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Current Issue
October 13
, 2011






News in Brief

Driver Safety Course
A one-day AARP Driver Safety Program is from 1-6 p.m. Thursday, (today) at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Seven Points. The refresher course is designed for drivers age 50 and over, but is open to anyone. For information, call Jean Dirks at (903) 887-3836.

MHS Pink Out & Tater Supper
Mabank High School is having a Pink Out Day, Friday, Oct. 14 and asks all volleyball and football fans to wear Pink Friday to show support for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Mabank High School choirs are hosting the Umpteenth annual Taters ‘n’ Tunes dinner show and fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the school cafeteria prior to the football game.Tickets must be purchased in advance from students or the high school office for $8. For more information, call Marsha Sanchez at (903) 880-1620. Also MHS Panther Yearbooks can be preordered through Friday, Oct. 14. Call the yearbook room at (903) 880-1600, ext. 2131.

Woods of Terror 8
Payne Springs Fire Rescue presents “Woods of Terror 8” on Friday-Saturday nights Oct. 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29. All rides start at dusk until the last survivor leaves the woods. For information, call (903) 887-1172.

Legion cook out
The American Legion Riders are holding a cook out benefit at 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 14-15. Monies will used for toys for children of Cedar Creek Lake at Christmas. Brisket & trimmings Friday and Saturday smoked sausage and fixings.

Tri-County Library book club, the “bookworms,” will meet at 10 a.m. on the second Friday of each month beginning Oct. 14 in the Community Room. Refreshments will be served. No membership fees. For more information, call Madelyn Healey at (903) 880-3699.

Westside Seniors
The Westside Senior Centers Club will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, (today), hosting The Cedar Lake Home Health Care and Hospice. Covered dish lunch served at noon. The event is at the Cedar Creek Bible Church Activities Building, 700 North Seven Points Boulevard. Seniors 55 and older can attend and enjoy refreshments, cards, domino and other games.

VZ senior citizen dance
The Van Zandt Senior Citizens Club hosts a monthly dance at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at the Henderson County Senior Center in Athens. Country western music will be provided by Joe Walenta and the Ranch Hands. Everyone is welcome. For information call (903) 675-3774.

Whitton Center
Pumpkin carving painting contest, sole mystery of headless person other fun events set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, under the pavilion of the Whitton Community Center. Chicken spaghetti dinner served at 6 p.m. Monies earned benefit paint and repairs to the Center.

Kemp rummage sale
The Kemp Senior Center is hosting a coverd dish dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and rummage sale from 2-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. For information call (903) 275-7825 or (903) 534-4067.

Enchanted Oaks sale
The annual Enchanted Oaks city wide garage sale is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, located on the east side of the lake. Enjoy shopping the “Red Balloon” houses for a wide variety of items. Maps available at the entrance.

Desi volleyball tourny
The Score for Desi Volleyball Tournament benefit will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at Kemp City Park. To register a six man team for $30 call Shannon Garmon at (214) 317-8023.

Cotton Row 5K Run
The Cotton Row Run 5K Run/Walk will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in Kerens. Registration will start at 7 a.m. For more information, please call (903) 872-6045 or visit

Classic Auto Show
The Seven Points Dairy Queen are hosting the ninth annual Classic Auto Show, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, benefitting the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake. Dogs available for adoption at the show. Bring a can of dog food and get a chance to win a prize. For information call (903) 432-3076.

HC Performing Arts
“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is playing Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13-15, at the HCPAC, 400 Gibson Rd, Athens. For information and times, call (903) 675-3908.

Church singing
The Humble Hands Quartet will perform at Crescent Heights Baptist Church At 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. Dinner will follow. Church is located E. SH 31, between Malakoff and Athens.

Homecoming pot luck
Trinity Southern Baptist Church in Kaufman invites former members and guests to Homecoming beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. The church is located at 2918 E Hwy. 175. RSVP to

Rootseekers meeting
The Rootseekers Genealogical Society meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 at Tri-County Library Mabank.

Hunter Course
A course in hunter education is set for 6 p.m. Monday- Tuesday, Oct. 17-18 and Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Mabank High School agriculture building. The course is open to adults and youngsters and will include instruction in modern firearms and primitive sporting arms handling and safety, outdoor responsibilities and ethics. Minimum age for certification is 9 years old and the cost is $15. Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult. For information, call (800) 792-1112.

