Follow by Email

Friday, August 24, 2018

Notes on Presidio International Port Authority Meeting, Aug 17, 2018, 3:00 PM, Presidio County Annex Building

Presidio International Port Authority Meeting Friday August 17th, 2018, 3:00 PM, Presidio County Annex Building, Presidio

Present: director Jake Giesbrecht, Treasurer Jim White, Mayor John Ferguson, Judge Cinderela Guevara

Meeting convened at 3:15 PM

Public comments: none

Item 5: communications from Judge to Board. Judge has heard that construction has started on the rail. Mayor says it has started on the Mexican side.
Jake says that TXDOT rep says that they are pleased about the proposed infrastructure and existing facilities and will proceed to see about meeting federal standards for the inspections.
Texas Pacifico is working with the Mexican government to coordinate. Bids in Mexico are already awarded. Bridge will be nine feet higher and will have walkways, as requested.
Texas Pacifico has resolved the trackage issue with Union Pacific.
John Ferguson says that City of Presidio is getting its affairs in order thanks to Joe Portillo. This effects everything the city does.
Judge says she has not had one day to observe operations at the bridge construction site. After budget is completed she wants to spend a day at the site.

Item 7-adopt minutes of previous meetings. Minutes from meeting Tuesday August 7. White motions to accept. Unanimous

Item 8- director’s report.
Judge wants to be sure board addresses the trans migrantes potential for happening. Judge is concerned about having a situation we’re not ready for.
Jake says that it has not happened yet, we can lobby for it, it can bring a lot of money but also brings a lot of issues.
Judge doesn’t think we should lobby for it, but in budgeting EMS is a major concern. Jake says this is mostly a Mexico decision. If their port of entry adopts it, then we will have to address it. Mayor sees an agricultural export crossing as exciting, and nothing against the people that do the work, but it seems like a lot of junk and maybe things that shouldn’t be crossing would be here.
General agreement from Jake and the Mayor.
Report submitted in writing. Been spending time communicating with the State of Chihuahua and the State of Texas.
Border trade task force. Texas Border Strategic Transportation Blueprint- first planning to outline a single vision for state border crossings and trade corridor needs.
Jake says the State is trying to rush this master plan, shooting for having it completed in three months.
The Secretary of the Chihuahuan agency in charge of agricultural trade accompanied Jake to Austin  for a meeting and that gave our port of entry a leg up over others.
Bi national meeting Sept 6 will discuss underutilized border crossings.
Very important that PIPA continue to work with HDR engineering, as they are the Border Trade Master Plan engineering firm.
Jake is Working on tax credits with Trans Pecos Banks development arm.
Met in Delicias with CODECH, Chihuahuan Economic development committee.
Mayor asks Jake about the upcoming meeting in San Diego that Jake cannot attend.
Jake says that efficiency of our port has not yet been measured. Measuring wait times is the objective. Need the federal government to officially measure the wait times for trucks. Trucks sometimes turn to Santa Teresa because of the long wait times here. And also the truck port closes at four.
Wait times average 2-3 hours per truck. Drivers carrying same load every day for years have to go through this.
Mayor says he feels like our port director does a reasonable job, is there any motivation for the customs people to go faster, expedite shipping. Jake says no, they get paid the same either way.
Jim White says that we have to find a way to change the way the port employees think.
Jake says there are a number of technological advances being considered by multiple government agencies to track trucks. It’s yet to be seen which one CBP might adopt to speed up crossings and inspections.
Ferguson moves to accept report
Unanimous

Treasurers report
32,422.29 in bank. Some bills due. $2047.52 reimbursement for Jake hotels etc. eight thousand in wages due to Jake for four months.
White asks for authority to write those checks.
Judge moves, unanimous

Schedule next meeting:
Every few months is ok for everyone at this point.

Adjourn at 4:11 pm



Agenda: Presidio International Port Authority Meeting, Fri August 17th, 2018, 3:00 PM, Presidio, TX


Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting, Friday August 17th, 2018, 9:30 AM, Presidio

Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting August 17th, 2018 9:30AM, Presidio.

Commissioners present: Brenda Bentley, Loretto Vasquez, Jose Cabezuela, Judge Guevara, Eloy Aranda.

Convened at 9:45 AM

Citizen Comments: none

Item 5:
County Judge announcements: none
Commissioners: bus tour Sept 6 for US 67 corridor.
Judge asks if construction on the RR has started. Aranda says he has not seen any construction yet.
Aranda says that sales date for road and bridge excess equipment is forthcoming. Sealed bids on items will be accepted, announced.
FEMA trailers: unsure as to how the County got the two trailers we have.
Not allowed to sell them, Judge says.
Natalia says the County bought those trailers and owns them outright.
Judge says they are not in inventory.
Condition of one in Presidio is not good. The one on Marfa is at the golf course and is usable for office space. County may keep it for use as CBase office space for now.
Vasquez asks about employee sick leave pool sign ups, has anyone else signed up? It’s a no brainer. Wants to get a list of employees not participating and call them up to ask why not.
Treasurer will give commissioners the list.

Item 6: no action on minutes. No minutes.

Item 7: budget and tax rate public hearing
Open public hearing at 9:59 AM

Judge wants to look at increases and decreases first, summarize.
Katie Sanchez assists
Aranda asks about revenues. Wants to see that first.
M&O revenue increase is $358,649.00
Proposed revenue is based on 90% tax collection rate plus reliable receipts from other services.
Projection is based on rollback tax rate.
Discussion on Pre-trial diversions in County Court.
No convictions anymore, County Attorney places all cases into pre-trial diversion status where all pre-trial monies go into fund for County Atty office.
Much discussion as to whether justice is served by having no Class A or B misdemeanor charges resulting in convictions in Presidio County. After discussion, Judge Guevara says she will not longe sign PTDs without viewing all the documents related to a case. County Clerk’s office not taking in any fine revenue to be forwarded to general fund from fines in County Court. County Atty’s office keeps PTD funds for staffing and supplies dedicated to that office.

Other revenue increases include auto registration/ road and bridge funds.

County Judge budget:
Insurance payroll costs have increased for all departments.
Veterans service officer lost his landline, requesting cell phone.
Transfers from M&O to cover shortfalls: $377,157.79

Matching ten percent for airports runway grant discussed.
Good news is that the airport will not have to be closed during runway reconstruction.

Auditor says that she projects that at end of FY 2018 we should have approximately cash reserve of approximately five months for both jail funds and general fund expenses.
Vasquez asks about comp time obligations. Approximately $121,000 owed. Including vacation time obligations.
Vasquez is interested in having the sheriffs office adding more staff to reduce comp time.
Sheriff says that deputies are fully staffed at this point, three in Presidio and two in Marfa.
Aranda wants to budget for overtime and not have comp time.
Overtime budgeting to be completed by Sheriffs office for budget adjustment by next week. Most comp time and overtime hours are accrued by Sheriffs office and jail. Commissioners seem to be in favor of moving to overtime hours instead of comp time.
Vasquez feels that if somebody is sent to training they should be paid regular hours; any additional hours spent traveling or attending training should not be reimbursed.
Auditor says that TAC attorneys have said that the County needs to pay travel time.
Judge thinks that each department may need some overtime budgeted.
Discussion about budgeting overtime by Dept head.
Auditor says that for office staff overtime must be budgeted on a weekly basis, cannot transfer week to week.
Emergency budget amendments can be make in cases of actual emergency.

