What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – September 2014

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Again-No Increase in Copper Canyon’s Property Tax Rate;
Town’s Appraised Tax Valuation rises $11 million, 6 percent more than last year

Copper Canyon’s current property tax rate of .297505 will not be increased. This is the second year that the town council has maintained its current rate. The second public hearing on the maintained rate will be at the Monday, Sept. 8, council meeting at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.


The 2014 certified tax roll total for Copper Canyon is $185,571,888, the assessed value after the protest period. The $11 million dollar increase in appraised value for the town this year is primarily due to new residential construction. This represents a 6 percent increase from Copper Canyon’s prior year 2013 appraised values.

Council Welcomes new Volunteers for Town’s Committees

The Council is updating its list of volunteers for the town’s committees. The committees are planning and zoning, board of adjustment, trails, hostess, emergency response, Adopt-a-Spot, and block captains for the Neighborhood Watch.  The volunteer form can be filled out on the town website at www.coppercanyon-tx.org or call Mayor Tejml at 940-241-2216.

Update to Neighborhood Watch information being organized by Isaac Peterson for his Eagle Project for the Boy Scouts

There are almost 500 homes in Copper Canyon, so organizing an update of the confidential information for each home for the Neighborhood Watch is quite a task. Over 260 homes have signed up for the email blast from Town Hall that alerts residents to road closings, utility cut-offs and other emergency information. Hopefully, more residents will sign up in the next few weeks on the town’s website, www.coppercanyon-tx.org.


This coming month, each of the 260 homes will receive an email blast with the Neighborhood Watch information sheet attached. Residents will be able to fill out the information online and return it to the town administrator. Or a resident can go directly to the town’s website, www.coppercanyon-tx.org, and fill out the Neighborhood Watch information sheet.

The remaining homes will be visited block-by-block by a Boy Scout in uniform with an adult supervisor attending. Both will have a photo ID badge issued by Town Hall.  In some instances, the current block captain will accompany the scout and adult. More detailed information will be in next month’s “What’s Happening” article. [NOTE:  Isaac Peterson is the son of new Council Member Darrin Peterson.]

Briarwood Retreat Center on Copper Canyon Rd. hosts annual Invitational Golf Outing at Bridlewood Golf Club in Flower Mound, September 12, 2014

Executive Director Phil Geleske said the purpose of the outing is to financially assist Briarwood to continue to provide a retreat location and camp for youth and children that makes a “positive difference in their lives.” About 144 golfers are expected to participate. Briarwood is asking for financial sponsors and items that can be raffled to golfers or logoed items to place in the giveaway bags for each golfer. [Briarwood is a 501c3 organization and all donations may be tax deductible.]

Briarwood’s contact information is 940-241-2099 or www.briarwoodretreat.org. The mailing address is 670 Copper Canyon Road, Argyle, TX 76226-9716. Sponsorship payments can be made directly to www.bidpal.net/briarwoodgolf.

Bogus “IRS Lien on Assets” and “Outstanding Traffic Warrant” Scams target our Area

Town resident Carrie Shea alerted her neighbors to an active “IRS Lien on Assets” scam targeting our area. The calling number for Carrie was 877-705-0256. The message said the IRS was about to file a lien against her property and assets. But, if she wanted to “clear up” the matter now, she could call and arrange immediate payments to forestall the legal lien process.

Alternately, the caller says you have an outstanding traffic or criminal warrant, but will not be arrested if you immediately pay $1,200.

DO NOT respond to a telephone message similar to these! Sometimes the number to call appears to be a legitimate number at the sheriff’s office. BUT, when you use that immediate link to a call-back number, the call is routed to a distinctly different telephone number. Do call the Denton County Sheriff Office’s non-emergency number, 940-349-1600, directly and report any similar incident. However, under no circumstances reveal any of your or family members’ financial data, social security number, birth date, personal and/or business emails or telephone numbers.

Council Member Dan Christy Resigns after serving 8 Years!

