Friday, April 19, 2024

What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – April 2018

Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml

ATMOS GAS Corporation replaced its natural gas lines in Copper Canyon with safer PVC pipe several years ago.  The PVC pipelines run along Rolling Acres Drive to supply The Estates of Copper Canyon Subdivision.

Jim Carter Handily Wins Popular Vote and Precinct Vote for Commissioner!

Jim Carter won 35% of the popular vote for Republican Denton County Commissioner Precinct 4!  Ten percent more votes than the next two candidates!  In a hotly contested 4 candidate race for County Commissioner, Carter was only persuaded to run on the last day of filing by our current County Commissioner Andy Eads.

 Eads had looked at the three other candidates and did not believe any had the experience to be County Commissioner for Precinct 4.  Thus, Eads’ urgent request for our former very productive Precinct 4 County Commissioner, Jim Carter, to run again.  Eads obviously endorsed someone that other Mayors and Council Members also remembered as “the best”!  Thus, Carter’s exceptional popular vote in a difficult four-way hotly contested candidate race! (Andy Eads is unopposed as Republican candidate for our Denton County Judge.  He does have a Democratic opponent in the November election.)

On election night the next two candidates for County Commissioner, Dianne Edmondson and Brenda Latham, sea-sawed back and forth with an incredibly close count of votes.  Ultimately, Edmondson squeaked by with a minimal 64 votes over Latham to be on the runoff election ballot May 22nd with Jim Carter.

I sincerely thank both Jim Carter and Brenda Latham for running exceptionally clean campaigns on the issues!  Absolutely no mudslinging by either one!  An exceptional contribution by both candidates!  If you know either one personally, please thank them!

Carter was also overwhelmingly endorsed by Republican Precincts!

Between Carter and Edmondson, Carter won 37 Republican precincts to his opponent’s 10 precinct wins!  They tied for votes in three Republican precincts.  Carter is evidently endorsed across a wide geographic area of Denton County Commissioner’s Precinct 4!

Precinct #4 is the western part of Denton County – from FM 2499 west across Interstate I-35W and including all of the town of Northlake, which is 40 square miles.  (By comparison, Copper Canyon is 4 square miles or the size of the town of Trophy Club.)

The following municipalities are in Denton County Precinct #4: Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, western Denton, Dish, Double Oak, Draper, western Flower Mound, Justin, Krum, Northlake, Ponder, Roanoke, Trophy Club, and the Denton County part of Haslett, Southlake, and Westlake.  Also included from the unincorporated area of Denton County are Lantana’s Fresh Water Supply Districts #6 and #7 and Canyon Oaks Subdivision.

Community Leaders Overwhelmingly Endorse Jim Carter for County Commissioner of Precinct #4:

All five Copper Canyon Council Members – Jeff Mangum, Steve Hill, Dave Svatik, Valerie Cannaday, Bill Castleman – and myself are individually endorsing our current Precinct 4 County Commissioner for County Judge – Andy Eads – and also individually endorsing our former Precinct 4 County Commissioner for our Commissioner again – Jim Carter.

Eads to Carter is a “seamless transition.”  Both men are incredibly experienced and know how to “get things done!”  A proven record of leadership! Carter’s runoff opponent is “well meaning.” but totally unqualified!  This is no time for “on the job training” for a political aspirant!

Please do vote in the Tuesday May 22nd Republican Runoff Election.  (Poll locations are not yet announced.)  Every vote will be so important, as the turn out for a Runoff primary election, with no state offices in contention, is usually very light!

Denton County Officials endorsing Jim Carter are:

County Judge Mary Horn

Former State Representative Jim Horn

County Commissioner Precinct 4 Andy Eads

County Tax Assessor Collector Michelle French

Constable Precinct 4 Tim Burch

Mayors & Municipal Officials in Precinct 4 endorsing Jim Carter are:

Argyle: Mayor Don Moser and Council Members Jon Donahue and Joey Hasty

Copper Canyon: Mayor Sue Tejml, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Mangum, Council Members Steve Hill, Dave Svatik, Valerie Cannaday, Bill Castleman

Double Oak: Mayor Mike Donnelly, Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Wills, Council Members Ted Gruenloh, Stacie Stoehner, Scott Whaisenhunt, Anita Wilson, Mayor Emeritus Dick Cook, former Mayor Pro Tem Gary Garrett

Denton: Former Mayor Jack Miller

Justin: Mayor David Wilson

Northlake: Mayor Peter Dewing

Roanoke: Mayor Scooter Gierisch, Mayor Pro Tem Holly McPherson

Trophy Club:  Mayor Nick Sanders, Mayor Pro Tem Greg Lamont

 Mayors and elected officials in Denton and Flower Mound do not usually endorse candidates, either due to Home Rule Charter restrictions or traditional ones.

PLEASE!  Do not throw out your ballots for Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation Board Members!

I have tried to explain why I believe the three new volunteer candidates for the Water Board would be a “fresh approach” to water issues in the ad I personally paid for below.  Please read it – and decide how you wish to vote.

