Sunday, July 9, 2006

  Kings Creek Bridge work awarded
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor staff Writer

KEMP–It has been a long wait, but the time is finally approaching when work will begin on replacing the Kings Creek Bridge on State Highway 274 near Kemp.
The request for bids was put out in early May.
By the end of May, a $4,069,000 contract was awarded to Ed Bell Construction Company of Dallas, Brenda Calloway, Assistant Area Engineer for Kaufman County said.
The original cost estimate for the work was about $5.8 million.
The next step involves a meeting with Calloway’s office, the construction company, and the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
“A pre-construction meeting is planned sometime around the end of this month,” Calloway said.
The job involves replacing the bridge and adding a left turn lane on SH 274 onto Farm-to-Market 148.
Once the construction begins, plans are for 31 months of barricades related to the bridge replacement and turn lane construction.
“We’re happy to get the work started. We’re looking forward to a good working relationship with Ed Bell,” Calloway said.
“And, we’re looking forward to getting the bridge replaced,” she said.
Two-way traffic was moved to just one side of the bridge and concrete traffic barriers installed in 2003.


HC sets burn ban
In effect for  10 days
By Diane Murray
Monitor Correspondent

ATHENS–Some very spotty rains peppered Henderson County during the first week of July, but that did little to offset a long-standing drought, prompting the county commissioners to initiate a burn ban Wednesday.
The KDB (Keetch Byram Drought) Index shows 65 percent of the county still dangerously dry, in the 500 to 600 range, the commissioners heard Wednesday morning.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence, made the motion to initiate a burn ban, effective immediately, and lasting for 10 days, through Monday, July 17, when the commissioners have a regularly scheduled meeting.
The discussion that followed prompted County Judge David Holstein to recommend some changes in wording, which the commissioners unanimously approved.
Some exceptions to the burn ban are agricultural burns, public utilities burning, natural gas pipeline burns, mining operations and firefighter training.
The Texas Department of Transportation is allowed to burn brush in the ongoing effort to clear a new roadbed for the long-planned U.S. Highway 175 expansion project between Athens and Eustace.
Also, building contractors can have a controlled burn if they are supervised and managed by a local fire department.
The commissioners appointed David Grubb as the new Precinct 3 Constable, replacing Daner Stanbury.
Grubb had been serving as the interim constable for some months now, due to Stanbury’s lengthy and terminal illness.
Grubb will officially serve as constable until the November general election.


Leaking toilets, careless watering can be costly; water districts remind customers to conserve
Special to the Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–That dripping faucet, leaking toilet or running the sprinkler the wrong time of day just might be tapping into your bank account.
This is the time of year water companies remind their customers to watch out for that unnecessary charge to the water bill.
Leaky faucets and toilets can really cost you, according to information put out by organizations such as the American Water Works Association Research Foundation.
Starting with a leaky toilet in the average home, up to nearly 70 gallons of water (or 26 percent) can be lost per day.
Dripping faucets or leaking hose connections or pipes can drain another 13 to 15 percent, for each leak, per day.
Repairing those leaky toilets or other fixtures can be done for as little as 29 cents for an “O” ring, or a few dollars for a new toilet flapper.
This information is provided by the Handbook of Water Use and Conservation.
The same handbook shows that baths use almost 14 percent less water, per person, per day, than showers.
Washing a full load of dishes, or clothes, instead of only partially filling the machine, is another way of saving water – and money.
It’s summer, it’s hot, it’s dry and the race is on to save the lawn and flowerbeds.
But watering tips can not only save water and money, they can save that costly lawn too.
In order to lessen evaporation and to do your soil the most good, avoid watering when it’s windy, before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Only water every three to five days in summer and 10 to 14 days in the winter.
Water–saving tips to remember include:
• Never water during the hottest part of the day.
• Only run the dishwasher and clothes washer when they are fully loaded.
• Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator or in the microwave instead of under running water.
• Use a broom, not the hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
• Swimming pool covers cut evaporation by 90 percent.
• Repair those leaks. Dripping faucets waste approximately 2,000 gallons a year. Leaky toilets waste as much as 200 gallons per day.
The installation of water-saving features would decrease the consumption of water by 30 percent, nationwide, saving as much as 5.4 billion gallons of water per day.
The dollar savings would be an estimated $11.3 million per day, or $4 billion per year.
And last, but most interesting and cost-saving, is a properly designed yard, planned with plants grouped according to watering needs, correct use of shade, and the use of mulch.
Landscapes can be transformed into beautiful designs that conserve water as well as being pleasing to the viewer.