Mar

02

Posted by : admin | On : March 2, 2017

Henderson County Commissioners' Court proclaimed March 2 (today) to be remembered as Texas Independence Day throughout the county. The Sons of the Republic of Texas brought the proclamation to the court for recognition Feb. 28. on behalf of the James George Chapter headed by President Clayton Starr and local Athens member Charles Luna. Pictured (from left) are Ken Geeslin, Starr, McHam, County Judge Richard Sanders, Ken Hayes, Luna, and Wade McKinney.

Henderson County Commissioners’ Court proclaimed March 2 (today) to be remembered as Texas Independence Day throughout the county. The Sons of the Republic of Texas brought the proclamation to the court for recognition Feb. 28. on behalf of the James George Chapter headed by President Clayton Starr and local Athens member Charles Luna. Pictured (from left) are Ken Geeslin, Starr, McHam, County Judge Richard Sanders, Ken Hayes, Luna, and Wade McKinney.

By Pearl Cantrell
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners’ Court tabled action to permit the Tarrant Regional Water District Integrated Pipeline to move forward until a road closure and crossing agreement can be spelled out to the satisfaction of Precinct 1 Commissioner Ken Hayes.
Representatives from Tarrant Regional are to meet with Hayes and the County Attorney Thursday (today) so Hayes can explain to residents of Key Ranch Estates, where the pipeline will be buried, what will occur. “You understand why I need information on this, I have constituents to answer to,” Hayes said. Plans call for the crossing of one road in Key Ranch Estates, which will close the road and provide a detour for local traffic.
The commissioners were asked to approve permits to construct the pipeline in a floodplain, which had nothing to do with roads or road closures. However, Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney pointed out that this permit was the only leverage the court had to have any say in what would transpire, especially as regards to road damage caused by the construction to take place in Precinct 1.
TRWD director Wesley Cleveland tried to assure the court that the district has worked well with other counties on the project and have left roads in as good or better condition than they found them and that money was built into the budget specifically for road repairs.
Engineer Matt Gaughan answered questions about the burial of the 108-inch (nine-foot) pipe. He told Hayes that where the pipe crossed under a road that it would be encased in quick-drying concrete and he expected to open detours for the two days that the road crossing would have to close any road.
Emergency Management Coordinator Joy Kimbrough presented commissioners with an emergency management plan for the work to take place in the floodplain, stating that the permit includes a clause absolving the county from any and all liability in connection with the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipeline. There is no fee attached to the permit, she said.
The item is expected to reappear on next week’s agenda.
In other business, commissioners:
• agreed to assist with four local elections for the cities of Eustace, Athens and Gun Barrel City as well as the Athens ISD for early voting April 24-May 2 and Election Day, May 6.
• renewed membership in the Sabine-Neches Resource Conservation and Development group and appointed Thomas Fraiser and Fire Marshal Shane Renberg as representatives.
• approved bonds for 2017 county elected officials
• accepted Racial Profiling Report from the Sheriff’s Office.
• agreed to a number of appointments and reappointments to Emergency Service Districts No. 1 and no. 2.
• approved inter-local cooperation agreements for labor and equipment use in the amount of $500 with the cities of Berryville, Coffee City and Poynor.
• paid bills in the amount of $425,844.52 and payments to fire departments in Caney City and Eustace in the amount of $21,174.

Mar

02

Posted by : admin | On : March 2, 2017

TVCC men CMYK

Special to The News
ATHENS–The season series between the Trinity Valley Cardinals and Navarro Bulldogs went in favor of the Cardinals with a 90-72 victory Wednesday at Cardinal Gym.
TVCC won the first meeting between the two teams, 82-67, on Jan. 28, in Corsicana.
The No. 18-ranked Cardinals (23-5 overall, 14-3 in Region XIV Conference play) return to action Wednesday, March 1 at Tyler Junior College.
The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., following the Lady Cardinals contest.
The regular season finale is March 4 as they host Kilgore Junior College on sophomore day.
TJC hosted Panola Wednesday, travels to Navarro Saturday and wraps up the regular season March 1 against TVCC.
Trinity Valley opened the contest on a 7-0 run in the first 1:06 of the game.
After a timeout by Navarro coach Michael Landers, the Bulldogs went on a 13-6 run to tie the game on a layup by Saint Hilaire. Hilaire finished the night with 20 points.
TVCC then took control of the game the remainder of the way.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, Amaad Wainright found Jaime Echenique for the dunk to give TVCC a 31-19 lead.
Navarro cut the deficit to 10 at the half at, 42-32, as D’Angelo Hunter hit two free throws with one second remaining. Hunter scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half of play.
In the second half, Navarro got to within, 43-35, in the first 1:15 of the half as Eric McCollom had a rebound basket.
TVCC then went on a 7-0 run with baskets by Josh Stamps, Echenique and a three from Wainright for the 50-35 lead with 16:09 remaining in regulation.
That forced Landers to call a timeout but the Bulldogs could never get the game under single digits.

