East Cedar Creek receives
state drinking water award
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District directors
learned Wednesday their water system is an award winner.
A letter dated Dec. 1 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
let the directors know the ECCFWSD system has been chosen to receive a
TCEQ 2008 Drinking Water Recognition Program award.
Board president David Burch announced the award and read a short excerpt
about the honor.
“The award is for the exceptional compliance with the total coliform
rule (TCR) requirements,” the letter stated.
To receive the TCR award, a public water system must have no TCR
violations and must have been an active public water system for 60
Enclosed with the letter was a 2008 total coliform Rule Award
certificate for both the Brookshire and B.A. McKay treatment plants.
The directors present expressed pleasure to general manager Bill Goheen
for the district’s accomplishment.
In other business, directors:
• heard problems with the long-running Prairie Creek Cove Channel
project could be coming to an end..
The project involved moving about 1,300 cubic yards of silt. Only 779
cubic yards was dug out and transported to another location by the
Athens engineer Chris Weeks reported after further inspection, it may
not be necessary to remove any more sludge from the cove.
“Water quality could be damaged by further silt removal,” Weeks
explained. “We have tried our best to complete the project to the best
of our ability.”
Also, the Tarrant Regional Water District – which owns Cedar Creek Lake
– is not contesting the amount of silt that has been removed, Weeks
• authorized the purchase of a new meter for the Brookshire plant at a
cost of $4,270, to be taken out of the operating reserve account.
• agreed to transfer $8,553.92 from the operating reserve to
rehabilitate the North Waste Water Treatment Plant rotor assemblies.
• agreed to pay no more than $2,500 to Forney Drilling Company for work
moving lines near the State Highway 334 and U.S. Highway 175
interchange, now under construction.
Goheen reminded directors when work on the U.S. 175 widening project is
completed, the Texas Department of Transportation will reimburse the
out-of-pocket expenses of the district.
• approved a depository agreement with Prosperity Bank.
• transferred $1,095,241.48 from bond interest and sinking fund into
operations reserve for a bond debt payment.
Saying “so long” to 2008
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–In years to come, 2008 will be remembered both as a
year of crises and victory.
One of the worst financial crisis in all of American history burst into
view, wiping out some of the oldest and largest financial institutions
in the world and almost without warning. The ramifications of which
continues to shake world markets and will shadow our economic future for
years to come.
It’s also the year, Americans voted for a man of color to lead the
nation as its president.
In addition, 2008 saw the close defeat of a woman as a presidential
Though the import of these events may not immediately be apparent, its
precedent will clear the way for a broader field of future leaders in
all areas of American life.
Locally, new leaders in the Henderson County district and county
attorney offices as well as in the sheriff’s post will likely lead in
Swearing in ceremonies are slated for Sheriff Ray Nutt, DA Scott McKee
and County Attorney Clint Davis.
Besides the election, the rising price of gas and the drilling of more
gas affected a great many residents of Cedar Creek Lake.
Those against drilling under the lake and the possible release of sour
gas (hydrogen sulfide H2S) sent e-mails, attended city council meetings
and asked hard questions of BlackBrush engineers.
Questions centered on inadequate escape routes should a blowout or
serious sour gas leak occur in the vicinity of Payne Springs and
Enchanted Oaks, where a well head was planned for development.
To date, a drilling permit has not been issued because the company has
not filed a safety contingency plan.
We saw Franklin Bank become Prosperity Bank as part of the financial
meltdown the banking industry is suffering due to the trading of
insolvent mortgage loans.
Account holders felt no ill effects, likely due to in part to the $750
billion federal bailout.
In November, the feds officially announced the country is in a
recession. Happily, Texas is one of the few places positioned to
withstand most of the ill effects. However, the recession has just
A side benefit of toppling stock markets has been lowered gas prices.
However, experts predict its rise again to near $4 per gallon come the
spring and summer travel months.
A facilities study for Henderson County, courtesy of the Ginger
Murchison Foundation, came as a result of Athens residents protesting
the purchase of 44 acres just inside the loop as a place for county
The study focuses on currently available buildings in and around the
town square in Athens.
Commissioners are expected to review the study this month and make some
plans for much needed additional office and storage space.
