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Bonham City Council unanimously adopts administrative name of Bois d'Arc Lake for new reservoir
By Allen Rich
Jun 13, 2018
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Bonham -- Bonham City Council unanimously adopted the administrative name of Bois d'Arc Lake for the 16,000-acre being built by North Texas Municipal Water District, recognized Don Cockerham for 20 years of work on Planning & Zoning Commission and approved the re-naming of Bonham Ballfields Complex during a regular meeting held Monday, June 11, 2018.

In public forum, several residents expressed concern over the tentative name of North Texas Municipal Lake for the reservoir being built in Fannin County. That was the name announced during groundbreaking ceremonies, however residents believe the name Bois d'Arc Lake more accurately reflects the unique history and heritage of a watershed that attracted French fur trappers in the mid 1700s and Native Americans thousands of years before that in search of dense bois d'arc wood for war clubs and later bows.

Bonham Economic Development Corporation (BEDCo) President Emily Porter pointed out that the name Bois d'Arc Lake would certainly be more conducive to marketing and economic development. 

Bonham City Manager Sean Pate said he had a call from Tom Kula of North Texas Municipal Water District, acknowledging the likelihood that the name of the lake would eventually be Bois d'Arc Lake and informing the city manager that Fannin County Judge Spanky Carter would be addressing the next meeting of North Texas Municipal Water District to relay the county's recommendation for the name of the new reservoir.

Later in the meeting, when agenda items were acted upon, Bonham City Council went on to unanimously adopt the administrative name of Bois d'Arc Lake for the 16,000-acre lake.

Also in public forum, Bonham Public Library Board of Directors President Jo Ellen Clardy expressed appreciation for the support the library receives from the city.

"We appreciate everything the city does for our library," stated Ms. Clardy.

The library's board of directors attended the regular meeting as a gesture of gratitude for the city's support of one of the finest small-town libraries in Texas.

David Keene presented a writing pen fashioned from local bois d'arc wood to newly seated councilmember Wayne Moore.  Mr. Keene also provided details regarding a relatively new project, the painting of registered Fannin County cattle brands on a building on the northeast side of the Bonham Square. The paintings will be 3'x3' and applications are available at Bonham Chamber of Commerce. Keene went on to thank Bonham City Manager Sean Pate for improvements in the appearance of the perimeter of the local airport from Hwy. 78.

Michael Todd commended the city on its cooperation with builders and developers.

"Keep up the good work," Mr. Todd remarked. 

Todd also complimented City of Bonham Streets Supervisor Howdy Howdeshell.

"He runs a good crew," Mr. Todd said of Mr. Howdeshell, while also cautioning that it may be more difficult to retain employees in the future.

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Bonham City Council paused to recognize the dedicated service of Don Cockerham on Planning & Zoning for the past 20 years and Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd presented a plaque to Mr. Cockerham.

"Thanks to everyone who supported us," Cockerham remarked.

(L-R) Don Cockerham and Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd

Bonham City Council considered renaming of the Bonham Ballfields Complex.

"Tonight we have an opportunity to do something good for someone who did something good for our kids," stated Ronnie Hill, Superintendent, Bonham Parks & Recreation Department.

City council unanimously approved the ballfields to be renamed Larry Shockley Ballfields Complex.

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Bonham City Council reappointed councilmember Tony Rodriguez to represent the City of Bonham on the board of Texoma Council of Governments.

"Tony has been a solid representative on the board for us," remarked Bonham City Manager Sean Pate.

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Bonham City Council reappointed Wiley Hokett, Jeff Cotner, Stephen Murden and Mike Porter to two-year terms on the Airport Advisory Board. Charles Avila serves as board chairman, with Joel Brian Jones and Dennis Whitlock also serving on the board.

City council reappointed Rusty Deets and Ashlea Fraser to Planning & Zoning, while also bumping up current alternate Jared Maranga to fill the empty seat on the commission left by the retirement of Don Cockerham.

The city council tabled appointments to the Parks Advisory Committee. 

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Bonham City Council ratified the BEDCO Board of Directors decision to grant an additional two (2) year extension to Bonham Hospitality, LLC for the construction of the Phase-2 lodging facility.

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Bonham City Council ratified the action of the BEDCO Board of Directors to authorize participation in funding the extension of a waterline for a manufacturing prospect in an amount Not to Exceed $15,000 and approving an amendment of BEDCO’s FY 2018 budget in said amount.

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Bonham City Council approved a Special Use Permit for part-time living quarters in the building at 215 East 3rd.

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Bonham City Council received the May 2018 Financial Report from Dave Struchtemeyer, CPA, Director of Finance for the City of Bonham.

"Sales tax collections through the month of June are up over 4.5% for the fiscal year when compared to last year’s collections," Mr. Struchtemeyer noted.  "The current year budget included a 4.1% increase over the prior year."

After a lengthy delay, the City of Bonham expects to be reimbursed by FEMA for replacing the bridge on North Main Street that was devastated by flash flooding in 2015.

"FEMA is processing our refund this month for the Main Street bridge repairs," Struchtemeyer stated.  "We anticipate a refund of approximately $125,000 by the end of the month."

Main Street bridge

The process to bring the city's wastewater treatment plant into compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality continues.

"We incurred $22,000 of engineering cost at the wastewater treatment plant in May that is related to our Agreed Order with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)," Struchtemeyer relayed to city council. "This was funded with the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) bond money that was secured last year."

The director of finance also said that budget worksheets for the 2018/2019 FY budget have been distributed to department heads and they are currently working on their budgets.  A budget calendar will be published sometime next week.