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County’s lack of funds stalls building project

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DIANA BUCKLEY
Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - Ellis County Project Manager Jo Bhore confirmed plans for the county's new administration center have been put on the shelf due to insufficient funds.

'Let me give you a little background,' Bhore said. 'As you know, we had $18 million in tax notes to build the jail, the courts building, and the administration center.'

Bhore said county officials designed the jail to add 200 more beds, but the State required a minimum of 400 more beds. 'They also required a 45-person infirmary, which is not counted as beds,' Bhore explained.

The revised building plan for the jail added approximately $2.8 million to the original cost estimates.

According to Bhore, architects' fees and land acquisition further impacted the building fund. 'We just don't have enough money,' he said.

Bhore indicated sale of supercollider property would provide the needed funds to proceed with construction.

In a regular meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners' Court on Monday, Feb. 5, commissioners approved a three-month lease agreement with Dartco of Texas L.P. for building EC-2 at the SSC, with one three-month option thereafter.

The Ellis County Press was unable to confirm whether or not this lease is in any way related to a possible sale of the building.

Bhore said no money has been spent on construction of the administration center, although he did say the building's design work is complete. Architects and engineers have been paid accordingly.

'The design is complete, it is ready, whenever we are ready to build,' Bhore said.

The county held a groundbreaking ceremony for the building on Dec. 14, 2000.

County Judge Al Cornelius could not be reached for comment.

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