Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

April 30, 2013

Not diggin’ it at all

County to protest right-of-way bill

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court approved a petition on Tuesday opposing a Texas House bill that they believe will cause delays when they need to dig in county right-of-way.

HB 2900, to protect phone lines and other infrastructure, was filed by Representative Tony Dale of Williamson County. The State Affairs Committee heard oral testimony on the bill on April 24 but took no action. Each of the commissioners said they were concerned that the bill eliminates a 24-inch exemption on requirements that the county call Dig 8-1-1 before digging.

“The commissioners would have to call anytime they wanted to do any work in the right-of-way, construction or repairs,” County Judge Richard Sanders said.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney said when a commissioner gets a call reporting a drainage issue that threatens to flood a person’s house, they have to move quickly to prevent damage. Calling 8-1-1 and waiting up to 72 hours to get approval could be costly to the resident.

“We try to help them pretty quick — that day, if they’ve got rain coming down,” McKinney said. “If they remove that exemption, I’m sorry, but someone’s house is going to flood.”

Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas said that scenario played out recently in his precinct.

“So we went out and cleared the ditch without having to wait,” Thomas said.

The commissioners regularly call Dig 8-1-1 before a big project, such as a major road rebuild, McKinney said.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said counties in the state granted utilities the opportunity to put phone lines in the right-of-way. Henderson County requires that any lines be buried at least 30 inches underground. The new bill requires that the county call even if the dig is less than that depth.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence said even though state law requires the county to allow phone companies, water companies and other utilities to bury lines in county right-of-way, the county should be able to require that they’re buried to a certain depth. In some cases, the commissioners have run into lines as close to the surface as six inches.

Commissioners also voted to:

• approve spending $500 for the 2013 Sonic Boom Kickoff Walk;

• authorize a resolution to resell properties bid in trust to Henderson County;

• appoint Blake Farrar to the Emergency Services District No. 4 to fill an unexpired term;

• to apply for the 2013 State Criminal Alien Assistance Program;

• to accept the FY2013 Tobacco Settlement Award in the amount of $154,359.34;

• to allow Bethel-Ash Water Supply Corporation to place 2,150 feet of water line on Henderson County Road 4827;

• to approve the Henderson County Investment Policy for 2013; and

• authorize payment of regular bills in the amount of $146,703.71.

Text Only
Local News
  • DSC_0018.JPG Volunteers now needed for Athens Soup Kitchen

    Athens resident Terry Mayhall walked through the doors of the Athens Soup Kitchen asking if he could just volunteer. Mayhall now spends his Thursdays cooking soup for people who are hungry.
    Athens Soup Kitchen, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission is to feed those who are hungry. The facility that feeds 30 to 63 people weekly, opened its door in March 2014.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-26 Mike chamber.png Coston named chamber president

    After a diligent search, the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board has named Mike Coston president. 
    “The chamber board selected a search committee, which consisted of Chamber members, community leaders and business owners,” Ashley Adams McKee, Chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board, said. “Our committee knew that we wanted to take our time to find the most qualified person to serve as our new president. We had more than 10 applicants and in our first round of interviews we were all equally impressed and excited about Mike's experience and passion for chamber business.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Update on restaurant projects given

    City of Athens officials gave an update on some ongoing projects and financial information at a meeting on Wednesday.
    Director of Planning and Development Gary Crecilius said progress on the Cotton Patch Cafe has slowed considerably with the discovery of a possible environmental hazard. The restaurant is being constructed east of the Walmart store on East Tyler Street.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_3092.JPG HCPAC announces ‘Mattress’ sales

    Why would HCPAC be selling mattresses? Actually, the “mattresses” are tickets to “Once Upon a Mattress,” which opens Thursday, Aug. 7.
    The 26th Annual Youth Summer Musical stars 24 very talented area students, ages 10 through college, and tells the “fractured fairy tale” version of the “Princess and the Pea.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-26 CCL Rotary Celebrity waiter.jpg Gearing up for Celebrity Waiter event

    The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake is gearing up for its annual Celebrity Waiter event. The Celebrity Waiter committee met on Thursday to discuss last minute items. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 at Athens Country Club. This will be the 18th year the CCL Rotary Club has hosted the fundraiser. For ticket information call Erin Osborn at 903-887-7486.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul harris.jpg Paul Harris recognition

    Rotary of Cedar Creek Lake President Erin Osborn presents Rotarian Bill Burnett with his second Paul Harris recognition. Rotarians are given a Paul Harris recognition when a Rotarian donates $1,000 or more to the fund outright. Benefactors receive a certificate and insignia to wear with a Rotary or Paul Harris Fellow pin.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-25 Sanders_Kendall.jpg Sanders suspended indefinitely

    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
    Wide receivers Kendall Sanders, of Athens, and Montrel Meander were arrested and later released on personal recognizance bonds. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders and Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to "get their story straight" and Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to the alleged assault on June 21.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 tree down college st. 1.JPG Thunderstorms take their toll on counties

    A line of thunderstorms rolled through Henderson County on Wednesday, snapping tree branches and power lines along the way.
    The winds that accompanied the storm resulted in thousands of people in North Texas without electricity and roads broken by falling trees or debris.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Council considering Burton's severance package

    The Athens City Council, by a 3-to-2 vote, tabled a budget adjustment on Wednesday to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who’s stepping down at the end of the year.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Eustace ISD approves tax rates

    The Eustace Independent School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday in the Eustace High School Library.
    Several reports and agenda items were considered by the board, and all were passed or approved. Board Secretary Ashley McKee was absent.
    The board was presented with the superintendent's reports on revenue, expenditures, payroll and taxes.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo