While we were working on the final pages of the November issue of the Gazette for printing today, a lot went on at the Alpine City Council meeting. Thanks to local activist Pete Smyke for sending out this update to lots of interested parties:
Two major developments at the Alpine City Council meeting tonight concerning the gas company.
Alpine agreed to buy Marfa’s share of the Ft. Davis system for $250,000, which means Alpine will operate and maintain all of Ft. Davis. Kudos to Hugh Johnson for deciding to have that item discussed in open session rather than in executive session, as was originally planned. City Manager Chuy Garcia said that it shouldn’t be a big deal to gather the funds; he said if there was a need to borrow any money at all for that it would be very little. He said they could use money from a gas company distribution that had been set aside several years ago thanks to Dr. Rangra. Steve Neu pointed out that once that deal is concluded Alpine will end up with about 80% of the original gas company, which should be good for the city’s economic future.
The council also approved having a joint meeting with the Marfa City Council within a month or so to decide the other aspects of the dissolution and finalize distribution of assets and so on. This will be open to the public and will likely be held at Sul Ross. The Alpine council seemed to agree that the meeting should be to discuss and work out plans, then each city council would have it’s own meeting to vote on it.
So we’re finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. What has been a very contentious process seems to be coming to a point where there are more agreements than arguments, and everyone left the council meeting this evening feeling good about the trajectory that we’re on now.