PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 17, 2017) – The City of Palestine, in conjunction with the Northeast Texas Public Health District, will host a series of classes for basic food workers.
Two classes will be held. According to state law, food employees are required to have a certificate of completion of this course. Food establishments are required to maintain those certificates.
“This is a great opportunity for local food workers,” Rickey Dorsey, Assistant Director of Community Services, said. “The class will help all our local food workers meet the state requirements.”
The classes will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Palestine Civic Center, 1819 W. Spring St. Instructors with the Northeast Texas Public Health District, Net Health, will be leading the class.
Preregistration for the class can be made in person at City Hall, 504 N. Queen St., between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is encouraged. Registration will be available at the door, but students must arrive 30 minutes early.
The cost is $20 per person and only cash, check or money orders will be accepted. No credit cards. Checks and money orders should be made payable to Net Health.
Classes begin promptly, and late arrivals will not be admitted into the class. If a student is unable to attend the class, an alternate student may be substituted. If a student is absent from the class and fails to send an alternate, the student will be required to re-register and pay for a later class.
For more information on the class and food establishments in Palestine, call Dorsey at 903-731-8492 or Net Health at 903-535-0030.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 17, 2017) – The City of Palestine, Palestine Police Department, and Palestine ISD will host the second annual Black History Program. The event will take place at 6p.m. on Thursday, February 23 in Palestine High School Auditorium.
Bernadette Capron, Community Liaison with the Palestine Police Department, said the event will be “a fun-filled evening with entertainment and facts.”
“The entertainment will come from people in our local community,” Capron said. “The main speaker for the evening will be our very own pediatrician, Dr. Davida Wardell.”
Black History Month is the brainchild of Charles G. Woodson. He recognized that Black history was left out of standard history textbook and he wanted to change this. In 1926, Black History week was established. Later on, it became Black History Month.
The event is free to the public and everyone is invited. The City of Palestine’s Diversity Committee organized the event. The committee also puts up displays in the main lobby at City Hall.
“We hope that you will come out and have a good time and maybe learn some new things,” Capron said.
For event information, please contact Community Liaison, Bernadette Capron at 903-729-1635 or email email@example.com.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 16, 2016) – The City of Palestine will hold examinations for entry-level officers for the Palestine Police Department at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, at the Palestine Police Department Training Room inside the Palestine Mall, 2000 S. Loop 256, Suite 38.
The test will start at 9 a.m. and applicants will need a photo ID to sit for the exam. Applicants who are late to the exam will not be admitted. If an applicant passes the written exam, he or she will take the physical agility test immediately following the exam at Fire Station No. 4 on Highway 287. Applicants must also sign and notarize a waiver for the physical agility exam.
Please contact the Palestine Police Department to receive an application packet and return to the following address by Thursday, March 16, no later than 5 p.m. Sending in the application form and waivers, confirms an applicant is scheduled to take the exam and no further notices will be sent.
Send completed applications to:
Risk Manager, City of Palestine
504 N. Queen St.
Palestine, TX 75801
Please attach a copy of a TCLEOSE certificate if certified. If an applicant has served in the military, please attach a copy of the applicant’s DD214. The two waiver forms must be signed, notarized and returned with the completed application. The applicant’s peronal history statement and pre-polygraph examination waiver may be submitted the day of the exam.
For further questions, contact Susie Streb at 903-731-8421 or Mike Phillips at 903-731-8477.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 15, 2017) – The City of Palestine will hold a Town Hall meeting on water quality at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 at the Palestine City Council Chambers, 504 N. Queen St.
The community is invited to listen to a presentation on the city’s water filtration and distribution system, and ask any questions to city staff. On of the purposes of the meeting, City Manager Mike Alexander said, is to explain the issues facing our water quality.
“It is important to the City of Palestine that our drinking water customers, their families and businesses receive the highest quality drinking water,” Alexander said. “Our upcoming Town Hall meeting will allow you to learn about all the programs that the city implements to ensure that your water is safe and reliable all day, every day.”
Alexander will be present at the meeting, as well as city staff tasked with water treatment and water quality. Everyone present will be there to answer questions from residents.
Recently, residents have complained to city staff and elected officials about the smell and taste of the water. Once received, the city’s Public Works department staff started flushing water lines in the areas where residents have complained. The water treatment staff flushed water lines where customers have complained, and added measures at the treatment plant.
