Thursday, January 26, 2017

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court meeting, 12/13/2016

Presidio County Commissioners Court Tuesday 12/13/2016 9:30 AM Marfa

All commissioners and judge present other than commissioner Hernandez, who is absent.

Citizens Comments: 
Vince Fuentez: road in Casa Piedra. Judge makes motion to let him speak for six minutes. Unanimous.
Vince says he has questions about the proposed change to Fm 169.
Family landowner since 1863.
Says this seems like a simple alteration to a road but it is not. Alternate route requires cutting down hills, culverts. Current road requires little maintenance. New road is for private gain, not public benefit.
 Commissioners court is last line of defense here. Current road is not broken. 
Is there a deed to all county roads? Apparently no legal deed to road. Are these roads deeded? Possible this is an opportunity to deal with these potential problems. 

Ramon Carrasco:  wanted to let Court know how bids for Redford project went.  He is engineer. Received bids from one bidder. Texas partners. Has done projects for county in the past. 
Bid is $6,000 over budget. Working with budget to make it work. Hector Morales from Redford is assisting with adjustments.
After meeting Ramon will prepare a change order and will try to move forward. He is happy with bidder and bid. 

Item 6: county judge announcements and commissioners announcements.
Judge says she attended training as well as Commissioner Vasquez. Disaster finance training. OMB director implementing procedures. Judge references tractor trailer hazmat situation from this weekend. Tomorrow at fire station there will be a debriefing. Traffic had to be diverted to fort Davis highway as Alpine road was closed. 
Judge had a meeting with CDM Smith with a proposal for TXDOT fast lane project between Presidio and Marfa. 
Plan is to design road widening project. 5, 10, 25 year plan for this.
Judge recognizes Martin Lujan from Perdue law firm and he is taking a position with UT Arlington in Irving. 

Commissioner Aranda says that he has been talking to Ramon Carrasco about USDA projects with City of Presidio. Possible meeting with people in Shafter about forming a water district. For future water grants. White says that future commissioner Brenda Bentley should be involved from the beginning. Aranda says that there is potential for a $500,000 grant. White says this has been exploited but the citizens need to come together first. In the past they have preferred to fight rather than group together.

Judge says that second commissioners court date proposed for the 20th to pay bills, deal with communications and jail renovations. Tuesday the 20th, one week from now. Possibly in Presidio or Marfa. Commissioners say yes. Aranda wants to keep the bid rating system in the hands of commissioners and not with a separate committee. Discussion. Judge wants to know how long it takes to rate bids. Aranda says it takes maybe a couple of hours. Two HVAC bids, one communications, four for cdbg engineer, one for Redford construction, two golf course, several others. 
Katie continues to describe the ratings system. Vasquez wants OMB do give them a recommendation and then commissioner can review. Auditor Patty Roach comments that a committee to be formed to make recommendations should be convened and perhaps a commissioner can serve on that committee. She says that she is concerned about efficiency of the process and consistency. Rules regarding commissioners court including open meetings act could delay or compromise some aspects of getting all information processed in a reasonable period. 
Ramon Carrasco says that he recommends OMB to manage the bidding scoring with some commissioners involved to make a recommendation to the court. 
Commissioners still have final say. 
Back to meeting time for December meeting. Tuesday the 20th afternoon, at 1:30. 
Legal counsel will review two golf course bids. No obligation to disclose anything about bids at this time.

Item 7: minutes approval. 
Judge says that Jim Allison advises that if court has an item that should be addressed on a future agenda that the item should be postponed. Tabling should be for taking care of an item for later in the same day. Judge motions to approve minutes for meeting Nov 9. Unanimous.

Item 8: sale of property in trust. Within City of Presidio property. Action item. 
Ruben Carrasco says the property is an empty lot. Two small lots. Vasquez wants to know where this is. South of cattle lots. There is a dedicated street on maps but it is not cut. No current access. 
Bid is from Eric Jimenez. Martin Lujan recommends sale of property. 
Aranda says that description of property may be incorrect or buyer may be confused. Spoke to mother of bidder. Wants to make sure that everything is correct. Martin says that son submitted this particular description. Judge makes motion to postpone sale until county can be clear on status of property and buyer's will. White seconds. Change on motion to table after phone calls made. Judge changes motion Unanimous.
Martin will call. 

