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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

Shepherd begins meter replacement process

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062322 water meter replacement

By Tony Farkas
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SHEPHERD — The Shepherd City Council tended to all the details to start the process of replacing all water meters with automatic read meters at its regular meeting on June 13. City Secretary Debra Hagler said the replacement has not started since the meters are backordered, and it could be up to 6 months before meters start hitting the ground.

The council approved a purchasing agreement through The Interlocal Purchasing System, approved a contract with Bee Engineering to report on estimated revenue benefits, contracted with AMI Water Meters and approved a lease-purchase agreement with First Security Finance.

Hagler said the benefit to city will be more accurate readings, which is guaranteed for 20 years; based on that, it will increase revenues for the city. She also said the public will benefit as there will be an app to monitor daily usage.

The city also will catch leaks quicker, and since the meters are read automatically, it will free up manhours for Public Works personnel since they won’t be tasked with reading meters.

The city has no plans to raise rates, as AMI has guaranteed that the increased revenue will pay for the meters, Hagler said

In other business, the council:

• approved a division of property on Finger and Seal streets for Mike Rose, making six sections out of three;

• tabled a lot split request for Nahum Soto for more information;

• tabled a discussion regarding RV parks as the concerned party was not there;

• tabled action on roadside trees as the concerned party was not there;

• amended an RV ordinance based on recommendations from engineers; and

• approved sending letters to property owners regarding two structures that have been deemed unsafe and substandard.

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County discusses funds for drainage

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062322 county drainage funds

By Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — San Jacinto County looks to shore up storm runoff with Hazard Mitigation Program grant funds.

At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Jennifer Boyd of Langford Community Management Services told the County Commissioners Court, absent Laddie McAnnally and David Brandon, that there currently are three applications in the works.

The grants deal with soil stabilization in three of the four county precincts, and the deadline to submit is June 30. It will require a 10 percent match from the county; the county would find out about the grant status around the beginning of 2023.

Additionally, Boyd said the grants work on a reimbursement basis, meaning the county will do the work and then submit requests through Langford for the funds.

In other business, the commissioners:

• approved the abandonment of a portion of Bishop Road in Outlaw Ridge Estates;

• approved merging two lots in the Bay Hill subdivision;

• renewed the county’s liability coverage with the Texas Association of Counties;

• renewed the county’s health benefits with the Texas Association of Counties;

• named Tanya Matthews as wellness coordinator;

• approved a bond renewal for Jaclyn Williams; and

• approved an exception to the county rehire policy to allow the hiring of Jailer James Bour.

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Point Blank to concentrate on roadwork

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062622 point blank roadworkThe city plans to use an alternate repair process, which involves scraping the existing asphalt, crushing it and mixing it with concrete, and then relaying the mixture and flattening it.

By Tony Farkas
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POINT BLANK — City leaders plan to try a new method for road repair in the city of Point Blank.

Mayor Mark Wood said that the council discussed projects that will start this week, which are the next step in the city’s repair plan.

Wood said the city has spent $40,000 of the roadwork budget of $70,000.

The city plans to use an alternate repair process, which involves scraping the existing asphalt, crushing it and mixing it with concrete, and then relaying the mixture and flattening it.

“It at least makes a good road base,” he said. “We’ll check on its longevity.”

He said the city plans to try the method on a portion of White Oak Street in the Northwood Subdivision.

The city also discussed its finances; Wood said that as of this month the city is in the black overall, even though some large roadwork bills came due.

Wood said that sales tax revenue for the city is holding up, and that biggest source of that tax money is Amazon, which is averaging $8,800 per month. He also said internet companies represent about 60 percent of all tax revenue for the city.

“It’s phenomenal how the market has changed in the last 10 years,” he said.

In other business, the council:

  • discussed a regional mitigation program grant the city will receive, which amounts to about $500,000; and
  • discussed fee collection from the city’s new short term lease ordinance.
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County celebrates freedom

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062322 san jac juneteenthA veteran rides a tractor during the Juneteenth Parade. Old Glory and the Lone Star symbolize the Juneteenth connection to Texas. Photos by Charles Ballard

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Residents of San Jacinto County marked the anniversary of both emancipation and naming Juneteenth a holiday with a celebration on Saturday.

The annual celebration is sponsored by the Friends of Hopewell Inc.

This year marks the first anniversary recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, as President Joe Biden signed a bill into law June 17, 2021.

The Emancipation Program was presided over by Ester Elmore-Wynn.

Following a flag raising ceremony and the singing of “Oh Freedom” by Harry Belafonte, speakers explained the significance of the holiday.

Opening prayer was offered by the Rev. James Elmore, Eastside Church of God in Christ. Other speakers included Lille Lunnon-Bason, County Judge Fritz Faulkner and Dale Everitt, who offered “Juneteenth Expressions.”

“The Emancipation Proclamation” was read by Christyn Combs; “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was led by Christine Andrews and “How Great is Our God” was led by led by Mrs. Christine Andrews

The closing prayer was offered by Alice Hines.

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Sending the year off in style

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061622 ending in styleCOCISD retirees got a surprise confetti shower after they were presented with rocking chairs in honor of their years of service on Friday, June 3. Photo by Cassie Gregory

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — COCISD held its 2021-22 End of Year Convocation and Service Awards on June 3, a celebration of a challenging but successful year in education.

Staff members enjoyed good food and fellowship and cheered on fellow service award recipients and retirees.

Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton and school board trustees congratulated staff members who reached landmark years of service and received employee of the year awards. Taulton also thanked everyone for working so hard and for staying focused on what matters most — the education of students.

“I sincerely thank each and every one of you for making me feel so welcome my first year here, and for your hard work every day to do what’s best for our students,” Taulton said. “We are going to continue to stay focused, to reach our goals, and to make sure every student has the opportunity to reach his or her potential in a safe, effective learning environment.”

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