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Tyler County News

Woodville adopts tax rate, budget

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Mandy RisingerWoodville City Administrator Mandy Risinger gives reports to the city council. (Chris Edwards Photo)

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The Woodville City Council met for its regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 13. The first items on the council’s agenda were to approve the city’s tax rate and budget for the coming fiscal year.

A public hearing and workshop took place before the meeting to field any questions or concerns residents may have had about the tax rate and to discuss any budgetary matters between the city officials. Council voted to adopt a tax rate 0.3261 per $100 of valuation, which is the same rate the city currently has.

The budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year includes a roughly 2% increase in expenditures. City Administrator Mandy Risinger noted a nearly 6.1% decrease in overall revenue for the city, which is primarily due to the loss in gas revenue from the closure of AmeriForge.

The increase in the budget does include a 3% cost of living adjustment for city employees and roughly $365K worth of capital expenses.

Presentation given

Risinger presented a slide show to the councilmembers and Mayor Paula Jones pertaining to Section 3 financial assistance.

The Texas Department of Agriculture recently made a requirement that all members of governing bodies receiving grant funding must receive a program detailing Section 3, Risinger said. The presentation gave an overview of the program, from its history to the protocol used in determining recipients.

The presentation was given due to the city’s CDBG grant-funded sewer improvements project.

Other Business

During Monday night’s meeting, the Woodville City Council also voted to approve the following items:

• A resolution to cancel the upcoming city election was approved, as a candidate withdrew.

• The resolution to designate the Tyler County Booster as the City of Woodville’s official newspaper was approved.

• A vote on behalf of the city for Michael Stelly to serve on the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool Board of Trustees was approved. Stelly is the West Orange Chief of Police.

• A variance to the city’s noise ordinance was granted to Kendall Coleman for a private party to be held outdoors on Oct. 2 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

• The utility bill write-offs for delinquent customers was approved for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

• The next regular Woodville City Council meeting was moved to Tuesday, Oct. 12 due to the Columbus Day holiday.

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Restoration efforts undertaken on Mt. Zion church

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Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Chester. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB)Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Chester. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB)

By Chris Edwards
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CHESTER – The oldest church still standing in Tyler County has been undergoing a facelift, and there are plans to fill the church with worship soon.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which is located on Hwy. 287, in Chester, was built in 1845 at Mt. Hope, and in 1870, it was moved to its present-day location. The restoration efforts begun in October 2019, and according to Lisa Wappler, who has helped spearhead the efforts, it has taken longer than initially anticipated, due to the problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wappler said that the majority of the work done to the church has been by family members of those who are buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery, which is located behind the church building. 

The land that was donated for the purpose of that cemetery, according to Wappler, was given by her great-great grandfather, Joseph Peters.

“As children, many of us remember going to church there with our grandparents,” she said. 

To celebrate the completion of the work, Wappler said a service is planned, and the volunteers hope to fill up the little white church. 

The service is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m., and will include singing, preaching, fellowship and a potluck lunch afterward. The luncheon will take place at Caney Creek Baptist Church, and Wappler said anyone hoping to attend is encouraged to bring a couple of dishes to share.

Wappler said that many of her family members have been generous in monetary gifts, as well as their time, toward the work that needed to be done at the church. “Because of their generosity, we were able to level the church, make many repairs, rebuild several windows, paint inside, pressure wash and have the outside repainted,” she said.

She added that during some of the workdays as many as 22 people came out to lend helping hands, and on occasion, some people took it upon themselves to trim trees, move dirt, grind stumps and clear the fencelines.

For the upcoming service, Wappler said that those wishing to attend need to RSVP by Oct. 6 by including their name and how many will be attending with them. They can call or text her number at 409-293-8157 or Susan Smart at 409-781-2341.

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Woodville veteran participates in Legacy Run

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Mark Meysembourg is shown presenting donations totaling over $19,000 collected during fundraisers this past year to National Commander James “Bill” Oxford from the Department of Virginia. Donations from Texas alone totaled approximately $35,000. Also pictured to the left of Mark is the Department of Texas Commander Bret Watson. On the right is the National Auxiliary President, Nicole Clapp from the Department of Iowa.  Looking on is National American Legion Riders Chairman Mark Clark from the Department of Missouri. Mark Meysembourg is shown presenting donations totaling over $19,000 collected during fundraisers this past year to National Commander James “Bill” Oxford from the Department of Virginia. Donations from Texas alone totaled approximately $35,000. Also pictured to the left of Mark is the Department of Texas Commander Bret Watson. On the right is the National Auxiliary President, Nicole Clapp from the Department of Iowa. Looking on is National American Legion Riders Chairman Mark Clark from the Department of Missouri.

