The Athens Leadership Institute Splash Pad project got a boost from the Athens Economic Development Cooperation Board on Thursday, but not as big as the amount that was requested.
The AEDC voted to grant $20,000 toward the Splash Pad. The allocation pushes the fundraising effort to more than $120,000 of the estimated $200,000 cost. The $20,000 makes the AEDC the second-largest contributor to the splash pad effort to date.
“This will be considered essentially a city park project,” AEDC President and CEO Brian Malone said. “Obviously if we do approve the funds it will be subject to city council approval and also ... a public hearing.”
Athens City Administrator Pam Burton said the Splash Pad definitely falls under the definition of a public project which allows the AEDC to contribute the money.
“It is not a gray area. It is clear,” Burton said.
During the January 10 AEDC meeting, Tony Kalawe, representing the Athens Chamber of Commerce, asked for $75,000 to help build the 2,300-square-foot pad. Project organizers are hoping to have funds completely raised by March and have the pad ready to use by summer.
The AEDC also voted to give the Henderson County Black Rodeo Association $2,000 for the 2013 Juneteenth Rodeo. The AEDC action requires the approval of the City Council to take effect. The board decision came after a lengthy discussion in which members of the board voiced concern over whether the AEDC could grant money to an event.
Black Rodeo Association CEO Jeffery Enoch asked the board for $5,000 to help meet initial expenses for the rodeo. The Rodeo Association is budgeting $22,900 to produce the event, which Enoch said drew about 5,000 people last year.
Enoch said the AEDC contribution would not only help fund the June rodeo, but in turn, money raised at the event would help fund other projects the association is planning. Among the Black Rodeo Association goals, Enoch said, is to obtain a building for community services such as youth mentoring, afterschool tutoring, adult day care and GED classes.
AEDC board member Joe Masso said he would be interested to know to what degree the money raised during the Juneteenth Rodeo would be used for education and the creation of job skills. Masso said the Rodeo Association could come back at a later time and request help with those projects.
Fund-raising effort nearing $130,000 mark
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The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department were searching for a man on Wednesday afternoon who may have drowned in Cedar Creek Lake.
Sheriff Ray Nutt said his department responded to a call for assistance from the Seven Points Police Department concerning two men who were boating on the lake, and ran into trouble between Seven Points and Gun Barrel City.
Water authority is born
It would be hard for anyone under the age of 50 to imagine East Texas without the abundance of lakes in the region, providing water and sources of recreation.
Many of the reservoirs in East Texas today, were created in the years immediately following the dusty, dry, decade of the 50s, when drought conditions left Texas parched for water. The rainfall all but stopped at the beginning of the decade and by 1957, 244 of the state’s 254 counties, including Henderson County, had been declared Federal Disaster Areas for lack of rainfall.
Time with the Easter Bunny
Six-year-old Mayven Ingalls is shown enjoying the company of the Easter Bunny at the annual Kiwanis Club Easter Egg Hunt for Special Needs kids at Kiwanis Park in Athens on Wednesday. A coordinator said the event was for students from Athens Independent School District. Tootsie the Clown also helped in the effort to bring enjoyment to the children.
AISD to discuss meal prices
The Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the District Support Center Board Room for its monthly meeting.
Several action items are on the agenda, including the consideration of meal prices for the 2014-15 school year.
More burglary complaints
The Athens Police Department continues to get numerous burglary complaints, and on Tuesday investigated a break-in of a vehicle parked at East Texas Medical Center.
104-year-old Henderson County woman passes
Helen Eveleen DeAngelis Carbone was a woman who experienced a lot in life. It was on April 15 that she passed from this life peacefully at the age of 104.
Carbone has been described as an interesting person with a lot of memories to share with everyone she met.
Bursting with beauty
A shining star already in her parents eyes, Geraldine Nieto displayed her ray of beauty Sunday in Tyler to claim top status in the Sunburst Talent/Beauty Contest.
The 5-year-old Athens resident is the daughter of Jaime and Karla Nieto.
Dozens attend council meeting for recovery, transfer station
Nathan Bullard, owner of Yellow Box Environmental LLC, was at Gun Barrel City Hall to explain future development plans for property located at 546 Gun Barrel Lane.
Bullard said he wanted to introduce himself and his company to the neighbors who own property close to his project.
Bullard was on hand to inform the public and address any concerns about the company’s plan to build a recovery and transfer station.
Commissioners sign proclamation for San Jacinto Day
The battle of the Alamo may be the best remembered conflict in Texas’ fight for independence, but the battle at San Jacinto closed the deal.
Representatives of the Sons of the Republic of Texas were on hand at the Henderson County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday in observance of a proclamation, declaring April 21, San Jacinto Day.
Ram to donate $20 per test drive to FFA Organization
On April 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the Ram Truck brand and Elder Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will host The Next Crop Project fundraising event at the dealership to benefit the National FFA Organization and local FFA chapter leadership programs in Henderson County.
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