EISD sets energy policies
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
EUSTACE–School trustees approved a number of steps aimed at cutting
energy costs for the Eustace Independent School District, including a
new set of guidelines to cut the time buses sit idling.
“Most of this is common-sense stuff,” Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe
told trustees during their regular July 15 meeting.
For example, the new guidelines will require classroom doors to remain
“I know some teachers like to keep their doors open, but that means
we’re having to cool the classroom and the hallway,” Holcombe said.
Under the proposals, classroom thermostats will be set no lower than 72
degrees when cooling, and no higher than 72 degrees when heating.
Hallways and gyms will be kept at 75 degrees or higher when cooling and
not higher than 68 degrees (70 for gyms) when heating.
Natural light will be utilized whenever possible, and staff members will
be asked to turn out the lights when they leave any room.
Because gym lights take several minutes to reach full intensity, one set
of lights will be left on when the gym won’t be used for a couple of
hours or so, but if the gym won’t be used for the rest of the day, the
lights should be turned off.
Lights in the seating area of cafeterias should be off, unless students
are present or the floor is being cleaned.
Security lights will be kept off during daylight hours, and computers
will be set to power down after no more than 10 minutes.
Maintenance personnel will be asked to carefully check for any water
leaks, and when light bulbs, toilets, urinals, water heaters or other
appliances are replaced, energy-efficient models will be used if
The transportation department will examine bus routes to see if any
routes can be combined, and bus maintenance will be emphasized to get
the best milage possible.
The district will continue to replace older buses when possible, and no
bus more than five years old will be used for any type of
Bus drivers have been ordered to shut down buses any time they will be
sitting for more than five minutes. “This (bus idling) is a big thing
with the state right now,” Holcombe said.
At the most recent cost of $4.09 a gallon for diesel, it’s worth a lot
to the district to maximize mileage, he pointed out.
In a bus-related action, the trustees authorized Holcombe and
maintenance supervisor J.W. Wallace to meet with Lufkin architect Larry
Lasiter to iron out details in the proposed new bus barn and return to
the board with an agreed estimate.
Lasiter met with the trustees to review cost estimates for the new
transportation facility, which range between $415,000 (Wallace’s
estimate) and $748,000 (Lasiter’s estimate).
Lasiter said the $748,000 estimate was based on two recent projects his
firm had done, and pointed out the original estimates prior to the
February, 2005, bond issue election were between $600,000 and $650,000.
Holcombe said a couple of items – concrete paving, in particular – had
been removed from the original plans since then, due to the cost.
“If we knew we were looking at 748, the vote wouldn’t have been what it
was,” trustee Thomas Frazier told Lasiter.
Holcombe suggested the conference with Wallace and Lasiter, noting the
facility’s price probably will be more than $415,000, but probably not
as much as $748,000.
In other business, the trustees:
• recognized high school student Jacob Felty for winning the bronze
medal at the state UIL Academic meet, competing in Current Events.
• agreed to use an unexpected $30,000 technology grant to upgrade the
high school computer lab. The remainder of the funds will be used to
upgrade computer-related items as requested during the year.
• approved the district’s code of conduct, which did not have any
changes from last year.
• approved the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Policy Update
83 as recommended.
• agreed 4-1 to allow parents to use the PaySchools system, enabling
parents to pay lunch prices (for example) on-line via credit card with a
3.5 percent convenience fee. Frazier cast the opposing vote.
Getting started with PaySchools won’t require any up-front fees for the
school district, Holcombe said.
• continued the school’s participation with the regional purchasing
• approved a revised 403(b) retirement plan as recommended, and named
Crider Insurance Services as the administrator on a 4-1 vote, with
New IRS rules require an outside company to act as the district’s plan
administrator, Holcombe explained. Crider will handle the administration
for a nominal fee (75 cents per person), charged to avoid any conflict
of interest claim.
If everybody in the district participates, the maximum cost will be
about $2,400, Holcombe said.
Frazier offered a motion to have the plan participants pay the cost, but
the motion died without a second.
Frazier then made a motion for the district to pay the cost.
“I’ll make the motion, but I’ll probably vote against it,” he said with
• agreed to establish the new position of technology integration
specialist at each campus.
Holcombe said the concept of having a designated person to help teachers
implement new technology into their lesson plans came up at the recent
TASB convention in San Antonio.
With the active participation of Gene Myers (high school), Twyla Felty
(primary campus), Jerry Davis (intermediate campus) and Christy Choat
(middle school), the district will be able to implement the program, and
will only need to hire one teacher at the intermediate campus, he said.