Monster Ball
The Senior Center at the Ball Park will be holding a Monster Ball at 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18. There will be a country dance band, costume contest and finger foods. The center is located at 405 W. Walnut in Mabank. For more information, call (903) 887-0067.

American Legion dinner
The American Legion Auxiliary is serving homemade stew and cornbread with dessert at 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. Proceeds benefit a local high school junior girl to Girls State. For information, call (903) 887-4980.

Caney Creek Church
The Caney Creek eighth annual Fall Festival is noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at Caney Creek Baptist Church. Tournaments include washers, horseshoes and dominoes. Other activities include live music, cake walk, hay rides, bounce house, carnival games and a free drawing. Food includes hot dogs, pop corn, cotton candy, snow cones and a barbecue.

Tamarack Halloween
The Tamarack POA annual Halloween Party is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Blackie Ensey Park. For information, call Liz at (903) 887-7049.

Kemp Fall Festival
The Kemp Fall Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 29. Park opens at noon, parade at 2 p.m. Vendors welcome. For more details, call (214) 534-4067.

CC Church Octoberfest
Cedar Creek Church is holding Octoberfest from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at 142 Rodney Drive. There will be food, games, auctions and entertainment and a drawing for a car, televisions and other prizes. For information, call Cheryl Barr at (214) 530-5072.

Kemp Fun Fest
Hillcrest Baptist Church is holding its annual Fun Fest at 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31 as an alternative to trick or treating. The church is located at 909 N Elm in Kemp. There will be food, games and prizes.

Decorating contest
The Gun Barrel City Beautification Committee is holding a holiday merchant decorating contest Tuesday, Nov. 1, at city hall. Entry fees are canned goods and the prize is $250. The winner will be announced Dec. 7. For more information, call (903) 887-8620.

Square Dance
The Log Cabin Swingers Square Dance Club meets from 8 to 10 p.m. the first and third Saturday of each month. All square dancers are welcome. No charge for observers. For information call (903) 340-9762.

Recovery Program
Celebrate recovery with Hurts, Habits and Hang-ups recovery program at 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the Church of the Nazarene located at 150 Mabelle Ln in Gun Barrel City. For more information, call (903) 880-7080.

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Top News

Utility moves into deeper water
Stricter water-use, penalties to go into effect
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–Directors at West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District met in a special session Tuesday to act on the lowering lake level and a water intake station likely to be obsolete if the lake level continues to subside.
So far the lake level has dropped more than eight feet from its pool level of 322 feet to 314.84 feet, and state meteorologists predict the current drought to continue through next summer.
Attacking the problem on two fronts, directors also agreed to eliminate the variance from surcharges on monthly water usage above 10,000 gallons a month.
Until now, those watering livestock and commercial farmers were granted the variance. Now a $10 surcharge on every 1,000 gallons above 10,000 will be billed except in extraordinary circumstances and medical purposes.
Effective with the next billing cycle, customers will note the surcharge added.
In addition, customers found to be in violation of the restrictions of the Drought Contingency Plan will be given written notice as a warning to cease the violation. If caught in violation a second time a penalty of $200 will be assessed.
“Absolutely no watering of yards (using district water) with a sprinkler will be tolerated,” general manager Tony Ciardo said. The same is true of washing vehicles and pavements, he added.
If the violation continues, the customer risks being disconnected from the system.
In the meanwhile, the district is taking action to locate an additional intake mechanism (i.e. pump, pipes, housing, etc.) for the Tolosa Water Treatment Plant.
The action is estimated to cost between $180,000 and $200,000.
A barge will relocate intake housing southeast of the plant a little less than a mile from the current one, where deeper water can be found.
Both contract and district labor will be used on this project, which is estimated to take about a month’s time to complete.
A barge is expected to become available this weekend to begin the work, Ciardo said.
The District’s intake station for its primary water treatment plant in Tool is still in deep enough water, Ciardo added.


