Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting May 10th 2016, 9 AM

Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting May 10th, 2016, 9 AM Marfa, Presidio County Courthouse.

Present: Judge Guevara, Jim White, Loretto Vasquez, and County Atty John Fowlkes.

Convene at 9:05

Lorenzo Hernandez joins the meeting following pledge at 9:07. Absent: Eloy Aranda

Item 4- public comments
Judge reminds commissioners that members may not respond to comments from citizens. County Attorney John Fowlkes agrees that this is the proper way to hold meetings. 
Comment from Larry Lunsford, rep from Golf group. 
Here to reassure that the golf group is still interested in golf course project. Plan is to submit a lease proposal and an outline of a three or four phase project to be presented at the next meeting. 
Discusses funding and how at the start of each phase funds will be put into escrow to be sure that projects are complete. 
They want county commissioners to be comfortable that funds are there.
Have run the numbers, will not be a big money making project, more of a labor of love. Need to add a small lodging community and potentially low income housing for local workers. Group wants to go forward, he is here to reassure. 

Carlos Nieto: thanks commissioners for homestead exemption action. Looking into cities taking next step to adopt. 

Judge reiterates that she wants to keep agendas tight. Asks employees and officials not to interrupt discussions between commissioners. Judge will call on people to comment at end of discussions. 

Item 5: announcements from commissioners and Judge: 
Judge says she enjoyed commissioners school. 
Yesterday judge and financial team met with Big Bend Telephone. Explained how process would work and how it would be paid for. 
Would be budgeted for next year's fiscal term. Great technological advances offered. 
County needs an RFP. OMB office will prepare. Doak Painter will be here next week so financial team is busy preparing for that right now. 
Hernandez says that he has been asking about bills, he hopes that this new phone system will save us money. Judge says it will cost about the same, but the system will be much more advanced. Brewster County has been with them for about a year and Judge Cano says it is much better. Hernandez is concerned about the money. 
BBT coming back for June 14 agenda. 
Jim White asks about the mileage and phone logs being complied with. Some departments are not in compliance. Commissioners need to be vigilant. Sheriff has not signed his Conflict of Interest Policy. Commissioners have not enforced the rules. Judge wants to get together with Frances Garcia tomorrow to review. Judge says that commissioners need to decide on consequences when policies are not followed. 
Judge congratulates Jessie Lee Schneider for here award from Agriculture department. June 7th at port at 4 PM ceremony. 
This Thursday meeting with Tryon Lewis regarding Port of entry. 
Veterans town hall meeting May 23rd in both Marfa and Presidio. Regarding the ew clinic to be built next to Porters in Marfa. Porters is donating the land and paying for some of the construction. Thanks to the Porter family. 
Work on budget has begun. There is a timeline, forms to departments go out June 1st, need to be returned to Judge by June 14. Patty Roach has simplified the forms. She believes dept heads will be pleased. 
Commissioners announcements: none

Item 6- Air Ambulance presentation by Frances Garcia. She emailed all applications to dept heads.
Two proposals. Omni and LifeShield. Budgeted last year, just now received proposals. 
Judge says that she and Frances will get together and explain process to employees. 
Hernandez wants to know why this took so long. Carlos Nieto was the one who got into touch with the firms. This is a covered benefit for all County employees. 
Carlos Nieto says that PISD and City of Presidio employees are covered, great benefit for employees and their families. Hernandez still wants to now why this has taken so long. Frances says that they basically had to start from scratch on this process. Judge is glad it was budgeted, and she and Frances will work to get employees enrolled. Will cost the County approximately $9,000; budgeted for $15,000.
Judge says here computer is broken, no money is budgeted this year, but she hopes she can find some money somewhere. 

Item 7- Marfa golf course issues: 
Eddie Pallarez presents:
Informing county that There has been a a change in advisory board memberships. Elected Ernest Villareal Jr as new secretary to replace Doug Cook, who is retiring and moving. Wants to advocate for new golf group, part of new ideas include the housing and other opportunities at golf course. Please consider all proposals. 
Judge thanks Eddie. 

Item 8- executive session.

Reconvene into regular session at 10:45 AM

Item 9- airport personnel. Judge makes motion to rescind previous action of court in April to approve a call out fee of $20.00 paid to employees and approve chancing status of Rudy Estor from part time to full time status at 10/hr pending analysis from County Auditor. Approved.

Item 10- Disposition of privately owned dilapidated structures at airport. Chase Snodgrass presents.
Normally privately owned structures when people leave are sold to others and county creates a new lease with new owner. County owns all land. County has right to terminate leases. The "T" hangars at Marfa airport are in bad shape. Should be torn down as an unsafe building. Privately owned. Two hangars are empty and a guy from Alpine wants to buy one. Chase thinks that county should not lease land. County should purchase hangars at fair market value and tear them down, starts over. 
Appraisal district at $4,400 using RAMP grants county only pays half. There are seven hangars total in this structure. Two are being used on one side. Land leases have not been paid on at least two in years. 
Requesting county not to write new leases or renew any existing leases. 
Jim White says that T hangar is an invention to put more airplanes in a limited space. 
Chase says that taxi space is too narrow around hangar. 
Says right now there is 90/10 grant money to build new hangars. Would like to eventually build two with grant funds. Vasquez wants to know how much rent a hangar can command. Snodgrass says that in the past it has been around $100/month for a hangar that was not secured. Now that it is secured people are interested. Says in Alpine hangars rent for 200/300 dollars a month and there are none available. 
White makes motion to not write or renew any leases on the T hangars. 
Vasquez seconds. 

