There will be a called meeting of the Bowie City Council at 5 p.m. on Sept. 18 in the council chambers.
Items on the agenda include the second reading of rate ordinances for the water and wastewater systems, plus the adoption of the 2018-19 budget. These items passed during a called meeting on Sept. 14.
In the water rates there is a three percent hike proposed which would be about $1.25 more for the average use of 5,000 gallons a month. In sewer it is a 15 percent increase adding about $5.50 a month with 5,000 in use.
The only item of new business is the first reading of the ordinance adopting the 2018 tax rate which is proposed at .5250 cents per $100 in property value. The 2017 rate is .53 cents per $100 in value.
Governor sends resources to border
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today announced that he has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to deploy additional buses to Eagle Pass and El Paso to assist these border communities overwhelmed and overrun by President Joe Biden’s border crisis.
“President Biden’s continued refusal to secure our border invites thousands of illegal crossings into Texas and our nation each day,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas communities like Eagle Pass and El Paso should not have to shoulder the unprecedented surge of illegal immigration caused by President Biden’s reckless open border policies. I have directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to deploy additional buses to send these migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities and provide much-needed relief to our overrun border towns. Until President Biden upholds his constitutional duty to secure America’s southern border, Texas will continue to deploy as many buses as needed to relieve the strain caused by the surge of illegal crossings.”
The buses in El Paso and Eagle Pass are being activated in addition to the ongoing state bus operations in Brownsville, Del Rio, Laredo, and McAllen.
In April 2022, Governor Abbott directed TDEM to charter transportation for migrants who have been processed and released by the federal government into Texas communities. To board a bus, a migrant must volunteer to be transported and show documentation of their release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
To date, Texas has bused:
- Over 11,900 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
- Over 14,800 migrants to New York City since August 2022
- Over 8,700 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
- Over 3,000 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
- Over 1,500 migrants to Denver since May 18
- Over 610 migrants to Los Angeles since June 14
Governor Abbott has taken unprecedented action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction, including:
- Securing over $9.1 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Installing new floating marine barriers to deter illegal crossings in hotspots along the Rio Grande River
- Deploying the new Texas Tactical Border Force for targeted responses to intercept and repel illegal crossings at hotspots along the border
- Hiring Texas’ first-ever Border Czar
- Taking aggressive action to aid border communities, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles
- Designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations to keep Texans safe amid the growing national fentanyl crisis
- Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
- Issuing an executive order authorizing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border at ports of entry
- Allocating resources to acquire 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas
- Signing new laws to:
- Expand the authority and training of border personnel
- Make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
- Crack down on human trafficking
- Enhance penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
- Compensate landowners for property damage related to border crimes
- Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
- Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border
Bowie City Council argues if rate ordinance ‘revenue neutral’
By BARBARA GREEN
The Bowie City Council continues to disagree as there was a split vote on an electric rate ordinance with the mayor breaking the tie with a yes vote.
Despite Monday’s approval, it comes back around at the next meeting as the ordinance faces its second reading and final vote.
This ordinance came up after Councilor Tami Buckmaster kept pushing questions about the ordinance, which was not revised when the new rates went into effect Dec. 1.
Earlier in February, City Manager Bert Cunningham told the council after numerous back and forth emails with Schneider Engineering, including Buckmaster’s questions, the engineers found a minor change needed to be made, but the formula used to calculate the costs is correct. A new ordinance was prepared by Schneider.
In an explanation about the change, Cunningham said the reason for a new ordinance goes back to the rate study of 2015 and subsequent rate increase, which also was the last time the rate ordinance was passed. However, in 2016 some changes were made in electric rates without a change in the electric rate ordinance.
Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.
BBB campaign wins first for community service
The Bowie News won first place in the Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest in the community service division for its Build a Better Bowie campaign. The News staff developed the campaign in 2016 in an effort to foster positive community spirit following the closure of the hospital and downturn in the oil and gas industry. Stories profiled assets in the community that reach out to the citizens and others outside the city.
Contest entries were judged by members of the Louisiana Press Association.
Judges said in their comments: “A great example of a newspaper striving to make a difference within its community. Goes beyond reporting into content generation designed to make a difference – to serve by delving into coming into topics suggested by the community. The range of subjects covered, the length of the program (ongoing), the involvement of others, the effort garnered, all speak to its success. Plus solid use of logo and photos throughout gave this effort a design advantage over other category entries.”
Michael Winter, owner and publisher of The Bowie News, said he is very proud of the work the staff produces each day.
“I am very proud of each staff member and the timely, relevant product we publish twice a week and on the web,” said Winter.
The Bowie News also won second place in general excellence, which recognizes the overall newspaper product from news and sports to advertising and features.
The judges’ commented: “A real community newspaper that gives its readers a lot. It has a ‘down home’ look, but don’t let that fool you. Everybody will read the Bowie News because everybody is in it.”
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