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La Feria Residents to Get Increase in Gas Services

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Residents of this city in northwest Cameron County are going to see a small increase in their next gas bill.

The city commission has approved a 60-cent increase for such service after reaching a negotiated agreement between the municipality and Texas Gas Service.

TGS filed a cost of service adjustment tariff to keep up with cost.

Commissioner Esmeralda Lozano said the increase was the end-result of an ongoing process.

“It all boils down to a 60- cent increase for customers of Texas Gas Service,” she said. “This is a lesser of two evils option in the interest of the community.”

Lozano gave kudos to all of those who participated in the process and made a motion to repeal an existing ordinance and to approve a new one.

The council also approved a service agreement with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to hire a community health worker for the Supplemental Nutrition Education Program.

Lisa M. Bennett, project manager with UT School of Health in Brownsville, said the program falls under Su Salud Si Cuenta, which is an initiative to get people involved in health-related activities to their benefit.

She said the program started 10 years in Brownsville and it now has nine participating cities.

“Part of our goal is to educate the public and to change the culture of a town (when it comes to health related issues),” she said.

“We recently received some funding to implement and to expand this program.”

Under it, a city and the program shares 50 percent each of the cost to pay for a health worker.

After Bennett made her presentation, Lozano said she had a number of questions before acting on the agenda item.

“This is going to take a lot of leg work and we need to be realistic about it,” she said. “Do we have the time? Who will oversee it? How is the city going to be reimbursed?”

Bennett said a city can put 25 percent upfront instead of 50 percent.

Commissioner Eric Hoff said the program is a wonderful thing and made a motion to approve the agreement.

The motion was approved but with the 25-percent up front from the city.

In other business, the council heard a monthly finance report from Frank Rios, the city’s finance director.

He said sales and property tax collections are up compared to the same period a year ago.

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