Item 9: Public Power Pool proposal.Action item. 
Review pricing quote received by PPP. David Quin presents. 
Used last week's load information. Rates received yesterday. 3.122 cents. Lowest rate seen in the past twelve months. Indicative quote only. Final approval by court will result in executing rate similar. Estimated effect on county's budget: initial membership dues of $1,500. Resulting in savings total of approx $8,500 for the year to county.
Judge will be contact point person. Judge makes motion to approve, including paying dues. White seconds. Unanimous.

Return to item 8: Martin says that property is wrong property. Consulted with family. Court takes no action on item 8.

Item 10: Integrity Steel Works bid for $5827.73 for repairs to jail. 
No repairs to locks have been made at any time. Proposal has been made, but not budgeted. Marco Baeza is here on behalf of the jail. 
White says this is imperative. Gracie and auditor need to figure out budget item. Vasquez says this needs to be done. 
This was brought on after a federal inmate attacked a jailer. Also need a chain link fence over the yard, concrete reconstruction in yard. White wants to know how much can be done in house. Marco says that overhead fence can be done in house. Concrete needs to go in first. Cracks in floor, inmate grabbed cracked concrete pieces and hit jailer. White wants to know about cracks. Cracks all around yard, cracks can be broken and used as weapons. 
Some lights on yard are out as well. Concrete may need to be pumped from overhead. New slab proposed. Aranda wants to tackle lock situation first and deal with this later.
Marco says that price quoted is only for labor. Replacement Parts may need to be purchased. 
Aranda wants to know if there is a rough estimate on additional charges. Gracie says no, they do not know. Aranda wants to know if there is additional money in the maintenance fund. Gracie says yes. White says that commissioners court needs to know about this nonetheless. Katie Sanchez says that having Marco has saved a lot of money compared to last year on maintenance.
Aranda motions to approve. White seconds. 

Item 11: Approve Reba Griggs as new Presidio County Agriculture Extension Agent. 
Item tabled until after one.

Item 12: agreement between TDA and Presidio County for colonia fund servicing water supply to Pueblo Nuevo.
Judge says that this has already been approved in a previous commissioners court, now it comes back to sign. 
Aranda says that some people out there have their own septic systems. New people to the area can connect into sewer line with this grant. Ramon says that this Colonia funding is limited to certain areas. Twelve connections to Presidio sewer line in Pueblo Nuevo and some more of this goes towards Candelaria water system. 
First time water or sewer systems qualify. New city of Presidio sewer line allows this to qualify since it is a new line. 
Auditor says that county has not budgeted for cash towards this. Ramon says he is aware. Six months or more to get the funds processed. Can be budgeted in next fiscal year. White motions to approve. 

Break at 11:06

Reconvene at 11:28

Item 17: approve renewal of contract with Perdue law firm for collection services.
Judge asks of contract has changed. Rep Sergio Garcia from Perdue says that 2009 contract extension of additional four years without changes.
Aranda says that tax assessor Norma Arroyo is pleased with firm and wants to continue with renewal of contract. 
White motions to prove renewal.
Seconded by Aranda. 

Item 15: new worker to replace Oscar Cobos in road and bridge dept. Mr. Cobos has retired. Ruben Carrasco will advise on his recommendation for replacement. 
Ruben says temp county laborer Luis Ramirez is his recommendation. Rate of $13/hr.
Aranda says he is very skilled, hard owner, he has seen him work.  

 ( lost notes from 11:00 am to Noon. Computer malfunctioned, erased)

Item 11: Reba Griggs new extension agent: 
Mr Royal introduces Reba Griggs. 
Starts Jan 1.  Has relatives in Valentine and Sanderson. Will be living in Valentine.
Mother taught in PISD for four years, 2012-2015 and was a 4H leader. Accepted unanimously.

Item 14: postponed

Item 16: contract for tax assessment between Big Bend regional hospital district and county. 
$17,490.00 paid to county. White says it is not enough, costs us more than that. We give sweetheart deals. Need to charge more.
Norma Arroyo is here to speak. She says that she would like to go up ten percent. Somebody put this on the agenda before she was ready. She just found out. Two year contract. Motion to postpone until next meeting by Judge. Seconded by Aranda. Unanimous.

