Rhome City Council fills vacancy, creates another

Rhome city officials have done a lot of shuffling to fill posts on the council and on boards/commissions.

In May, voters elected then-council member Louis Godfrey mayor. But with a year left on his term, the council was tasked with appointing someone to fill the vacancy.

At a special called meeting last Friday, officials named former mayor and council member David E. Wilson to that post.

Wilson, however, was serving on the city’s planning and zoning commission – a post he must now resign after his council appointment.

The council will consider accepting at its regular meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday.

Also on the agenda is resuming a public hearing on carports. The topic proved to be controversial at the council’s meeting in April, as citizens on both sides of the issue expressed strong opinions.

“I’ve lived in neighborhoods before where this has been an issue, adding carports,” resident Diane Fletcher said at the April meeting. “What it started looking like was a trailer park Things started looking trashy I think it’s definitely not going to make Rhome look very good. I don’t want Rhome looking like a trailer park.”

Nathan Robertson spoke up for the other side.

“I’ve lived here for 24 years, and I don’t think it’s going to decrease my property value,” he said. ” There’s a lot more to worry about with eyesores than carports.”

At the April meeting, Charles Pennington – who was named mayor pro tem at last Friday’s meeting – agreed to conduct an impact study and present the findings at this June meeting.

The council will consider taking action on the matter.

They will also:

  • consider authorizing the mayor to execute any papers necessary to complete the sale of property in Crown Point;
  • discuss improvements to the city’s wastewater plant including a gate on the east side and a building on the west side;
  • update the requirements of the planning and zoning commission;
  • discuss old business including a veterans park donation plaque and electricity in Family Park;
  • recess into closed session to discuss police personnel then discuss, consider or act regarding the matter;
  • consider routine business including meeting minutes, check registers and staff reports.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at City Hall, 105 First St.

Posted in News0 Comments

Carl Douglas Alderman

Carl Douglas Alderman, 75, of Rhome, died Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Haslet.

Service was June 6 at Faith Temple in New Fairview with Pastor Windell Splawn Jr. officiating. Alpine Funeral Home in Fort Worth handled the cremation.

Carl was born Sept 3, 1938, in Shreveport, La. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force and worked in the telecom business for more than 40 years as a project manager and a site manager.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria Alderman; parents Myra Crain and Mr. Stennett; sons Paul Alderman and Matt Alderman; daughters Debra Alderman and Laura Alderman; sister Billie Alderman; grandchildren Jeremy Alderman, Ryan Goodwin, Angelina Anguish, Aaron Anguish, Sarah Geddess, Samantha Howard and Casey Howard; and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by brothers L.A Alderman and Leroy Alderman; and sister Susie Alderman.

Posted in Obituaries1 Comment

Maxine Thorell Griffin

Maxine Thorell Griffin

Maxine Thorell Griffin, 86, of Rhome, died Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Plano.

Graveside service was June 6 at Aurora Cemetery with Pastor Carl L. Thorell officiating. Burial was under the direction of Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

Maxine was born Nov. 9, 1927, in Rhome to O.Z. and Dollie (Brammer) Thorell. She married Daniel Bert “D.B.” Griffin April 5, 1947, in Rhome, and they were married 62 years before his death in 2009.

Maxine enjoyed square dancing in her younger days with her husband and later playing 42 and bingo. She loved her family, her Lord and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by sons Don Griffin of Rhome and Gary Griffin and wife, Dorothy, of Dallas; granddaughters Joanie Griffin Lester and husband, Steven, of Celina and Chelsie Griffin of Dallas; step-granddaughter Sabrina Lambert of Haltom City; great-grandchildren Wyatt Samuel Lester, Ainsley Maxine Lester and Enzo Lester; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; sisters Juanelle Thorell and Geneva Burch; and brother Carl A. Thorell.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

Council to fill vacancy

Louis Godfrey’s election as mayor of Rhome leaves his place on the council vacant with one year left in the term.

