East Cedar Creek Freshwater Supply District meets at
12:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the ECCFSD
office on Hammer Road just off Welch Lane in Gun Barrel City.
Eustace City Council meets at 7 p.m. in the Eustace City
Hall the first Thursday of each month. For more information,
please call 425-4702. The public is invited to attend.
Eustace Independent School District meets at 7 p.m. the
third Tuesday of each month at the Eustace High School Library.
For more information, please call 425-7131. The public is
invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Council meets in Brawner Hall at 6 p.m.
the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For more
information, please call 887-1087. The public is invited to
Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation meets at
1831 W. Main, GBC, at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.
For more information, please call 887-1899.
Henderson County Commissioner’s Court meets every Tuesday
at 9 a.m. in the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens. The
public is invited to attend.
Henderson County Emergency Services District #4 meets at
7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at 525 S. Tool Dr. in
Henderson County Historical Commission meets the first
Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the HC Historical Museum.
Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court meets the first,
second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9:45 a.m. in
the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. The public is invited
Kemp City Council meets at Kemp City Hall at 7 p.m. the
second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call
498-3191. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp Independent School District meets the third Tuesday
of each month in the Board Room in the Administration Building.
For more information, please call 498-1314. The public is
invited to attend.
Log Cabin City Council meets the third Thursday of the
month in city hall. For more information, please call 489-2195.
The public is invited to attend.
Mabank City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Mabank City Hall
the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, please
call 887-3241. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank Independent School District meets at 7:30 p.m. the
fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call
887-9310. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs City Council meets at city hall at 7:30
p.m. every third Tuesday of each month. For more information,
please call 451-9229. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs Water Supply Corp. meets the third Tuesday
of each month at 1 p.m. at the Payne Springs Community Center,
located at 9690 Hwy. 198.
Seven Points City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Seven Points
city hall the second Tuesday of each month. For more
information, please call 432-3176. The public is invited to
Tool City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the OranWhite Civic
Center the third Thursday of each month. For more information,
please call 432-3522. The public is invited to attend.
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District is held at 5
p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information,
please call 432-3704. The public is invited.
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Places & Events
‘City not ready for a
Convention Center committee’s report lists
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–While the right kind of civic center for Gun
Barrel City would likely drive up sales tax revenue, the
obstacles seem insurmountable at this time.
That’s the findings the Civic Center Research Committee
presented to the Gun Barrel City Council Tuesday.
In about 26 other Texas cities with civic centers, the
committee reported an increase in sales tax revenues up to
“They didn’t kill the idea, only delayed it,” Mayor Dennis
Wood told The Monitor following the council meeting.
“Most of their facts were right, except that we can’t afford
it,” Wood said. “We can, if we had a property tax. Bottom
line is this is a decision that the people have to make. The
will of the city council doesn’t seem ready to step out to
After reviewing the committee’s assignment, research and
resources, the report outlined a summary of eight obstacles
to be addressed before making a recommendation to suspend
the building of an event center until the stage is better
set to build and maintain a right-sized facility to
accommodate area needs, mainly graduations.
It also recommended the creation of a regional Convention
and Visitors Bureau (with input and support from neighboring
towns) that would support annual events.
It also suggested keeping the committee active to help
design a long-term plan for promotion of tourism in the
area. Committee members Sue Cardin, Elian Haan and Eric
Foster were led by chairmen Paul Eaton and Linda Rankin.
The PowerPoint presentation identified three possible sites,
each of which requiring road construction, which was
factored into the price of building a center. These included
• behind the La Quinta hotel at Heritage Cove,
• city-owned acreage north of Municipal Drive,
• property east of Chili’s and Auto Zone on State Highway
A fourth site near the bridge to Payne Springs on State
Highway 198 was disqualified after contacting the owners.
An analysis of the varying types of event centers were
studied. Committee members considered their strengths and
weaknesses for the likely market areas – from regional
weddings, reunions, celebrations, trade shows, meetings,
entertainment venues and local events.
The committee aimed at designing a facility with the
greatest chance of being able to support its operations, by
targeting meetings and exhibits and ballroom events. The
recommended design calls for a rectangular building on a
flat polished concrete floor, as giving the most
When gathering cost estimates on such a building, the
committee went with a two-phased construction schedule to
include 80,100 total square feet. Cost estimates came in
between $125 and $200 per square foot, or between $10
million and $16 million.
Rankin pointed out that during construction, a professional
destination marketing effort would need to be funded and in
place, naming the minimum cost at $750,000 a year.
Woods disagreed, saying a start-up marketing cost would
likely be no more than $200,000 a year, to include one
professional and a working budget.
The report emphasized that the strongest reason the city is
not ready for a civic center is it doesn’t have a
destination marketing organization.
