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Court grants abatement for Stripes
by Tim Delaney
Apr 29, 2013 | 1570 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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The Refugio County Commissioners Court approved a proclamation designating April 28-May 5 as Soil and Water Stewardship Week on Tuesday morning, April 23. Representing Soil and Water stewardship, from left, back row, are Will Blackwell, J.D. McGuill and Ruby Martinez. Front row, from left, are Commissioners Ann Lopez, Stanley Tuttle, County Judge Rene Mascorrow and Commissioners Gary Bourland and Rodrigo Bernal.
Tim Delaney photo The Refugio County Commissioners Court approved a proclamation designating April 28-May 5 as Soil and Water Stewardship Week on Tuesday morning, April 23. Representing Soil and Water stewardship, from left, back row, are Will Blackwell, J.D. McGuill and Ruby Martinez. Front row, from left, are Commissioners Ann Lopez, Stanley Tuttle, County Judge Rene Mascorrow and Commissioners Gary Bourland and Rodrigo Bernal.
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REFUGIO – The Refugio County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to give Stripes LLC a five-year abatement on Tuesday, April 23.

Refugio County Judge Rene Masccorro said the first year of the tax abatement would be 80 percent.

From that year, the fourth year would be 60 percent, third year 40 percent, second year 20 percent and the final year would be zero.

Asked why the company should receive an abatement, Gene Clancy, representing Stripes, said his company has helped the community from the beginning, mainly helping with improvement to streets, including Depot Street, Second Street and Commons Street.

“We intend to pave back and spread out parking and make the (traffic) circulation better,” he said.

“Buying the old school and razing it was very expensive for us,” he added.

Clancy said his company wants to make the area safer.

So far, the company has made a minimum investment of $300,000. To qualify for abatement it had to make at least a $150,000 investment.

Construction is due to be completed by November 2013.

Commissioners also reinstated the burn ban in Refugio County.

The ban is set for 30 days.

Commissioners also approved three subgrantee agreements: An agreement between Refugio County and the Fennessey Ranch to reinstate its Monarch Madness field-day program.

The Fennessey Ranch will receive Coastal Impact Assistance Program funding of $40,000 for educational supplies and the one-day field trip in October for all school districts in Refugio County.

Also approved was a measure to amend the CIAP subgrantee agreement to add equipment purchases for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, including an all terrain vehicles, trailer, ATV mounted spray tank, ATV mounted soil probe, educational materials and more to serve producers and small landowners.

And a subgrantee agreement under CIAP funding between Refugio County and the city of Austwell was approved.

The $72,000 in funding goes toward developing a Wetlands Information Center. The center would help educate youth, particularly in the Austwell-Tivoli school district, on the importance of the wetland and provide monitoring to determine the health of nearby wetlands.

At least 20 students will benefit from the center and use its laboratory under a partnership between the school district and the city of Austwell.

Commissioners also approved Refugio County’s participation in the 2013-14 Colonia Fund.

Donna Johnson, director of the HOME program, said the Humble Camp community has been identified as a community that could benefit from the funds.

She said the grant can be up to $500,000, but for the Humble community, she estimated $480,000.

She said a match would come from the city of Refugio.

The funding would bring water to the community as well as better water pressure.

The commissioners court will call public hearings on the Colonia funding later, a requirement of the fund.

Commissioners also approved a proclamation designating April 28 through May 5 as Soil and Water Stewardship Week.

And the court also proclaimed the month of May as Elder Abuse Prevention Month.

The proclamation included the fact that Texas had 118,006 reports of elderly and disabled people being abused and 60,854 were confirmed.

Jennifer Marie Catalani of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said Refugio had 26 reports alleging abuse in 2012.

She said the county has 2,169 elderly and disabled people. Of those, 650 are disabled (18 years old to 64 years old), and 1,519 are above the age of 65.

Commissioners also denied a request from the Refugio County Opry to waive the rental fee at the Refugio County Expo Center.

Representing the Opry was Jay Monrad, who expressed disappointment but said he understood. Other options to keep the Opry going are going to be looked at.
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