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Current Issue
July 24
, 2011






Lake Area Billboard

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 to attend.

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 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1087. The public is invited to attend.

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 every Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens. The public is invited to attend.

Henderson County Emergency Services District #4 meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at 525 S. Tool Dr. in Tool.

Henderson County Historical Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the HC Historical Museum.

Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court meets the second and fourth Monday of each month in the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. The public is invited to attend. Call for times, (903) 498-2013, ext. 2.

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 Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3176. The public is invited to attend.

Tool City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the Oran White Civic Center the third Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3522. The public is invited to attend.

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.



















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People, Places & Events

Couple shine positive light on Boy Scouting
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Denise and Jeff Irion presented Boy Scouting in the lake area in a positive light Wednesday while speaking to the Kiwanis Club.
“There are 36 scout troops within 30 miles of Gun Barrel City,” Jeff Irion said.
He has made Boy Scouting a part of his life, having been reared by an Eagle Scout dad, achieved Eagle Scout himself, and has an Eagle Scout son (Max), with another Eagle in the making.
He explained that boys 11 and younger fit into the Cub Scouts with boys 12 and older crossing over into Boy Scouts.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Attorney Jeff Irion tells Kiwanis members that he has been involved with Boy Scouting his whole life, as was his father before him and both his sons.

Denise Irion added that 10 years ago nationally and just last year, locally, a co-ed branch of scouting called Venturers, was formed in Mabank, meeting at the First Presbyterian church monthly.
Venturers are ages 15 to 21. Denise Irion said that by August, 2012, the Venturers will likely take two crews of 12 members each on an outdoor survival challenge to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M. for the adventure of a lifetime.
In recent years, Boy Scouting has taken a beating from news reports of young people being preyed upon by pedophiles among the leadership, Jeff acknowledged.
Since then, new rules have been in effect to prevent putting kids at risk.
Every leader and adult volunteer must go through a criminal background check, take several on-line courses on ethical behavior and guidelines that must be followed, he said.
For instance, no leader can even drive a single child to his house or anywhere. “It always requires two adults,” he said.
During monthly Boy Scout camping trips, adults use separate restroom and sleeping facilities, he added.
First aid and safety are highly stressed for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, along with the earning of merit badges.
Emergency management training is added at the Boy Scouting level, as are monthly camp-outs, in which the boys lead all the activities. Leaving no traces of having spent any time camping in a given location is also stressed for conservation.
“Very few fires are ever lit, we use small kerosene camp stoves,” Jeff Irion said.
“Boys are given the opportunity to succeed and fail at a task. They learn best by their mistakes,” he added. And parent participation is high. “There are no secret societies in Boy Scouts.”
There’s a huge difference between a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout. The Boy Scout troop that meets at the Mabank First United Methodist Church has been successful in turning out Eagle Scouts at a 90 percent rate, Jeff Irion said. The troop now averages about 30 members.
“We need people to say good things about scouting. Too often, we hear how boys are taunted for their involvement in Boy Scouting. But I’ll tell you that if there is a disaster, you want a scout near by,” he said.
Recruitment for Boy Scouting begins in late August at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank, or call the Irions at (903) 451-3823.

Realtors hear new rules for mortgage industry
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Realtors, lenders and home appraisers got a peek at some of the new requirements legislated by Congress to effect mortgage reform.
Out of the 2,319-page document about 200 pages address the mortgage industry and none of the pages address changes to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
President and CEO of First State Bank Jess Laird pointed out that since 75 percent of all the mortgage loans are through this program, he’s wondering how big an impact the new legislation will actually have on the country. 
“The USDA is still doing 97 percent loans (while it is highly recommended to other lenders that borrowers provide a 20 percent down, financing 80 percent),” he noted.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
First State Bank president and CEO Jess Laird speaks to local real estate agents on changes in federal finance rules July 13.

