Islands to get water
By Becki Brantley
TOOL–The West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District board has given the
green light to general manager Tony Ciardo to negotiate with East Cedar
Creek Fresh Water Supply District in the sale of bulk water for the Gun
Barrel City islands.
The purchase of the islands began a local dispute two years ago when
island owner/developer Ted Pittman requested his property be annexed
into the city of Seven Points. This would put the islands within
WCCMUD’s service area, as it has agreed to supply the city of Seven
Points with water and sewer service.
The islands were quickly annexed by Gun Barrel City, which is not within
WCCMUD’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN), Ciardo said.
A court battle between the two cities over jurisdiction followed.
When Gun Barrel City submitted a letter to WCCMUD requesting supply of
water and sewer service to the islands, parts of the annexed area was
found to be in ECCFWSD’s territory, the board heard.
“We’re not going to step in and serve an area belonging to another
district,” Ciardo stated.
“It’s not a matter of us not being willing to cooperate, as previously
reported in the newspapers. We’ve never before been approached by the
appropriate people,” he added.
“The new ECCFWSD board members are very anxious to work something out. A
new group of people coming together to work with this issue is
absolutely perfect timing,” noted board president Clifton Smith Jr.
“It’s too bad this hasn’t been brought up before now. It would have
saved a lot of trouble and a lot of manpower,” Smith said.
In other business, the board:
• approved the purchase of a Case 6030 boring machine from Vermeer,
based in Big Sandy. The used equipment, normally costing
$250,000-$350,000, will cost the district approximately $24,500.
The board also approved the purchase of an additional stem for the
GBC backs away from
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council may be losing its resolve on
forming its own water utility department, judged by its inaction at
Three of the seven agenda items related to hiring experts to determine
what it would take to set up a city water and wastewater department.
A fourth item called for sending East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply
District a written notice of its intent to provide utility services
within the city limits, and to apply for decertification of portions of
the district’s CCN, as well as begin negotiations for a takeover.
The first two items called for hiring bond counsel and a financial
advisor specializing in small cities forming their own utility service.
Each died for lack of a second to a motion from Councilman Marty Goss.
“I work with small cities who want to form their own water utilities to
control their growth,” financial advisor Chris Lane said.
“We won’t make the decision for you,” bond counselor Tom Pollen. “We are
available to advise you on the legal issues.”
“What is it going to cost to find out whether what we want to do is
feasible?” Councilman James Jacob asked.
All the upfront costs can be taken out of any bond issue approved by the
city, councilmembers heard.
“This council needs to have a workshop to determine what your desires
are,” city manager Corrin McGrath said.
One hurt in SH 274 wreck
Monitor Staff Reports
TOOL–First Responders used power rescue tools to free a 37-year-old Kemp
man from his shattered vehicle early Tuesday afternoon.
Once freed, William Vincente Reschke, 37, of Kemp was transported to the
East Texas Medical Center Trauma Center in Tyler by the ETMC AirOne
Reschke was trapped in the wreckage of his 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier LS
for more than 30 minutes as Tool Volunteer Fire Department First
Responders worked to cut him free.
According to police reports, Reschke was stopped on State Highway 274,
attempting to make a left turn onto Arnold Hills Road, when his Cavalier
was struck from behind by a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Chester
Grammer, 70, of Tool.
Grammer’s truck sustained moderate front-end damage, and Grammer was not
injured, Tool Assistant Police Chief Martha Decker reported.
Using power tools, rescue workers had to cut the roof from the Cavalier
to reach Reschke, who was trapped between the seats of his small sedan.
Once the roof was removed, workers were able to hoist Reschke onto a
backboard, where he received treatment from emergency medical
technicians for his injuries before being moved off the top of the car
to a waiting gurney.
Reschke was conscious, and responded to questions from the EMTs prior to
being placed in the helicopter.
Decker said investigation into the collision was continuing, and it’s
“possible” citations might be issued.
Sgt. Kendell Wellman is the investigating officer.
Pigeon drops strike again
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–A 90-year-old man fell for one of the oldest tricks in
It’s called the pigeon drop, and it’s a scam aimed at parting you from
your hard-earned cash.
It involves two to three individuals (thieves, really) who get you
involved in a story involving a fake roll of cash, say $1,500 or $2,500.
For this man, it began Monday morning at the Brookshire’s gas pumps in
Mabank, led him to his bank, where he agreed to withdraw $2,500, and
ended at the McDonald’s in Gun Barrel City, where he handed the cash
over for inspection to his new-found “partners” in a story promising
The thieves immediately fled the scene, leaving the man feeling foolish,
defrauded and short $2,500.
Police were working Tuesday to identify what they believe to be three
suspects caught on videotape at the bank.
“We know a white male and a black male were involved, and possibly a
third person, we believe, was the driver,” GBC police investigator Judie
Burley told The Monitor.
“The elderly are being targeted,” Burley said.
They approach the mark, somewhat breathlessly, appealing for help, or
asking if they saw it too, in order to knock the intended victim off
guard and involve them in the story they are weaving, Burley explained.
To add credibility to their story, a second individual comes over to
lend some assistance, indicating he just saw that truck or thing nearly
hit the first individual and drop something in the process.
In this case, they promised the man they’d split the contents of the
money roll that was dropped by a passing vehicle with him, if he would
match it with his own funds.
“If it sounds too good to be true, don’t believe it,” Burley warns.
This case is one of two recent episodes the GBC police are currently
investigating, she said.
These scenarios usually unfold in the back of large parking lots to
avoid cameras – at Brookshire’s or Wal-Mart – and those approaching you
may welcome themselves to the interior of your car to get away from
Should something like this try to involve you, police advise not getting
sucked up into the drama and calling the police immediately.
It is unknown at this time if those running the scams are from the lake
area or from somewhere else.