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City requests county documents for $110,000 request

June 15th, 2017 under Top Stories » Uncategorized

By JOHN DANIEL GARCA

johndaniel@bigbendnow.com

MARFA – The City of Marfa has requested additional information and supporting documentation from Presidio County in the county’s request to collect $11,000 from the city for law enforcement services.

The request comes on the heels of inability of the city and the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office to come to an agreement regarding the long-standing contract between the two entities following the dissolution of the Marfa Police Department in 2009.

The funds requested are for the sheriff’s office’s services to the city during the end of the contract in October through the unfruitful negotiations before city officials voted to pull the plug on the contract in May.

The city, City Attorney Teresa Todd said, has asked the county for the names of the three deputies that were assigned to patrol the city, budgetary documents, and actual expenses incurred during the seven-month period before the city would agree to pay the requested amount.

Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara, present at the meeting, told city council members that she did not have “solid numbers” at the time, but said deputies’ salaries with benefits ran the county around $52,000 and fuel and maintenance for sheriff’s office vehicles averaged around $815 per month for patrol, among other expenses.

Guevara also expressed woe that the two entities were unable to come an agreement.

“It’s a shame. We thought the contract would come to fruition,” she told city officials, adding that the changes made to the contract by the city didn’t seem unfair to her. “I don’t think the city asked for anything unreasonable from the county department.”

For Guevara, the relationship between the city and the county has historically been pleasant, with hopes to continue a strong relationship.

“I’ve had a good relationship with the city since 1992,” she said, adding that her office is  “open for communication.”

City council members voted unanimously to request the documents.

Marfa City Council members also took another step in establishing the Marfa Police Department Tuesday evening by passing items to approve department policies and procedures, complete and execute the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement New Agency Application, hiring a committee to interview prospects for the department’s police chief, and approving a proposal by X.L. Building Services to create an evidence room.

The policies and procedures, Todd said, are to insure that the police department will serve the citizens in a fair and unbiased manner and that any future Marfa police officers will serve under the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.

The policies and procedures also had to be passed in order to complete the city’s application from TCOLE to receive all necessary licenses to operate a police force within the city.

The application, according to Todd, will be submitted before the next city meeting on Thursday, June 29 and the city should expect a 30-day wait before receiving licensure.

The city also voted to approve a $5,200 proposal by X.L. Building Services to create an evidence room as required by TCOLE.

The city has readied an office for the evidence room, Todd said, which will include a metal safe. A “sufficient” evidence room she said, was described to her as “a big gun locker.”

The city also established a hiring committee to vet potential candidates for the city’s chief of police, which will include Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger, City Administrator Jim Mustard, City Attorney Todd, and Mayor Pro Tem Manny Baeza.

In other city news, council members approved using $125,000 set aside for street improvements on 46,252 square yards of roads in the city, voting to do improve “priority 1” streets (which are streets in total disrepair) and “priority 2” streets (which are close failing, but not as bad as priority 1 streets) and postponing sealing streets that are in good shape.

The city also reallocated $15,000 to pay for the engineering services on the streets.

 

The city has readied an office for the evidence room, Todd said, which will include a metal safe. A “sufficient” evidence room she said, was described to her as “a big gun locker.”

The city also established a hiring committee to vet potential candidates for the city’s chief of police, which will include Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger, City Administrator Jim Mustard, City Attorney Todd, and Mayor Pro Tem Manny Baeza.

In other city news, council members approved using $125,000 set aside for street improvements on 46,252 square yards of roads in the city, voting to do improve “priority 1” streets (which are streets in total disrepair) and “priority 2” streets (which are close failing, but not as bad as priority 1 streets) and postponing sealing streets that are in good shape.

The city also reallocated $15,000 to pay for the engineering services on the streets.

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