Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

News

December 28, 2013

City manager: 2013 highly productive year

JACKSONVILLE — 2013 was another highly productive year for the City of Jacksonville, and as the calendar flips from December to January, we look forward to making sure that 2014 is just as successful.

The City is always working to improve its infrastructure, and this past year has been no exception in that regard. During 2013, we did about $200,000 worth of sectional sewer replacement around Highway 79 East, and we expect to get that project finished up in 2014.   The City budgets yearly  $200,000 to resurface city streets, there has been a dozen streets completed in 2013,  with  $200,000  budgeted for 2014.  

We also applied for and received a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant for drainage improvements on Cherry Street. This two-block section of Cherry Street has had a history of backing up and flooding the road when it would rain, and thanks to this 90/10 grant (90% grant with a 10% match by the City), we hope to have this project completed in early 2014.

Improvements also began at the Jacksonville Public Library in 2013, as we are expanding and updating some of the rooms.  The Vanishing Texana Museum moved from the library to the senior center this year, and thanks to both some grant money and a little City funding, we are furnishing and opening those two rooms where the museum had been. Further improvements to two of the library’s meetings rooms should be finished in the coming year. The Vanishing Texana Museum is also expected to open its doors at its new location in 2014.    

    Grants allow us to make needed purchases and improvements without using the taxpayers’ money,  it is always a priority for the City that we locate and apply for as many grants as humanly possible. Grants can really open up our budgets so that we can do other needed projects with the money,  I feel like the staff does a very good job of seeking out and applying for grants.

The Jacksonville Fire Department received a $35,000 grant for a new ambulance in 2013, the rest of which was budgeted for in 2014, and will be delivered in the coming year. We are also planning to purchase a new pumper truck for the department in 2014. Replacing the old pumper has been on the radar for a long time, and we have finally saved up the money to pay for it with cash.

The City of Jacksonville has participated regularly in the HOME Grant since 2006,  we are proud to report that we were able to help five more Jacksonville families through this program in 2013. The HOME Grant tears down dilapidated residences and builds brand new homes on the property without costing the homeowners a thing. It is a great project that helps out people who may not have the means to help themselves,  we will always apply for it every chance we get.

\The City has already been notified that it will receive funding to build another 11 residences through the HOME Grant in 2014, as well. Participation in this program costs the City a little, but we feel like Jacksonville gets a great amount of benefit out of the deal compared to what we spend.    

2013 was the fifth straight year that we have managed to operate the City without an increase in either the tax or the utility rates – and considering that this is our goal each and every year, it is always one of our greatest accomplishments when we can make it happen.

The costs of doing business keep going up, yet our department heads keep finding ways to provide the best services possible without increasing the burden on the citizens. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

For 2014, the mission is just to maintain and build upon the momentum that our community has gained over the past decade – improving infrastructure and services a little more each year and making wise equipment purchases, while still cutting down the City’s debt.  

Thanks to the great efforts of our dedicated City staffers, I am confident that 2014 can be our best year yet.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Body ID'd as missing New Summerfield man

    New Summerfield police are investigating a homicide after a body found Tuesday was identified as that of a local missing man.

    Police Chief Andrew Strom confirmed Friday that a body found near Reklaw was confirmed to be Javier Jimenez of New Summerfield.

    August 1, 2014

  • Body found in bed of truck

    Authorities on late Wednesday had not confirmed the identity of a body found in the back of a pickup truck near Reklaw on Tuesday.
    According to a press release from the New Summerfield Police Department, officials received a report of an abandoned 2001 Ford pickup Tuesday that was located on a parcel of land in rural Cherokee County.

    July 31, 2014

  • JISD sets public hearing for proposed $45M budget

    JISD trustees have set a 6:30 p.m. public hearing Aug. 25 to discuss a proposed $45,047,303 budget and proposed $1.395 tax rate for the upcoming school year.
    The proposed figures are an increase of $9,532,176 from this past year's $35.5 million budget.

    July 31, 2014

  • Public health department extends hours to help parents get students vaccinated

    As summer break winds down for students, parents turn their eye to more practical matters, like making sure their children are on-task with state-mandated immunizations.

    July 31, 2014

  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday
    morning.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014