The new Water Board candidates are Karla Hohenberger and Charlie Nicholas of Copper Canyon, and Sherry Price of Bartonville!  I learned a long time ago that one of my most essential requirements as Mayor was to recruit really capable people for volunteer positions!  And then, get out of their way so they could do their job as they saw best.

Susan Crawford of Double Oak is an outstanding Board member! She is a professional engineer, specializing in water systems and water quality! Her advice on the Board is invaluable! She has served for 8 years, despite traveling actively with her business career!

Corrections to March “What’s Happening in Copper Canyon:”

  • Dick and Susan Armey were NOT reimbursed for their legal fees in lawsuits with Bartonville Water Supply Corporation. (The Armeys have since moved from Bartonville and are no longer involved in the ongoing lawsuits.)
  • Bartonville Water Supply Corporation (now renamed Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation) filed the “first” lawsuit in 2012 pertaining to the proposed elevated water tower in the Town of Bartonville. Actually, CTWSC filed 5 of the 6 lawsuits pertaining to the proposed elevated water tower, not counting appeals. 
  • The Town of Bartonville ultimately allowed the building of the elevated water tower, but not as a result of payment of any monetary amount to the Town by CTWSC. 
  • CTWSC has 7 water wells. 6 wells are in the much deeper Trinity aquifer. Only one well is in the shallower Paluxy aquifer. 

Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation invited to February Copper Canyon Council Meeting for an Update on proceedings for NINE years, including TWO remaining Lawsuits over proposed Second Elevated Water Storage Tank 

CTWSC President Patrick McDonald presented the Council with an update on the proceedings which began nine years ago to erect the elevated tank.  The Corporation began the process of requesting a permit from the Town of Bartonville in February 2010.  After multiple attempts with all the parties to resolve the issue, multiple litigation was filed by various parties in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017.

Lawsuit OneAn initial lawsuit was filed by the then named Bartonville WSC against the Town of Bartonville to allow a previously planned ground storage water tank to become an elevated water storage tank.  Nearby homeowners in Bartonville objected to the view of an elevated tank, though the closest anyone’s house was to the planned elevated water tank was over 1,000 feet. The 393rd District Court in Denton found in favor of the water corporation.  The court also issued a building permit for the construction of the elevated water tank and construction began in 2012.

The town of Bartonville and homeowners appealed.  The Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth sent the case back to the District Court for reconsideration.  In 2013 the 393rd District Court in Denton ruled that construction cease on the elevated water storage tank until litigation was complete.  The water district paid $200,000 cash into the Court’s registry to cover the cost of possibly removing the already erected pedestal on the site and the water storage tank bowl still resting at ground level.

All the original parties dropped their original claims and re-filed the same litigation asserting other claims.  This litigation went to trial in 2015 and then went back to the appellate court in Fort Worth, which heard the remaining parties in April 2017.  One year later, the Appellate Court has yet to rule.

Eventually, the water district and the Town of Bartonville settled their litigation.  The Town of Bartonville later allowed the BWSC a permit to build the elevated tower.

Lawsuit Two:  The now re-named Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation used eminent domain to condemn certain restrictions that the Saddlebrook Estates Homeowners Association, and some homeowners, allege remain on the property Cross Timbers purchased in 2001.  (This is the site of the partially erected elevated tank.) The HOA and 26 of 77 Saddlebrook homeowners protested the condemnation of the restrictions.  The case was heard by appointed condemnation Special Commissioners in Denton.  The Commissioners awarded the homeowners in the condemnation suit (but not the HOA) a total amount of $35,000 to be split among them.

The 26 Saddlebrook homeowners have asked for a jury trial in August of this year to contest the amount of the condemnation Award of the Special Commissioners.  (The 26 homeowners represent 15 homes in Saddlebrook. Some homes are owned by only one person, some are owned jointly by two persons. No other Bartonville homeowners are involved.)

Capital Improvements are restricted due to the legal costs of the Lawsuits.

General Manager Lloyd Hanson also said CTWSC had spent $1.6 million on total capital improvements in the last 3 years – or approximately $530,000 per year.  President McDonald said the proposed capital improvements in Copper Canyon were replacing 2” water lines on Mobile Drive, Blackjack Lane and the east end of Orchid Hill with 6” lines – but these capital improvements would not be completed until the lawsuits were settled.  [General Manager Lloyd Hanson said Cross Timbers does not install any water lines smaller than 6”, as smaller lines will not support fire protection demands.]

All legal costs of the lawsuits not paid by insurance are funded by the water fees paid by all CTWSC Members.  President McDonald told me that, while the lawsuits were still pending, he could not reveal the total legal costs that CTWSC had already paid.

[NOTE:  This is a simplified summary of the status of the TWO current lawsuits concerning the proposed second elevated water storage tank.]

Cross Timbers Water Board alerts Council to Inadequate Elevated Water Storage for “Fire Suppression” without a Second Elevated Tank at the West End of its CCN – a serious current fire risk for all Water Members’ Homes and Businesses!

