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Petition for hospital district exceeds needed signatures

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

A petition to form a Hospital District in Orange County was turned into Commissioners Court on Tuesday. The petition needed 100 signatures to proceed to the next step and received 226 signatures.

“We will look at the language of the petition then turn it over to the Election Board to validate the signatures,” County Judge Stephen ‘Brint’ Carlton said during the Tuesday afternoon Commissioners Court meeting. “Then we will set a date for an election if t makes it through all the checks.”

Ross Smith, of Bridge City and co-owner of Sabine River Ford, said the maximum tax rate in the petition was for 18 cents per $100 value.

“We added a stipulation in the petition,” Ross said. “If the tax rate needed to be increase the maximum, it would have to have voter approval again.”

Statute states the earliest the election date can be set is no sooner than 45 days and no later than 60 days after the signatures have been validated.

“I did this because we cannot have a county like Orange without health care,” Ross said.