With 7:03 remaining in regulation, Navarro got to within 11 as Randall Broddie found Xavier Fogle for the bucket and a 71-60 deficit.
TVCC was led by Wainright with 16 points. Stamps had 12, Jaquan Lightfoot had 11 and Echenique had 10.

Feb

23

Posted by : admin | On : February 23, 2017

THE NEWS PHOTO/RUSSELL SLATON – Malakoff ISD school board secretary Tim Mattingly (left) receives, on behalf of board members, a framed proclamation from Superintendent Randy Perry (right) which thanks trustees for their service, passed in January by the Texas Legislature, and sponsored by Rep. John Wray. That presentation came Thursday, Feb. 16.

THE NEWS PHOTO/RUSSELL SLATON – Malakoff ISD school board secretary Tim Mattingly (left) receives, on behalf of board members, a framed proclamation from Superintendent Randy Perry (right) which thanks trustees for their service, passed in January by the Texas Legislature, and sponsored by Rep. John Wray. That presentation came Thursday, Feb. 16.


By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF – Malakoff ISD trustees have approved all principal and director contracts for the 2017-18 school year, and also rewarded Superintendent Randy Perry with a two-percent raise. Those actions came during Feb. 16’s monthly meeting.
Superintendent Perry also presented board members a framed copy of a resolution sponsored by State Rep. John Wray, who serves Malakoff ISD in the Texas Legislature, which recognizes Malakoff school board members with a proclamation commending their service and “exemplary commitment to students.” That resolution, issued in conjunction with January’s Texas School Board Appreciation Month, was passed on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives in late January.
Perry also thanked Rep. Wray and State Sen. Robert Nichols later in the meeting, during his superintendent’s report, for co-sponsoring bills that have a direct effect on Malakoff ISD. Nichols’ co-sponsored bill would end the small-school penalty in the multiplier used to determine state school funding, applied against school districts smaller than 300 square miles. Perry said it is estimated that funding formula change could mean an extra $500,000 per year in state funding for Malakoff ISD.
Wray’s co-sponsored bill would continue state funding for another six years for Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR), a funding program adopted in 2006 which fulfilled a Texas Legislature promise that no school district would receive less funding because of the reduction in property tax rates spearheaded by that same body. The funding percentage was subsequently reduced by state legislators in 2011.
Malakoff ISD board members also approved a grant application to provide partial funding for the district’s school resource officer position. The $40,000 matching grant, now known as an UPLIFT grant, was formerly known as COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services). The grant is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
Superintendent Perry also discussed the district’s closing on Feb. 6 because of widespread illnesses in preceding days that he said led to attendance bottoming out at 83 percent. Perry said first, sixth and seventh grades were hit hardest by illness absences.
MISD board members also discussed board training held earlier this month, which all agreed helped them be better board members.