Special to the Booster

Mark Meysembourg of Woodville and a member of Woodville’s American Legion Post 299, participated in this year’s American Legion Legacy Run. 

The Legacy Run was started by the American Legion Riders (ALR) which is a post run program made up of veterans and spouses who are also motorcycle enthusiasts.  This year’s run started on August 22 in Rogers, Arkansas, ending 5 days and 1,400 miles later at the National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Donations raised during the Legacy Run provides money for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, which gives college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.  A few years ago, children of post 9/11 veterans with a combined disability rating of 50 percent or greater became eligible for the scholarship as well. 

Last year’s run was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic however, the American Legion Family came back stronger than ever, raising over $1.1 million. Since 2006, they have raised over 12 million dollars.  Donations are raised throughout the year by different American Legion Departments/Posts and ALR Chapters and presented to the American Legion National Commander during the Run and at the National Convention.

This year is the seventh year that Meysembourg has participated in the Legacy Run.  Earlier this summer, he was also appointed as the American Legion Department of Texas State Advisor for the American Legion Riders.  In addition, he also served as the Assistant Road Capitan for B Flight during this year’s run.  With over 250 motorcycles participating in 13 flights, they presented quite a sight running down the roads and highways. In many towns and communities, observers lined the streets waving flags and cheering them on.  During the run, the riders visited different American Legion Posts and had wreathe laying ceremonies at several Veterans’ Memorials and National Cemeteries. 

To learn more about the American Legion Riders and the Legacy Run, visit www.legion.org/riders.

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Countdown To Tragedy

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countdown to tragedy

Countdown to the moment of the attack on the twin towers on 9/11/2001 during a ceremony held to commemorate the event held Saturday at Tyler County Courthouse in Woodville. (Jim Powers Photo)

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Steely Dan tribute act playing Woodville show

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Bad Sneakers, Houston’s own Steely Dan tribute act, will appear in Woodville at the Emporium Stage on Sunday, Sept. 12. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BAD SNEAKERS)Bad Sneakers, Houston’s own Steely Dan tribute act, will appear in Woodville at the Emporium Stage on Sunday, Sept. 12. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BAD SNEAKERS)

By Chris Edwards
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 WOODVILLE – As proprietor of the namesake Wild Bill’s Grill, Bill Spurlock is known for serving up tasty meals (with enormous portion sizes) around Woodville. There is, however, another side to Spurlock that is rooted in the intricate, yet smooth, jazz-rock sounds of a certain band that took its name from a William S. Burroughs novel.

As part of the band Bad Sneakers, Spurlock knows the music of Steely Dan like the back of his hand. Spurlock, who is an ace singer and guitarist, fronts the band, which is a tribute act named, naturally, after one of “The Dan’s” classic songs.

Bad Sneakers will play a show in Woodville on Sunday, Sept. 12 at the Emporium Stage, located at 216 W. Bluff. The show begins at 5 p.m.

Sam Haney, of the Emporium, said the show will be a surefire, can’t miss event. “I think it’s going to be a fantastic show, and it is going to surprise a ton of people,” 

Haney said.

Most casual listeners and classic rock radio fans know Steely Dan for hits like “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number” and “Reelin’ in the Years,” but the band, which was centered around the duo of Donald Fagen and the late Walter Becker, released several best-selling albums, which routinely pop up on “best of all-time”-type lists in music magazines.

Spurlock said that his interest in all things Steely Dan comes, originally, from his older brother Jim. Although he was too young to experience them in their own time, “I always had a great supply of music from the greatest music decade, via Jim,” he said.

When he was looking for good tunes to use for improvisation on his trumpet, he discovered Steely Dan. 

The genesis of the band came about 20 years ago, according to Spurlock. He had some buddies over for a Saturday jam session. “No agenda,” he said. “It took a bit for us to figure out that we all knew some SD tunes and the rest of the afternoon was spent kind surprised that we could pull off the Dan. The rest is history.”

The band features a 10-piece band that includes four horn players. The band is based in the Houston area and bills itself as “the only band of its kind” in the area in which it is based. 

Bad Sneakers plays such venues as Dosey Doe in the Woodlands; Main Street Crossing in Tomball and the Continental Club in downtown Houston.

For advance tickets to Sunday’s show (recommended), call the Emporium Stage at 409-283-3832. The pricing for tickets are: general seating, $15; reserved first row seating, $25 and reserved second row seating, $20.

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