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
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
Having spread to several offices over the last eight years, owners Kevin
and Jennifer Spears have decided to move everything into one central
“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
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
• canvassed the votes for the May 10 election for three city council
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
• 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
Monitor Staff Reports
TYLER–A Mabank man, prosecuted for stockpiling and distributing child
pornography via the Internet, received a 17.5-year federal prison
Harrison Havens, 56, of Mabank, was convicted in November, 2007, on four
counts of child pornography possession and one count of child
State assistant attorney general Sarah Wannarka prosecuted the case in
conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of
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
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
No changes from published figures were noted in the report, which showed
Melvin Hayes winning the Place 2 seat formerly held by mayoral candidate
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
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
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