People, Places & Events



Commissioners nix budget transfer
to pay jail contractor

Land records management goes to new vendors
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners refused to approve the presented budget amendments Tuesday mainly because of a proposed money shift in preparation to pay the next bill request from Templeton Construction.
The county auditor presented a budget transfer of $56,400 to the “other professional services” line item under the Justice Center Capital fund.
“They’re way late (on getting the work done) and I don’t want to pay them,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence said.
A transfer of funds usually is done in response to or in anticipation of a bill, Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney told The Monitor.
However, no Templeton bill was part of this week’s bills, McKinney said. “The action does put them (Templeton) on notice that we are not at all happy,” he said.
Last week, Lt. Ben Kinder informed commissioners the lobby area of the remodeled jail would likely not pass an inspection, due to non-conformance with federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.
The changes needed include enlarging bathroom stalls, providing braille signage and installing multi-level drinking fountains.
Commissioners wonder how much those changes will cost, as the project is now within $172,000 of its maximum cost, excluding the outstanding $56,400, county auditor Ann Marie Lee told The Monitor..
The total cost included the $8.5 million bond voters passed and $3 million from county funds.
Commissioners noted the next construction meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the county judge’s courtroom.
Commissioners also removed budget amendments from the Sheriff’s Office and County Extension Office, also dealing with professional services and monies diverted from salaries, before approving the remainder.
Addressing old businesses from last week, commissioners approved a contract with two new vendors to provide a land records management/storage system and indexing service.
Though the county has been using ACS for years, the company’s weakening condition with layoffs and being up for sale has effected the quality of its service to the county, County Clerk Gwen Moffeit told commissioners.
Commissioners approved a contract with Eagle Software through Tyler Technologies.
Because Eagle does not provide indexing services, commissioners also approved a contract with Safeguard Imaging Solutions.
The indexing will cover all variations of land records, vital records and other documents filed or recorded in the Clerk’s Office and provide a double-entry to verify accuracy.
Pricing for the index service is on a per document basis of $3.75, which the filing fees will cover, Moffeit said. The system will be updated 24 to 48 hours after entry, the contract stipulates.
The cost of indexing back records comes to $1,225 per 500 rolls of magnetic tape. Currently, the county has stored records on 1,700 rolls dating back to 1967, Moffeit said, bringing the initial cost to just under $5,000.
IT manager Betty Spence and the IT committee have worked closely with Moffeit over the last two months to procure a suitable replacement for ACS.
“Van Zandt and Hunt counties are the latest ones to switch to Eagle,” Moffeit said.
The current three-year contract with ACS expired Saturday.
Specific questions about equipment ownership, maintenance, software licensing, information retrieval and ownership, along with total costs were submitted and answered to the commissioners satisfaction.
Land records are indexed and available on five viewers in the county basement.
With the holidays, Moffeit said she expected a 90-day transition period. “It will be challenging at first, but we expect it to be well worth it,” she said.
“Van Zandt’s county clerk said the transition was rough in the beginning, but they are happy they made the change,” Moffeit added.
In other business, commissioners:
• approved a request for refunds from the tax assessor/collector.
• considered the need to appoint a local health authority for the county. Any doctor interested in the pro bono post may contact the county judge or a commissioner.
• rescinded the acceptance of two bids for bordering properties in Thunderbird Shores. In the lag time of accepting the bid by two taxing entities, the bidder has lost interest and moved away, McKinney explained.
• modified a contract with an electric provider to put all meters under one provider.
• paid bills totaling $146,086.95, subject to funds being available.

MISD employees receive Gold Performance awards
Special to the Monitor
MABANK–The campuses of Mabank Independent School District earned the Gold Performance awards for the 2007-08 school year.
The awards were the results of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) testing.
Plaques were presented to the campuses that were honored with principals accepting.
The Summary of Gold Performance Results was accepted by Superintendent Russell Marshall.
The high school received four out of 13 areas evaluated; comparable improvement in reading and English language arts (ELA), commended in reading and ELA and social studies.
The high school also earned the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) and ELA.
The middle school received five out of eight areas evaluated; comparable improvement in reading and ELA and commended in reading/ELA, math, science and social studies.
Central Elementary received two out of seven areas evaluated, earning a commended in math and science.
Southside Elementary received three out of seven areas evaluated, earning commended in reading/ELA, math and science.
Lakeview Elementary received three out of seven areas evaluated earning commended in math, writing and science.
Mabank ISD earned a TSI and ELA for its commended scores in reading/ELA and social studies.

City scours Prairie Creek
to assist drainage

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
The City of Mabank continues to clean out the banks along Prairie Creek, which branches off
into several parts of the city. Above, heavy equipment is operating along between U.S. 175 and
Business 175 next to Clayton Homes. With the TxDoT drainage improvements being made, it
is imperative that the city work to improve the depository of all that water, mainly Prairie Creek,
utility supervisor Ronnie Tuttle said. He expects the work to take a year and a half to complete, and afterwards to be maintained by the city.


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


Copyright © 2008, MediaOne, L.L.C.