Coupland Civic Organization (CCO)

The CCO heard community news at its monthly meeting—Monday, March 25, in St. Peter’s Fellowship Hall. Coupland Volunteer Fire Department Firefighter Travis Sanford discussed their successful chili supper, ongoing training at the Eastside Fire Academy, and the increasing certifications of the Coupland firefighters as EMT’s. One firefighter has almost reached paramedic status.

Coupland Mayor Jack Piper reported on the proposed zoning ordinance which was the subject of a public hearing on March 14. He passed out copies of the draft ordinance and maps. The ordinance will be voted on at the city council meeting on April 11. The council meets on the second Thursday of every month. City information is on the website cityofcouplandtx.us.

Piper also reported on mobile homes going in north of Coupland on Highway 95. TxDOT did not approve the driveways entering a state highway, but Williamson County did approve the plan. A compromise will allow seven driveways to enter Highway 95 to serve the mobile homes. Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Piper warned attendees to be careful driving along Highway 95 in that area because there will be an increase of slow traffic entering and exiting the highway.

Thanks to the CCO directors who hosted a delicious homemade chicken spaghetti supper with homemade desserts.

At the February meeting, the CCO heard from Prissy Rumel, president of the Lone Star Polocrosse Club, located on FM 1466 about 5 miles east of Coupland. The Club has some of the best polocrosse coaches in the country, and two of the club members will travel to Australia in mid-April to represent the U.S. at the Polocrosse World Cup.

Rumel explained that polocrosse is similar to polo and lacrosse. A big difference is that the polocrosse player uses one horse, whereas polo requires six to eight horses. Polocrosse includes divisions A, B, C, and D, with A being the top division. There also is a junior division for players under 18. The youngest player in the Lone Star Club is seven, and there are about 25 members in the Club.

The polocrosse field is 160 yards by 60 yards. A team has six players, with three playing at a time. Three come off and their horses rest while the other three go on. In polo, there is no rest time, so the player has to have extra horses ready to go. Polocrosse uses a racket that is a pole with a net on the end. Prissy explained, “We use the racket to pick up the ball and to dislodge the ball from other people’s rackets. We pass it to teammates and shoot it through the goal. Each goal is a point.”

A game can last from 40 to 45 minutes.

The Club practices on weekends, and, Rumel said, “We would love to have people to come out and watch. We have bleachers and concessions. We are happy to explain the game to those who are not familiar with it.” The Club will host a tournament on Oct. 19-20; teams from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland will attend. You can keep up with the Lone Star Polocrosse Club by visiting their Facebook page.

Plans are already underway for the second annual CCO golf tournament fundraiser, scheduled for May 18 at Taylor’s Mustang Creek Golf Club. The format is: 18 hole 4 person scramble, includes cart and green fee, 8 a.m. shotgun start. Entry fee is $300 donation per team. Prizes are $500 for the first team, $300 for second, and golf for four with cart for third. There will be door prizes, and a lunch will be provided. Contact any CCO board member for a sign-up form; teams will also be able to sign up the morning of the tournament at the course.

Coupland School

Dinosaurs Live! was hosted by the Coupland School PTA on Feb. 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the school. The event featured eight life-like dinosaurs and activities including a dino-slide, face painting, concessions, and souvenirs.

On April 4, kindergarten and first grade students will go on a field trip to Inner Space Cavern. The school board will meet April 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Theatre teacher Annie Violette will direct the school theatre students in The Adams Family, the Musical, on Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m., in Taylor at the Main Street Events Center Auditorium.

April 18 marks the annual Field Day. There are the usual track and field events, plus fun events like the three-legged race and the egg and spoon races. Field Day lasts all day long, with refreshments.

On April 23 at 6:30 p.m. will be the student art exhibit, plus the PTA meeting.

St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church of Coupland will have its big, second annual Garage Sale and Bake Sale on Saturday, April 6, 7:30 a.m. to noon, in the Fellowship Hall and on the patio. This is an important fundraiser for St. Peter’s. If you are in the market for wonderful items, small and large, plus delicious baked goods, don’t miss this event!