At a special meeting Friday, the council will appoint someone to fill that seat.

Also at the meeting, which begins at 4 p.m. at City Hall, officials will appoint a mayor pro tem and recess into closed session to discuss the public works director and city secretary positions.

Any action on the matter will be taken in open session.

The meeting is open to the public.

Posted in News0 Comments

Arianna Renee Mauricio

Hollie and Adrian Mauricio of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Arianna Renee, on May 27, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

She has two brothers: Alex, 7, and Isaac, 5; and one sister: Natalie, 3.

Grandparents are Norma and Adrian Mauricio and Melissa Walker.

Great-grandparents are James and Mildred Hurst.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Laura Kelly Williams

Laura Kelly Williams

Laura Kelly Williams, 79, of Rhome, died Monday, May 26, 2014.

Funeral is 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at Greenwood Chapel in Fort Worth. Entombment will be at Greenwood Mausoleum.

Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Greenwood Funeral Home.

Laura was born Feb. 2, 1935, in Hobson, Mont. She owned the Shell Station in Rhome from 1978 to 2003 and was a longtime member of Faith Temple Church in Rhome. She was loved by all who knew her and will be dearly missed.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Williams; sons David Wendt and wife, JoAnne, and Richard Wendt and wife, Karen; daughter Rennie Wolverton and husband, Bill; stepson Scott Williams and wife, Loretta; stepdaughters Carla Phillips and husband, Wayne, and Lori West and husband, Jay; granddaughter Kelly Daman and husband, Singh; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

Anika Rodriguez

Jaunna and Yarcesin Rodriguez of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Anika Rodrguez, on May 20, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Her sister is Ansleigh, 3.

Grandparents are Agusten Rodriguez, Josafina Rubio, Jose Cruz, Ricardo Rubio, and Martha Rodriguez.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Eli Gabriel Clayton

Heather and Cole Clayton of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Eli Gabriel, May 19, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 18 inches long.

His sister is Mily, 3.

Grandparents are Nancy Rodriguez and Jo Landry of Decatur, Stacy and Bobby Tucknies of Sunset, Richard Benavides of Keller, and Wesley and Tammy Clayton of Bridgeport.

Great-grandparents are Glenda Holt of Decatur and Jo Benavides of Fort Worth.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Students named to TWU Honor Roll

Several Wise County students made the Dean’s List during the fall 2013 semester at Texas Woman’s University. Those that also made the Chancellor’s List with a 4.0 grade point average are denoted with an (*).

Alvord
Vanessa Alberts, sociology
Jordann Warren, nursing

Boyd
Taylor Anderson, interdisciplinary studies
Michaela Calvert, dental hygiene
Kristina West*, nursing

Bridgeport
Rebecca Grinnell, business administration
Angelica Reyes*, dental hygiene
Kristie Sandoval, interdisciplinary studies
Domenica Santoyo, social work
Erika Santoyo, social work

Decatur
Kari Gage*, interdisciplinary studies
Megan Maxwell*, business administration
Rachel McGregor*, interdisciplinary studies
Mary Kathryn Olson, English
Steve Salinas, psychology
Kitara Wright, communication sciences

Paradise
Taylor Blount, nutrition
Sarah Buell, undeclared
Saira Fernandez, undeclared

Rhome
Bettina Davis, dance
Shiloh Hofacket, human resources
Natalie Klasek, psychology

Posted in Education Headlines0 Comments

Rancher’s power-line battle gains attention

A Wise County rancher’s battle to budge the power line he says was built in the wrong place is gaining attention from landowners and utilities as Texas regulators prepare to decide the line’s fate.

Crossing the Line

CROSSING THE LINE – The Rolling V Ranch in Wise County is home to power transmission lines built by Oncor. The owner, Johnny Vinson, says one stretch of the new lines is not built where Oncor promised to build it. Photo courtesy Texas Tribune

This week, the Public Utility Commission of Texas will consider a complaint that Johnny Vinson, an 82-year-old rancher, lodged against Oncor, the state’s largest transmission operator.

