Fellow citizens,

I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the holiday. At the time of this writing I am looking forward to the fireworks show and seeing all the flags flying about the city.

Van Alstyne, Melissa, Anna, and Howe have won a regional award for cooperation in programs for the area between McKinney and Sherman. The primary concern has been the availability of water. Rather than each city trying in vain to drill new wells, which would ultimately lower the water table and fail too soon, the Collin-Grayson Utility Authority (consisting of the four cities listed above) has worked in cooperation with the Greater Texoma Utility Authority, the North Texas Municipal Water District, and ultimately the North Central Texas Council of Governments in order to provide an essential surface water delivery system for the four member CGUA cities.

The efforts resulting in a plentiful water supply and the award were made by the city managers of each city (including our own Frank Baker), city engineers (including our own Len McManus), the mayors, and with the invaluable advice of Executive Director Drew Satterwhite of the GTUA. And finally, Don Paschal, who is a North Central Texas consultant and the man who nominated our four cities for the award. All of this work was done to ensure that not only will Van Alstyne never dry up and blow away but will instead thrive in North Texas.

My last notes will be about cats and rats. I have heard complaints about each. The cat complaint came from a citizen whose backyard is being continuously fouled by cats doing some of their business in her back yard. Her complaint is valid, because folks are supposed to control their pets. I do know, however, that cats are difficult to control. Some just get out at night and some become feral, raising feral young. All cats are terrific solitary hunters, and each may make many kills each night. Which brings us to rats. The ones I’ve seen are what I believe to be Eastern Woodrats. They are probably roaming homeless because of new development and loss of their preferred, unimproved wood and field habitat. These are not the black rats or Norwegian rats that have historically brought plagues. These prefer to be away from human settlements. All that said, please do what you can to keep your pets homebound. The cats that are already feral should keep the numbers of rats in check.

Thanks everyone.

Yours truly,

Mayor Larry Cooper