Friday, June 30, 2017

Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting June 29, 2017, 6 PM

 Before I get into these notes, I have a personal opinion I would like to share. James R Mustard, City Administrator, hired former Mayor Dan Dunlap as an administrative assistant. I know this has been controversial, but it's my feeling that he is really really good at doing the numbers for the city, and will be a valuable resource for both the new Mayor and the council during the writing of the new budget for 2018. His presentation during this meeting of the recommended amended budget was clear and comprehensive and he knows the past history of every line item and can elabotrate on all of them. I am in support of Dan Dunlap's involvement with city government.

The iPad tablet I am writing this on has become increasingly unreliable and likes to crash and erase paragraphs of my notes several times per session. This is the last meeting I will use it at, as it is impossible to go back and rewrite accurate notes.

Here are the notes:
Marfa City Council, Thursday June 29, 2017, 6 PM, Marfa City Hall

All present 

Convene at 6:00

Citizen Comments:
Mona Garcia: speaks of car crash on Austin St in front of Arcon Inn. Wants Council to know that three pets have been hit by cars, tourists don't stop at stop signs, drive too fast. Wants to inform council it is now a dangerous street. Would like to have speed bumps put in to slow traffic. Pedestrian hazard.

Item IV- approve minutes of last meeting. Approved unanimously 

Item V : Mayor's Report: 
Ann Marie thanks public for attending. Attendance matters. ,ales us informed and the council accountable.
Calls attention to seminar July 10 on hotel/motel tax workshop explaining the tax and process of distributing tax. Will be informative as to permitted uses, requirements, opportunities. To be held at USO building.
TML training for newly elected officials coming up.
Annual conference is Oct 3-6 in Houston.
Timeline for budget and tax rate workshops. Late July and August is goal. Next meeting try to set dates for workshops.

Item VI: City Admin report:
Mustard, Austin St project is being completed. Dean St smaller work still has to be done. People moving barriers should be avoided. Damage to cars.

Employee matters: one employee is off duty and may not be able to return to work. One public works employee submitted resignation.
New nutrition director Callie Meeks starts Monday. Shanna Elmore resigned, went back to Sheriff's Office.
Ann Marie Nafziger encourages people to attend, young and old.
COG says that there is a freeze on numbers to add again, end of budget year. Hopefully next budget year program can be expanded again. Keeping a director makes a difference.

Councilmember comments:
Irma Salgado says that New packet configuration is better. 
 Brit Webb has a few questions: how did we get left out on pipeline money? Mustard says that we don't have a pipeline

Lost notes for last ten minutes- Apple computer malfunction. This is the final straw for this computer.

Bike Marfa proposal...
Baeza moves to table until attorneys can review contract and greater details available.
Buck agrees that is fine, offers to photoshop a picture of USO building with new bike racks.
Unanimously tabled.

Item 3: Third ambulance disposition:
Mustard says that old ambulance is capable of operating, no air conditioning, nobody can fix it, too much liability. City licensed to operate only two licenses. 
Best use could be to sell to a contractor as a work truck. 
Mark Scott asks if public works could use it? Mustard says he has not asked. 
Mustard says he will check. 
Mark Scott moves to ask gas dept and public works if they have a use for it and if they don't, to sell it. Unanimous 

Item 4:
New members for board of adjustment and zoning board.
Mustard tells people what boards do.
BOA handles variances and special use permits for properties.
Zoning Board is advisory board. Deals with changes in zoning classification.
Says city has a letter of interest from Steve Rabourn wishes to be on the zoning Board.
Mrs Veronica Campbell wishes to be on the BOA. Mustard recommends both.
Eligibility is living within city limits. Baeza motions to approve

Item 5:
Closing sale of lot 11, block 4 west heights addition.
Teresa Todd. Big Bend Title requested for Mayor to sign warranty deed to Michel Camacho for sale. 
Property was ceded to city by taxes owed from back in 1942. Unknown until a year and a half ago. Someone made an offer to purchase it. Process took Tim, person who made offer no longer interested. Sealed bid sale. Irma wants to know if other taxing entities had a claim. No, says Todd. Perdue Brandon did the legal work. Webb moves to approve.

