Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

San Jacinto County News - Breakout

Board explores growth potential

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

At the December School Board Meeting, recipients of the Thank a Trojan Program received special recognition for their positive impact on COCISD. Public Relations Coordinator Savanah Steffey started the Thank a Trojan program in 2023 to help share words of encouragement and appreciation for the faculty and staff members. The faculty and staff members that were recognized at the December board meeting were Nick Tenney, Raquel Taylor, Bobbie Turner, Celean Terry, Lulu Blanks, Lori Garza, Mikala Burns, Paul Farr, Coleigh Koon and Aimie Patrick. Photos courtesy of Savanah SteffeyAt the December School Board Meeting, recipients of the Thank a Trojan Program received special recognition for their positive impact on COCISD. Public Relations Coordinator Savanah Steffey started the Thank a Trojan program in 2023 to help share words of encouragement and appreciation for the faculty and staff members. The faculty and staff members that were recognized at the December board meeting were Nick Tenney, Raquel Taylor, Bobbie Turner, Celean Terry, Lulu Blanks, Lori Garza, Mikala Burns, Paul Farr, Coleigh Koon and Aimie Patrick. Photos courtesy of Savanah Steffey

By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Board of Trustees discussed the future of the district’s campuses, looking toward using buildings to provide space for a growing student population.

At the regular meeting on Dec. 18, the board heard a report from a facilities assessment committee, which will explore using the Jones complex as a campus for students in grades 3-6, creating intermediate school.

Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton said the move was only a recommendation, as the board will need to approve the change, and bonds will need to be set for an election. If approved, once the renovation is completed then the current intermediate school will become the elementary school.

In other business, the board:

•approved Cindy Elliott, executive assistant and secretary to the board, was named as an alternate approver on the TEA system for accountability;

•accepted audit for the 2022-23 fiscal year from Weaver and Tidwell, which came in with an unmodified opinion;

•approved two resignations; and

•discussed the current school year and the transition to the 4-day week. Taulton said the move has been successful, and the district has seen improvement in student and employee attendance.

  • Hits: 619

Point Blank council discusses street names

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Point Blank City LogoTCNS staff

POINT BLANK — Duplicate and inconsistent names for streets will mean that some residents of Point Blank will have to change addresses.

Mayor Mark Wood said that at the Dec. 11 City Council meeting, members were told by 911 Addressing Coordinator Trisha Basham that the city will need to change names of streets because many streets names duplicated.

Wood expects the change to anger people who are long-term residents.

In other business, the council:

•discussed street repairs, and that to date the city has spent $70,000 so far this fiscal year;

•discussed the short-term rental list;

•discussed current and future grants, and since the grants account went dormant, Wood said he activated it. Also, new signature cards were done because two signatures are now required; and

•approved the annual audit and management response letter. The audit was returned with an unmodified opinion.

  • Hits: 602

Shepherd council to assist local wood chip company

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

City Of ShepheardBy Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SHEPHERD — The Shepherd City Council will assist a wood chip company meet its fire protection needs with the labor to install a fire hydrant.

Council members approved the installation of a 6-inch water line and hydrant for Agri-Tex Wood Shavings Co. at a Dec. 11 meeting.

City Secretary Debra Hagler said the city will attempt the installation in house for the 600-foot project on Industrial Boulevard and determine how much the customer will have to contribute; Agri-Tex has agreed to pay for materials.

Hagler said the insurance firm representing the company, which creates wood chips, has required a nearby fire hydrant.

In other business, the council:

•denied a request for a circus be scheduled Jan. 19-21, 2024, at the Community Center and Shepherd Youth League Parking area. Hagler said members felt a previous event did not generate interest and only created work for the city;

•approved an extension to a sewer line on Shoemaker Road;

•set a public hearing at next month’s meeting on a request by Tammy Russell to purchase an undeveloped portion of Ross Avenue between Fifth and 10 streets;

•tabled a request from Felipe Garza Jr. to clear a portion of Fifth Street between Ross and the railroad line;

•tabled a request from Larry Benton to install a streetlight at Seals and Holcomb streets;

•tabled a upgrade project on all city street light on Byrd Avenue and Highway 150 to LED lights for a cost analysis;

•approved a maintenance agreement with TXDOT;

•adopted a drought contingency plan;

•approved the annual Christmas Party for Dec. 14 with a $4,000 budget;

•approved repairs to the fence at the city storage lot while moving the fence in 5 feet on one side to provide more room; and

•approved an interlocal agreement with San Jacinto County for the construction of a concession stand and restrooms for the Shepherd Youth League. The project will be funded by San Jacinto County.