Judge asks about concerns from individual Dept heads.

Natalia Williams, tax assessor, says that although raises have not been proposed, she has two employees that have been there for a long time, very underpaid, and handle a lot of money. She would like to keep them.
Advocates for raises.
Aranda says that several years ago we were working towards a salary survey, have not yet been able to compare salaries with similar Counties.
Asks Katie Sanchez about status of survey. She says that some data has been collected, but not completed.
Judge says that longevity pay is something we need to add to the next personnel policy.
More staffing for tax office will be needed in Presidio if the trans-migrantes start coming for titles and registrations for vehicles crossing border.

Sheriff Dominguez says that dispatch proposed budget is not what he presented at his budget meeting. Salary adjustment for assistant Shanna Elmore not added into new budget doc.
Wages for jail staff are too low for recruitment purposes. At $13/hr he can’t get qualified applicants. Wants to start at $16, might be able to start at thirteen but once certified by state go to $16. Sergeants get $18/hr.
Judge says Brewster County is giving a substantial raise this year and most jailers in our jail live in Alpine.
Sheriff says that back in 2012 the wage rate was ok, but it’s not working properly now, have not kept up. The jail is keeping the county afloat as a moneymaker.
Sheriff says the scope camera truck we have needs to be fixed and he will have to take it to Florida , needs a PO for at least  $2000 for estimate. The grant will pay for the repairs but not for the costs of the trip. Needs money for two trips to Florida plus lodging and meals for two people to drop off truck and pick it up once it’s fixed. Between $5000 and $5500. County is required to fix it since it is grant funded. Approximately $3500 non-reimbursable for expenses.
$275,000 piece of equipment.
Evidence room and jail is too full. Been there since 1993. Need funding for Dave Duncan, reserve deputy to research and eliminate closed case files, etc. Needs to take care of that, requesting $5000.
Ten thousand budgeted in reserves for S County, this would be in addition to this.
Dispatch side of budget not updated from last year. Asking for $3000 in office expense. Bentley brings up the fact that since commissioners weren’t present for the budget workshops and did not receive any advance info on what departments are asking for means that this is the first time they are seeing these numbers and unless they ask for what departments want at the public meetings they would not know.
$3650 of dispatch service fees no longer going to be covered by the RGCOG.
$1500 for new furnishings.
Sheriffs office budget: assistants salary increase from this year not added in.
Dues and memberships increase by $705. TCLETS for TCOLE certification.
Inmate head counties down right now because of replacement of HVAC system. Exhaust fans will need replacement, not compliant. Going to be about $114,000 to replace. Inspection will come next month.
County Atty is researching whether that was part of the original HVAC contract.
Discussion about that cost.
Judge says jail is 25 years old and is falling apart. We need to decide to spend the money and fix it correctly. Hot in summer, cold in the winter. It makes us money, we need to spend money keep it working properly for us.
Jail is grandfathered in at older standards, but if shut down will be forced to comply with all the new standards. We are not there. Cant get shut down or we will really lose out.
Vasquez asks about why Jeff Davis County is  to using us for jail and dispatch services. Sheriff says that they think they can save money using Hudspeth County, but it doesn’t make sense. That’s their decision.
Gracie Parras says that adding a cell within the transport van could save on staffing and wear and tear. Male and female prisoners cannot be transported in the same van at this time. With a segregation unit/ van increased safety and less supervision, plus fewer trips would be needed. Judge saw demonstration and agrees.
No grant funds available for this at this time.
About $25,000 for cell. Gracie will get a quote.
Cooks in the jail have been there for years, still make $11.50per hour. Short one cook, need a third. Need to start at $12.50, wants to give current cooks $13.50 per hour. Vasquez agrees.

County Clerk Virgie Pallarez asks for raises for the girls. Needs desks for district clerk office.
Approximately $4000 for two desks.
Her clerks make about $13/hr. Been there for years.

JP 2 Judge Bishop says that DPS will have a new program for ticket integration that will cost money, maybe $1500.  Hill Country Software Systems has switched to become LGS. New system, a lot of unknowns. Otherwise she is not asking for much.

JP 1 Judge Beebe says that he is spending massive amounts of time on bookkeeping and that if the County wants to continue to move towards a complete system of checks and balances on the financial side they will have to hire more employees and move to a blind drop system in offices such as his.
More discussion about this.

Nothing but software/ cloud updates requested by County Treasurer

Road and Bridge director Ruben Carrasco asks for slight increase for salary for office worker. Was told that salary increases would be discussed separately from budget item requests. His secretary has been there for over ten years and still makes $11.15/hr
Discussion about employees getting discouraged with low pay rates, retention issues.
Judge says that County benefits are unmatched by other employers. Agrees that longevity pay is something we should look at.
Ruben asks commissioners to consider a yearly cost of living increase to salaries, every year. County has good employees, everyone discusses this and agrees that County’s employees work hard and help our County be better than it otherwise would be.
Discussion about the insurance costs for the Juvenile probation officer, who is an employee of Brewster County.
Who makes the decision as to who pays this?
Judge says juvenile probation board made the decision as to who pays the health insurance on their end last year but tabled it this year but commissioners court can make this decision . Bentley brings up that anyone who is not an employee of this County could affect our liability. Continuing coverage for insurance after twenty years as a county policy could apply as well.
Discussion. Judge offers to call Judge Ferguson about this issue on speaker phone if commissioners want to. Says these decisions were made prior to her tenure. Three counties share various costs.

County Auditor budget: wants a $1600 increase to take finance software to the cloud. Will go down next year. May need an increase for a new computer as hard drive crashed. May be able to be repaired, in the shop now.May be able to pay for it within her existing budget.

Commissioners budget: funding two trainings per year per commissioner.

Bentley would like a budget analysis for each Dept on actuals. Judge says they will get the. For Wednesday meeting.

Salaries for employees: discussion about salary comparisons with other counties. OMB office and auditor will do some research with the Judge.
Vasquez mentions longevity pay. Judge would like to have a committee look at that. Probably not enough time this year but could start on it this year and implement something next year.
Auditor will prepare percentage increase options plus other options for raises.
Potential to set aside money for a pay equalization fund.

Tax rate: proposed rate is .61475
Uncertain at this point if that proposed rate will generate enough revenue for M&O and I&S. That is rollback rate.
Rate is four cents less than last year.
Two years ago the tax rate was .67804

Judge motions to close the public hearing at 12:47 pm
Unanimous.

Item 9:
County Atty Ponton says that the jail air conditioning contract should be postponed because negotiations are ongoing.
Postponed unanimously.

Item 10: auditors report:
Line item transfers

Report approved unanimously

Item 11: bills from Treasurer
Approved unanimously

Item 12: OMB report: none

Adjourn at 12:52 PM















Agenda for Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Fri August 17, 2018, 9:30 AM, Presidio incl Budget Hearing




Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting, August 14th, 2018, 6 PM, Marfa City Hall

Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting, Tuesday August 14th, 2018, 6 PM, Marfa City Hall


Present: Mayor Anne Marie Nafziger, city administrator Teri Brechtel, council members Manny Baeza, Brit Webb, Irma Salgado, Bock Johnston, Natalie Melendez. City Atty Teresa Todd

Citizen Comments:
Mona Garcia: invites council to Sept 20-21 for Building 98 Annual Meeting and open house. Three artists exhibits presenting.