Item 6:
Budget amendment: Mustard says that bottom line has changed; there is more revenue than expenditure. 
Administrative assistant Dan Dunlap goes though the numbers.
Sales tax revenue has increased projected 11%. General fund sales tax 1% parks and rec.50 streets .25
Mixed beverage tax increased. 13% overall increase in administration. 
Retirement adjusted slightly , last year understated liability. Employees contribute 5% of salary, city doubles it, but liability to city is less because we have a surplus. City's contribution is 2 1/2 to 3 % depending on year.
More expense for training. New councilmember training. 
Appraisal district dues went up. 
Employee health initiative- bought airlift insurance
Parks and Rec increase in sales tax 
90,000 excess revenue in administration.
Law enforcement hardware and software increase for computers and printers.
No change in fire dept. 
municipal court tech fund and court security funds adjustments- minor
Increase in travel expense in municipal court.
Collection agency has changed. Lost some Medicaid payments. Salaries for EMS are adjusted because dollar raise this year was not in original budget. City has four full time EMT and no part time. Best case scenario but costs more than having part timers. 
Mustard gives brief history of past employment problems and city's effort to remedy. 
Dunlap says building maintenance increased. Garage door repairs. Two ambulances, two bays in use.
77,405 EMS deficit from original budget.
Library: changes in numbers based on fundraising needs and realities.
Expansion project reduced.
Tourism. 47% increase in HOT taxes.
580,000 dollars in hotel motel tax.
Renting cars, processing fees but income as well.
Increase in USO bldg maintenance.
HOT tax advertising increase. Minimum 1/7 of tax must be spent on advertising.
Nutrition Center: reimbursement from COG down due to reduced participation. Supplies and retirement also reduced.
MAC building (pool): pump for pool, natural gas for new AC went up. 
Parks and Rec: zero impact to city general fund.
Recycling: up a bit. Building maintenance. Zero impact on budget.
Public works: extra $15,000 in repairs to equipment. Also added $65,000 for used backhoe. Street repair: additional 125,000 +- in expenses.
Water department: permitting fees slightly adjusted. Budgeted $705,000 to drill a new water well but did not drill it yet. Mustard says that it will not be drilled this fiscal year even if we get the permit approved. Unknown as to when permit can be approved. 
Sewer dept: new rates led to substantial increase. 
Gas Dept: warm winter, less consumption. Down about $80,000 projected.
Increased labor costs as well for overtime.
Vehicle maintenance. Trucks fading, spent ten thousand trying to keep them going.
Tax note handing fees increased slightly.
Overall, city has made more than expected by about a half million. 
Municipal budget begins next for new fiscal year beginning Oct first.
Mustard says that cities are not required to reallocate fund in the budget before being spent unlike Counties.
Approved unanimously.

Item seven
TCOLE requirement for establishing Marfa PD
Teresa Todd updates: city almost there.
Mayor says projected guidelines for choosing police chief. Hoeing to get interviews started this month, possibly make recommendation by end of July.
Mustard says buildout of evidence room nearly complete.
Gun safe ordered.
One new vehicle in amended budget. Mustard has a proposal from Rockwell county Ford. Timing is right at changeover from 2017 vehicles and 2018. To get vehicles in any reasonable time we have an opportunity to buy one that is in stock right now. 
City has the one 2010 used truck. This one is an Explorer Police Interceptor.
Can also be converted into a patrol vehicle in proposal.
Patrol vehicle has lights, partitions, more. 
Everything would be $48,250 +/-. Costs a little more than special order for lot insurance dealer reasons but is part of Buy Board, doesn't need to be sent out to bid, as per state Buy Board exception.
Mustard thinks this is a good deal. Thinks we should buy without radio, provide our own later and save $4000. 
Turnaround about two weeks. Best choice to get a vehicle before end of the year. 

Lost more data. 

Council approves

Item 8: 
Executive session re county law enforcement contract demand for payment 
Teresa Todd says that items brought to city by County Atty do not address city's demand.
Says that tickets in city began to be send to Presidio county JP 2 in December 2016.
Says this is a significant date, but the city should ask for what they need to see. No resolution.
Webb says that it seems like sheriff is still providing service, money is in both budgets, we owe it, they need it, why don't we go ahead and pay it?
Todd says she thinks the issue is in what information the city expects in exchange for payment.
Webb says we know that Todd has an issue with sheriff.
Mayor and Baeza say it's not personal. Webb says it will be soon, we need to pay it and get along. 

(Missed some of this due to Apple computer erasing notes)

Adjourn at 7:48

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