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Hear ye, hear ye; Mayors give updates on city affairs

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, March 24, 2018
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State of the Town

STATE OF THE TOWN – Rhome Mayor Michelle Pittman di Credico talks about her city’s recent accomplishments during the Wise County Chamber of Commerce’s Dinner with the Mayors event Thursday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur Mayor Martin Woodruff wanted to clear the air during the Wise County Chamber of Commerce’s Dinner with the Mayors event Thursday.

“I need to put to rest the rumor that’s going around that we’ve heard a lot of – Quick Trip is coming to Decatur,” Woodruff said. “It has not been killed; they have not pulled out and left because they couldn’t get along with the city. That is not true.”

Cornerstone Baptist Church, which sits at Quick Trip’s future location, is scheduled for demolition next week.

Woodruff also talked about other developments in the city – the industrial park on Farm Road 2264, a retailer interested in land on Business 380, and housing developments.

Decatur receives around $4 million per year in sales tax revenue, according to Woodruff.

“Decatur has always been fortunate to be sitting at the crossroads of 380 and 287,” he said.

RHOME

Mayor Michelle Pittman di Credico brought up the growth the city expects in the future, especially with the addition of the Prairie Point development, a proposed 1,000-home subdivision. By Well Estates also plans to add 35 homes, and a developer plans to build a townhouse complex in the city limits.

“These developments will bring new homes, which will drive traffic in for more businesses,” di Credico said.

She said the city has tasked an engineering firm to develop a master plan for its wastewater system, including the expansion of the Eastside Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will serve Prairie Point.

The city hired a part-time fire chief and is also looking for a city administrator.

“As I told my council, I’m not doing this for free forever,” di Credico said.

BOYD

Mayor Rodney Holmes of Boyd said the city is focusing on ending any oil and gas dependency.

“Wise County, all of our cities … we rely way too much on oil and gas revenue,” Holmes said. “We really needed to look at a way we could not rely on that.”

Holmes said that’s why the city passed a beer and wine sales tax. But because Boyd has a half-cent sales tax collected for property tax relief, the more sales tax the city collects, the lower its rollback tax rate is. Last year the council had to lower the ad valorem tax rate 6 cents.

“The thing we want to do that’s coming up in May [in the election] is hopefully repeal that half-cent sales tax and form a municipal development district,” Holmes said. “A municipal development district will allow the city to take that half-cent … [and use it] on projects the people want to see.”

Holmes said Boyd is also applying to the Rural Water Development Board, updating its subdivision ordinances and adding more town-sponsored events to the calendar.

“We’re trying to make people part of the community,” Holmes said.

BRIDGEPORT

The city of Bridgeport lost half its sales tax revenue when oil and gas began to leave the town, but Mayor Randy Singleton said they’re trying to work their way out of the slump.

“We decided to embark on a new mission to re-engineer ourselves,” Singleton said.

That re-engineering included making the Bridgeport Municipal Airport accessible to jet traffic, improving the downtown area and going after grants to fund city projects. Just this week, Bridgeport received a $1 million grant to build a new fire station.

Singleton said the city has future plans to improve its water system, which will be made possible by the water rate increase the council passed this month.

“When you pay your water bill, you’re rebuilding our water system,” Singleton said.

PARADISE

Paradise Mayor Roy Steel said he was most proud of the city’s plans to set up a water system.

“About 19 years ago when Paradise became a city, they promised city water,” Steel said. “We’re fulfilling that promise this year. We’ve got a $1.2 million water project going into Paradise.”

The city is also going to refurbish the water tower.

Steel said he’s also excited about a 75-home development coming to Paradise and the renovation of two downtown buildings by the Economic Development Corp.

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