Sunday, October 12, 2008





City denies outside
water service request

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–The Mabank City Council told a hotel developer in Gun Barrel City it would not consider offering water service outside its territory.
Excite Realtor B.G. Pierce had sought the council’s willingness to work up a second cost estimate to serve a 75-room Holiday Inn Express planned near the Mabank water plant in Gun Barrel City Tuesday.
The East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District directors already agreed to relinquish their right to serve the development, should Mabank be able to offer a better price.
“We’re just looking for an alternative,” Pierce said.
“It is very doubtful we’d be able to come up with a significantly cheaper cost,” Mabank utility supervisor Ronnie Tuttle said, and city administrator Louann Confer agreed.
“We recommend we not provide water service in someone else’s CCN, even though East Cedar Creek has given us permission to serve,” Confer said. “This will only add the number of meters on that water plant, and shorten the time between upgrades to larger capacities.”
Even though Mabank has a six-inch water main in the vicinity, that line is fully utilized according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules, Tuttle pointed out.
A second line would have to be laid from the plant to the development, with the accompanying cost of bores under driveways and State Highway 334, Tuttle explained.
“The engineering, water capacity, materials and labor wouldn’t be much cheaper than the $175,000 estimate East Cedar Creek gave,” Tuttle said.
The ECCFWSD only has a two-inch water line near the building site, but the city fire department requires a six-inch line for fire protection.
Serving the hotel would require the water district to add significant infrastructure to its system, the council heard.
Getting water service at a reasonable price was reported as a crucial consideration in whether the developer pulled out of the project or not.
In other business, the council:
• recognized mother and daughter team Karen and Shannen Smith for their upkeep of the flower garden around the flag pole through the long, hot summer months.
“They’ve done a great job,” Tuttle said. “I’ve gotten lots of good comments upon it.”
• gave the green light to apply for funding through a $350,000 Office of Rural Community Affairs grant.
The grant calls for a 10 percent match from the city of $35,000. The funds, if awarded, would be used to improve the city’s sewer system and pay for related engineering services.
• annexed property located on State Highway 198 north of U.S. 175 containing 12.08 acres located between a private road and Kaufman County Road 4004, to the west of Circle M trailer sales.
• approved a Clean Fleet Vehicle ordinance for the City of Mabank, governing the maintenance and operation of county vehicles.
Having such an ordinance opens the city to funding options that will help it meet clean fleet criteria expected to become state law in the near future, the council heard.
• set the regular Tuesday, Nov. 4, council meeting for 7 p.m. at the Mabank Fire Station, due to General Election activities scheduled in the city hall.
• tabled action on a request from James Crowhurst, who asked to furnish community transportation in the Cedar Creek Lake area.
Confer was asked to check with the Texas Municipal League on the city’s responsibility and liability in licensing a franchise of this kind.

City’s improved ISO rating
means lower insurance rates

Monitor Staff Reports
PAYNE SPRINGS–Those living in Henderson County Emergency Services District No. 2 may enjoy lowered premiums on their property insurance, due to an upgrade in the district’s ISO rating.
Property insurance renewals after Oct. 1 could see a savings of several hundred dollars, depending on the carrier.
Payne Springs Fire Chief Randy Harley reports a recent re-evaluation of the Fire Rescue service has resulted in a lowered rating from 6/9 to 4.
The ISO classifies communities from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst), based on how well it scores on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, a system that examines water distribution, fire department equipment and manpower, and fire alarm facilities.
“It’s a significant reduction in the Public Protection Classification system,” Harley said.
“One of our objectives has been to make improvements within the department in all areas in order to obtain a reduction in insurance costs to property owners we serve,” Harley added.
This has been accomplished by purchasing necessary equipment and apparatus, improving member training and shortening response times, and increasing manpower on alarm calls, he said.
The PPC is the nationwide classification system used by the ISO to reflect a community’s local fire protection for property insurance rating purposes.
ISO is an advisory organization that serves the property and casualty insurance industry with offices in Dallas and Austin.
The Payne Springs Fire Rescue has nine pieces of apparatus and two stations. The department typically responds to 50 calls monthly.
Harley reminds those served by the department that the cost of keeping all nine vehicles fueled and maintained has doubled over the past year, due to the rising costs seen recently in fuel prices.
Tax-deductible donations to the Payne Springs Fire Rescue are sought and now easily done on-line through PayPal at www.psfire or by mail at 9674 State Hwy. 198 South, Payne Springs TX 75156. The department’s non-emergency line is (903) 451-4511.

