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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting August 7, 2019

 I had to leave this meeting early because I was so frustrated with the lack of preparation and knowledge of items on the agenda. Late in the meeting, it became clear that the County Judge’s office has not been providing commissioners with materials to prepare for the meeting for quite some time now.
What’s even more amazing about all this than the lack of ability of the County Judge to do this job is that commissioners have not mentioned this to the constituents. No wonder the meetings take forever and everyone is so confused. It’s hard to believe that the city council, basically a volunteer position functions exponentially better than paid commissioners and the County Judge do. This is very upsetting to me.

Here are my notes on the meeting:

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Wed 8/7/2019, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Convened at 9:40 AM

All commissioners present

Item 4: Citizen Comments:
Bentley says that citizens have requested mass gathering issue be advanced to front of agenda.

Rob Crowley: says that vote four weeks ago about second amendment sanctuary county passage. Understand that it’s somewhat meaningless, but it sends a signal.
Gun laws may be changing. Right and left are considering changes. Sheriff already has a lot of power to interpret the laws. Commissioners sending the message that if new gun laws are passed, commissioners do not support the Sheriff enforcing them. Curt has a responsibility as leadership to set the priorities for this County. Be on the correct side of history. Do it for Presidio county and for El Paso.

C3 item moved up.
Judge says that she wishes C3 had presented the mass gathering initiative differently. They went to the city first and everyone was already upset.
At this time the County is still meeting with them, trying to get all the facts so that commissioners can come to the public. Promises to put this before the public “at the right time”. Input has been high volume.
Says that commissioners have public safety in mind first.
C3 feels the same way.
Unfortunately nowadays being in public is not necessarily safe.
The decision to grant or not grant is a huge responsibility that is on the Judge’s shoulders.
Nine requirements stipulated within the law that must be followed. If followed, County must grant permit.
Goes on about requirements, reads from statute.
County has expressed concern about fire and EMS services needed for C3 festival. Company is addressing that.
These rules apply to anyone having a mass gathering.
Outdoor music fest:Sec 24.101 of the Occupations Code.
Judge says she wants to hear from all of the public, but she wants commissioners to consider separate applications for mass gathering s and music festivals.
Wants to have a public meeting in the evening when more of the public can attend.
Comments: Buddy Knight says that he knows there is a citizens committee that put together a proposed application.
Knight has some issues with a few things on that application. Insurance should be required. He supports festival but he thinks county should pay an impact fee, possibly a performance bond.
Would like to have a limit on peripheral, but state code does not allow for that.
Says health officer, fire marshal and sheriff have to do their duty.
Wants to be sure County is completely covered for any impacts.
Judge says she will personally guide this.
Neil Chauvigny says that C3 is huge, probably has a performance bond, county does not have the ability to deny the permit if requirements are met. Sheriff, fire marshal and health officer cannot delegate their authority in this, it’s really on them.
How many people? 5000-6000 the first year.
Neil says ability to grow is what is potentially troubling. 10,000 or more?
Neil has talked to DPS and sheriff about all this. It would take a tremendous effort on the part of law enforcement.
Judge says State does not allow for limits on numbers, but does allow for denial for safety reasons.
Another citizen asks about tickets, 6000 people in year one. Knight says yes.
Nothing is established beyond year one.
Judge says they don’t plan on growth. Beebe and Knight disagree, they said they plan on growth in the future.
How can information on this become public? The public does not have the information, gets conflicting information from different people, such as in this instance.
How can citizens participate?
Judge says that the leaders here will decide after being satisfied with their concerns when to bring it to the public.
Bentley says she is in favor of a citizens group to attend these meetings.
Judge says that it will be good if public officials will get the facts first and then bring it to the public.
Citizen participatory group would be great says public comments. Judge Guevara says she has invited a citizen to attend. Knight says that a couple of people should be able to attend.
Judge wishes there was not so much anxiety about all this. Bentley says that the public is asking to participate.
Judge says that in the interest of productivity the meetings have been limited to officials and the company. Citizen agrees that having citizens there would indeed inhibit productivity with regard to getting a deal done.
Judge says next meeting in Marfa will have an agenda item with regard to this.
Judge says that court maybe should start meeting in the evenings so that people can attend.

Judge says that commissioners need to discuss meeting times so that citizens can have better representation. She thinks that meetings would better serve the public if they were at night.

Bob Schwab: says this is a huge deal, that’s why there is passion.
He is concerned about the court seemingly justifying the C3 application.
Liability is unavoidable. A citizens committee is very important. He is sensing a lack of professionalism on the part of officials and possibly others and a conflicted County Attorney.
Citizens want a committee that can have a real voice in setting the standards for an event like this. Citizens need to see that our own standards are met. Cut off the meetings with C3 and meet with the community instead.
How do we define subjective standards?
DPS needs to be heavily involved. Knight is talking to Allison Bass Atty’s to get advice. Schwab believes Rod Ponton has at least two direct conflicts of interest.
Sally Bovais asks about citizens advisory committee, where is that? Judge says she met with citizens on June 6. Then took concerns to C3. Objections from crowd.
Schwab says citizens are asking for a non binding committee to be established on Sept 4.
Knight says we can ask C3 for things, but cannot force beyond the statute.
Schwab agrees and says we need to ask. And we need to define the standards of safety. Schwab says he is very concerned that the Judge seems to be siding with C3 and trying to justify them to the citizens.
Rob Crowley says that he is in favor of live music, property owners individual rights, tourism based business. Says citizens advisory committee does not represent the entire community. He has been locked out of the meetings of the informal committee. He does not like the anti tourism sentiment in town. New says he has not seen any anti tourism sentiment.
Dawn Shannon says she has been asked to attend a C3 meeting to sit and listen. She does not approve of meetings where she is not allowed to speak and does not approve of the closed door meetings.
Aranda says he is in favor of a committee and has been.
Next agenda in Marfa will address this and evening meetings.

Five minute break at 10:55 AM

Reconvene at 11:10 AM

Item 5: payroll approval
Approved

Item 6: line item transfers and budget amendments:
Airport: supplies and repairs
Road and bridge fuel costs
Courthouse fuel costs
JP 2 tech fund software money
Road and bridge temp labor, repairs to vehicles.
County Annex, cleaning supplies
Emergency management computer website
Several others...
Knight moves to approve. Second by Cabezuela
Approved

Item 7:
auditor says RFPs for motor grander are going out.
(I missed the rest of the auditors report) approved

Item 8: Treasurers report: Frances Garcia
Golf course clubhouse roof damaged in a storm, insurance paid, will be repaired.
Bills. Approved
Treasurer does not have monthly statements, will have next meeting.
Most ion to postpone item 10. Unanimous

Item 11: Donation to 4H in conjunction with Kia commercial. Ginger Griffice presents this $750.00 donation for the record. Approved. Also paid rental fee of $4000.00 to county, Judge says.

Item 12: proposal for services jail HVAC project. McKinstry is architect of project. Continuation of services.
Nine rooftop units. Natural gas heaters.
$23,329.00.
Auditor negotiated price down $5,000.00
Court approved this amount range a few years ago for this project.
Approved Katie Sanchez says that she wants it for the record that McKinstry has only been on site one time. Much discussion about what exactly they have done and if previous facilities manager directed them to do things that way. Motion by Judge, second by Cabezuela. Unanimous.

Item 13: already covered- mass gathering, discussion only.

Item 14: Electrical work for outdoors at courthouse. Forty outlets, two 100 amp panels.
E.V. Services. Aka Junie Villareal. Electrical outlets are rotted and unsafe.
This would be a portion of the work. There are four panels, this would replace two.
$14,000 plus dollars.
Judge thinks there is a fund balance available.
AEP is donating time to do trenching.
Bentley wants to know what the benefit of this is to the county. Obviously the Marfa Lights Fest is one. Judge says that if system is unsafe then permit would be denied. Patty Roach says that a budget amendment would be needed for this. Forty percent advance requested. She does not recommend this. Perhaps an invoice could be provided first. AEP can help supervise the project with Eddie Pallarez being the point man.
Judge wants to approve contingent on availability of funds.
Auditor has an issue with this. North side of courthouse will be addressed next agenda. This updated agenda only applies to the South side box, for just over $7,000.00 (I do not have a copy of this , the agenda given to me is different).
$9600 left in budget for courthouse repairs.
Motion is now to approve proposal for 7540.00 to install electric on S side of courthouse. Unanimous.

Item 15: judge motions to pass, duplicate item.

Item 16: Lubbock County public defender contract for Capitol cases.
Ponton says it’s a standard agreement. Recommends approval.
Renewal of previous agreement.
$1465.00 payment.
 Approved.

