The Family Resource Center is seeking volunteers for its “Back
to School Clothing Program.” A meeting is set for 1 p.m.
Thursday (today), at the building located next to the Resource
Center in the Tamarack Subdivision.
For information call Winnie at (903) 519-2934.
The Westside Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday (today and every Thursday) at the Cedar Creek Bible
Church Activities Building, 700 North Seven Points Blvd.
Seniors 55 and older in the Cedar Creek area are invited to join
in games, fun, food and fellowship.
For information, call (903) 340-9672.
The Henderson County Master Gardeners Summer Workshop Series
presents East Texas naturalist Liz Soutendijk at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday (today) at the East Texas Arboretum, 1601 Patterson
The free program features ways to incorporate native plants into
the home landscape. The program is free and light refreshments
will be served along with door prizes.
For more information, call the extention agent at (903)
Free kids movies
The Tri-County Library offers free children’s movies at 1 p.m.
every Thursday in the community room of the library at 132 E.
Market Street, Mabank. July 14, “Horton Hears a Who;” and July
21, “Garfield: The Movie.” For more information, call (903)
Parrot Head Run
Registration for the annual Parrot Head Poker Run starts at
Don’s Port Marina between 10 a.m. and noon. Saturday, July 16,
and finishes at Cedar Isle Restaurant with live music from 4 to
9 p.m. by the “Bad Monkeys in the Jimmy Buffet style. For
information, call (903) 432-2220.
Free rap concert
The Lighthouse of Praise welcomes popular Christian rap artist
Stephen (Burnin”) Bush in a free concert at 6 p.m. Saturday,
July 16. The church is located at 18280 SH 274 on the west side
of the highway just past The HamLins. For more information, call
The American Indian Cultural Society, Inc. is hosting the annual
“Battle of the Neches” memorial ceremony. Events begin at 1 p.m.
and ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16, about 85 miles from
Dallas, off SH 64 to Redland (look for sign), turn north (left)
onto Van Zandt CR 4923. For information, directions or to RSVP,
call (903) 425-8581 or (903) 914-1516.
The Rootseekers Genealogy Society meets at 7 p.m. Monday, July
18, at the Tri-County Library, Mabank. Margaret Ann Trail and
Faith Gilbreath will discuss displaying your genealogy work.
Meetings are open to the public. The genealogy room at the
library is open from 9:30 to noon Tuesdays. Volunteers are on
hand to help anyway they can.
VBS FBC Eustace
Vacation Bible School, “The Big Apple Adventure” is set for 6:30
to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, July 18-22, for ages 4 through
entering sixth grade.The week of fun, food and learning
opportunities, is free of charge.
For more information, call (903) 425-2261 or visit the web site
MHS Varsity Choir
The Mabank Varsity Choir is holding a garage sale from 8 a.m. to
5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 22-23 at 104 South Rye, Gun Barrel
City. Proceeds fund the choir’s trip to Disney World in Orlando,
Fla. Items include clothing, Christmas decorations, massage
chairs, and much more. For information, call Marsha Sanchez at
the Fine Arts Department at
Children’s book drive
Christian Cheer Company and The Library at Cedar Creek Lake are
pairing up from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 23, by holding a
children’s book drive. Books will be donated to local children
in order to promote reading.
Red Hot ‘18’ tourney
The annual Red Hot “18” Golf Tournament is set for a shotgun
start at 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 25, at Kings Creek Country Club.
Check-in is at 7:45 a.m.. Featured is a hole-in-one contest
sponsored by Tri-County Ford. Cost includes light breakfast,
golf, cart & lunch. For information call Tiffany Lilly at (903)
887-6001, Robbye Grissom at (214) 926-1395 or Debra Davis at
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Grassfire destroys 25 acres
Sleepers saved from 2 a.m. house fire; no
batteries in smoke detector
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
PAYNE SPRINGS–Local firefighters stopped a grassfire dead in its
tracks July 7, scorching about 25 acres of the property
belonging to Nelda and Glen Reynolds of County Road 2831.
The call came in shortly before 1 p.m. In addition to Payne
Springs Fire Rescue, units from Eustace, Enchanted Oaks and Gun
Barrel City were dispatched to the area.
When it looked like the grassfire was going to ignite a close-by
wooded area, the Texas Forestry Service was alerted but later
Chuck Harley, one of the volunteers who saw it extinguished
after five hours, said the fire was started while Richard Craft
was baling hay there.
A brush truck drowns any sparks along a tree line to prevent a
grass fire on a property along CR 2831 from becoming a wildfire
“Sometimes some of the grass gets lodged in between the gears
(of a hay baler) and the heat and friction of the moving parts
probably caused it to catch fire,” he explained.
Happily, no one was hurt.
Eustace contributed men and two brush trucks. Enchanted Oaks
sent a brush truck. Gun Barrel City sent a small engine and a
tanker truck, and Payne Springs responded with three brush
trucks, two tankers one engine and one rescue vehicle.
Firefighters were kept hydrated by auxiliary workers providing
water and Gatorade, Harley said.
went to Possum Kingdom with the Payne Springs Fire Rescue and
there is no difference in their situation at that time then our
own position now,” Harley noted.
“It (wildfires) could easily happen here, once it got started,”
he added. “So far, we’ve been lucky.”
All that’s left of a hay baler that caught fire, resulting in
the scorching of 25 acres near Payne Springs.
2 a.m. house fire
Harley also reported a house fire occurring around 2 a.m.
Thursday in Cherokee Shores.
In that case, a passerby, saw smoke coming from the front of the
structure and alerted the residents, while a neighbor called
His quick action may have saved the life of a woman, her
daughter and 2-year-old granddaughter, who were asleep in the
back of the single-wide mobile home.
