Dec

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 19, 2014

Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving central East Texas is warning consumers about a scam in which someone claiming to be with “the government” is giving out a grant if the resident sends them money.
Consumers are getting phone calls telling them they received a grant from “the government,” and they may spend the funds however they want. But in order to get the grant, the caller asks you to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card and load it with money.
They request the numbers off the back of the card and then they take your money. Consumers don’t get any grant money and they lose their own money in the process.
“Consumers should always be cautious of unsolicited phone calls where the caller states you have won money,” BBB of central East Texas Chief Executive Officer and President Mechele Agbayani Mills said.
“Without doing your homework, you could end up losing money instead.”
BBB encourages consumers to sign up for the Texas Do Not Call List by calling 1(866) 896-6225 or by going to www.texasnocall.com.
Also, be cautious when using a Green Dot MoneyPak reloadable card. Once you give the number out, there is no way of tracking who has the money. BBB encourages not wiring money to individuals you don’t know.
BBB provides the following additional tips for dealing with this scam:
• government grants have to be applied for in order to receive. If you didn’t apply for the grant, you won’t receive one either.
• The government doesn’t call you to contact you for such matters. You will not receive information about government grants through a phone call.
• If you get one of these calls, hang up. You may be tempted to call back, but this will only give the scammer another opportunity to steal your information.
• Don’t give out your personal information to someone you don’t know. Never give out your bank account numbers, date of birth, credit card number or Social Security number to an unsolicited caller or anyone you don’t know.
According to grants.gov, the FTC points out you shouldn’t have to pay fees for a “free” government grant.
If you would like to apply for a grant, go to grants.gov. This website provides all of the federal grant opportunities including different types of grants, rules for applying and how to track your submissions.
To report those pretending to hand out grants on the government’s behalf to 1(800) 447-8477.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org.
To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB Hotline at (903) 581-8373.

Dec

14

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 14, 2014

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–The Mabank City Council approved a 12-year loan to purchase equipment for the fire department Tuesday.
Citizens State Bank is carrying the $450,000 loan and the city will make annual payments of $45,518, starting March 15, 2015.
The interest rate comes to 3.5 percent and by March of each year, the city should have ample supply from property tax revenues that have been collected.
The payments are about the same amount the city is paying now for firefighting equipment, Councilman Larry Teague noted.
The former loan balance amount ($110,000) will be rolled into the new, larger amount, he said.
Among the equipment the department plans to purchase is a new rescue truck and a used ladder truck for $90,000. The money will also pay off an existing $110,000 loan. The department is also seeking a tanker truck with help of an 80 percent matching grant from the National Forestry Service.
In addition, the department is selling off some of its older equipment.
Five people were approved to sign checks for the annual payments, including Mayor Jeff Norman, Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Terry, Deputy Mayor Larry Teague, City Secretary Fairy Gonzalez and City Office Manager Sandra Thomas.
In other business, council members:
• approved a request for variance from Lakeside Collision, who plans to expand the facility. The 50-foot setback requirement from Third Street was reset to 25-feet, as requested.
• named 10 paid city holidays for employees. City Hall will be closed on the following days: New Year’s Day, Good Friday – April 3, 2015, Memorial Day – Monday, May 25, 2015, July 4, Labor Day – Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, Thanksgiving – Thursday-Friday, Nov. 26-27, Christmas –Dec. 24-25, 2015.
• amended the 2013-14 budget Capital Outlay account in the amount of $175,000 for equipping 20 RV slots at the park pavilion. The improvements enhanced the Firemen’s Jubilee CASI Chili and Barbecue Cookoff.
• received various staff reports. Thus far, the number of fire calls for 2014 totals 566, slightly down from last year. The highest amount occurred in 2005 with 950 fire calls.
Building permits total 47 for the year through November, generating $3,133 in fees for the city and adding projects valued at $316,500.
Code enforcement activity for November, included 27 sign violations, 20 tall grass and eight illegal dumping reports.

Dec

14

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 14, 2014

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell


K & L Construction presents a Gun Barrel smoker along with youth (from left) Abby and Joiy Lefferman, Eli Lovern and Mattylin Wilkins.
Lots more photos from this event in the Sunday, December 14, 2014 issue of The Monitor.