News

Sat
23
Sep

Commissioners approve hike in tax rate Increase to meet budget needs

In a 4-1 vote, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court approved an increased tax rate for the 2017 tax year during their regular meeting Sept. 12.

Commissioners approved a tax rate of $.61587 per $100 valuation which exceeds the preceding year’s tax rate ($.585847), the effective tax rate ($.552805) and the rollback tax rate ($.587864).

The effective tax rate is the total tax rate needed to raise the same amount of property tax revenue for VZC from the same properties in both the 2016 and 2017 tax years.

The rollback tax rate is the highest tax rate that VZC may adopt before voters are entitled to petition for an election to limit the rate that may be approved to the rollback rate.

The new tax rate represents an increase of 5.121 percent, according to the commissioners’ court.

Fri
22
Sep

VZC Library Board approved by commissioners

New board officers and members of the Van Zandt County Library Advisory Board were approved by the VZC Commissioners Court during their Sept. 12 meeting.

Outgoing library advisory board member Russell Harris presented the recommended names to the commissioners’ court.

VZC Librarian Susie Pulley expressed her appreciation to Harris for his six years of service on the board.

“Mr. Harris has done an excellent job as president of our board and he is one of the best that we have ever had in that position,” pointed out Pulley.

In addition to Harris, who represented Pct. 3, rotating off the board, it was announced that Carolyn Daughtry, representing Pct. 4, has resigned due to scheduling conflicts.

Brenda Fuller, representing Pct. 1, is renewing a three-year term on the board which will end on Sept. 30, 2020.

Thu
21
Sep

Hooked on worms Focus on worms turns into family business

Two words can best describe why Sherri Doss would be interested in being involved in a worm farm business and those words are “dirt therapy.”

“When I worked with emotionally disturbed kids, I always had a garden or something that involved dirt,” said Doss. “I am a big believer in dirt therapy. Fast forward to my retirement and moving to the Canton/Martins Mill area, I was helping take care of my mother who had suffered a broken wrist. It turned out that she had more than a broken wrist. She had dementia and she was not able to take care of herself. At that point, I needed dirt therapy myself.”

Sherri’s husband, Breon, first brought up the subject of working with worms which resulted in a negative reaction from Sherri.

Sat
16
Sep

VZC Commissioners Court approves budget and tax rate

In a 4-1 vote, the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court approved an increased tax rate for the 2017 tax year during their regular meeting Sept. 12.

Commissioners approved a tax rate of $.61587 per $100 valuation which exceeds the preceding year’s tax rate ($.585847), the effective tax rate ($.552805) and the rollback tax rate ($.587864).

The effective tax rate is the total tax rate needed to raise the same amount of property tax revenue for VZC from the same properties in both the 2016 and 2017 tax years.

The rollback tax rate is the highest tax rate that VZC may adopt before voters are entitled to petition for an election to limit the rate that may be approved to the rollback rate.

All four county commissioners voted in favor of the 2017 tax year rate including Brandon Brown (Pct. 1), Virgil Melton Jr. (Pct. 2), Keith Pearson (Pct. 3) and Tim West (Pct. 4). VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick voted against the proposal.

Fri
15
Sep

City budget, tax rate finalized Rate increase applied for sewer, garbage services

The Canton City Council met Tuesday, Sept. 5 and finalized the 2017-’18 budget, held the tax rate steady approved and a rate increase of $5 for city of Canton sewer and garbage customers.

The fiscal year 2017-’18 budget reflects total revenues of $15, 047, 082 and $15,751,040 in total expenses. This means that the revenues of the city is less than the expenditures.

The council The $703,950 difference will be pulled from the city’s fund balance and will be used to pay cash for several capital improvement plans. According to City Manager Lonny Cluck, “the city’s fund balance will still have more than 180 days to cover city expenses. This is what City Financial Director Lisette Williams recommended.” The

The budget allocates $4,728,000 for capital projects and outlays, including over $2.5 million for the Sides Circle/Goshen Street project. This project is a carry-over project from the last budget year.

Thu
14
Sep

Chiseling out a career Kindle travels to Africa for dig

Canton resident Katie Kindle spent the summer excavating at a field school in Tanzania, Africa, chiseling through rock at the Olduvai Gorge. Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania is an ancient hominid archaeological site, with occupations dated to 1.8 million years ago.

Katie graduated from Canton High School in 2013 and University of Texas at Austin in 2017, with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a certificate in public health. After graduation, she said she wanted to take a bit of time away from school before heading to graduate school.

“Although I have a degree in biology, I never had an interest in being a medical doctor. I thought I wanted to go into public health, infectious diseases, but I had to take a human biology class. That class sparked my interest in anthropology. I started to read numerous books on the subject, just for fun,” said Katie.

Mon
11
Sep

‘The Statue’ of First Monday to be moved City holds public hearing on budget, tax rate

“The Trade” statue representing First Monday will soon have a new home after the Canton City Council approved a motion that would allow the statue to be moved to city-owned property.

City Manager Lonny Cluck and Assistant City Manager Andy Wolfe presented multiple options for the placement of the statue Aug. 29, with each placement option presented with photos.

After discussing and weighing the pros and cons of each option, the council approved moving “The Trade” statue to the front of the building named Dry Creek Landing.

“The relocation of the statue at Dry Creek Landing is a good idea. It is out of the way, and not at risk for getting hit by trucks or trailers when vendors are coming in and out. There is a ton of traffic throughout that area and it sits back from the road a bit as well,” said Councilman Nathan Moore.

Sun
10
Sep

Audit reveals good accounting practices Deficit still a concern for county

A report on the annual outside financial audit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016, was presented to the Van Zandt County Commissioners Court Aug. 22.

John Manning of the Patillo Brown and Hill L. L. P. audit firm, located in Waco, made the presentation to the commissioners after being introduced by VZC Auditor Freddy Thomas.

“We are here to give you an unmodified opinion on your financial statements,” said Manning. “As outside auditors, we can give you one of four different types of opinions and the unmodified opinion is the highest level of assurance that we can offer.”

Manning delivered good news to the commissioners regarding the work being done in the county auditor’s office.

Sat
09
Sep

Balloon release held on Labor Day

The Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial held a balloon release in honor of veterans, prisoners of war/missing in action and those currently serving in the military on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4

The annual event attracted people from across the county with funds raised from the balloons purchased benefiting the VZC Veterans Memorial.

Each color of a balloon represented a certain status of military personnel. Red and blue balloons were in honor of veterans or anyone; black in honor of POW/MIA; yellow balloons for those currently serving in the military; and white balloons in honor of those who have retired.

VZC Veterans Memorial committee member Shorty Farmer offered remarks to those in attendance, stating that the balloon release was also in honor of the late Red Montgomery.

Fri
08
Sep

Heeding the call for help VZC team headed for rescue mission

Personnel from the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office and VZC Constable Pct. 4 office are headed south to the Port Arthur area to help with rescue, evacuation and search efforts for Hurricane Harvey victims.

A team comprised of VZCSO Chief Michael Bates, Lieutenant Heath Burton, Sgt. David Wheeler, Deputy Chuck Daugherty, Chief Deputy Constable Bob Keltner and Retired US Marshal John Lewandowski left Aug. 30 to “answer the call of assistance with search, rescue and evacuations.”

The officers participating all agreed with Chief Deputy Keltner’s statement, “they came to help us twice, now we are going to help them.”

The team took equipment to help aid in rescue efforts, including a boat and a MRAP military truck and headed down to Port Arthur, which was 100 miles east of Houston.

They also loaded up on supplies such as food, lifejackets, water and essentials needed for those who have lost everything due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey.

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