People, Places & Events



  Annex facelift considered
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–Many calls about “that ugly building” have prompted the Kaufman County Commissioners to seek advice on what to do with the main Courthouse Annex.
Judge Wayne Gent said he receives frequent calls complaining about the look of the building, a former bank.
Monday, architect Ken Hill of NADC Architects presented a preliminary plan of suggested renovations to the commissioners.
Hill said the last time the building was remodeled was sometime in the 1950s.
“We will consider the things needed to preserve the building,” he said.
The suggestions included removing the old covering (plaster, etc.) on the sides of the building, which involves cleaning, restoring and painting.
Once the covering is removed, if the original brick is still in good shape, it can be restored, Hill said.
One big advantage is the county will be working under “adaptive regulations,” where you don’t stray far from “the way it was.”
“There’s tremendous cost savings because it affords us the use of modern materials,” Hill said, explaining that approach won’t involve the cost of having to use “original” material, as in renovating an historic building.
Representatives from the city of Kaufman and a new civic group expressed relief the county was considering the restoration.
However, the representatives cautioned the commissioners to take care in their considerations, expressing dislike for the long-ago commissioners who voted to tear down the vintage courthouse to build the current facility in 1955.
The older courthouse would have attracted tourists today, bringing in extra funds for the city and county.
“When the decision was made, the commissioners court was tied 2-2. The county judge who broke the tie and voted for the demolition moved to Weatherford the next year,” Gent recalled.
In other business, commissioners:
• agreed to extend the connect-city emergency notification system contract until bids are received, giving other companies time to submit their proposals.
Director Kathy Morris said the proposals probably will range from $40,000 to $50,000.
The system will allow residents to be notified of upcoming emergencies on their home phones.
If a contract is not signed by the time the old one runs out, if necessary, officials can still go door-to-door with a warning, she said.
• approved setting a speed limit of 30 mph and placing signs on Smoke Lane in Precinct 4.
• accepted the January monthly report from the Tax Assessor/Collector’s office as presented by Dick Murphy.
“Approximately 83 percent of the current taxes have been collected,” Murphy reported. “This ties or exceeds collections for the same period for the last 13 years.”
• set dates to advertise for bids to purchase a used, self-propelled single drum roller for Precinct 1.
Bids will be accepted through Thursday, Feb. 26, and opened Monday, March 2, purchasing agent Jack Sabastian said.
• authorized the county judge to take appropriate legal action to recover costs for damage to County Road 4017.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller presented pictures of the damage, noting the deep ruts.
“The game warden caught several ‘mudders’ and took theses pictures,” he said.
Approximately three trucks were involved, doing about $6,000 worth of damage to the road, Deller added.
• approved the appointments of Mickey Rouvaldt, Merve Bell, Dana Curry, Anthony Schlebach and Ed Wilson as commissioners to the Emergency Services District No. 6.
• accepted the financial report for ESD No. 6.
• approved the deputations of James L. Stroud, Charles S. Stasny, Benjamin L. Schoeff, Brooke E. Haar, Janet L. Freeman, Timothy B. Fortner, Tomie L. Tucker, Jessie Compton, Frank Gonzalez, Monte V. Mansfield and William J. Cuellar II for the Sheriff’s Department.
• approved budget transfers as presented by auditor Hal D. Jones.
• paid bills totaling $749,944.85.