Item 17: Adoption of an ordinance allowing sale of alcoholic beverages “late night “ in the County.
TABC section 105.03
Judge says that the county should have had in place before issuing any late night permits.
Radio station brought this up. Clarified by TABC.
Ponton says that the proposed ordinance is standard and conforms to code.
Extended hours for alcoholic beverage permits.
Reserves the county’s right to repeal ordinance.
Allows for previously approved permits to remain valid.
Sally Bovais asks what affect it has on issuance of permits? Judge says she thinks that commissioners will still judge each applicant on a case by case basis.
Sally asks what the criteria would be, if there are any criteria. Judge says she thinks there is a section that addresses this.
Ponton says that it makes it lawful for commissioners to grant a permit.
Guidelines are within the code. Bentley says that she thought that the TABC had advised, through two attorneys that an applicant still must come before  commissioners but that the ordinance gives blanket permission to an area to apply for one. Judge says she does not know.
Judge says that concerns of the public will be considered, based on Attorney Ponton’s recommendation. Bentley asks who wrote the ordinance. Judge says they found one and adjusted it. Judge says she wants to consider each and every applicant.

Beebe asks if anyone has read the ordinance. No, and nobody got access to the document prior to the meeting.
Accusation by Beebe that nobody knows what they are attempting to pass.

I could not write this all down, but Ponton confirms that all businesses applying can receive a permit through TABC.

It now comes to light that Commissioners do not receive materials prior to meetings. Including in this case.

(I am totally disgusted.)
Ordinance passes, making the specific El Cosmico request moot.







Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting AGENDA August 7th 2019, Marfa, 9:30 AM




Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Houston Chronicle Presidio County 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Article

I missed this meeting, but was aware of the agenda item.

As a gun owner and someone who used to hunt and always has loved to shoot target practice and skeet I support the right to own guns. I disagree with assault weapons as a whole in civilian hands, but the horse is out of the barn. I believe in universal background checks and red flag laws. I think the NRA is a shill organization for the gun manufacturers and is also a corrupted organization, internally, partially due to that fact.

To me, I think that the item is toothless, but it does send a message.

That being said, is this really an item that should be on a commissioners court agenda? I don't think so, as it is not pertinent to County affairs.

Lastly, does using the same approach as the Sanctuary Cities movement/rhetoric but renamed as 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties movement/rhetoric thereby legitimize, in a way, the Sanctuary Cities movement as legitimate? It's an interesting and somewhat ironic approach...


The article, written by reporter Emily Foxhall, is HERE

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Notes and links to video Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting June 12, 2019, 9:30 AM

I am still getting acquainted with the camera and sources of power within the courthouse and the Presidio courthouse Annex. I learned this meeting not to sit near the copier or door and to bring a long extension cord.

All the videos from this and other meetings (2 so far) can be viewed HERE
Scroll to the bottom of these notes for individual links to the video segments for this meeting.

The video begins with a bad camera angle. Later it gets much better.
The most interesting part of the video is the Hwy 67 overview presented by Kleinmann consultants. I recommend watching it so you can see what the overall plans for that road look like today, as it nears design proposal completion.

Here’s my annotated notes on the meeting. Beneath are links to the videos on the Vimeo channel.

Notes on PCCC 06122019
Video pt 1 begins.

Present: Judge Guevara, Jose Cabezuela, Buddy Knight, County Atty Rod Ponton. Absent: Brenda Bentley, Eloy Aranda

Public comments:
Ramon Carrasco. Still working on warranty for Candelaria project. Scale measuring chlorine levels not working, needs replacement, under warranty.
Redford project. Bids out and accepted, work will start soon.

Payroll approval:
Nothing out of ordinary . Discussion about payouts after final pay period.
Katie Sanchez and Patty Roach have a heated discussion about final payroll timing and distribution. Patty Roach clarifies policy as being the pay period following the last pay period the employee works hours is when any additional pay for vacation time, etc will be distributed.

17:11 in video
Line item transfers and budget amendments: vehicle repair budget increased from insurance check, Sheriffs office.
Approved
Monthly report: jail has drainage problems in block 6.
Stonegarden grant: deputies have had training, not yet working. Grant does not provide for reserves to work, difficult to schedule overtime for current deputies.

 39:00 in video
Treasurers report: fuel sales at Presidio airport high this month.
Report accepted)
Video Part 1 ends

Video Part 2
Bills: training bills, estray cattle bill, Ponton reiterates his opinion on the County being an open range county and what that means.
JP conference in Padre coming up.  Says estray law is only for unknown cattle.
Approved
Balance reports April: approved

11:50 video time

--VERY INFORMATIVE VIDEO FOLLOWING--

Item 11: Vicky Carrasco - US 67 corridor update. Good information

End of Video 2
continued on Video 3
Concluded at end of video 3.

Break at 11:28 AM

Video 4 begins after break

 Item 12: Bill Tarantino from Sul ROSS. Presentation. 11:40 AM
Borderlands Research institute, funded by Mitchell Foundation.

Presentation about the initiative until 36:00 in to Video 4


Item 13: disbursement of salaries and routine office expenditures. Judge motions to postpone, but this item was brought on by Legislative action regarding payroll approval, amending meeting times. Judge wants to hear opinions from each commissioner. Item postponed.

12:15 pm Item 14: burn ban. July 4 coming up. Approved to order.

 42:15 in video

Item 15 12:21 pm
Jake Giesbrecht presentation on Port Authority activities. Report ends at 1:08 pm. Funding payment approved item 16. (video 4 ends- Video 5 picks up)
(see notes on PIPA meeting and also Jake's activity list in previous posts for related info)

Presentation ends at 42:20 on video 5

Item 17:
Property sales. Approved 1:12 pm

44:55 on video 5

Item 18: minutes approval
Approved


End of Video pt 5

Video Pt 6

Item 19: reports
Capital projects report not here
Airport runway drainage issues
Both JP Offices’ totals up
1:32

18:30 on Video 6

Judge announcements: has had several conference calls from C3, met with MARFA concerned citizens group. Will share info with public at a future date.
Airport drainage
PIPA meeting last Thurs.


Knight says that Elias Sanchez said the road going into the old cemetery is washed out again. Knight talked to Ruben about fixing it. Knight says this is a public cemetery, public road.

Adjourn at 1:36 pm


Video part 1
Video Part 2
Video Part 3
Video Part 4
Video Part 5
Video Part 6


Presidio County Commissioners Court Agenda June 12, 2019, Marfa 9:30 AM




Noticia de Reunion Publica por Plan Maestro de Corredor 67

Notice of Master Plan for Highway 67 meeting (in Spanish). A detailed presentation of the generals of this project was made in Commissioners Court Meeting 6/12 and it captured on the live video in full. Very informative. The same information will be presented at these FINAL public meetings listed on this flier. More information at TXDOT 67 website

PIPA director Jake Giesbrecht Activity Report through May 2019


Friday, June 07, 2019

Limited Notes on PIPA Meeting June 6 2019

I videotaped the proceedings, but sadly, as a new adopter of this technology, I forgot to turn on the external microphone, but had it plugged in, so there was no sound.
I will not make this mistake again.

Attached are my notes from the meeting. Notes are limited due to a dying iPad battery. Most of the meeting is covered but not all.
Notes on Presidio International Port Authority Meeting 4 pm Thursday June 6, 2019

Present: treasurer Jim White, Mayor John Ferguson, Judge Cinderela Guevara,

Port Authority Director Jake Giesbrecht

Quorum at 4:08 pm

Alonso Valenzuela, Mexico electric company rep.

Pledge

Public comments:
Guest: Alonso Valenzuela Cerro Alto Electric
Intro in Spanish

County judge communications: cannot go to all the border meetings, apologizes.

Mayor Ferguson: President of Mexico is coming to Ojinaga next Friday. Related to Ferromex rail bridge project.
Went to San Diego binational border crossing event. MNy presentations about automation. Shared Presidio Port commercial traffic problems with them. They were amazed. Here all commercial traffic is delayed by secondary inspections.
Now times have been greatly improved. From two hour wait average to sometimes as little as fifteen minutes.

Treasurers report and pay reimbursements in one item. 29,932 in expenses since last meeting.

Isela Nuñez arrives at meeting. 4:24 pm

Jim White updates financials. PIPA had just over 23,000 in bank. Presidio County owes PIPA funding. Currently short about 456.00. 16,000 owed by County and also City of Presidio.

Jake will be at commissioners court next Wed the 12th to get paid and present to commissioners.

Report approved unanimously

Judge motions to table 8 and 9 and move on to item ten.
Approved

Reimbursements: approved, not all immediate.