Council Member Dan Christy surprised the mayor and town administrator with an email on Tuesday, Aug. 5.  The email simply said: “I regret to inform you but due to conditions beyond my control I must resign my position on Town Council effective immediately. I apologize for giving you this notice via e-mail but I wanted you to know prior to our next council meeting and I will be out of town the rest of the week.”  Dan is a senior project manager for Austin Bridge & Road and is currently supervising a major road construction project south of Corpus Christi.

Last May, Dan was unopposed to be re-elected for a fifth two year term. He has served diligently on Copper Canyon’s Town Council for 8 years. He accepted the responsibility of personally reviewing all of the town’s construction contracts for roads and contracts for engineering services. This was an invaluable service to our town!  Dan has decades of professional construction experience and multiple A&M University degrees in this area. Whenever the council had invoices presented for road construction or engineering services, our first question was “Has Dan approved these?”

This Fall, or whenever convenient with Dan and wife Susan’s schedules, the town will express its appreciation and simple “Thank You” for all the hours both of them have spent volunteering for Copper Canyon. (Susan is one of our dedicated neighborhood block captains!)

Council Appoints Darrin Peterson to Serve 1st year of Dan Christy’s Term

On very, very short notice, town resident Darrin Peterson kindly agreed to serve the first year of immediately resigning Council Member Dan Christy’s term. At its Aug. 11 regular meeting, the council appointed Darrin to serve on the council until May 2015. At that time, Darrin may or may not decide to stand for election for the second year remaining of Christy’s two-year term of office.

My sincere thanks to Darrin’s wife Marnie Peterson for supporting her husband’s commitment to our town!  Darrin and Marnie and children have lived in Copper Canyon for seven years and been active volunteers in our town events and projects. A more detailed account of Darrin’s background and interests will be in next month’s “What’s Happening” article.

Any vacancy, on our five-member council creates an immediate problem for having the three-person quorum required by the state to conduct regular town business. (My consistent attendance as mayor does not count towards the required number of council members for a quorum.) Two of our very productive council members travel regularly on business – < strong>Steve Hill (internationally) and Charlie Nicholas (nationally). Both men have repeatedly flown home at the last minute to guarantee that we will have the required quorum to timely transact town business.

Fortunately, the State of Texas has realized that obtaining a quorum of council members physically present for each municipality’s council meeting is a challenge in our global economy.  So, the state now allows a council member to “skype” in to a council meeting from where-ever he/she physically is – so long as all attendees at the council meeting can both visually see and hear the council member on a large screen or even laptop monitor. I am very appreciative of the communications now possible by modern technology!

“D” Magazine rates 63 North Texas Municipalities on Safety, Schools & General Ambiance

The July issue of “D” Magazine (“D” for Dallas) is always a favorite. First, it rates 63 towns in North Texas for various aspects of their livability for individuals and families. The towns are ranked for population density and growth and average age of residents, average home price and plus or minus value from the prior year, percent of owner-occupied homes, walkability, violent and non-violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Schools are also a major part of the rankings:  percent of students passing STARR K-11, percent of students taking SAT/ACT, mean SAT scores, instruction dollars spent per student. All of this results in an “Ambiance” score.

In case you were wondering, the rankings for the top 25 are as follows:  (1) Highland Park, (2) Parker, (3) Colleyville, (4) University Park, (5) Murphy, (6) Southlake, (7) Trophy Club, (8) Flower Mound, (9) Highland Village, (10) Allen, (11) Sunnyvale, (12) Keller, (13) Coppell, (14) Heath, (15) Frisco, (16) Rockwall, (17) McKinney, (18) Fairview, (19) Plano, (20) Oak Point, (21) Prosper, (22) The Colony, (23) Grapevine, (24) Little Elm, (25) Corinth.  And in other towns in our area:  (29) Lake Dallas, (34) Roanoke, (35) Lewisville.