The case concerns this question: after landowners sign off on a power line routes, can a transmission company install it somewhere else?

Vinson says a 345-kilovolt power line stretching across the northwest corner of his Wise County ranch should run 150 feet north of where it does – atop an older, 69-kilovolt line. That is where Oncor originally mapped it, but not where the company built it. The change left Vinson with what he says is an unusable 11-acre gap between two power line easements.

Power line routes commonly move slightly after regulators approve them, but no state regulations address precisely how much leeway transmission companies have. Landowners are rarely warned that approved routes might shift.

Vinson’s complaint, filed in November 2012, originally drew scant attention from those outside of the dispute. But less than a month after The Texas Tribune reported on it, a state lawmaker, several landowner groups and several of Texas’ largest utilities have submitted comments to the PUC addressing the issue.

“It reflects that this issue is of the highest importance to everyone – including landowners and utilities,” James Brazell, Vinson’s attorney, said of the flurry of last-minute comments to the commission. “And it really needs the commission to make a decision regarding how to fix this problem.”

The case was on the agenda for the PUC’s open meeting on Friday, when the three commissioners will discuss whether to quickly vote or take more time to hear arguments on either side.

In late April, state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, asked the commissioners to give the issue a full hearing, saying the case could have “far-reaching effects.”

“Due to the nature of this case and the possibility for statewide implications, I encourage the Commission to consider granting a full hearing,” King wrote in a letter to the commissioners. “Furthermore, if requested, I encourage the Commission to allow oral arguments to ensure the voices of both parties can be adequately expressed.”

Oncor says it ran into engineering problems while designing the line – primarily the discovery of gas and water pipelines beneath the old power line that made building on the original path unsafe. Oncor argues that maps included in a company’s application to build a project on private land – called a certificate of convenience and necessity, or CCN – are merely “indicative” of where power lines will go, and that a company has the power to maneuver around constraints it discovers.

Transmission companies across the state agree with that position. Last week, in a filing to the PUC, a group of seven large transmission companies wrote that the transmission line development process “will change for the worse” if the commission sides with Vinson, requiring companies to complete detailed field surveys and engineering studies on every proposed power line route – regardless of whether each is chosen.

“This would result in considerable additional expenditures of cost and of time in the CCN process, with a corresponding delay in transmission line development and increase of costs to all ratepayers,” said the group, which includes Cross Texas Transmission, El Paso Electric Company, LCRA Transmission Services, Lone Star Transmission, Sharyland Utilities, Southwestern Public Service Company and Texas-New Mexico Power Company.

Vinson’s legal team called Oncor’s revelations about underground gas and water pipelines on Vinson’s property a “red herring.” The rancher says Oncor ran into difficulty with the original route after realizing it had failed to give notice of the CCN proceedings to Vinson’s neighbor to the northwest, whose property would have abutted the power line. That neighbor refused to give Oncor permission to survey his land for an easement. Oncor denies that those details played a role in its routing decision.

Brazell said that siding with Oncor would give transmission companies too much wiggle room to move projects without landowners’ consent.

“Today it could be 5 feet. Tomorrow, it could be 150,” he said. “Next day it could be 1,000. Then, a week from now, it could be 5 miles, because there’s no limit on it.”

A group of North Texas landowners, including the city of Haslet, the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District and several homeowners associations support Vinson’s position.

Because the power line has already been built, a ruling against Oncor would prove complicated, and it is not clear what that would mean for the project.

Vinson is fighting an uphill battle. PUC staff members support Oncor’s position, and in March, an administrative law judge ruled in the company’s favor, saying “it was clear that Oncor followed good engineering practice” on Vinson’s property. That ruling is not binding but would likely play an important role in regulators’ final decision.

This article was published online Wednesday by The Texas Tribune – a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.

Posted in News0 Comments

Godfrey wins mayor’s race

Louis Godfrey will transition from the council to Rhome’s top job after winning the mayor’s race Saturday.

