People, Places & Events



County approves Terrell TIF zone
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–Following months of negotiations and discussions, Kaufman County Commissioners gave their seal of approval to an interlocal agreement creating the Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone No. 1.
The approval comes with one stipulation, that the agreement is subject to approval by the county’s attorney, Tom Pollan.
Monday, County Judge Wayne Gent said he wants to be assured the county will have a say in the project, planned for Terrell area in Precinct 3.
The TIF is planned to provide funding for improvements in an area close to U.S. Highway 80, that will help attract commercial entities to the county, providing an additional tax base.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved proficiency pay and scale for district attorney investigators and for deputy constables who voluntarily increase their schooling (proficiency) in their field.
District Attorney Rick Harrison and Precinct 2 Constable Joe Don Law both spoke in support of the pay increase.
The positions are basic (no proficiency increase), intermediate (five years service, $1,200 per year), advanced (10 years service, $2,400 per year), and master ($3,600).
“I am a proponent for the raises, because they are not automatic, but based on individual achievement,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Ray Clark said.
The increase will not affect the bottom line of the precincts’ budgets, Gent said.
• changed Voting Place No. 5 back to Terrell Fire Station No. 2.
The location earlier was moved to Terrell Senior Terraces, but had to be returned to its original location when it was discovered the Terraces was not in compliance with voter precinct locations.
• approved the lease/purchase of a wheeled excavator for Precinct 3 through the BuyBoard Cooperative.
The cost of the machine is $193,150, with a guaranteed buy-back cost of $93,570 after three years, or $66,836 after five years.
• heard a protest of the proposed tax rate from citizen Larry Gibson during the public hearing portion of the meeting.
Gent explained the county is decreasing its tax rate, compared to last year, and has nothing to do with the appraised value increase for Gibson’s property, which is set by the County Appraisal District.
Gibson continued his protest, saying a tax increase at this time would not be in the best interests of the people.
A second public hearing is set for 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15.
• appointed Precinct 4 Judge Johnny Adams as On-Site Sewage Facility Officer, with an additional $6,000 duty supplement in the fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget. .
Adams has attended certification school on septic tank inspections. He mostly will be writing citations to residents who do not renew their on-site sewer agreements.
• awarded contract for pea gravel for all precincts to Trinity Materials of Terrell.
• approved compensation for county courts-at-law judges as allowed by law.
• accepted the treasurer’s report for July, the quarterly report for July and the quarterly investment report for the quarter ending June 30, as presented by county treasurer Johnny Countryman.
• sent out for bids for trucking services for all precincts.
Bids will close Thursday, Oct. 9, and be opened Monday, Oct. 13.
• decided to call and poll commissioners concerning three separate dates for a workshop on subdivision regulations.
• approved the sale of tax property in Precinct 3.
• approved the deputation of Susan D. LaRose for the Sheriff’s Department.
• approved a request from Embarq for the installation of communications cables along and under county roads 4125, 4023 and 4031, Precinct 4.
• approved budget transfers as presented by county auditor Hal D. Jones.
• paid bills totaling $895,610.20.

VZ County boosts ’09 tax rate
By Terry Britt
Monitor Staff Writer

CANTON–Van Zandt County Commissioners approved a property tax increase to 38.689 cents per $100 assessed valuation at their Tuesday meeting.
The new rate will support the county’s fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget, which also was unanimously approved in the meeting. Last year’s property tax rate was 35.533 cents per $100 valuation.
In other financial matters, the commissioners also made a couple of changes to the county’s schedule of fees for citations, precepts and writs.
The cost for civil citations and small claims cases through the four precinct justice of the peace offices will be $75. The court also standardized the cost for papers served by the sheriff’s office or by precinct constables.
Sheriff “Pat” Burnett raised a point on eviction notices, usually served by the sheriff’s office or a constable, being at the cheaper justice of the peace office cost. However, the court decided to stick with keeping evictions among the justices’ cost schedule.
The court also set restraining orders at $125.
The county’s salary schedule for FY 2009 also was unanimously approved.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Kelles Miller noted situations might come up where an employee has to be hired at a higher beginning salary in cases where specialized skills are needed.
By a 3-1 vote, the commissioners approved a measure presented by county auditor John Shinn allowing county employees, salary exempt employees and elected officials to be paid overtime pay for overtime hours during a declared disaster or emergency.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr. opposed the measure.
“I don’t think elected officials should be paid overtime. I think it’s just part of the job,” he said.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll and Precinct 1 Commissioner Ricky LaPrade indicated they felt many elected officials would not accept the overtime pay, from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds.
Shinn said the measure could save the county in the long term on accrued compensatory time when employees work extra hours during emergencies.

Mabank spirit rally raises
funds for MDA

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank High School junior and MHS Television reporter Jordyn Fannin (right)
speaks with Spirit Week coordinator Tony Chapman as classmate Carrie Burkhard
videotapes the interview during the Spirit Week Rally Monday.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
New Mabank High School assistant principal Brent Fisher passes the hat for
donations among the crowd after performing a brief magic show at the Spirit Week Rally.


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


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