This story originally appeared in the Friday, June 8, 2018 issue
In preparation for growth in the city of Palmview, the city council is taking steps to ensure there is an expansion in the services the city provides to residents.
After the city approved two rounds of annexations last year that will bring in more than 3,680 residents once the annexation goes into effect at the end of the month, the city launched an in-house, 24 hour EMS service last February.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, council members approved the purchase of a $165,000 ambulance that will be housed at the second fire station on Showers Road and Expressway 81. This EMS will be able to provide services to the city’s south side where the annexation is taking place at.
“The plan is to get approval today to get the unit in by October because we know a lot of the annexed areas the city will be responsible for will be where our (Winter Texans) will be arriving,” Palmview Fire Chief Jerry Alaniz told the council. “We want to be able to service them.”
The need for the ambulance is a result of the city receiving a least 75 emergency calls per month but having to refer at least eight of them to a backup service provider, Alaniz said.
“The need is there for a second unit,” Alaniz said.
The city also approved this year’s Capital Improvement Plan- a five year plan which identifies capital projects for the city and equipment purchases, provides a planning schedule and identifies options for financing the plan.
Interim City Manager Leo Olivares explained to the council that the capital improvement plan is ultimately a blueprint on how the city can finance projects that is supposed to be updated yearly.
Among the projects listed in the plan are to renovate the city hall and the city’s fire station.
“We’ve identified a few and looked at basic needs, specifically the fire department which needs work in their building. It has been neglected, we need to expand it,” Olivares said. “We are authorized to move forward with it but are not committed to buying anything,” Olivares said. “These are projects that have been approved but city is not obligated to finance it.”
The highlight of the capital improvement plan, Olivares said, is that it expects an increase in revenues coming to the city once the Agua Special Utility District finishes with their sewer project in the city.
“We’ll have an increase in national retailers, property and sales taxes which will give the city additional bonding capacity to fund bigger projects,” Olivares said.