themonitoronline.gif (15865 bytes)

Current Issue
March 4, 2012






News in Brief

Shelter needs volunteers
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake needs volunteers to take dogs and cats to KCAAP Spay Neuter Clinic in Crandall. Pickup animals up at the shelter at 8:30 a.m. Monday mornings and check them in, then return at 3 p.m. to pick them up and return to the shelter. To volunteer call Krista at (903) 432-3422 or e-mail

TVCC spring concert
The Trinity Valley Community College Music Department is presenting its first spring concert, “We Sing of Praise,” at 3 p.m. Sunday (today), at Dogwood Baptist Church, 6467 FM 2494, three miles west of the college, in Athens. The college’s Cardinal Singers and Chamber Singers will present a variety of songs in the free concert.
For information call (903) 675-6327.

GBC First Assembly
The First Assembly of God Church, Gun Barrel City, welcomes new pastor and his family. Pastor Tim Howard of Eustace begins his ministry in the 10:30 a.m. Sunday (today) service. The church is located at 721 W. Main St.

Kemp First Assembly
The First Assembly of God Church in Kemp is celebrating its homecoming service at 11 a.m. Sunday (today) and at 2 p.m. with a dinner served between the two services. The event will also be the 23rd anniversary for Pastor and Sister Smeal at the church. A guest speaker and singer from Houston will be featured. The church is located on Business 175, next to the Kemp fire station.

Try ‘pocket gardening’
Kaufman County Master Gardener, Bonnie Hoover will present a free program on how to make a simple pocket garden at 9 a.m. March 5, just before the association’s monthly meeting at the Kaufman Fire Department, 301 S. Madison St. Refreshments provided.

CC Model A Club
The Cedar Creek Model A Club meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 (first Tuesday of the month), at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Visitors are always welcome and you do not have to own a Model A to join.

Eustace hosts MADD
The Eustace VFD will present a victims impact presentation by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), at 7 p.m. Monday, March 5, at the fire station. The department invites members of the community to help them fill the station to standing room only.

CCL Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake executive board meeting is at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points.

Fragile Hearts group
The Fragile Hearts Grief Support Group meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the home of Eric and Sonya Ward, 215 N. Coleman Street, Mabank (met formerly at Moorhead-Epps Funeral Home). Dinner is provided. For information or directions call Sonya at (903) 386-0443 or Beth Landrum at (903) 880-4975.

PSUMC fellowship night
The Payne Springs United Methodist Church is hosting a performance by the Mabank Panther Edition at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, following the 6:30 p.m. covered dish dinner. The church is located at 9667 SH 198, across from the Payne Springs VFD. For information, call (903) 451-3131 or (903) 451-2978.

HC Republican Women
The Henderson County Republican Women meet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 7, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. Precinct 1 county commissioner candidates will speak. Women 18 and older are urged to attend. Spouses welcome.

VZ Senior Citizens
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club monthly dance is set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 9, at the Henderson County Senior Center in Athens. Joe Walenta and the Ranch Hands will provide the music.

Junior Livestock benefit
The Kaufman County Junior Livestock Show board is hosting a barbecue cook off with all proceeds benefitting the KC Junior Livestock Show scholarship fund. The event is set for Saturday, March 10, at the county fairgrounds on South 34, Kaufman. Judges needed. E-mail Jackie Robertson at jrobertson@ag.tamu  or call Bill Thornton at (972) 452-3290 or (214) 729-4522.

HSCCL Art Auction
The third annual Art Auction benefitting the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is set for 2 to 7 p.m. for a silent auction and 6:30 p.m. live auction, Saturday, March 10, at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Drinks and appetizers plus $1 million fuzzy bucks included with ticket. For information call Krista at (903) 432-3422 or Sue at (903) 887-2234.

All day walk-in tax day
Free tax help! First come, first served. An all-Day Walk-in Tax day is set for Monday, March 12, at Tri-County Library, Mabank. Bring all your information. For other times, call the library at (903) 887-9622, and someone will call you back to make an appointment.

Food ministries
Orders for Low Cost Food Ministries are being taken from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, March 12-15. For information call James at (903) 603-5309.

