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The rate increases will raise the average residential water bill for a homeowner using 4,500 gallons $4.60 to $51.10. With the average sewer bill remaining the same at $33.20, the average monthly total residential water/wastewater bill will be $84.30.

According to a report last month by Belcheff and Associates engineer Roman Boitsov, the water/wastewater department had a $43,101 deficit in the 2016-17 fiscal year and is projected to have a $37,266 shortfall this year. With the increases, the department would have a $33,157 surplus in 2018-19.

“We hate to have to do that, but inflation goes up every year and our water cost us more every year. We have to do something,” said Mayor Rodney Holmes. “We can’t continue to supplement it with ad valorum taxes and take money out of parks, streets and the police department to pay for water and sewer. Our infrastructure is in such bad shape and that’s the reason we’ve been working on our capital improvement plan and are going to implement phase one. We’ve worked hard on that over the last two years. I’m very proud of our staff for getting that done.”

The city recently received preliminary approval for a $5.8 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board. It is expected to receive official approval in June. The loan will allow the city address a series of water infrastructure needs, laying 9,000 feet of water line, eliminating choke points in the current system, equalizing pressure, providing 1.5 million gallons of storage, digging two wells, putting in multiple lift stations and purchasing easements.

A Decatur teenager was arrested Sunday for terroristic threat after police say he made a threat aimed at the high school. Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said his office began getting calls on Sunday after news about the threat began circulating on social media. “He wrote a letter insinuating that something was going to happen Monday, and that people would be sorry,” Hoskins said. Police interviewed the 15-year-old freshman, who admitted he wrote the letter, and placed him in custody. He is currently in the Wichita Falls Juvenile Detention Center with a hearing scheduled for Monday. Hoskins said that some parents had expressed lingering concerns about sending their children to school on Monday, so extra officers will be on the high school campus. “We’ll probably have four or five officers at the school, just for safety principles,” he said. Decatur ISD sent an email to parents notifying them of the threat. “We continue to promote a ‘see something, say something’ culture with our students. This is exactly how administrators were made aware of this situation and we immediately began working with the Decatur Police Department,” the letter from DISD Superintendent Judi Whitis stated. The letter also said the student would not be returning to DHS this school year. Hoskins said police will continue to interview teachers and students who may have been aware of threats the 15-year-old might have made last week. Print This Page

Boyd Mayor Rodney Holmes signed a pre-development agreement on the proposed addition on 160 acres along Cemetery Road after getting approval of the city council. Boyd City Administrator Greg Arrington said he has an email from developer Bob Shelton confirming his intent to sign off on the agreed terms.

One of the key terms in the agreement is the city annexing the development. When talks began in January, the development was looking to be in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The other terms in the pre-development agreement are the establishment of a $25,000 escrow account for professional fees, the development pursing a Public Improvement District (PID) rather than a Municipal Utility District (MUD) and the city zoning the area under a planned development agreement.

Pointing to the $25,000 escrow account, Holmes said the city will be covered if the development does not happen, with profession fees being paid for by the developer. The city’s engineer Michael Anderson of Belcheff and Associates said professional fees will be deducted from the account and it would be replenished by the developer each month.

Shelton had originally proposed to stay in the ETJ and build to the city’s regulations under the subdivision ordinance as he sought a MUD to build the infrastructure for the development. A MUD would levy taxes within the district to repay the developer for the infrastructure. In a PID, fixed assessments on properties in the development are used pay back the bonds rather than taxes.

The council appointed Holmes, Arrington, Anderson, Police Chief Dwayne Taylor and Public Works Director Adam Lambert to a planned development committee to meet with Shelton’s engineers as plans are submitted. The advisory committee will report to the council. Print This Page

A Chico ISD bus carrying four golf students and a coach was involved in a crash this morning in Cooke County. Chico ISD Superintendent Don Elsom released the following statement: “The Chico ISD golf team experienced a bus accident this morning. Four students and a coach were involved. Three students were taken to a Gainesville hospital to be evaluated. Once we have more information, we will post it on the Chico ISD Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please keep our staff and students in your prayers.” The Gainesville Daily Register reported on its website this morning that officials told their reporters that the accident happened near Muenster and involved minor injuries. The paper reported that details about what caused the crash were not immediately available. A photo that accompanied the Daily Register’s story showed a school bus on its side just off a roadway.

UPDATE at 3 p.m.: The Chico school district has released the following update on the students’ conditions: “While 3 members of our golf team were transported, all 4 of the members were treated, 3 have been released. We have one member of the golf team that is being kept overnight for observation.”