Verena Zbiden: javelina population is growing fast and needs to be addressed in the western part of town. Destroying plants, presenting danger, especially mothers with babies. Please do something.

End of citizen Comments

Item 4: approve minutes of meetings July 10 and August 2nd. Salgado moves to approve both. Second by Webb. Buck Johnston abstains. Unanimous

Item 5:
Mayors report:
Attended RGCOG meeting in July, Hotel Occupancy Tax grant committee meeting, first one. Mayor is very positive about that meeting. Deidre Heisler speaks a bit about upcoming HOT tax training.
Says members are positive and willing to receive public input.
Mayor reminds audience that the committee is an advisory board to the council.
Mayor says August 8 they presented to commissioners court regarding county EMS services payments. Looking at a better way for reimbursements. Says Judge said they will follow up with city.
August 20 th HOT tax workshop will occur.

Parks and Rec meeting will be August 23rd at Coffield Park. Rep from a playground equip company will be there.

Peter Stanley says that Zoning committee rewrite of zoning code with international zoning committee guidelines is coming along.

Mayor says that budget meetings are coming up, August 23rd will be budget wrap up. Sept 6 tax rate hearing to adopt both tax rate and budget.

Item 6:
City Police Chief Report:
Steve Marquez says they will begin school zone patrols Monday. Will be pushing use of crosswalks.
Will be enforcing speed limit during all school hours. 15mph.
No cell phones in school zones.
Providing residential security checks at request of residents. Eight since last meeting.
 Courtesy rides for intoxicated individuals.
Four way stop uncut from citizens. Single lane, no turning lanes.
MARFA Lights Fest and Chinati fest will have a bit extra on patrol.
165 requests for service this month.
Five arrests. 17 traffic warnings, 31 citations issued. August report
July report: 109 stops, 67 citations, 42 warnings.
All officers attended an advance child abuse safety course. Three days of training. Instructed by APD chief Darrel Losoya. Chief and Carrillo will attend active shooter training course next week. Training at Sul Ross.

Item 7:
City administrators report: no news on grants. Finances- working through amended budget as part of budget process. New building code software being adopted.
Natural Gas company passed Texas RR Commission audit and got great reviews. Employees doing a great job and were commended by state representative.
Highland St crossing closing happening soon for track underlay rebuild. Will announce as soon is known.

Councilmembers Comments:
Natalie Melendez says she is honored to be a member of council. Thinks council represents a broad spectrum of the community. Thinks that’s great, but tensions can arise. Asks for mutual respect in addressing and treating each other.

Item 9:
Action to close Highland St between Texas and Lincoln on Oct 6th for Roseanne Cash concert. And two streets around courthouse. Night time closure.
Rob Weiner presents . Talks about open house weekend and Judd’s tradition.
Over thirty years of tradition. Community dinner was discontinued about six years ago. Want to reintroduce an activity downtown for everyone to attend free of charge. Clean up crew would be sure by midnight everything is addressed. Have sent requests to County and TXDOT. They are waiting for city council approval first. Gary Mitschke, fire chief, approves but wants to be included in all conversations about street closures.
Noon until midnight or two AM at latest. Business owners are on board except for one.
Natalie Melendez works for Chinati and recuses herself from vote.
Buck Johnston motions to approve closure as requested.
Chinati will be responsible for arranging barricades.
Unanimous

Item 10:
Action to approve traffic management and traffic plan for area around Chinati.
Map presented.
Chinati initiated this item.
Making some streets one way, others for parking only on one side. Asking for city provided barricades for funneling traffic. This would be for Chinati weekend only. One way loop, essentially. Parking on both sides of street in direction of traffic flow. Discussion about neighbors and who has approved.
Barry says there were problems last year that were not reported. He says that Bonnie street was unable to be accessed. Police hired by Chinati prevented access to certain areas and were not cooperative. Asks council to be clear that security know what council decides. Residents, Building 98, and Chinati volunteers were affected.
Mayor says that the neighbor lanyards provided by Chinati be explained to whomever is providing security be clearly informed. Mayor clarifies that most problems last year were during the Solange concert and n event that large won’t be occurring there this year. Thanks Barry for his input.

Baeza wants to provide neighbors with two parking passes, provided by Chinati. Salgado agreed, makes motion to approve with provision of parking permits, two per residence.

Unanimous.

Item 11: approve request by Presidio County Sheriffs Office to make jail and dispatch contracts line up with county budget dates.
Fiscal year dates. No objection from Chief Marquez or anyone else.
Question from Baeza about charges made by officers of city of Marfa.
Yes, officers can charge for crimes higher than a Class C Mis.
Chief says for suicide watch on Class C Mis police are trying to get their own holding cell approved so they can supervise and bring MHMR to city police Dept cell rather than having to provide an officer to maintain a suicide watch at County jail as contract provides for.
Salgado moves to approve contract updates.
Second by Webb
Unanimous.

Item 12:
Accounts payable report to August tenth.
Salgado asks about supplies for gas Dept. New meters, additional parts.
Action heating and cooling: library equipment. Compressor went out. Not terrifically old system, according to city public works director.

Fuel pump for 2003 Chevy pickup. 3/4 Ton general use for public works.
Salgado wants to look at replacing some of these old trucks.

Library program grant expenses.

Tax note administration fees of $150.

Passed unanimously

Item 13:
Budget presentation and discussion: utility funds.
Salgado says she has received lots of input about budget. She would like to see the older budget and new formatted budget side by side on one format. Much has been rearranged and it is difficult.
Gives an example after Mayor asks for one.
Teri Brechtel says that in some places we have had savings and others had expenses. She says that at the bottom of each Dept’s budget there is a total line and any difference in overall Dept budget will be reflected there.
Salgado is still not clear on her question having been answered.
Council member Johnston assists her in reading different budget pages.
Discussion about bank balances left over. Where do you they go? Cover overages for other departments or something else? Brechtel explains that the budget as a whole is addressed on the summary page and, yes, some areas surpluses covered other deficiencies. Salgado says that at Appraisal District there would be specific line item transfers written into the budgeting.
Discussion about this.
Moving forward, Salgado would like to see specific line item transfers notated. Mayor agrees. Says that this process is what they have inherited and for next year she wants to hear about how to make it better for the future.
She says that this year the city has taken steps to outwardly communicate with the public for participation. Still struggling with the process and in the years ahead we can improve.
Mayor asks the City Admin to recite the council requests from last meeting.
City employee salaries are listed by salary only, not names.
Overtime is not reflected. Not a complete picture of earnings. Staff is not aware of salary discrepancies. Very sensitive information.
Rosario Halpern says that everything is public and is public monies and taxpayer money. Mayor says that she understands the argument but that this organization has sensitive information. Baeza agrees that the information is public. Mayor asks council to take into account the health of the city as an organization first.
Rosario says she does not want names, she wants generalities, which is what the Mayor is giving the councilmembers. Mayor says if she files an open records act she can have it, yes it’s public.
Mayor says that she and the city admin are trying hard for wage parity.
They are shooting for minimum wage of Fifteen dollars per hour at some point.
Buck Johnston says she has some issues as proposed for proposed positions. Should she be silent about which they are? No, says Mayor.
Mayor talks about changes being made to positions.  Copier issues discovered, some people have blank sheets in some places.