The culprit that is the source of the complaints is geosmin, a naturally-occurring compound found in soil and algae blooms. Geosmin causes an earthy smell and taste in water, and cannot be removed by conventional water treatment methods.
Residents will also be able to submit questions online at cityofpalestinetx.com
, and on Facebook if they cannot attend the Town Hall meeting. The meeting will also be broadcasted on the city’s Public Access Channel on Channel 14 on Zito Media cable.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 15, 2017) – The following are some frequently asked questions on Geosmin, the compound causing the taste and odor issues with City of Palestine Water.
What is causing the taste and odor experienced by some customers served by the City of Palestine?
The City of Palestine Water is collected from the Neches River. Due to the unseasonably warm weather, an extreme amount of Geosmin has been detected in the raw water. Geosmin, even at low levels, can be detected by the average person.
What is geosmin?
Geosmin is a naturally occurring compound produced by bacteria in soil and algae blooms found in surface water. Cold temperatures kill off algae in surface water, and the dead algae release the geosmin. Geosmin levels also increase during high algae blooms which occur during early Spring or when water temperatures start to rise, creating favorable conditions for algae growth.
Where is the odor and taste occurring?
There are reports of an earthy, musty-type odor/taste in the water coming from a variety of areas served by the Lake Palestine and Neches River water supply. Many water systems across Texas, including Arlington, Fort Worth, Houston, and other systems that use the Neches River, have experienced the same reports of the odor and taste.
Is the water quality affected?
While the taste and odor can be unpleasant, geosmin is not toxic or harmful. The water remains safe to drink. On-going testing continues to show an absence of harmful bacteria and other pathogens in the water. These standards are within requirements set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
How long will the taste and odor last?
It is impossible to predict the onset of an incidence of geosmin, or how long it will last. Geosmin compounds remain in waterways throughout the year at varying levels. The City of Palestine, through regional partners, regularly tests the water supply sources for various water quality parameters. Since the city started receiving complaints, the geosmin level in the Neches River and Lake Palestine has risen from 544 nanograms per liter (or parts per trillion) to 604 nanograms per liter.
To put this in context, the general threshold for human detection is about 15 nanograms per liter; however, people with sensitive pallets can detect geosmin in drinking water at concentrations as low as 5 nanograms per liter. This is why some customers notice the taste and odor stronger than others.
What does it smell like?
Geosmin typically produces an earthy or musty odor as is found in the odor of overturned rich soils, and is present in some foods such as beets, spinach, and mushrooms.
Why do we smell it?
The human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin. If you poured a teaspoon of geosmin into the equivalent of 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools, you would still be able to smell it. The general threshold for human detection is about 15 ng/l (15 nanograms per liter = 15 parts per trillion). However people with sensitive pallets can detect these compounds in drinking water when the concentration is as low as 5 ng/l. Heating the water increases the volatility of these compounds, which explains why the smell is more easily detected when you are in the shower or when used for hot beverages.
Can the taste and odor be reduced at the tap?
To make the water taste better, try chilling it, adding ice cubes, a slice of lemon, or a few drops of lemon juice.
Can it be removed from the drinking water?
Geosmin cannot be removed by conventional water treatment processes, but with strategic actions taken during the treatment process and flushing of water supply lines, it can be reduced to a more acceptable level.
Does geosmin occur elsewhere?
Geosmin is common in many jurisdictions across the United States, Canada and elsewhere in the world.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 15, 2017) – The Palestine Main Street program, in partnership with the Palestine Economic Development Corporation, make matching grant funds available to property owners in the Main Street District of Palestine.
This grant program, the Façade Improvement Program, is made available to assist property owners with exterior repairs and renovations of their buildings. This year, the 2017 Façade Improvement Program grant fund has $30,000 available to match qualifying improvements made within the Main Street District.
"Any time we can partner with property owners to help them make meaningful improvements within our Historic Main Street District we are really happy to do so,” Greg Laudadio, Assistant Econcomic Development Director said. “If covering a portion of the financial burden could bring a project to downtown, we want to hear about it to determine if there is a way we can help make it happen."
Improvements eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Complete facade rehabilitation
• Replacement of broken window panes, window frames, broken store front glass, and doors
• Scraping, priming, and painting of window frames, doors, cornice, and store front
• Exterior treatments, such as brick, tile, stucco, stone, wood, or siding
• Attached signage and brackets (only in conjunction with other improvements)
• Removal of slipcovers or other covers to expose original materials
• Cleaning of exterior by appropriate methods, such as power washing or tile cleaning (only in conjunction with other improvements)
• Exterior lighting fixtures attached to structure (only in conjunction with other improvements)
• Canopies or window awnings (only in conjunction with other improvements)
• Attached gutters or down spouts
• Restoration of historic or significant architectural features
• Roof repair (only in conjunction with other improvements) and that do not exceed more than 50 percent of total requested grant.
