. Patty Roach says that this would be for next year's budget. This would be for next year's. Judge says that system can be installed by Sept 30 th to be in this year's budget. Costs just over $11,000. Judge recommends service in Presidio at the Annex be budgeted in next year's budget. Aranda wants to know what money in this year's budget is available. Judge says that there is some money from the air ambulance fund. Patty says that is not right, it would come from several different departments. 
Mostly from emergency management. Unanimous.

Item 8- Judge recommends we move to Item 22, S&K software presentation on cloud computing.
O.k
Presentation by owner Matt Brown on cloud computing.
Document management system. Automated system for paperwork reduction.
Scan store, retrieve and share.
Flexible search.
Administrative control of access to data. 
Disaster recovery.
Keeps track of who made changes to docs and who viewed the doc. 
Improved internal communications, easier and faster access to county data. 
Several copies of records saved in cloud storage. 
Will be able to integrate with State of Texas online portal in the future. 
Judge and Virgie have questions about how effective this could be for dept heads and also for potential clients. 
Beebe talks about how this is already being done in the JP Pct 1 office, hopefully other depts are addressing this on their own, but he is uncertain as to whether there is a benefit countywide.
John Fowlkes says that he thinks the real benefits to this is to the Clerk's office. County does not have anything to back up the paper deeds. Some outside commercial companies made copies of records but we do not have access. Since 2000 everything has been electronic but everything before that is vulnerable. 
Brenda Silva Bentley says that at one point they were able to get many records scanned into a backup but were unable to get it completed. 
John says that the clerk's office is where the issue really is since those deed records are irreplaceable. He does not see much benefit outside of there but there is definitely a need there.
Hernandez says that he would like to go ahead with exploring this since these guys will work with us on payment plans and options. Judge mentions that there is a federal statute from 2006 that more or less requires this for grant funding. 
Fowlkes says that everyone who owns property in Presidio County has a potential gap in the title chains. If something was to happen, you could have a massive problem with potential tax values and inability to get title insurance.
Aranda brings up the situation a few years back when the county lost sensitive documents and we got a bad audit based on that. 
Approximate cost of this would be $1000 per user for five years. Very inexpensive over time. 
Company needs a site survey to see what the parameters of needs are for County offices. 
Company rep brings up that although our systems work well independently we do not have a countywide system with customized access. Company can provide scanning services. 
Patty Roach wants to know if this is software only proposal or also hardware. Matt says software only, but they can bring production scanners to lower costs. 
Vasquez asks if once they tour the offices can these guys give us a more specific figure? Matt says yes. 
Discussion only item. 
Patty says that her general comment is that this type of project needs to take more advance planning. The nature of the documents makes this sensitive. Need to have a committee to decide if this will be countywide and the whos and whys about that. 

Item 8- water service for Presidio Lely airport. No action taken.

Item 9- renewal of vision insurance for Presidio County employees. 
Mindy Seahorn. Linked to item 10- TAC insurance. 
Vision program: Ameritas administers it. Rates are unchanged from last year. 
Looking for approval from commissioners. 
Run through end of November of next year.
Unanimous.
Item 10- TAC health insurance. Already approved. Rates went down 2% from last year. Says that surplus is determined by number of years in health pool, and also claims rate. This year was $74,000 surplus coming back to the County.
Deductible plan year dates start on December 1st for members. 
Changes to prescription card: maintenance medication they now want you to use CVS mail order service. Negotiated rates are much lower for TAC. Using a different pharmacy will cost user one and a half times your original co-pay. 
Specialty medications are still much cheaper than most plans. Only 35% co-pay.
Most plans at 50%.
Air ambulance supplemental services: possibility to add one of two options for supplemental air ambulance services, ground and air. Can make it voluntary for employees or an employee  benefit. $9/month per employee first plan option. $24-$32/month for worldwide services and return transit. 
Fowlkes asks about the low rates, and would these plans really cover these costs? Sound to good to be true. Mindy says that this covers the client with any company in the U.S. 
Different company (Airmed) covers air transport only, not ground ambulance. 
$55/year per employee. 
Has to be air ambulance within their network. The only one out in this region is an Airmed copter. Either program is able to be offered voluntarily to employees to be deducted out of paychecks.
Discussion only item.

Five minute break at 11:13 AM

Reconvene at 11:33 AM.

