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Tyler County News - Breakout

Woodville council approves tax rate

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Woodville City SealBy Mollie LaSalle
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WOODVILLE – Woodville city council held their regular meeting, Monday Sept. 11. Mayor Amy Bythewood opened the meeting by reading a proclamation marking the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation.

Bythewood said, “September 11, 2023 marks the 22nd anniversary of the ruthless terrorist attacks on our country and the 10th national day of remembrance to those who lost their lives at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and at a field in southwest Pennsylvania. We as a community wish to honor the heroic service, actions, and sacrifices of the first responders, law enforcement personnel, volunteers, and countless others who aided the innocent victims of those attacks, risking and also sacrificing their own lives. Therefore, the city council and the city of Woodville wish to proclaim September 11, 2023 as Stop and Remember, 9-11 National Moment of Remembrance, and to encourage everyone to observe one moment of remembrance today, to unite, reflect, and remember, never forget, on this 22nd anniversary and day of remembrance in the city of Woodville”.

The mayor then thanked chief of police Mike McCulley for his service throughout the years and dedication to the community. She commented that she has seen first- hand how dedicated the men and women of the police department are, “we are blessed as a community, and grateful to you, and also grateful to our fire department, because, I know every man would be walking up those stairs as we are leaving for freedom; there’s just no words.” McCulley said, “I’ve been very blessed to give the city my time for the last 25 years. I will continue to serve and it’s been my mission all these years to pay it forward, and I will continue to do that.”

Tax rate approved

Council quickly moved on to approving Ordinance No. 20230911-1, levying a Tax Rate for the City of Woodville for the Tax Year 2023: The City of Woodville adopted the tax rate on $100 valuation as follows, $0.3150 for maintenance and operations, $0.0000 for the payment of principal and interest on debt of the city, and $0.3150 total tax rate.

Council also approved Resolution No. 2023911-2, designating the Tyler County Booster as the Official Newspaper of the city of Woodville, Texas for the fiscal year 2023-24.

An approval for a variance to the Noise Ordinance for “Woodville Night Out” at the city park on Oct. 3, 2023 was discussed. This event is organized by the Woodville Police Department, and will be from 4-7 p.m. There will be Air Rescue and Ambulance demonstrations, a dunk tank, face painting, TPWD demonstration, water safety, jaws of life, fire safety, and much more. Music, free food, and free admission, so come out and meet your neighbors, and meet your first responders, too. Council approved the variance to the noise ordinance for the event.

The review and adoption of the Juvenile curfew ordinance was discussed. There is already a curfew in place for juveniles (17 years old and under), and this ordinance comes up for review every three years. It was discussed and approved by council.  They also approved 2022-23 utility write-offs, and approved sending a letter of engagement with Alexander, Lankford, and Heirs for the FY 2022-2023 audit. Next, they approved moving next month’s council meeting to Tuesday, Oct. 10, due to the 9th being a holiday. The next two items, approval of sale of surplus goods/assets, and the establishment of a yearly kennel fee ($50) were given the green light. The next item discussed was the approval of a lease agreement to house city offices at 408 W. Bluff while city hall is being renovated/repaired; estimates are anywhere from three to six months. This item was discussed, and no action was taken at this time, as city officials needed more time to present to council the particulars for the move.

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VFW hosts inaugural Patriot Day festival

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Photographer and face painter Angela Marie was one of the vendors on hand at the inaugural Patriot Day celebration in Woodville last weekend at the VFW Post 2033. MOLLIE LASALLE | TCBPhotographer and face painter Angela Marie was one of the vendors on hand at the inaugural Patriot Day celebration in Woodville last weekend at the VFW Post 2033. MOLLIE LASALLE | TCB

By Mollie LaSalle
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WOODVILLE – VFW Post 2033 of Woodville hosted their inaugural Patriot Day weekend, last Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9-10 at the post. The event was the brainchild of post commander Mike King, who brought it before members two to three months ago.

