2015 – News & Events Archives


So much rain, so many potholes, so much water over the dams. Those are the hot topics in the City of Ivanhoe as we transition from the extended cool temperatures and rain of winter to the warmth and flowers of spring.

The rains came along at close enough intervals that the city was only able to properly grade our dirt streets once during the entire winter. Rest assured the grader operator has been doing his best to catch up now that the once or twice weekly rains have ended.

Travelers on our improved streets were not immune to the ravages of the wet winter either. Potholes were patched, only to have additional potholes develop with the next rain. The contractor crew has been putting the new vibra-plate compacting machine to good use working on catching up on patching, now that the weather has improved. Councilman Priddy who serves as liaison for streets & roads is working within the street budget to devote $20,000 towards hot mix overlay for sections of streets experiencing the most pothole development. That work is expected to be done sometime in early/mid-summer.

Longer term improvements are being assessed by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Members of the Commission are currently surveying streets. The assessment/survey is expected to take several months. There are 46 miles of streets & roads in Ivanhoe. Just about half of the total street mileage has an all-weather travel surface, the other half has dirt/gravel surface. Most of the all-weather surfaced streets have far exceeded their life expectancy and the result shows up in the form of potholes. As the P & Z members and volunteers near the end of the assessment/survey there will likely be a workshop for the community to receive information from the survey and provide additional input. The P & Z will then formulate a recommendation to the Council for the Comprehensive Plan on city streets.

As a reference point the City has been approved for $275,000 Community Development Block Grant funds for street improvement to a heavily traveled street serving predominantly low to moderate income homes. That amount of money is expected to convert approximately 4500 feet of Durwood Dr. from a dirt road to an all-weather surfaced street. Although it is not likely that it will be awarded, the City has applied for another $275,000 grant to continue/finish the remainder of Durwood Dr. as an all-weather surfaced street. Well over half a million dollars to convert a mile long dirt road to an all-weather surfaced street. There are 23 miles of dirt roads in Ivanhoe-you can do the math.

The other topic is water over the dams. Just as the rains delayed street work, the same occurred for the re-caulking project on Charmaine Dam. There was a week of dry sunny weather that allowed the contractor to do the recaulking of Galahad Dam. Property owners and fishermen on Lake Galahad rejoiced when the gate valve was closed in late February and things returned to normal for that lake. There have been only two working days that provided the necessary ingredients for work on Charmaine Dam since the work was completed on Galahad Dam. Those ingredients are: Availability of contractor personnel, sufficient drying time after a rain event so the caulk will adhere, and temperatures above 50 degrees.

The contractor has informed our Supervisor of Dams that if the City insists the work be performed outside of those parameters, the work will get done-but the contractor will not guarantee the work or provide any warranty should repairs be needed. Considering the contractor has not yet billed or been paid on the negotiated contract amount for work already done, Council considers it in the best interest of the City to allow the contractor to perform the work when the ingredients/weather conditions are appropriate for the work.

Expectations are for the remaining work to take about two weeks. Meanwhile, the Supervisor of Dams is fine tuning the release of water from Lake Charmaine thru the gate valve, so Charmaine Lake will be as high as possible, but not cause a delay on the City’s side when the contractor resumes work. For Easter weekend, the lake is about 6 inches low, but normal boating activity is allowed. The lake will be dropped another 4 to 6 inches after the Easter weekend (which has a forecast of rain). With a contractor wanting to finish the job so he can get paid, three members of City Council, a family member of another Council member, the Supervisor of Dams and the City Secretary/Treasurer living by the lake, rest assured they join everyone else in wanting the project finished so the lake will be ready for full use sooner rather than later.

We wish all a very Happy Easter!

Your City Council & your City Secretary


UPDATE: Town Hall Meeting, RE: City Hall Building

Greetings Everyone,

David Herrington, our Economic Development Board Chair, has developed a “Summary of Scope Discussion Topic: City Hall Development“. We felt this will help clarify:

* The current situation in regard to the City Hall building
* The intention for holding a Town Hall Meeting
* The Basic Needs for our City Hall

I am attaching the SCOPE so that all of you can read it before the Town Hall Meeting to be held Thursday the 25th of June at 6:30 in the Community Center.

