Port Commission lowers tax rate

The Port Freeport Commission has adopted a tax rate of three and a half cents per $100 of appraised value for the upcoming fiscal year.

The new rate is comprised of approximately 1.7 cents for debt service of the port and 1.8 cents for maintenance and operations and constitutes a half-cent drop from the previous year.

This comes on the tail of the commission having already expanded the residence homestead extension from $175,000 to $250,000 for individuals who are 65 or older or under disability.

“The Port Commission voted to reduce the total tax rate below the no-new revenue tax rate while keeping our commitment to Navigation District taxpayers to advance the Freeport Channel Improvement Project,” Port Commission Chairman John Hoss said in a press release.

The port indicated the decision to reduce the tax rate was at least partially due to the growth of the industrial value of their tax roll. The commission also approved their budget, which includes $72 million for the ongoing expansion of port terminal facilities.

BISD kids return to school

Attendance was back to normal Tuesday in Brazosport ISD after about 200 students received threatening emails over the weekend, Superintendent Danny Massey said.

The district saw a 53 percent attendance rate on Monday, he said.

Parents and students were informed late Monday that two students who had sent out separate emails had been located and would face severe consequences for their actions.

Attendance was back up to 94 percent Tuesday morning, Massey said.

A Lake Jackson Intermediate School student admitted to logging into other student email accounts and sending threatening messages over the weekend, Brazosport ISD officials said.

A second Lake Jackson Intermediate School student’s parents notified the district that their child had sent a threatening email to themself via a bogus Gmail account.

“The student’s actions created much fear in our school district and community and will have serious consequences,” Massey said.

Angleton’s quiet zone slowly back in action

Residents are still hearing the train as it goes by despite the city getting their quiet zone back as of Sept. 9 at 9 a.m.

“We were contacted by the Federal Railroad Administration,” said Mayor Jason Perez. “The quiet zone is back in existence, but also in that email said give them a few days for the conductors to get used to being a quiet zone once again.”

After spending almost 10 months hearing the train, Perez hoped it would be immediately back the way it was. However, that is not the case, he said.

“What I’m thinking is there are new conductors in the area, but as far as our question is — if they put signs up in the rail yard to say it’s a quiet zone because we do our signage for the streets — how are the engineers told?” Perez said.

The city is tracking it and sending it to the administration whenever they hear the train, he said.

It is unknown when there will be silence again, but it is expected shortly.

Kent Holle is a reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0154.

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