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Sheriff to focus on DWI

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ELLIS COUNTY - Commissioners unanimously approved acceptance of a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation for driving while intoxicated enforcement during Christmas/New Years, Spring Break, Independence Day and Labor Day holidays Monday, Dec.13.

The $21,000 grant requires a $7,000 county match, which will cover fringe benefits and a portion of the vehicle costs for the program.

"It will entail two deputies out there looking for DWI suspects on 34 of those days," said Captain Chuck Laubach of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, noting the grant specifies a total of 49 days on which the program can operate.

Funding for the county’s matching portion will come from savings within the sheriff’s existing budget.

A total of 23 individuals were reappointed to new terms on the county’s nine Emergency Service Districts during Monday’s meeting, as follows:

ESD #1 James Morrison, Andy Mulvaney

ESD #2 Danny Green

ESD #3 James Steele, Vincent Guerrero, Howard Morgan, Murrie Wainscott

ESD #4 Stuart Schafer, Jerry Smith

ESD #5 Steve Salmon, Gerald B. Tyler, Bruce Moore

ESD #6 Bill Gilliland, Jerry Crawford, Gary D. Beaty

ESD #7 Fred Bledsue, Larry Mentzer

ESD #8 Allen Lane, Everett Russell

ESD #9 Mike Greenlee, Marvin Rhoades, John Griffin Hancock, Douglass Young

A request to locate an automotive wrecking yard at 2430 Neck Road in Palmer was denied.

"This is a residential area, on a county road that is not a main thoroughfare," said Commissioner Dennis Robinson, pct. 1. 

"I would like to request that the court not accept the location."

In other business, commissioners:

• Approved a preliminary plat for Collet Acres Addition, five lots, in precinct 2;

• Approved a preliminary plat for Cottonwood Creek Estates, 146 lots, in precinct  3;

• Accepted the infrastructure of McGregor Estates, Phase 2, including the road Cedar Park Court, in precinct 3, and released the appropriate performance bond;

• Granted a variance from the county’s rules, regulations and specifications relating to road frontage for a pump station off FM 66 in precinct 3;

• Designated two pieces of equipment in precinct 4 as surplus to allow for disposal;

• Approved invoice #4553 from TROTT Communications Group, Inc. in the amount of $12,025.75 under an agreement effective November 15, 2010;

• Approved the bond requirements for elected officials as follows:

o Cheryl Chambers, County Treasurer, $220,000 as per Texas Local Gov Code

o Cindy Polley, County Clerk, $500,000 as per Texas Local Gov Code   

o Jim Chapman, County Court at Law #1, $10,000 as per Texas Local Gov Code

o Gene Calvert, County Court at Law #2, $10,000  as per Texas Local Gov Code

o Melanie Reed, District Clerk, $100,000 as per Government Code

• Approved the expenditure of $9,037.33 to Southwest Solutions for an additional Spacesaver shelf and ladder for the district attorney’s storage room, to be paid from forfeiture funds.

In a workshop setting prior to the regular meeting, the court heard a report and recommendation from Johnson Controls on a performance based energy efficiency project audit approved in August.

A special meeting has been called for Friday, Dec. 17, at 9 a.m., at which time the commissioners’ court is expected to appoint a new County and District Attorney. The appointment is made necessary by the recent appointment by Governor Rick Perry last Thursday, Dec.9 of County and District Attorney Joe Grubbs to the bench of the 378th District Court, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

Grubbs had two more years as DA at which time the county will hold an election to fill the new term.

Grubbs will be filling the remainder of Al Scoggins term, who won the spot as a Justice, 10th Court of Appeals District in Waco, Place 3, during the Republican Primaries and being unopposed in the general election this November.

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