“The competition for tourism funds usually lead to
organization ‘separation’ and mistrust, so joint efforts to
co-promote organization value to all constituencies should
be pursued,” Rankin stressed. Annual funds from the
hotel/motel tax, averaging $31,370 is not enough to operate
a marketing body and sustain the operation of a civic
facility, she said.
Other obstacles include:
• investment in new roads,
• low median household income qualifies the city for
governmental grants of only 15 percent of the total project
• no airport to fly-in convention attendees, limiting
exhibitions to smaller trade shows and events,
• most event planners have a negative or neutral impression
of the city, as there is little in the way of entertainment
or attractions other than the lake, which is seen as a
positive but not enough to make the city a prime
destination. Traditional attractions include nightclubs,
restaurants, shopping centers, museums, etc.
• low population base, and lack of skilled employees,
• limited corporate base to pull in business meetings.
Looking at taxes
Though property tax exemptions are possible, since the city
is a Home Rule government. Everyone the committee checked
with strongly advised against using them, due to
complications, which include property value declines,
difficulties in removing them, collection efforts are
stymied and various other legal costs involved. Already
nearly $55 million in property value is tax exempt.
In order to raise $1 million in property tax revenue, the
rate would have to be set at around 25 cents per $100,
totalling $250 per year on a property valued at $100,000.
The City of Mabank collects 46 cents per $100 for city and
The full report is available from Rankin and the city’s
Economic Development Corporation.
Johnson honored with Tyler
Monitor Staff Reports
TYLER–According to an article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph
Tuesday, Tim Johnson’s first official act as the city’s fire
department chief was to name his replacement by promoting
Tim McCawley to district chief, Stuart Weatherford to
captain and Brent Hail to driver engineer.
Johnson replaces Neal Franklin, who retired after 23 years
to work for East Texas Medical Center.
Looking forward, Johnson said that while the fire department
could improve, he was very happy with it.
City manager Mark McDaniel remarked during the ceremony that
although it may be unusual to hire a new chief from within
the department, the city of Tyler did so because it was
satisfied with the direction of the department and wanted
someone who was already familiar with what could be
improved, the Telegraph reported.
Early in the process, McDaniel said he didn’t know whether
that was possible.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to (hire someone from
within the department),” McDaniel was quoted as saying. But
when the applications started coming in, he saw that there
were some very qualified people, he said.
After visiting all of Tyler’s fire stations to see what
qualities firefighters wanted to see in a chief, McDaniel
said “it all added up to T.J.”
Johnson responded with a thankful heart to all the positive
influences and experiences that helped lead him to this day.
“There are so many people, all my life – teachers, friends,
employees of the fire department, a lot of good people
helped shape and mold me into who I am, and I’m so grateful
for that,” he was quoted as saying.
One of the strongest influences was the father he lost to
cancer when he was 7 years old. That’s part of the reason
why being promoted is so meaningful, Johnson said.
“It means a lot to me. My daddy was a Dallas firefighter, so
I grew up with it on my mind,” he told the Telegraph.
Rep. Gooden appointed to
Special to The Monitor
AUSTIN–State Rep. Lance Gooden was appointed to the House
Appropriations Committee –the powerful budget-writing body
of the House of Representatives.
Now that Speaker of the House Joe Straus released committee
assignments for the 82nd Legislature, members of the House
can begin meeting in committees and working on legislation.
“It is a great honor to be appointed to serve on the
Appropriations Committee,” Gooden said.
“I am prepared to make the tough decisions for Texas as we
face a $27 billion budget shortfall. Balancing the budget
without raising taxes will be difficult, but I was sent here
by the people of District 4 to do just that,” Gooden stated.
“I have promised to fight to protect our tax dollars, work
to minimize the negative impact of budget cuts in our
community, and I am eager to have an active role in the
budgeting process. The budget is the most serious issue this
session, and being on this committee gives District 4 the
influence it deserves,” he added.
Gooden, one of only five freshmen appointed to the 27-member
Appropriations Committee, was also named to the House County
Affairs and the House Administration committees.
Gooden and the other members of the Appropriations Committee
began work on the budget immediately, meeting Wednesday
afternoon just hours after being appointed.
On Thursday the committee will get an early start, even
though the House is not meeting in regular session the
remainder of the week.
Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts of Waxahachie will be
leading the committee for the second consecutive session.
“It is an honor to be chosen to serve on Appropriations at
any point in a legislator’s career,” Pitts said.
“Rep. Gooden’s appointment as a freshman is reflective of
the dedication he has exhibited since his election, and the
confidence that Speaker Straus has in his ability to serve
his district and all of Texas,” Pitts said.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
have many 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.
information visit our website at petfinder.com