Item 12- skipping item 11.... 
Big Bend Telephone company proposal. Aaron Rodriguez presenting. 
Network buildout to courthouse, jail, old jail, golf course (potentially) and services in Presidio. 
Five year contract pricing. 45 voice phone lines. Ten fax lines, five conference lines. Unlimited calling included. 
Installation and implementation. Provide phone, network. 
Training of each department individually. 
45 Cisco IP phones. 
Network buildout. 12 fiber buried cable. Switching.
Divide courthouse into quadrants. Jail would have own fiber system. Power vault would be there since jail has a backup generator. Battery backup for other buildings. Wifi in every location. 
City of Presidio offices will be unchanged from present. 
Internet options: Ethernet transport. 100mb or 50 mb systems. 
Cloud computing requires adequate bandwidth.
Service agreement includes eight hours per month.
Possibility for managed network services later. Firewall log services. Public side of wifi network for visitors. Private side for in-courthouse work. 
One time cost. Will be replacing nearly all wires. Fiber between floors. Working with facilities manager and historical commission on how to construct and be in compliance. 
Most of buildout is within the monthly cost. Five years from now the monthly price will go down. 
50/100 MB difference is $1550. 
Judge says that over a year ago she reached out to BBT to upgrade us into the 21st century. She really wants this, but it will be a challenge to make this happen. 
Right now telephone costs the county over $100,000 per year. This is a little more expensive than that for the first five years. Aaron brings up safety concern with wires running across the floor, etc.
Communication advances to county will be major. 
White advocates. 
Patty Roach joins conversation with regard to how to pay for this. 
BBT says that regardless by this winter there will be service to most of Marfa for the 100MB. Installation is going on now. 
Aranda wants to know with at the difference will be and what we need to pay to get this? 
$8668.81 per month for 100MB service to courthouse.  One time $15,000 fee. Aaron says that BBT and county can work with payment plan. Patty says she wants to do a more detailed analysis to figure out the best way to do it between the treasurer's office and OMB. 
Aaron says that as long as we can get paid within the fiscal year, the timing can be worked with. Monthly costs could be reduced if county opts for a larger up front capital contribution. 
Will have to be part of 2017 budget. 
County is probably actually paying the same or more right now once all the bills are sorted out. 
BBT says that until system is fully installed they will not bill. ATT will not need to be disconnected until BBT network is ready since they are not using much of any of that equipment.
White says that removing the long distance charges for locally made calls will reduce an X factor. Constantly will be the same bill every month. Better and faster internet.
Says that service calls to BBT in his experience is premium. Do not have to wait days for worker. Aaron says usually service guy will be here in two hours. 
Hernandez wants to know where it is in the budget. Judge says it is already in there. Total costs $104,000 per year excluding the one time payment for install. 
ATT says that they want to bid as well, Judge says. We will have to have an RFP, bid but we can tailor that to the needs. 
Hernandez says we need to do this, we just need to get the numbers together and get it done somehow. Aaron says he will work with us on all the numbers. 
Service contract can be negotiated every year since we are County and not private. Required by statute to have that each year. 
Possibility of connecting airport with fixed base wireless connection. 
End of presentation. 

Forward to item 16- 4H club usage of Agriculture Barn:

