Monthly Archives: December 2013

Merry Christmas Coupland!

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Maybe this season, Father Christmas will bring us the gift of snow!

To the contributors, email subscribers, and other readers of the Coupland Times: I thank you all for being a part of this online gazette and for sharing your stories, your images, your comments, and your suggestions.

I will continue to serve Coupland in 2014. I hope to add some new features and bring fresh perspectives to my coverage of the people, places, and events that make Coupland such a unique community.

My family and I are looking forward to a new year full of blessings. May your family be blessed as well.

Stewart Dale Spencer

 




  • City Council Meeting Highlights for December 12

    At its regular meeting last week, the Coupland City Council revisited a few old topics and dealt with a few new agenda items.

    Attending the meeting were Mayor Piper and Aldermen Garry, Piper, Schmidt, and Marosko. Alderman Tidwell was unavailable. No citizens attended the meeting.

    Here are the highlights from the meeting:

    • Mayor Piper presented the financial report. The City has a balance of $3,882. Revenue from property taxes is expected in January, according to the Mayor.
    • A request for a variance on the Prinz Estates (see the previous meeting) was not received after all. However, the Mayor reported that despite their original offer to process the application, the County refused to consider their application to establish a new subdivision within the city limits because the City has no inter local agreement with the County. The Prinz family will have to submit their application to the City instead of the County. There was some discussion about the process.
    • Getting back to the issue of road maintenance, the Mayor reported that the County has refused to assist with road maintenance. Apparently, the County might be willing to take on road maintenance in exchange for land on either side of the road. There was some discussion about the City’s options. Ms. Garry was charged with the task of investigating potential contractors for pothole repairs on CR 458. There was some concern about the potential of liability to the City resulting from deteriorating roads and the Mayor will check with the City’s lawyer regarding this.
    • Following up on the sales tax election, the Mayor reported that according to the State Comptroller, the new sales tax becomes effective on April 1, 2014. He said the ¼% tax for road maintenance must be renewed by the voters every 4 years.
    • There was a brief discussion about the process for amending ordinances. The Mayor submitted a form for the Aldermen to use to submit requests to have an proposed amendment added to future meeting agendas.
    • In response to a citizen request, the Mayor initiated a discussion of the possibility of street lights paid for by the city. There was no interest on the part of any of the Aldermen to pursue the issue further. They noted that property owners are free to arrange to have lights installed on their own property, as some already have, at their own expense. It was also noted that there are no funds in the city budget to pay for street lights. There was also general consensus that a dark sky is one of the attractions of living in a rural setting.
    • On the topic of events and recognition, the City Secretary (yours truly) reported that the Coupland Times has established a page on its website for the general public to access official city documents. (Click here to view the page.) At this time, only the subdivision ordinance is available. Other documents will be added as needed. Once the City’s official website is established, the page will be replaced with a link to that site.

    The next meeting of the City Council will be on January 9.

     

    L-R: Susan Garry, Barbara Piper, Jack Piper, Karen Marosko, Eldridge Tidwell, Susan Schmidt (September 12, 2013)

    L-R: Susan Garry, Barbara Piper, Jack Piper, Karen Marosko, Eldridge Tidwell, Susan Schmidt (September 12, 2013)




  • Coupland Civic Organization News & Caboose Update

    Submitted by Barbara Piper:

    Lots of activity has been occurring in and on the grounds of the Civic Organization’s property. We awarded a contract to Robert Haines Construction for the first big phase of the caboose renovation. The cleanout work was done, and the construction work has been ongoing and is looking great! The weather has played a big part in getting this specific phase completed, first lots of (welcomed) rain and then lots of sub-freezing temperatures. Another coat of paint is to be applied and new plywood doors will be done for the north and sound entrances of the caboose. It was simply amazing to both Jack and me when we discovered that the frame of the original door on the south side was still intact. We discovered this when we were clearing and cleaning the interior before the demolition process. The door can be made sound and copied for the north end as well. The cedar sides (milled in Austin) fit very tight and should be sound for many, many years. We will retain a lot of the wood removed from the interior for later use. The crew worked really intensely to be sure we could preserve some of the good, old wood.