Tax breaks for qualified fire recovery services allowed
Special to The Monitor
AUSTIN–Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says Texans whose homes or businesses have been damaged or destroyed by the devastating wildfires in Texas are not required to pay sales tax on certain fire recovery-related expenses.
Combs also announced that business owners may postpone paying state taxes, if necessary, while they clean up fire damage.
Upon request, a business may be granted extensions of up to 90 days to file state tax returns.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all Texans who have been impacted by the wildfires that have charred tens of thousands of acres,” Combs said.
“Many families and businesses face a long road to recovery. The law provides tax breaks to help reduce recovery-related expenses during disasters,” she stated.
Below are some of the fire recovery-related expenses exempt from state and local sales tax.
• The cost of labor to repair fire damage to non-residential property, including offices, stores and other commercial buildings. The cost of labor must be separately stated on the repair bill.
• Texas never imposes sales tax on labor for residential repairs.
• Services used to restore fire-damaged property, including dry cleaning of clothing and draperies; rug and carpet cleaning; furniture cleaning and appliance repairs.
• Charges for cutting damaged or dead trees. Charges to haul away trees and limbs are taxable.
• Purchases made with vouchers or debit cards provided by relief organizations such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army are non-taxable. Purchases made with cash or personal funds are subject to sales tax.
The Comptroller has established a web page containing additional information about wildfire-related tax breaks and other helpful information and resources to assist Texans affected by disastrous fires.
“If you have any questions about paying tax on fire recovery expenses of any kind, or if you need to postpone paying taxes during this difficult time, please check our website or call us at 1-800-252-5555 and we’ll be glad to assist you in any way possible,” Combs said.

City to open separate bank accounts
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE-Though it will take another month before action may follow, Eustace city council members approved setting up separate savings accounts for city and water fund monies.
“We won’t be able to open these accounts until the council approves the minutes from this meeting,” mayor Elisha Sanders explained.
Until now the city has kept all its funds in one bank account and has tracked those funds through accounting methods. One of the chief reasons for the shift is to build up and account for reserve funds to cushion the blow when emergencies or immediate needed repairs or equipment are called for, Sanders said.
Council members agreed the funds would still need a majority vote of the council before being spent on anything.
On a related subject, the council also approved opening a third bank account with Prosperity Bank to hold any proceeds from property or money seized as a result of police action. “There are specific and strict rules regarding how this money can be spent,” police chief Troy Tucker said, explaining some of the details.
Currently, there are two cases working their way through the courts, which would result in a boon to the police department, he described.
“In seizure cases, the district attorney and the arresting agency split the seizure with the DA getting 30 percent and the police department 70 percent,” he explained. Council members agreed that three people would qualify for signing on the seizure account – the police chief, mayor and one council member.
In other business, council members:
• Set aside up to $2,500 for the replacement and maintenance of street signs, traffic devices and two barricades.
• Approved the purchase of a trencher box for the water department for the cost of $4,400.03. The purchase of the 780-pound backhoe attachment will safeguard the lives of water department staff, utility supervisor Gene Burns said. The council also unanimously approved the purchase of a pontoon boat for $1,000. The boat will float a sludge pump over the water department lagoons, making it possible to pump out years of sludge and extend the life of the ponds indefinitely, Burns said. “We’ll be able to reach every part of the lagoons and pumping sludge out ourselves will save the city a lot of money,” Sanders observed.
• agreed to draft a noise ordinance for late-night disturbances and loud radios and boom boxes.
• tabled action on an ordinance addressing demolition of uninhabitable structures in the city.
City attorney Blake Armstrong delivered a comprehensive ordinance for the council’s consideration. Having read it at least twice, Sanders said she was pleased with the outcome but questioned how the city would implement it, since it refers to a “building official.” The council agreed to figure out the steps to be taken to implement the ordinance and decide who might fill the post of “building official.”
“We’ve waited 73 years (for an ordinance like this one) a few more weeks isn’t going to make that much of a difference,” councilman Chuck Powers noted. “Whatever we do has got to be able to hold up in court,” he added, reflecting on past court battles and losing. “It’s a sticky wicket.”
• accepted the resignation of city prosecutor Laura Holder and appointed Vivian Harvey to the post.
• took no action on a waiver request from a federal requirement regarding ADA rules. “Our action on this won’t have any legal impact on his problem and may drag the city into a potential suit,” Sanders said.
• designated The Monitor as the city’s newspaper of record
• renewed an interlocal agreement with Seven Points for warrants and inmate/defendant detention.
• renewed an agreement for annual shelter serves with the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake. Council members discussed the possibility of providing a short-term holding facility in the city with only weekly trips to the animal shelter to give citizens with lost pets a little more time to locate them in the city’s facility before they are taking for possible destruction after three days at the animal shelter in Tool. However, no action was taken on this discussion.














































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