Sunday, July 2, 2006


Fireworks require ‘caution’ this dry 4th
Special to the Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges residents to use extreme caution when using fireworks this season.
Severe drought conditions continue to create an extreme fire danger.
The Fireworks Safety Council lists the following safety tips:
• Always obey the local law. Both Kaufman and Henderson counties have banned the use of aerial fireworks – missiles with fins or skyrockets with fins.
Anyone caught using the banned fireworks can be charged with a Class “C” misdemeanor. In addition, property damages may be assessed.
Eustace, Gun Barrel City, Kemp, Mabank, Malakoff, Star Harbor, Trinidad and Tool all have prohibited the discharge of fireworks, both inside the city and in each city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. Eustace is the lone exception on the ETJ ban.
Log Cabin allows citizens to discharge fireworks, but only on Independence Day itself, and then only in the lakeside park.
Payne Springs allows the discharge of fireworks July 1-4 (and again in December), but not after 11 p.m. and not within 300 feet of any business selling fireworks.
Caney City allows fireworks as long as they are not aerials. Enchanted Oaks allows popping of fireworks June 24-July 4, but not after midnight or before 9 a.m., and also bans aerial items.
Discharging for fireworks along the side of the road is prohibited by state law.
• Use common sense whenever lighting fireworks.
• Never use illegal explosives. Buy only legal fireworks from established and reputable dealers.
• Fireworks should never be modified. Do not attempt to alter or combine fireworks.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Always have a designated shooter.
• Only adults should use fireworks. Children should never handle fireworks.
• Have a garden hose and a bucket of water nearby.
• Be sure to stay away from buildings and automobiles. Never use fireworks inside.
• Always wear eye protection when handling fireworks.
• If a firework does not ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Soak the device in water for at least 15 minutes and then discard it.
• Never throw, point or shoot a firework at another person.
• Do not use fireworks while inside an automobile.
The best way to stay safe with fireworks is to let someone else handle the job.
Here’s a list of fireworks displays open to the public.
• The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, on Farm-to-Market 2495 in Athens, is offering a fireworks show beginning at dark Tuesday, July 4.
The show is billed as “one of the largest fireworks shows in East Texas.”
The event is free, and visitors can enter the Center after 6 p.m at no charge; call the TFFC at (903) 676-2277.
• The Seven Points Volunteer Fire Department is also providing a free show, beginning at 10 p.m. July 4 at the city park behind city hall.
• The city of Terrell is hosting fireworks with musical prelude at Ben Gill Park in Terrell. Call the city at (972) 551-6600.
The North East Texas Symphony will perform prior to the fireworks display, which begins at 9:15 p.m. July 4.


WCCMUD denies council statement
Tables GBC request to buy water to supply annexed islands
By Becki Brantley
Monitor Correspondent

TOOL–The West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District board of directors agreed to table a request by Gun Barrel City regarding the sale of bulk water to supply the islands the city annexed last year.
The islands do not fall within the CCNs (certificate of convenience and necessity) of either the WCCMUD or the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District, so supplying water services to allow development of the two islands (one home to Tom Finley Park) has been problematic.
Gun Barrel City approached the WCCMUD with a proposal to purchase a predetermined amount of water in order to set up a water department of its own, directors heard.
A recently reported statement by GBC council member Marty Goss misconstrued some information regarding this request. As a result, following a lengthy executive session, the WCCMUD board agreed to table GBC’s request till the matter could be cleared up.
“We are strongly opposed to the idea of one municipality taking over another. It is socially unacceptable behavior, and we would not suggest such a thing,” board secretary Joe King said.
All board members were in agreement.
“I’ve been fighting fires all day long and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing,” WCCMUD general manager Tony Ciardo said.
“This has really been a nightmare,” Ciardo added. “We’ve never been in the business of advising another water supplier.”
In other business at Monday’s meeting, the board:
• heard water rationing may be in the future for WCCMUD customers if they don’t willingly choose to conserve wisely.
• praised work crews for completing the State Highway 334 project ahead of schedule.
When asked by board member Eldon Cox how the actual project compared with the budget, Ciardo responded, “Right on target.”
• administered the oath of office to board members James Scrimshire and Joe King for new terms, and re-elected incumbent officers.
• discussed possibly attending an Open Meetings Act seminar hosted by Ken Petersen at the ECCFWSD office.

Log Cabin okays $1.8M in sewer COs
Monitor Staff Reports
LOG CABIN–The Log Cabin city council approved the issuance of certificates of obligation to fund its sewer system project in a special meeting June 23.
Sewer services charges and the city’s ad valorem property tax is the means by which the certificates are being guaranteed, a Log Cabin city spokesperson said.
The city expects to connect 405 customers initially to the sewer system when it comes on line.


Out-of-city ratepayers appeal Kemp rates
Special to the Monitor
KEMP–Kemp City Administrator James Stroman will attend a hearing in Austin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, concerning a petition filed by out-of-city ratepayers over water rate charges.
Out-of-city ratepayers filed a petition appealing water rates charged them by the city of Kemp. The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) plans to conduct a formal hearing on the petition.
The hearing will be similar to a civil trial in state district court.
The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the Texas Government Code, the Texas Water Code and the procedural rules of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
To participate in the hearing as a party, one must attend the hearing and show you would be affected by the petition in a way not common to members of the general public.
For information, call (512) 239-4691 or visit the web site at