He defeated Mark Lorance, who once held the mayor’s post, 117-88. Lorance said he was asked by several people to come back and run again.

“I gave it a shot and tried to get my message out there the best I could, and it just didn’t work out,” he said. “If the citizens want someone else to step into that position, then that’s OK.

“I volunteered my services, tried to get my message out and I guess Louis had a better message.”

Godfrey says he feels “fine” about the win, and he wants to see the city grow in a positive way.

“I want the city to have positive relations all the way around,” he said. “It’s time to get a master plan into effect, but not all of this will take place overnight.

“… I plan to work very hard for the people of this city, whatever it takes to get the job done,” he said. “I’m not afraid of long hours, and I’m not afraid of hard work, as long as we can all stay on track and do things together, I think we’ll all do just fine.”

Two at-large council seats were up for grabs and were secured by incumbents Jo Ann Wilson and Michelle Pittman. Wilson received 122 votes, and Pittman got 90, beating Timothy Robison (79), Shawn Holliman (48) and Jason Miller (38).

“I am pleased that people wanted me back in, and I got more votes than I ever have,” said Wilson, who is starting her fourth term. “I really enjoy it. A lot of people have my cell phone number, and that’s good. If I can be of any help, I will try. I think that’s important, particularly in a small town. I just appreciate all the support I’ve been given.”

Wilson said she would like to address water needs and road repair in the next two years.

Pittman’s win secures her second term, and she wants to see the city develop a five-year plan for a safety complex that would house the police and fire departments. She also wants to include a community center and sports fields in that plan. She said they also need to evaluate infrastructure for water and sewer to ensure everything is in place to accommodate growth, especially commercial growth.

Pittman said she’s honored to be re-elected.

“It’s been a rocky two years, but it’s been a privilege to get to be a part of helping people,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of challenges, and I feel like I’ve been the Lone Ranger sticking up for some things that I feel strongly about … I want to get away from that.”

Posted in News0 Comments

Power line fiasco starts fire

Wells Fargo bank in Rhome caught fire Monday after the power supply was yanked from the building in an unusual accident.

Unusual Accident

UNUSUAL ACCIDENT – Firefighters survey the scene Monday after the power supply was pulled from the Wells Fargo bank in Rhome, sparking a fire. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Just before 1 p.m., a pickup pulling a trailer loaded with a tall piece of equipment caught the power line that stretches between the electrical pole and the power supply on the building. The line was pulled down, and the power supply was ripped from the exterior wall of the bank, sparking the fire.

The driver of the pickup, Justin Cowan, works for Global Logix Inc. out of Houston. He was turning around in the parking lot, according to Rhome Police Chief James Rose.

Smoke was visible from outside the building, and Rhome and Newark fire departments were dispatched to the scene. Oncor was also called to cut off electricity to the building, and the bank was temporarily closed. According to the city of Rhome’s Facebook page, the bank is planning to re-open Thursday.

Posted in News0 Comments

Suspect ‘Loves’ then leaves; Man crashes car at truck stop, flees on foot

A traffic stop turned into a brief chase, crash, manhunt and arrest early Friday morning in Rhome.

Amy Michelle Reidy

Rhome Police officer Chance Garrett attempted to stop a car on Texas 114 around 12:15 a.m. when the vehicle sped to a nearby truck stop.

“For some reason, he turned into the Love’s parking lot, drove to the back part where the truckers park, jumped a curb and went down a steep embankment to the creek bed below – where he got stuck,” said Rhome Police Chief James Rose.

With the vehicle lodged in a thicket, the driver jumped out and ran into a nearby wooded area, leaving a female passenger in the car. James said the woman, identified as Amy Michelle Reidy, 39, of Decatur, was arrested on a theft $50 to $500 warrant out of Tarrant County.

Reidy was taken to Wise Regional Health System after complaining of back and shoulder pain. She was treated before being taken to the Wise County Jail.

