Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Regular Meeting Wednesday March 6, 2019, 10:30 AM, Marfa
Present: Buddy Knight, Cinderela Guevara, Eloy Aranda
Absent: Brenda Bentley, Jose Cabezuela, Co Atty Ponton
Meeting convened at 10:46 AM
TAC Rep announces award for no workers comp claims last year. Gives credit to County and in particular Treasurer Garcia.
Item 5: Payroll approval. Judge says that deputies asked about Holiday comp time pay. County has moved to overtime instead of comp time. Holiday comp time is a pending matter for another agenda.
97,341.05 total payroll.
Item 6: Mona Garcia presents appointment of Genevieve Bassham to Presidio County Historic Commission. Gives Genevieve’s history as former Mayor and councilwoman in Marfa. Approved unanimously.
Item 7: Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District appointment of Ruben Brito to represent S County. Unanimously approved.
Trey says board will meet second Thursday of each month at ten AM instead of quarterly. Production permit holders (2 in the County) . Have asked them to pay for their water. Cibolo and Village Farms. They have paid up. Approved six drilling permits. Carolyn McCartney will visit well sites they are drilled. Rudy Garcia will assist with expertise. Working on setting up some monitoring wells. Artesian Wells ( unable to be turned off) concerns. Rudy Garcia will be working on capping any that are not needed. Talking about water usage outside of district jurisdiction, between districts. Issue in Culberson County; district does not cover the whole county. Mention of City of El Paso Dell City pipeline plan.
That directly relates to Valentine water ranchers owned by City of El Paso and planning for that impact here.
Item 8: 2017 Annual audited financial report. Doak Painter presents.
Auditors opinion: no adverse material findings.
Numbers were solid, a few adjustments.
Management analysis: net position decreased by approx 47,000.
Jail slight decrease.
Positive budget fund. Spent less than budgeted and also collected a little more than anticipated.
Net capital assets of just over 11 million.
Judge Guevara asks about p 38 payroll retirement contribution.
Aranda says it’s a good audit, yes? What is his personal opinion. Doak says this is an unqualified opinion. Unmodified. Same as last year.
Aranda would like to thank the employees for doing a good job of helping get things in order. He thanks Doak as well. They wish he would keep auditing the County. Doak says it’s time to move on.
Abbie Perrault wants to know who the next auditor will be. Judge says that there is an agenda item for going out for bids. Also asks about a forensic audit of the tax office by inside auditor. Patty says that the process is ongoing, preliminary work is being done by county auditor. Patty says hat she has not completed that process yet.
Asks about bank reconciliations. Treasurer says they are up to date.
Judge motions to accept the financial report. Knight seconds. Unanimously adopted
Item 9: Redford new storage tank approval. Presented by Ramon Carrasco.
Proposed new tank out of coated and painted steel instead of raw galvanized. Having problems with general contractor pricing. Need foundation and tank, second contractor for piping, plumbing, third contractor for electrical control and lighting top of tank.
Possibility for County to do some of this work. County will definitely do granting and some other things for the County match to grant.
Bidding process will start soon. Judge asks about tank leak and location of new tank. Tank will be built higher up for more pressure, but location would have been too high, providing too much pressure downhill. Going to leave old tank, fix it, possibly provide booster pumps for Mr Morales. City of Presidio has the same problem with too much pressure. Legally it’s the duty of the water Corp to provide at least 32 psi to Mr Morales on the hill.
Booster pump should only be about $5000. If there is money left over they can ask the State to use leftover money to buy the pump and County employees can install it. Aranda asks if after this we’ll have two tanks so that one can be in use while other is being fixed or cleaned.
Knight moves to approve. Aranda seconds
Unanimous. Going out for bids next week. Plans need to be approved. Not on agenda. Patty says that since the plans and specifications are approved we can go out for bids.
Abbie Perrault asks about updates on Candelaria wells and arsenic reduction in Candelaria and Redford? Not on the agenda but Judge asks Ramon for update. Gives update. Work is being done. Unknown as to whether water is potable.
