The City of Belton was presented the 2013 Municipal Excellence Award in Public Safety (cities less than 25,000 population) by the Texas Municipal League (TML) on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, for the Nolan Creek Early Flood Warning System, a network of five monitoring stations that measure stream depth and rainfall totals along the waterway.
The System was developed in response to a September 2010 rain event that caused the water level in Nolan Creek to dramatically rise, flooding downtown businesses located on Central Avenue and leading to swift water rescues in neighborhoods adjacent to the creek.
In the months following the storm, Belton gathered 18 stakeholders together to assess the Nolan Creek Watershed. It was ultimately determined that all 13 dams in the watershed were in proper working order, and upgrades or additions to the network of dams were not feasible due to high costs and low impact.
In April 2012, Belton made the first investment in an early warning system when it placed a monitoring station on Nolan Creek about six miles upstream from the City. Within a year, Killeen and Harker Heights became partners in the system when each agreed to purchase additional stations (the Killeen station has not yet been installed due to bridge construction in the area). Belton purchased two more, placing one near Wheat Road and the other on Penelope Street Bridge. The entire system cost about $35,000.
The result is a robust creek monitoring system that provides real-time data on rainfall and stream elevation. The system has already led to proposed adjustments in Belton’s emergency notification procedures. In the future, it is anticipated that the system will help save lives and property.
Members of the Belton City Council and staff accepted the award on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the annual TML conference in Austin.
Each year TML recognizes 10 cities (five with populations under 25,000 and five with populations over 25,000) with awards for excellence in the categories of Management Innovations, Communication Programs, City Spirit, Public Safety, and Public Works. TML is a voluntary association of more than 1,130 Texas cities, more than 1,000 of which share Belton’s classification of a population below 25,000.
Around 1881, the house at 404 9th Street in Belton was built and used as a school, Wedemeyer Academy, from 1886 until 1911. In l976, Richard Brewer purchased the home. The home is now listed on both state and national lists of historic homes. Recently, Brewer has made the house available for the Light Paranormal Investigation Group, a ghost hunting organization founded and operated by Will Light and a small staff of investigators including Regina Stewart, a medium.
Light said that he realized that he had a paranormal gift in l976 at the age of 12 when he saw a boy who had been dead for two days. Working with his uncle who was also paranormally gifted, Light learned the art of house cleansing (spirit removal) and contacting people who have passed away.
By Halley Harrell
A flower shop in Temple opened a new location in September.
Woods Flowers, owned and operated by floral veteran Carol Hajda, is located at 1514 Ave H across the street from the Scott & White Santa Fe Family Medicine Clinic.
The floral company has served the Central Texas area for three generations and is a featured Telaflora florist on The Knot.
The new shop provides ample space for storing and arranging orders, as well as displaying merchandise.
“We really enjoy this location. It’s probably double or triple the size of the other one,” employee Alice Bowen said.
After moving into the site over Labor Day weekend, the shop opened for business at the beginning of September. Business has blossomed ever since.
“We’re closer to 31st Street, so we have a lot of walk-in traffic,” Bowen said. “That’s a good thing.”
Woods provides orders for occasions ranging from weddings to funerals to get-well-soon deliveries at local hospitals.
Inside, the store displays arrangements along with home decor, jewelry, specialty foods, lotions and more.
“We have everything from crosses to bath products to candles to candy, football mums, everything,” Bowen said. “We’ve got it all.”
The shop also features school spirit items. The new location opened just in time to supply mums for this year’s homecoming season. Students can walk into the store to view the basic mums on display. The teens can then fill out an order sheet for a more personal touch, and the Woods florists will create a customized mum based on each commission.
Frank Hajda is husband to Carol and manager and co-owner of the store. He has spent 34 years in the floral business. After working in the couple’s two other locations, he appreciates the spaciousness the Ave H store has to offer.
While Woods boasts a consultation room, a refrigerator for incoming deliveries and a storage room for miscellaneous supplies, Hajda’s pride and joy is the spacious holding fridge for finished and outgoing arrangements.
“You need to come here February 12; it’s all roses,” he said. “This whole room will be nothing but shelves. We’ll have everything in here all ready to go.”
The website lists suggestions for holidays and other special occasions that call for a fresh bouquet, as well as price ranges and seasonal items.
For more information, contact the store at (254) 778-8506.
By Christine Foster
On Saturday, Drs. Reyes and Weaver of the Belton Eye Care Center held an eye care screening clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Eye Care Center, 2609 North Main Street in Belton. All ages were welcomed, no appointments are necessary and the screenings were free.
This clinic was being held in conjunction with the local Lions Club, and was part of the Lions Club International campaign, “Sharing the Vision”. During the month of October, club members are encouraged to reach out in their community with a vision-based project. Saturday’s clinic is Reyes and Weaver’s way of reaching out. Since a person goes blind every five minutes, the importance and urgency of these efforts cannot be overstated.