Council Member Valerie Pearson Cannaday achieves $10 MILLION in Residential Sales and is Recognized in “D” Magazine as a “Top Producer”

The July issue of “D” Magazine also highlights the Best Residential Real Estate Agents in North Texas. The bar to be included is very high. The agent must have completed $10 million in residential sales in the prior year. Valerie has been recognized as a “Top Producer” in both 2012 and 2013. (Page 172)

“In her career with RE/MAX DFW Associates, which spans more than two decades, Cannaday has been a leading REALTOR in the land and luxury home market in four counties: Denton, Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant.” Besides being a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame “her accreditations include the Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), Accredited Luxury Home Specialist, and Certified Negotiation Expert. More than 90 percent of her business comes from past clients and referrals, which helps solidify the fact that her service standards are among the absolute highest.

One of Cannaday’s most valuable assets to her clients is that she has a designer’s eye for staging homes, routinely leading to the maximum attention and selling price. No wonder she has closed more than $100 million in residential real estate. She also is the expert when it comes to guiding her clients through navigating multiple offers in this busy seller’s market.” Congratulations, Valerie, on a much deserved professional honor!

Mark Schmitz celebrates a Year of Surviving a Double Lung Transplant!

Wife Deb Valencia said Mark’s party was amazing! Two hundred friends and family gathered at the Schmitzs’ High Meadow Ranch for this miraculous celebration – one year post Mark’s double lung transplant! There was live music and delicious BBQ catered by Mark’s friend Gus Gustivson! The fun and festivities lasted until 2 a.m.!

Deb said, “Mark rode Poet for the first time over the 4th of July weekend. And he is having a great time with his yellow antique truck (a 1950 Ford 100) and his new motorhome! Boys and their toys!!! God has blessed us abundantly!!! My great joy is waking up with him looking forward to the adventure of a new day!!!”

Mark also came to our August council meeting at Town Hall to show us his latest toy – a 1973 Cadillac white convertible!  He had personally rebuilt the engine and painted the exterior. But the white leather interior was immaculate, so it needed no renovation. You will see Mark cruising around Copper Canyon in this incredibly beautiful – and LONG convertible. But the thing you will note is his constant grin! Life is good! And, it should be – when you have come so close to death!

Shelby Kilpatrick awarded Denton County Master Gardeners Scholarship; the $1,000 award was funded by the Canyon Oaks Garden Club!

The Tom Harpool Horticultural Scholarship was created to encourage college students enrolled in the study of horticulture or other gardening-related subjects. Shelby Kilpatrick is in her second year at A&M College Station majoring in entomology. Her acknowledgement letter said “My favorite courses this spring included Honey Bee Biology and Urban Entomology. I am fascinated with insects, especially honey bees, because of the impact they have on all aspects of our world. Next semester, my courses will include Fundamentals of Chemistry I, Floral Design, Public Speaking, and Entomology Occupations and Professional Development. I am very excited about the challenges and opportunities each of these courses will present me throughout the semester.” [Shelby and parents Scott and Susan Kilpatrick are longtime residents of Copper Canyon. Shelby’s younger twin sisters, Kaitlyn and Lauren, both received Copper Canyon Cookbook College Scholarships this past May.]

Pat Heberling, president of the Canyon Oaks Garden Club, emailed her fellow members the news of Shelby’s award: “Dear Friends: Last year we voted to donate $1,000 to the Denton County Master Gardeners Association Scholarship Fund. Not only did we consider their group a worthy cause, but also as a thank you for the years of providing us with informative and talented speakers – at no charge – several times each year.” [Mayor Sue, husband Emil Tejml, and daughter Tamara Cuthrell are also longtime members and enthusiastic supporters of our neighboring Canyon Oaks Garden Club.]