  • Hits: 754

Council discusses grants, water

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

coldspringcityBy Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring City Council discussed current and future grants to assist the city in its efforts toward growth at its Dec. 4 meeting.

Mayor John Benestante said that in 2023, the city received four grants — $250,000 from ARPA, $630,000 from the state’s MIT-MOD program, $500,000 from the state’s CDBG program and $3 million from TxDOT — and for the city, that is unique.

Projects include running sidewalks near all schools except the elementary school, which is out of the city limits, he said. The first project will be from the High School to the Courthouse, and the city will apply next year for one for the junior high to courthouse.

Benestante said TxDOT will provide design with city oversight.

“All we have to do is communicate with the area of town affected,” he said. “We want to get pedestrian traffic off the highway.”

Next year, the city will apply for a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife for park improvements, and one from FEMA to be used in the downtown area to improve the removal of storm water.

In a separate matter, the council discussed changing its water treatment to get rid of chlorine gas and switching to bleach.

Benestante said that with the plant being located near two schools, the change is justified.

“We’ve never had a leak, but after the fire at the chemical plant near Shepherd, I started looking into potential hazards,” he said. “Bleach doesn’t become gas, but soaks in the ground. It’s just as good as chlorine.”

He said that this will be discussed with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

In other business, the council:

•approved moving to legal means to get a nuisance property cleaned up;

•approved an electronic sign for City Hall, which will be installed in the first quarter of 2024. Benestante said it will be used for public information regarding weather, events and meetings, and that Peoples State Bank will assist in funding;

•discussed amending the city sewer ordinance, as it was found that in some areas there were multiple customers on one tap. Benestante said the city will consider changing the fee structure to institute a commercial tap fee as well as multiple tap fee;

•approved the city budget of $2,381,200 for 2024, an increase over last year’s budget which is attributed to additional grant funds;

•approved an election contract with San Jacinto County, will be held in March;

•approved a resolution for maintenance control regulation and supervision of state right of way; and

•approved a budget amendment for CDBG grant funds.

  • Hits: 469

County discusses ambulance billing

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

SanJacCountySealBy Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLDSPRING — A request by the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office for an additional ambulance service for the jail was sidestepped after the SO worked out the issues with Allegiance Medical Service.

SO Chief Deputy Tim Kean told the County Commissioners Court on Wednesday there was a discrepancy with the billing, and the costs for transporting inmates went from $367 to $2,800 per trip, which would wipe out the budget.

However, Kean said they have worked out the issue, which stemmed from a recent software update that  reset all rates to Allegiance’s non-contract rate.

Representatives with Allegiance told the commission that the service only bills the jail the Texas Medicaid minimum charge, which is an 80 percent discount. They did say that three bills were paid at the non-contract rate; however, they also said the jail has unpaid bills, so there are discussions as to how to come to a solution.

In other business, the county:

•opened bids for demolition of properties bought out under a grant for hurricane recovery, but did not issue approval and instead referred the bids to the grant administrator to be qualified;

•approved a $25,306.52 bid by Bellview Acquisitions for the purchase of 4.7 acres of county property in Hill Creek addition;

•tabled a donation of grant-funded tasers and body cameras to find better costs;

•consented to a road use agreement that was in place as parties involved have changed;

•approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Shepherd for the construction of a concession stand and restrooms at the city’s ballpark;

•approved an agreement with Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences for autopsy work;

•cast 863 votes for Mike Corvell and 864 for Sky Spivey for membership on the SJC Appraisal District board;

•approved the $24,478 purchase of four 30 cubic yard open-top containers, to be paid for from the funds set aside for an unfilled position;

•approved selling the former Extension Office building in Shepherd and using the funds to finish offices under construction in Coldspring;

•approved preliminary plats for Live Water Farms and Cranford Estates;

•approved an easement for PBSC to run a water line across county-owned land;

•approved naming a private road Salem Pine Road;

•approved setting Jan. 24, 2024, as a date for a workshop on subdivision rules and regulations;

•denied the creation of a subdivision off of Lee Turner Road for Jose Alariaz;

•approved an entrance for Peach Creek to its proposed landfill, pending TCEQ approval; and

•approved staining some of the concrete in the new Innovation Center building.

  • Hits: 352