City Manager's Blog

City Manager Blog

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March 3, 2020

Dear Citizens,

Welcome back to the City Manager Blog. It's been six months since I rejoined the City of Alpine and we have a lot of great things happening with our Community. 

Our website continues to grow/develop and blossom as a great source of information for all things happening with the City of Alpine. Geo has added a great 'News' section and is also busy adding the different interviews that our Department Heads have been conducting with Big Bend Radio. Also keep an eye out on the calendars that have been added to give our citizens visibility to the reservations for the Civic Center, Kokernot Pavilion, Game Fields and much more.

I also wanted to shake the dust off the Vision Plan that the City developed in 2016-17. There are links here both for the flyover video and the Vision Plan itself. We will highlight some of that plan at this evenings City Council meeting.

This comprehensive vision plan has many great elements and opportunities for the City to consider. Please feel free to reach out to me  with any questions about its content or you can come to our next Coffee with the City Manager on Wednesday March 18th (4:30pm) at our Visitor Center on Ave E and 3rd Street.

Kindest regards,

Erik Zimmer, City Manager

August 9, 2017

FY2017-18 Proposed Budget

Dear Citizens,

The Proposed Budget is now available on the website and a copy is available for viewing at City Hall.

You can find the digital copy on our homepage or by clicking HERE.

Please feel free to reach out to Erik Zimmer or Megan Antrim with any questions.

We will be having two public hearings on the tax rate and a public hearing on the proposed budget. The dates and times will be announced after next weeks City Council meeting.

Have a great rest of the week in Alpine,

Erik Zimmer, City Manager

New City Secretary

August 4, 2017
For Immediate Release

City of Alpine – City Secretary

It is with great pleasure that the City Council for the City of Alpine announces the appointment of Cynthia Salas as the new City Secretary. She will assume her duties effective Monday August 7, 2017.

Better known as Councilor Salas, Cynthia has served the City of Alpine over the last three-plus years as the City Councilor representing Ward 2. In that capacity, she has served our community diligently and with great care. She has always been accessible to the Citizens and thoughtful about her approach to good governance.

The shift over to the City Secretary position will be a natural fit for Cynthia and the new challenges the role brings will be hit head-on. The City anticipates Cynthia will deliver the consistency and professional acumen that we all grew accustomed to with during the eleven years Molly Taylor was at the helm.

Please join us in welcoming Cynthia Salas to the role of City Secretary. She can be reached at City Hall or through the email –

For further information on Cynthia’s background, please click on the following link.

The City Charter requires our Council to appoint her replacement on the City Council as she is not able to serve in both capacities. They will contemplate the replacement at our upcoming meetings.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend in Alpine

Hotel Occupancy Tax – 2017/18 Application and Guidelines


August 4, 2017

Dear Citizens,

It’s that time of year again for our organizations looking to utilize the HOT fund to start preparing their applications. The packet can be downloaded from the front page of the City website or by clicking here.

The City will be proposing a greater revenue and expense budget this year due to the continued growth of tourism and hotel stays. We also have several new AirBnB’s and other short term rentals coming on line and contributing to the fund.

We are encouraging new events to start-up this year in an effort to fill in the gaps with less weekend activities.

Please feel free to reach out to Stewart, Chris or myself with any questions.

Have a fabulous weekend in Alpine.

Erik Zimmer, City Manager

Paving Questions

July 21, 2017

Dear Citizens,

I’ve had a couple of questions relative to the paving schedule and how the City picks which streets to target each year. Let me work to explain the theory and decision making process in this post.

First and foremost, I encourage each citizen to read the paving presentation that was shared in early 2015. We presented at a City Council meeting early that year, have kept the article live on the website due to its continued relevance.

When we think about street exposure, those blocks coming off of Hancock HIll are the most exposed and attain the most erosion after rain. The more robust downfalls have a greater negative effect on the roads on the Hill. Hence, we targeted seal-coating the area in 2016 and rebuilding one of the key thoroughfares after that.

