Mark Parsons, an archeologist working on the project with the Texas Historical Commission, has custody of relics found in what is now the lake bed, while the lake was under construction.
In response to an e-mail query from City Secretary Kathy Hoover, Parsons said that the project is still in progress, but has been slowed by health issues he’s endured.
In a response to her Aug. 27, he stated “Wanted to write and let you know I am still alive and have not forgotten you. I have not made a great deal of progress on preparing the Lake Gilmer archeological materials for curation.”
Parsons said that the director of the Archeological Division at the Texas Historical Commission had informed him that a report on the Lake Gilmer artifacts is being prepared for publication, “after a long wait behind the La Belle shipwreck report by Jim Bruseth. It will be some time before they can predict a publication date, but I had most of the nearly 150 illustrations copy ready when I submitted the draft, so I expect it will move along reasonably rapidly.”
He said that he believes the report “will be an important contribution to East Texas archeological literature.”
Parsons said that he will be in further contact as completion nears.
He said that “burial items” (presumably including any human remains) must go back to the Caddo Nation, which is located in Oklahoma.
Ellington told the council that the archeological project long predates his time as city manager in Gilmer, and that when the time for transfer of the relics to the Caddos occurs, the City will be required to bear the cost.
He said that if the Caddos turn it down, then he understands the items will have to go to a university.
In other business, the council:
• Heard a public hearing on the proposed $.635424 rate per $100 valuation for fiscal 2013-2014. The rate is the “rollback” rate, meaning that if it were higher, it would automatically generate an election to let the voters decide whether to adopt that tax rate or not.
No one spoke either for or against the proposal.
• Close off the downtown square and adjacent areas for Yamboree Week in October.
• Accept a $2,500 grant from the Walmart Foundation to buy brackets to mount AR 15-type rifles in police cars. The rifles themselves were bought with a previous Walmart Foundation grant.