Cedar Creek Rotarians hear TxDoT update
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Sometimes it seems as if there is construction work underway on every well-traveled road in the state.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) assistant area engineer for Henderson and Anderson counties Chad Ingram listed the various projects and the projects’ stage of completion at the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake’s weekly luncheon Friday.
Ingram showed club members a map showing road and highway projects in ongoing and on-hold construction modes, as well as long-range construction plans.
Ingram started with the project to widen State Highway 334 through Seven Points to the State Highway 274 intersection, saying the job is 80 percent complete.
“Once we get the permanent signals in, that will be done,” he said. “Barring weather and other problems, it will probably be completed by the end of summer.”
Then there’s the safety program in Eustace on the Farm-to-Market 316 South and State Highway 175 intersection, which has been delayed.
“We still plan to do a chip-seal job, but we must wait for better and warmer weather,” Ingram explained.
Plans to restore the pavement and resurface SH 31 from Loop 7 in Athens to Malakoff is on hold, due to lack of funding.
However, Ingram said the project has been submitted for funding through the promised federal economic stimulus package now under consideration by Congress.
“Construction workers will begin pouring the concrete for the new bridge from Caney City to Malakoff in the next three weeks,” Ingram said.
Safety bonding will be applied on FM 316 from Payne Springs to Eustace, starting sometime in March. That project will take about three to five months to complete, he said.
The plan to reconstruct SH 274 as a four-lane divided highway with a flush median from Seven Points to Trinidad is still listed as a long-range project.
The plan is a “place-holder,” with no definite start or completion date in mind, Ingram said.
Questions from the audience clarified some reasons for TxDoT actions.
Q. Why did U.S. 175 go around several cities and go through downtown Eustace?
A. City businesses were afraid if the highway bypassed their city, it would kill it.
“The original schematic had U.S. 175 bypassing Eustace. It (the change) made it a little more challenging for us,” Ingram said.
Q. Why was the Malakoff bridge chosen over the SH 334 causeway bridge between Gun Barrel City and Seven Points?
A. The superstructure on the Malakoff bridge was in worse shape than on the causeway bridge, Ingram explained.
In other business, members:
• welcomed new member William Jackson, 51, to the club.
• witnessed Dale Molander present a check for $1,500 to Tri-County Library director Claire Stout.
• heard the club’s annual golf tournament is set for Friday, April 24. Tee time is noon and the cost is $75 per player.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Rotarians Robert Blaase (left) and Dale Molander, along with past Rotary president
Lee Montgomery (far right) present Tri-County Library director Claire Stout with
a donation check for $1,500 at the club’s weekly luncheon Friday.

Windfall or fallout?
Texas schools could gain millions from Obama’s stimulus package
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The $819 billion federal economic stimulus package passed by the House and a similar package recently approved by the Senate could have a huge impact on Henderson County schools, according to an Austin-based consulting firm.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) recently announced Henderson County schools could get more than $7 million over a two-year period, if the plan is approved without substantial changes by a House/Senate conference committee.
The economic stimulus package is backed by President Barack Obama. The Senate version is somewhat larger than the House bill, and differences in the two bills will have to be ironed out in committee before the final bill is sent to the President for signing into law.
“This is good news for schools, good news for the economy and good news for companies that sell to government,” SPI president and CEO Mary Scott Nabers said.
“Not only will the federal economic stimulus funding provide Texas schools with some much-needed additional funding for facilities, programs and technology, but it will also open up additional contracting opportunities for local businesses to sell their goods and services to school districts – providing a much-needed boost to local economies,” Nabers reported.
According to SPI, the Malakoff Independent School District could receive as much as $1,096,800 over two years.
MISD Superintendent Dr. John Spies said he knew about the possible windfall, but he isn’t counting that money just yet.
“The money is separated into special education, at-risk, and construction,” he said. “But there has been no time line released for when the money would be available”
Spies also said there has been no announcement on what requirements might come along with the money.
“We won’t determine how the money will be spent until all the rules and time lines are announced,” he said. “I don’t count my chickens before they are hatched.”
According to SPI, other Henderson County schools would receive the following amounts over two years if the package is approved:
• Athens ISD – $2,668,800
• Brownsboro ISD – $1,608,600
• Cross Roads ISD – $371,200
• Eustace ISD – $857,700
• LaPoynor ISD – $279,200
• Murchison ISD – $178,700
• Trinidad ISD – $195,900
“These millions of dollars estimated to be headed to local school districts in Texas will not only supplement school coffers, but also provide contracting opportunities that can put local workers back to work,” Nabers said.
Not everyone believes the economic stimulus package will work.
“I have serious concerns and reservations about the government stimulus package,” Henderson County Congressman Jeb Hensarling said in a press release.
“President Obama’s initial plan called for tax relief for small businesses, but congressional Democrats have removed the majority of the provisions that would provide relief as they are struggling in this turbulent economic climate,” Hensarling said.
“An economic stimulus plan should focus on preserving jobs, creating greater opportunity and providing tax relief for all families, as they are struggling to pay for their mortgages, their health care premiums and put their kids through college,” Hensarling added.
“Even if you believe that government spending can stimulate the economy, only 4 percent of the stimulus package is for infrastructure, only 2 percent is for our small businesses, the job creators of America, and an overwhelming majority of the rest is aimed at growing an already bloated federal budget,” he said.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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