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ALTON—The Alton City Commission approved a budget and program amendment for Urban County Funding during their March 26 meeting. Assistant City Manager Steve Peña explained they hoped to utilize remaining surplus funds from previous years.

The total remaining funds from Street Improvements projects in 2009 -2011 and Section 108 line item, repayment from a loan component under Housing and Urban Development Funding, is $195,331.

“The funding will be used for fire station equipment and for a sewer capacity buy in with McAllen Public Utilities Board,” Peña said.

The city approved an allocation of $95,331 dollars to the fire station and $100,000 for the sanitary sewer service.

The city commission also approved rezoning 5.78 acres from agricultural use to multi-family residential. The request came from the Cesar Chavez Foundation; Peña explained it was the first step in the application process for a low-income house complex, which is planned to include 80 units for families, located at a quarter of a mile from the intersection of Trosper Road and 5 Mile.

The council also approved a resolution designating April 22 as Earth Day.

“April 22 of this year is designated as Earth Day. The staff recommends approval whole heartedly, as you know we support many efforts here at the city,” City Manager Jorge Arcaute added said. “Besides our recycling program, we also have as part of our fire station project a permeable concrete apron that absorbs water. We are doing a rain harvesting project at the ball parks so this is just one of many green efforts that we have.”

Another item on the city agenda was the appointment of six members to the board of directors for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number One, City of Alton Redevelopment Project. The following members were appointed to serve a two-year term on the TIRZ board: Salvador Vela, chairman; Arturo Galvan Jr.; Ricardo Garza; Emilio Cantu Jr. and Mona Parras, Hidalgo County Precinct 3 representative.

Members of the Mission School Board and Sharyland ISD employees were in attendance at the commission meeting to recognize Alton area Teachers of the Year for 2013.

MCISD Teachers of the Year included: Karina Ventura of Alton Elementary, Aissa Chapa of Cantu Elementary, Lars Tamen of Cavazos Elementary, Jaclyn Y. Buitron of Salinas Elementary, Leticia De Los Reyes of Waitz Elementary, Rosbel Peña of Alton Memorial Jr. High and Ana Parra of R. Cantu Jr. High.

Sharyland ISD Teacher of the Year from the Alton area is Rebecca Franco of Jesse Jensen Elementary.

MCISD Superintendant Dr. Cornelio Gonzalez thanked the commission for their time and recognition; he added there is something magical about Alton because teachers from the area always advance to district and regional teachers of the year.

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