Teri Brechtel presents some figures about individual Dept expenses.
Longevity pay also not reflected in salary survey.

Utilities departments:
Public works: Mayor gives highlights about proposed changes between last year and this year. Salaries: 80,471 fewer. Director position is one position that would oversee water sewer gas and streets Dept’s. that is that dollar number.
Efficiency sought. More opportunities for cross training between those three functions. Each fund is charged an administrative fee for director.
Mayor hoping to fix the streets and coordinate infrastructure repairs with that.
Mayor wants to integrate federal grants for rural sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. money is there, we need to try to get it.
Planning grants, etc. Stresses need for shovel ready, engineered projects we could hand off in case grants received. Professional services are budgeted for,  may not need to be spent. Grant apps want detailed plans.
Salgado discusses capital outlay line to replace som public works vehicles in poor condition. Wants a cost analysis on repairs versus replacement.
Buck Johnston thinks 80,000 salary for infrastructure director is potentially too high when you take into account the sixteen step salary increase longevity plan.
Mayor says that is a good point, but council can set salaries for officers of the city.  All other staff report up the chain to the city admin.
Mayor says that the lower end salaries are what we are really interested in focusing on, but there are scenarios that could occur on every level of the employee base.
Buck says she is very happy with the lower level salary bumps and incentives.
In the new budget city has zero funded the gas manager position. Public works director would have a supervisor. Gas manager and public works manager job would oversee the gas Corp supervisor and public works supervisor.
Supervisors work in the field as well as supervise.
Brechtel says that employees that work at city are very talented. Great at,us and willing  trained and certified, improve their skills. She thinks that one director for all would be helpful for efficiencies, production and achievement. Cross trained.
City has been seeing increases in revenue over time.
Mayor wants a major push to fix streets over time. There will be a finance component.
Water Dept:
Iicensing and permits. Budget does not change from last years budgeted amount. Conservative budgeting. Salaries for water works. Four positions. Buck Johnston is still concerned about salaries of supervisors and director in relation to workers and long term city budgeting.
Baeza is not comfortable with the new position salary. Would prefer more workers and a separate road and bridge department to deal with roads. Too many chiefs in his opinion.
Buck objects to an additional layer of management.
Equity in take home pay an issue if supervisors aren’t able to get as many overtime hours in the field.
Mayor reminds audience that the city government is in transition and it’s difficult. Goal in her mind is to provide service to Marfa as it is today, which is different than in the past.
Buck says that when she was campaigning the city of Marfa was perceived as being top heavy. She does not want to add to that perception.
Mayor says that creating an organizational chart and job descriptions has been a priority and we are making progress. Baeza says in a town of less than 2000people it’s hard to justify this much management.
Salgado says she understand the cross training advantages. She has an issue with trying to explain this to the public. Lots of pressure.
Mayor says that the resistance to change needs to be measured by whether the councilmembers like the way things have been done and are being done for the last ten years. Do we think the streets are great? Do we think the gas and public works departments are functioning tandem? She is looking towards basic duties of the city, plus safe routes to school, sidewalks, bike lanes, more efficiencies and productivity. There are different ways to approach the budget. This proposed budget says that we are not satisfied and we need to do better.
Salgado says it is difficult to change the culture. We need to make sure we can work together and everybody knows what everyone’s job is and we can get it done. But we must be able to explain to the public what we are doing and why it will work. The key is why it will work.must be easy to understand in layman’s terms.
Baeza says he has been happy with water sewer and gas Dept’s for ten years but  have not addressed the streets. A dedicated road and bridge crew is what we need. Says there will be a presentation from the Asphalt zipper company next week and have more information. Doesn’t want to add another tier to the brass.
Mayor says she appreciates this and next weeks presentation. Could be a solution or part of a solution. Is interested in how we can improve communication between departments.
Manny says that Dept heads must do this, we are a small town.
Discussion about qualifications for infrastructure dept head. Will it have to be an engineer? No, but we have not yet defined the parameters.
Discussion about how to proceed with amendments to budget, proposals.
Mayor thinks that good discussion is being had. Overall budgeting in a  general sense is being addressed and it will continue to come together.
Back to water works discussion.
Three bids from contractors to paint the water tower. Ranging in the $63,000 for repair and recoat .Purple tower.
Water well construction: online by early next year. Well 3 will have more capacity than current well 2.
Johnston asks about water hog surcharges. Wants to encourage conservation.
Baeza says our rates are already staggered in that manner.
Mayor says they will bring more info next meeting. Good ideas.
Administrative positions now budgeted across departments generally instead of specifically.
Sewers: four positions budgeted.
Equipment maintenance . Repairs to sewer plant pumps and aerators.
Sewer jet purchase. Proposed to purchase a small metal building out at sewer plant for office and light storage. Old building has chemicals and rodents. Will be used for chemicals only.
Questions about sewer systems. Jeff says system is in fair shape but there are places in the sewer system that have recurring problems. New sewer jet will help mitigate these problems.
Natural Gas: warm winter this past year. Five employees budgeted for next year. Removing manager and adding a service worker.
Has Dept supervisor would be eligible for overtime. GPS software needed for mapping lines.
Meter expense: 54,000 dollars available from last years profits. Brechtel visited with employees and they relayed requests for new large meters. Three large meters. Programmable meters with more accurate reading capabilities. Meters will be approximately $8025. Will need to buy program, about $1700. Approx ten thousand out. Old meters are worthless.
Also a poly fusion machine. $2200. New $4600 welding machine.
Talk about property behind Dollar General that gas company owns. Historic building on property, building cannot be demolished. They no longer use that lot. More training needed. Manny asks about ploy ratio. Nacho says about ten miles still needed. Have replaced about five miles as city of Marfa. Half mile per year is required. We are slightly ahead of required replacement schedule.

Next meeting is Tuesday the 21st, for presentation of Asphalt Zipper machine.
Time unknown. Probably in the morning. At Coffield Park. Will be posted.


Item 14- no announcements

Item 15- adjourn at 8:48 PM



















Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting, Wed July 11, 2018, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Wednesday July 11th, 2018, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Commissioners present: Brenda Bentley, Judge Cinderela Guevara, Loretto Vasquez, Eloy Aranda.
Absent: Jose Cabezuela

Meeting convened at 9:42 AM

Fist item will be payroll. Commissioner Cabezuela arrives at the courthouse before pledge begins.

Item 21: payroll approval
97,878.77 plus
87,000 in ancillary payroll such as Aflac, etc.
Judge motions to approve payroll.
Second by Aranda. Unanimous

Citizen Comments:
Judge reads letter from John Cornyn. Patriotic letter for July 4th.

