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Council receives update on local ambulance service

The Friona City Council met in regular session Monday, March 13 at the Council Chambers, 619 Main Street to discuss an eighteen item agenda.

After approving the last meetings minutes the Council heard from Jim Taylor about an adjustment to a water bill. The Council agreed to make the adjustment and waive any late charges.

The City will not hold an election this year after declaring that each unopposed candidate is elected. However, they will be working with Friona ISD during their Trustee election on May 6, 2017. They approved Mary Ford and Rebecca Ramos as election clerks the day of the election and Rosa Mendez and Imelda Saucedo as election clerks during early voting which will begin Friday, April 14 at the FISD Administration office.

The Council approved the audit report presented by Randall Field, P.C. for the fiscal year October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

Police Chief Isidro Jimenez reported to the Council concerning the police department’s activities for the month of January and the drug bust that was initiated at the Cottonwood Apartments were two suspects where taken into custody for manufacturing and distributing meth as well as having a number of weapons.

Bovina Police Chief Eric Geske spoke to the Council concerning to a Memorandum of Understanding concerning a multi-jurisdictional Crime Scene Response Team. According to Geske, a grant has been acquired to cover the cost of the vehicle being built and delivered. The vehicle would be used for not only crime scene investigation but as a mobile command center in the case of disasters including fires, tornadoes, etc. The unit would be manned by members of law enforcement from Friona, Bovina, Farwell, Muleshoe, Parmer and Bailey County. The Council approved the signing of the memorandum.

The Council approved to take action on negotiating a resolution between the Atmos West Texas Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corp. regarding the company’s 2016-rate review filing. They declared the existing rate to be unreasonable and will adopt tariffs that reflect rate adjustments consistent with the negotiated settlement.

Approval was given to dispose of the City of Friona’s 2013 voting records and the Friona ISD 2016 voting records due to the maximum time having expired for destruction.

The Council gave approval for 2017 tax roll exemptions and took action on the February accounts payable and financial statement.

EMS Director Jeannie Martin delivered an update on the ambulance situation. She stated that the ambulance that was wrecked recently is now at City Body Shop awaiting repairs. She went on to explain that they are sending an application for a grant to the Governor’s Extraordinary Emergency Fund. The grant will help with the purchase of a new ambulance to be added to the overburdened Friona EMS. The city will be opening up bids for the cost of a new ambulance in the near future.

With a third ambulance there will be a need for more personnel to staff the units. Friona EMS will possibly be opening up applications for EMS personnel.

The next Council meeting is Monday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. All council meetings are open to the public.