Sonny Dale Ruble

Officers requested the fire department respond with a brush truck “with a chainsaw” to the area where the driver, who was identified by Reidy as Sonny Dale Ruble, 34, of Rhome had run into the woods.

Because Ruble’s whereabouts were unknown, Love’s went into “lockdown mode,” and an officer was later sent to the store after patrons were yelling about being unable to enter.

Rose said the car the pair was in was stolen – or at least the license plate on the car had been stolen.

As of Friday afternoon, Ruble had not been found. Officer Brody Brown said he will likely be charged with evading arrest with a vehicle and evading arrest on foot. Ruble also has outstanding warrants in both Wise and Tarrant counties, he said.

Reidy remained jailed Friday afternoon.

Posted in News0 Comments

Power line dispute, rancher questions placement

Johnny Vinson of Rhome is not your typical underdog. At 82, he is a rancher who has sold more land than most rural Texans could imagine owning. And he has plenty left to stand on, including more than 3,500 acres in Wise County that have ample room for dozens of gas wells, grazing cattle, a ranch house and staff living quarters.

Wrong Place

WRONG PLACE – Johnny Vinson stands on the part of his Rhome ranch where Oncor built a power line through his property. Vinson says the power company didn’t build the line where they said they would. Photo courtesy of Robert Hart, Texas Tribune.

But he is fighting an uphill battle to budge the hulking structure that splits the northwest corner of his ranch: a 345-kilovolt power line sprouting from a torn-up strip of pasture. The line, which runs 40 miles northwest of Dallas, is part of the state’s $7 billion, years-long Competitive Renewable Energy Zone initiative, completed in December, that connects windy, largely secluded, West Texas to cities that need more power.

Vinson, who has not accepted the compensation he was awarded for the line, does not oppose its existence and understands that Texans need the energy it delivers – even if it cuts through his land. “You’ve got to have right of eminent domain,” he said, “because you’ve got to progress.”

But he contends that the project should run 150 feet north of where it does – atop an older, 69-kilovolt line. That is where Texas’ largest transmission operator, Oncor, originally mapped it, but not where the company erected it. After Vinson initially objected to the move, he said he got a condemnation notice for the strip of land, and at the end, the line was quickly built.

More than three years after he negotiated the route and state regulators approved it, Vinson says he is now left with an unusable 11-acre gap between two power line easements and an unanswered question: After landowners sign off on power line routes, can transmission companies install them somewhere else?

Next month, the Public Utility Commission is set to consider a complaint Vinson lodged against Oncor. The rancher argues that transmission companies should not have authority to adjust approved routes without landowners’ consent.

Vinson, however, faces a difficult road. Utility commission staff members support Oncor’s position, and last month, an administrative law judge ruled in the company’s favor, saying that “it was clear that Oncor followed good engineering practice” on Vinson’s property. While the ruling is not binding, it will most likely play an important role in regulators’ final decision.

The other obstacle is that the power line has already been built, so any ruling against Oncor would be complicated.

Vinson’s legal team hopes his complaint will spur regulators to clear up confusion for other landowners by setting parameters for how far transmission companies can move power line routes during construction.

“If people are going to have to make a deal, they’ve got to have something they can rely on,” James Brazell, a lawyer representing Vinson, said.

Power line routes commonly move slightly after regulators approve them. But no state regulations address precisely how much leeway transmission companies have, and landowners are rarely warned that approved routes might shift.

“If there really is this kind of wiggle room, I don’t think the public knows it,” Brazell said. “Other people out there are going to get hit by this, and they’re not going to know about it.”

A spokesman for Oncor, Chris Schein, said the company had no ill intent when it moved the route on Vison’s property. The company ran into engineering problems while designing the line, Schein said – primarily the discovery of gas and water pipelines beneath the old power line that made building on the original path unsafe.

Such issues do not commonly arise until a route is being built, Schein said, because companies generally lack access to private land before regulators sign off on the route. It would be too expensive for Oncor to fully survey all potential routes ahead of time, he said.