Item 11- administrative session
White asks if we did not receive these reports via email. Yes, except for OMB, auditor and treasurers reports, which were turned in today.

Internal auditor- Patty Roach- has no paper report. Says that Doak Painter will be here next week and they are getting ready for that.

Treasurers Report: commissioners take time to review. Receipts total $825,000 plus or minus. Crystal Funke goes to find Frances to answer questions. Patty Roach assists Heranandez with questions in the meantime. 
BCAP grant money that has been waited on for approximately three years came in. ($85,000)
Chase confirms that county is planning on raising rents for hangars fairly soon. 
Land leases tied to CPI.
Report accepted.

OMB report. Katie Sanchez. $542,000 approximate to be or has been paid out. Commissioners had approved bills of over $125,000. Went to Border Patrol meeting the other day. Grant funding issues re Operation Stonegarden. Possible to request advances in future, increased accountability. Presidio County had never requested the M&A of 5% for operating grants. Officials were surprised at this. Vasquez wants to know how Stonegarden stands. Katie says that they are waiting on approval, it is at the Washington level now. County will have to write Plan/proposal for how they plan to spend it. Says that they are nice, helpful and want to fund us. 
Judge says that county still has to pass a vehicle policy, send it to government. Money will come in for 2017. All previous Stonegarden grants are closed out. Had to give back all of 2014 grant of approx $300,000.
Feb or March of 2017 is next funding cycle. Three year grant. 
Judge wants to know about when checks in the report were written. Katie says that hers and Frances' reports run concurrently. 
$399,000 still needs to be approved towards total of $542,000 to be paid out.  

Commissioners reviewing other reports.

Judge wants to accept pets D through N

Hernandez wants to hear facilities manager report
Sam Cobos:
Full time courthouse employee quit for personal reasons. 
Says that the use of county facilities has greatly increased, especially courthouse lawn and AG barn. 
Hernandez asks who does the work when people quit. Cobos says that either he does it or Sal helps out.
Talk about Kyle Petty biker rally. 
Redford Center will be open daily this summer, will be used kind of as a visitors center. 
Work on Annex.
Courthouse needs work, turnover has been a problem. Using some contract labor to come in a do some work until we find a full time permanent worker. 
HVAC system at jail progress. Committee met. Set up schedule of items. Shooting for RFP by end of June/ early July. Patty Roach says that the committee is responsible for putting bid package together and planning for finance. Vasquez thanks them for their work. 
Beebe says that it is important that a commissioner be more or less in charge of this process since the decision will be of utmost importance to the financial and operations future of the County. It is not fair to place such a high level of responsibility on an employee that cane blamed if a mistake is made. Hernandez agrees. 
Report accepted.

Capital Projects: Ruben Carrasco.
Got some surplus materials from TXDOT for free for road improvements. Judge asks about Antelope Hills road. Carrasco says he is waiting on paving materials from TXDOT. Two roads in Presidio and Antelope Hills Rd. Road to landfill in Presidio is one of them. 
Previous commissioners court decided on which roads would be priority. 
Vasquez asks about airport storage issues. Carrasco says that they are trying to clone up area around the little building so they can demolish it. Moving vehicles will be easy. 
Hernandez asks about when and how road were chosen to be done. Carrasco says about two years ago. 
$418,000 of TXDOT grant funds and materials are free. Roads in Presidio were outside city but city annexed since grants were funded. Will coordinate with city. 

Tax Assessor:
 Norma Arroyo: 90% of tax roll has been collected YTD. $44,357.00 collected this month.

Jail Report: 
Gracie Parras. Count at jail is 99. Billed marshals and Jeff Davis a total of $146,000 approximately for month of April. 
Jail is full.
New maintenance worker is busy. On call 24 hours. Works 40 hours per week. 

JP 1 Report- collections numbers $24,000 approx, talking about performing extraditions, attending training for TER Birth certificates in June. Will be coming to commissioners court to ask for a funds transfer. 

Fire/EMS- fire in Ruidosa started in Mexico 2 days ago. Gary Mitschke presents. Presidio Fire Dept requested  a dozer from TXDOT, Gary and Judge had to order through emergency management. Everything worked out, but there are some issues for the future. 
Several fires this week due to dry lightning. Weather patterns are changing, Federal Emergency management people say that fall may present most risk. 
White wants to know how many fires the burn ban has prevented. Unknown, says Gary. 
Permits have been issued for fires, four or five issued, no fires went out of control. 
White pushes... Mitschke says that burn bans don't necessarily prevent fires but mitigate risk, through permits and awareness. 
Gary asks about SHSP grant status. Judge says that vehicle policy has to be approved to get into compliance. Suspension cannot be lifted until then. 

All other reports approved.

Line Item transfers:
$600 from training to fuel for County Judge. 
Discussion regarding transfers. 
6000 from professional services to labor for OMB.

White make motion to approve.

Bills and expenses:
Patty Roach says there is a $6.99 reimbursement for hamburger buns for jail to Pancho Campos not listed.
Katie wants to know if departments may have to be limited on reimbursements by commissioners court. Might be abuse happening. 
One dept has three reimbursements for approx $14,000. Airport fund. 
Patty says that county has no duty to reimburse employees. She thinks that there's not necessarily a reason to restrict reimbursements, but employees need to understand that they buy at their own risk.
CopSync bill is being billed to jail, but should be Sheriff's Office. Gracie brings that up. Needs to be moved. 

Approve previous minutes:

Discussion regarding closing bank accounts from Frances Garcia included in. Invites. April 12th meeting. No problems at this point.
Approved for April 12 and April 27th.

Adjourn at 12:13 PM

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