Council taps Beebe for gas board
By RICHARD MARK GLOVER
MARFA – Fellow council members on Thursday appointed David Beebe as the city’s Class II representative on the Southwest Texas Municipal Gas Corporation board of directors.
The vote was unanimous, and Beebe will serve a two-year term, succeeding council member Corina Brijalba, whose term on the gas board expired.
Now serving as gas board directors are Marfa Mayor Dan Dunlap, Alpine Mayor Avinash Rangra, Rudy Garcia, David Beebe, Jane Weimers, Martin Benevich, Fitz Fitzpatrick, and Steve Neu. Class I representatives are appointed by the gas board, Class II representatives are appointed by the city councils. Each mayor is also given a seat.
The gas company was dissolved in February and the operation was divided between the cities of Alpine and Marfa. By Texas law, the gas company remain an entity for three years after dissolution, in case of past liabilities.
A resolution on the distribution of the $78,580 balance collected by the City of Alpine that Marfa says is theirs remains an issue. Alpine voted to keep the funds in a “special account” until “negotiations” were completed with Marfa.
“I don’t think I have anything to report,” said Dunlap. “There’s been no official movement on this issue.”
“No official correspondence from the city of Alpine,” added Jim Mustard, Marfa City Manager. “I heard they gave all the money back, because its Gas Company money.”
In other business, the city council voted unanimously to approve a $3,000 sponsorship of the Viva Big Bend music festival, after hearing a report from Marfa Tourism Director “Tex” Toller and Beebe.
The council also unanimously approved a contract extension and a rate increase to Altel/Verizon, which rents space on one of Marfa’s water towers for their antennae. The telecommunications company will upgrade the antennae, increase bandwidth and install a natural gas powered GM V-8 backup generator at their expense.
“Not a bad deal,” said City Attorney Teresa Todd. “Better service and more money.”
The city’s monthly tower rental income is expected to increase by $250 per month.
The council also approved a request by the Marfa Chamber of Commerce to hang a banner for the Marfa Lights festival across Highland Street.
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