Presidio County Commissioners Court, 12/8/2015, 9AM, Marfa.
All present including County Attorney John Fowlkes.
No public comments
Judge's announcements: TCBG (block grant) awarded.
Letter from TX Dept of Agriculture. Have questions regarding grants from 2011-2013. Mismatch in numbers between money awarded and money spent. Auditor is working on this. May take some time. Did not have an effect on current grants.
Texas Historical Commission sent a letter stating that monitoring for clearing of Redford canal should have an archeological monitor. Instructions on how to do that included.
Winter weather planning meetings coming up next week, Nov 15th. Department heads to meet regarding same on Nov 16th. South county area does not have warming centers in case of power outages. Lorenzo Hernandez says the Sheriff's Dept and Road and Bridge crew help support winter operations when needed in the past.
Lorenzo Hernandez says City of Presidio has some generators that PMDD bought and can be deployed. Jim White mentions that County needs to be prepared to pre-wire water wells, etc with generators before the weather gets bad. Judge Guevara is concerned about people who are on oxygen. Judge wants to implement a 211 program with the cities to help people in need. Cities would be able to check on people, already have people at risk identified. Questions about how to get the pre-wire for Candelaria well done. Who is in charge of it now? Unknown. County going to contact Mr Bloomberg for initial help, advice.
Judge says that Mrs Arias from Presidio was injuring about Food Bank building in Presidio. She is a volunteer with West Texas Food Bank. Wants to know if they could use that building since it is not being used. Lorenzo Hernandez says that's a good idea, he will help facilitate that. Mrs Arias can contact him and he will assist. The people who had been trying to get it going before were not able to get it done for various reasons. West TX Food Bank is ready to step in. Next food distribution will be Dec 15.
Eloy Aranda says that rains have created concerns about potholes in City of Presidio. Would like to help out the City to assist with material or other things with regard to road repairs. There is an inter-local agreement to share some equipment, etc.
Judge Guevara has been asking for a copy of the City of Presidio's budget for weeks and was told "it's not ready" copy will be $25.00. Perhaps the City of Presidio could help out with that. Unsure of how a budget could be passed without it being complete. City of Presidio has not yet filed their budget as required by law, nor is it posted on their website, as required by law. Unsure of why this is, but County would like to help them despite this. However, a copy of their budget is needed.
Chris Webber from TXDOT will be contacted to try to get some support for Presidio streets. Always helpful.
Big Bend Telephone company presentation by Russell Moore:
Aaron Rodriguez presenting in his place.
Proposal for telephone and other services.
Hosted PBX system: hosted through the web, cloud. Can be maintained and modified off-site. Hosted IP PBX lines. Every phone is a line, as many lines as you want. As many phone numbers as you want.
BBTC would install, train, provide equipment and support. Fiber to every building, buildings would be interconnected. Computing and phones.
Providing services already in Presidio. Would link Presidio and Marfa together. Shared 100mb/s internet speed. Unlimited local and long distance calls. Keep same phone numbers for all lines.
Phones are Cisco 4 line business phones; conference, three way, transfer, etc.
Better sound quality. Network buildout would be aerial or underground. Patch panels where fiber terminates, optical terminal where there is a backup generator of some sort, like at the jail. Keeps network up in case of power failure.
Provide remote location phones/ internet at Redford school, etc.
Proposal also provided to Jeff Davis County. Brewster County already on system, City of Alpine. Can separate billing by department.
Firewall provided. Main firewall for County, can be shut.
One time buildout costs, then monthly recurring costs. If county opts for this, fiber will be able to be used around Marfa. Buildout includes access for city.
Photocopiers could be networked, could reduce the number of copier rentals.
Computers could print to any printer within network.
Time frame for installation is minimum of 90 days, probably more like 120 days.
Judge says that 911 was down on the ATT network last month and calls were re-routed to Alpine. This could help us avoid that problem. Aaron says that 911 routing all goes through ATT now and when ATT trunks are down all 911 networks are currently down. Rio Grande Council of Governments wants redundancy, looking at linking into BBT system regardless of which provider counties go with.
Ray Ellis from BBT is here, can help address technical issues, if there are questions.
Proposal today is incomplete as details on numbers of lines, etc are not included.
