The legislators - three Republicans and one Democrat, two state senators
and two state representatives - promise they'll resolve the jurisdiction
imbroglio that so far thwarts voter-approved tax relief in Monahans and
State Rep. Bob Turner, D-Coleman, promises that, barring unforeseen
calamity, the issue will be resolved before the 75th Legislature ends
its session in Austin. Turner represents the 73rd House District, which
includes Ward County and Monahans.
The state representative explains the reason why a half-cent sales tax
approved in Monahans and Winkler County elections for property tax
relief has hit a road block:
"The problem is that in the 1950s the city of Monahans annexed some
5,000 acres in Winkler County. This overlapping jurisdiction, coupled
with the dual (sales tax) elections caused the half-cent sales tax to
exceed the legal cap."
The result was staff members in the State Comptroller's office said
neither political jurisdiction could collect the half-cent sales tax the
citizens approved and use it to cut property taxes.
State Rep. Gary Walker, R-Plains, and Democrat Turner will carry the
Monahans-Winkler County property tax legislation in the House. Walker's
80th House District includes Winkler County.
State Sen. Teel Bivins, R-Amarillo, whose district includes Winkler
County, and State Sen. Bob Duncan, R-Lubbock, whose 28th Senate District
includes Ward County, are scheduled to coauthor the legislation in the
Walker and Bivins are scheduled to act as the point on the bill that
eventually might resolve the problem and allow property taxes to be
decreased in both jurisdictions. but there is one possible glitch, an
observer said. It may be that the State Comptroller's office wants to
use the Monahans-Winkler County case to resolve problems with the law,
raising it from a local issue to a statewide issue and bringing with it,
inevitable problems of compromise and conflict. A first draft of the
legislation has been prepared by the legislative council and that draft
is now being reviewed, reports a member of Bivin's staff.
The major impact was at 15th and Stockton streets where a 35-year-old
deteriorating two inch main ruptured about 7 p.m Sunday and could not be
repaired. To remedy the problem, Sinclair say, city workers bypassed the
old main and hooked into a new one to restore water to two houses on
15th Street. But the transfer meant water was diverted for several hours
from major businesses at the intersection.
"Several businesses were out of water while we worked," reports
Sinclair. "these included Dairy Queen, Furr's, Anthony's and the seniors
home (Monahans Senior Health Center).
"We had the water back on about 3 o'clock Monday morning," continues
disruption continued on Monday as city crews worked to finish. Traffic
on Stockton was detoured around the work site from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The battle with the water mains at 15th and Stockton began just a
half-hour after city crews had stopped another water leak Sunday. that
one was at 10th and Leon. there is 12-inch main broke about 7 a.m.
Sunday and water was restored at 6:30 a.m. to homes in the 1200 and 1300
blocks of Murray and Nelson streets. Sinclair says two such major leaks
on the same day is "unique, highly unusual. It doesn't happen often."
DPS Trooper Andre Crathers, who investigated the incident, says George
E. Meredith, 83, died enroute via helicopter from Ward Memorial Hospital
to methodist Hospital in Lubbock. Meredith's lower left leg was severed
when he was hit about 7:30 a.m. the day he died. the incident occurred
four-tenths of a mile south of the Monahans city limits on State Highway
18 near the Ward county Fairgrounds and Coliseum. It was the first
traffic death of 1997 in Ward County.
Graveside services for Meredith
were held on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Las Vegas, Nev.
No citations have been filed, says the DPS Highway patrol report.
Meredith was walking a few minutes after sunrise, says the incident
report, when he was struck by the vehicle traveling North. The Highway
Patrol identified the driver as Thomas Wallace Lester of Fort Stockton.
Meredith had been visiting at the home of a sister, Madge Glass.
Meredith was born on Jan. 25, 1913, in Oskaloosa, Kan. A 13-year veteran
of the United States Army, Meredith served in World War II with the 16th
Infantry of the First Infantry Division. he fought in North Africa,
Sicily, Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. Meredith won the Purple
Heart and seven battle stars.
After his discharge in 1945, Meredith worked for the Postal Service in
Detroit, Mich., for 30 years before his retirement.
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Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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