Apr

20

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 20, 2016

INSET: Drainage streams through the Harbor Point Community Park eroding the shoreline and undermining the seawall.

INSET: Drainage streams through the Harbor Point Community Park eroding the shoreline and undermining the seawall.

By Sariah Kendall
Monitor Correspondent
GUN BARREL CITY–Residents of Harbor Point are hosting a community garage sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, April 23 at the park pavilion to generate revenue to fix the drainage issues and erosion ruining the family park.
While visiting the scene, POA board members Tim Towne and Joann Bray point out a snake swimming in the largest eroded hole, which is not too far from the pavilion itself. Runoff water through the property is carrying away soil, opening up holes behind the park’s seawall. Yellow warning tape is stretched along these unsafe areas in an effort to keep children safe.
“We love to have this park for the people who don’t live on the water. They can bring their kids down here, but we need to have a safe environment or our liabilities are so high,” Towne said. The park may have to close, if repairs aren’t made.
Towne said the solution is to install a pipe or cement flume to redirect the rainwater into the lake, which is estimated to cost anywhere from $7,000 to $8,000.
“All this costs money, and that’s what it’s all coming down to, we don’t have enough money or enough memberships to support repairs down here,” Towne said.
Harbor Point consists of around 250 members who pay an annual fee, but is home to more than 800 residents. If the POA were to raise dues, it runs the risk of losing members. “It’s voluntary to be a member, not mandatory. It’s $50 a year at this point, that doesn’t add up to much,” Bray said. Not only do the fees go toward necessary repairs in the community, but lawn maintenance, lighting and electricity.
At the northern most point of the park, the seawall is deteriorating from the wave action, winter weather and drought, Towne explained. Private contributors funded the wall and the park, but there are no funds to make repairs. As the wall continues to breakdown, the grass will continue to recede and eventually the park will no longer exist. “That would take years,” Towne said, “but we need to fix it before it happens.”
To repair the most northern point of the wall would cost $28,000 to $30,000. “That’s for a ‘Band-Aid’ fix, to fill it in and put a stem wall up,” Towne and Bray said. One proposal is to install a 4-foot stem wall to keep the existing wall from eroding.
“Not only do we need to fix what’s happening but we need to establish a fund to continue to fix it. The obvious thing is we need more members,” Towne said.
Real estate agents often use the park as a selling point to potential residents. Losing the park means losing a critical selling point and decreasing the chances of gaining more Harbor Point members. “The park is good for the community,” Towne said.
Towne has called Harbor Point home for over 25 years and fears that the POA may have to sell the entire park property. “As a POA, either we figure out how to get the money though private donations or garage sales or whatever it may be. If we can’t do that we will have no alternative but to sell,” Towne said.
“The goal is to save the park. All board members want to keep it. We need to be able to keep it up, but we can’t afford it,” Towne said.
Over 30 homes are donating goods for the garage sale. Coordinator Rosie Curry said a few of the donations include speakers, silver items, furniture, jewelry, clothes and baked goods. “Everything will be affordably priced,” Curry said. Donations are welcomed and all revenue generated will go towards the renovation of the park area and pavilion.

Apr

20

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 20, 2016

Big Tip-$1,000

Monitor Photo/Robyn Wheeler
Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant food server Alesha Palmer, 18, received an unexpected act of kindness April 9. When a patron overheard Palmer, a Kemp High School senior, talking to another table of guests about how much money it will cost for her to attend college. He spoke with the manager about giving Palmer a $1,000 tip. Palmer saw the customer talking to the manager and thought she had done something wrong. After the man left, she asked the restaurant manager if the man was filing a complaint. The manager informed her he had left her a large tip to help pay her college expenses. The tipper requested to remain anonymous. His check for the meal was only $9.69. That amounts to a 10,000 percent tip for Palmer, who wasn’t even his waitress. Palmer plans on attending Tyler Junior College in the fall to study culinary arts. Vetoni’s restuarant is located at 428 N. Gun Barrel Lane in Gun Barrel City.

Apr

15

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 15, 2016

By Emmalee Doss
Monitor Correspondent
MABANK–The Mabank City Council agreed to raise the speed limit on State Highway 198, north of U.S. 175 from 65 mph to speed limits being set by the state up to 75 mph for law enforcement purposes. Watch for change of speed limit signs.
“The city really didn’t have a choice in the matter,” city secretary Laurie Neustupa told The Monitor. “We received a notice from TxDOT informing of the change in speed limits that it was setting and if we were to enforce the new limit, an ordinance would need to be passed.”
After a lengthy discussion about the lack of a shoulder and the road work accomplished on the stretch of highway within the city limits, contributed to the agreement to adopt an ordinance raising the speed limit. Once the signs are put up by TxDOT, the new speed limit will take effect.
The Daughters of the American Revolution local chapter president, Susan Cothran, met with the council April 5 to discuss improvements for the Mabank Gardens Memorial, west of the park pavilion. Cothran pointed out the need for handicapped parking placed closer to the memorial as well as providing benches and permanent plaques to honor those who helped establish and who help maintain the memorial. Potentially, area businesses could sponsor the placement of a concrete benches, Cothran suggested. Some council members expressed concern about commercializing the memorial, but they agreed the memorial needed benches. The costs are yet to be estimated.
Council members ultimately took action to have a small parking area for the disabled put in, along with a walkway up to the memorial for ease of access to the memorial.
In other business, the council:
• agreed to condemn the structure at 115 Mt Vernon St., due to safety issues. The process was started in February and the demolition date has not been set.
• heard the new Animal Control truck was being fitted with a six-dog cage
• took, photos with a Girl Scout troop excited to earn their local government and citizenship badges.