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    Painter Bryan Sonnet stops for a picture on December 11. He said the first coat of paint was mostly finished. He noted that the prep work was the hardest part. He expects to complete work this week if the weather holds.

    Painter Bryan Sonnet stops for a picture on December 11. He said the first coat of paint was mostly finished. He noted that the prep work was the hardest part. He expects to complete work this week if the weather holds.

    The civic organization is looking forward to an exciting new year. We will elect two new members to our board in January. You, the public, elect board members, and we encourage any who might be interested in running for the board to contact any current board member, or simply respond to this posting on our website. Since Coupland has incorporated, the CCO really serves much like a chamber of commerce. We always look forward to promoting and sponsoring local events as well as participating in fund raising events that improve our grounds and facilities for the community.

    Last but not least, the Board would like to wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. We appreciate your support and look forward to 2014!




  • Results of the Coupland Water Supply Board Election

    The ballots were finally counted and the membership of the Coupland Water Supply Corporation, which actually manages waste water for the community, has changed. The new board will consist of Martin Samuelson, Wells Mason, Scott Ging, Karen Marosko, and Tim Worthy.

    The new kid on the block is Tim Worthy, who has served on the board in the past. According to his press secretary (that would be his wife, Barbara), Worthy wants to thank everyone that voted for him and wants the public to know that he will always work for the community’s best interest.

    According to Mason, Martin Samuelson is the new President of the board, replacing the outgoing Jim Huntington in that capacity. Mason is the Vice-President and Marosko remains as secretary.

    The board will no doubt face many challenges in the coming years, not the least of which will be the need to expand the capacity of the water treatment plant. There is room for only a few more connections and Coupland is likely to continue slowly growing.

    It may not look like much but we would miss it if it were gone.

    It may not look like much but we would miss it if it were gone.




  • Recent Crime Reports

    beatcrimePublisher’s Note: The October report was inadvertently left by the wayside so this month we present the reports for October and November (from Jack and Barbara Piper, our Neighborhood Watch Coordinators) along with a contribution by a reader involving suspicious activities in early December. We encourage readers to submit information to news@couplandtimes.com as a means of helping everybody watch out for themselves and their neighbors. You will note that there was only one real crime reported in November so keep up the good work!

    OCTOBER REPORT

    Theft………………………………..Cr 455

    Assault Family Violence…..Wagon Wheel Road

    Traffic enforcement along FM 1660, FM 973 and HWY 95 yielded violations for….

    • Driving while license suspended
    • No drivers license
    • Speeding
    • Defective tail lamps
    • Field Contacts

    NOVEMBER REPORT

    Burglary of habitation FM 1466

    Deceased person CR 475

    Traffic enforcement along FM 973 and Hwy. 95 for speeding violations, driving with out of state drivers license for more than 90 days.

    Also, the Sheriff’s Department has indicated an uptick in residential burglaries/attempts in WILCO. Please remember to:

    • REMOVE car keys from ignition at all times (even at home)
    • Lock your car at home
    • Keep garage doors closed
    • Store valuables out of sight
    • Record descriptions and license plates of suspicous vehicles

    Be safe!

    Jack & Barbara Piper, Neighborhood Watch Coordinators

    REPORT FROM A READER

    On Monday, December 2nd, in late afternoon, my husband observed a man walking down CR 484 towards CR 467 and something didn’t feel right, so he called the non-emergency number of the Wilco Sheriff’s Office just to make a report. Apparently the man matched the description of a homeless man who had been picked up in the area previously and given a courtesy ride to Lee County. We only have contact info for a few of our neighbors, but we wanted folks in the area to know so they can be aware.

    Thanks!!

    Cheryl

     




  • The Coupland Post Office Needs a Few Secret Santas

    Submitted by Karen Marosko:

    IMG_3350I originally created the email account “save78615@aol.com” in an effort to get signatures on the petition to help save our Coupland Post Office. While it was successful in getting a large number of supporting signatures, as it turned out, the United States Postal Service had already made its decision to reduce or eliminate postal service to 78615 and totally dismissed our efforts to show how important it was for Coupland to retain a full time, full service post office. The Postal Service spokesmen at the community meeting (one was the Postmaster from Pflugerville, who knew NOTHING about Coupland) claimed the main issue was that the Coupland Post Office did not generate enough revenue to cover its operation costs, yet many of the things that would help generate revenue were denied to the post office. For example, our post office lacked a trained Postmaster and a postal tape machine. In addition, there was a period when we experienced “Postmaster of the month” and, while stamps were ordered by the temporary Postmaster, they were not sent to the Coupland Post Office in any thing resembling a timely manner — it took weeks (if ever) rather than days. You can’t buy stamps if there aren’t any for sale.