Applications for this grant are available now and the deadline to submit applications is Friday, March 31 by 5 p.m. Applications can be downloaded electronically by visiting the Palestine Main Street Website at cityofpalestinetx.com.
Applications can also be picked up in person at the Palestine Economic Development Corporation office located at 100 Willow Creek Parkway, Suite A. For more information, contact the Palestine Economic Development Corporation at 903-729-4100.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 13, 2017) – The Palestine Police Department is promoting education that will empower citizens to be able to retake and maintain their neighborhoods and communities. To accomplish this, the police department is hosting a free, two-day Community Oriented Policing class and The Citizens Police Academy.
The Community Oriented Policing Class will be on March 8-9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Palestine Civic Center, 1819 W. Spring St. The class will be attended by both police and city employees who will be learning on how to assist the community further as well.
The class. Lt. Gabriel Green said, is an opportunity for residents to “take back their community.”
“The community policing is about working to identify those problems in our community and getting with the right people to fix them,” Green said.
The class will teach residents ways to work with the police department to solve issues in the community. Some of the course objectives include: the history of policing in America, roles and responsibilities in Community Oriented Policing, and tools of Community Oriented Policing to reduce crime and the fear of it, establish better relations, solve crimes and get dangerous people off the streets.
Green said the class will, on the first day, discuss these concepts. On the second day, participants will be in the city, identifying problem areas and formulating solutions. In addition to police, city staff will also be on hand both days to learn and help.
The class is free and open to all residents. For more information on the Community Policing Class, contact Lt. Green at 903-729-2254 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Also set for March, the department will also hold its annual Citizens Police Academy, starting on March 21. Graduate of the 12-week program will be able to serve the department on the Citizens on Patrol alumni. The group then further assists in the community at police events and being extra “eyes and ears” for the department.
Applications can be picked up at the Palestine City Hall; 504 N. Queen St., Palestine Public Library and Palestine Community Services, 2000 S. Loop 256, or the Palestine Police Department, 511 N. John St. Applications are also available online.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 10, 2017) – The City of Palestine’s Development Services department will host an interactive town hall meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Palestine Junior High School Cafeteria, 233 Ben Milam Road.
The purpose of the meeting is to help steer the guidelines that will affect all residents, zoning regulations.
“The zoning regulations affect all properties,” Development Services Director Jeffrey Lyons said. “The purpose of zoning regulations is to ensure the orderly development of a city, separate land uses that are not compatible by establishing zoning districts that allow certain uses and prohibit others, and establish minimum standards for building height, size and setbacks.
“Ultimately, zoning is in place to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the citizens as it pertains to land use.”
According to Lyons, the current zoning ordinance is 25 years old and is past due for a revision. In 2016, Lyons budgeted funds from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 budgets to secure the services of Stantec, an engineering and consulting firm with locations throughout Texas.
The town hall is one of several phases of the zoning code project. Another phase was the selection of a Zoning Steering Committee, comprised of members of the city’s various boards and commissions that help guide and regulate development, and residents selected by the mayor and city council members.
During the town meeting, there will be many interactive exercises for the public. The public will be able to show the consultants and committee members where future zoning should take place, and what areas of the code should change. These exercises and questions give the committee the input to construct a new zoning ordinance.
The public is invited to the free event, including children. Neighborhoods are also welcome to join in the planning process and have input on their neighborhood. Food will be provided.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 10, 2017) – The Palestine Police Department would like to make the citizens of our community aware of a revised alarm system program going into effect on March 1.
The intent of this program is to facilitate more proactive patrol by Police and to promote enhanced service to the citizens of Palestine, while also allowing better use of resources by city employees.
In 2016, the Palestine Police Department and Palestine Fire Department responded to a total of 1561 alarm calls, with 947 of those calls, 61 percent being deemed as a false alarm. The year 2015 also showed a similar 60 percent of false alarms responded to by officers and fire personnel.
This frequency of false alarms not only prevents one or more officers from actively patrolling the city, but also increases expenditures by the City of Palestine. The goal of this program is to promote efficiency within the city and increase officer presence and enforcement within the community.