Item 8: executive director report: Jake Giesbrecht
Jake: Borderplex alliance opposes tariffs.
Talking about tariffs and Trumps rationale.
Cattle exports through Ojinaga are on the rise.
Median federal government is going to spend a lot of money on the Ferromex rail line to the rail bridge.
Joe Portillo enters meeting at 4:49

TXDOT requires an MOU for the bridge construction. Money is now budgeted, but this was a hold up.
NADBANK generating plant- working with Alonso of CFE.
Public private partnership.
Cattle group meeting in Chihuahua did not go well. Santa Teresa interests in Chihuahua. State of Chihuahua wants to help us, though.
42,000 head of cattle crossed so far this year. Building up again.
Mexico is now the US number one trading partner, as often few weeks ago.
Our port is now doing 100 trucks a day, up from 30.
Problems with being in the El Paso MPO TXDOT sector. They put El Paso  above rural.
Report accepted unanimously

Item 9: 559 funding item.
There are reasons to keep this, whether we use it or not.
Portillo explains how the CBP can use the local government
(Battery to iPad died at this point)



AGENDA- Presidio International Port Authority Meeting June 6th 2019, 4 PM, Presidio


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Notes about and links to Video footage of PCCC Meeting May 25, 2019, Presidio

Notes on PCCC Meeting May 29 2019, 10 AM, Presidio.

Present: Buddy Knight, Cinderela Guevara, Brenda Bentley, Jose Cabezuela, Eloy Aranda

Convene at 10:10 AM

Video pt 1 begins.
Payroll approval
One payout for jail employee quitting.
Airport fuel sales bonuses.
Commissioners ask questions about how this works. They approved this before.

Video in 8:30 for inmate trust fund item. Bank signatures.
Time 9:45 for item 7 approve inter local for jail prisoner housing Hudspeth County Jail. From $48 per day to $50 per day.
Approved with changes to dates

Video in 16:20 min- contract with Texas Communities Group for tax sale properties. Lori Wilmarth, Molly Flores
Marfa sale to be July 2
Talk about categorizing properties within the county
Price increase from $2500 to $7500.
Judge wants to wait to see last year’s annual report.
Aranda motions to renew.

Video 42:30 minutes in item authorizing Guevara to seek grant funds for city of Presidio streetlights. Also item 10, seal coating for City of Presidio roads.
Guevara speaks on this. Migrant concerns.Aranda speaks.
120 single adult migrants identified.
Video pt 2
Cabezuela says county can help city of Presidio with street seal coating.
Some arguments about who can help whom. City obligation? Joe Portillo talks at length about city priorities. Difficulties in securing grants, deadlines. Partnership with city instead of for the city? Writing letters or more than that?
Talk about EMS and Fire costs from Portillo.
Agenda item streetlight passes. Streets pass, Knight dissents.

Video time 33:00 minutes into Pt 2 - 4 items with regard to TAPS grant funding.
Patty Roach addresses these.
Grant goes back to 2015.
No Austin st RR crossing work included.
Marfa item approved.
Bledsoe to OReilly connector in Presidio item.
Scope of work has shrunken because of right of way issues on street.
Item approved
TASA grant in Presidio from 2017. Removed some items from scope of work.
City of Presidio is going to be on the hook from approx $550,000
Item passes
TASA grant fro Marfa, Cosmico shared use path. Scope is smaller because of right of way issues. From 2017
Match is budgeted.
Item approved.

Video time Pt 3 9:56 on item award Redford tank project bid
Kleinmann presents.
County will do prep work for tank, piping and foundation.
38,912 after tank purchase for force account to complete work.
Controls will cost about $18,000 including electric. about 33,000 to do the work including county match of 13,000.
Two tanks will be in use.
Aranda talks about mounting tank at higher elevation by Mr Morales’ request. Ramon says tank would be too high, pressure would go up too 120 psi. County will have to build a booster pump for Morales. That is not in grant application but maybe we can use money left over with TDA approval.
Morales donated property for other tank and wells. Aranda wants to help him out.
Item approved

Video time 19:19 for item line item transfers and budget amendments
Bills just afterwards.
Grant match payments for grants just passed.

Video time for reports: 22:45  in.
Presidio EMS: ambulance mechanical issues. Oil cooler defective, misdiagnosed prior.
Looking for funding for new ambulance.

Announcements: 29:04 in video.
Budget packets due by June 3
Reverse 911 contract: still have some requirements to meet. Who has authority to make announcements?
Forwarded to Gary. Hopefully resolved in conference call tomorrow.
Judge Bishop told her that Medical Examiner on Lubbock is under Fire.

Knight went to airports training.  Maintenance plans stressed.
Drones discussed. TSA using drones for maintenance and surveillance.
Probably should become a member of the Texas Airport Council.

Adjourn at 12:27 pm



Links to Video:


Part One
Part Two
Part Three



The Video site with all future video postings is https://vimeo.com/davidwbeebe



AGENDA: Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting 05/29/2019, 10:00 AM, Presidio





POSTS WILL LINK TO VIDEOS OF MEETINGS


Hello, everyone.

I missed a few meetings this year while attending different dates at the Texas Capitol during Legislative Session. As in sessions past, I’ve been trying to be as loud as possible about reforms to the Texas DPS Driver Responsibility Program, which I consider to be a debtors’ prison trap and some courts consider to be a method of illegal taking of money beyond statutory fine maximums.

This year, success was had on this, and the program is due to be discontinued and dismantled in September. 

In the meantime, though, I have been very disappointed in particular actions of certain County officials, and I find myself not only being weary of typing at breakneck pace for hours on end at meetings, but also unable to comment as much or with as much focus as I need to have at these same meetings. 

In the interest of FULL transparency, I believe the solution is to film the meetings I can attend and place the full contents online for public viewing and interpretation. 

I have invested in a camera and sound setup with my own personal funds and my campaign fund is paying for the web hosting, as permitted by ethics rules. 

My first foray into this project is the meeting in Presidio yesterday. My sound system is not completely ready, so I used the stock microphone on the camera. It’s adequate, but future sound quality should be remarkably better. I should also get better at visual quality as I educate myself about the fancy camera and its features.

This page will have agendas, notes on when in the footage agenda items are discussed (so you can skip ahead) and imbedded links to the videos, which run a maximum of 47 minutes per. What that means is that a three hour meeting will be divided into four parts. Notes will reflect where items fall within the footage time, in other words.
 
I will likely have some really basic notes transcribed as part of those posts, just because I like to write a few things down for myself and this blog functions as my file cabinet for all these meetings, pat and present.

Thanks so much for your interest in Presidio County governance.
David Beebe

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Special Meeting, March 20, 2019, Presidio

Notes on Special Meeting Wed March 20, 2019, 10:00AM, Presidio

Meeting convened at 10:08 AM
Present: Aranda, Guevara, Knight. Absent: Bentley, Cabezuela. Also present: County Atty Ponton


Citizen Comments: Barbara Baskin: Redford community called for an unscheduled meeting. Tank repairs presented by Ramon Carrasco.
Wants to know what the grant project number is for Redford water project. Rains are coming, talks about her road.
Has spent $1200 clearing road of sediment that County worker dropped. Meeting in Redford of commissioners occurred while she was gone. She needs help.
Judge says that County now has forms citizens can fill out and county can respond to.
Baskin says this is awfully hard. Asks if grant documents are at the courthouse, has that happened. Judge says that they have those documents.
Joe Portillo, city of Presidio. They had a charter meeting last night. Home rule charter will be put to voters. Very exciting.
Judge introducing Matlyn Sein(sp?). She is going to be our new County Ag Extension Agent. She has a BA from Sam Houston State. Masters in nutrition research. Goal is to become an agricultural scientist. Ponton says rents are cheaper in Presidio and there are more youth in Presidio. From Lake Jackson, TX. Official start date is May 1st. By June training will be ver and sh will start working for Presidio County. Aranda recommends talking to Diana Baeza at the Presidio high school.

Item 5: payroll approval. Judge asks Treasurer if there is anything extraordinary. No. Just over 96,000. Aranda motions to approve. Second by Knight. Unanimous

Item 6: bids for trust properties. Aranda says this has been working out fine. Judge motions to approve. Second by Aranda. Unanimous

Item 7: renewal of affordable care act reporting and tracking service. IRS forms Treasurer has to do. TAC helps with this since our payroll system does not track this. TAC only charges to mail forms to employees.
Unanimous

Item 8-11 Still no action. Still not sent to us from Blanca. Waiting on papers from TXDOT. Judge called Austin to ask if County is at risk of losing projects. No, County is not at risk. Joe Portillo confirms that environmental studies have been done.

