Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 25, 2016

First Responders work to free two Mabank High School students from the wreckage of a one-auto wreck Friday, May 20 on Harbor Point Road.

First Responders work to free two Mabank High School students from the wreckage of a one-auto wreck Friday, May 20 on Harbor Point Road.

Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Jeremiyah “JJ” Mathis, a senior at Mabank High School and his passenger survived hitting a tree and landing in a ditch on Harbor Point Road, after his car crossed standing water and lost contact with the pavement.
The Ford Mustang hydroplaned and spun around three times before colliding with a tree, Mathis reported. The driver was treated and released the same day. The car Mathis had begun to drive two weeks ago is a total loss. However, he will be able to walk across the stage to pick up his diploma.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 6, 2016

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent
KAUFMAN–The Kaufman County Commissioners Court will consider shutting down the household hazardous waste facility at the Kemp Eco-Station.
The court tabled an agenda item April 25 to close the facility until a workshop can be held to consider an alternative to the Kemp station’s operation. Possible alternatives would be the staging of a centralized hazardous waste collection site once yearly in Kaufman in coordination with the annual county clean-up in May.
In his proposal to close the Kemp operation, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jakie Allen branded it as a “losing proposition” because of its expense. The facility cost the county $5,725 to operate last year, and it collected “very little,” he said. In formal discussion during previous commissioners’ tenures caused concern among some Kaufman County residents.
The Kemp facility takes in mostly a small amount of aerosol cans and fertilizers, according to county officials.
“My request is not to take it and send it to Dallas,” Allen said.
Other commissioners questioned the wisdom of expecting other communities’ facilities to take in Kaufman County’s hazardous waste. They noted that if the Kemp facility is closed the county will likely be forced to clean up waste discarded on roads by people who are unwilling to pay a fee in Dallas and see no other means of disposal.
County Judge Bruce Wood said he suspected funding might be available at the state level to assist the county. “I don’t know that we can just do nothing about hazardous waste.”
Allen agreed to tabling the agenda item in favor of a workshop. County project manager Pam Corder said she would research funding availability for an alternative.
Kaufman County Environmental Co-op representative Charles Whitaker told the court he would be interested in implementing a plan for hazardous waste collection in cooperation with the county if officials can find funding. “I’d like to have a workshop,” he said.
In other action, the court:
• approved a pay increase for Sheriff’s Department employees that will cost a total of $247,455 to be funded from the General Fund Budget. The employees will receive an extra $70 per month or $850 annually. Sheriff David Byrnes said the pay increase would be necessary to decrease employee turnover prompted by several years of stagnant salaries.
• heard a report from a firm hired to recover delinquent court fines that it had brought in $1.1 million in six months.
• adopted County Road 109C into the county road system because it leads to Kaiser Cemetery and must be maintained. The road previously was in the system but got left off last year because the official list excluded it.



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.