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Election Results

Election results from General Election on Nov. 3, 2020 declare Nick Hilario Ornelas as winner for District l Councilperson, and Cody Hughes as winner for District 3 Councilperson. Oaths are administered by Mayor Shannon Thomason.

 

Outgoing Councilmembers - Raul Marquez, District 1, and Terry McDaniel, District 3 - recognized for their service to the city.

 

Doug Hartman, District 2, is appointed as temporary Presiding Officer for the Emergency reading of an ordinance canvassing the returns and declaring the results of the Special Election held on November 3, 2020.

 

District 5 Camilla Strande- Recalled

District 6 Jim DePauw- Recalled

Mayor Shannon Thomason- Recall Failed, Mayor remains in office

 

Special Election to be held March 6, 2021 to feet fill vacancies for unexpired terms of District 5 and District 6 Councilpersons.

 

Hartman voted as new May ore Pro-Term

 

City Manager Report

Texas Communities Group, LLC was the company that the City of Big Spring went with to work with delinquent properties. They worked with a total of 28 properties, 8 properties were “struck off”, and 20 properties sold for $196,781.87.

 

Nov. 24, 2020 Big Spring City Council meeting cancelled.

 

Consent Items – all approved

 

Vouchers – all approved

 

Bids

Bid awarded to Northern Tool, based in Midland, TX, for purchase of Sullair Compressor for Distribution and Collections Dept. Cost was $21, 479.

 

Bid awarded to Home Depot of Midland, TX for portable LED light towers, also for Distribution and Collections Dept. Cost was $6,552.42.

 

Bid awarded Northern Tool of Midland, TX for 6-inch trailer-mounted pump, also for Distribution and Collections Dept.  Cost was $9,534.

 

Bid awarded to Eggerneyer Land Clearing, LLC, based in New Braunfels, TX, for wood chipping & yard waste mulching services, which were needed for landfill management. Cost was $40, 000.

 

New Business

EMERGENCY reading for a budget amendment was approved, 5-0. This allows the city to accept the SAFER Grant to be used for the additional expenses of hiring 10 new firefighters. Chief Craig Ferguson advised that a New Hire Test would be held on Dec. 3, 2020.  He also advised that City staff were able to make contact with the FEMA representative and the city is currently in good standing with FEMA; no money is owed at this time to FEMA for not hiring the 10 new firefighters sooner.

 

Discussion was held about the formation of committee with the intent to review and recommend amendments to the Charter of City of Big Spring. Councilmembers will each select a constituent from their district for the committee. They will return for a Special Meeting on Nov. 30, 2020 to name the committee and to select candidates for District 5 and District 6 since there are no representatives for those districts at this time. City Attorney Andrew Hagen advised that although there is a Special Election on March 6, 2021 to select new councilmembers for Districts 5 and 6, the amendments for the City Charter can only be voted on during General Elections in May and November.

 

Compute North is a Bitcoin Mining company housed at the Big Spring Air Park. Their current contract is set to expire at the end of November. They are requesting that their contract be changed to a month-to-month basis.  Council amended item #24 to state, “Consideration and Possible Action Regarding a First Amendment to a Lease Agreement with Compute North and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Negotiate and Execute any Necessary Documents”. This amendment was approved.

 

Texas Communities Group, LLC is the company that replaced Moughton & Moughton when collecting on delinquent property taxes. TCG offered the COBS their services for 6 months free. After auctioning 20 properties, they received over $196,000 and the City will receive approximately $70,000. Councilmembers approved to extend contract with TCG.

 

Mayor Shannon Thomason was delegated authority to negotiate, conclude, and execute a Pipeline Right-of-Way Agreement with Caruth Energy and an Indemnity agreement with Sinclair Oil and Gas Company. During consideration of this item, it was noted that Caruth needs the agreement to be expedited soon so they can begin production in the first quarter of 2021. If not completed soon, then large trucks and emergency flares would need to be brought into city to transfer the crude. This is in regards to the easements at Parkway and Hearn, and 25th St.

 

Council Input

Mayor Thomason advises that COVID-19 cases have spiked. He advised that he will not order businesses to act in anyway besides what is requested by Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Orders. He did, however, encourage all citizens to protect themselves.

 

COBS is down in workforce by 20 percent due to budgetary constraints, hiring freezes, COVID-19, and quarantines.

 

Thomason advised that on Nov. 2nd, Robert Diaz Street Supervisor, who had been employed by the City of Big Spring since 1994, had succumbed to COVID-19. His family will join Council in next meeting to receive Diaz’s retirement plaque.

 

Mayor Thomason also advised that Trauma Service Area J, which includes Howard County, was near 15 percent. If that percentage is surpassed, then, per Governor Abbott, local businesses will have to return to 50 percent capacity and the bars will close again.

 

He also advised that Senior Center will not be open for in-person dinning, but take out will continue. Also, rentable indoor COBS facilities will remain closed until Jan. 1, 2021 so that the COVID-19 situation can be re-evaluated.

 

Executive session

Council approved to rehire Russell Todd Darden as City Manager for City of Big Spring. Mayor will negotiate the terms of the contract. No action taken on personnel matters with the City Attorney.

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