Item 12: 2018 Operation Stonegarden grant. Resolution read by Knight. Assures funds will be spent properly. Judge is grantee authorizing official. Knight motions to approve. Second by Guevara. Unanimous. Patty Roach says this covers overtime for officers working with Border Patrol on their operations. No equipment purchases. Some money for vehicle maintenance.
Operations border patrol requests are covered. No other overtime covered.

Item 13: Evaluation team for new Outside Auditor. Roach says that there have been multiple firms interested. Five firms so far. Judge nominates Frances Garcia, Natalia Williams and herself to be on the team. Makes motion. Unanimous.

Item 14: approve that Presidio EMS and Fire Dept present their reports at the monthly meetings in Presidio instead of at the regular meeting in Marfa. Better opportunity to communicate with commissioners.
EMS brought their report today.
17 runs to Candelaria in January. Virtually impossible to expect any reimbursement. Discussion about Candelaria mileage, call load, service interruptions, transports to hospital. Ambulances are having mechanical issues.
Judge wants to have EMS Director Melinda help educate the commissioners on all these issues. Including border patrol station calls.
Border station calls that are non-emergency may no longer be covered.
Melinda is looking at indigent care grants for next hospital district funding period. Planning on putting in requests. Joe Portillo has also requested to be on the hospital district board.
Ponton talks about City of Presidio and port of entry calls. Many calls from port of entry. Typo. Approximately 40 per year. 10-15% collection rate.
Portillo says that City of Presidio has serious health care issues. Urgent care services don’t exist in Presidio. Preventive care exists.
City is studying these issues with a professional firm. Pop is now about 5800.
Aranda is glad to have some reliable numbers.
Presidio hospital district office needs to do indigent care outreach.
Presidio now has a basic EMT education program available through the Workforce Solutions and Presidio EMS.
Judge motions to approve submissions of reports at Presidio meetings. Unanimous

Item 15 and 16: authorize county judge to seek safe routes to school TAP grant funding. Approve engineering services for preliminary application. Due April 12.
Project she wants to apply for is safe routes to school. No matching funds required. Sidewalks for kids, mostly. She wants to do a sidewalk from HWY 90 up Mesa st by MAC building, up past the schools, up Austin st back to the highway.
Knight moves to approve. Second by Aranda, unanimous. Engineering services: judge says that she, Patty and city officials met and city has an engineer from Parkhill Smith and Cooper who can do the support work on the preliminary. $10,000 possibly less. Works with city on their portion of this project and additional related work. Judge wants to work with him. If pre-application is approved there will be a competitive RFQ for engineers.
Aranda wants to know how much funding could be available. Construction costs are 100% reimbursable but this money will not be reimbursed.
It’s side of project is focused on south side and connecting bike trail. Knight would like a written contract with engineer. Judge says we can postpone. He is ready to work and submit by the end of the week. Commissioners can look at the product before approval at next meeting.
April 3 is next commissioners court meeting. Judge motions to postpone, second by Knight. Unanimous.

Item 17: airport Aviation Equipment Lease with AvFuel Corp for refueled truck.
Chase is not here, doctors follow up. Thrifty day use of truck during paving project.
Subject to change April 8. 3,025.00.
Ponton says this is standard, nothing out of the ordinary. Aranda motions to accept. Second by Knight. Unanimous

Item 18: line item transfers: Patty Roach presents: purchase new table for county judge office, telephone headsets. Airport: repairs and maintenance .
County clerk: telephone headset
Unanimous

Item 19: bills.
Treasurer says nothing out of the ordinary.
Autopsy expense for auto wreck individual.
Unanimous

Item 20: announcements from Judge and commissioners

Judge says that there was a meeting yesterday in Marfa. Wildfire preparedness. Numerous first responder agencies.
Meeting was good.
She says Presidio County needs an EMC in Presidio.
Texas Forest Service is looking to having training in Marfa for emergency management.
Try to ask Mexico not to burn when winds are high. Burning alfalfa fields. Natural fertilizer, but if it jumps river, it’s our problem.
Border patrol has grants available to make fire breaks.
There will be another meeting April 25th in Ojinaga or May 1st there as well.
Barbara Baskin says she is in terror in Redford anytime a fire is near because former farmlands next to her are overgrown and dangerous fire fuel. Can county make a rule that fields be tended to?
Some farming has started again in Mexico.
Judge says she wants budget done by July 31st.
Aranda says that he got a message that there is a bill to support county infrastructure plans paid for from the Rainy Day Fund. Wants Ruben Carrasco to prepare a list of needs including disaster preparedness.
Ruben has already sent it in.

Item 21: adjourn at 12:32 pm








Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting March 16, 2019

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Regular Meeting Wednesday March 6, 2019, 10:30 AM, Marfa

Present: Buddy Knight, Cinderela Guevara, Eloy Aranda
Absent: Brenda Bentley, Jose Cabezuela, Co Atty Ponton

Meeting convened at 10:46 AM
Citizen Comments:
TAC Rep announces award for no workers comp claims last year. Gives credit to County and in particular Treasurer Garcia.

Item 5: Payroll approval. Judge says that deputies asked about Holiday comp time pay. County has moved to overtime instead of comp time. Holiday comp time is a pending matter for another agenda.
97,341.05 total payroll.
Approved unanimously

Item 6: Mona Garcia presents appointment of Genevieve Bassham to Presidio County Historic Commission. Gives Genevieve’s history as former Mayor and councilwoman in Marfa. Approved unanimously.

Item 7: Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District appointment of Ruben Brito to represent S County. Unanimously approved.
Trey says board will meet second Thursday of each month at ten AM instead of quarterly. Production permit holders (2 in the County) . Have asked them to pay for their water. Cibolo and Village Farms. They have paid up. Approved six drilling permits. Carolyn McCartney will visit well sites they are drilled. Rudy Garcia will assist with expertise. Working on setting up some monitoring wells. Artesian Wells ( unable to be turned off) concerns. Rudy Garcia will be working on capping any that are not needed. Talking about water usage outside of district jurisdiction, between districts. Issue in Culberson County; district does not cover the whole county. Mention of City of El Paso Dell City pipeline plan.
That directly relates to Valentine water ranchers owned by City of El Paso and planning for that impact here.

Item 8: 2017 Annual audited financial report. Doak Painter presents.
Auditors opinion: no adverse material findings.
Numbers were solid, a few adjustments.
Management analysis: net position decreased by approx 47,000.
Jail slight decrease.
Positive budget fund. Spent less than budgeted and also collected a little more than anticipated.
Net capital assets of just over 11 million.
Judge Guevara asks about p 38 payroll retirement contribution.
Aranda says it’s a good audit, yes? What is his personal opinion. Doak says this is an unqualified opinion. Unmodified. Same as last year.
Aranda would like to thank the employees for doing a good job of helping get things in order. He thanks Doak as well. They wish he would keep auditing the County. Doak says it’s time to move on.
Abbie Perrault wants to know who the next auditor will be. Judge says that there is an agenda item for going out for bids. Also asks about a forensic audit of the tax office by inside auditor. Patty says that the process is ongoing, preliminary work is being done by county auditor. Patty says hat she has not completed that process yet.
Asks about bank reconciliations. Treasurer says they are up to date.
Judge motions to accept the financial report. Knight seconds. Unanimously adopted

Item 9: Redford new storage tank approval. Presented by Ramon Carrasco.
Proposed new tank out of coated and painted steel instead of raw galvanized. Having problems with general contractor pricing. Need foundation and tank, second contractor for piping, plumbing, third contractor for electrical control and lighting top of tank.
Possibility for County to do some of this work. County will definitely do granting and some other things for the County match to grant.
Bidding process will start soon. Judge asks about tank leak and location of new tank. Tank will be built higher up for more pressure, but location would have been too high, providing too much pressure downhill. Going to leave old tank, fix it, possibly provide booster pumps for Mr Morales. City of Presidio has the same problem with too much pressure. Legally it’s the duty of the water Corp to provide at least 32 psi to Mr Morales on the hill.
Booster pump should only be about $5000. If there is money left over they can ask the State to use leftover money to buy the pump and County employees can install it. Aranda asks if after this we’ll have two tanks so that one can be in use while other is being fixed or cleaned.
Knight moves to approve. Aranda seconds
Unanimous. Going out for bids next week. Plans need to be approved. Not on agenda. Patty says that since the plans and specifications are approved we can go out for bids.
Abbie Perrault asks about updates on Candelaria wells and arsenic reduction in Candelaria and Redford? Not on the agenda but Judge asks Ramon for update. Gives update. Work is being done. Unknown as to whether water is potable.