The call came in at 2:13 a.m. and fire rescue arrived seven
minutes later with three engines, two tankers and rescue.
When they arrived, the front room was fully involved in fire,
heavy smoke was present and fire moving down the hallway.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However,
firefighters found the home’s smoke alarm to be missing its
“Check those smoke alarms. Any fire could make Cedar Creek Lake
end up like Possum Kingdom,” Harley warned.
4006 road repair disputed
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–At a loss as to what’s to be done about the repair of a
much traveled road between Mabank and Gun Barrel City, the
Mabank City Council agreed Thursday to see about closing off
The road’s failing condition and political stalemate over its
repair has caused area residents to become more and more abusive
toward city and county workers in their understandable
frustration over the situation.
“What’s going to happen when it goes beyond verbal abuse and
someone gets hurt,” utility supervisor Ronnie Tuttle asked
council members July 7.
Kaufman County Precinct 4 commissioner Tom Manning said he
receives 20 or more calls a week – all from very angry Gun
Barrel City residents – about the road’s condition.
Tuttle said his work crews are on the receiving end of verbal
assaults from motorists.
“They shouldn’t have to put up with that,” he said.
City secretary Fairy Gonzales said she gets her share of irate
So what’s stopping Mabank from repairing the roadway used by
Harbor Point residents to cut through to U.S. Highway 175 and
saves gas to the Mabank ISD serving Lakeview Elementary on
Harbor Point Road?
Legalities over borders.
“If we had control of the road, we could fix it and enforce
rules about truck traffic,” Mayor Larry Teague said.
Since state law stipulates that a city cannot claim just part of
a road, Gun Barrel officials argue that since Mabank annexed the
505 Ranch, repair of the road falls to Mabank.
However Mabank points out that there are no taxpayers along that
road, and according to an agreement worked out between the two
cities the center of the road is the boundary between the two
The outcome of a boundary dispute between the two cities worked
out in 2002 set the boundary. Therefore, Mabank says that
without Gun Barrel releasing a corresponding 300-foot set back
from the road, it cannot legally repair it.
The 300-foot rule came down from the legislature to prevent
cities from annexing just those few feet fronting major roadways
in order to collect property or sales tax from businesses along
So without an interlocal agreement, Mabank cannot legally repair
the road, unless Gun Barrel is willing to give up part of its
However, Gun Barrel City council members – first in January with
a $90,000 road repair price tag and then again in June with a
greatly reduced price of about $22,000 – turned down proposed
interlocal agreements to share in the repair of the roadway.
At the June meeting, the council was well aware that Mabank
couldn’t fix the road without an interlocal agreement, Mayor
Dennis Wood said. “They can’t take over the entire road in this
case, unless Gun Barrel City is willing to reduce its ETJ by 300
feet,” Wood said.
“We spent about $40,000 for a July Fest to entertain a few
people and that was the amount to repair the entire road.
There’s no reason we shouldn’t have taken care of this for a
mere $22,000, period. The end,” Wood told The Monitor in a phone
Wood agreed with Mabank’s move to seek the road’s closure. “I
agree. I would probably have done the same thing,” he said.
The 25-page document agreed to in 2002 was authorized by 173rd
District Court Judge Jack Holland, now Gun Barrel City municipal
The 2002 agreement was the result of a lawsuit brought by Mabank
against Gun Barrel City when Gun Barrel wanted to annex across
the boundaries which extends through property past the roadway,
changing a previous agreement worked out in 1989.
“We are bound by that agreement along our entire border,
including the roadway,” councilwoman Shannon Steakley said.
“They’re doing more damage (by not approving an interlocal
agreement) to the people who live in Gun Barrel City than anyone
else,” she added.
In 2007, at the insistence of Mabank schools superintendent Dr.
Russell Marshall, city mayors Paul Eaton and Larry Teague agreed
to share maintenance of the road dividing it evenly from both
ends of the roadway, with Gun Barrel maintaining the West Side
and Mabank the East Side.
Teague said both sides honored that agreement until “we (Mabank)
refused to sell the water meters we had under contract to East
“That’s the truth,” Teague continued. “And I said that very
thing with them sitting right here (in Mabank’s council chambers
June 13), and they were as quiet as church mice with their heads
hung low. And you can quote me,” he added.
“I feel like we’ve done what we agreed to do whether it was on a
handshake or by an interlocal agreement.”
“They could have spent the money they spent on trying to get
water out of a turnip to agree to fix that road,” councilman
Mitch Odom added.
“Now they (local residents) curse at us, but before you know it
they’ll be shooting at us,” Tuttle said. “Me and Fairy probably
get more cursing than anyone else in the world.”
Tuttle said even now, he’s willing to continue maintaining the
handshake agreement and keep the Mabank half of the road
repaired. “Mabank wants to do what’s right,” he said.
With Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee deeming the road unsafe,
the motion passed unanimously to pursue closure of the road
until the problem is resolved or road repaired.
In other business, council members:
• authorized a five-year property tax abatement agreement for
JIT Manufacturing, Inc. In consideration of the action, JIT is
building a $2.021 million development, equipping a
28,500-square-foot light manufacturing facility on a 12-acre
site on the northern edge of the city limits.
The area has been zoned as a Reinvestment Zone. The firm will
also receive a one-year construction period free of property
According to the contract the increment of tax abatement will
decrease 20 percent from its second year in business through its
• entered into an interlocal agreement with Mabank ISD for the
purpose of adding 45 parking spaces at Southside Elementary
School campus. The city will provide the expertise, labor and
equipment, while Mabank ISD will supply the material.
• agreed to a change in escrow agencies for the purchase of
water meters from the city by East Cedar Creek Fresh Water
Supply District. The former agent is closing its doors.