“No one understands until you go out and really inspect where you’re constructing that it might move,” Schein said. “We do our absolute best to accommodate and to be good neighbors.”

Oncor argues that maps included in a company’s application to build a project on private land – called a certificate of convenience and necessity, or CCN – are merely “indicative” of where power lines will go, and that a company has the power to maneuver around constraints it discovers.

“The Vinsons’ position, if adopted, is dangerous and could result in infrastructure whose reliability and safety is questionable,” Oncor wrote in its response to Vinson’s complaint.

In his complaint filing, Vinson argued that validating Oncor’s position would “eviscerate” landowners’ protection from “abusive routing” and that giving companies that power would unfairly skew negotiations in their favor.

The rancher’s legal team called Oncor’s revelations about underground gas and water pipelines on Vinson’s property a “red herring.” Vinson and his lawyers said they believe that Oncor ran into difficulty with the original route after realizing it had failed to give notice of the CCN proceedings to Vinson’s neighbor to the northwest, whose property would have abutted the power line. That neighbor refused to give Oncor permission to survey his land for an easement.

Oncor denies the claim. Schein said the company followed protocol and called the argument “an attempt to muddy the waters.”

Also following the case is a group of North Texas landowners, including the city of Haslet, the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District and several homeowners associations. In March, those parties submitted a letter in a separate power line case, asking the utility commission to define the rerouting authority of transmission companies.

Schein, the Oncor spokesman, said curbing a transmission company’s route flexibility would have drastic effects in a state that is growing as rapidly as Texas.

“You run the risk of dramatically increasing the time it takes to construct transmission lines,” he said. “The state needs to be able to respond in a timely manner.”

Gazing at the hulking gray metal running across his land, Vinson said he worried for his neighbors who have fewer resources than he does.

“You can’t believe how much I’ve spent on lawyers, and I’m blessed I can afford it,” he said. “I don’t want them to get abused.”

Disclosure: Oncor was a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune in 2012. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed at www.texastribune.org/support-us/donors-and-members/.

Posted in News0 Comments

Linda Mason

Linda Mason

Linda Mason, 64, a retired cake decorator for Wal-Mart, died Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Rhome.

Services will be scheduled at a later date.

Linda was born July 23, 1949, in Whitney to Thelma Wilson Filbert and Clyde Chronic.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Thelma Filbert; her stepfather, Vernon Filbert; and her brother, Clyde Chronic.

Survivors include sons Johnny Chronic and wife, Ruth, of Lubbock, Allen Wayne Carter of Arkansas, Joseph Edward Carter and wife, Julie, of Kentucky and Brian Kenneth Carter of Decatur; daughter Ann Atherton of Rhome; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sisters Charlotte James of Red Oak and Wanda Jackson of Dallas; other family members and a host of friends.

The family suggests that memorials be made to any breast cancer awareness organization.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

Colin James Tucker

Dustin and Joy Tucker of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Colin James, on April 15, 2014, at North Texas Medical Center in Gainesville.

He weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

He has one brother: Aurhen Brickle, 8.

Grandparents are Bobby and Shawn Splawn of Boyd, Lisa and Calvin Voss and Gary Tucker of Tyler. Great-grandparents are Ben and Toots Smith of Boyd and Mark C. Osborne Jr. of Cisco.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Rhome Councilman makes heartfelt request for collaboration

Big changes could be coming to a trademark event in the city of Rhome.

The council discussed several modifications to the traditional Pioneer Days festival at its meeting last Thursday. The festival is held the fourth weekend in September.

At the request of the event committee, officials changed the event’s name to Rhome Fall Festival “to allow for more options theme-wise” and “recover reputation from past mistakes.”

Committee members said Pioneer Days could be held later, possibly coinciding with Founders Day.

The aim, they say, is to incorporate more games and activities and create more of a carnival atmosphere instead of the old western theme.

The council also considered changing the location of the event to the park.