Commercial, as well as residential properties within the city that have an alarm system, which relays an alarm notification to summon Police or Fire services, will now both be required by ordinance to receive an alarm permit through the City of Palestine.
The permits will be issued on an annual basis, and will have the following fees:
- Residential Alarm Permit: No Charge
- Commercial Alarm Permit: $40/year
The alarm permit is required to be renewed with the City of Palestine annually, upon the beginning of each calendar year. An alarm system in this program is considered as a device or assembly of equipment that emits, transmits or relays an alarm notification.
An alarm system does not include:
- An alarm system installed on a motor vehicle; or
- An alarm designed to alert only the inhabitants of a premise which does not emit a signal audible or visible from the exterior of a structure.
The revised alarm system ordinance establishes the following fees for false alarms within a 12-month period:
- 0-3 false alarms: No Fee
- 4-9 false alarms: $100 per alarm
- 10+ false alarms: $150 per false alarm
A false alarm in this program is considered as an alarm notification when police personnel responding within 30 minutes of the alarm notification find no evidence of an attempted or actual unauthorized intrusion, burglary, robbery, theft, hostage taking or fire.
False alarm does not include any activation of an alarm system:
- Caused by tornadoes, lightning, earthquakes, thunder, gale-force or higher winds, or other weather-related phenomena; or
- To which the response by emergency personnel is canceled by either the alarm system user or his authorized agent prior to the arrival of responding personnel at the alarm site.
In order to register a permit with the City of Palestine, both Commercial and Residential alarm system users will be able to obtain a permit application online at the City of Palestine website, cityofpalestinetx.com
. Also, for more information, email email@example.com
. The permits and any applicable fees may then be forwarded to the appropriate contact as directed in the return section of the form.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 9, 2017) – The Palestine Police Department is accepting applications for the 2017 Citizen Police Academy through March 17, 2017.
The Citizen Police Academy will start on March 21, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 9p.m. at Palestine City Hall. A tour will be given on the first day of the academy. Thereafter, the classes will be held at the Palestine Mall in the Palestine Police Department’s training room. The academy is open for residents of Palestine and Anderson County aged 15 or older. Those between the ages of 15 to 18 must have a parent or guardian also attending the academy.
For 12 weeks, the Citizen Police Academy gives an inside look at a police department. Students will also learn the life of a police officer and the responsibilities that come with wearing a uniform and badge.
“This is a great way for citizens to become involved in the community.” Bernadette Capron, Community Liaison Coordinator for the Palestine Police Department, said. “It is also a way for officers to give back to the community. Some of the knowledge and experiences these officers have gained over the years, can be shared with the public.”
Some of the topics covered include patrol and traffic procedures, crime scene investigations, drugs, sexual assault, simulated firearms training and much more.
Students are required to attend 10 of the 12 Tuesday evening classes at the Palestine Police Department Training Room inside the Palestine Mall to qualify for graduation. Following graduation, students will have the opportunity to join the Citizens on Patrol alumni where they can further assist us in the community.
A background check is required for all applications. There is no physical activity requirement for applying. Students will not be allowed to carry firearms during the academy.
Applications can be picked up at the Palestine City Hall; 504 N. Queen St., Palestine Public Library and Palestine Community Services, 2000 S. Loop 256, or the Palestine Police Department, 511 N. John St. Applications will also be available online at cityofpalestinetx.com
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 8, 2017) – The 8th annual Mardi Gras Parade is ready to roll at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in the Palestine Main Street District. The parade will start at the Anderson County Courthouse, proceed down Avenue A to West Oak Street and make its way through the Main Street District to the Visitor Center.
The Mystics of Time Mardi Gras Krewe joined forces with the Main Street program and The Friends of Main Street, a non-profit organization for the Main Street District, to host the parade and celebration annually. “We want everyone to come out and have a good time watching the parade and enjoy shopping in Main Street,” said Linda Dickens, one of the coordinators for the parade.
The culinary tastes of Mardi Gras will fill the Main Street District on Sat., Feb. 18, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during A Taste of New Orleans event. Set against a backdrop of historic buildings decorated for Mardi Gras and with prime viewing of the brightly colored New Orleans-style floats as they roll by, this premier wine and food event offers a unique downtown experience.
This fifth annual celebration of Louisiana-style cuisine showcases the talents of local and regional chefs, and highlights the offerings of local and regional breweries and wineries.