“This just fell together,” Holcombe added.
2nd annual Concert on the Lake
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Plans are set for the second annual Free Concert On The
Lake. Local promoter Dino Perelli has teamed up the KCKL 95.9 radio to
create what he says will be an even better event than last year.
The concert is being staged at Tom Finley Park, pavilion from 1 p.m. to
6 p.m. Saturday July 26.
The park is located on State Highway 334 causeway.
“Last year, the concert on the lake idea started as just a whim,”
Perelli said. “But it went so well I knew it needed to become an annual
event on our lake.”
Attendees may arrive by boat and anchor out in front of the stage as the
bands will face the water, or through the park and just float out in
front of the stage,” Perelli said. Park entrance is $3 per person.
This year’s event will also see the first “Cardboard Regatta” ever run
on Cedar Creek Lake. Entrants are encouraged to make a boat out of just
cardboard, tape and paint, then use human power to move it about 50
yards to the finish line.
The winner will receive $100 and a big trophy.
The regatta is also a great opportunity to showcase your group or
business, since the boats will be on display between registration time
(1 p.m.) and race time at 4 p.m.
Complete rules and regulation can be found at www.DinoDanger.com/Concert.
The free concert will also include concessions to raise money for The
Friends of Cedar Creek Lake, who maintain the park.
Lots of giveaways are scheduled along with bounce houses for the kids.
Sailboat demonstrations with Flying Scot are also scheduled.
Featured bands in order of appearance (one per hour) include Stagecoach
Karaoke with Dino Danger at 1 p.m., The Randy Southpaw Band, Johnny
Lovette & Neon Therapy, A.J. & The Bad Cats, and Neighbor Ed closing out
the concert at 5 p.m.
Four Mile Lutheran Church
celebrates 160th anniversary
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The Fourth of July at the annual cemetery meeting of Four Mile
Lutheran Church, all the stops were pulled out for a grand celebration.
The church reached its 160th anniversary of continuous services.
This little white church on the prairie has changed some in looks over
the years, but the hearts of the people have continued in the worship of
The day commenced with the annual meeting of the cemetery committee.
Minutes, treasurer’s report, and other business was conducted.
The annual memorial service, conducted by Pastor Glenn Dittmer, followed
Members of the church who are veterans were recognized, and then the
list of the deceased veterans was read, with the church bell tolling
with each name. It was very impressive.
At the end of the service, Virgil Melton Jr., Van Zant Coiunty Precinct
2 commissioner and Dan Flynn, state representative district 2, were
Flynn spoke about the little church in Prairieville. He read a
proclamation from the state legislature commending the parishioners for
their persistence and diligence in keeping the church so active and
Flynn then presented the proclamation to Don Metch, chairman of the
cemetery committee, and to Pastor Dittmer.
Following these events, a fabulous potluck lunch in the parish hall was
anchored by brisket and hot dogs, cooked by Art Moeller and Tom
Many wonderful deserts were relished and a beautiful cake baked by Tammy
Mast commemorating the day was scrumptious.
The festivities continued on Sunday with the presence of the Rev. Dr.
Kevin S. Kanouse, Bishop of the Northern Texas/Northern Louisiana Synod,
who preached a rousing futuristic sermon.
Following the church service, activities were continued outside with a
dedication of new property.
The land surrounding the church has recently been purchased by Mr. and
Mrs. Bill Kruse of Irving.
When the committee approached him to buy some of his land for future
expansion, Kruse and family donated 2.2 acres to the church.
An esteemed member, James Edwards donated the cost of survey and Mr. and
Mrs. Don Metch the cost of closing.
The church’s new land was dedicated to the glory of God with great joy.
A wonderful weekend with a great start for the coming year was enjoyed
The cemetery committee members are Metch, Katherine Manning, Betty
Trednick, Tom Winkelvoss and Larry Parker.
Bishop Kanouse and Pastor Dittmer (left) dedicating the new property
The new church property site with cemetery committee members Betty
Trednick (left) and Don Metch.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
My name is Nelson. I am a
beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal
control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back
and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever
My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful
female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal
control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other
dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my
shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my
We are a whole litter of Shepherd
mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so
we have no history. We have been started on our first set of
shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.
I am a beautiful Border Collie,
who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by
animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the
shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful
kid looking for a new home.
Pictured are just a few
animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven
Points 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 10220
County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. 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