Presentation by Lorinda Carillo, Brenda Klein, Hector Sanchez

Lorinda makes presentation about role of 4H in the county. Bringing up access to barn at county fairgrounds. Would like to use facility on a daily basis. Water, electric, and other things needed. 
Roping arena: they would like to use it as well in developing a roping program. 
Brenda Klein asks for ability to utilize the area. 
Hector says that shooting sports are held out there and they are asking for designated leaders be allowed to come and go as they please to use the area. 
Show season barn will need to be used because there is not another place to have animal storage. Would like to have access without causing the county trouble. 
In past years there was an agreement in place to allow access. 
Can make arrangements to keep the weeds down, other maintenance issues at arena if given some more access. 
Main goal is to restart greater interest in the traditional activities of roping, animal raising, and agricultural activities. 
Judge Guevara thanks them for helping the youth in town, especially now that Jessie Lea Schneider has resigned. The volunteers are so important at this point and always. 
Judge goes over what the goals they have listed are. Says theses are all good things for our youth. 
She knows that right now there is no open access at the arena but that may be because there is other stuff out there that may be valuable to the county. 
White intervenes and says that it is embarrassing that this has had to come to commissioners court since this is specifically for the youth of Presidio County to use. He has asked the facilities manager to get this straightened out. Needs to be resolved in favor of the kids. This is something we have to do. We must support these kids. He is sorry that it has come to this. 
Aranda says he this what happened over the years is that we closed gates because we had some problems out there at times. Not with these people but with others coming and going at all hours. Asks Sam to voice his opinion on what a good solution is. 
Sam Cobos says that he wants everyone to use the county facilities as much as possible. Events occurred where changes had to be made. Required facilities use forms for usage. This has worked well. 
Jessie Lea Schneider had access 24/7 since she was the county agent. Now that she is gone, We had to revisit the situation. 
Had a call about a roping there on a Friday night and that the lock had been cut. Somebody took gasoline from a work truck. Changed locks to all facilities. 
Now what Sam has done is Vizcaino Park is open every day from 7-7. Opening arena and barn from 7-7 as well. This is what we are doing now. Winter months or bad weather we may not have it open all the time. 
After sunset there is no lighting, facilities are closed. 
In the event that someone reserves the facility, we require the facilities use form. Now when we close the gates we leave them open for the archery and shooting on specific dates. Sponsors lock the barn and gate afterwards. 
White says that the barn was built by the community specifically to benefit the youth of Presidio County. That building ought to be committed to the 4H and they should not need a use permit for either the barn or the arena. 
Sam says that once livestock show starts and animals are present that he plans to give a responsible person a combo lock for 24 hour access during the livestock event. 
Gate needs to be accessible at night and on the morning for parents for feeding, etc during that time period. Recommend two locks for that time. 
Vasquez says he likes that idea, but he thinks there should be more than just one person, maybe six or so who can have access. 
Sam says he will give Mandi Sanchez the combo and she will be responsible for everything out there. 
Lorinda says that with all due respect Mr. Cobos was already approached about this idea but said no and that's why we are here now. Hector Sanchez yes he agrees, but they are here to get clarification. He would like to be able to sign an agreement to allow for their use even when it is not the stock show. Is there any way to do that? Roping group is year long. 
Cobos says that it is open 7-7 every day. It will be open. 
Virgie wants to know why they have to fill out all the forms, why can't they just use it? 
Cobos says that without the form nobody would know who is using it and what is going on out there. Says that with regard to maintenance, we do the best we can, but before this last 4H event it rained too much and city was unable to mow. 
Judge says that this action item also requests water and electric. She does not have a problem with that. Perhaps we form a committee to develop an agreement between them and the County.
Brenda Klein asks if the Roping Arena has to be used as a county equipment yard? Don Culberson wants to know why the land is not open to all all the time? Some times people drink beer out there, so what? Why do we restrict access to public lands, and why are we not trying to encourage use of public lands? 
White says that we have already designated a different area for storing the sheriff's impound yard. For years and years we had it open and anyone can use it?  We have built layers of bureaucracy and we are trying to legislate people's behavior. 
Vasquez thinks that there could be a camera at the enable to monitor who is on the property. 
Hector says that he and some of his roping friends had wanted to help maintain the p
Arena so that they could rope. Guys from Fort Davis were keeping it clean and then it got shut down because of problems. This weekend's roping event is going to be hindered by the disuse of the facility. 
Jane Walker says that kids need to get to their animals in the barn for stock show 24/7. It is about watering, training, exercising the animals. Not just the kids, the parents are always there. With the gate locked it is a big problem. 
When it gets really really cold the animals need to be inside the barn to gain weight. 
White makes a motion to form a committee of Sam Cobos and himself to come back on Oct 11 to commissioners court with a solution for an agreement. 
Any other commissioner is welcome to assist.
Cobos wants to know how to deal with this in the meantime. Vasquez says give the key to Mandi and she will be responsible for all this. 
Harlan Hardy says we are right back where we were for now. The last two years he had not a problem, no incidents. Harlan Hardy says that every leader within 4H has gone though a background check to do the volunteer work. We are not just anyone. 
Gary Mitschke says that as a past member of 4H adult leaders who helped build the barn it was built for this with private funds. This is for all the kids of the whole county. 
This is what is important. 
Cobos asks for the time being should he give the combo to Mandi? Any restrictions on who she can give it to? White says there is no way to enforce that. Give the combination and let it go. 
Hector wants to know if he can practice roping? Yes, Mandi has the key. 
Hernandez seconds the motion by White. Unanimous. 


Reconvene at 1:17
Item 23- resident at golf course. Aranda makes motion to approve letting Larry Lunsford stay at golf course contingent on approval by County Attorney. Unanimous. Later John Fowlkes advises after being briefed by Judge about this decision. Lunsford wrote a letter of liability release. John says that volunteers carry very little liability as to their presence on county property. Has no real problem with it. Lunsford provided a release. 


Commissioner Hernandez has to leave. Leaves at 1:19 PM
Commissioner White has to leave. Leaves as well. 

Item 11- county Extension agent support item. County needs to approve in order to send message to State that we support getting a replacement.
$12,053.87 plus travel budget of just over $9,000 per year.
Vasquez makes motion to support. Aranda seconds. Unanimous.

Item 13- fees for civil services. Direct fees, $100 per service, Aranda makes motion. Same as last year. 
Vasquez seconds. Unanimous.