Current ATT speeds average around 6mb/s, BBT up to 100mb/s. More modern system, fiber directly up to businesses. Alpine already experiencing this.
Dedicated fiber line for courthouse system would be actual 100mb/s. Would not be shared with other businesses along the fiber line. Would work with Nectar Computers to identify where current points of contact are for existing lines. Work with Sam Cobos, facilities manager. Gary Mitschke asks if a fiber cut could shut down all the counties. Aaron says theoretically it could, but Ray Ellis says by the first of next year there will be additional redundancies; they are working and building them out now.
Skip to Item #10- Big Bend Telephone request to obtain easement for buried cable across Presidio County property in Ruidosa. 20 foot wide easement request. BBT buying a lot from Bloomberg, want to place a pole there, access point. Jim White makes motion to approve. Hernandez seconds. Unanimous.
Back to item #7- presentation from David Quin of Public Power Tool with follow up pricing estimates for power purchasing for Presidio County in comparison to current pricing rates.
Power used over last 12 months was used for basis of pricing. Estimated pricing at 3.4257 cents/kW. Public Power Tool is a non-profit created by Texas Leg to save public entities money by negotiating power deals in bulk contracts.
Plus modal is 3.875 cents. John Fowlkes asks about how Public Power Tool purchases long term contracts in the face of dropping prices. Quin says they are looking at different ways to purchase power forward. Currently look to lock in a rate for the near future, through approx 2019, for County. Quin confirms that each County's contracts are individual, but they negotiate in bulk when they can. This contract discussed here would be a bridge contract unique to Presidio County.
Loretto Vasquez asks if the numbers here reflect all county buildings consumption. Yes, all 43 accounts, according to Quin.
Current provider is WTU. Highest we currently pay is 6.78/kW
Patty Roach asks if proposal includes an analysis on current costs vs proposed. Quin says no, since he does not know what we are currently paying per account.
Discussion only item. Concluded.
Item #8- discussion with action as appropriate to require all elected officials to complete, sign and turn in conflict of interest forms to Treasurer by Jan 4, 2016
. Item clarifies procedure on previous agenda item creating and requiring forms. Lorenzo Hernandez asks to move it to the 12th, next Commissioners a Court meeting.
Judge has no problem with that. Hernandez makes motion, seconded by Vasquez, unanimous.
Item 9- fireworks restrictions. Prohibits certain fireworks in Presidio County. Hernandez asks about burn ban. Gary M says burn ban expired and we are not under a burn ban. This is a lesser restriction, but gives us some control. Gary says State allows more days this year to sell fireworks. Judge says that this prohibits the sale of skyrockets and sticks. White asks about time frame. Aranda asks about fireworks displays. Crystal Funks called City of Presidio to see if they wanted to designate an area and nobody got back to her. Designated area in Marfa would be Vizcaino Park. This regulation would only apply to this current holiday season. Having yearlong burn ban would make this a longer term regulation. Gary says State sets deadlines regarding creating these fireworks restrictions. This restricts the sale of these items and the ignition of these items. More discussion regarding generals of fireworks and burn bans, etc. Hernandez says we have bigger problems than this. Recommends no action, no action taken.
Item 11- Nominees for Presidio County Appraisal District Board. Unanimous to repeat last year's appointees.
Item 12- executive session.
Item 13- executive session.
Reconvene into open session at 11:45
. I re-entered the room at 11:52
, was assisting a customer in my office.
County Auditor's Report: all treasurer managed bank accounts have been reconciled through Sept. Independent audit info shod be timely this year. Has a sheet for potential use in tracking agencies that receive funds from County. Presents that to commissioners and recommends they use it or something similar.
Treasurer's Report: Frances Garcia. Presents receipts from tax office for over one million dollars. Reflects two weeks of collections. Good rate of collections.
Office of Management and Budget: Katie Sanchez: has some bills to present. Presents countywide vacation and comp time liability totals at end of FY 2015. States re: $163.000 CSVT award. Commissioners need to create a budget page for that award.
Discussion regarding employee(s) with too much comp time accumulated. Hernandez says commissioners should send a letter to dept heads who need to make their employees take their comp time. White says that following that commissioners need to refuse payment. County is currently liable for $62,000 in comp time.
