Monday, July 06, 2015

Presidio County Commissioners Court notes 6/30/2015

These notes are unedited, and are usually incomplete as I don't regurgitate my own comments when I make them during the meetings. Also, these notes may allude to opinions that are mine alone.

P.C.C.C. 06/30/2015
Commissioners present: White, Aranda, Judge Guevara.
Absent: Vasquez, Hernandez. Vasquez on his way re Judge G
Public Comment:
Katie Smither: agenda items 17 & 18. 215 residents members of BBcA requesting FERC note.
General statement on pipeline.
Caitlyn Murray: Judd Foundation rep speaking for Judd Foundation which opposes the pipeline. Asking for FERC motion.
Nick Terry: impacts of pipeline, wants FERC resolution. Stresses to court that it does not necessarily make for an opposition to pipeline.
Susan Sutton: Ballroom Marfa chair. Ballroom opposes pipeline. Would like FERC resolution.
Travis Lutz, BBCA member, landowner in Presidio County. Wants FERC revolution. Safety issue.
Jessica Lutz, pipeline opponent. Wants FERC environmental impact study. Study could help make for a re-route if necessary. Uniquely intact bio region; has not been surveyed for environmental impacts.
Lujan: would like a FERC resolution. Concern: safety. Implores leaders, invokes lack of Emergency Management resources.
County Judge's Report:
jail Report, inmate count report of 75; 70 adult males, 5 adult females.
Porters donation: all have been distributed except for one person, who came to get it (?). Reflect for record.
TXDOT meeting in Austin with Dunlap re airport funding went well.
Commissioners Comments: none
5) Executive Session regarding audit report involving a personnel matter.
Commissioners Court moves to jury room for session at 9:41 AM
Loretta Vasquez joins meeting at reconvene at 10:41 AM
6) Approve and accept 6 county vehicles and 6 grant funded vehicles as surplus to county. tabled.
7) pipeline services surveying item. Survey permission to company, contractors, and employees to survey. Grantee will pay for damages to property. County will indemnify company from lawsuits. Folkies says motion is vague and incomplete with regard to survey referenced, which is apparently county property. Description not specific enough. Improper legal description. Aranda makes motion to table. Request more information. Approved.
8) reimbursement of $4000 to county juvenile probation dept. Terry Castellano, chief juvenile probation officer. Dina laSoya in attendance as well.
Last year's budget miscalculated by $48,000. They don't have enough money to get through FY 2015. Have cut $18,000 from local budget to knock off of $48,000 deficit. 24,000 deficit for FY 2015. Approximately $10,625 more savings needs to break even. Requesting $4000 to use if needed. $4000 also from Brewster Co, $2000 from Davis Co. judge Guevara makes motion to fund. White seconds. Unanimous.
9) reimbursement to Thomas Rawls for tire damage, Casa Piedra road. Cattleguard. 8.3 miles from RR 169. $318.14. Unanimous in favor.
10) waive golf course fees for Shorthorn boosters. Unanimous
11) Texas CDBG grant submitted by Jerry Carvajal. Colonia Fund project for Candelaria and Other area. low income survey not yet completed but certainly qualify. Pueblo Negro (Nuevo?) 17 homes filled out. Goal of 35. Budget of approx $250,000 including grant admin and engineering. Archeological studies may be paid by state Historical Comm. Texas Agriculture Commission. Candelaria project $272,050 to improve city water system. System is worn out, completed in 1992. Replacement of 2 wells. Replace controls, electric. Tank ladder, pipe, additional parts.
Not everyone in Pueblo Negro is on city sewer system. Some people do not want to tie into sewer line. How can county help convince them asks Eloy. City of Presidio could mandate tying into system. Eloy would like to let people decide. Once Pueblo Negro is annexed the people won't have a choice as per city of Presidio. Ruben is finishing survey of Candelaria people. Says approx 80% complete. White motions to approve. Unanimous
12) approve interlocal agreement referencing above. Unanimous
13) resolution submitted by Jerry Carvajal regarding CDBG grant. Candelaria WSC project. Unanimous
14) approve relocation of VSO to USO Building. Harlan Hardy approached regarding sharing office with extension agent. Private veteran issues are discussed. Another office in courthouse? Auditor room. Judge Ferguson said no, still waiting on auditor. Guevara asked Mayor or Marfa about extra office in USO. County will pay phone line. Has money in his own budget to do this. White motions for relocation. Unanimous.
15) roofing contract for courthouse. Window repair as well. Sam Cobos presents. 3 bids. Cobos recommends Amherst roofing. More complete diagnostics. More repairs for less cost. Water flow to drains, away from building. Repairing obvious 3 leaks and patching others. Windowsill leaks coming down inside walls. 2year warranty. Take care of most roof issues. White motions for support of Cobos recommendation. Unanimous
16) presidential permit manager Jake Giesbrecht. Hours, etc. define days, payment, etc. currently limited to 8 days per month as per prior resolution. Currently paid $250/day.
Jake has issue with minutes from that meeting. Minutes were slow to come. Possible discrepancies. Commissioners met in executive session to set hours, pay.
Jake says discussion was AT LEAST 8 days so he could be considered full time and be able to be reimbursed for expenses. White recalls and issue. Auditor is bringing up reimbursements as an issue. Requesting to be employed full time so that everything works out properly for him. Benefits question introduced by treasurer. Full time employee must get benefits even though he doesn't need them. Full time contractor could refuse them, but a full time employee is required by the permit guidelines. Vote taken, thought it was unanimous but apparently did not take effect. Wait until after break to hear about wording of PPG...
