Prepare for Tax Season Now

With 2016 already upon us, tax season will be here before you know it. There are several things you can start doing today to make April 15, 2016 as easy as possible. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects to receive at least 150 million individual income tax returns this year. Listed below are tips to help make filing your taxes a painless experience.

Organization is Key

The first step to filing your taxes is to gather the necessary forms. While you should get a W-2 from each workplace where you’ve received a salary and a variety of other government forms—including 1099 for interest earned and 1098 for mortgage interest paid—in early February, you can start now by gathering records of deductible expenses from throughout the year. Creating a file for all tax-related documentation will help come crunch time.

Use the Free File Program


New things circulating, Friends needed at library

The new year is a great time for changes. 

We are starting out 2016 be getting a new circulation system at the library. 

This system is what we use to maintain our catalog and manage all of our data.  In the past when anyone tried to use our on-line catalog to see what was available they had to wade through all of the holding of the other libraries using the same system as us. 

The new system will allow patrons to see only the items at our library.  Patrons will also be able to see which are the newest items in the library and search a variety of booklists.  One my favorite features is that card holders that use the on-line catalog will be able to select to receive notification when we add new book from some of their favorite authors.

This system is being funded by the Tocker Foundation and we are very thankful for their support. 


Info on Valentines and voting found at VZCL


It’s only a month until Valentine’s Day.  The Van Zandt County Library has ideas for parties, and decorations that can enhance your celebration of it.  Think about it now to insure a fun weekend. 

You may not believe it, but this year’s seniors will be graduates soon.   Give them a boost by reminding them of information on careers, schools, grants, and other helps that the Library offers.  College is important, but may not be the only education that your child wants or needs.

The Van Zandt County Genealogy Society has an interesting display in the main Library foyer.  Copies of marriage licenses are included.

If you are eligible to vote, be sure you are registered.   By now, your new registration card may have arrived if you were on Van Zandt County rolls last year.  Check with the county clerk to be sure.



I had the honor to represent Van Zandt County at the 11th Annual Transportation Forum in Austin. We can be proud of the Texas Department of Transportation folks in this county. I 20 and the State roads 110, 19, 17, 64, , and more are getting better. Our TxDot and their contractors have done a fantastic job on tight budgets and horrible weather, tornados, and floods. I heard this from officials from different regions of the state. Next time you slow down or stop because they are fixing something, be sure to give a “thumbs up” to the Best of the Best.


Lookin’ back on when I ...

I need a vacation.  Seems like the holidays just go on forever, along with all the music and lights and cheery "merry Christmas!" greetings from everyone.  I don't mean to sound like a Grinch, but honestly, after a of the best things about Christmas, for me, is that I can torture my sister with the Burl Ives version of "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas". 

My first husband and I used to take such great vacations.  When our son was young we went somewhere fun every summer - Colorado, Disney World, Washington DC, Colonial Williamsburg.  I had as much fun planning them as I did taking them. 


State Capitol HIGHLIGHTS

Texas sues EPA over new ozone standards

The State of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Dec. 23 filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its new ozone standards rule. 

Eight other states have filed separate lawsuits against the new rule: Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

On Dec. 28, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton explained his reasoning for state’s taking legal action, saying the EPA “has lowered the ozone standard placed on states to a level that is inappropriate and unrealistic and is based on flawed science” and the changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard would impose a serious financial burden on the Texas economy for dubious public health benefit.


Start your new year at the library

Elvis Allen, an eminent historian and Van Zandt native, will present the program at the regular meeting of The Friends of the Van Zandt County Library at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan.11. 

The topic is” The War over the County Seat.” 

“Many natives don’t know much about this facet of Van Zandt History, and newcomers may not even know it happened.  Come to the library and hear this true story,” librarians said.   

Memorials continue to remember friends and loved ones who were library supporters. 

Recently, Stefani Curtis sent a gift in memory of Earlene Jackson Brock.   Marla Baugh and Charles Page also remembered Earlene Brock.  Amy Huddle honored Sue and Butch Hilliard.  Joyce Pirtle’s gift was in memory of Ken A. Davis.  Bryan and Delnia Crum‘s memorial was for Wretha Mae Reding. 

Memorials have provided many extras for the library that make it more useful to patrons, and that are not covered by the operating budget.


Pedestrian safety can be enhanced with smart phone

It goes without saying that many people received smart phones as Christmas presents this year.  And of course it also goes without saying that smart phones are known for distracting drivers and pedestrians when they are driving or walking on our roadways and crossing intersections.  Many people either ignore the recommendations to wear bright reflective clothing when walking on streets and crossing intersections at night or simply find themselves in a situation where they were unable to plan ahead and wear appropriate safety enhanced clothing.  After all most people don’t leave the house thinking well my car will break down on the side of the road today so I better wear my reflective clothing.


Street crews are utility players

I just wanted to take time out to talk to you about our Utility/Streets Crew. These guys are the ones who work on water breaks and sewer stops. They also have many other duties which include mowing right of ways, patching roads, trimming trees and changing street signs. These employees must have a wide range of skills in order complete their jobs.

We have Rick Malone, Joe Adams, Eric Pickens, J. Allen Horton, Anthony Prox, Randy Byars, Tim Spurgeon, Jesse Bates, and Harvey Hayes working in these departments.  

I want to take the time to thank the staff for their hard work and dedication.

Lonny Cluck is the city manager of Canton.


Size doesn’t matter at library

Small but mighty is an apt description for our library. 

As the year-end approaches we have started running some preliminary numbers for our annual statistics and we are very pleased with how things are looking.  Right now we have had close to twelve thousand items checked out from the Grand Saline Public Library this year.  We have given out two hundred and sixty three new library cards this year.  That breaks down to almost four percent of our service population.  Approximately sixty seven percent of the people in our service area have library cards and we would love to see that number increase. 



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