CCL Literary Club
The Literary Club of Cedar Creek Lake meets, beginning with refreshments at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake. Lee Gary will present the program, “Three Blonde Bombshells.”

AL dinner benefits
The American Legion Post 310 Auxiliary is hosting a salad dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, and a corned beef and cabbage dinner with all the fixings, from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17 (Saint Patrick’s Day). Proceeds from both meals benefit the youth activities in the lake Community.

Rosser VFD chili supper
The Rosser Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual chili and stew supper with doors opening at 5 p.m. and the auction starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the station in Rosser.

VFW homeless vet benefit
A benefit for the local VFW Post 4376 and the homeless veterans home being built near the Dallas VA hospital, will feature the Stephen Pride Show on Saint Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17 at the VFW Post 4376, Seven Points.



main   sports  news  obits  lake life  events  views  classifieds  

Top News

State heads for May 29 primary election
Candidate signup extended to March 9
Monitor Staff Reports
AUSTIN–Federal judges in San Antonio unveiled interim maps for the state’s congressional delegation and for the state Legislature last Tuesday in time for a unified primary election May 29.
The justices also released agreed upon maps for the Senate districts formed in early February.
The court asked political parties to detail the election law waivers they would need in order to hold their primaries then.
Here are the new dates:
• Filing for all offices were to reopen Friday, March 2, and will close Friday, March 9.
• Early voting will begin May 14.
• Any runoff election would be set for July 31.
The new maps split the four new congressional seats as two Republican and two Democratic.
Attorney General Greg Abbott said these maps are much closer to those originally approved by the Texas Legislature last year. “I consider these interim maps to be a substantial improvement over the maps previously issued by the San Antonio court,” he stated in a press release Wednesday. “The court properly rejected demands by some plaintiffs to draw drastic and over-reaching maps.”
Gov. Rick Perry added, “While we believe the original maps drawn by the Texas Legislature were fair and legal, I am pleased we finally have maps that enable us to proceed with our elections.”
The state objected to the court’s first maps because the judges started their drawings from the current political maps instead of starting with the maps approved by the Legislature last year. The U.S. Supreme Court kicked those back, telling the Texas judges to start from the Legislature-approved maps, correcting for violations of the federal Voting Rights Act, based on the strength of legal challenges presented.
According to political analyst Robert Miller, the Republicans will be favored to have 25 seats in the Congressional delegation after the 2012 elections, and the Democrats 11.


Potholes follow rains, city tries to keep up
The story of a country road
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

