People, Places & Events

     
   


 

 Hensarling speaks on border security
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling visited with folks in Mabank and Seven Points to discuss two plans being offered by the U.S. House and Senate.
“The war on terrorism also has to be fought on our northern and southern borders. We ignore this potential threat at our own peril,” Hensarling told citizens gathered at Mabank City Hall Thursday.
In his opinion there are only two debates: whether America has the will to control its borders and is there a right or wrong way to secure the borders.
“This is not a human rights issue,” he adamantly said. “We shouldn’t be sidetracked into discussions on human rights when talking about border security.”
Hensarling feels the Kennedy-Reed Senate bill is “wrong-headed” for granting amnesty to lawbreakers, essentially attracting more illegal immigrants, and for sweetening the pot by providing social security and educational benefits.
“It sets a terrible precedent,” he said.
Lastly, the bill disallows local law enforcement officers to pick up illegal immigrants for deportation, solely because they are here illegally.
“I like legal immigration,” he said. “I want to find room for those who love freedom and will work hard to gain its benefits, but we can’t take them all.”
Hensarling listed features of the House bill’s security proposals:
• provides for real fencing and walls as well as virtual fences in areas where human smugglers stage their activities.
• eliminates the ineffective “catch-and-release” process now in operation.
• increases border patrol strength by 1,500, though it’s not nearly enough, he added.
• increases the penalties for knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant, and
• develops an easy on-line service so small business owners can enter a social security number and immediately get confirmation of citizenship.
Illegal immigrants costs American taxpayers billions of dollars and strains the financial resources of social services and law enforcement agencies, he stressed.

Log Cabin packages funding
Moves forward on sewer, water tower, park upgrades
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

LOG CABIN–Work has begun on a sewer service for about 400 Log Cabin residents. In the works for the past 10 years, a gravity sewer is a red-letter event for the city.
“I’m very excited about it. It’s been on my plate for the last three years, and I’m glad to get it off,” Mayor Gene Bearden told The Monitor.
“I feel it’s going to help the growth of Log Cabin,” he said.
The sewer system is going to cost $3.8 million and initially accommodate up to 600 households, Bearden reported.
Trench work is underway, as is the initial dirtwork for the waste water treatment plant on County Road 1411.
The project is being funded by a grant-loan program with the United States Department of Agriculture. It is providing a $2.1 million grant and the city is borrowing $1.764 million at 4.375 percent.
With the help of engineering services from Velvin and Weeks, the city has approved a flat monthly sewer fee of $43.23 to users to both operate and pay back the debt.
“We feel pretty confident this ($43.23/month) will cover it,” Bearden said. The figure is based on 385 hookups, he said, and there’s a little room for growth on the system.
Bearden estimated there are about 2,000 lots that are too small for septic systems under today’s standards. Many of them were bought in the ‘60s and ‘70s as weekend lots.
“Those lots will be able to take advantage of the new sewer system going in, of course, not all at the same time,” he added.
Another grant from the Texas Community Development Program (TCDP) for $250,000 will be funding the hookup of the residences with grinder pumps and lines to the sewer mains.
Two different building contractors are doing the work on the plant and pipe laying.
Four road bores are planned for the piping: two under Farm-to-Market 3054, one under State Highway 198 and County Road 1411, Bearden reported.
The city is also upgrading its water services with the installation of a 125,000 gallon elevated tower just outside city hall.
That work is due to begin by Oct. 1, and expected to be completed in six weeks, if all goes well, Bearden said.
A second matching grant-loan program from TCDP is backing the improvement.
The city is financing $217,000 and the TCDP grant comes to $250,000.
The city currently has two water storage tanks. The 85,000-gallon tank will continue in operations along with the new water tower, he added.
Some small improvements are also planned to accompany the water tower to improve the road and part of city hall.
A funding packing of $275,000 has been put together with First Southwest Company to accommodate the water tower and other improvements at about 4 percent, he reported.
GrantWorks is administering the water tower grant and a third grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for $125,000 to repair and rebuild the semi-circular pier and two boat ramps at the city park.
“We’re also hoping – that with volunteer labor – we can put in a bath house, too,” Bearden said.
“We have our fair share of grants and loans, but we sure needed them to make vast improvements to the city,” Bearden observed.
The city is also using First Southwest to refinance its outstanding debt from 2004 of $255,000 in general obligation refunding bonds.
The refinancing should save the city $22,852, council members heard July 31.
Long-term debt for the city totals $2.048 million.
Bearden expressed discomfort with the amount of the debt, but was counseled: “a city is always going to have debt.”
“You got to spend a little money to make money,” he said.
“I think Log Cabin is the great sleeping giant at the lake. In the next 20 years, it will be a booming town,” Bearden predicted.
“The town has really improved in the last three years. It has changed dramatically,” he added.

Lake area fire departments to be honored at dinner
Special to The Monitor
EUSTACE–Members of the Greater Cedar Creek Lake Area “Pacesetters” Club met at Slab Happy BBQ in Eustace to discuss the upcoming Greater Cedar Creek Lake Area Volunteer Department Appreciation Dinner and Dance to be hosted at Mabank Pavilion in early October.
All volunteer firemen and their spouses from the lake area fire departments will be honored guests at the appreciation dinner.
“We are designing this event so that the firemen don’t have to lift a finger before, during or after. It’s their night to come relax and enjoy the thanks of community leaders who are organizing the event,” owner of Capt’n B Florist and president of the Pacesetters Club Bruce Easley said.
There will be live music for dancing, catered barbecue and presentations by elected officials.
State Representative Betty Brown, U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling, State Senator Todd Staples and State Senator Bob Deuell have all been invited and will participate as their schedules permit.
Please let Bruce know if you can recommend someone to donate their musical talents or if you want to make a donation to help support the event. Call (903) 887-0179