WASKOM — Waskom City Council adopted an ordinance on Tuesday setting the 2019 tax rate the same as last year’s.

After accepting the 2019 certification of taxable value as presented by chief appraiser Robert Lisman, the council chose to go with the same tax rate, which is $0.287730 cents per $100 assessed valuation instead of the proposed tax rate of $0.280767 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

Mayor Jesse Moore said since the certification of taxable value showed a new value of $519,610 for Waskom, the city decided to stick to the same tax rate as last year’s.

“Since we had the increase in value … it’ll generate (an estimate of) $15,705 income for the city,” Moore said, expounding why the council decided to go with the current tax rate.

At the proposed tax rate, the city wouldn’t have gained any money, he explained. Public hearings to discuss the tax rate are set for Aug. 27 and Sept. 3. The public hearing to consider adoption of the tax rate will be Sept. 10. All meetings are 4:30 p.m. in the City Hall board room, 450 W. Texas Ave., Waskom.

SPLASH PAD

In other business, the council adopted a resolution to participate in the TIPS Purchasing System to assist with purchasing matters associated with the city’s splash pad project that’s currently in the works.

City Secretary Tammy Lofton noted that Hartland, which is with Splash Pad, recommended TIPS. According to the cooperative’s website, tips-usa.com, TIPS (The Interlocal Purchasing System) is a national purchasing cooperative that offers access to competitively procured purchasing contracts to its membership.

“We do have Buyboard (Purchasing Cooperative) right now, but we can also have TIPS,” said Lofton.

Lofton said the splash pad is made possible through a grant the city secured through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the Waskom-Taylor City Park.

She said the splash pad is expected to be up and running for the next swim season.

Right now, “it’s in the engineering stages,” said Moore. “We’re moving dead ahead with it.”

ADVOCACY CENTER ALLOCATION

In other business, the city approved to continue to give its Harrison County child safety fee allocation to The Martin House Children’s Advocacy Center, which serves abused children in Gregg, Harrison and Marion Counties. The donation approved was for $2,784.18.

Waskom Police Chief Westy Meisenheimer noted how invaluable the center is for the county, providing a safe place for traumatized victims to seek counseling services and other assistance.

“Really, if we didn’t have that service available, I don’t know what we’d do,” Meisenheimer said.

“Unfortunately, we use them more than I’d like,” he said of the alarming number of cases throughout the service area.

Services are provided free of charge and include forensic interviews, medical exams, mental health counseling and advocacy support for children younger than age 18 who are reported victims of physical or sexual abuse or witnesses to violent crimes.