Monthly Archives: October 2014

A Case for Saying No

Submitted by M. M. Marasco

Site 32

Site 32 – East of Coupland

With the November 2014 election rapidly approaching, you may have seen a recent advertisement in the Taylor Press newspaper soliciting votes for the passage of a tax in the amount of $.02 per $100 property appraisal value for maintenance and upkeep of the rural floodwater retarding dams on Lower Brushy Creek.  There was also a notice of an October 21, 2014 public meeting in Coupland concerning the same subject. In nut shell: These dams were originally funded and built some 50+ years ago by the USDA’s Soil Conservation Service (now, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)) with the alleged stipulation that local funds would be secured for the upkeep of the dams.  A few years ago, this maintenance and upkeep tax issue came up for a vote among all those in the Brushy Creek watershed. Real estate developers in the upper reaches of Brushy Creek built houses below some of these rural dams and, with concern over liability in the event of a dam failure, they pushed to have the dams upgraded and have the taxpayers along all of Brushy Creek pay for it (i.e., bail them out).  The taxpayers in the lower part of that watershed said no and the Lower Brushy Creek Water Control & Improvement District (WCID) was formed as a consequence.

The solicitation advertisement is misleading on several counts:  It’s subtitle is “our rural dams are old and out of shape” and shows a photo of what appears to be a much smaller breached dam in a California desert-like landscape setting — certainly not southeast Williamson County. The dams were funded and constructed by the USDA; however, the implication of the advertisement is that they were built with non-taxpayer funds.  Wonder where the USDA got its funding if not from the US taxpayer (you and me). These dams may be 50+ years old but not one of them has ever been breached and most have not even had water flow over their emergency spillway.  WCID states that its dams require $6.8M for maintenance and upgrade and that the WCID has secured $6.5M in Federal and State funds, needing only a small amount of local money to round out the cost.  Actually, it turns out that receiving the $6.5M is contingent upon having the missing $300K made up from local “matching” funds. Hence, they haven’t secured any funding, they just have a pledge that if WCID comes up with about 4% of the “needed” $6.8M, then they’ll have access to the $6.5M — bit of a shell game.  And for a lot of taxpayers, the claim that the tax will only amount to a “pizza a year” is also a grossly misleading statement.  That figure came from the city of Taylor’s current average home appraisal of around $100K.  That is an average, which means for many the tax will be much higher. Continue reading

Retirement Party for LaVerne Rohlack

Submitted by Rexanne Pilkenton:

LaVerneHave you ever set up utility service and then didn’t get your bill?  That’s exactly how this story begins.  LaVerne Rohlack of Coupland will retire from Manville Water Supply Corporation with 39 years of service on October 31, 2014.  For many of you, she is the face of Manville and she will be greatly missed by customers and her co-workers.  While leaving the corporation and the daily office routine, she will not be idle.  LaVerne is planning on helping her husband, Ernest Rohlack, in the cattle business as well as having fun with her family and friends.

In 1969, a group of farmers from the Manor and Pflugerville area was searching for a water supply for their families and livestock.  Since then, Manville has grown into a much larger system with approximately 8,500 retail and wholesale customers and a staff of 24 employees.  LaVerne has been a vital part of the organization, as she was one of Manville’s first employees.  With her youngest son, (Thomas) in first grade, daughter, (Jana) in 8th grade and oldest son, (Ernie) a freshman in high school, LaVerne was working as a substitute teacher at the Coupland school.  Having been on the Manville water system for several months, she mentioned to her co-worker that she had only received one water bill.    At that point, someone suggested that she apply for a job at Manville since it appeared they needed office help.  She did and here she is 39 years later.  She has worn many hats over the years and currently serves as Assistant Manager and Director of Business Services. Continue reading

Here’s the Skinny on the Moon and Mercury


Here in Coupland, the eastern sky is pretty dark. No major towns are close. It makes for some great skywatching!

From Sky & Telescope:
A challenge observation: as dawn brightens on Wednesday morning the 22nd, binoculars or a telescope may already show Mercury below the thin crescent Moon very low in the east, as shown here. Look about a half hour before sunrise. Mercury is not only low but faint: a tiny crescent only magnitude 2.1. If you succeed, this may be the thinnest you ever see Mercury as a crescent: about 10% sunlit.

Appetizer Party Fundraiser for the Civic Organization Set for November 8

Mmm . . . appetizers.

Mmm . . . appetizers.

This CCO Cooking Class will take place at 5 PM at Judy Downing’s home on November 8. The cost is $40 per person. There will also be a surprise desert. This is a fundraiser for the CCO. Please send checks to Ruby Wabbel, 585 FM 1466 Coupland tx 78615 made out to CCO. Contact Ruby at  {This email is obscured. Your must have javascript enabled to see it} for more info.

Reservations must be paid for in advance.

Thank you,

Ruby Wabbel













Annual Coupland Halloween Party – Participants Wanted for “Trunk or Treat”

I think this car gave up the ghost(s).

I think this car gave up the ghost . . . and a few of his buddies.

On Friday, October 31, the Coupland Civic Organization will hold its annual Halloween Party at the Depot—the second Trunk or Treat event. Last year, residents decorated vehicle trunks and the backs of SUV’s and pickups, parked them around the Depot grounds, and handed out candy to the children, who trick or treated from vehicle to vehicle. There will also be games and refreshments. This will be a fun and safe event where kids of all ages can enjoy Halloween.

Last year several residents donned costumes, decorated their trunks, and handed out candy to the trick or treaters. This year, we are hoping for even more decorated vehicles. If you’d like to participate, just decorate your trunk or the back of your SUV or pickup, wear a costume if you wish, bring some Halloween candy, and back up to the Depot lot, on Friday, October 31, 5:30-7:30 p.m. If you have any questions, please email Civic Organization President Susan Schmidt at This will replace the regular, general meeting of the CCO.

That same night, the Old Coupland Inn & Dancehall is having a Family night Halloween with 3 bands and games for the kids. That night, there will be free admission for the kids. For those who are age 15 and older, admission will be $15.Please check back for information on the next monthly meeting, to be held on Monday, October 27, beginning at 6:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall of St. Peter’s Church of Coupland.

(Submitted by Jennifer Dollins and Barbara Worthy.)

Crime Watch Alert

Looks like we might need our own posse!

Looks like we might need our own posse!

This came in a few days ago. Most have probably seen it on the community email. – Editor

It has come to our attention that there is a WHITE PANEL TRUCK spotted and perhaps canvassing properties east of Coupland.  One spotting was on CR 463 and when approached the truck swiftly took off.

We have seen an increase in crime in our area.  Please watch out for your neighbor and be sure to report any unusual activity to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department.

If you know of anyone who is not receiving alerts and would like to become part of our Neighborhood Watch community, please notify Jennifer Dollins ( and she will add you to our community-wide email list.


Barbara Piper.