Brownwood City Council approved on final reading a revised drought contingency plan for watering restrictions at Tuesday’s meeting of the council.
According to Brownwood City Manager Bobby Rountree, the Brown County Water Improvement District met with its water providers in the area to discuss watering restrictions and revised stages of the drought contingency plan. Rountree stated that all providers “have agreed to mirror our drought stage responses in their respective plans."
A briefing sheet provided at the meeting stated that the Texas Water Code and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires all public water systems in Texas to prepare a Water Conservation Drought Contingency Plan, which is required to be updated at least every five years, to be in compliance.
“Due to the current drought conditions, our plan needed significant updates,” stated Rountree.
Tourism is alive and well in Brownwood according to Brownwood Chamber of Commerce Tourism Manager Sunni Modawell with an increased impact on the county in 2012 despite challenges of the economy and drought effects.
Modawell addressed the Brownwood City Council at their Tuesday morning meeting with encouraging numbers that show Brown County is ranked 85th in tourism out of 254 counties statewide.
The 2012 economic impact numbers related to tourism in Brown County showed $50.4 million in direct visitor spending, up from $49 million in 2011. Local tax receipts related to tourism was $1,005,800 which is up from $950,000 in 2011. Travel industry jobs numbered 600 and produced $14.4 million in earnings. These numbers were provided by the State of Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.
“We are pleased to announce those numbers, they are strong and good,” said Modawell. “We are happy to see that.”
There were 15 events promoted by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce during the months of April, May and June. Some of these included the Brown County Rodeo Parade and Western Week, Heartland Rod Run, Brown County Museum of History Event, Brownwood Bass Club’s open tournament, the Brownwood Lyric theatres summer series, Buckmasters Heart of Texas Chapter’s annual banquet, Brownwood Soccer Club 3V3 Tournament, Legends Junior Tour Bluebonnet Championship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Tournament and for the first time ever, the Don Harding Texas Bowl – Texas 6 Man All Star Tournament.
The 4th Annual D.J. Allen Memorial Bull Riding and Mutton Bustin is set to take place from 6 PM – 10 PM on Saturday, August 17th at the Earl Q. Wilson Arena in Brownwood.
The event will include a silent auction and snack bar. Attendees are allowed to bring in coolers, BYOB. All proceeds pay for the event and any remaining funds are donated each year to the Brown County Youth Fair in Allen’s memory.
The evening will kick off with the first set of bull riders, then the mutton bustin followed by the final set of bull riding. Buckles will be awarded to the bull riding champion, co-champion and to the mutton bustin champion. The Mutton Bustin’ competition will be open to 15 entries for contestants 6 and under. The entry fee for this event is $20.00. The Bull Riding competition will be an open bull riding with a $100.00 entry fee. This year, $2,000 has been added to the bull riding prize.
Gate fees are $8 for adults, $4 for children 7-18, and 6 and under are free to watch the event. Box seats are $75 for 8 chairs.
Sponsorships of the event are available for businesses or individuals. Banners which will be displayed on the arena are available for $150. Chute sponsorships are also available as well.
Early Chamber of Commerce donated proceeds from their annual Fireman Appreciation Dinner to the Early Volunteer Fire Department Monday evening at the Early Fire Station.
Early Chamber President Ronald Isom presented a $1600 check to EVFD Chief Chad Hill. Funds were raised from the dinner which was held on April 29, 2013. Isom expressed thanks to the department for their service.
Best Med, the parent company of Doc’s Drugstore, will be giving away 100 backpacks filled with essential school supplies to families in need on Wednesday, August 14th.
Beginning at 8:00 a.m., backpacks will be offered at both the Brownwood and Early locations of Doc’s Drugstore. Quantities are limited, so the backpacks will be given out on a first come first serve basis and limited to three packs per family. This giveaway will last until each store has given away 50 backpacks.According to Doc’s representatives, Doc’s wants to be able to give to the families in need that might not have the extra money to buy school supplies this year.
The Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their monthly luncheon this Friday, August 16th at the Brownwood Country Club from 11:30 AM to 1 PM. The luncheon, which is open to members and guests, will feature Randy Thomas from the Tarleton Small Business Development Center giving an overview of how to disaster-proof a business.
Each year disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires force thousands of businesses to close temporarily. But even more common events, such as building fires, power outages and freeze damage can cause the same result. At least 25 percent of those businesses that close following these events never re-open. Randy Thomas with the Tarleton Small Business Development Center will be presenting a program on increasing chances of recovery by “Disaster-Proofing Your Small Business.”