But the biggest change may come in response to a heartfelt request from Councilman Ronnie Moore.

A lifelong Rhome resident, Moore requested the committee collaborate with other organizations in the city to put on the event.

“This thing started because my mother helped create this deal,” he said. ” … It was the fire department and the city, they all worked together. When the function started, the fire department was always there to help. Then six years ago it just … up and smoke …

“It has to change,” he continued. “Every organization in this city is important to the city, and they all ought to be asked … This city’s got to turn around and start working together. And I know everybody’s looking at me saying, ‘Ronnie Moore is saying this?’ But this coming from my heart.”

Committee members are to meet with representatives of other organizations in coming weeks. They will present a budget at the council’s next meeting.

The festival is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 26-27, with proceeds going to city parks.

IN OTHER NEWS

The council also:

  • approved a contract with American Municipal Services for fine collection. “We add 30 percent for every violation, and they collect the 30 percent,” City Secretary Ramah Burns said. “They all do work. We just put it on an Excel sheet and get it to them. Sherrie Dast [city of Reno court administrator] said they went from three or four drawers of file folders down to about a drawer … [AMS] sends us weekly reports, monthly reports and the check. They take out their 30 percent and send us the difference. They work on payment plans, vouchers, however they can with the people who owe the fines to get collected.”
  • tentatively set the Memorial Day program for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the Veterans Park. Speaker is J.D. Clark. Although Councilwoman Jo Ann Wilson said Clark won the primary election, “has no competition” and “will be the new county judge come Jan. 1,” he is in fact opposed by Democratic candidate Jim Stegall on the November ballot.
  • approved transferring $42,000 from the general fund to the water/sewer budget, where the money “more aptly belonged” – $12,000 for the water tower lease and $30,000 as reimbursement for personnel who provide maintenance work for the city. “It’s not going to raise water bills … It’s just reallocating some money,” said Councilwoman Michelle Pittman. ” … The water department works on city buildings and services the city itself, so that $30,000 will pay the water department for their service.”
  • agreed to talk with an engineer to design a restroom facility for Family Park.

Posted in News0 Comments

Council, citizens debate carport issue

Carports proved to be a hot topic at the Rhome City Council meeting Thursday.

Residents engaged in a heated discussion over allowing the structures in newer parts of town, like Crown Point. The current ordinance only regulates the structures in “Old Town.”

“I’ve lived in neighborhoods before where this has been an issue, adding carports,” said resident Diane Fletcher. “What it started looking like was a trailer park … Things started looking trashy … I think it’s definitely not going to make Rhome look very good. I don’t want Rhome looking like a trailer park.”

Fellow citizen Sue Isbell concurred.

“Most of the people I’ve talked to do not want carports,” she said. “We’ve lived in that neighborhood for eight years. We had zoning restrictions, and we knew that when we moved there. This has gone on for years about putting carports there. This would depreciate our property value and take away the beauty of our neighborhood.

“We take pride in our homes, and this would not be an appropriate zoning change because it truly would bring the neighborhood values down.”

Nathan Robertson spoke up for the other side.

“I’m all for carports,” he said. “There is no homeowner’s association where we live at. The carports are going to protect my cars. Have you seen the hailstorms that came to Denton and tore up all the cars?”

“We all have garages,” Isbell retorted.

When Robertson asked if her garage was clean enough to get her car in, Isbell said one is.

“OK. Mine’s not, and I have three vehicles at my house,” he said.

When Isbell suggested he get an outbuilding to store his belongings, Robertson informed her he had one and it wasn’t big enough.

“Well you know what? Have a garage sale, I guess,” she said.

Mayor Chris Moore hammered the gavel, insisting all discussion be directed at the council.

“I’ve lived here for 24 years, and I don’t think it’s going to decrease my property value,” Robertson said. ” … There’s a lot more to worry about with eyesores than carports.”

Tony Isbell said he would not be against carports that met certain requirements. Otherwise, he said, they can be “a blight.”

