East Cedar Creek Freshwater
Supply District meets at
12:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the ECCFSD office on
Hammer Road just off Welch Lane in Gun Barrel City.
Eustace City Council
meets at 7 p.m. in the Eustace City Hall the first Thursday of each
month. For more information, please call 425-4702. The public is invited
Eustace Independent School District
meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Eustace High
School Library. For more information, please call 425-7131. The public
is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Council
meets in Brawner hall at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each
month. For more information, please call 887-1087. The public is invited
Gun Barrel City Economic Development
Corporation meets at 1831 W. Main, GBC,
at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information,
please call 887-1899.
Henderson County Commissioner’s Court
meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. in the
Henderson County Courthouse in Athens. The public is invited to attend.
Henderson County Emergency Management
District #4 meets at 7 p.m. the third
Tuesday of each month at Oran White Civic Center in Tool.
Henderson County Historical Commission
meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the HC Historical
Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court
meets the first, second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9:45
a.m. in the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. The public is invited
Kemp City Council
meets at Kemp City Hall at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For
more information, please call 498-3191. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp Independent School District
meets the third Tuesday of each month in
the Board Room in the Administration Building. For more information,
please call 498-1314. The public is invited to attend.
Log Cabin City Council
meets the third Thursday of the month in city hall. For more
information, please call 489-2195. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank City Council
meets at 7 p.m. in Mabank City Hall the first Tuesday of each month. For
more information, please call 887-3241. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank Independent School District
meets at 7:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more
information, please call 887-9310. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs City Council
meets at city hall at 7:30 p.m. every third
Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 451-9229. The
public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs Water Supply Corp.
meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Payne Springs
Community Center, located at 9690 Hwy. 198.
Seven Points City Council
meets at 7 p.m. in Seven Points city hall the
second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call
432-3176. The public is invited to attend.
Tool City Council
meets at 7 p.m. in the OranWhite Civic Center the third Thursday of each
month. For more information, please call 432-3522. The public is invited
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility
District is held at 5
p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call
432-3704. The public is invited.
Trustees eye preliminary
FY 2010 budget projections
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
EUSTACE–Eustace school trustees got a look at the preliminary 2009-10
budget, which is based on lower enrollment but higher property values.
Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe also gave trustees a look at the
possible state funding formula for the upcoming school year at the
board’s June 16 regular meeting, noting the proposal included raises for
teachers and other personnel.
Enrollment at the Eustace Independent School District began dropping
last year during the gas price spike, but lower gas prices have not
resulted in more move-ins, Holcombe reported.
Looking at near-final 2008-09 budget projections, Holcombe pointed out
enrollment was far below what had been projected when the budget was
formulated late last summer.
“We made adjustments (to the budget) throughout the school year,” he
said. “We’re appealing our property values, so we may actually finish in
The drop in enrollment became far more worrisome late in the year. “In
the last six weeks, we lost 38 or 39 kids,” Holcombe told the trustees.
Last April, the district had 1,508 students. “A year ago at this time,
we had 1,505,” Holcombe said. “Now, we’re down to 1,467, and that’s
disappointing. I’m hoping we’ll get some more move-ins this summer and
start (school) around 1,500.”
Each lost student means a corresponding decline in state aid, which is
based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA).
Students did their part by keeping attendance above 96 percent for the
year, even during the fourth six-weeks period, when illness was
widespread, Holcombe reported.
Property values are up about 7 percent, based on preliminary figures,
which show the EISD worth approximately $498 million.
So far, the district has received three different versions of the school
funding formula, “but all three versions are pretty close for us,”
The proposed budget is based on an ADA of 1,415 students, far below last
year’s figure, he noted.
“All of these (versions) have raises included,” Holcombe told the
trustees. “House Bill 3646 calls for an $800 increase, but we’re not
sure yet where the boost goes (in the teacher’s base salary or the local
Speaking of gas prices, the district has been paying a little more for
fuel lately, “but we’re nowhere near what we were paying at this time
last year,” Holcombe said.
In other business, the trustees:
• honored two students, graduate Chelsea Truitt and Josh Felty. Truitt
(who was out of town) took the silver medal in the pole vault at the
state track meet, the first EISD athlete to medal in the event, while
Felty finished eighth at the state UIL academic meet in current events.
• heard athletic director Doug Wendel report “I feel we’re in position
to really take off with our athletic program.”
Wendel recapped the numerous accomplishments Eustace High School
athletes posted during the past school year, including playoff
appearances for both the football and boys basketball teams, breaking
decade-long droughts, along with the now-expected deep playoff run by
the volleyball team.
Wendel thanked the trustees for their essential support for the program,
noting “you play a tremendous role.”
• heard visitor David Mercer request consideration of creating a choral
program at the high school level.
