Sunday, May 18, 2008





Hi-tech company relocates to Kemp
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The Economic Development Corporation of Kemp is willing to put $18,932 into a parking lot for an electronic company planning to move to Kemp.
EDC president Jody Deller made a presentation to the Kemp City Council Tuesday, describing the possible loan.
“Terms depend on projected sales tax revenue, growth and maintaining a certain number of employees. We ask the council approve the project, pending an agreement with the EDC and the city council prior to the expenditure of any funds,” Deller said.
The company, Rugged CCTV, has been in business since 1993 (15 years), and manufactures and distributes digital surveillance equipment, she explained.
Having spread to several offices over the last eight years, owners Kevin and Jennifer Spears have decided to move everything into one central location.
“They have purchased the property at 201 Elm Street and have begun renovation of the property,” Deller explained.
Her presentation listed Rugged CCTV, SelfStorageCams and CarWashCameras as a part of the three divisions of the company.
Customers from Rugged CCTV include national restaurant chains, Chili’s, Dairy Queen, Little Caesars Pizza and Cold Storage Creamery, quite a few universities, and every branch of the US military.
The company plans on growth in the area, allowing it to hire several additional employees each year.
In 2009 it expects to earn between $5 and $8 million, Deller said.
Following Deller’s presentation, the EDC was given the go-ahead to begin negotiating the conditions for the loan.
In other business, council members:
• approved, in three separate actions, variances for lots within the city including:
208 E. 8th Street, a residential lot. Owner asked for a setback that involved 10,000 square feet.
703 N. Elm, a variance to allow the owner to build a carport.
201 N. Elm, a variance to allow for a sign denoting the company Rugged CCTV.
• canvassed the votes for the May 10 election for three city council seats.
Following the official canvass, city secretary Teri Murdock administered the oath of office to incumbent councilman Leodis Buckley and newly elected councilmen Matt Ganssle and Jessie Morton.
• approved an adjustment as presented regarding the water/sewer budget.
City administrator James Stroman explained water department personnel understand the need the city has in reducing the payroll by not hiring replacement staff as workers leave.
The money saved in payroll has been reallocated to other city projects.
• heard a letter read by Stroman from Mayor Billy Teel thanking outgoing council member and mayor pro tem Todd Weber for his contributions to the city of Kemp and his congratulations to Buckley for retaining his seat, plus welcoming the new councilmen.
Teel was in Illinois, visiting with relatives following a death in his family.
• approved the ordinance amending the existing gas franchise between the city and Atmos Energy Corporation.
“Passing the ordinance will result in the city collecting between $2,000 to $3,000 more in franchise fees,” Stroman explained.

Mabank man gets 17 years in prison
Monitor Staff Reports
TYLER–A Mabank man, prosecuted for stockpiling and distributing child pornography via the Internet, received a 17.5-year federal prison sentence Tuesday.
Harrison Havens, 56, of Mabank, was convicted in November, 2007, on four counts of child pornography possession and one count of child pornography transportation.
State assistant attorney general Sarah Wannarka prosecuted the case in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.
Federal Judge Leonard Davis handed down the sentence in Tyler.
The A.G.’s Cyber Crimes Unit investigators searched Havens’ residence after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that he was possibly distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Forensic analysis of computers and external media confiscated at Havens’ home revealed several hundred images and videos of child pornography. Havens was arrested in the state of New York in April, 2007, following his indictment on federal charges.
The case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative that encourages the use of multi-jurisdictional task forces to investigate and prosecute the sexual exploitation of children online.
Assistance in these cases is provided by the Texas AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, one of nearly 50 federally-funded task forces across the nation.

Council canvasses vote
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–With most of their regular session’s agenda related to canvassing results from the May 10 council election, the Gun Barrel City Council wasted little time Tuesday, taking just 30 minutes to move through the 13-item list.
Carol Yarbroro and Peggy Northcutt reported vote totals from each of the city’s polling spots for the mayor’s race, the races for Place 2 and Place 4 on the council, and the 10 proposed amendments to the city’s charter.
No changes from published figures were noted in the report, which showed Melvin Hayes winning the Place 2 seat formerly held by mayoral candidate Marty Goss.
Hayes won election over write-in candidate John Gregg 74-32.
Kevin Banghart took a relatively narrow 158-105 win over Dean Wright Jr. for the Place 4 seat vacated by long-time councilwoman Patsy Black, who did not seek re-election.
In the mayor’s race, incumbent Paul Eaton fell seven votes short of winning an outright majority over Goss, 184-128, as third-place candidate David Parras Jr. had 78 votes.
That forced a runoff election to be set for Saturday, June 28, with early voting set June 16-24.
Council members unanimously approved ordinances declaring the canvassed results official, and setting the runoff election.
Voters also authorized the city to continue diverting half of the Economic Development Corporation’s portion of the sales tax toward street maintenance.
All 10 of the charter propositions passed by wide margins – the smallest being 201 votes for Proposition 2 – and council members approved an ordinance recognizing the election results as official.
In other business, the council:
• approved a request for an oversized sign variance for the Heritage Cove development.
As planned, the sign would have a lighted marquee at the top, with smaller signs to advertise individual tenants, city manager Gerry Boren told the council.
“It’s actually very close to the size of the sign at the old Winn-Dixie (Gun Barrel Village shopping center),” Boren said. “I would be very reluctant to approve (an additional) pole sign with this in place.”
• accepted Planning & Zoning Commission recommendations to approve a replat of four lots in the Harbor Point addition, as requested by Boren, and the replat of a Loon Bay lot owned by the Loon Bay Property Owners Association, as requested by the POA.
Council members also scheduled public hearings on both replats for the Tuesday, June 10, council session.
• heard Eaton declare May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” in the city.

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