CTWSC President Patrick McDonald told our City Council that the Water Corporation was regularly having to dip into their “fire suppression reserve” in its one elevated water storage tank in Double Oak.  This was due to increased normal water usage by members in recent summer droughts and the limited water capacity of only one 500,000 gallon tank.  And, two more years of summer droughts are forecasted.  McDonald presented the Council with graphics to illustrate his points.  He said CTWSC is currently using water pumped from underground reservoirs and has plenty of water for members’ normal use.  But “fire suppression” requires pressure from elevated tanks to be effective.

[General Manager Lloyd Hanson said 6 CTWSC wells extend into the Trinity reservoir and only one additional well into the much smaller Paluxy reservoir.  In addition, CTWSC has a contract with Upper Trinity Regional Water District to purchase up to 2,500,000 gallons of water per day.  CTWSC uses the Upper Trinity’s treated Lewisville Lake water, when member water demands require supplementing CTWSC’s well water.  This usually occurs during drought or during members’ additional summer demands for water for pools, lawns, and landscaping.]

McDonald said the CTWSC Board had considered alternate sites for a second elevated tank at the western end of its district, but those sites were even more visually intrusive on existing homeowners.

Inadequate pressure for fire suppression means every CTWSC member’s home and business could be at risk!  This is a HUGE new safety issue for all current water members!

March 4th TOWN HALL MEETING on Cross Timbers Water issues at Crossroads Bible Church in Double Oak

Copper Canyon invited representatives of the Saddlebrook homeowner plaintiffs and representatives of the Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation board to a Town Hall meeting on water issues.  The Saddlebrook Homeowners were represented by their attorney Adam Whitten of Denton.  The Water Board was represented by General Manager Lloyd Hanson and Board Members Patrick McDonald, Larry Falknor, and Mike Paulson.  Board Member Robert Stegmaier also attended, but as CTWSC had not publicly advertised the Town Hall meeting, he kindly left so that the Water Board would not be in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act by having a four Board Member quorum present.

Copper Canyon did advertise the meeting, so having four of our five Council Members and the Mayor attend was NOT a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.  About a 100 CTWSC members attended, most from Copper Canyon and a few from Double Oak, including their Mayor Mike Donnelly and Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Wills.

Who are Members of the Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation?

In April 2013 then General Manager Jim Leggieri said there were a total of 2,145 water connections.  Current General Manager Lloyd Hanson kindly provided the number of water members per town and unincorporated areas now.  At the end of 2017 there were 2,335 water member connections or an approximately 8.9% increase of water connections in the past 5 years.

1,011 – Double Oak

498 – Copper Canyon

363 –  Bartonville

158 – Canyon Oaks

140 –  Unincorporated areas

143 –  Flower Mound

22 –  Highland Village (the north end of FM 2499 near Pilot Knoll Park)

Not Having New Hydrants is Severely Restricting New Construction

For some time CTWSC has not allowed any new fire hydrants to be installed or connected to its water lines.  This is severely limiting any landowners in CTWSC territory from building individual homes and businesses (approved now on an ad hoc basis by CTWSC).  Developers who are proposing even small residential subdivisions are deterred by the lack of usual fire protection.  Homeowners insurance without adequate fire protection is either very expensive or not even attainable.

General Manager Lloyd Hanson said “Water supply Corporations like Cross Timbers WSC are not obligated to supply water capacity for fire-fighting purposes under the Texas Water Code.  HOWEVER, Cross Timbers WSC has provided water-capacity for fire-fighting purposes since 1987 and wants to continue to do so.  Until a second elevated water tank is completed, our facilities are inadequate to ensure that can occur.”

Three of the Seven CTWSC Board Positions will be elected in April

The term is for 3 years and board positions are not compensated in any way. You may mail your ballot to the PO Box listed, but it must arrive by April 19th to allow time for the Water Board appointed Election Auditor to verify ballots as eligible by water account number and then counted. Board Member winners will be announced at the Monday, April 23rd CTWSC’s annual meeting at its office on 2032 E. Hickory Hill Road, just west of the Denton ISD Blanton Elementary School.  Time?

$5,000 in College Scholarships – Applications available now at Town Hall for Town Seniors.  Please help us identify all graduating Seniors to Invite to Senior Celebration Event 6-7 PM before May 14th Council Meeting.

High schools are understandably legally reluctant to release the names of graduating seniors and their home addresses for security and privacy reasons.  So, out Town relies heavily on our residents to tell Town Hall who our graduating seniors are.  Donations also provide a $100 scholarship to each graduating senior who doesn’t apply for a competitive Copper Canyon college scholarship.

Seniors eligible for college scholarships may come from public or private high schools or be home schooled.  They are required to live in Copper Canyon, be graduating this Spring, and already be accepted to a university, junior college or technical or trade school.  Scholarship funds are sent directly to the institution of higher learning for the awarded student’s tuition expenses.

If you know of a town senior graduating, please call Town Secretary Sheila Morales at 940-241-2677 Ext #2.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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