News

Fri
20
Sep

County closes out block grant

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court closed out an old community development block grant, completing the requirements needed to finish the paperwork for it. The commissioners also approved the sale of 14 Groesbeck lots that had been struck off the tax rolls.

The court approved three administrative actions required for the county to have on file to close out the last Community Development Block Grant, which was administered by County Engineer Ted Kantor.

“It’s the one we got through the state to help fix some bridges from some flooding several years ago,” Burkeen said later.

To read more, pick up a copy of Saturday's Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Fri
20
Sep

Court to take final vote on budget, tax increase

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court will convene Monday, with the most pressing items the proposed budget and new tax rate.

As part of the meeting, one final hearing for the public to express its views on the proposed budget will take place at 10 a.m.

Following the hearing, the commissioners will vote on accepting the budget and then vote on accepting the tax rate for Fiscal Year 2013. The new budget and fiscal year begin Oct. 1.

Up in the air is whether any action will be taken to lift the burn ban, considered unlikely before Friday, but with 6-10 inches of rain predicted over the weekend because of the remains of a hurricane making it to this area, who knows?

To read more, pick up a copy of Saturday's Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Fri
20
Sep

Mexia City Council expected to pass new tax rate

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Mexia City Council has a lot of work to take care of – including passing a budget and tax rate for the coming fiscal year – when they meet Tuesday night.

After a public hearing on the matter, the City Council likely will pass its proposed tax rate of $0.7600 per $100 in taxable value, an increase from last year's rate of $0.7292 per $100.

This is the first tax rate increase for the city in eight years, and requested mainly for road repairs.
Other agenda items include:

• A public hearing and possible passage of amendments to the current budget.

To read more, pick up a copy of Saturday's Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Fri
20
Sep

At the car wash

Milam Street (U.S. 84) filled with run-off from Friday’s most-welcome rains, turning its junction with Red River Street into a soggy mess. Until yesterday, the city hadn’t seen decent rainfall in months: only 2 inches total in July, half an inch in all of August, and until Friday, a tenth of an inch of precipitation this month. Cooler temperatures, with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s and 60s, are forecast for the next few days.
Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

Fri
20
Sep

Sheriff anticipating new training expenses

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Some of the new Texas laws that went into effect Sept. 1 are not as widely known but affect Limestone County just the same. Sheriff Dennis Wilson told commissioners court last Monday that one law stipulates that as of Sept. 1, all 911 operators must be licensed. The court heard about that and other matters requiring their attention.

“We’re ahead of the curve because we saw this coming,” Wilson said of the new licensing requirements. “So we feel that our people who are currently employed there will have no problems getting their license. We meet the requirements for a telecommunications license.”

The cost for maintaining their training is a new expense, however, Wilson pointed out. He said former Limestone County Detention Center employee Sgt. Arnulfo Bennett used to do all the training locally, and since he is no longer available, sending his employees for training elsewhere will have significant costs.

Wed
18
Sep

Hearing draws a few


Limestone County residents Pat and Skip Wade listen to the answers given at commissioners court last Monday on the budget. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Four county residents attended last Thursday’s commissioners court hearing on the proposed tax increase, four more than attended the previous hearing last Monday. Two asked several questions about the increase but did not express an opinion about it. County Judge Daniel Burkeen fielded the questions, answering at length.

“How did you arrive at the numbers?” asked Skip Wade, of Prairie Grove.

Burkeen said the rate was based on the proposed budget for the upcoming year, anticipated expenditures and the anticipated appraisals.

“Now, there’s some question with our appraisals because our largest taxpayer is the NRG Energy power plant, and they are contesting their appraisal,” he said. “So, that’s a big question that could have a big impact on us, and that’s a worry. We’re going to be possibly taking some budget action in the budget workshop to anticipate that …. Appraisals are down; that means the tax rate goes up.”

Wed
18
Sep

Picking, grinning

Area musicians jam to old-time favorites at the bluegrass musical, held Friday at Tehuacana Baptist Church. Shown here, from left, are Trish Brewer, Glen Wylie and Glenda Robinson. A dozen musicians crowded the stage of the church basement as the group played and sang tunes like ‘Blessed Jesus, Hold My Hand,’ ‘Smoky Mountain Memories’ and ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky.’ The musical is held monthly. After stopping for dinner, they resume their jamfest, sometimes playing late into the night.
Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

Wed
18
Sep

Mexia water rates could rise significantly


Bistone Municipal Water Supply District’s water tank, at its Personville facility, shows signs of the years’ wear and tear on its exterior. Contributed photo

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Mexia residents may see their water bills rise by 27-30 percent in a few months to pay for improvements to the Bistone Municipal Water Supply District’s aging facilities.

Bistone is raising rates to pay for its proposed $6 million project to repair and upgrade its water treatment facilities, both in Personville, where its wells are located and the well water is treated for Mexia use, and at Lake Mexia, where lake water is treated and sold to people and businesses in that area.

A water rate study conducted by Sledge Engineering and KSA Engineers was paid for jointly by Bistone, the city of Mexia, White Rock Special Utility District and the city of Wortham, and the results were presented to representatives of those entities Monday evening. The study delineates all that would be done, why and how much it would cost.

To read more, pick up a copy of Thursday's Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Mon
16
Sep

Registration deadline near for election vote

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Voters have about a month left to make sure they’re registered and have proper I.D. for the November uniform election, in which the fate of nine proposed Texas constitutional amendments will be decided.

Eligible Texans who are not registered to vote must register by Oct. 7 to vote in the Nov. 5 election. The early voting period is Oct. 21 to Nov. 1.

“This fall voters will be asked to approve nine amendments to the Texas Constitution,” said Texas Secretary of State John Steen. “By randomly selecting the order in which the amendments appear, we can help ensure no amendment unfairly benefits from its placement on the ballot.”

The amendments will appear in the following order:

To read more, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Mon
16
Sep

Blankets, sweaters awarded for academic work


Mexia High School students who were recognized for their academic achievement Thursday at a ceremony at the high school show the blankets or sweaters they were awarded by the Academic Sweater and Scholarship Program of the Mexia Woman’s Friday Club. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Top Mexia High School students were honored for their academic excellence Thursday by getting either a sweater or a blanket noting the student’s achievement; and scholarships were presented to several recent graduates.

The ceremony took place in the high school auditorium, which was filled with students. Greeting them and speaking briefly were Superintendent Sharon Ross and Woman’s Friday Club President Linda Archibald.

“The best are at the top, and you get there by studying each and every day, getting your homework assignments done, doing your best,” Ross told the students.

She had the students repeat after her an affirmation of excellence: “Good, better best, I never let it rest; until my good is better and my better is my best.”

To read more, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

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