Sunday, April 9, 2006


Burglars strike Clayton Homes
$1,000 reward offered for tip
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Locks were cut on the gate. Front doors were kicked in, and linoleum floors were scarred by kitchen appliances being dragged out of new mobile homes.
The break-in was discovered early Tuesday morning.
“It makes me sick,” Clyde Parrish of Clayton Homes told The Monitor. “It’s the third time in a year this has happened.”
The burglars caused more monetary loss in damages to the homes than by the theft of the appliances, Parrish said.
Nine manufactured homes were affected in the overnight burglary.
Four sets of washer/dryers, one side-by-side refrigerator-freezer and one smooth-top stove were removed, altogether valued at about $4,000, Parrish estimated.
But the damage to the homes’ doors, locks and floors are estimated at $8,900, he said.
One of the homes had already been sold to Robert Chewning, the man who was cut and left dangling seven floors up in a freak mishap while replacing windows on a high-rise in Dallas.
“Can any more harm be done to this family?” Parrish asked.
“It’s obvious that they were on the sales center a long while. This is not a snatch-and-grab affair,” Parrish pointed out. “Someone might have seen something.”
Parrish is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that will lead to the apprehension and conviction those responsible for the break-ins.
Businesses whose stock is kept on display in the open are especially vulnerable, as thieves see these as a quick, low-risk turnarounds on their effort, Mabank Police Chief Alex Smith said.
When asked how many times a night a patrol car drives by the business in a night, Smith answered, “We can’t be everywhere at the same time.
“It doesn’t matter how many officers we have out, if there’s a call, anyone with a scanner can hear that and move while officers are elsewhere,” Smith responded.
“A video camera system would help to deter thieves and solve crimes,” Smith suggested.
Anyone with information that may lead to the recovery of the stolen appliances, or the arrest of persons involved should call the Mabank Police Department at (903) 887-8500, or the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office at (972) 932-4337.

TCEQ cites Mabank plant
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Under department reports, the Mabank City Council learned the time is now for the city to add four new filters to its water treatment facility in Gun Barrel City.
City Services Supervisor Ronnie Tuttle told council members Tuesday the water plant had been cited in the last 30 days by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
The plant has reached 85 percent of its licensed capacity, and plans for expansion are required at 75 percent.
The good news is “the inspector said we have a really good water system,” Tuttle related.
A timeline has already been sent to TCEQ which calls for entering a contract with engineers May 1, starting construction in August, 2007, and completing the project by October, 2008.
“In the meantime, grants can be sought,” Tuttle said.
The addition of four filters and accompanying piping, electrical work, engineering, testing and other associated expenses is estimated to cost $2.4 million, council members heard.
The upgrade will double the plant’s current capacity from 3.1 million gallons per day to 6.2 mg/d, Tuttle said.
In related news, Tuttle reported the refurbished water tower located behind city hall was nearly ready to be put back into service. Cost to refurbish and disinfect came to $32,000. Mayor Larry Teague recalled a bid to demolish the tower came in at $50,000.
The city council adopted two ordinances during its regular meeting.
One ordinance removes just one word in the city’s business licensing law allowing coin-operated games of chance or skill to remain on the same premises where alcoholic beverages are sold, but not consumed.
This means Brookshire’s and Food Fast may retain their coin-operated games, offered as entertainment for customers, even though they both sell beer and wine.
The second ordinance bars reserve police officers from writing citations. They may ride as a backup officer along with a supervisor, until individually approved by the Mabank City Council.
The council tabled action on a request to open Fifth Street south of Eubank Street for 329 feet. The request was made by Ray Weems, who would like to build apartments on an adjoining property.
The move would effect one house, possibly one of the oldest houses in Mabank, Larry Keeton argued. The 60-foot right-of-way comes just 10 feet short of its front door, he said.
“I just don’t see a need for it (the opening of the road) at this time,” he repeated.
The council calculated opening the roadway, at a cost of $82 per foot, would cost about $27,000. Weems was encouraged to return to the council with a counter-proposal, along with his request.
In another matter, city Economic Development Corporation executive director Scott Confer, asked the council to consider a right-of-way swap with the EDC.
The move would allow First Street to be reconfigured to approach State Highway 198 at a right angle, by going through a piece of property owned by the EDC.
This would benefit the fast-approaching widening project along SH 198, Confer pointed out.
The council agreed to his proposal.