“In the bill, it states that Congress recognizes the need to reform these governmental services,” he said. However, now Congress is focused on the debt ceiling, and decreasing funding for government programs.
“Reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seems to have fallen off the radar,” he said. The estimated cost of the failed mortgages financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set at $5.3 trillion, Laird said.
Laird was the guest speaker at the quarterly meeting of The Henderson County Board of Realtors held at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant in Gun Barrel City July 13. “I’ve read all 200 pages that affect us and if you look it up online, you can start on page 2,072,” Laird said.
One change that takes effect in 2013 is an added 3.8 percent tax for those whose Adjusted Gross Income is greater than $250,000 a year and whose gains are bigger than $500,000 on the sale of property ($250K, if single). This is on top of the standard 15 percent tax rate.
Laird also noted that the new laws require a seven-day wait after the signing of the good faith estimate and disclosure documents, and that “High Priced Mortgages” have to prove up income for ability to repay before it can go into escrow.
If a borrower finds he cannot continue making his loan payments and can prove that the lender did not “prove up” his ability to pay at time of closing, he cannot be held liable for the repayment of that loan, Laird explained. However, if the loan is a qualified mortgage, it offers a safe harbor for lenders against a lawsuit, he added. There are exemptions for refinancing.
This requirement is going to affect those buyers who are self-employed because it is hard to prove their income, but now it has to be done no matter what their credit score or credit history shows, Laird said.
Rules affecting lenders require them to register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, so “we’ll have to be fingerprinted and get a background check and be identified with a unique number,” which is required to be printed on all stationary, business cards, advertising and loan applications, he said.
The new law also prohibits lenders from steering borrowers with incentives (page 2081). Instead, borrowers must be made aware of the choice of mortgages a lender offers.
“That’s to limit lenders from making only sub-prime loans,” Laird said.
The new law creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which under the new rules:
• affect balloon payment loans,
• reset hybrid adjustable rates – low introductory rates carry high qualifications, discouraging them,
• require loan counseling, which may have to come out of Dallas
• nix a low introduction interest rate
• limit late charges, and
• require value appraisals for high cost mortgages, which cannot be billed to the buyer.
“Most likely, the lender will have to pay for this,” Laird said.
On a positive note, the Office of Housing Counseling is to track defaults and foreclosures, creating a useful database, Laird pointed out. Also, the proposed new Truth in Lending Disclosure and Good Faith Estimate forms look simpler.
They can be viewed at, he said.
The new rules also require ongoing escrow accounts to ensure property tax payments, etc. with a few exceptions, he added. It requires a disclosure if consumer waves escrow for tax purposes, amounting to yet another piece of paper for the file.

Kemp to buy tornado sirens
Blair Communications to install sirens at $2,945 each
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Sudden spring storms and fall tornado season approaching, both the city of Kemp and the school district are planning to be prepared and warn citizens when the weather turns dangerous.
July 12, the city council approved a bid from Blair Communications for up to three sirens at a price of $2,945.
The amount includes installation and a study to see where the sirens would best serve the city and surrounding area.
An optional $1 per month on citizens water bills has been accumulating toward the siren purchase.
“We’re good for two already,” Mayor Donald Kyle explained.
The school district has also expressed interest in the purchase of a siren, however it is looking into whether or not its contribution must be used on school property.
Suggested installation points include the grounds of the high school, primary school or each end of the city.
The exact locations will be determined by Blair Communications.
In other business, council members;
• named Kyle to serve on the Economic Development Corporation board.
Kyle replaces Andrew Hadley, who has moved out of the area.
“We will be back in September to fill the expiring positions at that time,” EDC president Billy Teel Jr., said.
• discussed possible incentives to entice new businesses to the area, such as tax abatements, sales tax discounts and/or funds from the EDC. Members are especially interested in attracting a grocery store to the city.
“We are going to have to come up with a big chunk of money to entice a grocery store,” Teel explained.
• decreased late fees on city water bills to 10 percent of the bill.
“We cannot legally charge $30 so we will take it back down to 10 percent,” Kyle explained.
• added a new category to section 12, titled “Mobile Food Vendors” with corresponding permit fees.
City attorney Terry Welch wrote up the ordinance for approval at the direction of the council.
• received department reports from public works, municipal court and police department.
The municipal court collected $16,338 for June.
Public works reported the installation of 102 new AMR water meters, also 20 new customer meters were added.
The police department listed 129 citations for the month.

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

We have many 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




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