Item 10: Trust property bids:
Aranda motions to approve bids
Second by Guevara. Unanimous

Item 11: mixed beverage permit tax collection.
Natalia says that only beer and wine licenses have been collected. Asking for approval to collect on MB permits. Roughly $3500-4000 every two years.
Beer and wine is 60-175 every two years. Judge Beebe asks what the basis of the difference in cost is. Unknown.
Want to issue a letter before bills go out to inform license holders.
Motion by Knight to approve.
Second by Guevara
Unanimous

Item 12: rental of County information resources information. Aka email system with TAC.
Judge motions to approve. Auditor asks for clarification of email items in motion because the bill has already been received. Email service and website services are separate. 800 for website hosting plus 725 for website content management. Judge changes motion to approve. 800 for email.
Search query in email no longer works properly. Knight seconds. Unanimous

Item 13: Ruben Carrasco presents to have Zeke Rodarte work on Chispa rd and donate materials. Permission for cattle guard, assorted related.
Judge asks about whether any of this is on his private property. Ruben says road has been flooded, only way to get through is to enter via private land. This pr-dates his employment. Zeke is willing to give access to County on his own access road. Wants County to maintain.
Judge clarifies that it is a private road he is wanting to let county use. Judge says that we cannot do any work on private roads. Knight suggests seeing if he will donate this land to the County. Beebe agrees that the county need to buy the land or have it donated before any work can be done.
Judge asks about the emergency route, does that change anything? Existing county road is impassable when rains came.
Ruben recommends going through the County Atty or any Atty to go through the proper legal procedures to make this happen.
Aranda says it would need to be designated a true county road and always available to the public.
Aranda would like to find out more about emergency routes and rules governing them.
Ruben says there is a black age on the river and any time it rains just a little there is a backup and the road is impassable.
Judge says that County Roads 101 on Texas Progress website has some information.
Cattle guard issue is different.
Knight moves to postpone pending further information.
Second by Aranda. Unanimous

Item 14: designate area near golf course for Road and Bridge Dept secure yard.
Knight did the work on this along with Ruben.
This could also be a place that could store emergency management equipment under cover once a structure is built.
8.5 acres will provide room for expansion.
Knight moves to accept.
Second by Judge
Unanimous

Item 15: donating excess materials to City of Presidio. Acquired at no cost from TXDOT. Unused hot and cold mix.
Aranda moves to accept
Second by Knight
Unanimous

Item 16: Renewal or burn ban.
Gary Mitschke says conditions are not yet all that critical but they are getting there. Winds are pretty bad. Fire season is coming. Fires in Presidio were all from Mexico but it is time for proactive movement. Not enough Presidio Fire Volunteers. Unanimous

Item 17: acceptance of donated land.
Location is western edge of Presidio County, two miles from road access.
Property is within an estate. Judge asks about mineral rights.
Deed will reflect rights. They want to dispose of property.
Twenty acres, no access.
Ruben recommend not to accept.
Taxes every year are $72.35
Permission to cross land is very hard to obtain.
Aranda motions to deny.
Second by Knight. Unanimous

Ten minute break at 1:02 pm.
Reconvene at 1:14

Item 18: resolution about wall construction regarding studies by TWDB and the TCEQ before any wall construction. Flooding issues, etc.
City of Presidio and Presidio County have historic vulnerability to flooding.
Support of Hurd’s bill for a “smart wall”
Judge reads resolution supporting Texas HB 990 written by Roland Gutierrez
Judge says that she has been receiving email from Roland Gutierrez for a few months. Met with him in person to understand issues. She agreed to bring it to commissioners court. City of Presidio adopted similar resolution.
She is in agreement with Hurd’s smart wall over a physical barrier.
Hurd bill did not pass house.
Roland Gutierrrez’s goal is to have the support of all Texas border counties and cities.
Knight says he thinks a wall is not the answer, he wants a secure border. We need better ways for people to become citizens, faster and better, filter out the band people. Wall is not feasible out here because of terrain.
Eminent domain issues.
Aranda says we know what all this is going to bring. For property owners along the river it’s going to create huge problems.
Aranda wants to help Mr Hurd convince Congress to see it his way.
City of Presidio passed resolution.
Judge motions to accept.
Second by Aranda
Unanimous

Items 19-22
TAP grants issues. Still waiting on TXDOT documents. Item needs to be postponed again.

Item 23- RFP financial audit services.
Process to take bids for outside auditing firm.
Two year term with opt out.
Single audit will likely be required for federal grants. More costly. Not yet required but add on price will be requested.
Advertising required.
Knight moves to approve.
Second by Aranda
Unanimous

Item 24: purchase of jeans for Sheriffs Dept. Sheriff wrote a letter. Says that deputies are required to have jeans and after they are used are returned to the Dept. There is no way these could be considered personal. This is the first time he has ever had to ask permission from commissioners to buy jeans for his staff.
Auditor says that our policy says that personal use items must be approved through commissioners court.
IRS considers jeans to be personal use items. Commissioners can approve without an issue. Policy could be modified in the future to designate personal use items that can be purchased without commissioners permission.
Commissioners need to approve the exception to the policy.
Knight moves to approve.
Aranda seconds
Unanimous
Policy will be worked on.

Item 25: minutes from previous meetings
Jan 23 and Feb 6, 20
Unanimous

Five minute break at 1:49
Back from break at 1:51

Items 26,27 auditor items
Line item transfers
Airport fund moving around to pay match on runway design fee.
VA office transfer for fuel card
Budget amendments
Estray fund: no budget established to feed cattle. LEOS funds from State restricted for law enforcement training. Unanticipated funds received from State. Add $2110 into budget.
2018 Stonegarden grant has been submitted and certified. State is reviewing and will send back for corrections or court approval of grant resolution to receive funding.
Officers now must be trained in Border Patrol system to export on Stonegarden patrols. Training has not yet happened.
Overtime worked with border patrol reimbursed and some vehicle maintenance reimbursement.
County had to withdraw from TXCDBG 2019-2020 grant because of ineligibility. This is because the other ones have not yet been completed. Redford and Candelaria.
Patty has some concerns. Grant administrator was hired for both projects.
Getting bids has been very hard but there are other possible issues.
Grant works was admin.
Aranda has a lot to say about the status of each project.
Unanimously approved

Item 26: Treasurers report:
Frances says everything is pretty standard.
Accepted unanimously
Bills: no November report from City of Presidio. Frances says that October is missing as well. But yesterday they forwarded them to office.
Approved unanimously

Balances approved unanimously

Consent agenda reports:
Problems receiving Presidio Fire Dept reports in a timely fashion. Judge would like to move to having them report monthly.
Reports approved

Announcements
Knight says water line at golf course is being repaired.
No date for jail reopening.
Judge says that she received a text two Thursdays ago from Joe Portillo that there were no ambulances available in Presidio. This frightened her.
She called hospital district.
Asked for help and she called Big Bend hospital. Rick Flores from hospital got First Flight to cover for Presidio for that time. That option is still available.
Both cities are down to one ambulance right now.
Presidio County contribution to hospital district is now $900,000.
Judge wants to have this as part of a permanent plan for service.
Fire was next day in the river. Congressman Hurd called to check up on the situation. Brewster County just received a new giant water truck that we can use as well in an emergency.
Austin trip was a good trip. Everyone should go next time.
TXDOT Aviation meeting went well, wanted clarity on why we were denied Omnibus grant. Can’t guarantee that grant will be eligible again this year if it comes back. Other people had the right connections.
New economic study by TXDOT aviation is out and you can see the impact of airports, including both of ours.
SB 440 may have a clause in it that might make us have to pay back city hotel motel funds. Need to research.
She went to TAP workshop in El Paso. She realized that a route by the school no match is necessary. City of Marfa was there and already have projects planned. Application is due by April 12.
US 67 corridor Meeting tomorrow morning.
Aranda asks about Chase and his contract.
Jim Allison has been called, waiting on word to get this going.
Judge Beebe mentions that this could be an open meetings violation. No, says Judge, this was already decided.
Adjourn at 2:51 PM









Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Feb 20, 2019

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners County Meeting Wednesday 02-20-2019, Noon, Presidio County Annex, Presidio

Commissioners present: Aranda, Bentley, Knight, Judge Guevara.
Absent: Jose Cabezuela County Atty Ponton not present

Meeting called to order at 12:20 PM

Citizen Comments: none

Approval of payroll Feb 4-17
Treasurer says nothing extraordinary.
95,229.70
Dispatch overtime hours total 57.
Judge motions to approve. Second by Aranda. Unanimous

Item 6: no action for Item from Trey Gerfers, not present to present to commissioners. Judge says no action.

