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Links for Thursday, October 3, 2013:

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Mayor's Minutes

by Ricky White

Every municipality has several things within their community that they can hang their hat on and make them special. I want to begin this months minutes by discussing one of Friona’s great assets. (We have many, but this month I want to discuss the Parmer Medical Center). I had some conversation with Gayla Quillin (Hospital Administrator) and asked her “What makes Parmer Medical Center so special and popular?”. There are patients traveling to Friona from many surrounding cities including, Fort Sumner, Grady, Clovis, Texico ,Melrose, Elida, Portales, Farewell, Muleshoe, Hereford, Sudan, Littlefield and Canyon. No doubt it is a beautiful hospital and well manicured inside and out. This is not the reason people travel a great distance to receive their care.

People come to Friona because of the way they are treated and the care they receive when they step inside the hospital. Gayla mentioned that all of their staff (everyone) goes through extensive training on “How to make the patients experience a great experience.” She said it basically boils down to two simple things 1) Courtesy. 2)Respect. Every employee at the hospital is committed to treating every patient with courtesy and respect as soon as they step inside the hospital. They want every patient to have the best experience they have ever had at a hospital.

Lets face it, the hospital is not a favorite place that everyone enjoys visiting and the employees understand this and they are committed to making the patients experience the best experience they have ever had. The hospital also has a great rehabilitation program. There are patients that have surgery in Amarillo or Lubbock, but come back to Friona for their rehabilitation process. The hospital also has a staff of doctors that are committed to the same simple philosophy of 1) Courtesy 2) Respect, and provide very good care for their patients. We would like to recognize all of the employee’s, the doctors and their staff at the Parmer Medical Center by saying thank you for what you do and how you do it. Great job!!!!!

We hope you have noticed some work being performed on the park on the north side of highway 60, between Springfield and Etta. It is going to look good. There will be more rock put down and some Yucca plants placed along the highway. Also, the drainage area between Soapy Springs and Fast Stop, along the highway has been cleaned up, thanks to the good work of the Public Works employees. They also mowed all of the state parks, Reeves Lake, and the cemetery getting ready for the Maize Days festivities.

Great news coming from Prairie Acres and Heritage Estates. Billy Ray has 45 residents currently living in Prairie Acres and 12 residents currently living in the Heritage Estates.. Thanks to Billy Ray and staff for all of their efforts. The City Council approved the 2013-2014 budget for Prairie Acres and the Heritage Estates. Kathy Anthony played a vital role in setting this years budget and I want to thank her for her efforts. Billy and Kathy attended the City Council budget meeting to present the budget and answer any questions that the council had concerning the budget. We feel good about the budget and the outlook at this time for Prairie Acers and the Heritage Estates is very positive. It takes right at $2.5 million dollars annually to operate both the Prairie Acres and the Heritage Estates.

We continue to move forward with the American Red Cross. We still lack getting the volunteers some training, but once completed, we will give all citizens information and notification on where you can go if we have a catastrophe and people are in need of water, food and shelter. We are having conversation with Steve Pair, Director of American Red Cross, to address any issues occurring with the training, to get over that hurdle and get the training implemented.

The City Council met on September 30, 2013 to finalize the budget for fiscal year 2013-2014. The budget was finalized at $4.3 million dollars. One of the big ticket items that the city pays for during the year: It takes $658,000 to operate and maintain our 24 hour police service. Police Chief Mooney and all of the officers do a very good job of keeping the citizens safe. Patricia Phipps, City Manager, has done a very good job of setting the budget and the outlook for Friona looks very positive for this coming year. The City Council, Patricia Phipps and myself are dedicated to the set budget for this coming year and commit to spend your money wisely and make good decisions that effect the citizens of Friona.

Lastly, an update on the housing coming to Friona. Plans are to begin the ground breaking in approximately 3-4 weeks. It takes time to get the architects to agree on the plans, to get permits, get all of the supplies that’s needed ordered and delivered. It seems the planning stage takes as long as the actual building process. I will continue to keep you updated as we progress forward. Wayne Berry of Jillian Homes, is still committed to come to Friona and get started. Once he gets all of the details worked out on his end, he will begin the building process.