We also like to consider the streets that gain the heavy amounts of traffic. Fighting Buck Avenue is a gateway to Kokernot Park, the High School, golf course, etc…It handles a lot of traffic daily and needed to be rebuilt. Ave F. adjacent to the SRSU fields is another street that carried quite a bit of traffic and had some considerable drainage issues. Therefore, we had the streets rebuilt last year.

We are working towards revitalizing the downtown area streets and will soon have Jarrett Dirt Works rebuild several of the crossroads in the downtown district. Our businesses, citizens and tourists that traverse the area regularly have routinely communicated that need.

We also opted to get Carpenter Addition seal-coated this year. Hector and I have been wanting to complete that project since 2015 and believe we can extend the life of that set of roads into the foreseeable future.

We are now working towards finishing up some of the main Sul Ross Ave thoroughfare and will then migrate over to the 7th street area to follow behind our Gas Department work. We have also continued to try to resurface the streets around the Murphy Street Downtown area as we see more and more traffic on those streets. We are also hopeful to get finalization on our most recent TxCDBG grant to add more water lines and fire hydrants to the SE quadrant of town. We will have to come behind and seal-coat plus rebuild those areas when complete.

There are lots of positives happening with our projects and much more to complete in the future. The City’s liability for street maintenance is $1.2M a year and we need budgeting to stay the course and continue to implement. My sense is that by the end of 2023 or 2024 paving season, the City streets will have a renewed sense of character and life.

Thanks for your patience and support. As always, feel free to reach out to Hector, J or myself with any questions.

Erik Zimmer, City Manager

City Secretary Position Profile

July 19, 2017

Dear Community,

The City of Alpine is now accepting cover letters and resumes for the position of City Secretary.

We encourage all qualified and interested applicants to apply. Please click here for a more in depth view of the position and the process to show interest.

Have a great day,

Erik Zimmer, City Manager

Texas Highway Magazine – Saddle Club Article

July 18, 2017

Dear Citizens,

If you have not had a chance to pick up the latest edition of Texas Highway’s Travel Magazine, here’s a link to a great article this month.

Stephen Wood is a consummate professional and a friend to all in the community.

Enjoy the read and have a great day in Alpine.

Erik Zimmer, City Manager

Press Release – 7-14-17

July 14, 2017

Dear Citizens and Media,

The City of Alpine has has historically participated in the collection and distribution of the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds. Hoteliers collect the funds when people stay in their establishments and then pay into the City HOT Fund either monthly or quarterly (depending on their size). The State of Texas has certain guidelines on how communities can distribute these funds.

The City is allowed to delegate the expenditure of these hotel taxes to another entity (for example, a Chamber to run a Visitor Center) as long as they follow the guidelines of the usage law and keep the hotel tax funds in a separate account. Tax code 351.101 does a nice job giving further explanation.

In 2015, the City Manager requested the Chamber to demonstrate to the City that these guidelines were being met and to submit regular sets of financial documents back to the City. In early 2016, the City Manager followed this request up in writing. After repeated delays from the Chamber, the documents were finally submitted in February 2017. Through an initial review of these documents, the City Manager deemed it necessary for the City to take back over running of the Visitor Center. At the March 21, 2017 City Council meeting, the City Council took action and authorized the City Manager to move forward with the City taking over management of the Visitor Center.

As part of the Cities financial process, we deemed it necessary to perform an audit of expenditures from the Visitor Center account back to January 2016. Through that audit, we found further peculiarities that caused the City to initiate a letter to the Chamber asking for further explanation from the fund. If the expenditures do not meet State requirements, the City will be asking for a refund of those questionable expenses.

The City is aware that the Chamber has gathered legal counsel and is working back with the Texas Ranger and law enforcement in general. We continue to keep apprised and ready for the Chamber’s feedback and are cooperating with law enforcement.
There is no wrong-doing on the City of Alpines part. We are simply working to uphold the law and ensure supporting entities do the same.