Item 10: Trust property bids:
Aranda motions to approve bids
Second by Guevara. Unanimous
Item 11: mixed beverage permit tax collection.
Natalia says that only beer and wine licenses have been collected. Asking for approval to collect on MB permits. Roughly $3500-4000 every two years.
Beer and wine is 60-175 every two years. Judge Beebe asks what the basis of the difference in cost is. Unknown.
Want to issue a letter before bills go out to inform license holders.
Motion by Knight to approve.
Second by Guevara
Item 12: rental of County information resources information. Aka email system with TAC.
Judge motions to approve. Auditor asks for clarification of email items in motion because the bill has already been received. Email service and website services are separate. 800 for website hosting plus 725 for website content management. Judge changes motion to approve. 800 for email.
Search query in email no longer works properly. Knight seconds. Unanimous
Item 13: Ruben Carrasco presents to have Zeke Rodarte work on Chispa rd and donate materials. Permission for cattle guard, assorted related.
Judge asks about whether any of this is on his private property. Ruben says road has been flooded, only way to get through is to enter via private land. This pr-dates his employment. Zeke is willing to give access to County on his own access road. Wants County to maintain.
Judge clarifies that it is a private road he is wanting to let county use. Judge says that we cannot do any work on private roads. Knight suggests seeing if he will donate this land to the County. Beebe agrees that the county need to buy the land or have it donated before any work can be done.
Judge asks about the emergency route, does that change anything? Existing county road is impassable when rains came.
Ruben recommends going through the County Atty or any Atty to go through the proper legal procedures to make this happen.
Aranda says it would need to be designated a true county road and always available to the public.
Aranda would like to find out more about emergency routes and rules governing them.
Ruben says there is a black age on the river and any time it rains just a little there is a backup and the road is impassable.
Judge says that County Roads 101 on Texas Progress website has some information.
Cattle guard issue is different.
Knight moves to postpone pending further information.
Second by Aranda. Unanimous
Item 14: designate area near golf course for Road and Bridge Dept secure yard.
Knight did the work on this along with Ruben.
This could also be a place that could store emergency management equipment under cover once a structure is built.
8.5 acres will provide room for expansion.
Knight moves to accept.
Second by Judge
Item 15: donating excess materials to City of Presidio. Acquired at no cost from TXDOT. Unused hot and cold mix.
Aranda moves to accept
Second by Knight
Item 16: Renewal or burn ban.
Gary Mitschke says conditions are not yet all that critical but they are getting there. Winds are pretty bad. Fire season is coming. Fires in Presidio were all from Mexico but it is time for proactive movement. Not enough Presidio Fire Volunteers. Unanimous
Item 17: acceptance of donated land.
Location is western edge of Presidio County, two miles from road access.
Property is within an estate. Judge asks about mineral rights.
Deed will reflect rights. They want to dispose of property.
Twenty acres, no access.
Ruben recommend not to accept.
Taxes every year are $72.35
Permission to cross land is very hard to obtain.
Aranda motions to deny.
Second by Knight. Unanimous
Ten minute break at 1:02 pm.
Reconvene at 1:14
Item 18: resolution about wall construction regarding studies by TWDB and the TCEQ before any wall construction. Flooding issues, etc.
City of Presidio and Presidio County have historic vulnerability to flooding.
Support of Hurd’s bill for a “smart wall”
Judge reads resolution supporting Texas HB 990 written by Roland Gutierrez
Judge says that she has been receiving email from Roland Gutierrez for a few months. Met with him in person to understand issues. She agreed to bring it to commissioners court. City of Presidio adopted similar resolution.
She is in agreement with Hurd’s smart wall over a physical barrier.
Hurd bill did not pass house.
Roland Gutierrrez’s goal is to have the support of all Texas border counties and cities.
Knight says he thinks a wall is not the answer, he wants a secure border. We need better ways for people to become citizens, faster and better, filter out the band people. Wall is not feasible out here because of terrain.
Eminent domain issues.