Item 19: Marfa airport capital improvement project. Paving for runways related to weight issues. FAA threatens to close airport if paving is not addressed. 
TXDOT says that they would like to move paving project up. Chase says that FAA may close airport entirely if we do not restrict heavy aircraft. 
Weight rating for current concrete has never been done. Need that.
Bill for $80,000 to county will be sent for engineering soon by TXDOT. Chase says that engineering report does not help us, we need construction more than a diagnosis. 
TXDOT says they will try to commit to monies for this year. County would be responsible for ten percent match of any project. Project will cost millions.
TXDOT proposes project development done in phases. 
Need runway reconstruction, need taxiway reconstruction. 
Back to back to back construction proposed over next three years. 
Total design for entire project would be $230,000 , ten percent payable by county.
Construction cost over one million. 
Chase says that because Marfa is a federally funded airport, we get $150,000 per year allocated no matter what, must allocate, but can save it up to $600,000. 
(Confusing funding conversation going on here- not following)

Chase says that we may get some construction done this year. May need to lobby Congress or state for this since we are under the FAA gun. Political uncertainty in general regarding funding for capital projects. 
Chase says that decision needs to be made are whether we use current engineering firm. 
White says that the question is how much money is really lost if we can't land large planes. Chase says there is no way to know. White says that he is amazed that hotels etc are not making noise about this. Chase says he has not put out the word. They probably do not know. 
Judge wants to know approx how much in landings and fuel sales have been lost since the NOTAM was issued saying large planes are restricted. Chase says that air traffic control in Albuquerque has issued their own NOTAM denying flight plans and landing assistance for large aircraft at Marfa airport. Refuse to assist planes and they have had to turn around. 
Alpine airport is still open to flights despite a lower weight rating.
Vasquez asks if there is any type of waiver available. Chase says unknown. 
Says FAA inspector that came here said that it seems like it's hard to get funding in rural areas. Not happy about that.
Commissioners express support for public outrage on this issue to help this get fixed. 
Vasquez wants to get Congressman Hurd and arts organizations involved. Hotels, etc
Aranda wants to take action on this and try to get other govt agencies involved. 
Resolution on agenda is strictly about agreeing that project needs to be done. 
Judge wants to put together a meeting of stakeholders in town tomorrow to review the issue and make contact with governmental reps elsewhere regarding this problem.  Patty Roach says that getting the $8,000 is a matter of a budget amendment. She is concerned that by making the resolution County may be making a greater commitment for later.
Judge makes a motion to postpone item until Dec 20. 

Item 20: Transportation alternatives in Marfa. 
Ramon Carrasco. Safe schools program.
Project approved last March.
Project is for Marfa, approved by state is rebuilding the bridges to school and sidewalks on Austin Street. 
Agreement state sent includes a matching numbers for grant. Not budgeted. Ramon says that $5,000 monies will need to be paid thirty days after grant resolution passed by County. 
Additional $7,000 due sixty days before construction, which can be put off until next budget.
Grand total match for Marfa $16,050. $6,907 is in kind force account. 
Aranda wants to make sure we spend as little as possible on outside grant administrators and contractors. 
City of Presidio got additional grants and are tapping school district and PMDD for additional funds. 
County's match rate was 2.1% of total cost. Great deal for County.

Item 21: same item for Presidio project. Already explained. Motion to approve. Unanimous

Item 22: sewer yard line installation guidelines approval for Pueblo Nuevo project.
TCBG funds project. Twelve hookups to city of Presidio line. 
State submitted guidelines separately and requests approval on this. 
Already discussed earlier. Lines on private property to connect to sewer line.
Aranda motions to accept guidelines.

Item 23: Consent Agenda

County Auditor: 
Patty Roach
Says she has moved to new office across the hall.
Collections on tax and dispatch contracts. Up to date with entities except city of Marfa owes us for two months of dispatch. Need to meet with Mustard to iron out.
City of Presidio has made first payment on arrears. 

Grants: lots of grants in process. She says she wants to encourage commissioners court to use OMB to take care of duties and get us through some of these efficiently.
Commissioners need to be cautious about in-kind contributions to grants. Time charged to grants must be separate.
OMB office can and should be the one place to go which knows about all grants in process.
Aranda asks about last year's budget cash carry over. Patty says that those numbers will be presentable in January. Issues with a supplier of paving materials not accepting county credit contract brought up. 
End of report. Approved

Treasurer's report: bills and expenses
Judge says she saw nothing extraordinary in bills. 
Commissioners reviewing.
Conferences and training fees for Brenda Bentley, incoming commissioner.
Cost for golf course bids advertising. $3,300.00.

O.M.B. Katie Sanchez reports on grant bids, etc.

Big Bend Telephone submitted bid. AT&T was late due to fly tire. Can rebid or not. Commissioners choice. 
Two bids on golf course received. Will be sent to Jim Allison to review.

Norma Arroyo yes that stupidity percent of fiscal year 2017 county taxes have already been received.

Rest of reports accepted other than Presidio fire dept report which was not submitted. 

Adjourn at 3:14 pm

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