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Mayor's Minutes

by Ricky White

I wanted to communicate this month some projects that the city will be completing this fiscal year.

I mentioned last month the 1,000,000-gallon water tank, located northeast of Friona is in need of repair. The top of the tank will be replaced and the inside of the tank to be repaired and repainted. This project will begin on February 17 and will be completed in approximately 6 weeks, depending upon the weather. The cost of this project will be approximately $445,000.

Each year the city seal coats a certain amount of streets across the city. The city places this job up for bid so I cannot tie a dollar figure to this project. Once the city completes the bid process, a map of the city will be posted in the Friona Star to illustrate the areas of the city that will receive the seal coating. There are approximately 40 blocks that will receive the seal coating.

The city will purchase a new police car. The city has six police cars, the oldest of the six will be rotated out, and the new one placed in service. The car rotated out will be evaluated and if in decent condition, it will be painted and used in the EMS department. Otherwise, it will be auctioned off. I was amazed to learn that we put 15,000 to 20,000 miles per vehicle and these are in town miles not highway miles.

The city will be placing a new roof on Prairie Acres and Heritage Estates. Due to the recent hail storms, these roofs are in need of repair. The city does have insurance money to cover the cost of the new roof.

The city will be placing a new roof on the Library. The roof will be open for bid later on this year so I do not want to discuss any cost factors due contractors making bids on this project.

EMS: Had 22 runs: 11-911 calls, 3-transfers and 4-no transfers. We collected $8,278.58, however, we wrote-off $20,494.54 in payments not collected. The write-off deals with money not collected through Medicare. For example, we bill out $1,000, Medicare will pay approximately 40% of the total bill. The city cannot change the way Medicare pays out. It’s something that we have lived with and will continue to live with. The city will continue to write off the unpaid balance from Medicare every month.

Court: Judge Campbell had 72 new cases last month. There were eight new Juvenile cases filed and Judge Campbell collected $7,908.20 in fines.

Fire: The Volunteer Fire Department responded to seven fire calls last month. There were several small grass fires, a vehicle rollover, and a couple of calls were smoke was detected but fortunately there was no fire.

Water: The city pumped 9,882,000 gallons of water last month and billed out $52,085.56. The city sold 12,008,100 gallon of water.

Police Department: The police responded to 170 calls in the month of January. There were four arrests made: 2-Narcotic, 1-DWI, and 1-public intoxication. There were a total of 48 citations and 54 warnings issued. The new police car has arrived and Lt. Jimenez is driving this vehicle.

Chief Mooney is working to implement a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Program.. Basically, it is a team of approximately 10 individual volunteers in the community that will be trained in different emergency responses. To name a few: first aid, natural disaster response, fire suppression, medical treatment, and triage. We will have more information concerning this opportunity in the near future.

Lastly, this is not a city issue, but more of a community concern. People have been asking me about the status of the Friona Golf Course. I can report that I have had several conversations with Dee King and at the present time no decision has been made to close the golf course. Our conversation has been centered around discussing different options to try to keep the course open. However, at this time no concrete decisions have been made. I will be able to discuss in more detail in the near future.

Your Mayor