There were several vendors on hand, including Dirt Road Designs, Greg Fuller’s Buff and Shine, Wreaths Across America, and Rick English’s Talon Creations, to name a few. Attendees also had their pick of food trucks with Country Boys Smoking leading the pack. Two bands performed, Texas .357 Band entertained attendees on Saturday night, and Dan Ennis Shark Bait Band was on hand Sunday.

Event organizer King said that attendance was “decent” since not too many people knew about it until the last minute, and he said, “from this event forward, it will always be the weekend before 9-11”. He added that, “if there are any veterans that do not belong to a post, they are encouraged to join the local post in Woodville. Several attendees came yesterday (Sunday) to pick up applications to join and remarked that they didn’t know that Woodville had a VFW post”.

The weekend culminated in a 9-11 Memorial Service on Sunday morning attended by County Judge Milton Powers and Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. The county commissioners passed a proclamation in recognition and remembrance of the solemn event. The post wanted to thank everyone who came and participated in the weekend’s activities.

King wanted to mention that the VFW’s national scholarship contest is underway, and there are two parts to it. The first one is the Voice of Democracy contest, which is open to high school students from 9-12 grade. They can be public, private, or home schooled, he said. The local winner receives a $1000 scholarship, and the national winner receives a $35,000 scholarship; this year’s theme is “How Are You Inspired by America?”. Phase two is the Patriot’s Pen contest, which is open to middle/jr. high students. The local winner of this one receives a $500 scholarship; the theme for this year is “What Are The Greatest Attributes Of Our Democracy”?. Entries are due by Oct. 31 and your student can contact post commander King at 318-229-3386. For more information check the post’s Facebook page: VFW Post 2033, or their web page at VFW2033.org.

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Colmesneil ISD board approves 2023-24 budget, tax rate

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Colmesneil ISDBy Mollie LaSalle
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COLMESNEIL – Colmesneil ISD Board of Trustees held a special called meeting last Wednesday to discuss and consider three items.

The items up for discussion were: the final budget amendment for the 2022-2023 school year, the setting of the tax rate for the 2023-2024 school year, and the budget for the 2023-2024 school year. CISD business manager Wanda Ryan was available to answer any and all questions from the board.

Board president Kris Lindsey inquired about expenditures from the last year. Ryan said, “we did not over-spend this year, and I anticipate for us to be able to put some (money) back in the fund balance”.

About setting the tax rate Ryan explained, “I know it looks sad to see that number, we are in the third year of the maximum compression rate the state has implemented. There is this formula between the district and the tax offices to determine what our tax rate will be, so it’s gone down each year with the compression rate. The state has assured us that we are going to recoup any offset from lowering the tax rate. Last year, we collected more than we anticipated, and I am hopeful that hopeful that this year will be the same. We collected more from the foundation money also”.

At this point, Lindsey asked her about the money in the fund balance and she said,” at the time I sent this in, we received one more foundation payment, and since then we have received $500K from the state.

Twice a year, we transfer money from the general fund over to the I & S fund and make our loan payment (on the last bond). Our I&S is so low due to the fact that we passed the tax ratification election, so we no longer collect taxes through our interest, everything goes into our 199 which allows us to spend that money rather than have it just sitting in the bank.”

Lindsey then went on to ask, “Is there any benefit, since we have a little money in those accounts to go ahead and pay off the (current) bond?” Ryan said, “I don’t know that it would hurt to do that, and I don’t know if it would help, with some of the changes that we’ve made through our compression rate and what have you, the state follows through with what they are going to do for us”.

Lindsey then said, “I’m just thinking long term, down the road if we didn’t have that debt hanging over our head, if push comes to shove.” Ryan added, “It would be hard for us to get everyone on board with a new bond while we are still paying off the current one. You can’t tear down and rebuild any facility with what we have in our fund balance, you’re talking construction, rebuilding, and adding on, that’s big money. If we really are considering asking for another bond, it would be smart to have the current one gone.”

Moving on to the last item for discussion, Ryan gave a summary of the current budget for 2023-24.

