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Update for Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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DECATUR TAX RATE CUT – The Decatur City Council Monday agreed to propose a 3.6 cent property tax cut for next year, setting the new rate at .667 per $100 valuation. Finance Director Mike Erwin said increased property values made the tax cut possible. The council agreed to propose a $8.729 million budget for the new year that begins Oct. 1. The budget includes a 2 percent salary increase for city employees, the addition of a second deputy fire chief, new 8-inch water lines on the north and south sides of the courthouse square for improved fire protection, six new police vehicles and one additional employee each for the conference center and the police department. The council will also propose several water rate increases including a boost in the minimum residential rate from $21.93 to $25.22 a month. “That will cost the average residential water user about $40 per year,” Erwin said. The council will hold public hearings on the tax rate on Aug. 13 and 27 and on the budget on Aug. 27.

DECATUR ISD TRUSTEES OK BISTRO PRICE – Decatur High School’s bistro will become a reality later this fall. Decatur ISD trustees approved the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $423,932 from builders Steele and Freeman Monday for construction of the facility in the high school library. In the 6-0 vote for moving ahead with the project that’s been discussed for the past several months, trustees acknowledged there will be additional costs – architectural fees and furniture. “We are making good progress on the project,” said Decatur ISD School Board President Cheri Boyd. “What we have now, I feel comfortable with. There are other numbers we have to wait on. After we see those, we can go from there.” Working with district officials and the architect Claycomb Associates, Steele and Freeman cut nearly $250,000 off the estimate of $670,000 given to the board June 18. They were instructed to get the project under $460,000.

DECATUR ISD EMPLOYEES COULD GET RAISE – In their budget workshop, Decatur ISD trustees were presented a proposal for a 3 percent raise from the midpoint for all employees. The district also looked to set a starting teacher salary of $47,000. The district will contribute $366 per month for employee insurance. The proposed budget included 19 new positions, 13 teachers and six instructional aids, two 14-passenger buses and an additional school resource officer at the high school. The district is looking to bring in $4.678 million more in revenue based off the increased tax roll and enrollment. The district will consider a $1.305 tax rate Aug. 27, a decrease of 3.5 cents from the current rate of $1.34.

WELCOME TO WISE – The Wise County Messenger invites the public to a celebration of the 2018 Welcome to Wise, our newcomers and visitors guide, 9-10 a.m. Thursday at Trinity Street Coffee Bar on the Decatur Square. The coffee bar is providing free cappuccinos or iced tea to the first 50 people. We’ll have Messenger goodies to give away, as well as copies of Welcome. The publication will be mailed to all Wise County residents later this week.

FOOTBALL CLASS – Helmet and Heels for women who want to learn more about football is 6 p.m. Thursday in the Paradise High School cafeteria. Registration is $20 and includes a T-shirt and meal. Call Christi Ryle, 940-210-2739.

BUSINESS MIXER – The Decatur Chamber of Commerce will hold a business mixer at T-Mobile, 700 W. Hale Avenue, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday.

SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE – Wise Hope Shelter and Crisis Center is holding its annual school supply drive for children whose lives have been touched by family violence. The charity is requesting: composition notebooks, tissues, dry erase markers, manila paper, disinfectant wipes, lunch sacks, gallon and quart size storage bags, hand sanitizer, folders, paper plates and paper towels. Supplies and monetary donations may be dropped off at the Outreach Office, 608 N. Business U.S. 81/287 in Decatur. Call Janice Watkins, 940-626-4585.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for Jack T. Mann, 75, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. today at St. Johns Catholic Church in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Jackie L. Deaton, 77, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Thursday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur with burial at West Bridgeport Cemetery. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins-Decatur.

MEMORIAL service for Billy D. Stevens II, 34, formerly of Bridgeport is 2 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Mary L. Huntsinger, 83, of Paradise is 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd with burial at Paradise Cemetery. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins-Boyd.

FUNERAL for Linda Dunn, 68, of Haslet is 10 a.m. Saturday at Rhome Church of Christ with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICE for Patricia Taylor, 72, of Newark is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

SERVICE for Mark Dwayne Vestal, 62, of Boyd is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.