Mayor Nafziger and city admin Brechtel: had requested to be on the agenda regarding calculating payments for EMS service for the County. Brechtel says that city is working on budget. 86 out of 326 runs were outside city limits in the county or in the city of Presidio.
Requesting opportunity to provide detailed information.
Judge apologizes for not having placed them on agenda. Will be on next agenda July 25 in Presidio. Still looking at countywide Emergency Services District. Any decisions to join or not join would be made by city councils and commissioners.
Ponton asks if city has an estimate of costs provided to outside city limits.
Judge says she has the numbers.
2017 323 patients treated. 86 in County, 11in Jeff Davis County. 6 direct assists to City of Presidio. Budget is 450,000 for EMS. Lots of ways to look at how to calculate costs. Costs per mile approx $22 after taking into consideration Medicare payments et al.
Estimated costs for last years runs to County if calculated by mileage is about $77,000. City of Marfa will prepare a formal presentation.
Mandy Roane: advocating for Marfa Public Library. Thanks commissioners for the $2,500 contribution this past year. Funding went to youth programs during the summer. Summer shake up. New computer. New shelving in teen area.
Please consider same funding for this year.
Victor from Texas Association of Counties. Presentation tomorrow at Sul Ross regarding systems for safety.
Employee safety equipment program: safety equipment for law enforcement and road and bridge crews. Money provided by TAC in an effort to reduce claims.
End of public comments

Item 5:
Judge’s announcements: trying to put a PIPA meeting this Friday but Jake is at a meeting in Delicias, MX. There will be a meeting as soon as possible but scheduling is difficult this time of year. Reba Griggs will be more involved in assisting the agriculture side of the port effort.judge and Gary Mitschke are working on designing a CBASE for the Texas Forest Service at the airport. There will be a meeting with the Texas Forest Service and a rep from Sen Rodriguez’s office.
There will be a fundraiser for Billy on the 21st in Presidio at the park across from El Patio. Last week there was a death on Chispa Rd. Dehydration, heat exposure after car breakdown. Perhaps there is a way to have a water tank on this road, work with border patrol to call for help.
Ponton recommends signs advising to take water, no services or cell phone service available. Aranda says that we do have signs out there.
Roads are not marked where there are forks in the road. Ranches are not labeled.
Commissioner Vasquez announces he would like to sponsor an employee picnic before the end of the summer.
Wants to modify the sick pool to where other employees can donate their time whether or not they are in the sick leave pool share system. Make it like the federal employee system.
Ponton says he needs more information from TAC as to how sick leave can be donated.

Item 6: approval of minutes. Some corrections to May 16 minutes. Minor wording corrections. June 27 item 11says Judge G made motion and seconded. Correction made. Unanimously accepted.

Item 7: Sheriff’s Office dispatch contracts with cities of Marfa, Presidio and Jeff Davis County. FY 2018-19.
Contracts say that nothing has changed but the dates. Approved unanimously.

Item 8: Contract approval for jail services between the County and City of Presidio. Nothing changes except dates. Unanimously approved.

Item 9: jail confinement services between Presidio County and the City of Marfa . Nothing changes except dates. Unanimously approved.

Item 10: Approval os contract with Total ID Solutions Tech Support contract to reflect dates of FY. Approved unanimously.

Item 11: reinstatement of burn ban, presented by Gary Mitschke, Emergency Management Coordinator.  Presidio is very dry right now although Marfa has received rain. Areas are very dry, some are not. Approved unanimously.

Item 12: Renewal of contract with Lubbock County Medical Examiner: Same as before, different dates. Approved unanimously.

Item 13: Update and status of sale of properties with Texas Land Communities Group, LLC. Delinquent tax properties being categorized and eventually listed for sale to benefit County and other agencies.
Lori Wilmarth presents. Have been working indexing trust property and finding them on Google maps. In next week’s paper there will be a press release with regard to these properties. Links to properties. For Sale signs will go up on properties within the City of Presidio. Website is already active.
Some of these properties do not have road access. Maps are attached to every property. Ponton asks if notices will be sent to neighbors. Answer is yes.
38 properties within City of Presidio. Unknown as to whether there are any people squatting within these properties but will find out when signs go up. Will deal with those people at that time.

Item 14: Admin cost share for regional water planning, Far West Texas a Water Plan. Approved unanimously.

Break at 10:51 AM.
Return at 11:02 AM

Item 15: Payment on item 14 issue. Unanimously approved.

Item 16: Agreement with Nectar Computers for cyber security system for all departments including anti virus and ransom ware.
69.99 per computer to update.
67 computers. $4690 approximately. This would be an annual expense.
Backup is separate. Money would come out of each department’s budget.
Approved unanimously. Will begin immediately.

Item 17: Vendor for Presidio County jail Software management system.
Vendors bidding for this were evaluated by team. Zircher (sp?) Technologies ranked highest. Gracie Parras has a preference as to what is needed.
She recommends Zircher, it is user friendly, although it is more expensive.
Zircher will move data from old system to new system with their own staff. Nectar says that the job is too big for them.
Modules to expand and contract services available. This would replace the CopSync system. Current software backup cuts off on July 31st.
Sheriff requests that funding come from jail reserves.
COG is also talking to this company regarding 911 services.
Approximately an extra $20,000 for this company but it includes data conversion and is more user friendly. Full time support.
Judge motions to approve. Send by Aranda. Unanimous.

Item 18: Eva Gonzales presentation for land locked parcel in East Heights, Marfa TX .
Asks for a public road in E Heights division. Has petitioners in addition to her. Current road is on private land.
Provides map of E Heights from 1913.
Ponton says he has examined this and property was platted and dedicated to the public in 1913. It was originally within City limits. He sees the streets there as public streets. County can improve public roads.
He thinks the road represented in the plat that was dedicated is public property.
Brenda says that the issue is that the interior roads are public but they are landlocked from the highway and by the railroad.
Ruben Carrasco says that a private landowner would need to donate land for access, ingress,egress to the highway. Says that is the County pays for this process there will be many other requests for same service.
Eva says the answer is El Paso St.
Discussion about conveyance of property. El Paso street has issues.
Ponton wants to do more research on this issue with commissioner Bentley and land owners in the area.
Judge asks if there is a petition from neighboring landowners .
Six signed, seventh promises to sign. Eight letters still out and have not been responded to.
Process is not quite ready. Judge reads the statute about posting times, etc.
Ponton says the interior road is already a public road. No petition needed for that.
General agreement that the internal roads are County roads. Ponton thinks that the County may own the easement. Judge disagrees, as former County Atty Fowlkes did a lot of research on this and recommended that Eva go to District Court for an easement, which she does not want to do.
This could have budget implications, Judge says. Ponton wants to do more research. Aranda motions to table the issue. Unanimous.

Finance Dept section of agenda:

Budget amendments: none
Line item transfers: sheriffs office , clerks office education expense, jp2 office supplies, tax office for education, service contract expense. Airport, fuel. Road and bridge for labor costs. County Judge service contract for copier. Sheriff, copier expense. Road and bridge, stepladder purchase. Communications costs shifting around in general. Road and bridge, temp labor for rainy season, repairs for vehicles. Approved unanimously.

Bills: some pulled by Auditor- judge wants to be sure Dept heads know when one of their bills has been pulled.
Bills approved unanimously.
Judge is asking about credit card progress. Auditor says that the vendor is through the State. Background checks and more have to be run. Process takes about eight weeks. Two years worth of audits need to be presented. Process is underway. Options for how many cards. Also cash debit cards could be used.
Process as to how these would be used has not been established.

Item 22- OMB. Next week HVAC will replace units at the jail. Heat comes later, but process is underway. Parker Weimers  now works at the jail as maintenance supervisor. Replaced Marco.
Approved unanimously.

