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Comptroller distributes $765 million in monthly sales tax revenue

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $765.3 million in local sales tax allocations for September, 4.5 percent less than in September 2019. These allocations are based on sales made in July by businesses that report tax monthly. Rising COVID-19 infection rates in July likely suppressed economic activity.

The City of Friona will receive $48,651.63 for September. This payment is 50.07 percent higher than the $32,418.10 received last September. The 2020 year-to-date allocation total of $399,743.70 is 33.65 percent higher than the $299,075.88 the city received last year during the same time frame.

HPWD Board lowers 2020 tax rate

During their September 8th meeting, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors approved a resolution setting the 2020 ad valorem tax rate at $.0055 per $100 valuation for operation and maintenance of the district.

The adopted 2020 tax rate is less than the no-new-revenue tax rate of $0.00604 per $100 valuation.

Persons with $100,000 in property value will pay $5.50 in annual taxes to HPWD under the approved rate as compared to $6.30 in 2019. The HPWD 2021 fiscal year begins October 1st.

"The HPWD Board of Directors have lowered the tax rate each year since 2014. It is our priority to have balanced annual budgets. This allows us to reduce the tax rate for operation of the district, while at the same time, improve services for constituents in our 16-county service area," said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.

The HPWD Board of Directors also approved an order canceling the November 3, 2020 general election in District Directors' Precincts Three and Four.

Tony Beauchamp of Friona and Lynn Tate of Amarillo were the unopposed candidates for Precinct Three District Director and Precinct Four District Director, respectively. This will be the first four-year term for Beauchamp and the third four-year term for Tate. They will receive their respective Oaths of Office at a future Board meeting.

Incumbent Precinct Three District Director Mike Beauchamp of Friona did not seek re-election. He was first elected to the position in 2012.

Under the Texas Election Code, the water district may cancel an election if the candidates whose names are to appear on the ballot are unopposed; there are no declared write-in candidates; and there is no proposition to appear on the ballot.

The Election Code also provides that the unopposed candidates be declared duly elected to their respective offices.

Precinct Three includes Bailey County, the portion of Castro County within the district, and Parmer County.

Precinct Four includes the portions of Armstrong, Deaf Smith, Potter, and Randall Counties within the district.

Created in 1951 by local residents and the Texas Legislature, the High Plains Water District works to conserve, preserve, protect, and prevent the waste of underground water within its 16-county service area. HPWD is the first groundwater conservation district created in Texas.

Be sure to "like" the High Plains Water District Facebook page to receive updates on district activities or follow on Twitter at @HPUWCD. Visit the website at www.hpwd.org.


Town Talk

According to the Texas drought monitor map, our area is listed as in a extreme drought. Our last good rain was on July 28th. Unfortunately, no rain is on the horizon and the La Niña weather pattern is not favorable for our region.


The abundance of smoke from the wildfires has caused air pollution to spike across the western part of the country. The worst levels are focused on Northern California and western Oregon. Experts have said that inhaling pollution from these wildfires is like smoking 25 cigarettes a day.


Governor Abbott announced that Wesco Aircraft Hardware Corporation, which now operates under the brand name Incora™ (Wesco), will relocate its headquarters from California to Fort Worth, Texas, bringing more than $6 million in capital investment and expanding its presence in the state to include up to 239 jobs. Look for more of this in the near future.


Please make sure to fill out your 2020 Census if you have not done so already. It is very important to get an accurate accounting of everyone who lives in our city and county. Grants and other government payments are based on population so it is vital that we supply the most accurate information possible. All information on the Census 2020 forms is private. Only qualified 2020 Census workers will have access to the numbers in order to produce the final reports.

The 2020 Homecoming Queen will be named before the Friona-Dalhart football game this Friday night. The pre-game festivities will begin at 6:30 at Chieftain Field. Queen nominees are (l-r) Nohemi Castillo, Rebecca Maldonado, Kayli Stone, Tiffany Sandoval, and Yazmyne Romero.

