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Texas City Sun (Newspaper) - April 15, 2004, Texas City, Texas Local: Funds found for O'Connell / Page 5 Texas city sun 50 cents GOOD MORNING, IT'S THURSDAY, APRIL 15,2004 wvw.texascitysun.com IN THE NEWS Local Words and food Dickinson student combines love of food to win essay contest. See story on Page 5 Sports Stings at Stangs Texas City and Friendswood square off in district hardball action. See story on Page 10 Business Scholes Airport in Galveston prepares to take off with new taxiway. See story on Page 9 Obituaries Juan Thomas Hernandez Linda Louise Clark See Page 13 Today's weather Today intervals of clouds i and sunshine. Page 2 Inside ANNIE'S MAILBOXr 2 LOCAL 5 CLASSIFIED 16-20 CROSSWORD 12 BULLETIN BOARD 8 MOVIES 8 PERSPECTIVES 4 SPORTS 10-11 STOCKS Printed on recycled paper. VOL, 92, NO. 106 Serving the Galybston County Mainland since 1912 Countdown to port construction begins today TEXAS CITY: SSA says container port will begin construction in 30 days By T.J. Aulds Texas City Sun Like most ground breaking events, today's turning of dirt for the International Container Terminal at Shoal Point is more symbol than substance. But it's a pretty important symbol say city leaders. Seven years after Texas City officials started floating the idea of building a large shipping container port facility at Shoal Point Island, shovels will Finally hit some dirt. Albeit the real construction site will actually be located across the water from today's ceremony. According to Doug Hoover, who heads the city's management services and oversees its economic development projects, not until real construction begins on the site will the true economic benefits of luring the Texas City International Terminal on Shoal Point start to make their impact. "Once we open Tex Tin and there is some real visible signs of activity out there (at the planned terminal) will you start to see the interest of investors," said Hoover. There has been some concern - mostly street rumors - that the much hyped Megaport would be delayed or never be built at all. The long process of securing government approval proved tedious and then the project's front McLauchlan of SSA - the Ceremony � When: Today, 11 a.m. � Where: First Lady Pavilion, Texas City Dike man Andy port company that will Please see PORT, Page 7 Stings Spring SUN PHOTO BY DWIGHT C. ANDREWS Members of the Stingarettes practice a dance routine Wednesday afternoon for their 14th annual Spring Show. The performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Drill team preps for big show By Dwight C. Andrews Texas City Sun TEXAS CITY - Fans of dance will be treated to the 14th annual Stingarette Spring Show this Friday and Saturday night at the John C. Martin Auditorium at Texas City High School. Members of the dance team will perform solos , ensembles as well as entire team routines featuring dance styles from modern to jazz. "It's a compilation of competition routines and routines that the girls have choreographed," said Terri Mills, director of the Stingarettes. "Some of the newer routines the girls have learned in the last few weeks during rehearsals." Stingarette fund raisers such as the dance camp in the fall and Crowd Pleasers Dance Showcase last month helped pay for the costumes and props for the event. Advance tickets are available from any Stingarette or can be purchased at the door for $5. Tax man cometh, CPAs burn midnight oil SUN PHOTO BY DWIGHT C. ANDREWS Stingarette Jamie Marshall practices a jump Wednesday afternoon during a rehearsal for the drill team's annual Spring Show. Prepare for higher light bills TEXAS CITY: Electric tabs could rise $6 to $12 per month By Lora-Marie Bernard Texas City Sun TEXAS CITY - Reliant Energy residents could see up to a $ 12 rise in monthly electric-bills in coming months if the CenlcrPoint Energy Houston Electric wins a claim that it has suffered $4.5 billion in stranded costs, according to a lawyer representing municipalities. The Public Utility Commission will conduct an open meeting today in Austin to hear more in the continuing battle to determine what the company has lost as a result of deregulation of the indusuy. "Ratepayers won't see anything until the final stranded costs are determined in August," said Thomas Brocato, attorney representing the Gulf Coast Coalition of Cities, which is the organization representing municipalities and residents who might be affected. A Reliant Energy spokesperson said the company was not prepared to discuss how the issue could affect its consumers. "We don't know what the increase could be. It could be an increase, a decrease or no increase at all," said Stephanie Salvin, Reliant Energy spokesperson. But, she said she was aware that some groups, such as the city coalition, have developed their own numbers relating to what customers might pay if all stranded costs were passed through. She said the company won't know it will be affected until about December or January. Municipal governments are considering now resolutions lhat would allow the coalition to intervene on their behalf to fight the company's true-up proceedings. The La Marque City Council approved the resolution at its Monday meeting. A judge ruled last month that the company might have over-collected $112 million but the company has challenged that decision. It is that issue the PUC will consider on Thursday. Regardless of the outcome of that issue, Brocato said he does not believe the amount is huge enough to make that much of a difference in what customers might be charged if the company wins its case. Suanded costs are charged to retail electric providers as a nonbypassable charge that affects all residential, commercial and industrial customers. It results from the decline in the value of electricity-generating assets clue to the restructuring of the industry. Since deregulation, electricity prices are likely to fall more than production costs, thus Please see BILLS, Page 7 By T.J. Aulds Texas City Sun TEXAS CITY - No one longs for April 16 more than Elizabeth lies. Except maybe for everyone in her office. The certified public accountant and partner with Griffin, lies and Duval marks the day after tax day on her calendar with glee. "I am going to sleep in and relax," said lies as she reviewed one of 600 clients her office handles taxes for. "We will have a skeleton staff in here that day. It's like a holiday for us." That holiday is less than 18 hours away this morning as the tax man calls for the clock to strike midnight on all those who have yet to file their 2003 income tax returns. lies remarks that she's glad most of her clients will actually see some money back from Uncle Sam this year. She said most of that comes as a result in the capital gains tax and the tax cut passed by Congress last year. ~piea88 see TAXES, Pap 7 SUN PHOTO BY DWIGHT C, ANDREWS Elizabeth lies, CPA works on a client's 2003 Income tax Wednesday afternoon,
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