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Mayor says no to providing lighting for ETJ

City-of-Mission-logoA request for the city of Mission to provide streetlights to colonias in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction within 10 years met with a resounding no from Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas at the Monday, April 14, meeting of the city council.

Planning Director Daniel Tijerina presented a resolution for the lights on behalf of La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).

But Salinas took exception to the implication of the resolution the city of Mission did not have streetlights in some residential areas. He told Tijerina Mission already has streetlights in all residential areas.

The mayor also said he would not agree to provide streetlights in extraterritorial jurisdiction areas until those areas are annexed into the city. It is illegal to spend city tax money to provide services for people who were not inside the city, the mayor said. Salinas said the county is in charge of improvements in the rural areas. Paying for lighting in rural areas not a part of the city is not the responsibility of the city, he stated.

Yvette Salinas, who represented LUPE, told Salinas that several other cities had agreed to provide the lighting in their ETJs. Salinas told her it was illegal to use taxpayer money paid to the city to provide services to people living outside the city, but if other cities wanted to do it, it was of no concern to him. He would not use Mission taxpayers’ money on services for other people.

The mayor also told her the city had tried to annex several of the subdivisions on her list last year and a large number of residents had come and protested the annexation on the basis they did not want to pay city taxes. The annexation of those subdivisions was dropped. The residents of those subdivisions do not have the right to demand that Mission provide them with streetlights if they were not willing to become a part of the city and pay taxes that would cover the cost of those services, he said.

After discussion ,the motion to approve the resolution died for lack of a second. Attorney David Guerra asked that the minutes reflect the motion to support the resolution died.

A request for a conditional use permit to allow Zarah Investments to place a portable kitchen on a parking lot, located at 808 S. Shary Road, belonging to Cimarron Crossing Subdivision, to be used for sale of tacos was approved.

The request was unanimously denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission as some members took the stance a portable kitchen would not pay the same taxes as a site built restaurant and thus would compete unfairly.

Ray Thomas, attorney for Zarah’s, disagreed, saying the portable kitchen would be placed on the edge of the property where Zarah’s Meat Market is located. The kitchen would not be operated by an individual vendor but would be owned by Zarah’s Meat Market. The business collects sales tax and pays property taxes. Thomas said it has become a trend in the Austin area and other areas around the state to have portable kitchens to sell food products. The meat used for the proposed tacos would show the quality of the meats being offered by the meat market.

There was discussion of the parking lot being too small to accommodate the food sales and customers at the market but Thomas said the portable kitchen would only be used from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. after the market is closed. After the discussion, the council voted to grant the owner a one-year conditional use permit.

PFC Diego Montoya Honored

In other action, the council gave its approval to renaming Eighth Street between Conway Avenue and Cummings Avenue in remembrance of U.S. Army Private First Class Diego Montoya, who grew up in Mission and later lost his life in Afghanistan in 2010.

The council also approved an agreement between Agua Special Utility District and the City of Mission that will allow Mission to provide retail sewer service inside the Agua SUD at Moorefield Road and FM 495 until the area transitions to the Agua Sewer District.

The council approved a proclamation that served as a reminder for residents to call 811 as a safety precaution before digging underground in order to locate underground electrical lines. Failure to do so could cause service interruption, damage to the environment and possibly personal injury or death to the person digging.

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