“A blight is a disease and a deterioration and it takes away from everybody else, and I don’t want to do this to Rhome,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to do this to Rhome.”

Citizen Jimmy Johnson stood in the crowd and labeled himself the guilty one.

“I’ve pushed and pushed and pushed and will continue to push until you kill me,” he said, ” … a carport is nothing but a property increase in value. You don’t have one. I have one. Identical houses sitting side by side. I can get more for mine than you can get for yours. I’ve got a boat, a $20,000 little sports car – all I want to do is protect it.”

Sue offered another alternative.

“When somebody has that much property, or toys, they really need a big lot,” she said. “Why would somebody move into a neighborhood like ours and accumulate all this stuff and expect the rest of the neighborhood to adjust to what they want?”

“… and make it look like a car lot,” Fletcher added.

Later in the meeting she asked the council how much research they had done on the matter.

“It’s not a simple matter,” she said. “You’re affecting a lot of your citizens one way or another. I think some more in-depth investigation of what this can do to your community [is needed].”

The council did not approve an ordinance that outlined building standards for carports, essentially permitting them.

Instead Council member Charles Pennington volunteered to conduct an impact study, and officials will consider allowing the structures on a case-by-case basis, as suggested by Council member Jo Ann Wilson.

“I am the owner of a carport, and I’d hate to beat somebody up,” she said. “Mine is attached to my home, it has brick and the roofline goes with it. It’s served a purpose for me … I’d like to see it be a special exception because it wouldn’t just apply to Crown Point. It would apply to Old Town and any other additions that we have. It would be a one-by-one exception.”

Councilwoman Michelle Pittman agreed with the idea.

“I like that idea because I think the people that really want to have the carports, that would do a good job, will go through the effort,” she said. “If we just do a blanket one we’re more likely to have people just throw stuff up.”

The city attorney chimed in, “… and end up with something that doesn’t fit … This way the council and everybody else has input.”

Councilman Pennington asked residents who opposed the idea how they felt about the special-exception system.

“I think it’s going to inhibit the growth, or even more building of subdivisions,” Tony Isbell said.

“Jo Ann Wilson has a carport; Crown Point didn’t fall apart,” Johnson retorted. “Louis has a carport; Crown Point is still there.”

“I didn’t drive by Jo Ann Wilson’s house to get to Crown Point,” Tony Isbell said.

“But did you drive by Ramah Burns’ house?” Robertson interjected. “You had to have.”

“But that’s the older Rhome, though,” Sue Isbell said. “There were no zoning restrictions when you did that.”

Mayor Moore sounded his gavel again and allowed one more comment.

“City of Saginaw – BOOM!,” Johnson proclaimed. “And they have carports everywhere.”

The council will hold another public hearing and further discuss the matter at its meeting in June.

Posted in News0 Comments

Joyce Marcella Lewis

Joyce Marcella Lewis

Joyce Marcella Lewis, 83, a former longtime resident of Rhome, died Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Coryell County.

Funeral was March 30 at Pearl Baptist Church with burial at Slater Cemetery in Coryell County, under the direction of Scott’s Funeral Home of Gatesville.

Pallbearers were Larry Burk, Mark Burk, Bailey Burk, James Smith, Freddie Reed, Tom Moseley, Johnny Zuniga and Johnny Kurten.

Joyce was born Oct. 30, 1930, in Rhome to Lalla Alla Judge Burk and Steve Archly Burk. She was a 43-year member of Pearl Baptist Church.

She is survived by her daughter, Jaynie Lewis Fader and husband, Maynard; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Jack L. Lewis; son Bobbyjack Lewis; her parents; and eight brothers and sisters.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

Connor Aiden Barrow

Cynthia and Sonny Barrow of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Connor Aiden, on March 31, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 inches long.

He has one brother: Preston, 3.

Grandparent is Paula Oates.

Great-grandparents are Peggie Griggs and C.J. Griggs.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Login

Username:

Password:


Recover password | Create an Account