Court approves funds for Bovina ISD

The Parmer County Commissioners Court met in regular session on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 10 a.m. in the County Courtroom of the Parmer County Courthouse in Farwell, Texas. The meeting began with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag and Texas Flag.

There were no public comments. Commissioner Kenny White was not in attendance. Minutes from the August 24th meeting were read and approved. Commissioners approved the payment of the accounts payables as presented by County Treasurer Sharon May. The Treasurer's Report was also approved. The court voted not to participate in the IRS Payroll Tax Deferral Plan.

County Extension Agents Janelle Duffey & Wendy gave the court an update on extension activities that have occurred during the past 8 months. They also informed the commissioners that the annual steak dinner has been scheduled for November 7th.

Commissioners discussed county participation in the right-of-way agreement for the overpass at Cargill. Since more information was needed and all commissioners were not present, the matter was tabled until the next scheduled meeting.

A request by the Bovina ISD for $83,656.78 from the Permanent School Fund to pay for expenses related to their construction project was approved.

Sheriff Randy Geries reported that there are currently 17 inmates at the Law Enforcement Center. Commissioners approved payment of Sheriff's fees for 2021 which remained unchanged from the previous year.

All meetings are open to the public. The Commissioner's Court reserves the right to go into Executive Session at any time. The agenda may be found on the Parmer County website. Information in this article is only a summary. Any questions concerning specific actions should be directed to the Commissioners Court.


Sharon White took this "mirror image" photo last week at Reeve Lake. Friona has very few days of little to no wind and Sharon was at the right place at the right time with her camera phone.

City Council approves budget and tax rate

The Friona City Council met in regular session on Monday, September 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 619 Main in Friona, Texas. The meeting began with a roll call, an invocation, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Friona City Council approved a budget of $4,562,501 for 2021 fiscal year beginning October 1, 2020 and ending September 30, 2021.

The Council also approved setting the 2020 tax rate at $0.6894 per $100 valuation for the operation and maintenance of the city. The adopted 2020 tax rate is less than the no-new-revenue tax rate of $0.6982 per $100 valuation and is the same rate that was approved for 2019.

In other business, the Council approved the Accounts Payable and Financial Statement for August 2020. Four agenda items were sent back to the Building and Standards committee for their review and recommendations. The Minutes of the August 10, 2020 regular council meeting and the August 31st special budget workshop meeting were approved.

An interlocal agreement with PRPC was also approved concerning application assistance and administration of possible grants.

The Council approved the budget for the Friona Economic Development Corporation for fiscal year beginning October 1, 2020 and ending September 30, 2021. Approval was also given for two FEDC recommendations concerning loans to Parmer Paws and Becky's Burritos. Parmer Paws will receive a $50,000 loan to help pay for the new facility at 115 W. 11th and Becky's Burritos will receive a $25,000 loan to construct signage and a driveway.

City Hall will be closed on September 29th and 30th for year-end procedures.

The next council meeting was rescheduled to Tuesday, October 13th due to the Columbus Day holiday.

All meetings are open to the public. The City Council reserves the right to go into Executive session at any time. Go to cityoffriona.com to find the agendas and minutes from previous meetings. Information in this article is only a summary. Any questions concerning specific actions should be directed to the City Council.

COVID-19 Resources:

Health Protocols for Voters and Elections (English)

County Disaster Declaration (English)

March 16 FISD Letter (English) (Spanish)

March 31 FISD Letter (English) (Spanish)

Letter from City Manager (English) (Spanish)

Friona Community Helpline (English)

2-1-1 Texas Social Services Hotline (English)

Share The Facts about COVID-19 (English) (Spanish)

What You Need To Know (English) (Spanish)

What To Do If You Are Sick (English) (Spanish)

County Clerk PSA (English)

Chamber of Commerce Letter to Businesses (English)

FISD Emergency Resolution (English)

Covid Risk Chart (English)