teachers get pay hike
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMPEven before the 2010-11 school year budgets are approved, trustees at school
districts all across Texas must approve their teacher salary scale.
July 20, Kemp Independent School District trustees were reminded the salary scale is what
drives the districts budget, as it is the single largest expenditure for the
Trustees approved a teacher step increase based on the number of years completed, as
mandated by the state.
This amounts to a 3 percent pay increase, mandated by the state, without any help
from the state, board president Keith Foisey explained.
The trustees also approved a 3 percent raise for the remaining staff, but it is based on
the successful outcome of the tax ratification election (TRE).
Stipends (amounts paid to teachers and coaches for extra duties) will remain the same for
all positions, except the newly formed soccer program.
The head soccer coach will receive a stipend of $3,500 for the season.
In other business, trustees:
heard the district library report as presented by Jennifer Halley, Texas based
account manager for Follett Library Resources.
The libraries on all campus are overloaded with outdated books and need updating to newer
material, she explained. You are not a historical library, you are an educational
library, Halley repeated each time she discussed the individual campuses.
It will take five years to bring your district up to an acceptable standard,
Her examples called for getting rid of a substantial number of older books; 36 percent in
the intermediate library, half the books in the junior high library and similar amounts on
the remaining high school and primary campuses.
reviewed the student handbook.
A ruling on cell phones will allow the student to carry them but not to use them except in
designated areas and times.
approved a scheduled tax resale of approximately 20 properties.
Bids will be accepted starting at one-third of the current property values.
Amounts range from $650 for a lot in Hill Estates to several in the $15,000 range, in
approved a list of properties to be removed from the delinquent tax rolls.
Trustees hope this will increase the tax collection rate percent for the district.
The removal of properties that have been on the delinquent rolls for years and with
untraceable owners, in no way negates the amount owed.
Should a property owner be located, the item will be brought back on the rolls for
collection, business manager Kim Johnson said.
approved the Student Code of Conduct.
accepted, with regret, the resignation of trustee Scott Clearman.
Clearman is building a home, and once he and his family move, he will no longer live in
He will serve until his trustee position is filled.
The district has 180 days to make other arrangements.
Council rejects move
City to continue bank renovation for new city hall
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITYThe promise of some significant cost savings for a larger building
was rejected in favor of the long-approved plan to turn a former bank building into the
new Gun Barrel City Hall.
Waving a document, city manager Gerry Boren told city council members July 22 the bank
reconstruction process would take a year from the time the document was formally approved
by the city.
The first step will be to advertise for firms to submit qualifications for construction
manager at-risk, Boren told the council during a special called Thursday morning session.
As proposed, the reconstruction would use standard wooden-stud construction, Boren said.
If you want to go (pre-cast concrete) tilt-wall, it knocks off two months (in
construction time), but it requires a different architectural process, he said.
The city will be able to get low-interest USDA financing (and possibly a loan/grant
package) in the 4 percent to 4½ percent range, which would require an annual payment
around $85,000, Boren reported.
We did get an energy grant from Oncor, he added. The solar panel guys
will put (panels) anywhere you want.
Boren said construction manager at-risk bids could be opened in about three weeks.
At that point, the discussion shifted to the next item on the agenda a proposal to
sell the former bank building and build a new, larger city hall along Municipal Drive,
near the existing police department and fire station.
Weve had an offer on the building to sell, Boren said. We also
need to expand (the proposed renovation plan) by about 700 square feet to create a
If the city sells the building, for a reported $575,000 (the city paid $480,000), it could
build a larger structure on Municipal Drive at a lower cost, mayor Dennis Wood said.
If it were my money, I definitely would save that money, Wood added. If
were going to go with the offer, we need to get it in writing and get started.
Were still eight months (to completion) from when we sign the contract,
I think we need a building on (State Highway) 334, and not stuck out on the 40
acres, councilman Curtis Webster said. Weve had the city hall here for
Webster then made a motion to continue with plans to renovate the bank building, with the
addition of 700 square feet for a lobby, which quickly received a second.
If you put it (the city hall) on the 40 acres, youre going to have more
drainage issues, are we not? councilman Dennis Baade said. Thats an
unknown cost. I like having the city hall on Main Street.
(SH) 334 is a commercial area, and youve got commercial traffic here,
councilman Marvin Pace countered. I dont believe you could go in any city and
find the city hall on Main Street.
Councilman Melvin Hayes said the proposed reconstructed bank building project (which was
unanimously approved by the council some months ago) would contain a small post office,
which would really be very convenient to have on this end of town.
On the 40 acres, you might as well forget that part of it, Hayes pointed out.
Council members then approved Websters motion to continue the project as proposed,
with Pace opposing.
In other business, the council:
agreed, 4-1, to reschedule the citys rained-out July 4 Festival to Saturday,
Nov. 6, with Webster opposed.
MUD orders new rate study
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Reports
TOOLWest Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District Board of Directors hired Espey
Consultants to prepare a rate study.
Prices keep going up and theyre not going to come down, general manager
Tony Ciardo said at the July 26 regular meeting. Its time for us to really
look at our rates.
The board took note that the district has not shown any new water or sewer taps in a
while. Theres no growth at present, Ciardo said.
Espey Consultants engineer Kenneth Tillman said the rate study may take six to eight weeks
The total cost of a rate study for both the water and wastewater utilities totals $36,230
and includes a future model that the board and manager can use as a tool, Tillman said.
Tony can check rates every year to see if they are sufficient to meet district
goals, he explained.
Espey Consultants was also chosen to prepare bid documents for painting the elevated water
storage tank in Seven Points.
Though impressed with how well the tanks last painting has held up, Ciardo said,
We really need to get this underway.
The bid will include a wash and recoat, as well as relettering the citys name and
state and the utility name.
The city has requested adding its logo to the tower at its own expense, Ciardo
Im not thrilled with putting a logo on it, Jim Scrimshire said.
Its not a city tower.
In other business, directors:
having received approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for
ground storage tank plans, signed bid documents for a 500,000-gallon galvanized steel
ground storage tank for Tolosa.
Espey Consultants was tapped to oversee the advertising and bid process, not to exceed
The clear well will stand 40 feet high and have a 48-foot diameter.
It will also include a system of baffles to insure uniform disinfection, with water
filling from the top and draining from the bottom.
The $350,000 project is part of a $1.2 million plant expansion program.
Bids are set to be opened Aug. 18 for presentation to the board Aug. 23.
kept the same committee assignments with Eldon Cox, C.D. Smith and Clifton Smith on
the Policy Committee; David Lewis, Carolyn Morgan and Jim Scrimshire on the Insurance
Committee; and Joe King Scrimshire and Clifton Smith on the Budget Committee.