SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS
COMMERCIAL BANK SOLD
First Financial Bankshares, Inc. says it will acquire Commercial Bancshares, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Commercial State Bank, Kingwood. First Financial anticipates that it will consist of First Financial’s common stock totaling $59.4 million. In addition, prior to closing, Commercial Bancshares, Inc. expects to pay a special dividend of approximately $15.6 million to its shareholders. The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2018. The acquisition expands First Financial’s growing Texas footprint into the cities of Kingwood, Fulshear, El Campo and Palacios, all located just outside the Houston metroplex. As of Sept. 30, Commercial State Bank had total assets of $366.8 million, total loans of $263.8 million and total deposits of $322.1 million.
LONE STAR TAX RATE FLAT
The Lone Star College Board of Trustees voted to keep the tax rate at 10.78 cents per $100 property evaluation for the 2017-18 tax year during a special meeting held Oct. 12. Lone Star had the fifth lowest tax rate of the 50 community colleges in Texas for fiscal year 2017. Harris County accounts for more than 75 percent of its tax base. Montgomery County makes up the nearly 25 percent. Property taxes provide 40 percent of the funding sources for the 2017-18 college budget. Student tuition and fees account for 34 percent, the state of Texas contributes 21 percent, and five percent comes from other sources.
LONE STAR SEES RECORD ENROLLMENT
Lone Star College opened its doors to a record 89,413 credit students for Fall 2017, representing a 4.4 percent increase in credit student enrollment over Fall 2016. The college has grown its student population from 49,267 to 89,413 over the past 10 years, representing an 81 percent increase. The Montgomery and University Park campuses recorded the largest percentage of increase – 10 percent – welcoming 15,914 and 13,273 students respectively. CyFair continues to be the largest college with 22,125 students enrolled for Fall 2017 classes. Kingwood, which had six of its nine buildings destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, registered a five percent increase year to year, helping 12,950 students.
JP COURT MOVES TO HUMBLE
In the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Cypresswood Courthouse, located at 6831 Cypresswood Dr. in Spring, is still currently closed to the public. Harris County Precinct 4 Judge Laryssa Korduba announced that Justice of the Peace 4-1 will be open for business and holding select scheduled dockets temporarily at the Harris County Annex 3 Courthouse, located at 7900 Will Clayton Parkway in Humble. This will continue until the 4-1 Annex Courthouse is fully operational for the staff and the public. “We are happy to help our fellow Precinct 4 Courthouse and Judge Lincoln Goodwin with the space and facilities they need to better assist the public during this difficult time,” said Korduba. For more information and updates, please visit jp.hctx.net.
ATASCOCITA BIZCOM SET
Get updates on Atascocita community developments at BizCom, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m.-noon at Atascocita High School. Speakers include Dr. Ken Hodgkinson, principal, Middle School No. 9; Dr. Brian Peters, principal, The Groves Elementary; Oscar Ramos, dean, Loan Star College-Atascocita; and more. Free with a complimentary lunch with an RSVP made through LakeHouston.org or by calling the chamber at 281- 446-2128.