Consent Dept Items:

Reports.
No reports from Facilities Manager Sam Cobos. Still out from knee surgery. Bentley asks is he is using sick time.  No, he says he is working remotely. Lots of questions about this and how. Judge says Chase did the same thing with his hand surgery. Judge says we will have to address this in the new employee policy.
Tax Assessor Natalia Williams says she has two reports for month of June. One reflects the rebate to the mine.
Presidio ISD would like to hold that payment and use it for 2018,so she has not issued rebate yet. Will have meeting tomorrow about it.
Emergency Management: National Weather Service wants to install a weather station around Marfa. Permanent installation. They prefer to be on government property. Possible near Vizcaino property. They will come out August 1st looking at choices for sites. Data collected every minute. Website updated every five minutes. It would be good if County could designate preferred areas over at the county property if County is interested. Judge says they can come out and if they are wanting to locate there then we can vote on it at that point.

River gauging site near Candelaria forecasting level is malfunctioning and they want to disable it. Installed in 1975 by IWBC. They are not gong to abandon it as a monitor, but will no longer be used for flood forecasting.

Reports all approved unanimously except for facilities manager.

Adjourn at 12:19 PM





Agenda for Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Wed July 11, 2018





Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting July 10, 2018, 6 PM, Marfa City Hall

Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting Tuesday July 10th, 6 PM, Marfa City Hall

Council members present: Manny Baeza, Brit Webb, Irma Salgado, Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger, Natalie Melendez.
Absent: Buck Johnston

Meeting convened at 6:00 PM

Citizen comments:
Name unknown.
Dogs: says that there is not info about registration of dogs.
Small sentence about keeping dogs under control.
Asks council to exercise some mild expansion of pet ordinances dealing with number of pets one can own and no they could be constrained.
Has done some research on other cities regarding how many pets one can take care of and what mix of pets before pets and neighbors are affected negatively.
Gives example of next door neighbor with many animals that are loose and breeding, neglected in some ways.
Not advocating for strict restrictions, looking for some guidelines.
Another citizen says that this particular neighbor keeps them up at night, much nose with animals.
City Atty Teresa Todd says that she will be looking into this issue this summer.
Will bring something solid to city council in the fall.
Shawn Smith says that the fall sounds like a lifetime away for those of us who have major issues with pets and animal issues.
Says that he had a meeting with city admin Brechtel and she stormed out of the room and dismissed him.
Says that he has a pile of letters regarding pets and animals in his neighborhood and with regard to him. He feels he is being picked on by being branded as a complainer.
Wants to have an item regarding being picked on.

Mary Lou Saxon: says that she was nearly attacked by mean dogs in the back of pickup trucks and believed she was going to be attacked walking her dog. It could have gone really badly.
Josef Ben Yehuda thanks the city staff for agendas being provided in a timely fashion. Requests more information about the agenda items and materials.
Shawn Smith would like to have radio station broadcast meetings.
Laurel Coniglio tanks Peggy and everyone who helped with the tire cleanup.

Item 4: minutes. Approved unanimously.

Item 5: Mayors Report:
Thanks volunteers and city staff for making tire cleanup possible. Great turnout, great community effort with every part of the community represented.
1900 Tire’s were collected by over 40volunteers. Also, recycling center staff is doing a dynamite job.
Tomorrow wed 11 there will be a presentation about hotel occupancy tax grants. Public meeting. Six pm.
Parks and Rec Dept is having a meeting and proposal is to close the main entrance to Coffield park to facilitate a soccer field there. Mayor encourages participation. Coffield park is highest use park. Meeting will be at Coffield.
July 17th will be first budget meeting. Budget will be presented. 6 PM.
Planning and Zoning meeting also that night.

Item 6: no police report tonight

Item 7: city manager report:
Echos tire disposal sentiments. Visited with UP RR. Work will be done on ties. Closing some streets, work will be done at night. Locations are at crossings primarily.
As soon as dates are available for any closures they will be publicized. Next four to eight days work will begin.
City has been working with tax collection agency. Water bills, taxes, will pursue action if no responses.
Manny asks if an accountant will be hired soon. Brechtel says that current Dan Dunlap is now on contract and city is advertising for position.

Item 8: no council member comments

Item 9: council member orientation. Natalie says that Open Meetings Act training has been completed. She also signed up for TML new council training in August.

Item 10- Hotel Motel tax committee. Seven member committee.
Letters of interest have been submitted. Mayor say in response to question from Salgado if members must be residents.
Emma Rogers, Deidre Heisler, Susan Kerr (sp?), Emily Williams, Vickie Barge, Craig Hocker, Tom Eden.
Mayor says that having objective folks is very important. Any conflicts of interest will need to be addressed. Talk about this and potential for interest and recusals.
Deidre has historic preservation experience.
Mayor asks council how they would like to proceed.
Need six members.
Citizen at large: Tom Eden (lives in Houston), Craig Hocker. Craig confirmed as choice.
Tourism: Vicki Barge and Emily Williams. Vickie Barge and Emily Williams nominated. Confirmed.
Historic preservation: Deirdre Heisler nominated. Confirmed.
Art community rep: Tom Eden, Emma Rogers, Susan Kerr. Confirmed Susan Kerr and Emma Rogers