If you have any difficulty opening the attachment, please contact me at ciocathybennett@gmail.com.

This is a very important meeting for our Community and I encourage everyone to attend and to invite your neighbors to come. We would really appreciate everyone’s input.

If anyone would like to see first-hand the condition of the Emily Lane facility, please let me know and I will open it for you. Also, The final report that Dale Freeman, Chair of the City Hall Remediation Committee, developed is available at the office.

Thank you so much David for putting together such a comprehensive document.

Please be aware that we are currently in an emergency situation with our Streets, so our City Secretary, CD Woodrome is extremely busy. Please contact me or any other City Council Member directly if you have any questions. My number is: 409-429-6752.

See you Thursday,
Cathy Bennett

STREET UPDATE – June 19, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I am writing this to attempt to keep the community aware of what is going on, in this instance, with our streets.

  • At the last City Council Meeting, we officially passed an “Emergency Declaration“, because of the extensive damage to our roads caused by the excessive rains up to that point.
  • CD has been working diligently to compile a comprehensive damage assessment to submit to our Emergency Management Director, Dale Freeman.
  • After Wednesday’s rain event, that assessment is almost useless due to the fact that now the situation is much, much worse.
  • Wednesday, CD was out in the rain putting up barricades warning folks about areas that were impassable or where roads had to be completely closed because the road surface was totally washed out.
  • We are aware of how dire the situation is and are addressing each situation and determining priorities. We are asking for your patience and cooperation. We need you to report damage – that is often the best way we have of being informed. Then, be patient with us as we are addressing the problems as quickly as we can.
  • The rain event Wednesday was so bad that we were considering having to close Galahad Dam to traffic because it looked like the water might go over the road surface making crossing the dam dangerous.
  • Here is where I would like to publicly thank Rusty Harrison for being out in the storm opening valves to keep the water from coming over the roadway, not only on Galahad but at Camelot Dam and Charmaine also. These things get done without us realizing how they get done. Thanks Rusty!
  • The other individual who always goes above and beyond is of course, CD. I was with him Wednesday night at about 8 PM as we checked lake levels to see what needed to be done and I know that he was still planning on going out later to make sure the dam was safe to cross. Thanks, CD!

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your patience and cooperation!

Cathy Bennett


Greetings Everyone,

The much anticipated work on Charmaine Dam has once again been postponed until the beginning of next week due to availability of workers and equipment.

In the interim, the valve will be open enough to keep the lake level where it is now. If the valve were closed completely, the level would rise due to the water coming in from Galahad and Tristan.

When the work begins, the valve will be closed in order for the cleaning of the stilling basin to be done.

In order to keep the water from going over the spillway while this work is done, we must start with the lake approximately 11 inches down.

There is no intention of closing the lake to boat traffic.

Cathy Bennett


We would like to thank those folks who have signed up to run for city council. We sincerely appreciate your willingness to serve. The candidates for the three council positions in the order they will appear on the November ballot are:

1. Rowland Priddy
2. James Beattie
3. Tommy Morris
4. David Herrington

Only one person signed up for the one year term, so Chuck Vonderlin will be filling that position.

Again, thanks to all of you.

Cathy Bennett

Burn Ban in Effect

The City of Ivanhoe has instituted a Burn Ban within the City Limits, effecive as of noon Tuesday, August 4, and continuing in effect until August 14. The action is being taken as a result of extremely dry and hot conditions that have existed since mid June.

The City of Ivanhoe Emergency Management Coordinator made the recommendation for the Burn Ban within the city in conjunction with the Burn Ban that has been placed in effect for Tyler County. City Council will re-assess the weather conditions and any additional recommendations from the Emergency Management Coordinator to continue or discontinue the Burn Ban during the regular Council meeting at 6:30 PM on Aug. 13.


For those of you interested, this is the presentation that was made at the Economic Development Town Hall Meeting.

