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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Toll fees up

For those who travel on the toll roads both here in Fort Bend County and in Harris County, donít forget to begin the New Year with the new and more expensive EZ tags.

As of midnight Jan. 1, tolls increased on the toll roads throughout the county. The rate on the Westpark Toll way is now 60-cents for cars, pickup trucks and other two-axle vehicles. On the Fort Bend Parkway, motorists will now pay $1.25 for dual-axle vehicles.

The rate increase was approved last year due to inflation and to boost revenue that was lost during the nearly two weeks, the tolls were discontinued during the Hurricane Ike crisis.

Increase in mileage reimbursement on agenda

As this issue was being sent to the printer, Fort Bend County commissioners were expected to approve a request by the county auditor to increase mileage reimbursement rates to that of the Internal Revenue Service.

The rate, if approved, will be set at .55 cents and will be effective as of Jan. 1 of this year. In the past, officials have agreed to keep the rate the same as the IRS to streamline the payroll system.

Food pantries and local charities need help

This week an article focuses on the need for more food and other items for local charities. An official in the community say donations are down and need has increased.

Surprisingly, Mission Bells Food Pantry says jelly is one of the items always needed and usually in very short supply.

The pantry collects donations from the Red Barrel program offered by local stores. It is quick and uncomplicated to make a donation. Simply buy an extra item or an extra bag of groceries and deposit them in the barrel as you exit the store.

How sad it must be to have hungry children and be short of the needed staples to ease those hunger pangs.

Peanut butter and jelly as well as macaroni and cheese dinners are the favorites at most pantry locations because children consider these foodstuffs a treat and they are nutritious as well.

So, the next time you are out shopping, pick up a few extra items and put them in the barrel. You will feel much better knowing that a child or an elderly person is going to bed that night with a full stomach.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 05, 2009