“This event attracts food loving locals and out-of-town culinary tourists into our downtown venues,” said Greg Laudadio, Main Street Manager. “When we can bring these talented culinary professionals together with the people who enjoy their creations and make it all happen in the Palestine Main Street District, everybody wins!”
For more information regarding the Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration visit www.VisitPalestine.com, www.facebook.com/visitpalestine or call the Visitors Center at 903-723-3014.
The Palestine Visitor Center is located at 825 W. Spring St. and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Please be sure to check opening hours for each attraction before visiting.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 7, 2017) – Visit Palestine and Main Street Palestine will hold a watching party to celebrate the premiere of “The Daytripper” with a Watching Party at 7 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 10, at the Texas Theatre, 213 W. Crawford St., in Palestine.
Over the summer of 2016 Chet Garner, host of The Daytripper, and his crew visited Palestine and spent three days filming. The episode is scheduled to air on national television on KERA on Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m.
According to Garner, “It’s no secret that Texas is big. Alright, more than big. Texas is HUGE!! And exploring Texas ain’t no small vacation, it’s a lifetime endeavor. But what if you only have one day? Well that’s where we come in. From the well-known landmarks to the completely obscure dives and hideaways – and all within a day’s reach.”
“We created ‘The Daytripper’ to inspire folks to get out and explore their own backyard. Adventure is much closer than you realize. This town epitomizes all I love about East Texas, with its historic buildings, tall trees and Texas hospitality.”
During the Watching Party, the Texas Theatre’s stage will be set up with a big screen. The show will start at 7 p.m. and is family friendly and free to the public. Light refreshments will be served starting at 6 p.m. including dessert nachos and s’mores.
“’The Daytripper’ show has a huge following and many people make note of his weekly excursions and then make plans to follow the itinerary he has laid out! We expect that this episode will bring a lot of visitors to Palestine,” said Mary Raum, Tourism Marketing Manager for the City of Palestine. “Not only to visit the locations featured on the show, but also to seek out other attractions, adventures and historical sites.”
According to “The Daytripper” website, “It may not be the Palestine in the Middle East, but we find all sorts of adventures in this East Texas town. We head to the town’s old high school for a history lesson, discover a hidden waterfall in the park and investigate giant weather balloons at a NASA facility. We make a pig of ourselves at the local hot spot, and then hunt for actual hogs in the dark.”
Please contact the Palestine Visitor Center at 903-723-3014, www.VisitPalestine.com to request a free visitor's guide.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 3, 2017) – The Boil Water Notice for on South May Street between West Dallas Street and West Park Avenue has been rescinded. The following is the legal language.
Boil Water Rescind Notice
On Feb. 1, 2017, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) required our public water system,City of Palestine Utilities Department, PWS ID 0010001 to issue a Boil Water Notice (BWN) to inform our customers that due to the presence of contaminants or an interruption in service, water from our system must be boiled prior to consumption.
Our system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels, and/or bacteriological quality and has provided TCEQ with testing results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling as of Feb. 3, 2017.
If you have questions, contact Felipe Garcia at 903-731-8483.
If a customer wishes to reach TCEQ, they may call 512-239-4691.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 1, 2017) – The City of Palestine is issuing a boil water notice for residents on South May Street between West Dallas Street and West Park Avenue. The following is the legal notice.
Public Notice to Boil Water
Due to a Fire Hydrant Replacement for residents in the area of South May Street between West Dallas Street and West Park Avenue, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water system City of Palestine, PWS 0010001 to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption.
To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.
When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.
If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Felipe Garcia at (903) 731-8483.
PALESTINE, Texas (Feb. 1, 2017) – The following is a statement from Nate Smith, Communications and Best Practices officer for the City of Palestine, on the water quality complaints in the city.
“The City of Palestine is very aware of the issues with the water quality in the city. According to our Public Works department, The reason for this is the long period of the previous rain event we recently had. Normal rain events stir up the water at our intake area and is pumped to our treatment plant where we can treat the water and remove the odor and discoloration that it causes. When we have extended rain events like we just had, it overwhelms our plant and our normal and even extra efforts to control these unusual conditions are not as effective.
“The water has, and remains, within state guidelines for consumption set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The water has remained safe to drink and our water treatment crews have been working to flush water lines wherever residents have complained about the water to help with the issues. The discoloration and odors should be gone within a week.
“The city is continuing to search for solutions to handle our aging infrastructure, including the use of additional additives during future rain events. We also believe the planned filter replacement project will help with water quality.”