Ivanhoe Economic Development Intro Rev 1.5 ___________________________________________________________



Whereas, the area within the City of Ivanhoe, Texas known as the Ranchettes is considered acreage and residents in that section purchased larger tracts for the purpose of establishing their homes in an area of low density housing,

Whereas, to secure and preserve the larger green areas with trees within the City of Ivanhoe, Texas it is necessary to prohibit subdivision of tracts,

Whereas, the Planning and Zoning Commission, after conducting a Public Hearing for the purpose of hearing public input, and after due consideration did provide to the City Council of the City of Ivanhoe, Texas a recommendation that subdivision of tracts within the area of the Ranchettes shall not be allowed within area known as the Ranchettes.


It is the purpose of this ordinance to prohibit subdivision of tracts/lots within the area of the City of Ivanhoe, Texas known as the Ranchettes. This will not only provide green areas with trees and areas for wildlife, it will allow those residents who purchased in a low density housing area to continue to enjoy their property.

Section 1 – Definitions
Ranchettes – those tracts or lots as listed in Section 2

Section 2 – Restrictions
The section within the City of Ivanhoe, Tyler Co., Texas called the Ranchettes tract/lot #’s 1 – 52 and as designated on attached map, shall not be divided into smaller tracts or lots;

Section 3 – Repealer Clause
Any existing ordinance or parts of existing ordinances in conflict with any terms of this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of their conflict with this ordinance.

Section 4 – Savings Clause
If any part or provision of this ordinance is declared to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this ordinance shall remain in full force and effect to the extent practical.

Section 5 – Severability Clause
That all ordinances of the City of Ivanhoe, Texas, in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance be, and the same are hereby, repealed; provided, however that all other provisions of said ordinances not in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 6 – Effective Date
This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon its passage and publication as required by law.

THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Ivanhoe, Texas, and it is hereby ordained by authority of same, as follows:






City Secretary


Ivanhoe remains under a Burn Ban as a result of the dry weather that has been with us since Tropical Storm Bill passed thru in mid-June. City Council has continued the Burn Ban within the City in conjunction with Tyler County. The Burn Ban is based on the KB index and the Texas Forest Service updates the index daily to our Emergency Management Coordinator Mr. Dale Freeman. Many of our property owners have piled limbs and debris in preparation for the time when the Burn Ban is lifted. We urge those property owners to keep the piles small so they are much easier to manage when they are burned. Extra caution on the property owners part results in the continued ability to burn limbs & leaves within the city limits. Otherwise the City will have to implement measures to protect neighboring properties.

The flood disaster recovery project is nearing the stage for contractors to begin work throughout the City. It is somewhat incongruous that we are working on flood related issues as dry as it has been for the past 3 months. 158 sites on and alongside City streets have been identified within Ivanhoe that experienced damage from the flooding that occurred in May & June. The City has taken the steps necessary under the National & State Disaster Declaration in order to receive assistance with recovery from the damage the city experienced. Please be aware the recovery is not in the form of paved streets. The damage occurred to our drainage systems; right of way ditches and culverts. That is where the majority of the repair work will be noticeable over the next two years, possibly longer. Ivanhoe property tax payers can be aware that 75% of the work being done is being paid for through the FEMA Disaster Recovery program. It is still tax dollars being used, but 75% is not local tax dollars.

The November 3rd Election will have three full term (two year) positions and one un-expired term (one year) position to be voted. The candidates running for the full term positions are (in order they appear on the ballot): Rowland Priddy, Jim Beattie, Tommy Morris, David Herrington. For the un-expired term Chuck Vonderlin is running unopposed.

Also on the November 3rd ballot, Ivanhoe voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against continuing the ¼ of 1% sales tax that goes to maintaining the streets in Ivanhoe. The sales tax has been in place for the past 4 years, but must be voted favorably every 4 years to renew. Note: this is not a property tax. Early voting will run Oct. 19th through Oct. 30th. The location for early voting is the Tyler County Nutrition Center located straight across Hwy. 69/287 from Brookshire Brothers in Woodville (behind McClure Furniture.) If you have questions about the hours of early voting, ballots by mail, etc. please contact the Tyler County Clerk’s office at 409-283-2281.

