Voter Registration Cards
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Registered voters of Kaufman and Henderson
County should be receiving their long-awaited Voter Registration
Cards in the mail this week.
Voters in Van Zandt County received theirs the first of April.
The county clerk reported that all 32,000 cards were mailed out
Voters have been looking for new cards since the end of
December, 2011, when the old ones expired. However, due to legal
challenges over the state’s redistricting, the automatic
reissuance of new cards was held up.
If you are not sure whether you are registered to vote, you can
or you can go to
and follow the prompts.
The deadline to register in the May 29 primary is April 30. The
deadline to register in the local May 12 election has already
The new cards are bright yellow. Voters need to verify that all
the information on their card is correct. If there is an error,
contact the Voter Registrar in your county by telephone. In
Kaufman that is (972) 932-0299 and in Henderson County it is
Many polling places have changed this year and the number of
voter precincts have been reduced. Precinct information in
Kaufman County is available on line at
Both counties report that most voters should have received their
new cards by the end of April.
Monarch Utilities lowers rate hike
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Monarch Utilities, a subsidiary of SouthWest
Water Company, announced Monday it will be dropping a
controversial merger application and asking the state to
significantly lower a proposed rate increase.
Opponents of Monarch aren’t quite ready to give a thumbs up to
the deal, however, and are still reviewing the documents.
With the merger Monarch was hoping to consolidate eight utility
companies, but changed its mind because “we listened carefully
to feedback from our customers and elected officials, and we are
willing to make adjustments to meet their desires,” said Charles
Profilet, vice president, SouthWest Water Company.
In May 2011, Monarch filed for a water rate increase of 62.3
percent and a sewer rate increase of 33.6 percent for the
consolidated utilities. With Monday’s filing to the State Office
of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), Monarch is requesting to
amend the rate application to a 14.3 percent water revenue
increase and no sewer revenue increase for Monarch Utilities
without the consolidated utilities.
“Over the past months, we listened to our customers’ concerns
about rates,” Profilet said. “While the proposed amended rates
will not recover our costs of doing business, we have elected to
voluntarily make adjustments because we understand how customers
have been affected by the difficult economic climate.”
Orville Bevel, chairman of Texas Against Monopolies Excessive
Rates (TAMER), said there were several costs in Monarch’s new
plan that weren’t listed in the company’s press release,
including 15 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent increases per
“Unless you only use 2,000 gallons you are going to pay more,”
Plus, Bevel said, the company wants the 14.3 percent increase to
go back to August 2011, meaning customers would be responsible
for paying all the back fees.
He also said that although the sewer base rate will stay the
same, the company plans to charge an extra $5.64 per 1,000
gallons on top of the water rates.
“And we still haven’t looked at other fees,” he said.
He also said there was no mention of how long Monarch intended
to stand by the deal.
“If they want to file this and then a year later ask for another
increase, then we’re going to say no way,” he said.
Bevel said TAMER, which is an interested party in the rate case,
has until Monday to file an answer to Monarch’s new plan.