Notes on Presidio County Commissioners County Meeting Wednesday 02-20-2019, Noon, Presidio County Annex, Presidio
Commissioners present: Aranda, Bentley, Knight, Judge Guevara.
Absent: Jose Cabezuela County Atty Ponton not present
Meeting called to order at 12:20 PM
Citizen Comments: none
Approval of payroll Feb 4-17
Treasurer says nothing extraordinary.
Dispatch overtime hours total 57.
Judge motions to approve. Second by Aranda. Unanimous
Item 6: no action for Item from Trey Gerfers, not present to present to commissioners. Judge says no action.
Item 7: discuss and approve contract between county and hospital district. Natalia Williams presents. This is a three month proposed contract. Will get all entities to approve at the same time. County Atty was sent docs, did not respond. Natalia says these are the same terms as prior with three and half percent increase.
Court would approve, then send to hospital district. Aranda motions to approve. Second by Knight. Unanimous
Item 8: Discussion to remove all non Presidio County employees from health insurance policy. Presented by Treasurer Garcia.
Says we are trying to find out how long we have been paying for policies for Juvenile Probation Dept, two people, and also for the District Court reporter
For a couple of years they have been trying to get these out of the county. There is some reimbursement from other counties. Hudspeth Brewster, Culberson and Jeff Davis counties. Our retirement policy says that if they retire county will have to continue to pay their health insurance for life.
Knight asks if she is considered an employee of Presidio County. No. Does that make us liable for her continuing insurance? Why was this the first place.
Back when tri County probation Dept was established Presidio County was chosen because of the reduced cost of Presidio County insurance.
Judge says this is still the cheapest way for the County to cover our share since our coverage is cheaper.
Frances says that the liability here is that the claims go against us. Judge says these people are employees doing a job. We shouldn’t hold this against them that they work for multiple counties.
Bentley wants to know what the actual proper way to do this would be.
Concerned with our policy of paying lifetime insurance for orders who work for the County for twenty years.
Discussion about who really would have to pay if they qualified under our policy for free insurance for life. Other counties can’t be forced to embrace this and or pay for it.
Bentley says that commissioners are the ones who choose to pay, the obligation to make a decision is with us.
Advocates for the actual fiscal agent to administer and pay.
Patty Roach says that an issue of being the fiscal agent for another agency the personnel policies of that agent apply to the employees beneath the administering agency. Are we getting into an issue with assuming a future and or current liability for another agent?
Judge Beebe mentions that the entire policy of providing lifetime free insurance obligates future commissioners courts and could be illegal to begin with. Judge Guevara interrupts and says this is not on the agenda and that committees are meeting to address policies.
Knight moves to table until more research can be done
Items 9, 10, 11,12 TXDOT did not provide documents, item tabled due to lack of materials.
Item 13: vehicle search for road and bridge Dept to replace two trucks. Potentially get some Sheriffs Dept vehicles if possible. Aranda says that years back we used grant vehicles declared as surplus to use for road and bridge. Apparently we cannot do that now. Joel Nuñez is going to talk to the head guy in the governors office to see what we can do insofar as what we can do with those vehicles. Wants a little bit of time for more research.
2018 Stonegarden grant is gong to kick in soon. We have so many vehicles sitting outside the Sheriffs Dept. He wants to table this item until next meeting. Judge says that next Stonegarden is not going to provide new vehicles.
There will be an auction in March possibly to sell vehicles and equipment. Possible that money could be used to purchase a new vehicle.
Frances Garcia says there are more worn out vehicles that can be sold.
More talk about an auction and declaring other vehicles and equipment surplus. Maybe advertising in Ojinaga would be good for the people looking for parts. All this stuff is worn out.
Motion to postpone by Aranda.
Reports by Dept
Marfa EMS, Presidio EMS and Presidio Fire received. Detailed reports. Eight runs to Candelaria this month. Stressing budget. Judge will meet with them to discuss budget on the 7th or 8th.
Discussion about the monies given to the Dept’s, are they use exclusively to fund the Dept?
