People, Places & Events



Make a Difference Day goes green
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Volunteers in the Cedar Creek area will celebrate Make a Difference Day Saturday, Oct. 25.
Make a Difference Day is an annual event that brings volunteers and projects together to benefit the community and is organized by the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake. “Going green” will be the theme of this year’s event.
“Going green” projects can include recycling, picking up litter, visiting nursing homes, sponsoring a toy drive, bringing canned goods to benefit a local food pantry, donating time and supplies to make houses warmer or safer for neighbors in need and doing it all with an objective to rethink how, we as members of our community, can reduce, reuse, recycle and recover the resources we have at our disposal.
School groups, community organizations, churches and individuals are invited to sponsor “green” activities.
For example, groups can organize to pick up litter along a section of roadway or in a neighborhood, plant trees or flowers, or mow an area that is overgrown and in need of care. Groups can also help with local fix-up projects.
To register a project or to sign up to volunteer, contact Jan Wood, Co-Chair of Make a Difference Day at (903) 880-6539 or e-mail
Environmental Co-op will make clean-up projects easier by providing dumpsters at the Mabank Arena Oct. 25, only.
Residents can drop off bulky waste and brush too big for household trash containers.
“We will take old appliances, but in the spirit of going green, we encourage residents to recycle metals at a local metal salvage yard,” Wood said.
Metal is recyclable and is used to produce automobiles, airplanes, industrial machines and even food cans.
Items that cannot be dropped off at this location include paint, home chemicals, electronic equipment such as computers, printers and monitors, and televisions.
However, Wood wants Kaufman County residents to note that they can take oil based paint and thinners, batteries, used motor oil, home chemicals such as pool and yard chemicals or household cleaners to the Kaufman County Household Hazardous Waste Facility at the Kaufman County Eco-Station, located at U.S. Highway 175 and Plainview Drive in Kemp.
There is a charge of $10 for up to 25 pounds of materials.
The Eco-Station also accepts residential generated trash.
Cost of disposal is based on size of load at $7.50 per cubic yard of waste.
The Eco-Station is open to Kaufman County residents from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Call (903) 498-4135 for more information about obtaining coupons prior to hauling.

Cleaning up lake trash is a big job
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–It was very heartening to see so many members of the community work together to clean up the streets, shoreline and parks we all enjoy.
About 550 volunteers signed up for the 10th annual Cedar Creek Lake Clean-Up. And with the help of the Texas Department of Transportation and the Kaufman Sheriff’s Department about a ton of trash was removed.
Young and old alike participated and included homeowners associations, crime watches, youth groups, businesses and the Environmental Co-op of Kaufman.
Work began at around 8 a.m. and wrapped up at about 11:30 a.m. for a time of rest, lunch, entertainment and prizes.
Sponsors of the event put up door prizes and provided liquid refreshment for the participants, and the Feed Trough in Seven Points provided a delicious barbecue and hot dog spread.
A very popular feature was a big pile of dirt with $100 in coins buried within for treasure hunting fun for the kids.
Killer Instinct provided music while all relaxed in the shade of the pavilion at Tom Finley Park.
While on the whole a successful event, it was painfully obvious to participants that barely a dent was made in the amount of debris cast off along the area’s roadways and fishing spots.
“I can’t believe folks in this area are so disrespectful to Mother Earth,” Bill Goheen of the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District said.
His team of five concentrated on Welch Lane and very quickly ran out of bags. Discarded beer bottles, cigarette butts galore and two rubber tires were among the debris his team picked up. His story was typical.
“Since we live near the water, we all need to be much more mindful of what we carelessly discard. It becomes detrimental to the fish and wildlife and decreases the quality of life for all of us,” Tarrant Regional Water District local manager Buckley Butler said.
“Please, encourage your family members and friends to put trash in its place,” he said.

