April 28, 2016 Town Hall Meeting Summary
On Thursday, April 28, 2016, at his request, our Chief Appraiser, David Luther came to Ivanhoe to explain the appraisal process and how that was going to affect us this year. The presentation was very informative and the question and answer portion allowed clarification of issues many of us had.
Ivanhoe had not been re-appraised since the lakes were down so the time had come for us to be re-appraised.
Last year some property values were re-adjusted but it was only those who had added some sort of improvement since the last appraisal. For example, an addition to the home or a garage added.
This year they will be adjusting the entire community which includes the increased land value, so everyone should notice a difference in their appraised value. It gets confusing so this is the reason Mr. Luther suggested coming here to Ivanhoe to talk about the process.
One thing that is very important that he explained to us last night was the process for contesting the value placed on your home. The notices will be sent out to us sometime before the end of May. We have 30 days after they are mailed to contest the value. You can do this by calling the appraisal office or sending in the form attached to the notice. Since there could be a large number of requests, it could take some time for them to get back with you but the important thing is to get your request in before the deadline so that you will be in line to be heard as soon as possible.
Most issues are settled by talking to the appraisers, but if there is still disagreement, the next step is to go before the Appraisal Review Board. This is a group of our peers consisting of a representative from each of the different entities in the county. Mr. Luther told us that of all the folks who contested their values last year, only one ended up going before the review board.
We sincerely appreciate Mr. Luther’s willingness to come and talk to us and sincerely thank him for offering to come again AFTER the notices are received to answer questions we have at that time. We will more than likely take him up on that offer.
The next thing on the agenda was the transfer ownership of the Community Center and the surrounding grounds to the City and it was decided to move forward with the transfer working out the details with the IPOIA and the attorneys.
OFFICIALLY CALLED EMERGENCY
Wednesday, April 27, the City of Ivanhoe experienced its first officially called emergency since we incorporated.
We received a call from Constable Dale Freeman at 8:52 AM informing us that the Judge had officially called the emergency and that Dale was acting Emergency Management Coordinator for the event and that the emergency command center was open and operating in Woodville.
Folks around Ivanhoe were already out on the streets reporting fallen trees and the Fire Department was removing the trees from roadways as quickly as they could. Neighbors also were out assisting with the tree removal.
Many fallen trees affected power lines and had to be removed by Sam Houston Electric. They reported having close to 20,000 customers without electricity as a result of this storm.
Power was lost in most of the city. Our generator came on immediately powering the Community Center and the office so our Command Center was operational. A special thanks to our IPOIA for getting the generator serviced and operational.
Neighbors in need of electricity for things such as breathing treatments were able to come to the Community Center for power. We kept the Community Center open for those in need of assistance until the emergency was officially over on Thursday morning.
Bottled water was brought from the Command Center in Woodville for those who were in need of drinking water. Many folks in Ivanhoe have wells and in the event of a power loss do not have water unless they have a functioning generator.
The water shortage experienced by the customers of Monarch was caused by their generators not functioning properly. There were no breaks in the water lines. After Hurricane Rita, our Fire Chief, John Paul Feeley, acquired a grant for generators not only for the Community Center but also for the water company. Their generators had not been maintained and therefore their customers experienced low water pressure/no water. We have sent a letter to Monarch requesting them to make sure that these generators be serviced and maintained in working condition, especially since we are coming into hurricane season.
A Special Thanks to all those who helped during our storm event!
Chief James Harmon and the entire Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Department not only were they out there cutting trees away from roads, they volunteered to take shifts, keeping the Community Center open around the clock.
Big Thicket National Park Service
Neighbor, Friend and Constable, Dale Freeman, Karen & Ron Sikora, Gay Lynn & Danny Muzny, James Landry, Lloyd Omsberg, Jana O’Neal, Patsy Sterlise, Tommy, Patsy and Beth Morris, Rowland & Jackie Priddy, Debbie Peterson and of course, C.D. Woodrome!
Judge Blanchette asked us to notify everyone that there will be no assistance for the removal of downed trees. Although there was extensive damage here in Tyler County from the storm, there was not enough to declare a disaster, therefore there will be no assistance from FEMA or any other public entity for the removal of tree debris.
Please be aware that you are responsible for the safe and timely removal of debris on your property.
While burning is allowed in Ivanhoe, be sure that any burning be done safely and under constant supervision. Never leave a fire unattended!!
City Hall Facility Update
A special meeting was called on Saturday, April 23 to meet with Ken Austin, Ivanhoe property owner and builder, and his contractor regarding the proposed build out of the porch at the Community Center. His company had given us the lowest bid for the construction. Mr. Austin agreed to furnish us with a final bid.
Councilmembers Tommy Morris & Chuck Vonderlin along with Mayor Bennett were asked to meet with the representatives of the IPOIA to discuss the terms of the property transfer/sale and report back to Council at the Town Hall Meeting April 28.
At the Town Hall Meeting, by unanimous vote, it was decided that we would move forward with the property transfer, working out the details with the IPOIA and the attorneys.
Any further action will be discussed at the next regular Council Meeting May 19.