Thomas serves Brown County, and the Tarleton Small Business Development Center and its representatives cover 10 counties and over 360,000 persons. It is a non-profit partnership between Tarleton State University and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBDC works to provide the tools to grow startups and existing small businesses, and ensure they remain viable and profitable.
Brownwood ISD board of trustees were briefed Monday about the 2013/2014 school year budget and are expecting tax rates to remain virtually unchanged while planning several district improvements and employees pay raises.
The proposed tax rate for next year that will be posted for public notice will be $1.04 per $100 property valuation for maintenance and operations and $0.2647/$100 for interest and sinking. While the maintenance and operations rate will be unchanged from last year, the interest and sinking rate will be an increase of only $0.0031. That increase will cover their debt payment for the year that is projected to be $3,110,038 which is just slightly higher than last year.
Deputy Superintendent Kevin Gabaree said that after the 2013/2014 school year, bonds issued in 1998 will be paid off and only the 2005 bond payments will remain. This could shave off up to $0.05 from the interest and sinking rate for subsequent years.
The proposed 2013/2014 BISD budget is projected to be $24,257,894. Last year’s budget presented challenges to the district after implementing pay raises and approving a deficit budget, but things will change this year thanks to some additional expected state funding.
“We will provide you with a balanced budget, we will provide you the very slight tax increase that we had to do to make our payment and we will provide, we feel, a healthy pay raise for our employees,” Gabaree said.
Brownwood Police were called to the 1700 block of Durham Avenue regarding the burglary of a vehicle late Sunday night. According to the report, around 9:00 PM, an alert neighbor was outside and noticed a male subject in a neighbor’s vehicle. The complainant was able to give a description of the male, the report states.
The officer made contact with the owner of the vehicle who advised that nothing was missing; however he did wish to pursue charges. Officers were able to locate a male subject matching the description of the suspect given by the witness. Officers conducted an investigation and after the subject was identified by numerous witnesses, 19-year-old Forrest Tyler Lee Brown was arrested for burglary of a vehicle.
Multiple other reports of burglaries of vehicles were made over the weekend. No other arrests were made in these cases according to police.
In other unrelated law enforcement arrests and reports released Monday, August 12, 2013:
Friday, August 9
*9:33 AM – Brownwood Police responded to a report by telephone of the burglary of a vehicle that occurred on August 3rd. According to the report, the complainant stated that a laptop computer was stolen from the interior of his vehicle at Wal-Mart.
*12:45 PM - Brownwood Police were dispatched to Wal-Mart regarding a hit and run accident. According to the report, police learned that two vehicles had backed into one another and following the accident, one of the vehicles left the scene.
A new fee is being added January 1st to all non-court related documents received by the Brown County Clerk's office for filing or recording after commissioners approved a $5 increase in the archive fund fee Monday morning.
County Clerk Sharon Ferguson stated that this increase will apply to records not related to court cases, such as civil, probate, and real property documents. Ferguson stated that funds raised from the fees will help pay for document archival of county records. According to Ferguson, her office has the largest number of records in the courthouse.
Ferguson explained that this archival fee has been in place since September 1, 2003 at a cost of $5. The 83rd legislative session approved the $5 increase for six years. The archival fee will increase to $10 on January 1, 2014 with this vote and remain at that rate until September 1, 2019 when it will revert back to $5 according to amendments in the Government Code during this recent legislative session, she said.
This fee is one out of many to increase at the state level; however it is the only one that has to be approved by the Commissioners' Court of each county if increased, Ferguson explained.
Reports released for the week of August 5-11, 2013 from the Brownwood Fire Department include 27 medical emergencies, 3 fire calls, 1 motor vehicle accident, and 1 hazardous materials call.
Tuesday, August 6
*8:35 AM – BFD responded to a hazardous materials call in the 2100 block of Southside Drive. Firefighters were dispatched regarding a gas meter that had been struck by a vehicle. The gas was shut off and Atmos arrived on scene to make repairs.
Wednesday, August 7
*8:22 PM – BFD was called to a fire in the 1000 block of Center Avenue, where they arrived on scene to find nothing showing. Fire crews checked the building with thermal camera. The incident was determined to be a false alarm.
Thursday, August 8
*11:38 PM – BFD responded to a motor vehicle accident in the 1500 block of Main Street involving a single motorcycle. Firefighters provided care and assisted loading the patient into Guardian EMS ambulance for transport to the hospital.
What began as a ribbon cutting in a vacant field 22 months ago is now the newest General Motors dealership in the United States. This Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m., the public is invited to join dignitaries from General Motors and business leaders from Brown County for the ribbon cutting of Bruner Auto Group.
The 30,000 square foot full service dealership is now home to the full line of GM products: Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac, as well as a dedicated GM Quick Lube and an 8,000 square foot high technology body shop.
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