10 minute break at 11:40 AM
12:05 PM- revisiting item 16- Jake. Clarification on 16. White clarifies that Jake is a Presidio County employee and is project manage for Presidential Permit project. TXDOT clarification needed. Possible tabling of item by Jim and Loretto. Jim making amended motion to reflect that he is an employee and that benefits package will be looked into with regard to whether they are required as a full time employee. Unanimous.
17) FERC resolution for pipeline. Coyne Gibson speaks. Engineer with McDonald Observatory. Filing deadline is today at 4 PM. Comment deadline is a bit later.
Electronic motion is filed with clerk for potential action on part of county today.
County motion to intervene gives county permission to be a part of the Presidential work scoping process. Non-political permission; Gibson advocates for participation along public safety concerns on behalf of residents.
Motion suggest that FERC consider the whole of the project, instead of the 2 separate parts as claimed by ETP.
Comment period- county comments likely carry some weight. Generally would request environmental compliance for the whole project, not just over the river.
2 item to consider- Motion and Comment. North impactful, motion more powerful. Both can be done. Comment can be issued later but may be less impactful after deadline.
Several motions being filed. Brewster County filed comment resolution but not motion. Filed comment. BBCA filed motion. Coyness Gibson filed individual motion of his own.
Motion to intervene is highly impactful and allows county to participate directly, including court proceedings. No further action required but can be taken in this instance. Fowlkes asks for clarification that a motion infers that county may/will enter the legal process. Gibson says does not require, but BBCA will.
Fowlkes says that motion to intervene may not require legal participation/challenge to process, but infers it and legal expense may be necessary. Asks commissioners if they want FERC to oversee, and are they willing to take the legal steps to clarify this?
Motion to intervene is a court process motion, may require outside counsel, agreed by Gibson. Fowlkes says there is likely an option to withdraw if court appearance/legal aid is required. Guevara says no action needed today. Gibson disagrees, says it will be better to take action today and withdraw later. Can still file comment, no motion, with no further consequences.
Item 18 would be comment/resolution.
Loretto motions to table. (Essentially killing the motion)
Aranda seconds
Cory Van Dyke speaks regarding protection of resources and elected officials.
Brings up " wasteland" designation.
Guevara says she would like to file a motion to intervene based on safety.
Comments from Rosario Halpern and Beebe regarding motion and timeliness.
Fowlkes says comment is harmless, motion can be withdrawn or submitted late.
He also says deadline was presented late; Loretto speaks on withdrawing motion to table.
Brad Newton speaks regarding ETP meetings in Presidio and Alpine.
Vasquez makes motion to reserve option to participate in Trans Pecos pipeline project by filing a motion to intervene.
18) resolution regarding pipeline ( comment) . Resolution basically states that that the pipeline should be in interstate pipeline regulated by FERC and held to earl standards. Same resolution that was passed by Brewster County.
Fowlkes says he has no problem with wording.
Vasquez makes motion. Unanimous.
19) administrative session. Five minute break at 12:50
Reconvene at 1:01 PM
JP 2 report- Judge Bishop in Lubbock. Report faxed in
Totals: 9,570.40
Retained : 6000.00 +\-
Disbursed :3,500 +\-
Capital Projects: Ruben Carrasco- accepted
Airports activity report: TXDOT meeting- funding schemes. Revised federal grant rules. TXDOT offered $150,000 per year provided an approved project is underway. 90/10 match. Spend $500,000 this year on runway and taxiway repairs.
Fiscal year 18/19 project complete. Funding with guaranteed backing by TXDOT (bonds)
Sign the airport project participation agreement to go forward.
Motion to sign by White.
Tax Assessor report:
Norma collected 53,282 in May
Consistent with years past.
Collection rate is approx 90% by the end of June
Presidential permit report (PIPA meeting later today)
Jake says 1st international logistics meeting occurred. Focus on tourism.
Want to get train going up to Ojinaga again.
Mayor of Odessa present. TXDOT says financial plan options are OK, would rather pay for bridge entirely and no toll. Questions regarding CBP and Ag inspectors etc. TXDOT says cost of collecting the tolls not really worth it. Current projected rate puts costs at around 40%. CBI funding available. Presidio County area has not had a structure in the past to get funding it deserves out of Feds. Now it exists with PIPA formation so now we can ask for money.
Current bridge is scheduled for renovation in 2017.
If TXDOT still owns the bridge then they pay for the upcoming renovation.
PIPA meeting today later. Report accepted.
Line item transfers:
Facilities manager- shortages in budget. Moving money from labor to utilities.
No further discussion. Approved
County bills and expenses:
TAC insurance Is paid quarterly.
Are purchase requisitions being used by everyone? Eloy asks, Katie answers Yes.
Adjourn 1:32PM

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