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Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced last week he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $911.9 million in local sales tax allocations for February. This is a 6.2 percent increase over Feb. 2017. The amounts are based on sales made in December by businesses that report tax monthly. Smith County received $1,832,567.89 for the month, which is an increase of 2.59 percent over last February’s payment of $1,786,146.26. The year-to-date total of $3,317,652.02 is 4.56 percent greater than the $3,172,853.14 reported in 2017. more
Hike and bike trails have been a popular idea among the residents of Whitehouse for some time. Plans for such trails were included in the Vision 2020, or city comprehensive plan, formed in 2005. Some of those ideas may soon become reality. Plans have been drawn for the location of a trail along a portion of the Blackhawk Creek near the wastewater treatment plant with possible access from Patrick Road, according to city manager Aaron Smith. The first phase of development will likely offer 1-1½ miles of trail, all on city property. What is currently proposed would be a primitive trail similar to that of Faulkner Park, according to Smith. more
The Whitehouse Fire Department is getting an update. Though perhaps not noticeable from the outside, necessary changes are being made inside to the existing building which has been around over 30 years. The original construction was intended for little more than holding meetings as there were no full-time fire fighters stationed around the clock, according to Fire Chief Madison Johnson. The building has since undergone some changes, but it was finally time for a remodel. more
Troup Mayor Joe Carlyle is proud of the city he grew up in and still calls his home. Carlyle gave a presentation about Troup during Smith County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Feb. 6, as part of the county’s Connecting Communities initiative. In 1872, a 45-mile rail line running from Palestine to Troup was completed. At one point, the city was running 6,000 to 8,000 bales of cotton through the steam-powered locomotive. The cotton industry in Troup faded and was replaced by peaches, bell peppers and tomatoes, Carlyle said. more
Smith County residents will be able to celebrate Texas Independence Day with fireworks again this year. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Smith County Commissioners voted to approve an order authorizing fireworks sales from Feb. 25 through midnight March 2. Although fireworks can be discharged any time of year, there are only certain state-approved holidays when fireworks can be sold in Texas, including July 4 and New Year’s. more
Smith County Engineer Frank Davis has plans for several road bond projects to be done in the next couple of months. During Commissioners Court Tuesday, Feb. 6, Davis gave the second monthly report on the progress of the $39.5 million bond approved by voters in November. Four roads in the Bullard area are pegged for reconstruction and overlay in February. They include County Roads 113, 119, 121, and 152. more
Stuart Bird, superintendent of Troup Independent School District, spoke to the group assembled for the January 2017 Chamber of Commerce meeting. The topic was the possibility of a natural gas fired power plant to be built by FGE Power. Bird again addressed those gathered for the annual chamber meeting this past Thursday, Feb. 1, and stated the power company is near to closing on a property approximately 10-12 miles southwest of Troup. more
The first project paid for by the recently voter-approved road bond is underway in southern Smith County. Smith County Road and Bridge employees have been working this week to overlay County Road 119, just outside of Bullard. The county crews ground the existing pavement, reshaped and compacted the material and are now overlaying the roadway with hot mix asphalt. This work is anticipated to be completed by the end of this week. The Road and Bridge crew will start next on the neighboring CR 113, then on to CR 152, also known as East Bowie Road. All three roads will be reworked and overlaid by Road and Bridge crews. more
There is good news for those in Arp. The Tri County Leader can now be picked up and purchased locally. There is a news rack in The Hub, located at 410 State Highway 135. Each copy of the paper is 50 cents. more
The next regular meeting of the Cherokee County Genealogical Society will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at the First United Methodist Church, 1031 SE Loop 456, in Jacksonville. The meeting will be followed by light pot luck refreshments provided by CCGS members.  Regular CCGS meetings are held the second Monday evening of the months September through May unless otherwise announced. more
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