Item 7: discuss and approve contract between county and hospital district. Natalia Williams presents. This is a three month proposed contract. Will get all entities to approve at the same time. County Atty was sent docs, did not respond. Natalia says these are the same terms as prior with three and half percent increase.
Court would approve, then send to hospital district. Aranda motions to approve. Second by Knight. Unanimous

Item 8: Discussion to remove all non Presidio County employees from health insurance policy. Presented by Treasurer Garcia.
Says we are trying to find out how long we have been paying for policies for Juvenile Probation Dept, two people, and also for the District Court reporter
For a couple of years they have been trying to get these out of the county. There is some reimbursement from other counties. Hudspeth Brewster, Culberson and Jeff Davis counties. Our retirement policy says that if they retire county will have to continue to pay their health insurance for life.
Knight asks if she is considered an employee of Presidio County. No. Does that make us liable for her continuing insurance? Why was this the first place.
Back when tri County probation Dept was established Presidio County was chosen because of the reduced cost of Presidio County insurance.
Judge says this is still the cheapest way for the County to cover our share since our coverage is cheaper.
Frances says that the liability here is that the claims go against us. Judge says these people are employees doing a job. We shouldn’t hold this against them that they work for multiple counties.
Bentley wants to know what the actual proper way to do this would be.
Concerned with our policy of paying lifetime insurance for orders who work for the County for twenty years.
Discussion about who really would have to pay if they qualified under our policy for free insurance for life. Other counties can’t be forced to embrace this and or pay for it.
Bentley says that commissioners are the ones who choose to pay, the obligation to make a decision is with us.
Advocates for the actual fiscal agent to administer and pay.
Patty Roach says that an issue of being the fiscal agent for another agency the personnel policies of that agent apply to the employees beneath the administering agency. Are we getting into an issue with assuming a future and or current liability for another agent?
Judge Beebe mentions that the entire policy of providing lifetime free insurance obligates future commissioners courts and could be illegal to begin with. Judge Guevara interrupts and says this is not on the agenda and that committees are meeting to address policies.
Knight moves to table until more research can be done

Items 9, 10, 11,12 TXDOT did not provide documents, item tabled due to lack of materials.

Item 13:  vehicle search for road and bridge Dept  to replace two trucks. Potentially get some Sheriffs Dept vehicles if possible. Aranda says that years back we used grant vehicles declared as surplus to use for road and bridge. Apparently we cannot do that now. Joel Nuñez is going to talk to the head guy in the governors office to see what we can do insofar as what we can do with those vehicles. Wants a little bit of time for more research.
2018 Stonegarden grant is gong to kick in soon. We have so many vehicles sitting outside the Sheriffs Dept. He wants to table this item until next meeting. Judge says that next Stonegarden is not going to provide new vehicles.
There will be an auction in March possibly to sell vehicles and equipment. Possible that money could be used to purchase a new vehicle.
Frances Garcia says there are more worn out vehicles that can be sold.
More talk about an auction and declaring other vehicles and equipment surplus. Maybe advertising in Ojinaga would be good for the people looking for parts. All this stuff is worn out.
Motion to postpone by Aranda.
Unanimous

Reports by Dept
Marfa EMS, Presidio EMS and Presidio Fire received. Detailed reports. Eight runs to Candelaria this month. Stressing budget. Judge will meet with them to discuss budget on the 7th or 8th.
Discussion about the monies given to the Dept’s, are they use exclusively to fund the Dept?

Judge motions to approve reports. Unanimous.

Item 15: Airports personnel services item. No news. Rod Ponton says he won’t work on a contract for the County. He does not agree that moving forward with a sole source contract before receiving an opinion from the AG. Proposes that Chase Snodgrass write the contract and have Allison Bass review and have TXDOT review as well. Brenda said that Chase already did this and tried to have Allison Bass review it. Rod refused to rewrite it. Now Rod won’t do it, This doesn’t make sense.
Rod received and email from TXDOT aviation on Feb 6 that says that contractors and tenant agreements should be separate. Nobody has an issue with this. Agree that Chase basically already did this.
Patty Roach says that Rod is erroneously saying that this is a sole source contract. This is untrue. He is muddying the water. Knight and Bentley agree. Knight and Aranda say that Chase should send his contract to Allison Bass and send it to TXDOT for review and move forward.
Court overall agrees that Snodgrass is being blocked by Ponton, and that county needs to move ahead with a contract. Patty says the opinion he has requested has nothing to do with what is being considered here. Commissioners believe this to be a stalling tactic. Knight says we need to move forward now.
Judge will write a letter to Allison Bass. Aranda says this is going back and forth and back and forth. What does Rod’s mention of Nieto and Hernandez jail sentences have to do with this? Where is he? He said he would do this and now he’s not even here and says he won’t work on it. We need to move ahead and take Patty’s recommendation to move ahead. Knight agrees completely.
We risk losing Chase, we can’t take this risk right now. This project needs to be seen to completion, this could cost us so much time and money. Aranda says he’s fed up.
Knights one concern is where Chase plans on living during this, that is his only concern. Aranda says he does not want to leave until the projects are finished.
No action on this item.

Item 16: approval of Line item transfers and budget amendments.
Riding mower for golf course
Multiple accounts in departments for Cloud computing services. Server is worn out.
Software licensing for Hill Country software. Unanimous

Item 17: payments of all claims (bills)
Vizcaino Park water bill? Very high. Frances Garcia will check on that bill from City of Marfa. Approved unanimously.

Item 18: Announcements from Judge and Commissioners:
Judge says she had a meeting with Mark Pearson with possible oversight from Presidio over Candelaria water system. What is the cost? Discussions being had. New board is working out. TDA training for water manager will proceed at some point. The Candelaria WSC has a healthy budget considering how small they are.
Knight says that Marfa airport beacon got fixed thanks to Eddie Pallarez finding a bulb. Also AEP trimmed trees and took down the Christmas lights at the courthouse. Thanks to AEP.
Judge says courthouse heating and cooling system still having problems. Being worked on now, again.
Changes to TAPS and TASA grants. Cosmico US 67 project 12 ft wide use path. No longer going to be ADA compliant ramp, shade trees, benches. Not enough room, could present a safety issue.
Presidio Bagley project will also lose curbs, shade trees. Walkway may be narrower. Room is an issue there as well. Questions about lighting. Unknown at this point. Aranda says it’s very very important.
Marfa - not doing the Austin to Oak project because of railroad track. Will spend more money on the bridges by the school.
Funding for next go around coming up.
Judge will not be able to attend Census meeting on Feb 26. Commissioner Bentley agrees to substitute.
Judge provides pictures of new roofing options for jail roof repairs.
Judge says that a proposal to lease the golf course by a movie set may ind up being very time consuming, including a performance bid, etc etc. Bentley says that she thinks this person may be a small operator and it may not work out.
Knight says it would be a multi step process, good bit of work.
Judge met with the Red Cross regarding emergency management and sheltering. Discussed how to run a shelter. Possible immigrant scenarios.
Aranda says there are some Hondurans here staying at the Catholic Church Hall. Donations are being accepted.
Two buses of Hondurans showed up yesterday in Ojinaga. Red Cross can help if they come here. County has 150 cots at the Marfa airport. Presidio has some space at old school district building if emergency.

Adjourn at 2:16 pm




Friday, September 28, 2018

Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting Thursday Sept 27, 2018, 6:00 PM

Notes on City of Marfa Council Meeting Thursday September 27, 2018, 6:00 PM, Casner Room, Marfa City Hall.

Councilmembers present: Buck Johnston, Natalie a Melendez, Irma Salgado, Brit Webb, Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger. Absent: Manny Baeza
City Manager Brechtel and City Atty Todd also present.

Meeting convened at 6:00 PM.

Citizen Comments:
Question about furniture so that council can face audience. Mayor says that city needs some new furniture. Will be considered this year.
Question about citizen comments during agenda items, can it be clarified before a motion is made that the citizens have given input? Some discussion. Wanted is an opportunity to discuss before decisions are made.