A potluck dinner was held March 24; the potlucks are on almost every fourth Sunday, and everyone is welcome. Bring a dish to share. The Sunday service starts at 10:15 a.m., and the potluck begins a little after 11 a.m.

The popular bi-monthly Senior Citizens Luncheon was March 19 at 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The free home-cooked meal was followed by visiting, bingo, and ‘42’ dominos. All area senior citizens are welcome.

During Lent, St. Peter’s is holding a Lenten Service every Wednesday at 6 p.m., followed by Soup Supper at 6:30 p.m., with choir practice starting about 7 p.m. Sunday, April 14, marks the beginning of Holy Week. The Palm Sunday Service will be on April 14, Maundy Thursday Service on April 18, and Good Friday Service on April 19, with Easter Service on April 21.

New Sweden Church

Marilyn Samuelson reports that New Sweden is hosting a meal at 6 p.m. every Wednesday during Lent, with a service following at 7 p.m. and she notes, “Everyone is welcome to all services and events at New Sweden Lutheran, located at 12809 New Sweden Church Road.”

Maundy Thursday service with Communion will be on April 18 at 7 p.m. The Good Friday meal will be at 6 p.m. with a movie at 7 p.m. On Easter Day, a sunrise service will be at the New Sweden Cemetery at 7:30 a.m. followed by breakfast at the Parish Hall. Then the Easter Service will be at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.

The New Sweden Heritage Center annual celebration will be Saturday, April 27.

Coupland Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD)

The Eastside Fire Academy is underway to train firefighters in Eastern Williamson County. The Academy provides a low-cost way to train volunteer firefighters. CVFD has had about 15 firefighters who have been trained by the Academy. Three of the Academy’s volunteer instructors are from the CVFD, including John Roulston-Bates.

Roulston-Bates joined the CVFD in 2014 and holds the rank of Lieutenant. He went through the Academy in 2014 and went on to earn numerous qualifications, including State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association, Texas Commission on Fire Protection, Firefighter I and II, Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Driver Pump Operator, Wildland Firefighter, and EMT.

Roulston-Bates is also a member of the Coupland City Council. In addition to all his service to the community, his “day job” is Chief Technology Officer for an international marketing company.

Chief Jared Cummings and Assistant Chief Matthew Selby are also Eastside Academy instructors, and they will be featured in future columns.

A great time was had by all at the annual CVFD Chili Supper fundraiser on Saturday, March 2, at the Coupland Fire Station--the 31st anniversary of this important event. The community enjoyed the delicious home-made chili, home-made desserts, silent auction, and f ire truck tours. Firefighters reported that this was one of the most successful chili suppers on record.

Blackland Prairie Concerned Citizens Association (BPCCA)—Solar Farm Presentation

On March 11, the BPCCA meeting featured information about the solar farm that is proposed for Manda/Carlson just to the west of Coupland. Coupland area resident Jack Atterstrom moderated the meeting. He pointed out that the original ground breaking had occurred 10 years ago with no activity since, because nobody would purchase the power. Now, Recurrent Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, has secured a long-term contract with Austin Energy to purchase the electricity. Representatives from Recurrent provided information about the project.

Recurrent expects to start construction in the fourth quarter of this year, and construction will take about one year, with 400 full-time employees on site during the peak of construction. Recurrent owns about 1,000 acres, called Phase 1, and they are planning to acquire more land toward the east of the current site, Phase 2. Total acreage for both phases will be 1,800 acres. The plant will produce 144 megawatts, enough to power about 25,000 homes. There will be a buffer around the property; from the property boundary, there will be a setback of 50 feet that will be landscaped with native grasses and possibly shrubbery.

The Recurrent executives said that the 1,800-acre plant will be about average size, when compared to the massive ones in West Texas, but it will be one of the largest ones on this side of IH 35.

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