People, Places & Events



Cedar Branch Park residents complete sewer project
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–After 16 months and more than 8,563 volunteer man/woman hours, the 55th residence in Cedar Branch Park subdivision was connected to the new forced main sewer system.
Of the hours donated to the project, four men donated more than 1,000 hours, one man more than 500 hours, two men more than 300 hours, five men more than 200 hours and eight men more than 100 hours, with the rest being made up by other residents.
Also, the residents supplied their own vehicles, tractors and tools to be utilized on the project that included the laying of more than five miles of pipe.
At their own expense, many other residents prepared daily lunches for the work crew and some contributed monetarily.
At an average salary of $10 per hour, the residents of Cedar Branch Park contributed more than $85,630 in labor alone, not to mention the use of vehicles and tools.
Thanks to several years of Tibbie Cole’s persistence, the State of Texas awarded the Cedar Branch Park subdivision a self-help grant for a forced main sewer system.
The grant was written by Traylor Associates of Tyler, and was made possible through the sponsorship of Henderson County.
The engineering, administration, and parts and supplies was paid for by the grant.
However, as stipulated by the grant, all the labor to lay the main sewer line and to make the connections to the homes was done by the subdivision resident volunteers.
The volunteers doing the manual labor consisted of retired personnel, the youngest being 64 and the oldest 75.
However, many many more people provided support through record keeping, inventory control, lunches, donations, and moral support.
The extreme nature of doing ditch work took its toll on all of the workers. Some were lost to back and knee injuries, health problems and one to a heart attack.
However these individuals continued to support the project in many ways. The last few months of the project was completed by five individuals.
The volunteer work crew and the residents of Cedar Branch Park wish to express their appreciation to the Henderson County Commissioners, Traylor Associates, Velvin and Weeks engineering and the state of Texas for making this project possible.
Also, thanks go to the Board of Directors of East Cedar Creek Fresh Water District, manager Bill Goheen, and inventory control specialist Chris Case, without whose support and technical advice the project could not have been completed.
Also not to be forgotten, Joe Utmore and the field employees of ECCFWSD, who were a major factor in this project by providing delivery of supplies, field guidance and when the volunteers were in a bind, assistance in making difficult connections.
It is amazing that a group of elderly retired individuals with no experience in this type of project could take on such a large venture and stay with it through completion.
The competition of this forced main sewer project is a step in helping to clean up the lake and the environment.

Courtesy Photo
Shown are a few of the Cedar Branch Park subdivision
workers that completed the sewer project. Pictured are
 (from left) Kathy Mecklin, Donald Mecklin, Chuck
Welch, Shirley Hunt, Doug Hunt, Johny Howard, Tibbie
Cole and Ken Cole.

Chamber gets lesson on property taxes
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Getting tips on how to protest this year’s property taxes was the crux of a talk by Anita Willingham of the Henderson County tax office.
Willingham was the speaker at the April 10, luncheon of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I eat, sleep and drink taxes,” Willingham said.
Willingham is a 20-year veteran of the HC tax office, under the auspices of tax assessor/collector Milburn Chaney.
She is the senior bookkeeper, loves to visit antique shops and runs marathons (eight during her running career).
The appraisal office sends out its tax notices by May.
“This is not the bill. It tells you what your increase is,” she explained
“The little ‘love letters’ that everyone got are showing an appraised increase of about 20 percent,” Willingham said.
Appraisers raised the value last year on the land and left the improvements alone, she added.
“This is the time to protest or question your tax increase, not in the fall. By then it’s too late,” she said.
Taxpayers need to do their homework by checking values of property like theirs. They need to determine how much was paid for the property and how much it is insured for, she added.
Some things people often forget are the over-65 tax freeze allowed to older citizens and the fact that those over 65 can pay out their taxes in four equal amounts.
The county has four workers in the auto annex offices, one located in Seven Points and one in Chandler.
“The Seven Points office sometimes pulls more customers than the Athens office,” Willingham said.
In other business, members
• heard that Tiffany Lilly State Farm was named the April Business of the Month.

Stroke, heart screening set May 5
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Residents living in and around the Gun Barrel City and Mabank communities can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Monday, May 5, Life Line Screening will be at the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank at 9 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. session at the Lakeridge RV Park in Gun Barrel City, located across from the Dairy Queen.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.
Recommended baseline screenings include stroke/carotid artery, atrial fibrillation, abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease.
The carotid artery screening uses ultrasound to identify blockages in the arteries in the neck, a leading cause of stroke.
The atrial fibrillation screening checks for an irregular heartbeat, and the abdominal aortic aneurysm screening looks for a ballooning of the largest artery in the body.
Screening for peripheral arterial disease checks for blockages in the arteries of the arms and legs, a condition that leaves the individual at four to five times higher risk of heart disease.
Additional screenings can be added for a more comprehensive risk assessment and include C-reactive protein, a blood marker for vascular disease and diabetes; complete lipid panel, including HDL/LDL and total cholesterol; glucose, a measure of blood sugar level, which can determine your risk for diabetes; and an ultrasound screening for osteoporosis.
Pick any four screenings for $140, or all eight screenings for only $199.
Life Line Screening was established in 1993, and has since become the nation’s leading provider of preventive screenings.
For more information, check the website, To schedule an appointment, call toll-free (877) 754-9631. Pre-registration is required.


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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