Sunday, November 29, 2009






More restaurants aim at Gun Barrel City
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation expects to submit performance agreements to the city council on three restaurants planning to open in the city.
A CiCi’s Pizza is planning to open in the Gun Barrel City Village Shopping Center in the former Beall’s location.
The owner of eight other CiCi’s Pizza restaurants, George Brown has reached an agreement with one of the shopping center’s owners, which involves the EDC participating with a $10,000 loan for qualified expenses, to be forgiven after 120 days.
A second performance agreement for a Denny’s Restaurant was approved for $45,000, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2010, and termination date of Dec. 31, 2010.
This franchise owner also has Denny’s restaurants in Kaufman and Corsicana. A conservative estimate of $1.4 million in annual sales is projected, according to minutes of an Oct. 26 special meeting.
All told, the addition of these two restaurants would add about 60 jobs. A third restaurant deal is yet to be finalized, though a performance agreement has already been signed with the EDC.
EDC president Steve Webster asked that news of this last restaurant not be released until the developer signs a lease with the commercial lessor.
The La Quinta hotel is being repaired and is for sale, having gone into foreclosure, members heard.
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Workers race to complete the Movie Star Cinema at Heritage Cove for opening.


Also, progress on the Movie Star Cinema is bringing it closer to opening. Stadium seating and furnishings were to go in by the end of the month. Owner David Peace is hoping for a mid-December opening, in time for holiday movie releases.
The Holiday Inn Express project got a one-year extension on its performance agreement. The developer has secured financing, Webster reported.
“He wants to wait until the economy improves before moving forward,” he explained.
In other business, EDC members:
• agreed the priority for 2010 is to attract light industry to the city.
Other priorities Jack Thompson of Orasi outlined include updating the website, helping the EDC develop a database, produce a billboard design, create new marketing materials and increase public relations efforts.
• heard the fine arts department at the high school has accepted the terms of a billboard design contest offered by the corporation.
Upon completion of the assignment, and presentation of a usable design, the EDC will present a check for $750 to the fine arts department, in addition to gift certificates in the amount of $100 and $50 to the first- and second-place winner.
Two EDC members, the mayor and the MHS principal will decide which computer-generated submissions rank first and second.
Orasi is also fine-tuning a billboard design. Whether or not a design submitted by students is used, the winning designs become the property of the EDC.
The EDC obtained a two-year lease on a billboard on U.S. Highway 175 from Preferred Pools.
• discussed improvements to the south and north entrances to the city, and allocating up to $15,000 for lighting and water upgrades.
• purchased mapping information from Henderson County of both subdivisions and county infrastructure.
• discussed how to move forward on the economic stimulus “bucks” program, which would go into effect sometime in January to stimulate first-quarter sales.
The EDC is underwriting the program with $5,000 to back 1,000 “bucks,” valued at $5 each, to be spent in participating Gun Barrel City businesses. The chamber branch and newest EDC member Linda Rankin are heading up the effort.


Deep frying turkey fries house

Courtesy Photo/Randy Harley

Payne Springs Fire Rescue firefighters begin to attack a blaze that destroyed a trailer home at 113 Bay Drive in the Timber Bay subdivision Tuesday. Payne Springs fire chief Randy Harley reported the family was frying a turkey on the kitchen stove, but left the house after hearing a disturbance down the street. The family was unaware of the fire until someone noticed flames coming out of the kitchen/dining room windows, Harley reported. A large number of volunteers and pieces of equipment responded to the late-evening alarm.


Police pickup meth makings in Mabank
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Mabank police and state troopers converged on the Shell Station at highways U.S. 175 and 198 early Monday, securing a quantity of anhydrous ammonia left there for pickup.
The information of the drop-off was developed just a few hours earlier, during a short car chase and then foot chase by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office with an assist from a Gun Barrel City officer.
The chase fizzled out near Wood Wilks Gardens on Harbor Point Road.
The occupants of the car fled the scene, Sheriff Ray Nutt told The Monitor. No arrests were made and no one was charged, he added.
“The main thing we were concerned about was clearing the toxic substance from the gas station before students started to arrive to the nearby intermediate school,” Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee said.
The plastic gallon container of ammonia was found on the south side of the station near the air and water dispensers, McAfee added.
Two suspected were taken to the Kaufman Law Enforcement Center.
They are Keith Edward Nix, 38, of Kemp and Terry Paul Bevill, 46, of Eustace.
Both were charged with possession and transportation of a controlled substance, a third-class felony; and transport of chemical with intent to manufacture, a second-class felony.
Bevill is being held on bonds totaling $150,000, and Nix, who has two outstanding warrants from Dallas PD and Dallas County, is being held on bonds totaling $150,711.50.

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