Last legendary cowboy rides on
By Katherine Veno
Monitor Correspondent
PAYNE SPRINGS-The Cedar Creek Lake area lost a special citizen Tuesday night with the death of “Doc” Brown at 84, following a lengthy and brave battle with cancer.
Services for Brown were held Friday morning at the Eubank Cedar Creek Memorial Chapel.
He was born J.B. Brown Jr. Aug. 28, 1924, and lived his entire life loving the land of Payne Springs and the area.
“We did move to Dallas once, but got home as soon as we could,” he said in a previous interview in 2004.
Most residents know him as “Doc” Brown. The nickname “Doc” came from his uncle, who was a horse and buggy doctor. As a little boy, he went with his uncle whenever he could, and patients and families began calling him “Doc,” a name that stuck with him for life.
The most influential person in Brown’s life was his father, Bonner Brown Sr.
“My daddy always kept a good horse when I was growing up, even when we moved to Dallas, and I still do the same,” he said. “I cannot remember any time in my life that we did not have a few cows and a good horse or two.”
Brown had not missed participating in the annual Mabank Western Week rodeo and parade since returning to the area in 1955. He made appearances at the Queen’s Dinner and the 53rd annual rodeo this past June, but did not lead the parade, and hated to miss it.
He rode with the 15 original Mabank Riding and Roping Club members, and has a photograph of the team still hanging on his kitchen wall.
“They were all my friends,” Brown said in 2004.“We were all young men who loved the western life-style, and we shared it with Mabank.”
As the team dwindled with the passing years, Brown and Mabank cowboy J.C. Sapp led the Mabank Rodeo Parade together until Sapp’s passing.
Brown then took over carrying the American flag at the head of the rodeo each June, continuing to be an icon for area residents.
In 1945, Brown married Dorothy Dyer, sister of Chester Dyer, and the two were together for 53 years. They had two daughters, Mary and Brenda, and a son, Gene.
All the grandchildren and great-grandchildren called him “Daddy Doc.”
Brown said he never “officially retired,” and worked his herd of cattle every day on his horse “Scooter.”
The black gelding (Brown said he was “a bit snorty”) is now 21 years old. Brown raised Scooter from a colt. Scooter was born buckskin, but started turning black, and got blacker every day, Brown said.
Brown’s favorite horse was “Old Ugly,” a gray gelding he owned and rode for 27 years. He also liked his son Gene’s horse, “Kechi,” and said “that horse tore up everything we ever tied him on.”
He was a family man who liked being married.
“It is great to be married, but you have to love and protect your wife and family,” he said.
“Our grandparents instilled values such as honesty, integrity and honoring family traditions,” granddaughters Belinda Neal and Tammy Gaddis recalled.
“One of our fondest childhood memories is the celebration of every single holiday with the entire family around one table in the Brown home. Even after Mema (Dorothy) had gone to be with our Lord, it was still important to Daddy Doc that the traditions were carried on. He taught us that life was about family and friends, not things,” they said.
“He always looked you straight in the eye, and he never had a contrary word to say about anybody,” Kaufman County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Johnny Adams recalled. “Doc was so funny, and always had good things to say to everybody.”
On a personal note, I am so proud and honored to have the privilege to write about a man I adored as a friend and respected so much as a cowboy and a human being.
The times we spent together riding horses are memories I will always cherish, as are the interview lunches and fun we shared. He called me a real cowgirl, and I believed him because he told me it was all about my heart.
His earthly struggles are over, and he rides that big gray horse in green pastures now under blue skies with Dorothy and all the old gang at his side.
With his passing, we have all lost not only a good friend and a great man, but also a legend that was a part of our collective history. He leaves boots too tall for anybody else to fill.

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