Town’s 4th Annual Clean-Up-Day is Saturday October 4th from 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Republic Services
will again be conducting Copper Canyon’s Annual Clean-Up-Day. There is free drop-off for town residents only, but proof of residency is required.  (i.e. current driver’s license or utility bill with an address within our town boundaries. NOTE: Canyon Oaks subdivision is in unincorporated Denton County.) The recycle vehicles MUST LEAVE PROMPTLY at 11:30 a.m. to timely arrive at their next Clean-Up-Day location! Do not drop off anything at Town Hall after that cut-off time!  Items accepted within the time limits are:

Household Hazardous Waste  (Residential Use Only!):
Aerosols, flammables, toxic liquids, corrosives acidic and basic (battery fluid, drain cleaners, boric acid, rust removers, sulfuric acid, etc.), oxidizers (bleach, chlorine, hydroge
n peroxide, etc.), batteries, empty cylinders-propane, paints, used oils (cooking, automotive, yard equipment, etc.), yard fertilizers, pesticides

Electronic Waste/Universal Waste: Televisions, computers, monitors, laptops, hand-held computers (PDA, iPad, etc.), keyboards and mice, scanners/printers/copiers, fax machines, telephones, microwave ovens, VCR’s, CD players, stereos, related cables, florescent straight light tubes, compact lamps (CFL’s)

Household White Goods: Water heaters, washers/dryers, refrigerators, freezers, small metal scrap (window blinds, wire fencing, window frames)

Bulky Items: Brush, furniture, PVC pipe, small lumber pieces, residential wood fencing, etc. (No leftover building construction items)

Tire Recovery: Car tires, light truck tires – Limit of four tires per household!

On-Site Secured Document Destruction: (Watch while paper is shredded.)

Items NOT Accepted: Ammunition, fireworks, explosives, prescription drugs and medications of any kind.

Mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus confirmed again in our Area

There are 90 different mosquito varieties in North Texas, but only the female of one variety carries the West Nile Virus. The West Nile mosquito does not necessarily breed in creeks or wetlands, and especially not if heavy rains flush these areas. So our neighboring U.S. Corps of Engineers land is not as dangerous a mosquito breeding ground as I had previously thought.

However, the mosquito larvae can survive in only two inches of standing water. And the mosquitoes overwhelmingly breed in items usually found around homes, barns and yards – gutters, flower pots and their saucers, pets’ water bowls  or domestic animals’ (horses, cattle, goats, etc.) water troughs, old buckets, children’s seldom-used outdoor toys, untended bird baths and fountains, open trash cans and lids that act as water containment trays, tires, etc. These are all items for breeding mosquitoes that we can control and eliminate – if we will just take the time to do so.

Neighboring Towns Recently Tested Positive for West Nile Mosquitos.

At first this summer the North Texas towns of Dallas, Highland Park and University Park tested positive for the West Nile Virus mosquitos. Then the positive tests began to move north towards our immediate area.

Our neighbor Highland Village has been testing for the West Nile Mosquito since last April.  City Manager Mike Leavitt is always willing to share useful information. He said Highland Village has retained a local vendor, “Mosquito Squad,” for a year to advise the city. Highland Village’s staff has been personally collecting mosquitoes from four test sites in their municipality’s 5.9 square mile area. (For comparison, Copper Canyon’s town boundaries enclose 4.3 square miles.)

The city staff collects each Wednesday from the four trap locations in Highland Village. The four collections of 50 live mosquitos each are picked up by the city’s professional tester in the area, Mosquito Squad. Highland Village has the test results back by Thursday evening.  Highland Village has waited for a “positive-positive” test result before spraying. This means that for each batch of 50 mosquitoes crushed and tested together, more than just one or two mosquitoes is a West Nile Virus carrier. Highland Village sprayed in the area of positive-positive results the weekend of Aug. 15-16. The spray was from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. both days.

Flower Mound also recently tested positive for West Nile Mosquitos in one location.The Town sprayed two consecutive days from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in that one location.  Residents in those areas were warned in advance to stay indoors and, if feasible, keep pets and animals inside enclosures.

The recent hard rains have flushed many of the containers of standing water, so it might be a week or so before the mosquito larvae rebreed and release a new batch of mosquitos. But with the current warm temperatures, additional spraying will probably be necessary in surrounding towns.

Denton County health officials do not at this time anticipate any aerial spraying this year. Last summer’s aerial spraying in Denton County was financed by the state from funds provided by the federal government. To date, no Denton County residents have been confirmed with the West Nile Virus.

