EastTexasNewsWebsite BannerAd

Log in

ETNbanner 01

  • Point Blank bringing in revenue

    point blank doc

    By Jason Chlapek

    POINT BLANK — The City of Point Blank brought in nearly $10,000 more than expected during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

    Point Blank Mayor Mark Wood reported to council aldermen during the monthly city council meeting on Oct. 12 that the total income for the previous fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 was $121,270. The projected total income for the fiscal year was $111,400.One of the things Wood believes helped the city was its sales tax revenue. It has gone up each of the last seven years from $40,964.50 in 2013-14 to $76,854.20 in 2019-20.

    “One of the more interesting charts is the sales tax that the city’s received during the fiscal year,” Wood said. “In 2014, we were at $40,000, which averaged about $3,400 a month. Now we’re getting $76,000, which is averaging $6,400 a month. This substantial increase is due to getting all of the people on the tax rolls that needed to be. This has stayed constant.”

    During the previous fiscal year, the lowest the city took in sales tax revenue was $4,177.51, which was during the statewide shutdown because of Covid-19. However, the city bounced back to collect more than $6,000 per month in each of the last five months of the fiscal year, including a seven-year high of $9,055.57 in August.

    “This comes from people living up here as opposed to just using their summer or vacation homes,” Wood said. “Instead of going back to Houston, they’re either working up here or moving up here. If you look at Point Blank, you won’t see any houses for sale. This is unusual and I don’t know how long it’s going to last; if it’s purely Covid-related or if it’s an honest increase in population. This is Precinct 4 and this is where thepredominant development in San Jacinto County is. It’s a little hard to tell how much of this is actually from Covid and how much of it is real growth. We’re a retirement community and I don’t see anything dynamic. It’s pretty interesting.”

    While there is some growth in Point Blank, Wood said that growth in commerce would be more beneficial as opposed to just residential growth. He also said there have been rumors going around that his city has been mentioned in the talks of being in or along the Interstate 14 corridor, which is expected to follow the US Highway 190 corridor.

    "I don’t think a lot of people want growth,” Wood said. “It would be nice to have some jobs and industry here. There’s a lot of things going on.”

  • Point Blank discusses drainage problems

    Screenshot 2020 11 17 20201116 122303 2 pdfCourtesy photo - 2020: A Google Map view of the Forest Cove subdivision from the year 2020.

    By Jason Chlapek

    POINT BLANK – Point Blank city council aldermen decided to table an agenda item regarding the Forest Cove subdivision during last week’s city council meeting on Nov. 9 at the Point Blank Civic Center.

    The issue regarding Forest Cove is its drainage. The subdivision was platted in 1979.

    “The drainage has been happening since it was first platted,” Point Blank Mayor Mark Wood said. “Forest Cove has a rough infrastructure where the roads are not in good shape. You’ll see that throughout the city.”

    Wood and other council aldermen are going to research the problem before coming to a consensus on what to do. The decision could be made by next month’s city council meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

    During the month of October, Point Blank made a profit of $9,631.71. The city’s net operating income is now $6,382.80.

    The sales tax revenue compensation for the month of October was $8,284.01. Wood doesn’t know if these types of numbers are permanent or temporary though.

    “We made money during Covid because the people who own lake houses either moved up here or spend more time here,” he said. “I don’t know if the growth is permanent, but you don’t see houses for sale. It’s an interesting phenomenon that I didn’t anticipate.”

    Wood also discussed how the city determines how much money to spend on street repairs per subdivision. He also talked about the outdated POA assessments.

    “The POAs were set up in the 1970s and they have never upped their assessments,” Wood said. “There’s not a property tax base in Point Blank either. What we do is set a budget for what we think we can spend on streets for the fiscal year. We had a really good year last year and we try to spend it based on the percentage of miles in each subdivision.”

    The actual street mileage for the North Woods subdivision is 4.57 miles, Governor’s Point is 4.07 miles, Forest Cove is 2.574 miles and the remainder of the city is 4.925 miles. Last month, the city spent $500 on street repairs (Forest Cove $79.75, Governor’s Point $126.09, North Woods $141.58, rest of city $152.58).