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HONEY GROVE — After 14 years serving as an alderman for the City of Honey Grove, Thad Weems decided to end his run and not seek reelection to his post this year.

He is proud of his time on the council, but would like to see more residents help out in running the city, he said.

It was volunteering that led to his first run for office in Honey Grove, and he wants other residents to take an interest in city activities by volunteering for city boards and other civic activities.

“After moving back to Honey Grove in the summer of 2006, I began volunteering with the Honey Grove First Responders and Fire Department. These organizations are dependent on the city for support and many of the people that serve on them also fill other roles in the community and city,” he said. “I enjoyed helping others and being involved in the community. I was a civil engineer by education and employment, so there were things I saw around the city that I thought I could be of help in that arena as well. When the next election cycle for alderman came, some friends already on the council asked if I would consider serving, so I turned in my paperwork and was elected.”

His focus during his years on the council, from 2007 to 2021, was the infrastructure of the town.

“My priority was to see where I could help the city with infrastructure issues. Just months prior to being elected, I had begun a new job in Paris at Hayter Engineering and was learning about the difficulties of being the municipal engineer for lots of small towns in north Texas,” he said. “I had worked in land development for a firm in McKinney, so I was familiar with the ordinances and infrastructure issues that larger city’s face as their systems were pushed and expanded to meet the demand that they may or may not have been previously designed to meet.”

It is also his work with the city’s infrastructure that he looks back on with a sense of accomplishment.

“The improvements to our water system have come a long way in the last 10 years. Like many small towns, the cost of simply keeping the system going prohibited many of the plans for improvement as ‘emergency’ funds were almost constantly having to be found or borrowed to replace pumps, well casings, repaint and repair ground storage, and elevated storage tanks,” he said. “Once, we had finally had to commit to borrowing the funds to drill a new well, the design was complete and the package was ready to go out for bid when the ARRA (American Relief Recovery Act) funds hit the market. Initially, we did not score high enough for the forgivable funds, but we did get a better rate on our loan, so we proceeded to bid the project.

“Then as other projects proved to not be ‘shovel-ready’ as required, we actually were ‘shovel-ready.’ So, we were able to get the new well using ARRA funds and use the original funds to finally go after a new water tower and major system improvements,” he said.

The biggest project the city took on was getting new mains to the west side of town, he said.

“There had been problems with water pressure and quality on the west side for as long as I had been around Honey Grove. While the $3 million didn’t go as far as we had hoped and it took a year longer to complete than projected, we now have a much better main system through town that can serve as a backbone for smaller line replacement as funds are available,” he said.

Weems lived in Honey Grove until he moved away to go to Texas A&M in College Station, and after graduation he lived and worked in the McKinney area.

“I moved back to Honey Grove in 2006 and have been a resident ever since,” he said.

“Currently my plans are to continue work as a lieutenant in the Garland Fire Department, continue remodeling my home, spend some more time remodeling our church building and educating my children through homeschooling,” he said.

David Money is the assistant managing editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6964 or david.money@theparisnews.com.

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