A couple of Town Hall meetings will be taking place soon for residents and property owners to provide input to the City Council and receive information about two items of importance to the City. The Committee appointed to review options for a City Hall/Office which were presented at the first Town Hall meeting on the subject on June 25th will present their research findings during the Town Hall meeting scheduled for Oct. 24th at 10 AM. The meeting will take place on a Saturday, so as many folks can attend as possible. The other Town Hall meeting will be to review and discuss Economic development in the City. As soon as the date has been finalized for the Economic Development Town Hall meeting has been set, it will be posted and notice sent to everyone who has provided their email address. If you have not done so, and wish to receive email notice of important events or activities in Ivanhoe, please send your email address to ivanhoeblog@gmail.com.


Click here to view 2016 Proposed Budget


Happy Holidays

City Election for 2015 is history; Voters expressed confidence in returning Councilman Tommy Morris (who serves as Mayor Pro-Tem), Councilman Rowland Priddy, & Councilman Chuck Vonderlin to the City Council. Joining them on Council is David Herrington, elected to fill the position vacated by Jim Gremillion. During the swearing in ceremony officiated by City Judge Judith Haney, Mayor Cathy Bennett presented outgoing Councilman Gremillion with a well deserved Certificate of Appreciation for his service to the City, our residents and property owners from Nov. 2013 to Nov. 2015. Incoming Councilman Herrington brings considerable expertise as a business professional, and will be working on the City Comprehensive Plan and Economic Development.

The recent rains were welcome and resulted in the Burn Ban being lifted. The heavy rains were not welcome since the washing caused damage to city streets that will result in additional expense to repair. The runoff from the rains naturally flows into the lakes, and that has resulted in our Supervisor of Dams having to open the gate valves to move the excessive water from Lake Galahad, Lake Tristan and Lake Charmaine.

The reason is the re-caulking of the expansion joints on Lake Charmaine spillway. The SikaFlex caulking that was applied a year ago has exhibited cracking in the joints. The Supervisor of Dams investigated a replacement caulk material as suggested by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Dam Safety & Maintenance Division. The contractor will remove the failing caulk under warranty, and apply the new caulk only charging the city for the cost of the material. That work is scheduled as soon as we have sufficiently dry surface in the spillway, and the temperature is above 54 degrees.

Durwood Project: Negotiations between the City, the Contractor and the State Dept. of Agriculture (TDA) relating to bring-ing the cost of the Durwood Street Improvement Project within the available grant funds is finally nearing completion. The TDA Board is reviewing the proposed changes within the requirements of Federal Housing & Urban Development criteria to make sure the City will get the Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG) already awarded. Although it has been a delay on the administrative side, the contractor will not be able to work the project until warm weather returns. The $275,000 project must be completed by mid-October 2016.

Our FEMA flood disaster recovery project is nearing the construction phase. Three construction companies submitted bids: Timberlakes Construction, Kirkpatrick Construction and Crockett Construction. After review by the city’s Consultant/Engineer, Council went with his recommendation and awarded the bid to Crockett Construction for $817,305. The city portion of the recovery project is 25%, with FEMA covering the other 75%. The project is expected to take two years or longer based on the cash flow availability of city funds. Note: the majority of the work being done under both the CDBG and the FEMA projects will utilize tax dollars that are paid to the Federal Government, leaving more of our local tax dollars for the regular operations of the city.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Thanksgiving will be celebrated with the Civic Club hosting a Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 18th at noon in the Community Center. The $7 cost helps the Club with expenses for the Holiday baskets to help the less fortunate in our community.

The BIG COMMUNITY EVENT will be the SECOND ANNUAL BOAT PARADE scheduled for the evening of Dec. 5th beginning at 6:30 PM. The decorated boats will congregate around Tommy Morris’ dock no later than 6:15 in order to line up and be ready by 6:30. We will have a transmitter at the community center so that we can have Christmas Carols played simultaneously from the shore, on our boats and on our docks, so be sure and have your radios ready to tune in and let’s all join in the caroling together! Santa will be coming and visiting with everyone as the parade continues around the lake. Pictures with Santa will be available. Of course we will have wassail and cookies (please bring cookies) for everyone!! The boat drivers are en-couraged to come to the community center to join in the fun after the parade.

This is a wonderful way to kick-off the Christmas Season!