Item 14- moving auditor's office to former extension agents office. 
Auditor has money in budget for this move. Auditors office has outgrown that small office. Unanimous

Item 15- burn ban renewal. No action since Gary Mitschke is not in favor. 

Item 17- Airport budget expansion/increase. Tabled for now until Patty comes back.

Item 21-John Fowlkes says he has the contract with City of Presidio. Waiting on City of Presidio atty opinion regarding new contact. Past due amount will be in separate contract. 

Item 21- no action

Item 20- City of Marfa agreement for tax collection. Pretty much Same as City of Presidio's contract but with slightly different dates and a clause that allows for withholding payment to City if city does not pay on time.  Marfa city council has already approved. 
Judge motions to approve. Second by Vasquez. Unanimous.

Item 17- increase airports budget: Auditor Patty Roach says that airport wants $6,640 for CIP grant. Bids came in a bit high. TXDOT recommends LED lights. There is some funding left in the airports budget left over from unused Presidio airport funding. Patty recommends to increase. Aranda motions to increase. Vasquez seconds. Unanimous.

Item 18- RAMP grant program Marfa airport. Chase recommends. Judge motions to approve. Vasquez seconds. Unanimous

Item 22- TXDOT Ramp grant program for Presidio airport. Aranda motions positively. Unanimous. 

Item 24- administrative session

Auditor- trying to wrap up external auditors questions. Need to advertise for elected officials salary increase. Budget hearing needs to be advertised as well. 

Treasurer's report: $667,823.36 received since last court meeting.

Office of Management and Budget: submitted in writing. Katie asks if there are any questions. Judge asks about payroll numbers from last month. Three payrolls. 

John asks about Lunsford motion letting him stay out there. Time limits, etc. says he would prefer that authorization to stay on property not be contingent on anything related to the golf course lease activities. Authorization to stay until further notice. Judge and commissioners agree. Vasquez wants to be sure that Lunsford is comfortable. 

District and county clerk reports. Submitted in writing. Virgie asks for questions. Judge wants to know if Virgie knows the difference between indigent defense and indigent services. Some discussion, John says indigent services would include things like pauper burial, indigent defense is for legal items. 
Treasurer Frances Garcia says on the civil side there are fees collected from probate etc that are slightly different. 

Facilities Management: in writing. 
Over 3000 people were here for Marfa Lights, judge says.

Capital Projects: in writing

Airports manager: in writing

Tax Assessor report: Norma says $360,000 plus, retained by county over 100,000. 

JP 1 report: good month, over $23,000 collected. Good for an August.

JP 2 report: in writing.

Marfa EMS report: in writing, accepted. Judge compliments the detail in the report. Includes mileage, valuable data to secure potential grants.

Marfa Fire Dept: in writing, there was a false alarm. Accepted. Aranda says that Marfa EMS has better software than Presidio EMS, Eric is working on getting improved systems. Judge says Marfa EMS has better money reporting as well. 

Presidio EMS: in writing. 

Presidio Fire dept: judge says that Fire dept is giving an extensive report now, very detailed, excellent. 

Jail report: numbers a little down... Gracie Parras says that on Sept 7th a rep from integrity steelworks came to analyze condition of jail facilities. Did an assessment and there are some things wrong. Will provide estimate for repairs. Missing security screws, etc. And on Sept 15th meeting about roof structure. Annual state jail standards inspection expected Sept 19th. 
Judge says that Stonegarden personnel will be in Jeff Davis County at the end of the month, hopefully they come here. She will find out. Commissary fund- prisoners monies. 

Sheriff's Office report: accepted in writing. 

AgLife Extension report: final report from Jessie Lea Schneider. 

Emergency Management Report: round table discussion about security at courthouse later this week. 


Advances/registrations: None

Line Item Transfers: 
Some money moving from places to the WAVE system. 
Auditor transfer for scanning supplies. 
OMB transfer for same.
Appraisal District payment.
Capital and fuel from County judge dept to go to phone. Office supplies. 
County employee Isidro Garcia is coming back to work. Must be light duty work. Hopefully work in Presidio at County Annex.
Several other small ones in various departments.
Saved some money on external auditor, can transfer elsewhere.
Approved as presented unanimously


Bills: 
Notable bills: Treasurer Frances Garcia says there is nothing out of the ordinary this time.
Approved unanimously.

Minutes from previous meetings: 
Judge has a question regarding minutes from Aug 30th. Regarding people being overpaid. How many? Some people were not named on the agenda, so they were not included. Virgie confirms. 
Patty says that reimbursements from two are coming without a payment plan. The others are paying between two fiscal years, reason for decision to come to commissioners. Taken care of. Judge is satisfied with answer. 
Approved unanimously.

Adjourn at 2:20 PM







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