Please address any inquiries to our City Manager, Erik Zimmer.
432-837-3301 or

Vision Plan Readout

June 14, 2017

Dear Citizens,

Councilor Rick Stephens and I have finally been able to establish a date for the community readout relative to the Vision Plan that the City worked with UTSA on during 2016.

A copy of the flyover and vision plan itself are available on our City website.

The readout will start at 5:30pm next Wednesday June 21, 2017 and will occur at our Civic Center. We encourage all citizens to come out and participate.

We did clear with the School Board to ensure this date does not conflict with their school board meeting. Their meeting is scheduled for the following week.

This comprehensive vision plan has many great elements and opportunities for the City to consider. Please feel free to reach out to me in the interim with any questions.

Kindest regards,

Erik Zimmer, City Manager

Gift to the City from TPP, LLC

June 12, 2017

City of Alpine Receives $400,000 Gift from Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC to Support City of Alpine’s Vision Plan and Alpine Volunteer Fire Department

ALPINE, Texas, June 12, 2017 – The City of Alpine today announced it has received a $400,000 gift from Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC that will be used to construct a scenic walking path as identified in the City’s Vision Plan, and to offset costs for new equipment and other needs of the City of Alpine Volunteer Fire Department.

“The construction of a scenic walking path along Alpine Creek has long been a part of our City Vision Plan to make use of this great linear space that runs right through the center of our city,” said Erik Zimmer, Alpine City Manager. “The 1.5 mile path will connect northern, central, and southern parts of Alpine, creating a unified pedestrian passageway that will be a beautiful, natural open space for our citizens and visitors to enjoy.”

The scenic walking path will cost approximately $215,000 to construct and will accommodate multiple types of recreational activity including jogging, walking, inline skating, and bicycling. Construction is anticipated to start by mid-August and be completed before the end of 2017.

The remaining amount of the gift, approximately $185,000 will go toward the City of Alpine Volunteer Fire Department for new equipment and vehicle upgrades. New equipment will include new safety gear, radios, and hose replacements.

“There is no doubt that many Alpine residents have expressed concerns about pipeline safety and the environment,” said Rick Stephens, City of Alpine Council Member. “This significant gift from Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC clearly demonstrates their commitment to safety and to the quality of life in the communities they construct and operate.

“The City appreciates the financial commitment from Energy Transfer Partners to help facilitate increased readiness of our local fire department and enhanced recreational opportunities for our residents and visitors.”

The Trans-Pecos Pipeline traverses 33 miles through Brewster County, Texas, and crosses just outside of Alpine city limits where additional safety measures were added to the pipeline. Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC and their primary vendor, Pumpco, have been operating in and around the City of Alpine since 2015, which has contributed to increased sales for many local businesses. Some of the employees’ families have been students and participants in Alpine schools and volunteer organizations.

Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC is a joint venture owned in part by an affiliate of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), L.P.

City Manager Transition

June 8, 2017

Dear Citizens,

First and foremost, I want to communicate it has been a great pleasure serving as the City Manager for Alpine, TX.

When we started down this path in late 2013, the City was challenged with investigations and financial troubles. Over the last four years we have been able to navigate to a better place with a keen focus on financial health and restoration of City owned assets. We’ve encountered several bumps and challenges along the way, but successfully stayed the course and find ourselves in a much better position today.

My family and I have come to a time in life where we are ready to start a new chapter. Decisions are never easy, and there are always many factors to consider. At this juncture, we’ve determined that Albuquerque, NM is the right place for us to go. As many of you are aware, Dee Dee’s family roots are in NM and we have an abundance of family throughout that area.

The most important item that will queue up for the City relative to this transition centers around the recruitment and timing of a new City Manager. My commitment to our community is that I will work with the City on a robust transition plan that promotes continuity in the position and does not leave staff or the City in a precarious position. The new business I will be forming gives me the opportunity to progress in this manner. Simply stated, we’ve worked too hard to have a gap in leadership.

As always, my door is open and I enjoy questions and dialogue. Please feel free to ask questions directly to me.

Thank you,
Erik Zimmer, City Manager

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