Running a city of 80,000’s water and sewer system can be expensive. During Monday’s city council meeting the council gave its authorization to spend just over $1 million for a half dozen chemicals needed to operate the city’s two water treatment facilities. The amount was $100,000 more than originally budgeted.
The council gave its approval to renew contracts with companies providing Liquid Amonium Sulfite, Liquid Polymer, Powder Activated Carbon, Chlorine Gas and Sodium Chlorite and it gave approval to solicit bids for Aluminum Sulfate and and Liquid Copper Sulfite for the two water treatment plants for the upcoming fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
The council also approved the purchase and $85,000 for chemicals needed to operate the city’s two waste water treatment plants. And it gave its authorization for the city’s public works department to solicit bids for two pumps and two screens for the city’s two wastewater treatment plants at an additional estimated cost of $45,000, which combined with the chemicals will cost $30,000 more than $100,000 originally budgeted for the treatment plant.
The expenditure authorizations prompted Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas to remark, tongue in cheek, to the city’s public works director, Robert Salinas, “I want you to know you took our whole budget.”
Following the meeting City Manager Martin Garza said budgetary funding is based on projections from past year’s experience and not an exact science. He said many cities simply approve such expenditures lumped together as a consent agenda item but in Mission the mayor and council want to know specifically where the money is being spent.
“When we do those numbers and solicitations it’s on an as-needed basis and just because the budgeted amount is less than what we need to spend doesn’t mean the city won’t be purchasing those chemicals,” Garza said. “With the city’s healthy fund balance small budgetary adjustments like this are neither a concern nor uncommon.”
In other matters Monday the council gave its approval for the construction of what Planning Department Director Jaime Acevedo described as an “upscale, gated community” consisting of 18 to 22 lots each containing a four-plex structure. The development will be constructed on five acres of land located 300 feet north of West Two Mile Road on the east side of Inspiration Road.
The city council also renewed its $5,000 a-month contract with Hollis Rutledge & Associates, Inc., to continue writing grants for the city’s police department and city administration. Mayor Salinas noted the company has obtained $2.7 million for the department already with another $5.17 million in grants are pending award.
“Hollis you did very good and we’re very proud of you,” Salinas told Rutledge who was in attendance at Monday’s meeting.
The council also endorsed the reappointment of Mission businessman, Amador Requeñez, to the Hidalgo County Appraisal District Board of Directors with Salinas noting other communities will have to do likewise before Requeñez reappointment is official. Requeñez has been on the board a quarter century.
The council also appointed City Council Woman Norie Gonzalez Garza as the city’s representative on the board of directors of Amigos Del Valle, a non-profit organization that assists the elderly and impoverished with health care and other needs. Deputy City Manager Aida Lerma was appointed the city’s alternate to the board.
And the city council authorized its police force to vote on which union will represent officers as their sole and exclusive bargaining agent.