Feb

17

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 17, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
SEVEN POINTS–The Library at Cedar Creek Lake will be getting a new look with a new roof treatment. The Seven Points City Council approved a budget offered by the Economic Development Cooperation, which includes $112,000 for roof repairs to the library building, which it owns.
EDC President Kevin Pollack and Vice President Mac McKinsey explained the roof work will add a foam pad to even out the ridges, which will then be spread with a synthetic membrane. The 19-year-old metal roof has developed leaks that cannot be located. Water infiltration is causing damage to key building systems, Pollack said.
The plan is to insulate and seal the entire roof. A side benefit includes reducing the temperature inside due to greater reflection of heat off the roof. The familiar green roof will most likely be replaced with a gray or off white one, council members were told. Once begun, the project should take six to seven weeks, McKinsey said.
Another item on the EDC budget includes contract labor to organize and file paperwork that has been accumulating, Pollack explained.
The EDC is funded by a small portion of the sales tax collected in the city, which added up to about $132,220 in 2016, Pollack said. But this year’s budget with the roof work totals around $298,000. The EDC plans to use savings it has accrued to make up the difference between what it expects to collect and what it plans to spend. This account was set up initially to cover expenses and operation costs for the library and now totals $265,560.12 Pollack said.
The council approved the EDC budget and plans for the library roof repair.
In other business, the council members:
• ordered an election for May 6 for three council positions now being held by Andy Purdue, Claudett Allsup and Tommy Taylor.
• tabled a discussion and vote on the 2016-17 budget. Most the members had not had time to look over the budget worked on by Council woman Cheryl Jones.
• granted a request by Dan Waitman for a 24-hour security trailer at 201 Main Place Blvd for six months while he develops the property to re-open for business.
• took no action on a request of John Stewart and Mark Conn for a property on Pritchett to be used as rental cabins with a live-in manager. Those making the request did not appear to explain their project and request.
• accepted two resignations from the police department and approved the hiring of two replacements – Kevin Lewis and Cameron Beckham.

Feb

17

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 17, 2017

Monitor Staff Reports
LONGVIEW–The Mabank Lady Panthers crushed the Bi-District round on the state playoffs, downing Liberty Eylau 62-33 Tuesday night in Longview.
The Lady Panthers will face Tyler Chapel Hill in the Area Round of the playoffs in Frankston Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.
Carson Marsh was a standout performer, scoring 25 points on 16-20 free throw shooting, along with grabbing seven rebounds, in the winning effort.
The Lady Panthers jumped out to a 18-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Mabank outscored Liberty Eylau in each quarter of the game, 17-11 in the second, 12-10 in the third, and 15-6 in the fourth.
Other leaders for the Lady Panthers were Hannah Hudson (10 points, eight rebounds), Bri Martin (eight points) Savannah Chapman (six points) Kylie Neighbors (four points) Kathryne German (three points) and Jill Odom, Elizabeth Hardy and Leigh Cunningham (two points).

Feb

15

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 15, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
STAR HARBOR–The Star Harbor City Council agreed to file for a grievance hearing with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) through its attorney over new sewer rates the City of Malakoff is charging under new contract terms.
Star Harbor has been adamant in its rejection of the new contract and is developing plans to construct its own wastewater treatment plant. A committee formed for this purpose gave its report to the council on Monday. The council named Wasteline Engineering Inc. out of Aledo to be its design firm.
The January bill to Star Harbor has gone from $3,400 a month to $15,485. In addition, the council has agreed to continue to pay the City of Malakoff the customary amount and bank the rest in an escrow account. Councilman Duane Smith opposed the move.
One of the residents, who is a lawyer, pointed out that if Star Harbor pays the increased amount it could be construed as acceptance of the new contract.
Council member Warren Claxton told the council that under Chapter 13 of the Texas Water Code (TWC), the city could appeal to the PUC on the grounds the new rate is unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory. Claxton pointed out that it discriminates because Star Harbor’s rate doesn’t consider the community provides its own maintenance of sewer lines, reducing (I & I) water inflow (from storm water) and infiltration (from ground water). Thus, it is not being treated equally with other customers outside the city limits. Star Harbor charges each of its taps an additional $15 a month to maintain the lines.
“It’s unfair, too,” Claxton said pointing out the increase from $10.43 per sewer tap for first 1,000 gallons to base rate of $47.50 represents a 355.4 percent increase. The next 1,000-gallon increment costs $14.04. Extrapolated out to three and four thousand gallons a month demonstrated a 624 percent increase from $10.43 to $75.58 for 3,000 gallons; and a 759 percent increase from $10.43 to $89.53 for 4,000 gallons of wastewater. “Surely, they haven’t been taking our $10.43 a month per tap fee for the last two years at a loss?” queried city treasurer Don Ellis.
“At those rates, just over two years we would have enough to build our own sewer plant,” Councilman O.R. Perdue said.
Star Harbor produces its own water for residents. It sends a quarterly report to the City of Malakoff reporting the amount of water delivered to residents in Star Harbor, some of which have septic tanks. From this data, the city formulates the charge, divided among 326 taps comes to $10.43 a month for the past two years, or $3,400 to the city, plus a 1 percent administrative service charge.
“It’s incumbent upon Malakoff to come back to justify this rate increase,” Claxton said. Council members repeatedly wanted to know what it costs Malakoff to process a thousand gallons of wastewater. They also agreed the city was entitled to make a reasonable profit. After a lengthy discussion, the council approved the sending of a letter to the City of Malakoff, demanding it justify the new rate and be willing to negotiate with the City of Star Harbor on a new contract.
However, Star Harbor residents say there is a 10-year history of attempts to negotiate a new wastewater treatment contract before the former 30-year contract ran out without success. “In fact, Malakoff did not even present us with their original ‘new contract’ proposal until several months after the old contract expired,” Mayor Dr. Walter Bingham wrote in a letter sent to all residents. “Most recently, we have had our attorney directly involved in the negotiating attempt but Malakoff has rebuffed any counter proposal we have made other than an out clause after a 10-year lock and has notified us that the new rate will be used as the calculation of our sewage bill beginning Jan. 1, contract or no contract.”
In related business, the council approved the hire of four laborers to complete smoke testing on sewer connections with 192 homes to locate areas of I&I, so these can be corrected. “Last month, we tallied nearly 21,000 gallons of rain water we sent to the wastewater plant,” utility/golf maintenance director Tommy Posey said.
Resident Selwyn Wilson pointed out that Star Harbor residents need to continue the relationship they have had with the businesses and people of Malakoff. “We use the same grocery stores, banks, insurance professionals; I’m sure the citizens of Malakoff don’t know this is going on. We want to continue a cooperative relationship. We’re just asking for information.”