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Local News

January 5, 2011

Groves continues growth into new year

GROVES —  In case passing motorists don’t know, “Groves has it going on.”

A recently erected billboard, located on Texas 73 near the 39th Street exit in Groves, heralds the news.

City manager D. Sosa said leaders wanted a billboard that encompassed the spirit of Groves showing a fresh new attitude. So, with the help of the city’s Parks Department came the logo featuring three trees and the phrase “Groves has it going on.”

Funding for the billboard come from the city’s economic development corporation and hotel/motel tax advertising allotments.

The new sign also sheds light on the city’s growth during 2010.

Sosa referred to the city’s annual building report as proof.

New homes and commercial buildings, remodeling of homes and the demolition of old structures put the city on a positive path in the future.

A total of 20 new residential homes with a combined valuation of $2.4 million were started with 109 homes undergoing remodeling. Sixteen homeowners began additions to their existing homes as well.

On the commercial front, construction to six new commercial buildings began with 10 commercial buildings undergoing remodeling projects, valued at about $1.4 million, according to the report.

“All of this data translates into positive benefits and dividends for the city as a whole,” Sosa said.

Sosa noted the city’s economic development corporation was active in 2010 with the most notable project being the construction of the Wells Fargo Bank, 4000 Twin City Hwy. The EDC also assisted with several major grants for existing businesses and some new businesses, he added.

The city also saw the completion of $6.5 million of improvements to the sewer collection system in addition to $600,000 of Community Development Block Grants money which funded sewer line improvements.

In September, 2010, city leaders adopted a tax rate of 60.4 cents per $100 valuation. That figure, he said, is 2.35 cents lower than the previous rate of 62.75 cents per $100 valuation and just below the effective rate that was set by the Jefferson County Appraisal District.

Council also adopted a balanced budget totaling $17.2 million.

In order to help balance the budget, council had to make some changes such as not adding monies to the city’s equipment replacement fund and restructuring the water rates.

Sosa said not funding the equipment replacement fund will not affect operations since most of the city’s equipment is in good condition. Money is set aside for the purchase of a new garbage truck, with funding built into the current garbage rates, he said.

A minor adjustment was made during a restructuring of the city’s water rates in 2010. The new rates are expected to affect about 6,300 customers who use 2,000 gallons of water consumption or less per month.

mmeaux@panews.com

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