Mayors Report:
HOT fund grant process committee is dedicated to the process and is successful. Formalizing grant process has made things more clear. Transportation and car rental system discussed as well. City administrator and city Atty are looking further into it. Will be studied more and corrections to any mistakes can be made or other methods can be adopted.
Buck Johnston asks if the city management feels comfortable with the existing system. Mayor says that no rental vehicles are being used by city official or staff, only by tourists who are renting them. Previously that was not always the case. Occasionally were used by city staffers and elected officials. There will be a car budgeted for administration. Melendez says she is happy to hear that. Buck Johnston asked the original question.
Mistakes in transportation systems will be remedied going forward to be in perfect compliance with rules. Teresa Todd has reached out to all the major stakeholders and hotels asking for input on the program. Is it worth it and is it serving the tourism industry properly. Buck says thank you, this is good. Teresa also say they are looking into alternative solutions as well for the transportation issues in the city.
HWY 67 corridor study. Mayor and city administrator participated.
She took the bus tour from alpine to Presidio. Chief Marquez presented about the four way stop issues.
Most conversation revolved soured safety issues. Had lunch at the PAC in Presidio. Larger meeting and had work groups. Short term outcomes. David Alice from TXDOT was on the bus. Striping on four way stop a result of this. More signage between Alpine and Marfa. Next meeting Nov 7 at USO building in Marfa. Please spread the word.
Sen Rodriguez had a town hall. Councilmembers Johnston and Mayor attended. Went well.
Parks board meeting last week discussed the budget and Coffield Park playground equipment. $55,000 budget. Agenda item in this meeting on TPW grant for park project.
Talk about future council meeting dates.
During budget process website was discussed. Dan Shiman, web designer I’ll present next meeting.

Police Chiefs report
Steve Marquez- Aug-Sept update.
School zones, school walk-throughs. Enforcing traffic laws in school zones.
Security checks for residents upon request.
Thirteen courtesy rides for tourists and locals getting them home safely.
Will do security for upcoming Roseanne Cash Chinati concert
Neighborhood meeting at Bldg 98 occurring and Chief will answer questions and take comments. 7-8 pm onOct 12(?)

Received RGCOG training on new reporting software.
Public safety: three officers attended Active Shooter training in Alpine at Sul Ross. Very good training session. Followed up with  Civilian Response to Active Shooter. Marquez, Hernandez and Carrillo are now certified instructors and can teach citizens on this issue.
130 officer requests for service.
21 new cases ranging from assault, vandalism, theft, hit and run. DWLI, internet scams.
Job offers, cloning actual businesses and get info.
Arrests: 7
69 traffic stops, 48 citations in Aug.
More in Sept. Three in-city vehicle collisions.
Vehicle unlock requests: 21
Police are locking the restrooms at night at Coffield Park. Open during the daytime now.
Sonora has had bad flooding, have requested assistance from Police. On days off chief and one officer are going to go down to assist.
End of report.

Item 7: City manager report:
Grant status. Waco St improvement project expected to complete by Oct. work can start after that.
Alamito Creek project grant was not approved. Will pursue in the future with better information.
City audit is complete.
Oct 10 flu shots will be available to city employees, elected officials and family members.
Roseanne Cash concert conversations. TXDOT wants to extend road closure to HWY 17. Everyone ok with that.
City has been billed for fewer dumpsters than are actually being picked up. Republic/Duncan has conducted some audits on our dumpsters. City has not in years. City manager wants to have an extensive audit of residential and commercial accounts.
Republic had been billing for commercial when it was residential and city was not billing all commercial businesses for commercial rate and dumpster tipping rates. Republic billing city for dumpsters that are not being billed for by the city. City will not try to receive retroactive payments from customers but will contact customers to inform of adjustments.
Republic has agreed that fault is with them and city booth and wants to work in good faith to fix the problems. Will have audit completed and accounts adjusted by the end of this year. Patty O’Brien and Lori Flores have been heading up this effort.

Councilmembers Comments:
Brit Webb apologizes for being absent last meeting. Appreciates those who have come to his defense for being out of town for family business. Had a great time with family. Glad that the Mayor got to vote to break a tie.

So
Skip to Item 11:
Mandy Roane presents.
Naming library addition community room after donor Cecilia Thompson. Also family that donated the land to the city.
Mandy says that money came with the understanding that Cecilia would be acknowledged in the project. Her lawyer discussed this with city, previous admi understood this.
Library committee raised additional funds, not city or county tax funds.
Plan for plaque on the wall and recognition wall as well. Individuals and foundations gave donations, large and small.
Large plaques are very expensive. Aluminum signs for outdoor use more affordable.
Foundations $3000 and up. Larry Doll, architect who passed away and designed the project will be recognized.
Buck Johnston says that she was one of Cecilia’s best friends and was her medical power of attorney. One a personal level she is thrilled, as a councilmember she cannot vote for this. She does not think it’s right to single out a person for donations. Mandy says that the Atty, Ron ...., sends donations every year and he is adamant that the building be named for her. Buck asks if this could affect future donations.
Melendez says she thinks it’s a nuanced matter and she ultimately agrees with Buck but if it puts future funding in jeopardy then we have to take that into consideration. Webb says he does not feel either way about it. Salgado says she feels like naming is unnecessary but honoring the donors is a good thing.
Question as to whether honoring her inside the library. Mandy says that according to the information she has that this is what would have worked and what was appropriate given the donations and the expectations.
J.D. DiFabbio was on the board and explains that in the early discussions not the entire space but just the community room building would be named after Cecilia. Mayor asks for clarification. Buck says that yes, the estate wanted this, but she was not the architect of this plan. She goes on to see that she does not think Cecilia would support this, not that she wasn’t vain.
J.D. says that the board really wanted to represent all the contributions from everyone who participated. This was a good faith negotiation with Ron Summers, Atty and Cecilia’s estate. No members believed this was anything but acknowledging the great help of this generous donation that allowed the space to be built properly. It was the heart of the beginning of the project. Mandy says the plan is to honor everyone. The community room, though, would  be.
Mandy says this donation propelled the project to success. Helped matching fund contributions and got foundations and other donors attention.
This building was not built with public funds. Teresa Todd reminds public. No public funds at all, all fundraising.
Mandy says in no way are they trying to diminish other donors but the board feels like this is appropriate.
Brit Webb compliments the opening of the facility. Says it’s great, beautiful.
Grand opening ceremony Oct 23. They want all recognition in place.
Three week turnaround on plaque production.
Genevieve Bassham, former Mayor and councilwoman says the she believes Cecilia should be honored for her donation and as an admirable person.
Elbert Bassham says that there is plenty of precedence in buildings being named for people.
Mayor agrees with Atty Todd’s point that the library board did all of the work to fund this project and it should be their preference to honor their donors.
Mandy says yes, this has been a seven year plus project and we are ready to be done with the plan we have.
Patrick Chavira asks about the future funding issue, is it a worry? Mandy says maybe, they have had such a good working relationship with Ron Summers. Patrick says he would like for the city not to jeopardize future donations.
Melendez doe not like the idea of naming a building after a person but she does not want to jeopardize any funding from donors.
Discussion about how the land was transferred from the family for $8,000 to the city for library purposes. Beebe says that at the time the donation was given it gave the city impetus for a project where there was nothing before. Transformational moment.
Buck says she is torn about it. Peter Stanley elaborates on the progress of the concept from courtyard to storage shed to community space at that time.
Silence from council. Salgado motions to honor the donors and Cecilia on a plaque but not on the building itself. Second by Webb.
Vote. Buck and Natalie vote no, Mayor breaks tie and votes no. Motion fails.
Mayor says she thinks that when you look at the history of the funding the library board has been in charge and they are requesting a specific proposal. She thinks that the council should accept the library crowds recommendation.
Melendez moves to accept the library board’s recommendation.
No second. Dies for lack of second.
Buck Johnston motions to postpone to next meeting for input from Councilman Baeza. Unanimous.

Item 9: Appoint members to planning and zoning board.
Candidates:
Jamey Garza and Hilary Scruggs.
Comments
Hilary: new resident to Marfa. Has a lot of experience in building in Sam,l municipalities and in San Antonio with her design business.
Jamey: lived here for fifteen years. Have run design build contracting service and now furniture design. Has worked in town on various projects and navigating and recognizing how each property within an area has its own set of conditions and circumstances. Thinks he can bring a helpful perspective to the board. Also having owned and operated a business in this town he has additional perspectives. Marfa fifteen years later, what’s the next fifteen look like. It’s an interesting time for service.
Buck Johnston says both candidates are excellent and would be great.
 Says there are two architects on the board already. What can she bring that adds and is different
Hilary says that the experience she can bring is defined from her educational background and value of functioning processes.
Buck asks both candidates about a potential new zoning ordinance. She thinks this is one of the most important committees in the city.
Hilary asks for clarification about hat she means. Jamey says it seems like the city is at the point where property values are up and more rental options are one thing to keep the community viable for new commercial businesses to open.
These days just getting property to have a business is a tough proposition. Uncertainty of leases and prohibitive costs. Wants people to open businesses and stay, and it is very hard.
Thinks a new ordinance would be important. Bigger employers don’t have housing options for their employees.
P&Z members here have no recommendation between the two qualified candidates. Five members of planning and zoning commission. This position would begin November 1st.
Spot had been occupied by Meghan Gehraty.
Josef Ben-Yehuda and Peter Stanley are present, other members are Steve Raybourn and Scott May.
Motion by Buck to appoint Jamey Garza based on his time in the community. Unanimous.
Thank both candidates.

