Gun Barrel City growing despite economic
By Steve Webster, Pres. GBC, EDC
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–The last several years have been tough for
the economy in general, but responsible communities must
continue to lay the groundwork that will continue their
In this spirit of planning for the future, the volunteer
board members of the Gun Barrel City Economic Development
Corporation (GBCEDC) work with dozens of businesses and
organizations each year.
The goal is to benefit citizens and those who live in
neighboring towns. The GBCEDC does this by attracting jobs
and services that will generate revenue for the city. The
specific duties of the GBCEDC include:
• promote existing businesses and assist business owners
with expansion and job creation. Any business in Gun Barrel
City can come to us with a request for assistance and know
their proposal will be thoughtfully reviewed and considered.
• solicit appropriate businesses and respond to new business
opportunities with the goal of bringing in new jobs, revenue
and services for members of our community.
• participate with the city to develop the master land plan
and thoroughfare plan to ensure positive growth and a
well-designed future for the city.
In past years, the EDC has assisted with the expansion of
Beall’s and Direct Tire & Battery, as well as supported the
addition of Hibbett Sports, CiCi’s Pizza, Anytime Fitness
and Denny’s, breathing new life into the center of our town.
The board also funded ball park improvements at the city
park allowing tournaments to be held there, attracting
visitors who will patronize the hotels, restaurants, and
The EDC also funded the park pavilion, providing space for
civic events such as National Night Out, Walk Like M.A.D.D.,
and Concerts in the Park.
The EDC purchased property next to city-owned land to seek
new projects and businesses our community needs and that fit
into the master plan.
Much of the EDC’s work may not be apparent to city residents
until a new business opens.
We currently are working with Silverleaf to bring affordable
senior housing and Country Living Place, an assisted living
facility to Gun Barrel City.
These facilities will create job opportunities and provide
housing for members of our community.
Most residents are aware that Applebee’s restaurant may be
moving to town. This will create as many as 60 jobs and some
much needed sales tax revenue.
We also are assisting with expansion plans of an automotive
business and supporting the opening of a large national
retailer to our community.
A new office and retail center on Municipal Drive is being
considered to provide additional retail and service business
Other plans include a new road to be built just off
Although it is impossible to control the timing of
businesses that rely on financing, corporate
decision-making, and competitive offers from other cities
and towns, the goal of the EDC board is to make our
community their first choice when weighing their options.
The monthly Board of Directors meetings are open to the
public and are held on the third Tuesday of every month at
the EDC offices at the new City Hall in Gun Barrel City.
For more information, contact the EDC at (903) 887-1899.
Kemp High School yearbook earns award
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–Kudos to the Kemp High School yearbook staff and Dr.
Daniel Sue for the outstanding creation of the 2010-11
Walter’s Publishing in Mankato, Minn, announced it selected
the KHS 2010-11 Yearbook for the “Outstanding Achievement
Walter’s Publishing looks for high quality production and
creative book cover design as criteria for the award.
Moreover, because of the creativity of Kemp’s Yearbook,
Walter’s Publishing said the outstanding design was
“anything but ordinary.”
Women’s club hears about ‘Sweet Potato
By Susan Harrison
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–The Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club learned about ‘Sweet
Potato Queens’ from guest speaker, book reviewer and
motivational speaker, Carol Brandon, at their monthly
meeting at Cedar Creek Country Club, Nov. 15.
Brandon of Garland entertained the ladies with origin of the
Sweet Potato Queens.
The founder, Jill Conner Browne, has written three books
about the queens but Brandon mainly referenced Browne’s
book, “God Save the Sweet Potato Queens.”
“Browne lives in Jackson, Miss., and was never a prom
queen,” explained Brandon.
She said that she was crownless and all should declare
“Browne says that anyone can be a queen of anything – just
name yourself queen!” Brandon added.
“Browne encourages you to follow your dream and that it is
never too late to have a happy childhood.”
“Have fun and let it hang out, no matter your age,” said
Brandon about Browne’s philosophy.
As the queens became popular they began participating in an
annual parade, known as ‘The Big Event’ and during their
second year, they threw sweet potatoes to the crowds.
“Browne believes that a woman should wear a tiara as least
an hour a day and especially when she is vacuuming, to feel
special,” Brandon said.
At Sweet Potato Queens’ parties the guests wear boas and
tiaras and eat all the time.
“They are very conscious of fat grams. Browne says they can
turn any dish into a heart attack,” Brandon explained.
Funeral food is food to die for and is served after a
“There are wanna-be Sweet Potato Queens and ‘Spud Studs’ are
former boyfriends, current boyfriends and husbands. ‘Tater
Tots’ are children of Sweet Potato Queens and cannot ride on
the floats during the annual parade.”
Sweet Potato Queens believe in saying ‘bless your heart’ and
‘out of pocket’ for uncomfortable situations.
Their favorite cookies are made from crumbled cooked bacon
and brown sugar.
They also recommend that you have a picture from when you
are in your 40’s for your family to use for your obituary.
In closing, Brandon reminded the group of Browne’s words
that it is better to live your dream than to dream how you
want to live.
Club president Beth Brown welcomed seven new members and
thanked the members for their generous food donations to
Make- A -Difference Day.
“We are giving $500 to both Make-A-Difference Day and the
East Texas Crisis Center,” Brown said.
Members are to bring their East Texas Crisis Center
unwrapped donations to the Tuesday, Dec. 13 meeting.
Donations can be new or gently used clothing, gas and
calling cards, gift and food baskets and diapers and baby
Club members enjoyed a tasty lunch of baked ham, green
beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread and cookies.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
have many 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.
information visit our website at