• selected Texas Kids First to handle student insurance services for the
• changed depository banks, accepting a proposal from Prosperity Bank.
• formally approved the Texas Association of School Boards Policy Update
85 on a second reading.
• reviewed, but took no action, on the student handbook, which has few
• accepted the district’s investment policy as proposed.
• accepted seven resignations and hired two individuals, following a
Resignations were accepted from Spanish teacher Ruth Adame, high school
coach/special ed teacher Phillip Smith, high school coach/reading
teacher Laura Belt, husband-and-wife duo Alene and John Gragowski (she
was an aide, while he handled alternative school placements), special ed
aide Aimee Johnson and retiring Ronnie Noble, a middle school computer
Trustees hired Karey Smith and Dee Dee Lancaster, subject to assignment,
and also approved the salary schedule for auxiliary and professional
employees as amended.
Tool council accepts
from councilman, fire chief
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Reports
TOOL–In separate actions, the Tool City Council accepted the
resignations of mayor pro-tem Leland Pitts and of Fire Chief Bruce “Doc”
Thurston at their June 18 regular session.
In a letter addressed to the council, Pitts listed time constraints and
additional demands of his job at Citizens State Bank.
Mayor Mike Black added there were also health issues for both Pitts and
a family member.
Councilman A.J. “Red” Phillips made the motion to accept “with deep
regrets,” and asked for the city to send a letter of appreciation to
Pitts for his years of service.
Thurston expressed personal and family considerations as his reasons for
resigning, Black said in a telephone conversation.
Councilman Tracy Bush asked if the resignation was of Thurston’s own
free will. It was, Black responded.
Tool resident Maurice Favor said the resigning fire chief felt as if
“his feet were cut out from under him.”
A disagreement over the purchase of an older fire engine and a newer
one, set to be delivered next week, is said to have sparked the action.
The council appointed Mike Howell as the new fire chief.
Howell is an experienced firefighter, and will be attending Fire Chiefs
School at Texas A&M-Commerce Sunday through Friday, July 19-24, Black
In other business, council members:
• heard a discussion on allowing fireworks to be sold in the city of
Suggestions included a $500 permit fee, plus trying a two-year temporary
permit before requiring the vendor to build a permanent structure.
The temporary structure would still have to meet city codes, and would
be set up no more than five days before the allowed time to sell
fireworks, and then removed by one week after, Black said.
The item was tabled until all provisions could be discussed, with a
draft ordinance to be presented at a special meeting.
• approved renewing a contract with Nett-Working Technologies.
The new contract includes an increase in price for labor when repairs
are needed, from $65 to $75 per hour.
noted by Humane Society
Special to The Monitor
TOOL–The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake (HSCCL) is celebrating the
American Humane Association’s national Adopt-a-Cat Month in June.
Kitten season starts in early spring and peaks in late spring, flooding
animal shelters with dozen of homeless kitten litters.
“When cats are not neutered or spayed, they reproduce easily, and spring
and summer are the seasons when cats are most active, resulting in more
kittens showing up at our doors,” HSCCL shelter manager Krista McAnally
“We encourage the residents of the Cedar Creek Lake area and the City of
Kaufman to visit and meet the 26 adult cats and 30 kittens that are
looking for loving, permanent homes,” she added.
The HSCCL encourages people to enrich their lives by adopting a cat.
Following are some of the reasons to adopt a cat or kitten:
• Cats are great companions; most felines love to keep you company.
• Cats can be comfortable in smaller places, where dogs need room to run
• Some cats even love to carry on a conversation.
• Kittens are entertaining; it can be beneficial to adopt more than one
cat or kitten, especially if the pets will be left alone for long
periods of time. Young kittens need to engage in vigorous play for
several hours a day, and another kitten can help.
• A cat’s purr can help you relieve everyday troubles and stress.
• Cats have unique temperaments for different households and
• Most cats are already house trained, or can be trained very easily.
• Cats love to groom themselves.
• Many cats and kittens are in need of a good home.
If you’re not in the position to adopt a cat or kitten, please consider
donating the following items: kitty litter, bleach, canned cat food,
dish and laundry detergent, paper towels, latex gloves, cloth towels, or
39-gallon heavy duty trash bags.
Dry dog food is also very much in need. These items can be dropped off
at the shelter at 10200 CR 2403 in Tool, or in the collection boxes
located at Brookshire’s in Seven Points, Dairy Queen in Kemp, Southside
Bank in Gun Barrel City and Citizens Bank in Mabank.
For other locations, call (903) 432-3422.
About the HSCCL:
The HSCCL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization operating solely on
They take in stray animals from the lake area, the City of Kaufman, and
the City of Crandall.
In 2008, they took in more than 3,000 animals and had a 38 percent
adoption/rescue rate, which is higher than the national average of 35
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
We have many animals at the
Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven
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
County Road 2403 in
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