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Mayor plans move to Amarillo in 2013

The Friona city council met Monday December 10 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at 619 Main St. All council members were present. Several boys from Cub Scout Pack 56 were present along with their pack leaders.

Prior to the start of the official agenda, Mayor J.B. Douglas told council members he plans to move to Amarillo by the end of March 2013. He and wife Johnny are having a garden home built in north Amarillo near the medical complex. Mayor Douglas was re-elected last May to serve a two-year term.

Since the mayor will be leaving in March or April, an interim mayor will not be named. Instead, candidate(s) for mayor will be placed on the May 11, 2013 local election ballot and will serve a one-year term. Information about signing up for mayor and city council positions are available at Friona city hall.

City human resource and financial employee Kelly Daniel will be moving to Midland. Her last day of employment will be January 4, 2013. Daniel and city manager Patricia Phipps were slated to take over all accounting and operational procedures at Prairie Acres from the management company in January. With Daniel’s departure, the council authorized Phipps to enter into a one-year contract with the management company, Transition Health Services, for back office operations, accounts payable, and payroll until such time as the city can take it over. The contract has a 60-day escape clause, which means either party can cancel the contract on 60-day notice.

In other council business the updates to various city building codes were all approved. Billy Ray Johnston, Prairie Acres administrator, was authorized to negotiate with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability on matters pertaining to Prairie Acres/Heritage Estates.

Friona will be joining a consortium of Texas cities to oppose an Xcel Energy rate increase. Xcel will pay any legal fees pertaining to the rate increase matters.

The council approved the lease renewal of property south of Friona to Jerry Loflin for the 2013-2014 crop year. Mr. Loflin, previous owner of the property, pays $6822 per year to the city to use the land for cattle grazing. A slight variance for construction of a patio at the Danny Hand residence was approved.

The council re-appointed Glenn Reeve, Roddy Berend, and David Smith to the Planning and Zoning commission. After discussing and approving the November accounts payable and financial statement, the meeting adjourned and the Cub Scout Pack had a photo taken with the mayor and council.

The next meeting of the city council will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, January 14, 2013. All council meetings are open to the public.