ESD consolidation, Panorama Village sales tax approved by North Montgomery County voters

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North Montgomery County voters approved two local propositions during the Nov. 7 election, including the consolidation of two local emergency service districts and a 2-cent sales tax rate for the city of Panorama Village.

Voters approved a 2-percent sales tax in the city of Panorama Village. The city previously operated with a 1.25-percent sales tax rate. Voters approved the proposition with 193 votes, or about 67 percent, in favor of the sales tax rate, and 96 votes, or about 33 percent, against.

North Montgomery County residents also approved the consolidation of Montgomery County Emergency Service Districts No. 1 and No. 12. ESD 1 operates the North Montgomery County Fire Department, which serves the Willis area and Lake Conroe, and ESD 12 operates the Cut-N-Shoot Fire Department.

ESD 1 voters approved the consolidation with 752 votes, or about 80 percent, in favor of the proposition and 183 votes, or about 20 percent, against the proposition. ESD 12 voters approved the consolidation with 172 votes, or about 80 percent, in favor of the proposition, and 42 votes, or about 20 percent, against the proposition.

“Consolidating is going to expand a little bit of what we are able to do,” NMCFD Chief Jason Oliphant said. “Right now there is two ESD boardsk and after Feb. 1 there will be a new board of five commissioners. It is going to allow us to streamline some of the expenses and help with future purchases.”

Consolidation of the districts goes into effect in February 2018 and would reduce administrative redundancy that exists between the districts, Oliphant said. Following the consolidation, the district will maintain a five-person board of commissioners, composed of three commissioners from the ESD 1 coverage area and two from ESD 12 coverage areas, according to ESD 1.

Oliphant said there would be no sales tax increase as a result of the consolidation in either area.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

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Jesse has reported on health care, development, transportation, as well as city, county and state news since 2011. After a stint as a photojournalist in in the Rio Grande Valley, he joined Community Impact Newspaper in February 2014. In February 2015 he was promoted to editor of the Conroe | Montgomery edition.

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