“We did increase the budget, due to across the board raises, general facility care and food costs. The cost of everything has gone up, and we adjusted some items within the budget so that we didn’t have to go too terribly high, so the increase is pretty much cost of living increases”.  The budget increase was in the $280-290K range, and Ryan stressed that they are still being conservative, even with the rate.

All three agenda items were approved by the board after the lengthy discussion about the district’s finances, which overall, are in good shape going into a new school year.


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Contract awarded for Ivanhoe roadwork

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City of IvanhoeBy Chris Edwards
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IVANHOE – In a special-called meeting and workshop last Thursday, the Ivanhoe City Council identified some construction sites to remove from upcoming projects funded by a $7.9 million grant.

The funding comes through the state’s General Land Office (GLO) from federal funds through a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, from FEMA, which allows for governmental entities to use funds to develop hazard mitigation plans and rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses within communities, according to the FEMA website. The projects outlined for Ivanhoe include work on several of the city’s roadways.

Ivanhoe mayor Skip Blackstone introduced guest Victoria Dye, with LJA Engineering, who along with the city’s public works director David Marshall, worked to identify sites to remove in order to stay within budget, Blackstone said.

“We need to discuss them and understand what sites are to be removed and why,” Blackstone began.

Dye said the city had its second bid on the project, and the lone bidder came up too high, so the state GLO asked for the project to be rebid so that each site was its own package.

Two bids were received in the rebid, from Texas Materials and from CE Barker. The totals for the base bids that came in were $7.7 million from Texas Materials and $9.4 million from CE Barker.

Dye explained how the sites for roadwork suggested to strike off the list of projects was divided into quadrants. Many of the sites, including sites along North Sherwood Forest; Ivanhoe Estates Drive and Lancelot Drive “look pretty decent compared to the rest of the roads on this project,” Dye said.

The city had budgeted $6.3 million for the packages of projects, and with removing all of the striked off sites from the list, the cost was down to $6,324,598.83, Dye said.

The recommendation from LJA Engineering was for the city to go with Texas Materials for the project. Blackstone entertained a motion to accept a contract with Texas Materials with Dye’s recommendations on struck-off sites, which was approved by the council.

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Jarrott named ‘Citizen of the Year’

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Applause STOCK

From Staff Reports

TYLER COUNTY– The Tyler County Chamber of Commerce has named its ‘Citizen of the Year’ for 2023, and the honor goes to Dixie Jarrott.

Jarrott, a longtime businesswoman and community leader, has owned and operated Dixie’s Vintage Vogue in the location of the former Jarrott’s Pharmacy, which she and her husband George, owned and operated for many years. Dixie’s Vintage Vogue, which opened in 2022, is an antiques store, which features a variety of wares from many vendors.

The honor is voted on by citizens of Tyler County.

According to the Chamber, the nomination process and resulting award gives the public the opportunity to recognize and celebrate an exceptional individual who has made a positive impact throughout the community. In addition to the “Citizen” nod, the Chamber also announced several other awards recipients, who will be honored at the Chamber’s annual banquet, held on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Black Creek Ranch in Warren.

Woodville High School senior Kamryn Grammer has been honored with the “Future of Tyler County” award, which honors a Tyler County resident under the age of 40.

Businesses and organizations that won awards include: Walling Signs, which won “Business of the Year”; Country Boys Smoking won “New Business of the Year”; the Allan Shivers Library and Museum won the “Chamber’s Choice” award; Brian Smith and Sleep in Heavenly Peace was honored with the “Spirit of Tyler County” award and Jacques Blanchette will receive an Outstanding Service Award.

Tickets to the event, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, can be purchased through the Chamber’s website, www.tylercountycoc.com.

The individual tickets, which are $25 includes admission to the event, which includes a barbecue dinner catered by Country Boys Smoking, a cash bar, a live acoustic set of music by James Blackshear and guest speaker Eddie Hopkins. Along with the awards ceremony, which will also see five county educators feted as “Teacher of the Year,” from each of the county’s five school districts. The theme of the event is “Hats off to Tyler County.”

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