Category: Community

Fire-EMS-Police Invited to Earn Bragging Rights in BBQ Competition

The First Annual Fire-EMS-Police Bar-B-Que Competition will be held during Teague’s Parkest this year. Sponsored by the Teague Chamber of Commerce, the competition will be held Saturday, October 29th. The event is open to all emergency service providers within driving distance. The four categories in the cook-off are Beef Brisket, Chicken, Pork Ribs and Cook’s Choice.  Entry is $80; “Jackpot Beans” are $5. First place teams in all four events will receive super-sized trophies and bragging rights for a full year, at which time they will have to compete to defend their titles. Cahs prizes and “better luck next time” trophies will be awarded to Second and Third place teams. RV sites are available on a first come, first served basis. For more information, contact Steve Massey at 903-388-6511 or 254-739-2141. Entry fees may be sent to:  Teague Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 484, Teague, Texas...

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Community Investment in Local Medical Center: Public Hearings Next Two Weeks on Proposed Tax Rate Increase

Fairfield Hospital District (FHD) Board has been working diligently with the assistance of Community Hospital Corporation (CHC) to transition the medical center from ETMC to Freestone Medical Center. The official transition date scheduled for January 1, 2017. Public hearings will be held on Thursday, August 25th and Tuesday, August 30th to discuss the need for a tax rate increase. The meetings will be held at the Fairfield Community Center beginning at 6:00 p.m. Last year’s tax rate was set at .047129% per $100 of taxable value. The proposed rate is .10%. This is an 88% rise; yet still well under the average for tax rates throughout the state of Texas. Please join Board Members in discussing this very important matter.Message From the FHD Board Fairfield Hospital District (FHD), created by the Texas Legislature and a local citizen election in 1987, had an original tax rate of 12 cents. In 1998, the facility was leased to ETMC under a 10-year lease. The lease was renewed in 2008. In December 2014, ETMC announced that they would not renew the lease. The tax rate had declined to less than 5 cents at this point in time. During the ETMC lease, a modern, up-dated ER, new Rural Health Clinic, new hospital wing and major hospital renovations with a value of nearly $16,000,000 have taken place through ETMC. The lease provides that all resources...

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Aldermen Stay in Budget, Increase Utility Rates

“This is what I would call a spectacular report,” began Frank Steele, C.P.A. of Anderson, Marx, and Bohl, the accounting firm for the City of Teague. Steele delivered the findings of the 2014-2015 fiscal year audit at the August 15th meeting of the Teague City Council. He praised the City for maintaining a healthy budget during times of economic strain. Ultimately, results of the audit showed that the City finished the fiscal year with $350,000 of the projected general fund remaining, and collected $57,000 more in revenue, for a $407,000 increase to the general fund. Mayor Earnest Pack shared that a drop in revenue was anticipated and praised City administrators for their continued efforts to save money. “Good staff, good council,” he summed up. Mr. Steele expounded that, with most rural communities his firm represents producing no major growth, the key to financial balance is simply maintaining the “status quo”. “Of all of them [audits of rural cities] we’ve done, this is the best report we’ve seen.” Following the audit report, Aldermen voted to employ the firm of Anderson, Marx, and Bohl to conduct the audit for the 2015-2016 fiscal year as well. A motion to amend the 2015-2016 budget in the amount of $86,000 for engineer and contractor fees incurred during the South FM 80 Water Project was approved. Mayor Pack reported that this expenditure will help the...

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County Adopts Budget, Sets Tax Rate, Restricts High-Speed Rail & Lifts Burn Ban

Freestone County Commissioners adopt the 2017 budget, set the tax rate for 2017; and unanimously approve to restrict Texas Central Railway when crossing Freestone County roads and/or right-of ways during regular and special called meetings over the past couple of weeks. Following several budget workshops, Commissioners voted to adopt the 2017 budget in the amount of $12,557,643.33. This budget, based on the new tax rate of 33.9%, will raise more revenue from property taxes than last year’s budget by $59,214.15, which is a 0.7% increase from last year’s budget. Property tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year is $109,170. The County currently has no debt obligations. In regard to Texas Central Railway’s High Speed Rail, Commissioners unanimously voted to require permits to be obtained and certain regulations to be followed when trying to cross any Freestone County roads and/or right-of-ways. They must also be able to prove eminent domain when acquiring said permits. According to County Judge Linda Grant, the Surface Transportation Board states that the Federal Government lacks the authority to grant eminent domain power to Texas Central Railway. Commissioners discussed the fact that following much needed rain, the burn ban could be lifted for the time being; and voted to do so. They will revisit this issue at each meeting from this point forward. Early voting schedules were discussed...

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Sign Raised on New Business

Construction appears to be near completion as signs go up on Highway 84 in Fairfield, Texas at the new O’Reilly Auto Parts store.  Anxious shoppers may soon get a look inside.  Stay tuned to The “Times” for Grand Opening...

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