PAYNE SPRINGS–Payne Springs council members were all handed a list of complaints regarding potholes and road repairs needing to be made at the last council meeting, Feb. 21.
The city secretary had been told to document the calls and complaints that come in regarding roads as a check against the work currently being done by the city to fill potholes and make repairs.
With recent rains washing over some of the roads due to inadequate drainage, the secretary handed in a list of 17 complaints.
“Nothing gets done,” Del Mar resident Craig Thurmon told The Monitor following the meeting.
“I dare one of these policemen to give me a ticket for weaving along Leisureland Road to miss the potholes,” he taunted.
Council action on roads taken Feb. 21 included approving the purchase of a four-foot attachment for a leased backhoe to assist in the clearing of ditches alongside city- maintained roadways. Currently, the city is using an 18-inch wide bucket for the same purpose.
Councilman Chris Reed reported finding one that would serve the city’s need for around $900, including shipping, via the Internet.
“It’s something we need real bad to clean out the ditches, councilman Michael Juica agreed.
The next morning, The Monitor, along with the city secretary, toured the trouble spots identified by city residents via the list to see first hand, what Payne Spring residents are driving on.
The city is responsible for maintaining 27 miles of roads in the city limits. These are interspersed with sections of roadway maintained by Henderson County Precinct 2 Commission Wade McKinney.
In May 2011, voters renewed a quarter of 1 percent from the collectible sales tax in the city to be dedicated to road maintenance. However, it was approved by only the barest of margins – 13 approved the dedicated funding, while 12 opposed it.
Sales tax collected in Payne Springs still remains at the lowest rate of any city around the lake, at 8 percent.
Leisureland Road serves residents of Three Harbors, Condo’s Del Mar, Leisureland and Golden Oaks, with the city responsible for the section from State Highway 198 to Cawthorn Road and the county from Cawthorn Road on.
The Monitor found no major potholes on the city section of the roadway. City secretary Karen Juica pointed out a patched repair the city had completed two months before. “And it’s rained at least twice since then and the patch has held,” she said.
Also she showed The Monitor where a giant double culvert had been put in by the county at the city’s request to carry water away from Leisure Land Estates, through Del Mar and into Cedar Creek Lake.
“There’s still the last culvert (in Del Mar) that needs to be enlarged,” she said. “But water flowing from there to the lake doesn’t cross into anyone’s property and seldom spills over any roads.”
Right at the entrance to Del Mar was evidence of older repairs and need for newer ones to be made.
“We worked in Del Mar last year and have other roadways in worse shape that need work before we return here,” she explained.
On Magellan Street, she pointed out a new culvert that had recently been installed on the left side of the street. No culverts were used on the lakeside because water drains into the lake there.
She pointed out her own house, where she had laid out 4-by-4 wooden beams to run water away from the front door and down the driveway and to the lake.
A few minor potholes were noted in Del Mar, where the speed limit is only 20 mph.
Homeowners could help preserve their roads by clearing debris and leaves out of the culverts in front of their properties, Juica noted.
Doubling back to Cawthorn, which the county maintains, and down to Dyer Circle a major school bus route through the neighborhood of Oakwood Shores, we say where Dyer Circle joins Oakwood Shores. Some major potholes were seen at the stop sign, along with signs of earlier repairs needing to be redone, due to water seeping into the pavement and loosening the patch away from the base.
Some of the roads didn’t appear to have a base to it any longer and are in continuous need of patching.
“All these roads could be fixed properly with a road crew and $500,000,” Karen Juica said.
The city is patching with a flex base, a concrete and gravel combination that is used to fill holes and hardens before a cold mix of asphalt blacktop is smoothed over the top, followed by a seal coat to keep water out. “It’s a process that requires time and good weather to complete,” she said.
The city is doing these repairs with volunteers, mainly on weekends and some late afternoons and during business house using contract labor.
At the Feb. 21 meeting it was pointed out that the amount of money spent on contract labor was up due to the recent good weather, which allowed for more work to be done on road patching.
So far, these roads looked like simple fixes, but even easier preventative measures could be taken to preserve the roads.
Currently, an engineer working on a drainage project in Southwood Shores is assisting the city in analyzing some of the city’s roads and suggesting minimum culvert sizes needed in each area.
Councilman Michael Juica has twice tabled the discussion on formulating an ordinance to standardize culvert sizes, until the engineer’s analysis can be completed and an ordinance can be worded for council consideration.
Keeping water from pooling on roadways through cleared drainage channels and adequate culvert sizes is the best way to preserve roadways and save money, Michael Juica told The Monitor.
The city’s current budget sets aside $30,000 for roads, plus the addition of $15,500 of voter mandated funds for repairs, totaling $45,500. Last year, the council adjusted the budget to add $18,000 more to the purchase of road repair material.
In addition, the city sets aside $10,000 to pay for contract labor to work during the week as weather conditions allow on road repairs.
Either a councilman or a police officer checks on their progress daily, The Monitor learned.
Over the past year, the city has also been acquiring its own road repair equipment. After hiring a paving contractor to rebuild the intersection of county roads 2507 and 2529 and a stretch of 2529 for $12,000 in the summer of 2010 and have it return to the same rotten condition less than two years the council decided to do repairs themselves. It has acquired a self-propelled asphalt roller (4,500), a hand-held vibrating slate packer ($1,200), a seal coat machine ($1,800), a chip seal spreader (cheap) and the use of a dump truck and backhoe.
The city also works with the county through interlocal agreements limited to $3,000 each to repair roadway, depending on priorities and weather conditions.
“There is a lot of road repair work needed in the city, and it is being worked on,” councilman Michael Juica said. “But short of collecting a hefty city property tax, the city is doing all it can do to make repairs.”












Copyright © 2012, MediaOne, L.L.C.