Judge motions to approve reports. Unanimous.
Item 15: Airports personnel services item. No news. Rod Ponton says he won’t work on a contract for the County. He does not agree that moving forward with a sole source contract before receiving an opinion from the AG. Proposes that Chase Snodgrass write the contract and have Allison Bass review and have TXDOT review as well. Brenda said that Chase already did this and tried to have Allison Bass review it. Rod refused to rewrite it. Now Rod won’t do it, This doesn’t make sense.
Rod received and email from TXDOT aviation on Feb 6 that says that contractors and tenant agreements should be separate. Nobody has an issue with this. Agree that Chase basically already did this.
Patty Roach says that Rod is erroneously saying that this is a sole source contract. This is untrue. He is muddying the water. Knight and Bentley agree. Knight and Aranda say that Chase should send his contract to Allison Bass and send it to TXDOT for review and move forward.
Court overall agrees that Snodgrass is being blocked by Ponton, and that county needs to move ahead with a contract. Patty says the opinion he has requested has nothing to do with what is being considered here. Commissioners believe this to be a stalling tactic. Knight says we need to move forward now.
Judge will write a letter to Allison Bass. Aranda says this is going back and forth and back and forth. What does Rod’s mention of Nieto and Hernandez jail sentences have to do with this? Where is he? He said he would do this and now he’s not even here and says he won’t work on it. We need to move ahead and take Patty’s recommendation to move ahead. Knight agrees completely.
We risk losing Chase, we can’t take this risk right now. This project needs to be seen to completion, this could cost us so much time and money. Aranda says he’s fed up.
Knights one concern is where Chase plans on living during this, that is his only concern. Aranda says he does not want to leave until the projects are finished.
No action on this item.
Item 16: approval of Line item transfers and budget amendments.
Riding mower for golf course
Multiple accounts in departments for Cloud computing services. Server is worn out.
Software licensing for Hill Country software. Unanimous
Item 17: payments of all claims (bills)
Vizcaino Park water bill? Very high. Frances Garcia will check on that bill from City of Marfa. Approved unanimously.
Item 18: Announcements from Judge and Commissioners:
Judge says she had a meeting with Mark Pearson with possible oversight from Presidio over Candelaria water system. What is the cost? Discussions being had. New board is working out. TDA training for water manager will proceed at some point. The Candelaria WSC has a healthy budget considering how small they are.
Knight says that Marfa airport beacon got fixed thanks to Eddie Pallarez finding a bulb. Also AEP trimmed trees and took down the Christmas lights at the courthouse. Thanks to AEP.
Judge says courthouse heating and cooling system still having problems. Being worked on now, again.
Changes to TAPS and TASA grants. Cosmico US 67 project 12 ft wide use path. No longer going to be ADA compliant ramp, shade trees, benches. Not enough room, could present a safety issue.
Presidio Bagley project will also lose curbs, shade trees. Walkway may be narrower. Room is an issue there as well. Questions about lighting. Unknown at this point. Aranda says it’s very very important.
Marfa - not doing the Austin to Oak project because of railroad track. Will spend more money on the bridges by the school.
Funding for next go around coming up.
Judge will not be able to attend Census meeting on Feb 26. Commissioner Bentley agrees to substitute.
Judge provides pictures of new roofing options for jail roof repairs.
Judge says that a proposal to lease the golf course by a movie set may ind up being very time consuming, including a performance bid, etc etc. Bentley says that she thinks this person may be a small operator and it may not work out.
Knight says it would be a multi step process, good bit of work.
Judge met with the Red Cross regarding emergency management and sheltering. Discussed how to run a shelter. Possible immigrant scenarios.
Aranda says there are some Hondurans here staying at the Catholic Church Hall. Donations are being accepted.
Two buses of Hondurans showed up yesterday in Ojinaga. Red Cross can help if they come here. County has 150 cots at the Marfa airport. Presidio has some space at old school district building if emergency.
Adjourn at 2:16 pm