Friday, August 24, 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.

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

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