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County offers .503631 cent tax rate for 2022

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By BARBARA GREEN
editor@bowienewsonline.com
Montague County Commissioners put the final touches on their 2022-23 budget approving a proposed tax rate that is more than six cents lower than last year and adding a new $1,200 cost of living increase for county employees, turning away from its every other year salary considerations.
The budget debate got slightly contentious at times, but for the most part, the questions and answers lead to compromises or a no vote. The workshop opened with Commissioner Bob Langford returning to his effort to take $100,000 from the American Rescue Plan state and local fiscal recovery funds and split it up among the four road and bridge precincts.
There were questions about how it is paid out and what it can be used for. County Auditor Jennifer Essary said a line item would be created in the precinct budget where bills could be submitted, it does not have to be submitted prior to use. Essary said it only has to be a county expense.
County Judge Kevin Benton said it can’t be used for salaries and is basically directed toward infrastructure. The judge explained he and Grant Coordinator Charley Lanier have been working on a list of possible projects, which he will soon bring to the court.

Tax Assessor-Collector Kathy Phillips presented the certification of appraised values that were $2,453,023,075 in net certified valued, $13,898,040 in rolling stock for a total of $2,466,921,115.
She also gave the court the “no new revenue rate” at .467765 cents per $100 in property value and the “voter approval tax rate” of .503631 cents.
The court accepted a proposed rate of .503631 cents per $100 in value. The voter approval rate means the court can adopt up to that rate before facing any voter election to change the rate. The no new revenue rate would provide the same tax revenue as the prior year. The 2021 tax rate is .56410 cents.

Read the full story on the budget preparations and the proposed tax rate in the mid-week edition.

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‘Murphy’s Law’ sends Bowie ER opening to the summer for Faith Community Health

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By BARBARA GREEN
editor@bowienewsonline.com
Frank Beaman, chief executive officer for Faith Community Health System, pointed to “Murphy’s Law,” coming into play in the renovation of the old hospital to create a new emergency room, but he also looks forward to a possible summer opening of the facility in Bowie.
Beaman was the speaker for the Bowie Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn Series Tuesday. Mayor Gaylynn Burris introduced Beaman. He has been with Faith Community for the past 13 years, and he opened by referring to the hospital being about six months from closing when he arrived.
Today the hospital serves about 25,000 people and its revenue has gone from $4 million to $130 million annually. He began with 46 employees and now they have 400.

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Traffic stop leads to evading, unlawful firearm and drug possession complaints

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James Looney

A traffic stop by a Montague County Sheriff’s deputy turned into something more as the suspect failed to stop, retreated into his residence and when he came out faced complaints of evading arrest, unlawful firearm and drug possession.
The incident occurred on Feb. 4 while Deputy Daniel Carter was patrolling in the area of U.S. Highway 81 and Indians Hills Road outside Nocona.
Sheriff Marshall Thomas said the deputy observed a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria at the intersection of those two roads. When the vehicle turned south onto Hwy. 81 the deputy got behind it and observed it to pull onto the shoulder.
Carter said the driver was James Bruce Looney, who he had dealt with in previous encounters and he knew had an expired driver’s license from 2002.

Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.

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Speeding, land use request top Saint Jo Council agenda

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Members of the Saint Jo Chamber of Commerce will discuss speeding in two locations in town and several property requests when they meet at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8 in city hall.
Don Thomas has asked to discuss speeding on East Evans Street (Farm-to-Market Road 2382) and Kelly Williamson wants to address speed limits on U.S. Highway 72 through Saint Jo.
In land use requests, Chris Reyling wants to use a shipping container for storage in his back yard; Kyle and Krystal Ogden seek pre-approval to place a new manufactured home on a lot next to 503 E. Meadows and Daniel Hill and Donna Williams ask to put a new manufactured home at 501 E. Herndon.
Donna Howell-Sickles of the Saint Jo Historical Advisory Board will see approval for certificates of appropriateness for 105 E. Howell site of the old Valley View Creek Arts Building and 112 E. Broad Street location of Real Estate Station.Eli Casey also will ask to host a chili cook-off on the square in May.
Other topics will include a presentation of the program goals for the Texas Community Development Block Grant project; the new Texas Municipal Retirement System rate for 2023; receive the police racial profiling report and review the Saint Jo Economic Development A and B quarterly financials.

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