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Davila named new Friona City Manager

The Friona City Council got a surprise from the Friona Volunteer Fire Department before their regular meeting on Monday, November 13. The Fire Department stopped by with their newest fire truck, a 2004 E-One Pumper, which was recently purchase for $42,000 from the escrow money that was budgeted by the City of Friona.

Leander Davila was approved as the new Friona City Manager to replace Patricia Phipps when she retires at the end of 2017. Davila is a Friona High School graduate. He is currently employed by the City of Houston, working in the City Manager’s office as a Special Projects Manager. His first day as Friona City Manager is January 2, 2018.

The Council convened in the Council Chambers to conduct a 19-item agenda, which included a presentation by Friona Junior High Social Studies teacher, Dave Gonzales. Gonzales spoke to the council concerning ways of getting the public involved with the schools and the children involved with the community. He requested that the city assist his 8th grade students in working to improve the Friona community through civic service.

“This project will get the students to take pride in their community,” stated Gonzales. “They need to be the future!”

Students will be asked to fill out a form stating the civic service they have performed and a city official will sign off on the work. Students will be required to work at least one hour to pass the project. The council considered the project and approved the measure.

A contract renewal with Chris Wyly and Weston Wyly for an agricultural farm lease was approved to be in effect until December 31, 2033.

After a lengthy discussion, the council approved the renewal of an agricultural farm lease with JeDon Gallman that will be in effect until November 2020.

Item 8 of the agenda concerned the approval of an expenditure authorized by the Friona Economic Development Corporation to John and Melodee Hansard/Blackwell-Mullins Funeral Home for a $15,000 forgivable loan. The council tabled this item until they were able to read the actual contract.

The council approved the contract for appraisal, assessment and collection services between Parmer County Appraisal District and the City of Friona.

Friona Police Chief Isidro Jimenez delivered his monthly report to the council. For the month of October Friona PD had four arrests, which were all misdemeanors. They conducted 73 traffic stops and issued 35 citations and 38 warnings. They had 55 calls for service and drove 2,404 miles protecting Friona. They received 195 calls for the services of Fire/EMS/Police.

The council approved the transfer of $42,000 from the Fire Department escrow into the General Fund for the payment for the 2004 E-One Pumper.

Approval was given for City Manager Patricia Phipps to proceed on the Meadow Foundation Grant application for the Ambulance Fund. To date, the Ambulance Fund has collected $145,000.

Dr. Jack Smith was approved as the medical director for the Friona EMS from November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2019.

The council approved to take action of hiring Cole Consultants to handle the pending recoupment for the City of Friona, as previous owner of Prairie Acres to resolve the issue with Amerigroup recoupment.

The council tabled agenda item 18, which concerned the Friona Community Center roof and air conditioning system. The work will be postponed until after the stock show season.

The next meeting of the Friona City Council will be Monday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at 619 Main Street. All meetings are open to the public.