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City approves emergency maintenance for wastewater plant

MISSION — In a special emergency meeting of the Mission City Council July 19, the city manager authorized emergency services to repair a 48-inch main sanitary sewer line that ruptured July 18 spewing about six inches of sewage into the plant.

Public Works Director Roberto Salinas said the city is using a berm to block off the facility.

“We contained the area and had vacuum trucks come in and dispose of it at another facility,” Salinas said. “We believe it was an air pocket in the line that created corrosion. So the rupture came from the inside out.”

Read more: City approves emergency maintenance for wastewater plant

   

Drainage manager, commissioners talk taxes on proposed bond

20120720 Drainage-BudgetEDINBURG — A little more than $10 million would go to projects in Mission if a bond referendum totaling nearly $169 million makes it to voters in November. However, officials have said that improvements to the county’s drainage system — including a series of gates to control flow — would benefit all of Hidalgo County.

While nothing is set in stone, should the bond issue get on the ballot in November, voters could have a choice between a $68 million bond issue and a $168 million bond issue, which would result in two different tax increases.

“That’s what we talked about in the workshop,” Drainage District Manager Godfrey Garza said July 18. “We’re seeking to have a final direction in the next two to three weeks.”

Read more: Drainage manager, commissioners talk taxes on proposed bond

   

Mission struggles with budget woes

Web-MissionCityHallBldg JB 730Times are getting tough at Mission City Hall. Preliminary budget figures show the city faces a fund balance falling from $9.7 million last September to just $550,000 next year. Despite difficult financial times ahead, Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas, in a city budget workshop on finance this week, insisted on reducing the city’s ad valorem tax rate another penny this year, as was done one year ago.

However, the city is required to maintain a fund balance of at least two months of operating expenses for the General Fund. Using preliminary budget numbers, that figure is estimated to be about $5,908,000, according to City of Mission Finance Director Janie Flores, leaving a shortfall of $5,358,000 projected for next year.

Salinas instructed city staff at the workshop to “get down to the nitty gritty,” and find a way to reduce expenses to meet the budget. “If not, just get with us (city council) and we’ll do the cutting. Don’t ask for anything we can’t afford.” he said.

Read more: Mission struggles with budget woes

   

Mission considers cutting back vacation benefits

Some City of Mission employees have banked over 2,000 hours of unused vacation pay that, under current city policy, will be due the employee at time of retirement if that employee has over 30 years of service.

City Finance Director Janie Flores, responding to an Open Records request, said the city owed employees outstanding balances of $1,500,185 for accrued vacation hours and $1,960,897 for accrued sick leave, as of Sept. 30, 2011.

In a workshop held Monday to review City of Mission personnel policies, a discussion of capping excessive hours of banked vacation pay soon led to suggestions to reduce the number of vacation days awarded employees in the first place.

Read more: Mission considers cutting back vacation benefits

   

MPD arrests six in connection with Southwest Hay & Feed burglary

MISSION – At least six have been arrested and charged after an early Monday morning burglary. A total of 25 firearms were stolen when individuals broke into Southwest Hay and Feed located at 703 W. 2 Mile Line. One firearm was an assault rifle.

As of Tuesday night, Mission Police Department had six men in custody in connection with the burglary of Southwest Hay & Feed. Investigators also recovered 13 of the handguns, the assault rifle, drugs and a minivan involved in the burglary.

Mission Police Chief Martin Garza said MPD is continuing the investigation and looking for the remaining weapons. Some of the individuals in custody were not part of the burglary but did have possession of the firearms, said Garza. All the suspects believed to be involved in the burglary have been arrested.

Read more: MPD arrests six in connection with Southwest Hay & Feed burglary

   

RMA proposes vehicle registration fees to pay for tollway

EDINBURG — The Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority asked the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court during a July 17 workshop if it would consider letting it use $10 in vehicle registration fees for the next 30 years so it could sell bonds to develop the southern tollway, which would connect the international bridges to Expressway 83.

HCRMA financial advisor, Richard Ramirez, with First Southwest, told the commission that the vehicle registration fees would be used to purchase existing right of ways and to help the HCRMA pay off its existing bank line, allowing it to move forward with the development of SH 365 and the International Bridge Trade Corridor.

“The contemplated structure is to issue $30 million as soon as possible, with your approval, and $27 million the following year for a total of $57 million. It’s a 30-year structure for the development, and initially some of the construction,” he said. “The county’s financial support would be to provide credit assistance, but not to do anything other than to use your credit.”

Read more: RMA proposes vehicle registration fees to pay for tollway

   

Chamber mixer at Yoko’s Sushi

MISSION – The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly mixer on July 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at La Playita. La Playita is located at 2120 E. Business Hwy. 83, Mission.

Read more: Chamber mixer at Yoko’s Sushi

   

Two men charged with burglary

20120713 MPD PurseTheft-AgentGunstolen-Ring Arraignment CAB 0010 EditedForWEBMISSION – Two men were charged Friday afternoon for burglary of vehicle. One of the men was also charged with theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon after a purse he has been accused of stealing was found to contain an off-duty Border Patrol agent’s personal firearm.

Read more: Two men charged with burglary

   

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