Courtesy Photo
Chamber of Commerce members Rick and Kristen Brown, Doreen Watts, Linda
Hacker and Tiffany and Tim Lily hit Mabank streets to put trash in its place Saturday
as part of the 10th annual Cedar Creek Lake Clean-Up Saturday.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
The Environmental Co-op joined up with Girl Scout Troop 112 to pick up trash
along Kaufman C.R. 4006 behind Harbor Point Road.

VZ commissioners review
$185K budget shortages

Budget amendments needed for Van Zandt jail
and Sheriff’s Office, fuel increases blamed

By Terry Britt
Monitor Staff Writer

CANTON–Van Zandt County Commissioners recessed its Sept. 22 meeting so they could get answers on budget expense overages for the county jail and sheriff’s office.
The overages were among a list of emergency budget amendments brought before the commissioners and County Judge Rhita Koches.
A couple of commissioners expressed alarm about the estimated $77,000 needed for the county jail budget and $108,000 for the sheriff’s office.
“Any time you make a budget, the person in charge needs to understand that’s what is here,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll said.
“There needs to be some cutting back and keeping control of it (spending),” he added.
County Sheriff “Pat” Burnett, speaking by phone Tuesday afternoon, said some expenditures, such as fuel, were difficult to rein in over the past year.
“Of course, with fuel the way it is, the price increases we’ve seen recently, nobody could have budgeted for that at the start of the (fiscal) year,” he said.
Burnett also talked about increases in food prices adversely affecting the jail operations budget.
“Delivery charges went up during the year and the food prices have gone up. There were several weeks we didn’t open a can of anything and (inmates) ate out of what we had grown in our garden,” Burnett said, referring to the produce garden at the justice center.
“But, we don’t produce chicken and beef out of the garden, nor bread, flour or sugar,” he added. “Food costs have been more this year, but it is still less than in 2000 when I took the sheriff’s office.”
Burnett estimated a cost of $1.88 per day per inmate for three meals last year, and expects that statistic to be around $2 for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
“There are certain things I can’t control, like delivery charges, water and electricity charges. I believe the citizens understand that,” he said. “The commissioners’ court does an excellent job budgeting for everybody they can.”
He said he would not be able to attend Wednesday’s meeting because of a conference he was to attend. George Flowers, chief deputy/jail administrator, and sheriff’s office chief deputy John Turner were expected to represent the two departments Wednesday.
The court did approve a list of routine budget amendments for several departments, a typical bookkeeping action for the end of a fiscal year.
Commissioners also approved the county’s new interlocal agreement with the Texas Association of Counties and its health and employee benefits pool.
In a separate motion, health insurance start dates were chosen – upon taking the oath of office for elected officials and 60 days after the date of hire for county employees.
Interim county treasurer Detra Janzen said new county employees are currently added to the health insurance program on the first of the month after a 60-day waiting period.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr. said he preferred a simple 60 days from hiring date.
“It just seems easier that way. Right now, a new employee could have to wait almost 90 days for the insurance. That’s too long,” he said.
Koches pointed out that the TAC program does not allow for pro-rating the cost of adding a new employee to the insurance roll.
Someone hired from the first to 15th of a given month would incur a full charge, while someone hired from the 16th to the end of the month would not be charged for that month, she explained.
In other business, commissioners:
• awarded a bid to Neylan Bridge of Marquez to construct a bridge on County Road 2801 for $61,200.
• approved a fiscal year (FY) 2009 interlocal agreement with the Andrews Center Behavioral Healthcare System, and another one with the East Texas Council of Governments for a solid waste management planning grant.
The grant agreement for a litter abatement officer covers three years and provides $30,000 the first year, $20,000 the second and $10,000 the third year.
• approved a service maintenance agreement with Budget Business Systems for a copier transferred from the county Juvenile Probation Department to the county judge’s office.
• resolved to apply for the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense FY 2009 grant, estimated at $28,591.
• approved an imaging agreement with Safeguard Imaging Solutions in conjunction with the interlocal agreement with Hunt County, previously approved Aug. 19.
This agreement opens the way for the county’s real property records, dating before 1997, to be added to what can be viewed on the county website, county clerk Charlotte Bledsoe explained.

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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