Aranda says we know what all this is going to bring. For property owners along the river it’s going to create huge problems.
Aranda wants to help Mr Hurd convince Congress to see it his way.
City of Presidio passed resolution.
Judge motions to accept.
Second by Aranda
TAP grants issues. Still waiting on TXDOT documents. Item needs to be postponed again.
Item 23- RFP financial audit services.
Process to take bids for outside auditing firm.
Two year term with opt out.
Single audit will likely be required for federal grants. More costly. Not yet required but add on price will be requested.
Knight moves to approve.
Second by Aranda
Item 24: purchase of jeans for Sheriffs Dept. Sheriff wrote a letter. Says that deputies are required to have jeans and after they are used are returned to the Dept. There is no way these could be considered personal. This is the first time he has ever had to ask permission from commissioners to buy jeans for his staff.
Auditor says that our policy says that personal use items must be approved through commissioners court.
IRS considers jeans to be personal use items. Commissioners can approve without an issue. Policy could be modified in the future to designate personal use items that can be purchased without commissioners permission.
Commissioners need to approve the exception to the policy.
Knight moves to approve.
Policy will be worked on.
Item 25: minutes from previous meetings
Jan 23 and Feb 6, 20
Five minute break at 1:49
Back from break at 1:51
Items 26,27 auditor items
Line item transfers
Airport fund moving around to pay match on runway design fee.
VA office transfer for fuel card
Estray fund: no budget established to feed cattle. LEOS funds from State restricted for law enforcement training. Unanticipated funds received from State. Add $2110 into budget.
2018 Stonegarden grant has been submitted and certified. State is reviewing and will send back for corrections or court approval of grant resolution to receive funding.
Officers now must be trained in Border Patrol system to export on Stonegarden patrols. Training has not yet happened.
Overtime worked with border patrol reimbursed and some vehicle maintenance reimbursement.
County had to withdraw from TXCDBG 2019-2020 grant because of ineligibility. This is because the other ones have not yet been completed. Redford and Candelaria.
Patty has some concerns. Grant administrator was hired for both projects.
Getting bids has been very hard but there are other possible issues.
Grant works was admin.
Aranda has a lot to say about the status of each project.
Item 26: Treasurers report:
Frances says everything is pretty standard.
Bills: no November report from City of Presidio. Frances says that October is missing as well. But yesterday they forwarded them to office.
Balances approved unanimously
Consent agenda reports:
Problems receiving Presidio Fire Dept reports in a timely fashion. Judge would like to move to having them report monthly.
Knight says water line at golf course is being repaired.
No date for jail reopening.
Judge says that she received a text two Thursdays ago from Joe Portillo that there were no ambulances available in Presidio. This frightened her.
She called hospital district.
Asked for help and she called Big Bend hospital. Rick Flores from hospital got First Flight to cover for Presidio for that time. That option is still available.
Both cities are down to one ambulance right now.
Presidio County contribution to hospital district is now $900,000.
Judge wants to have this as part of a permanent plan for service.
Fire was next day in the river. Congressman Hurd called to check up on the situation. Brewster County just received a new giant water truck that we can use as well in an emergency.
Austin trip was a good trip. Everyone should go next time.
TXDOT Aviation meeting went well, wanted clarity on why we were denied Omnibus grant. Can’t guarantee that grant will be eligible again this year if it comes back. Other people had the right connections.
New economic study by TXDOT aviation is out and you can see the impact of airports, including both of ours.
SB 440 may have a clause in it that might make us have to pay back city hotel motel funds. Need to research.
She went to TAP workshop in El Paso. She realized that a route by the school no match is necessary. City of Marfa was there and already have projects planned. Application is due by April 12.
US 67 corridor Meeting tomorrow morning.
Aranda asks about Chase and his contract.
Jim Allison has been called, waiting on word to get this going.
Judge Beebe mentions that this could be an open meetings violation. No, says Judge, this was already decided.
Adjourn at 2:51 PM
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting March 16, 2019
Posted by David Beebe at 1:09 PM
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