    The solution of the Postal Service was to cut service, which in reality will further cut revenue making for an unending spiral with the ultimate goal of discontinuing postal services at 78615 and placing Coupland into the Taylor or Elgin domain. We might keep the same zip code but lose the Coupland address and any postal needs (certified mailing, etc) will require going to one of those other post offices.

    The reason I am going back over that brief history is that during this holiday season with all the Christmas mailings, this would be a good time for Coupland Post Office patrons to utilize the local post office to buy their stamps and ask their nearby friends in other zip codes to do the same. Such a spurt in increased revenue might be enough to help keep the post office operational for a while longer.

    There are many benefits to the Coupland Post Office such as no long waiting lines, helpful service, convenient highway location, etc. We either use it or lose it. Limited hours are better than no hours.

    From another angle, if you buy and print stamps on your computer, be sure to use the 78615 zip code so the Coupland Post Office will get the credit for the sale. The Postal Service is concerned only with the amount of revenue the post office generates, not the number of mail items that it processes.

    If you shop at HEB, or any other store where they ask you if you need any stamps, let that be a reminder to you to just say no and head to your friendly, local Post Office to buy your stamps. Say hello to Christie while you’re there. She knows all her customers and she goes the extra mile to provide great service to her patrons.

    ~Karen Marosko




  • St. Peter’s Church of Coupland – Upcoming Events You Don’t Want to Miss!

    LET US CELEBRATE!

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    A SAVIOR IS BORN!

    As the birth of our Savior is being celebrated this season, the Church Council at St. Peter’s wants to make sure you are aware of the many forms of celebrating your Church family is doing.  Please include these on your calendar too!  As a vital part of your Church family, we hope to see you at these celebrations! J

    image010Saturday, December 14th –  10 a.m. (for those with children/grandchildren of all ages) Annual Children’s Program Practice/Rehearsal – no skills required!

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    Saturday, December 14th – 6 pm to 10 pm – “Adults” In Fellowship Annual Christmas Party at Judy Downing’s house (bring a light snack to share, and your own “special” beverage, should you chose)

    Directions – 3601 C.R. 466, Elgin, 78621 (not in Elgin)  Phone: 512-293-0501

    from Coupland:  FM 1466 East – right on CR 464 – 1.4 miles road turns left – 1 mile to stop sign – turn left CR 466 – 1.4 miles – gray house on left, # 3601

    from Elgin: Hwy. 95 toward Coupland: right on Roemer – when cross railroad tracks, immediate left onto New Trails (C.R. 93) – 1.8 miles to “T” – right, go about 100 yds – left on CR 460 – 0.8 mile to “T” – left CR 463 – 0.9 mile – right CR 466 – 1.2 miles to Yegua Creek Church – continue on 2.5 miles to gray house on left, #3601

    from Taylor or FM 619 from Structure: – right on CR 466 – 1.8 miles to gray house on right,  #3601

    image012Sunday, December 15th – Annual Children’s Christmas Program @ 10:15 during worship service – children can participate even if they were not at practice

     

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    Sunday, December 22nd – Annual Choir Cantata during 10:15 worship service

     

    And from Pastor Frank Dietz:

    THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT: The 3rd Advent candle of JOY will be lit, joining the candles of Hope and Peace. The shepherds will be noted tending their flock as the trek for the holy family continues from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Our St. Peter’s youth——a span of ages!—–will remind us of the meaning of Christmas and Christ’s birth! 

    image014Tuesday, December 24th – Christmas Eve Service at 6pm, with Communion Service

     

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    Sunday, January 5th, 2014 – Epiphany Sunday celebration at Church Parsonage, directly following church, light snacks will be available

     

    image016On the horizon – Pot Luck luncheon to bring in the New Year, details tbd

     

     

    Submitted by Jennifer Dollins