$120,000 plus or minus including vacation time, etc. Judge says that commissioners need to send a letter to dept heads and inform that payment will not be made. Commissioners begin to discuss revising the policy to limit the possible liability of the County in the case of someone quitting and collecting pay for comp time.
County/District Court: Accepted, no discussion.
Presidential Permit Report: discussion regarding additional members to PIPA. Meeting later today at 4
in Presidio and may appoint 2 more members on top of two already added. (I plan on attending this meeting)
Jail Report: White says federal prosecutor says he will be prosecuting all OTM's, keeping the jail full. OTM stands for Other Than Mexicans. Hernandez wants to see how the County can get a figure on what the jail is spending on a monthly basis, semi-annually. Katie Sanchez says she can generate numbers. Nobody from Sheriff's Office or Jail here to report or answer questions. Loretto Vasquez wants details on facility repairs, condition with every report.
White says this is even more important now that it appears the jail will be near capacity for the near future. Gracie's father passed away and she had to take off work, she probably had to miss this meeting to catch up. Commissioners are happy with performance, and the report.
No probation dept report.
Water District: Rudy Garcia. For month of Nov one drilling permit approved. Collected seven water samples in Nov. Good quality of water generally. Two wells tested off HWY 169 in near proximity were dramatically distant. Thinks one may be slightly polluted, as water smelled. Will try to get board to give him permission to test. 14 well samples reported to State. Ruidosa community well tested and had a high level of particulate. Thinks well may be getting some water from the Chinati volcanic material nearby.
Capital Projects/Road and Bridge: Ruben Carrasco
Emergency Management: Gary Mitschke- last week there was a structure fire near Ruidosa. Total loss, but issue is Presidio Fire/EMS dispatch system, which is still not integrated into radio. Being notified by County dispatch by text. Probably a 30 minute delay in notification to volunteers since a group text was not sent, although that is how it is usually done. Estimated that may have cost additional 30 minutes for response. Not a good situation. Deputy was dispatched and then fire dept was dispatched after confirmation of fire. Extra lag time. Dispatch system really needs to be integrated. Everything is ready but County needs to make the call to the State to implement delivery and installation of the system upgrades.
Weather planning meeting next week: moving forward with installation of switch gear for generators. Installation at school in Marfa will happen. Electrician will give estimate next week. Ruidosa, Candelaria, Redford- we need to look at those places and what systems they are on. Fortunately for Presidio there is the battery (BOB) as a backup, but Candelaria and Ruidosa lines are very isolated and usually are the last lines to be repaired during a major outage given the low population levels. Very rough terrain to get through to repair lines. Rio Grande Electric Coop in charge.
Want to keep water wells powered, Gary wants to know if the County is interested in paying for those wells to be fitted for backup. White says there's no budget. Hernandez says that these communities are out on the county and other areas are in cities, priority for county may be outside the cities. White points out that those areas are also the last to be repaired and may need help for longer periods of time, possibly exacerbating a bad situation. Hernandez says he is most concerned about Candelaria and Ruidosa. Further discussion about all the different places within the county that could be impacted in a major power outage. Water systems power paramount in discussion. Hernandez says he will contact the Presidio MDD about the generators they have in their possession, possibly ten or so, and see if access could be shared if need be. Discussion about Quonset hut near Candelaria owned by the GLO, possible access to use since it's abandoned. End of report
White makes motion to approve all other reports without discussion. Unanimous. (Reports were submitted in advance on paper to commissioners.)
Line item transfers:
Tires for emergency Management truck (judge's truck)
Equipment lease on copier.
Some other small items.
Bills and expenses:
Tire repair on old water truck in Presidio- $100 to Tom's Texaco. Hernandez says we overpaid. Ruben says there are extra parts, different for that truck, new tube, new collar. Old Ford truck with old tech tires. Usually road and bridge does their own repairs. Hernandez would like to see new tires, rims, etc for that truck.
Judge makes motion to approve. Airport fuel bills mentioned.
Water bills, Florcita Saenz for clerk's professional services.
Chase asks about TXDOT bill for emergency runway repairs. Not in packet, looking for Bill. $1727.47
Minutes of previous meetings:
Hernandez asks Virgie Pallarez if she could, in the future, email minutes in advance. Virgie says no problem.