Skip to Item 13:
Operation Stonegarden Grant participation.
Steve Marquez presents as Chief of Police.
Steve says that City and Police Dept did not seek out this grant. CBP presented monies that were not spent by Presidio county Sheriffs Office. Overtime only covered. Ten hours for each officer, only when help was needed.
Police have assisted in the past without funds.
In incidents such as these the city could be reimbursed.
Estevan says that if council thinks we should move forward on, but he is not advocating for or against this. Participation is optional.
This does not expand jurisdiction of local police.
Marfa Police Department will not participate in SB 4 enforcement demanding citizenship.
Only officers on off says or off time could participate in this program.
Police can refuse to assist. Can stop working with this program at any time.
Chief says that he sees both sides of the argument pro and con.
City Atty confirms that this OBSG money is to combat human trafficking and drugs only. Not immigration. Paperwork is very large.
Steve says that the paperwork would fall to the police, and him in specific.
Salgado clarifies that it’s not necessarily a certain number of hours per week. Correct. Steve says that the Sheriffs Office is participating and their role will be different. Months could go by without a call for assistance.
Marfa PD used to participate in Linebacker grants, which were similar.
Hours in this program cannot be used to admin assistance.
Brit Webb asks if he is in favor. Steve says he is not sure; he sees it as a benefit, but being so new we are still getting the feel of local policing . Paperwork load concerns him.
Mayor says that she has experience with federal grants and oversight will be needed. Costs versus benefits will need to be looked at. More grants are coming in besides this one.
There are costs to every grant opportunity.
This is a three year grant. 2016 monies are in play.
If 2016 monies go well they would likely go forward with future friendly force inclusion.
Brit Webb says that we are lucky to have Steve, but he has had a good number of people that have feelings on both sides of this issue.
Natalie Melendez brings up the language of the proposal. Paints a picture of militarized force.
Unknown as to whether refusal of this grant could preclude future participation.
Question as to whether if the County used all future funds would city still be asked to participating.
Rosario Halpern clarifies the proposal. 78,000 dollars over three year term or is it different?
Steve says forty hours is all that could be used per year. $16,000 total per year.
Manny says this year is may not work well with regard to paperwork. Maybe next year would be easier. Steve says BP could assist but unknown as to how much.
Bettina asks what the border patrol could ask to participate in. Steve says fugitives hiding, possible assist in arrests. Human trafficking issues are a new priority. Cars with possible loads of drugs.
Mayor clarifies that Marfa PD already works with CBP on enforcement. This would reimburse.
Small amount of money for a lot of work. Brian Neal asks if money is not used can it roll over to the next year. Unsure, sometimes.
Is this a burden on us to help other agencies? Steve says that this is work that flows into Marfa, so it’s a mutual interest.
Brian asks of this can be manipulated into a roadside stop type situation with multiple agencies. Most of the time agencies work together on roadside stops with multiple offenses.
Lastly, are our police being paid enough? Every bit helps, but for a small town we do Ok.
Work does not expand past city limits. Immigration work not permitted by department.
Manny says he would be mor in favor if there was more information about pay schedules and reimbursement schedules plus paperwork load.
Gary Mitschke asks about administrative time. Steve says no reimbursement for it in this case.
Looking to begin operations in August.
Officers with the force would favor some overtime hours.
Every document has to be exact, every moment documented.
Assisting border patrol within city limits when officers are not working overtime. Only when officers are working in their off time would they work. Limited to work within the city limits.
Deirdre says that her experience with Stonegarden prompts her to ask whether council has a solid enough foundation within the mission of the City of Marfa to go out and do something else. Natalie agrees this is a concern. Manny says he has full faith, they have done a great job. Mayor agrees this a good point. Irma’s main concern is the paperwork.
Shawn Smith says legitimacy is  the issue. Says there is very little crime here. On occasions when rare events happen officers would already help and assist.
Teresa Todd says there would be an expectation of participation by Border Patrol if called upon.
Robert Arber says he would be surprised to see any events occur. Steve says that they do get through. Manny agrees.
Council set up Police Dept as a community police Dept.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
More discussion about overtime and how it’s determined.
Steve says that it’s likely that not all the monies would be used.
Paperwork load is brought up again and is it worth it for the small amount of monies?
What happens if there is an accident while working these hours.  Its city insurance that covers the issues. Unknown as to property damage.
Manny thinks this is not worth the headache. Steve says there are many other things he would like to do as Chief. School is getting ready to be back in session.
Potential for skipping this year and trying for next year. Steve says he would have to visit with them.
Documentation of how many times Marfa PD assists would be a good idea that will be tracked from this point on.
Mayor thanks Steve for bringing this to council and informing the public, rather than making a blanket decision as to whether this is good for the city.
Item dies for lack of a motion from council.


Skip to Item 16: Temporary holding cell for prisoners at Marfa PD.
Steve says that it would assist the Police in dealing with incidents where safety of individual is a factor and nobody to help them.
Will not change the Department’s approach to dealing with public intoxication, etc.
$32,000 left in renovation account. Quote for just over 26,000. Installed by police Dept.
City Admin says that TML insurance will cover liability.
Baeza moves to go forward. Unanimous.

Item 11: Illegal dumping sites cleanup: Teresa Todd presents.
Adobe building was demolished and being dumped into a channel feeding into Alamito Creek. TCEQ has jurisdiction.
TCEQ responded when contacted. County and Army Corps of Engineers were contacted by TCEQ as well. Coordinated effort between agencies began at that time.
Peggy and Cesar worked on compiling pic and data on problem spots.
Two sites on city property have already been cleaned. Moms draw side owners have already been contacted and may be subletting to liens if they do not clean. Lincoln street site is within the County. Referred to County Atty.
Alamito Creek site- contractor had permission from son to dump. He did not have authority. Owners will clean.
Galveston St city property and private landowners share problem. Title issues and research need to be done to determine responsibility.
City used to have a maintenance plan for keeping the brush down and waterways clean. Once Robert Silva left that stopped. City needs to resume a plan and refocus on keeping the creeks clean.
Making waterways valuable to the public will keep them Clean and attractive to the public. Long term goal.

Item 12: Close N Spring area intersection for David Branch’s wedding night.
Terry Brechtel asked for revised sketch. Scaled down request a bit.
420 Spring St house with wedding.
Has contacted all the neighbors. No apparent problems.
Manny requests that for future reference would like signatures from neighbors.
Brechtel will ask him to get verification from any neighbor who owns and resides there.
Noise ordinance goes until midnight, permission asked for until two AM.
Two blocks of street requested. Council will ask him to be present for questions and also to provide signatures. There is time.
Mayor suggests that there could be a future permitting process for things like this.
Manny moves to table the item until next regular meeting. Unanimous.

Item 14: new term for City grants for Museum. Natalie says that they were reticent for historic preservation grants because of the work that needs to be done to the building.
Teresa Todd says that the structure of this agreement is similar to other city offices provided at basically no cost.
HOT monies available for eligible historic preservation expenses.
Does not limit them from applying for other grants.
Brit Webb says that the problems with the adobe and foundation need to be addressed. City owns the building.
Manny moves to approve. Unanimous

Item 15: ICC license between city and International Code Council for use of updated international zoning code in Marfa Zoning Code.
Teri Brechtel says there is enough money in the budget.
Josef Ben-Yehuda, member of zoning board, explains that this is a cooperative of zoning boards that refine and standardize codes. Goal is making Marfa zoning code more clear and easier for both the city and constituents to use.
Can be used later to construct building codes.
Standardizing can also assist recruiting  an inspector if city goes that route eventually. Also includes some general standards for building codes.
Salgado motions to approve. Unanimous

Item 17: accounts payable report approval
Work was done on Fort DA Russell sewer lift station pumps and electrical.
Approved unanimously

Item 18: announcements:
Community rummage sale at MAC building will be near end of July. 21st starts.
City is going to try to clean out Casner garage at some point. Long process.

Adjourn at 8:01 PM






Marfa City Council Agenda July 10th, 2018


Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting, May 16, 2018, 9:30 AM, Presidio TX

Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Wednesday May 16th, 2018, 9:30 AM, Presidio

Entered meeting at 9:42 AM

Jake Giesbrecht is giving an update on bridge work.
Concrete company is setting up shop at the Presidio Industrial complex over by Chili plant.
Bridge work will begin once concrete is ready to be made here in Presidio.
Rail bridge contract is ready signed. Possible beginning of road construction at end of May.
Commissioners and judge thank Jake for his work.
Jake explains the 559 Public Private partnership PIPA has authority to do to commissioners. Short version is private companies can hire govt agencies to inspect loads after hours with their own funds.

Announcements from judge and commissioners

Judge asks commissioners if they had a chance to go to the airport last week. Regarding emergency operations area set up. Most went to see.
Impressive operation.
Judge says they were staying in Marfa, helping local economy.
Last week judge traveled to Austin with Chase Snodgrass to visit its TXDOT to ask about omnibus infrastructure funding. One billion allocated to airports.
Fills commissioners in on current runway rebuild plan. Trying to get another three million on top of that. Judge fills in commissioners that what we really need there is minimum of four million. Says Director Fulton said that Marfa is being looked at by FAA for funding. Assured good work, complete work.
Fulton complimented Chase on his tenacity.
Sit tight until omnibus funding allocations are made clear.
Ignacio Flores, FAA region, director supports Marfa airport. Need to keep visiting with them and other state and federal reps.