Rabies and Distemper are an Increasing Threat in our area this Summer

Rabies: Our Animal Control Officer Brian Hall has seen a noticeable increase in signs of rabies in our area this summer. Brian is retained by the towns of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Northlake and other small communities nearby.

Hall advised residents to especially note any skunks and/or raccoons wandering in the daylight hours. Both species are primarily nocturnal creatures. Skunks like to “den” in people’s yards.  Always beware of a newly-dug hole, especially if under decks, landscape timbering, wood piles, etc. A normally nocturnal wild animal being abroad in the day could indicate a disorientation caused by rabies. People and pets can both be affected by contact with rabies-infected animals. But the virus is transmitted only by a bite containing infected saliva. Once the rabid animal is dead, it can no longer actively transmit rabies.

Skunks: Raymond Fenley and his neighbor Mike Price on East Jernigan Road had a private “competition” 3 years ago to rid their joint acreage of skunks. Raymond said he has seen few skunks since then – until this summer. But in the span of a week, he rid the area around his home of seven skunks! Evidently, the recent heavy rains had caused them to move from flooded burrows to higher ground. Four skunks were under a wood pallet in his yard. (Skunks also like to live under sheds and buildings with the floor raised off the ground and not on concrete slabs.  Culverts also provide convenient living space for skunks.) One skunk was seen walking between Fenley’s home and barn at 8 a.m. – and unusual hour for a skunk to be abroad.

Deborah Price, whose home is also on East Jernigan, has trapped three skunks this summer. Live animal traps made of heavy duty wire mesh can be purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot for $30-$45. The traps are about a foot square and three feet long and have a fold down carrying handle on top. (Sometimes the traps bear the brand name “Have-a-Heart.”) Bread with peanut butter is an effective bait for skunks. Animal Control Officer Brian Hall will remove the trapped skunk for a $20 fee. (These live animal traps are also effective for catching unwanted armadillos.  These armored native animals can do incredible damage by rutting lawns and flower beds with their effective digging claws.)

Distemper is also prevalent this summer, but only affects animals. The distemper virus is temporarily transmitted through the air. (For instance, if a wild animal with distemper has dug a “den hole” near a dog kennel, the dogs are
at risk of being contaminated with the distemper virus through the surrounding air near the den.)  Distemper-infected animals are very lethargic, laying in yards or road sides with labored breathing because they are dying. If alerted to the location, our Animal Control Officer will also remove these animals.

Animal Control Officer Hall says the best protection for your dogs and cats is to vaccinate them for both rabies and distemper early in the year.

FYI:  How does the U.S. rate of Inflation compare Worldwide?

“How low is our current inflation rate these days, and how high is it elsewhere in the world?”  (Question by G.K. in Cincinnati to the “Motley Fool” in the Dallas Morning News, August 18, 2014, page E4)

“The overall U.S. annual inflation rate was recently about 2.1 percent, well below the long-term average of 3.3 percent.
As of June, the inflation rate was 0.5 percent in France, 1 percent in Germany, 1.9 percent in Great Britain, 2.4 percent in China, 3.6 percent in Japan, 6.5 percent in Brazil, 7 percent in India, 7.8 percent in Russia and 9.2 percent in Turkey. Greece was experiencing deflation, with a June inflation rate of negative 1.5 percent.

Some nations have been experiencing inflation rates closer to hyperinflation levels. Venezuela, for example, topped 50 percent recently; Iran’s rate is close to 20 percent; and while Argentina’s official rate is near 11 percent, some think it might be as high as 25 percent.”

NOTE:  Excessive inflation rates are devastating to both nations and the individuals who live there. For example, Venezuela’s 50 percent hyperinflation level means its unit of currency is worth half – and buys half – of what it did the year before! In other words, an individual’s money is virtually evaporating in value and purchasing power over a very short period of time.  Deflation is also negative in an economic sense. Greece is currently experiencing a decline in the value of both the country and its citizens’ assets.

In the United States our Federal Reserve Bank strives to influence a level of inflation that is positive, but not excessively so. It is a delicate balancing act, for many economic factors influence inflation – and those economic components are variable and not static.

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