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Council hears golf course annex request

The Friona city council met in regular session Monday October 7. Mayor Rick White presided and all council members were present, as were city manager Patricia Phipps and city attorney Slater Elza. About 15 citizens attended the meeting.

Council approved previous minutes and approved the Friona Star as the official newspaper for the city. Loraine Anthony and Mitchell Wiseman were appointed to represent the city on the Parmer County Appraisal District board.

Police Chief Frank Mooney reported that a local recruit had been hired to attend the police academy for certification and will attend the academy and assist with dispatch and other duties in the department until being certified as an officer by next August. He said there is also an opening for a dispatcher. The grant funding for a school resource officer has been approved. The city and Friona ISD will share the cost of the officer that will be assigned to work in the school campuses.

Chief Mooney suggested that a carport awning be built onto the west side of the police department to protect patrol units in event of hail storms. During the last hail storm, police vehicles sustained almost $30,000 in damages and were out of service during repairs. Police will be stepping up patrol activity on Halloween and will participate with schools during Red Ribbon Week October 21-25.

The council approved accounts payable and financial statements for September and the third quarter. They approved a carport variance at 510 W. 5th, and held off on a request from the Arellano family to annex their home on CR19 to the city for more information. A request to install a mobile home on East 3rd Street was delayed again until next meeting awaiting approval of neighbors in the area.

Jerry Marquez and Ricky Cantu appeared before the council to request that the city annex the 80 acres that is the Friona Golf Course into the city. Golf club owner Dee King was also present. Mr. Marquez and Mr. Cantu said they planned to close the golf course and develop the property with modular homes.

City attorney Slater Elza advised Mr. Marquez and Mr. Cantu that only a property owner can request annexation into the city limits. Mr. Elza asked if they planned to rent or sell the modular homes and they said they planned to sell lots/homes. The two gentlemen said they were already working with an architect on plans for the property and would like to begin within the next 60-90 days.

Mr. King stated he was given the property by the golf club’s board but had put a lot of money into the property and operation of the golf course over the past three years. It was not clear if sale of the property to Mr. Marquez and Mr. Cantu depended on whether the city agreed to the annexation. No action was taken on the request.

Cargill has hired Global Environmental and Technical Foundation from Arlington, Virginia to conduct a future water availability survey in Friona and the surrounding area. The council voted to pay $4,000 toward the cost of the survey. Mayor Rick White and councilman Charlie Pope, both Cargill employees, abstained from voting on the issue.

Before adjournment, councilman Charlie Pope advised the council that he planned to resign his council seat. The council said they would solicit applications from anyone interested in filling Mr. Pope’s council seat. The council can appoint a replacement to serve until the May 2014 election. The seat will then be up for election in May 2014 to fill the one-year unexpired term of Mr. Pope.

Since the second Monday of November is Veteran’s Day holiday, the council voted to hold the November meeting on Monday, November 4 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers, 619 Main St. All council meetings are open to the public.