Item 10
Alley behind Basshams’ house to abandon and sell.
Currently being used as part of the property, not being used as an alley. Appraised value is $3400. Signature from neighbor Katy Rose Elsasser saying no issues, this is Food Bank property. Motion is to schedule public hearing for this. Salgado makes motion. Unanimous. Could be considered at Nov council meeting, says Atty Todd.

Item 12: paining and repairs of water tower. MacGuire iron.
City manager said there were three proposals. Recommends accepting this proposals for 63,900. Much lower than other bids and the only firm to come out and do a visual inspection.
Three year contract. Michael Brackman presents.
Family owned business out of Sioux Falls. Working with Alpine,  asked in San Antonio. Pecos tower. 25 years in Texas.
Most tanks do not receive good maintenance. TCEQ monitors, American Water Works Association creates standards for portable water storage. OSHA as well.
Standards change. This standpipe was built in 1939 and is in good shape considering.
Dan Dunlap helping with presentation. Computer has gone into Windows update mode. Brechtel recommends moving forward to next item. Working on computer, pics are important, according to city manager.
Presentation: includes company background.
Limited service program for Marfa.
One stop shop for maintenance, repair and replacement.
Each tank has a separate contract.
Colony cannot drop the city contract. City may drop MacGuire.
Marfa water tank condition assessment.
Purple tower, 100000 gallon standpipe: 1939. Built by Chicago bridge and iron. Worth between 700,000 and 800,000. New tank would cost more. Exterior coating is in poor condition. Near end of service life. Work will be recondition and paint, coat. Shows photos of some damage to exterior.
 Chalking of paint. Need a new finial ball. Rust on roof fairly severe.
Ledge replacement. Need new roof ladder compliant with regs. New man way. Antenna ring will be updated. They recommend a railing system as well.
Antennas would be attached to exterior of railing. Better for safety and health of the tank, not as great for aesthetics. Verizon has a new plan for nw equipment. Will be coordinated.
Interior ladder will be removed. Unnecessary and they rust into the water.
Will have dual aviation light instead of single.
Interior coating: will be redone in three years. No contract now. Needs to be removed, replaced and epoxied.
Interior tie rods need to be removed. Corrosion into water from them. Magnesium and iron staining on walls. Pitted areas as well.
Three years for the city to install various variable water flow devices so that this tower can be shut down and entirety of city can still have water.
Potable water tank will be installed temporarily to serve wells next to this tank during the repair period.
Several weeks. How will it affect the fire Dept. Says there is enough capacity to serve Dept needs.
Repair overflow weir.
Install ladder gate to prevent illegal access.
If city locks into seven year agreement prices will be locked in for inflation, etc. city can break contract and pay whatever is owed. Opportunity to lock in at today’s prices.
Good presentation, informative.
Johnston motion to accept seven year contract.
Johnston asks city manager if she recommends seven year deal. Yes.
Unanimous.

Item 13- Affordable housing advisory committee. Councilmember Melendez speaks to citizens. Purpose is to work in conjunction with city leadership, organizations and citizens. Big concern with many parties. Formation of an advisory committee is a good way to start this dialogue.
Has an outline of how a committee oiled be set up and desired expertise in membership.
Johnston asks if this would be policy driven. For establishing policy. Yes, she says, initially.
Johnston is in support.
Teresa Todd recommends having an odd number of members on a committee for practical voting purposes of avoiding ties.
Mayor asks if council members might be involved. Johnston says she would love to do it. Todd says they could be non-voting.
Go to seven members, including two council members.
General agreement.
Process moving forward is to advertise openings for membership.
Motion to create and advertise for members of an affordable housing committee by Salgado with seven members including two council members. Unanimous.

Item 14: city records retention offer. Salgado motions to table at Mayor recommendation. Unanimous.

Item 15: Court security committee as required by the Texas Govt Code.
Teresa Todd says that Lege passed this in 2014. Must include the municipal court judge, a police officer and a rep from the city.
Recommendations to council for usage of designated funds from certain court costs collected in traffic tickets.
Salgado. Options to approve and establish court security committee. Second by Melendez. Discussion as to who to have represent the city. Cherry Torres, clerk of court, recommend additional. Part of motion
Unanimous.

Item 16: rainy parks and Rec board to install new playground equipment at Coffield Park. Description of additions, cost approx $55,000.
Old slide and merry go round will be removed and offered out for bid sale to citizens.
Item 17 deals with grant application for same.
Verena Zbiden says that Marfa Rotary Club has prepared a Rotary grant application for assistance. City council is thrilled. Mayor says this will help in getting TPW grant most likely. Unanimous.
Item 17: Mayor presents. Due Oct 1. Mayor will try as hard as possible to get this match grant. Possible to maybe get $55,000 extra. Johnston motions to authorize grant application. Unanimous.

Item 18-
Amending fiscal year 2017-2018 Budget. Dan Dunlap helps present.
Teri Brechtel says a couple of things have changed. Objective is to show ending numbers to reflect actual.
Says that total revenue $220,000 above budgeted amount.
Expenditures: 6.6 million budgeted. 6 million forty one thousand and change spent.
Obligated funds: did not spend money on new water well this year, still need it. Savings reflected.

Administration funds: city changed vacation payout obligations for when employees quit. Now fifty percent, used to be 100%.

City’s general fund could purchase a vehicle from Tourist info center for use by admin for fair market price. Some discussion, no decision.

Other changes, mostly not significant.
No major changes in Law Enforcement budget.
Fire Dept. Added for fuel to get to actual.
Gas utility charges less.
Dunlap mentions that fire Dept budget is nearly completely funded by the voluntary contribution on water bills. Johnston asks question about what happens when you pay online. Dunlap says that if the individual ha taken that option, then yes it is added. Dunlap says city needs to pay any balance to fire Dept with a check they can use as they wish. City’s main contribution to fire Dept is building maintenance for the fire Dept building.

Municipal Court: fines lowered. Zeroed out technology fund.
Beebe speaks to the councilmembers about the municipal court and issues about ticket payments and lack of being able to pay for defendants, lack of phone being answered.
Also reminds Council about technology fund being legally designated for tech use only in municipal court office and funds carry over year to year, not to be co mingled in general fund. Brechtel says they have this system in place.

MAC building pool revenue is very small. No pool fees next year at all, it will be free.
EMS service: looking pretty good. No significant changes.
Presidio County payment adjusted to reflect no increase.

Solid waste and recycling. Duncan contract services stay the same at $415,000 after negotiations and discussions with Republic. We’re looking at a greater liability but agreed to start repress next year.

Water fees: no significant changes.

Sewer: no changes

Natural Gas: supplies dropped from $60,000 to $50,000. Meter expense went up to $18,000 from $10,000.

Public works and streets: vehicle maintenance up about $5500.

Tourism Dept: no changes except for Building maintenance. Dropped landscaping work and saved $72,000. Membership and dues went up but not dollars.

No changes in interest and sinking.
End of presentation.
Beebe asks about reserves, budget surpluses carried over.
Explained that the goal is to eventually have a four month contingency for each operating/enterprise fund in the city.
Further discussion.
Unanimous.

Item 19: contraction permit ordinances. Definitions of terms, fees for permit and license fees. Reflects what is approved in new budget.
Several different fees addressed for residential and commercial permits. Increased permit fees to twenty cents per square foot. Contractors license is $150. Disposal fees for contractors not having proof of an on site roll off.
Roll off fee on city right of way $150 and $5 daily fee. Use of sidewalk or city street row same.
Johnston would like to table this issue. This is an ordinance and she would like to give citizens the opportunity to see an review this ordinance for input. She does not have a big problem with this but she would like to give citizens a chance to study it in the interest of transparency.
This was discussed in budget talks several times. Salgado says this has been discussed enough and we can approve. Ok, says buck. Salgado moves to approve. Second by Melendez.
Johnston opposed but passes otherwise.

Accounts payable report:
Salgado asks about Marfa Recording Co for wireless microphone installation at USO. Bought for $750. Salgado questions buying it from Marfa Recording at that cost. We already have one, was there a need for a second one? Teri says that yes, there was a need. Discussions were had.
Salgado would like to shop around next time to find a better price.
Melendez moves to approve report.
Second by Webb
Unanimous

Announcements: none
Adjourn at 9:01 pm.

Marfa City Council Agenda Thursday Sept 27th, 2018, 6:00 PM, Casner Room, City Hall




Agenda, Presidio County Commissioners Court Special Meeting Wed Oct 3, 2018, 1:00 PM, Presidio