Feb

23

Posted by : admin | On : February 23, 2017

Special to The News
ATHENS–A Log Cabin man, suspected of murdering his wife, has been indicted.
Daniel Joesph Scott, 28, was indicted for the murder of Alicia Scott, 29, who was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound Dec. 28, 2016.
Formerly Alicia Weaver, she was a graduate of Kemp High School.
The accused is being held on a $3,500,000 bond. He is one of 43 indicted by the Henderson County Grand Jury Feb. 17 including 14 cases indicted under seal.
Others indicted by the grand jury include:
1. Aaron Sean Short, 28, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
2. Temple Andrew Gough, SR, 43, indicted for Injury to a Child
3. Arthur Edward Carpenter, 62, indicted for Aggravated Sexual Assault
4. Khomenique Latoia Thompson, 37, indicted for Assault
5. Shyanna Josey, 22, indicted for Prohibited Substance in Correctional Facility
6. Russell Glen Levescy, 57, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
7. Cody Glenn Sims, 18, indicted for Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle
8.James Donelle Cumby, 33, indicted for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements
9. Clinton Keith Holmes, 50, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
10. Brad Lee McCarty, 30, indicted for Burglary
11. Bobby Don Jackson, 24, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group One
12. Jason Charles Rhea, 40, indicted for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements
13. Lisa Michelle Goodwin, 32, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
14. John Grig Kincheloe, JR, 58, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group One
15. Debra Sue Kincheloe, 54, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group One
16. Austin Gustavo Mendoza, 26, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention
17. Gentry Jomal Canady, 25, indicted for Theft
18. Justin William Deans, 36, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated
19. Ashley Michelle Kleinmann, 46, indicted for Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear
20. Troy Allen Alldredge, 46, indicted for Assault
21. Craig Steven Richardson, 43, indicted for Injury to Disabled Individual
22. Nicholas Francis Landi, JR, 25 indicted for Aggravated Assault
23. Amanda Gail Morgan, 35, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
24. Paul Alton Ely, JR, 49, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
25. Joseph Adam Parrott, 33, indicted for Unlawful Possession of Firearm
26. George Ramon Perez, 34, indicted for Unlawful Possession of Firearm
27. Traunjanique Chantel Rose, 19, indicted for Prohibited Substance in Correctional Facility
28. John Edwin Mitchell, 28, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group One
29. Charles Thomas Lastowski, JR, 34, indicted for Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group One
30. Raymond Leo Clary III, 47, indicted for Assault
31. Corey Vance Johnson, 24, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
32. Michael Edward Sargent, 24, indicted for Assault
33. James Randolph Sockwell, II, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
34. Silvia Maryann Morris, 32, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
35. Benny Wayne Whatley, 42, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention
36. Randall Gene Looney, 23, indicted for Aggravated Perjury
37. Kerry Wayne Clark, 55, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
38. Randy William Allen, 47, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance
39. Richard Dean Garner, 22, indicted for Burglary
40. Robert Kenneth Chapman, 35, indicted for Evading Arrest or Detention and Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group One
41. Dylan Thomas Hoggett, 19, indicted for Prohibited Substance in Correctional Facility
42. Thomas Dalbert Hamilton, indicted for Aggravated Assault and Unlawful Possession of Firearm

Feb

23

Posted by : admin | On : February 23, 2017

The News Staff Reports
WACO–The Athens Hornets are moving on to the area round of the 4-A playoffs following a 76-68 win over China Spring at Ennis High School Feb. 21.
The Hornets (24-6) were the District 18 runners-up and faced the third-place Cougars (23-10).
Athens was down early in the game and didn’t take their first lead until midway through the second quarter when they went up 33-32. The lead didn’t last long and the Cougars quickly gained it back, but the game remained practically dead locked until the fourth quarter.
The two teams continued to battle until the end. The Hornets finally took the lead in the fourth quarter with a three-point shot to go up 56-54 with 7:16 remaining.
China Springs tied the game with a lay up 59-59, but Athens went on a 6-0 run to claim a 65-59 lead with just 4:25 remaining. China Springs made it hard on the Hornets, nailing a thee-pointer and layup to take the margin within 1-point with under three minutes remaining.
That’s as close as the game got, as the Hornet’s offense went on another run to take a 72-64 lead with only 30 seconds remaining in the game.
The Hornets shot 21-25 from the free throw line to secure the victory.
Miles Koehler had 17 points for the Hornets in the victory. Chris Taylor had 11, Bowman and Jabrile Richardson had 10 each and Xavius Fulton had two points.
China Spring was led by Haigood with a game-high 26 points. James had 15, Antwan Stephens had 14, Cameron Jenkins had nine and Brett Cain had four points.
Athens (24-6) will play Lampasas (24-3) in the area round Friday at 6 p.m. at Waco Robinson High School. Lampassas was the District 19-4A champion.
The winner of the Athens-Lampasas contest will face either Navasota or Waco Connally in the regional quarterfinals next week. Connally defeated Mexia, 69-57, in their bi-district contest, while Navasota defeated Taylor, 72-61.

