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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 shut.
“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 possible.
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 extracurricular trip.
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 co-op.
• approved a revised 403(b) retirement plan as recommended, and named Crider Insurance Services as the administrator on a 4-1 vote, with Frazier opposing.
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 a laugh.
• 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 slated
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 God.
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 immediately.
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 introduced.
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 alive.
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 Winklevoss.
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 by all.
The cemetery committee members are Metch, Katherine Manning, Betty Trednick, Tom Winkelvoss and Larry Parker.


Courtesy Photo
Bishop Kanouse and Pastor Dittmer (left) dedicating the new property with
church members.


Courtesy Photo
The new church property site with cemetery committee members Betty
Trednick (left) and Don Metch.

 

Come Adopt Us At
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 home.

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 new home.

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 petfinder.com


 


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