Rain, rain, come again...

Recent rains had the Colorado River out of its banks

This photo taken by David Arellano show the Colorado River out of its banks as of April 15th. 

Rockin' the Opera House

Jay Boy, Bill Worrell and Zenobia...

The annual museum fundraiser ended with a spectacular concert by Jay Boy Adams, Zenobia and Bill Worrell.

Tornado touches down in county

Small storm produces 3 twisters

Several citizens got photos and video of twisters produced by a thunderstorm Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. just north of Loraine. This photo was taken by Ricky Bailey.

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  • Sandy Griffin, a volunteer trainer for Leader Dogs of the Blind, came to Colorado City with her husband, Hal, and three dogs last Friday to present a program to the local Lions Club. The Griffins live in Abilene and have been training leader dogs for 15 years.Griffin said she has made the drive to Rochester, Michigan, 15 times to pick up a seven-week old puppy. She then spends the next year “hip t...
  • The CHS Jazz Band performed at the Eastland Jazz Festival Saturday, April 18th. Two students earned “Outstanding Soloist” awards: Orean Pineda, sophomore, on bari sax and Seth Myers, junior, on trombone. “We are super proud of these guys and the entire group,” CHS Band Director Darin Johns said. “It’s been a great year so far, and we look forward to the rest of this year and the beginning of the n...
  • Several Loraine athletes participated in the district track meet on Thursday, April 9th in Highland. Individual results follow.BoysZackary Garcia, 5th Place Long JumpZackary Garcia, 4th Place 100m DashTony Williams, 6th Place 400m Dash4 X 100 m Relay -5th Place   Zackary Garcia   Gio Benivamondez   Cadon Walthall  Royce Angel 4 X 200m Relay - 4th Place   Zackary Garcia &nb...
  • Colorado City and Mitchell County are feeling the pinch of the loss of Alco and the Days Inn, as the city’s and county’s monthly sales tax payments were down sharply in April. The City of Colorado City saw its rebate fall by over half, while the county’s payment was down by over 40%.City Manager David Hoover said that Days Inn was the city’s #2 taxing entity, and a fire that destroyed the motel la...
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City's sales tax payments drop

sales tax chart copyColorado City and Mitchell County are feeling the pinch of the loss of Alco and the Days Inn, as the city’s and county’s monthly sales tax payments were down sharply in April. The City of Colorado City saw its rebate fall by over half, while the county’s payment was down by over 40%.
City Manager David Hoover said that Days Inn was the city’s #2 taxing entity, and a fire that destroyed the motel last year has caused loss in more than one area for the city. Days Inn was a major producer of hotel/motel tax funds, tax revenue and sales tax.
The bankruptcy of Alco’s parent company caused the retail store’s closure just after the New Year. While shoppers have expressed displeasure with the loss of one of the few options in town, none have been quite so affected as the city. Alco was also a major contributor to sales tax payments received by the city.
The City of Colorado City received just over $52,000 in April, less than half of the $106,000 payment received at this time last year. Overall, the city’s rebates are down by about 18% in 2015, but city leaders are afraid that total may worsen throughout the year.
There is a bright spot in the gloominess, however, as construction of the Super 8 motel has been progressing quickly and smoothly. Hoover said he will be happy to see it open for business soon.
County Judge Ray Mayo said he thinks the downturn in the economy is to blame for the decrease in the county’s sales tax rebate.
“The energy business is slowing down, and I think it can be attributed to that,” he said. The county’s sales tax is collected on sales made outside city limits. All April rebates are based on sales made in February 2015.
Loraine continues to see increases in rebates sent to that city. Sales to restaurants and the bar and grill located inside the city limits have driven Loraine’s latest payment to roughly $1,400, 27% more than in April of 2014. Overall, Loraine has seen a 75% increase in 2015 rebates, as compared to last year’s at this time.
Westbrook has been the real winner in the sales tax game. April’s rebate of almost $20,000 is over 980% higher than the $1,700 the City of Westbrook received last year. City Secretary Pansy Fernandez called the comptroller’s office to make sure there was no mistake in the amount sent to the city.
Officials at the state office said the allocation had popped up in the computer for review, and after said review, they found the amount to be correct. Though officials could not release many details, Fernandez said she was told the increase was from a business that started in January.
The good news for Westbrook continued when the state officials told Fernandez that, while the rebate won’t remain as high as the current payment, city leaders can expect increased rebates for a while. So far, Westbrook has received $32,000 in sales tax allocations, compared to just $8,600 at this time last year.
The cities of Post and Roby are also suffering under the weight of lower oil prices, as both entities benefit from the oil and gas industry. Both cities’ allocations were down more than 35%. Sweetwater and Snyder have also seen a significant drop in rebates since oil prices have fallen drastically in the fall of 2014.
Meanwhile, the rest of Texas seems to continue on the path of growth. State Comptroller Glen Hegar said the state sales tax revenue was up by $2.12 billion, an increase of 1.5% compared to 2014.
“State sales tax collections have now grown for 60 consecutive months despite weakening in the energy sector. This moderated growth was expected and is currently in line with estimates presented in January,” Hegar said.
The comptroller added, “Receipts in the construction, services and restaurant sectors remained relatively strong. We will continue to monitor the state’s economic activity and its impact on key revenue sources.”

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