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City Council hears Film Commission presentation

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By Mollie LaSalle
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Betty Russo, of the Texas Film Commission, spoke to the Woodville City Council at Monday’s meeting.  MOLLIE LASALLE | TCBBetty Russo, of the Texas Film Commission, spoke to the Woodville City Council at Monday’s meeting. MOLLIE LASALLE | TCBWOODVILLE – Betty Russo, with the Texas Film Commission was on hand to discuss the possibility of Woodville becoming a Texas Film Friendly City.

Mayor Amy Bythewood said, “I thought this would be something wonderful to have on our agenda, the possibility of our city being certified to be film-friendly”.

Russo, who has been with the commission since 2015, explained that “it is very easy to get certified, you attend a workshop, then the film commission sets up guidelines, then you send in a minimum of five photos. The money you get from films is phenomenal, they like to shop local as much as they can, a lot of money is spent when film crews come in. it’s a very lucrative deal, it gets you on the map.

You have your own rules and guidelines, you don’t want them coming in and doing whatever they want.”

Alderman Lee Mann expressed concerns. Mann said, “I guess the city council, or the city, determines the guidelines of these film crews, and how they operate. My whole thing is, you could have a film crew come in from Hollywood, and we are a conservative community, you know, and then really show us in a different light from what we could ever want and as a result, our community would not look well for whatever reason, it would not be favorable or advantageous from that perspective.”

Russo said that” you can just say no, we won’t work with you”.

Bythewood added, “the few times we have been portrayed it has been very positive. We had a couple of young ladies who are very talented bring a lot of positivity to our community, but this would give us control over what type of content we want portrayed”.

Other Business

Mike King spoke before council about the upcoming Patriot Weekend event on September 9-10 at the VFW hall. He asked council was asked to rescind a noise ordinance for the two-day event.

King said “it’s been 22 years since 9-11, and where 9-11 is the actual Patriot Day, what we are trying to do is bring some remembrance to the last 22 years, not only for our military, but also for our first responders, as it was the first responders that took the hit. We have vendors lined up, and we have two bands coming, one from Angelina County and the other from Carthage, they are playing for free. We are hoping to have a Sunday morning sunrise service also. In the end, council approved the noise ordinance for that weekend.

City administrator Mandy Risinger gave council an update on the work being done at the city park; “the damaged slide has been replaced, walls have been pressure washed and painted, the restrooms have been pressure washed and painted, and the boards have been replaced and painted on benches.” She estimated that work is approximately 60% complete. There will be a homecoming parade on Sept. 6, with the planned route starting at Beech Street to Reid Street, then turn by the motor bank, to go around the courthouse, where there will be a community pep rally on the lawn. The time frame for this is from 7-7:30 p.m.

Risinger said, there won’t be any floats just the homecoming court.

Council decided to table one agenda item, the approval of an interlocal agreement with Tyler County for Dispatch and Inmate Housing Service. Council did approve an extension of their contract with Municipal Gas Acquisition and Supply Corp; the current contract was set to expire in 2025, and council voted to extend it through 2036. Risinger also discussed the water system violation and required customer notification letter, which by now, every customer in the city should have received.

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