Item 7: rating sheets just received. Item postponed

Judge skips to budget amendments, line item transfers and payroll.

Patty Roach: presents budget amendment for jail. Prisoner board addition. Jail is full, and has collected far more than expected, so money is there.
Road and bridge funds, airport funds. District Clerk insurance costs and election costs. Presidio Constable repairs for county vehicle.
Insurance costs for two employees who used to use their spouses insurance. Now going to county insurance.
Approved unanimously.

Payroll approval: April 29- May 13-
Frances Garcia presents. Ordinary payroll. Comp time payouts for overages. Dispatch, law enforcement, jail. Vasquez asks I we get reimbursed by Stonegarden grants. No, these are general fund expenditures. Katie Sanchez says that we don’t have an approved Stonegarden budget. Questions about that and how it can be expedited. $280,000 budgeted. Judge says she called to ask why she has not gotten any correspondence about his from CBP. New agent in charge, waiting on approval from D.C. supposed to have a meeting with Judge Guevara next week. Katie says there have been multiple changes since we were reapproved for participation.
Judge says we need the money for overtime and CBP needs our officers on patrol. Both sides want it to happen.
Katie says that CBP will be requiring daily reports from any officer dong grant funded overtime. Judge says Sheriff and Shanna were at last meeting where procedures were detailed in training. Sheriff said procedures are ok with him and will be followed.
Payroll approved unanimously.

Bills: approved unanimously

Back to Item 8:
New accounts for tax office.
Will replace older accounts that may be compromised since Natalia Williams purse was stolen. This is a preventive measure. Two accounts.
Aranda motions to approve. Unanimously approved.

Item 9: Resolution to bank for same item.
Unanimous

Item 10: action for contract with Texas Communities Group to work on abandoned properties. Research and development.
Perdue law firm has offered solutions.
Perdue is here. Taxpayer pays collection fee. Many counties struggle with trust properties. Try to sell at courthouse for a set price. At least 94 trust properties in Presidio County. Texas Communities Group is owned by Perdue. Have an online bid site. Print media as well. Link to county website.
Increase awareness of properties and locations.
Success rate is 67-70% of listed properties. Lori Wilmarth will assist.
Winning bid is them brought to commissioners court. Cross reference other county Dept to be sure bidder does not owe other fees, tickets etc in County.
Judge asks questions about time frame for sales, success rate, etc. time frame is several months, not years.
Judge asks if it’s marketing or if it’s further negotiations. Danny says publicity in general, yard signs, online presence, yes all.
Goal is to open trust properties to a larger market to achieve greater prices and also better usage by purchasers rather than speculators.
Judge asks if people are living in any of these properties that they may have looked at here. No, but further research may show that to be true. It has happened rarely.
Judge knows of some properties in Presidio that may have some of these issues. Danny promises to work with county on any issues.
Most properties are in Presidio and in between Marfa. Most outside of cities.
Some do not have road access, larger acreage properties.
TCG can also assist people with getting rid of unwanted properties since they are a real estate firm and not  bill collector.
Vasquez asks about posting delinquent properties on the bulletin board. Judge says that the County Attorney wants the commissioners to postpone the item until further research can be done. He wants to know why we didn’t know about these in the past. TCG gave him a full roll of their list and did not hear back. Brenda says this has been going on for deceases. Danny says we like to look at tomorrow and not second guess hey this happened.  Making these properties of value to the county is the primary goal. Has no trouble with a postponement. TCG is ready to go now or later. County has the power to affirm or reject any sale for any reason other than prejudice.
Aranda says that as an appraisal district member there have traditionally been properties not identified on the tax rolls. This is at least better clarification. Lori says that 94 is the minimum number of properties available.
$5000 yearly fee from first sales to company for being enlisted. Additional fees go onto the sale of each property.
Brenda says she really thinks we have been postponing this for years, and we have a tendency to put things off for years. Judge says that this can be on the next agenda. Also, if Rod has had the paperwork since March and still has not gotten to it, how long does this go on?
Katie asks about travel fees in contract. Danny says there could be some for attorneys fees but they’ve never billed for it. Contract is in Rod’s hands. Since March.
Realtor Bob Wright speaks that any real estate marketing should be done by local realtors. Vacant property is not much of an issue. Private realtors make their money through commissions. A lot of these giant plants in the middle of nowhere are landlocked. Many upriver from Presidio. No road access.
Selling properties to neighbors has been only real luck. In Texas you can be landlocked with no road access.
Good percentage of these properties will be like that.
Has letter signed by local realtors supporting local realty advisors. We know the market best.
Vasquez asks about how Bob could get an inventory of properties.
Bob says it easy. Brenda asks who is going to take the initiative to do this. Bob says he knows of six properties here in Presidio.
Lori says that they have already separated those from the list. Danny says that these properties they are talking about have actually gone through court foreclosure proceedings. Bid process is a sealed bid process with county courthouse steps process. There process is similar, but promoted better, more information, and limited to confirmed county owned properties.
TCG has used Realtors on several property transactions where values are higher. Issue here is more about low value properties and getting them Back on the tax rolls.
Bob says he does this work and manages the processes.
(What was stopping the Realtors from doing this work in their own all these years? I ask honestly.)
Brenda says she feels like making an attempt is valid and who is gong to make them other than this firm?
Bob says most of these properties are landlocked and you have to tel, them they are. Danny says yes, and that what a property is worth is whatever a land buyer will pay for it and we are trying to find those people.
Danny sales commission based sales make for higher sale prices and low dollar sales are not attractive. Goal here is to get properties back into the economy.
Judge says she is glad we’re having this conversation.says she is not ready to address this as she has not yet read the contract. Aranda wants to postpone and take action next meeting.
Beebe asks Bob why exactly he is interested in these properties if there are only two or three that re worth working with. The elephant in the room is also that the four realtors that you mention don’t work well together. This market has been available to the capitalists for years and nothing has proceeded. He doesn’t understand exactly why there is an objection when all this does besides take a few valuable property sales into the hands of this firm is open the market grater to sales in general, which can benefit the realtors.
Bob says it’s because they didn’t know.
Brenda says they could have done what this company came in and did and found out about the properties.
He says they have been working on a few more prime pieces within the cities but they don’t have the power to force a sale.
Danny reiterates what they offer.
Brenda says she would like to try this direction instead of trying to go with the Realtors is that she is interested in lower property sales prices and more volume, which is not what has been happening though the realtor system.
Danny talks about a mobile app they have where they can drive around the city and identify everything about a piece of property, integrating tax rolls with Perdue collections and PCAD info.
Judge Guevara says that this discussion has been going on for a long time but she does not want to sign a contract today. People living in properties that are not on the tax rolls is a big issue and this is part of the conversation. Has resulted in progress towards lowering taxes for residents.
Bentley motions to postpone. Unanimous
Aranda thanks everyone for bringing in these ideas and work.
Bob talks about property values and non profit tax exempt status affecting tax rate for regular folks.

Item 11: accept donation of materials from TxDOT. Unanimous. Will be picked up by road and bridge tomorrow.



Item 12:
Adjourn at 11:40 AM