In addition, the closure of an $8 billion jail expansion project is
The doubling of inmate capacity means added revenue to the county in
rentals to other counties during a time when local need for prison space
has never been lower.
This bodes well for this year’s taxpayers.
The commissioners again were able to cut – instead of raise – the rate
of taxes this year.
The county emerency management program went into operations without a
glitch when Hurricane Gustav and Ike made their appearances.
The American Red Cross disaster housing facility in Seven Points stood
ready and waiting to house evacuees. Also area churches took in those
displaced by the storm and its aftermath, giving the community an
opportunity to offer timely hospitality.
Eustace broke ground this year on a new gymnasium, and a new high school
for Kemp has risen from the lot adjacent to ‘Jacket Stadium. Parking for
football games proved to be problematic, but eased somewhat with shuttle
runs from campus parking lots to the stadium.
Voters passed a $23 million bond for the project back in 2007.
Mabank High School recently made America’s Best High Schools list again
put out by U.S. News and World Report for the second year in a row.
The designation recognizes the even-handed proficiency rate of all its
students, including the 50 percent which are economically disadvantaged.
This is an important accolade because Mabank lost its state
award-winning principal Dr. Tommy Wallis to Palestine the end of summer.
Assistant Principal Brad Koskelin was promoted to lead the high school.
Also, the high school’s design won a state award for excellence in
planning and design.
MHS students built a house for one of its own.
The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity received funds from the 2007
Spirit Week and awarded its third house project to a Mabank counselor’s
Industrial arts students built the house and when completed, it was
transported from the shop to its permenant location on the corner of
Kaufman and First streets.
Malakoff ISD’s superintendent John Spies and board of trustees convinced
voters to approve a $7 million bond that would allow the accounts to
shift a small amount from daily operations to capital improvements. The
expected outcome is to fund a way to replace the bus fleet over the next
ten years while saving voters a million and not costing them any more in
school property taxes.
Both Mabank and Seven Points labored under heavy street and drainage
improvements progressing on their main thoroughfares.
Though needed, the road work on Third Street in Mabank and Cedar Creek
Lake Parkway in Seven Points, are squeezing city coffers and stressing
businesses to the breaking point as they try to survive the
inconvenience to their customers.
The road widening project in Eustace was completed, as were repairs to
local streets, following flooding rains in 2007.
Gun Barrel City saw lots of changes under its new city manager Gerry
The acceptance of payments by credit cards being one of the most
progressive changes, along with the unfurling of a city website, updated
flag and remodeling of its police dispatch.
Though still undecided on how to expand city offices, council members
agree breaking ground on a new city hall or remodeling the Brawner Hall
building to accommodate more office space is needed and will likely be a
top priority this year.
Longtime mayors of Tool (Scott Confer) and Malakoff (Pat Issacson)
voluntarily resigned from office this year, making way for new blood and
Log Cabin brought back a former mayor (Billy Goodwin) from 10 years ago
to put a firm and steady hand on the keel after two years of controversy
and three other mayors.
East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District working with the Gun Barrel
City Council ccompleted a sanitary sewer rehabilitation project in the
Tamarack Subdivision. Also, the district was recognized with a Drinking
Water award from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for its
exceptional compliance with the total coliform rule requirements, having
no more TCR violations.
The West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District saved its customers
money when it nearly doubled office space by using inhouse labor and
It also was cited again this year with the Best Tasting Water award. The
utility responded to major emergencies in main breaks that emptied one
of its water towers with tenacity and perseverence in locating (in a
heavily overgrown area) and fixing the line.
Once again this year, district employees collected and delivered toys
and needed food items to some of the district’s neediest customers.
The Greater Chamber of Commerce of Cedar Creek Lake recognized two
outstanding individuals for their volunteer work in the community with
service awards. Kathy Kendrick was named Citizen of the Year and Rev.
Eston Williams garnered the Jean Nichols Lifetime Service Award
recognizing his work with the Habitat for Humanity, Henderson County
United Way and Family Resource Center. He also had spearheaded efforts
to raise money to put in a heliport in Gun Barrel City, after a tragic
accident highlighted the need for one.
Kendrick, the co-owner of Lone Star Maps, routinely volunteers for
numerous programs through the area Kiwanis club, Cedar Creek Lake
Women’s Club and the Chamber. She has come to epitomize the word