Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Marfa City Council Live blog 2/8

City Council meeting 2/8- 6 PM
All members present minus Corrina Brijalba, who is undergoing cancer treatments.

City admin Jim Mustard and Mayor Dan Dunlap present


Citizen Comments:None

Approve minutes of prior meetings: approved unannimous

Mayor's Report: Weather issues had a major impact. 10-15 water meters replaced. ERCOT has asked that people conserve energy tomorrow- high of 39.

City admin's report:
Broken pipe at USO building nehind wall. Already repaired. Building renovation of phase 1 complete next week. 1st tenant- Queens of Hearts Coronation Feb 19. Tables and chairs from MAC will be relocated to USO building during renovation of the MAC building. USDA have apparently approved. Master Builders of Midland should begin construction shortly. Construction plan dn timeline will be formulated.
Library has applied for a $12,000 grant to repair the roof of the Gervaisi building.

County has 3 city related items on their agenda tonight- Sheriff's inter-local agreement; parking spaces at library; possibly changing time of their meeting so as not to be at the same time as ours.

SWTMGC- (gas company)
City of Alpine has voted to dissolve the corporation.
Mustard: Consider that the board of directors of SWTMG may dissolve corp- not us. We can request that this be done, along with itemization of assets, etc. Citizens have relayed to Mustard that we should keep the Gas Corp publically owned. Mustard has requested a proposal from a group to analyze infrastructure, risks, scope of operations. etc. Coler and Colantonio- engineering assessment for SWTMGC. $13,500 would be the cost.
SWTMGC never responded to Mustard's letter from July about the breach of inter-local agreement (on behalf of City of Marfa). Gas Board did vote and acknowledge they were in breach of agreement. Did provide an audit for the FY ending Sept 2009. No further audits. Mustard believes that Marfa should receive credit or compensation for all the major infrastructure improvements in Alpine this past year with the rebuilding of Holland Ave/HWY 90 in Alpine and the replacement of the gas infrastructure.
Fanninf believes tha Alpine's motion may seal the dissolution of the gas corp. Now we have to decide what to do with our assets. Safety issues, responsibilities, aging infrastructure, - do we take it on? If selling to WTG, we need to not be too quick to sell.
Mustard: 2 elements to running a Gas Corp- 1) physical plant staffing- may have that covered with current local staffers. 2) Dealing with TXRRC regulations- lots of work, will need professional help. Could be a steep learning curve. Will have to have outside help.
Teresa Todd: Lots of due diligence required when wrapping up non-profits. Must have an up to date, audit, for one. Pay off all debts, claimants, collect all A/R's, etc. a shell corporation would have to exist for minimum of 3 years.

Dunlap: SWTMGC has selected an auditor for 2010's books.

Beebe voices my opinion that taking this into the city's fold only achieves getting Alpine out of the deal- not lower prices, not different service. I wish the current corp agreement could be re-structured to function properly.

Rudy Garcia: Alpine is looking at taking their gas in-house as a profit line item. Also says Marfa needs to decide whether cheap gas is the motivator or not. Also clarifies that SWTMGC is a dead deal since Alpine's interests are not our own. Recommends to dissolve corporation no matter what.
Randy Guzman: Makes an offer that Marfa's employees are qualified and eady to work.
Beebe makes motion to ask the SWTMGC gas board to pursue dissolution of the company, provide a list of assets, an independent appraisal of inventory, list of liabilities, and an up to date audit. Beebe & Fannin for, Baeza and Simpson against. Dunlap breaks tie with a yea. Measure passes.
2nd item- Beebe makes motion to hire Coler and Colantonio for no more than $13,500 to conduct an enginnering assessment. Fannin seconds. Beebe Fannin and Simpson vote yea, Baeza opposed. Passes.


Permit for 7/15 Coffield Park Pulmonary Fibrosis Fundraiser. Ban on alcohol waived. Unanimous approval

Bird Parrot light bars: don't work. He renovated one and has made it available to the city. "Trash them at Bird's wrecker service" Unanimous.

Renewal of deposit agreement with MNB. Simpson makes motion. Fannin seconds. Unanimous.

Review of minor curfew Ordinance 10-05. Requirerd by ordinance to look at it every 6 months. Sheriff in favor. Unanimous.

2009-2010 city audit. Auditors here to present. SWTMGC audit not available so it reflects on us. "Except for" clause in analysis of city's finances. Also, library must be added into city's budget and statements (already happening). Audit accepted unanimously.

Presidio County Law Enforcement Contract- contradct has been amended to include enforcement of no drinking in city parks, minors ordinance, use of the old Police Dept space, noise ordinance, ban on cell phone usage in school zones. Sheriff will pay electric bill for polcie dept space and pay a share of gas and water to city. City is obligated to form a joint committee to oversee the actions of the Sheriff Dept. Dollar amount has gone up slightly to reflect our budget, which added a few bucks this year. Went from $87,570.42 to $91,178.16. We also allow them to use our city law enforcement (brand new) truck. Baeza askes for a written document reflecting all tickets and citations issued in 2010. County allowed Dominguez to hire more officers- 2 deputies dedictaed to Marfa as of this FY. Approved unanimously

Nutrition Center Van- Van is dead- all kinds of problems. Rogers Ford determined the part to fix the Propane fuel system is no longer available and the system is flawed as it is. Big Bend Community Action may have a used "end of usable life" van for us for cheap. Without a van at all we can apply for a new TXDOT van grant. Mustard wants approval to sell old van and apply for agrant for a new van. Unanimously approved.

2008 Tax Note funds. Funds must be expended before May 1 2011.
$28,628.00 in tax note account. Of course, city departments have a long wish list. Provided a list of expeditures to date.
Pipe laser level for rebuilding sewers- $2900
1/2 ton or 3/4 ton truck for PW
New (used) RT36 ditch witch- we have no fuctioning trench channeler. used- $15,000 Silva would rather have the Ditch Witch than a new truck.
Leaking valves and valves that won't shut off- have plenty in the water system. Silva has a supply list. ($9000)
CT adapters for sewage- ($900)
Simpson makes motion- all but trucks- unanimous

Ordinance 11-01- Election for May 14, 2011 jointly held with MISD for mayor and two councilpersons (Simpson and Fannin up for re-election)
Early voting May 2-May 10 at city hall. Election Sat May 14th. Unanimous

JAN revenue/expenditure report. Accounts payable report.
Simpson makes motion to accept both. Unanimous.

Tabling request by Project Graduation to use a city building on graduation night (no rep available).

Following meeting Mustard distributed a job description for the TOURISM DIRECTOR for the new Marfa city Convention and Visitors bureau. Drop by City Hall for more information.

Meeting adjourned.

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