People, Places & Events


Resource Center featured at Rotary Club meeting
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–A group of ladies started helping those in need back in the late 1980s, which was the beginning of the Family Resource Center.
“And then others asked if they could help,” Director Toni Muirhead told members of the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake Friday.
She added the Center began to grow, until now they are building a larger facility that employs several workers.
Winnie Branum does most of the screening of people who apply for aid.
Learning how to screen applicants was an on-the-job-training adventure, Branum said.
“I had to learn to really listen to people,” she said. “And, you have to ask questions to know about the person being screened.”
Applicants are required to show proof of their identity and income, as they must make less than $15,000 per year for an individual and less than $18,000 for a couple, Muirhead said.
Organizations have banded together in a networking system with other groups and organizations, so no applicant can receive aid from all, the two women explained.
This year, the Resource Center has helped with 300 to 500 utility bills, clothed 89 people, and in general helped a total of 1,102 people.
“Approximately 10 to 20 people a day come to us that we try to help,” Muirhead said.
In other business, Rotarians were told:
• the next book giveaway will take place from 9-10:20 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at Kemp Primary School.
• the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) committee interviewed 14 students. The committee chose four students to attend RYLA Camp.

Courthouse roof repairs ok’d
By Wilbur Callaway
Monitor Correspondent

CANTON–After two split votes, the Van Zandt County Commissioners decided to spend $18,205.20 on repairs to the roof of the county courthouse in Canton.
After discussing at length the proposed repairs, Precinct 1 Commissioner Ricky LaPrade moved that the county only do two of the three proposals made by roofing contractor Bruce Ruckman, which amounted to $12,445.20, and leave the other $5,720 to be done later.
However, Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll argued strongly against such a move.
“We have been neglecting the courthouse for too long. I would rather go ahead and get everything done at one time,” Carroll repeatedly said during their meeting Nov. 21.
A 2-2 vote of the court resulted in LaPrade’s motion failing.
(Precinct 2 Commissioner David Risner was absent due to a death in his family.)
Carroll then moved that the county undertake the entire roofing repair project, which passed 3-1 with LaPrade opposed.
The work includes patching, and covering the holes in the roof with reroofing the entire area, including parapet walls for $9,576, patch the flat areas for $795, and replace the aluminum coating for $4,800.
The same roofing material recently used on the roof of the new county jail is being used on the courthouse, commissioners heard.
A 20 percent additional charge will cover labor, Ruckman of Texas Roofing Contractors said.
Repairs are expected to extend the life of the roof for five to 10 additional years, he added.
In other business, the commissioners:
• moved the Dec. 26 regular meeting to the 28th.
• approved the county bills to be paid after LaPrade questioned what he felt was an excessive charge ($1,100) last month for medications for an inmate at the county jail.
• heard presentations from Arlie Edwards, Van Zandt Emergency Services, about a recent five-state disaster drill with the American Red Cross; Carey Hilliard regarding $17,000 now available from environmental fines, and asked that it be used in repairs of septic systems for low-income county residents; from representatives of Graves, Humphries, Stahl, Ltd., for Justice of the Peace courts collection on delinquent fines.
• approved regular license plates for use on exempt vehicles for sheriff’s department.
• approved bond for Carroll, who was recently re-elected as the Precinct 4 Commissioner.
• approved paying the district attorney’s attic storage bill on a continual basis for records and files.
• approved paying DA Investigator Tim McLemee’s residential internet service on a continual basis.
• approved a one-year lease agreement between Michael L. & Marion Kirkpatrick and Van Zandt County for sand to mix oil in Precinct 4. Carroll noted he lost his sand pit last of October.
• approved a bid from Rock Solid Crushed Stone for $6.60 a ton unscreened one-inch crushed rock.
• gave permission for the City of Wills Point to run sewer & water lines along right-of-way of VZCR 3410 to the old dump ground and water treatment plant in Precinct 3.
• approved one-year agreement between City of Wills Point and Van Zandt County for street work in the city. The county will furnish labor and equipment, while the city will furnish all materials needed.
• approved a budget amendment for Van Zandt County Auditor John Shinn to take money from IT budget to pay for leasing computers.

Library at Cedar Creek Lake news and activities released
Special to The Monitor
SEVEN POINTS–Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 9, organized by the Best Friends Group, was a huge success. More than 300 people attended. Charlotte Gish won a grill during the event.
The Library at Cedar Creek Lake’s first float in the Cedar Creek Area Christmas Parade won first place in its category.
Thanks are due to supporters and benefactors for the float. They are EZ Signs of Payne Springs, Fresh Lemonade Store in Canton, Holy Ground Ranch, Streetman, Kevton Gourmet of Streetman, Garris Trucking, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart in Gun Barrel City, Tolosa Feed Store and all the volunteers and employees who worked hard to make it a success.
Saturday, Dec. 16, the Teen Library Board is sponsoring a Christmas bake sale in the community hall. Bring your cookies, cakes and pies to sell to benefit the library.
The library provides literacy and GED training free of charge. Training to tutors will be provided in the near future. We need GED tutors who can teach math portion of the test.
The library is recruiting volunteers from the lake communities.
The library is a 501(c)(3) organization operated with the help of funds donated by friends, patrons, well wishers, businesses and various community organizations and churches.
“The Library is in need of extra funds at this time,” Friends of The Library president Tere Hatcher said.
“Your penny collection will be gladly accepted to replenish operating funds,” she added.
Another way you can help is by saving your aluminum cans and bringing them to the Library for recycling with B&J Scrap Metals of Seven Points.
A Teen Talk Book Club for all teens in the area is planned.
High school English teachers are encouraged to send their students to participate.
It will meet once a month Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon to read and discuss a title popular with the teens. Volunteers (preferably high school English teachers) are needed to lead this discussion.
This program is set to begin in January. Call for more information or a flier.
A Valentine’s Day community dance is planned for Feb. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door or $4 purchased in advance. Tickets go on sale in January.
For more information, call (903) 432-4185.