Feb

23

Posted by : admin | On : February 23, 2017

cardinals CMYK
Special to the News
CARTHAGE–An eight-game win streak for the No. 12-ranked Trinity Valley Cardinals was snapped Saturday at the hands of the Panola Ponies in Carthage.
Panola won by a score of 94-87 as TVCC is 22-5 overall and 13-3 in Region XIV conference play.
With three games remaining in the regular season, the Cardinals face Navarro College Wednesday at Cardinal Gym. The regular season will end with TVCC at Tyler Junior College March 1 and hosting Kilgore on March 4.
In the loss to Panola, the Ponies held a 47-38 lead at the half. TVCC outscored Panola, 49-47, in the second half.
The Cardinals were led in scoring by sophomore Hyron Edwards with 29 points. Ryan Preston had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Amaad Wainright had 10 points.
Jaime Echenique had nine points, Brandon Holley had eight, Jaquan Lightfoot had seven, Josh Stamps had five, Andres Ibarguen had four and Julius Jackson had two.
The No. 10-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals had one of their worst losses of the season in a 64-39 defeat to the Panola College Fillies Saturday in Carthage.
Panola avenged an 81-65 loss to the Lady Cardinals on Jan. 11 in Athens.
With the loss, coach Gerald Ewing’s Lady Cardinals are 20-5 overall and 12-3 in Region XIV conference play.
TVCC has four games remaining in the regular season as they travel to Lufkin to face Angelina College Wednesday. Tip for the game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
In the loss, TVCC was led by Christalah Lyons with 13 points and four rebounds. Shakeela Fowler had eight points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Dominique Mills had seven points and one block, Malaysia McHenry had five points and four rebounds, Naomi Davenport had four points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists and Rainey Kuykendall had two points.
The Lady Cardinals shot 26.7 percent from the field.

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

Exterior Rendering
By Rachel Williams
The News Correspondent
ATHENS–Planners for the Texan Theater renovation met with interested contractors this week to present their concepts and bid information. It won’t be long before construction work begins to restore the historical location, which will attract business and activity to the downtown square. Five to six contractors have expressed interest in the bid documents, which are due back by March 3 for a closed bid process.
ArchiTexas Principal David Chase presented a slide show Monday of their vision for the renovation, detailing construction materials and finishes as well as the overall look and feel of the finished job. Funding sources for this project include a $1.4 million loan which has been allocated for this purpose.
A renovated Texan Theater will provide a venue for civic events on the courthouse square which would help invigorate downtown with greater economic growth, council members noted in August.
The 6,700 square foot space prices out at around $166 per square foot and holds between 250 and 400 people, depending on the seating and standing arrangements and could be rebuilt and opened within a year’s time. “This could be the next jewel in Athens,” Community Development Director Thanasis Kombos said.
Councilman Ed McCain agreed, pointing out that several global companies are planning visits to the city. “A revitalized Texan could be the reason they say, ‘I want to come here.’” McCain said.
To support the revitalization of the downtown area, the city council approved a façade improvement grant program, which will allow business owners in a nine-block area around the square to apply for funds from the city to historically restore and update the faces of their businesses. Using hotel occupancy tax funds, the city will support business owners in putting their best foot forward. The grant program passed with two council members recusing themselves due to conflicts of interest as building owners in the nine-block area.
“Our primary goals with this grant plan are the preservation of historical sites in our city as well as the encouragement of economic development,” Kombos said. “We don’t want to see any more of our downtown buildings disappear.”
Councilman Tres Winn asked, “If more funding were needed would we find the money for it?” Kombos answered, “The Hotel-Motel fund is at an all-time high right now, and so yes, we could increase the offering up to 50 percent of the funds.” Those who apply for the façade improvement plan will be encouraged to work together to use the same contractor for similar work in order to get better pricing and make their dollars go further. Applicants may also apply for funding from the Athens Economic Development Corp. to continue renovations beyond the façade, Kombos added.
Immediately afterwards, the council agreed to procedures for the Declaration of Conflict of Interest, by deciding that any council member must verbally announce the conflict of interest prior to a vote on any matter before the council. A written statement must be completed and notarized by the city secretary immediately following adjournment of the meeting in which the conflict of interest was discussed. The recusing Joe Whatley and Monte Montgomery followed that pattern exactly before the council considered the agenda item.
In other business, council members:
• tabled the final reading of an ordinance concerning amendments to provide for mobile food vendors subject to development standards and applicable zoning regulations until further discussion can be had.
• heard an update on Retail Recruitment from Lisa Denton, Athens Economic Development Center, discussing the work that R360, a retail consulting firm, has done to help Athens business growth. The report included cell phone usage mapping both during daytime and nighttime hours, comparisons to other similar locals and areas where gaps exist for potential retailers to fill. The marketing information is also displayed on a brochure for sending out to prospects, she presented. She added that retailers need the right sites at reasonable pricing to make Athens fa favorable location. “This is critical,” she said.
• heard and discussed the first reading of an ordinance concerning pro-rata permit fees for development. The new fee structure is incremental by dollars, bringing the price more directly relatable to the actual cost of the project.

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

The News Staff Reports
CORSICANA–Jalie Dawson was the hero the Malakoff needed after nailing shot in the closing seconds of the Lady Tigers 48-46 Bi-District playoff victory over Maypearl Feb. 13 at Navarro College.
The Lady Tigers fell behind in the contest early, as Maypearl jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first quarter.
Maypearl kept adding to the lead early in the second quarter until two free throws from Dawson brought Malakoff to 24-16, with 4:21 remaining in the first half. The lead continued to crumble, then Dawson took Malakoff within one point, 24-23, with two more free throws with 2:05 remaining.
In the third quarter, the defensive pressure picked up for both teams as Maypearl outscored Malakoff, 7-5, for a 40-35 lead.
In the fourth quarter Maypearl led by as much as 42-37 before the Lady Tigers made their final comeback. Maypearl tied the game at 46 with under 30 seconds remaining, then Dawson nailed the game-winning shot.
Dawson led the way for Malakoff with a game-high 20 points.
Kamry Hurd had 12,  junior Charlsey Stearman had five, junior Nakeya Kelley had four and freshman Sha’Kera Thompson had two.
Maypearl had three points from Creech and Meredith Keasler and two from Alyssa Holder.
Malakoff (19-10 overall) will face the winner of the Little River Academy-Whitney contest later this week in the area round.

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

Lady Cardinals win 73-50
Special to The News
ATHENS–Once the 11th-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cards found another gear, they ran away and hit from Paris Junior College’s Lady Dragons for a 73-50 win Saturday afternoon at Cardinal Gym.
With a pink-clad Play 4Kay crowd looking on, the Lady Cards outscored Paris 30-10 in the final 14:30 to run their season record to 19-4. They are 11-2 in Region XIV Conference heading into a three-game road trip to Bossier Parish, Panola and Angelina.
The Lady Cards are scheduled to return home Saturday, Feb. 25 against Coastal Bend in a 2 p.m. tipoff.
Paris hung with the Lady Cards until near the midway point of the third quarter. The Lady Dragons pulled within three, 43-40, before the Lady Cards ran off and hid.
Jordan Alexander provided the spark for the Lady Cards with 16 points, all in the second half. Alexander drained four three-pointers.
Naomi Davenport tossed in 15 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Shakeela Fowler had 14.
The Lady Cards took a 39-31 lead into the halftime locker room when Christalah Lyons hit a running three-pointer at the buzzer.
Boys victorious 81-65
The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The No. 18-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals won for a 37th-straight time at Cardinal Gym Saturday afternoon.
Using a fast start in the second half, the Cardinals rolled to an 81-65 win against the Paris Junior College Dragons in a Region XIV Conference contest.
In extending their home win streak, first-year head coach Guy Furr’s Cardinals maintain their lead in the North Zone. Now 21-4 on the season, the Cardinals are 12-2 in conference play.
The Cardinals are scheduled to be on the road this week, traveling Wednesday to play Bossier Parish and Saturday to take on Panola.
Andres Ibarguen led the Cardinals with 17 points. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Also scoring in double figures for the Cardinals were Brandon Holley with 15, all on three-pointers, Josh Stamps 13 and Hyron Edwards 11. Edwards also had seven assists.
The Cardinals were 9-of-13 from the free throw line. Paris was 24-of-36.
The Cardinals led 35-28 at the half, finishing the half on a 5-0 spurt.
By the 14:50 mark, they were in control of the scoreboard with a 51-35 advantage.
The win gave the Cardinals a sweep of Paris. They scored a 94-77 win at Paris in January.

Feb

16

Posted by : admin | On : February 16, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
The News 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.”