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Midlothian annexation negotiations to begin

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Court appoints committee
Diana Buckley
Ellis County Communications
WAXAHACHIE - Some 20 members of the group called Rural Citizens Against Annexation addressed the Commissioners' Court during a regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 9, as did the group's attorney and Midlothian City Manager Ron Step-hens.

At issue was whether the court should appoint one committee of five representatives to negotiate a service delivery plan fortwo tracts of land proposed for annexation into the City of Midlothian, or whether the court should appoint two committees or perhaps delay the decision.

'Midlothian chose this process,' said RCAA Attorney Robert Miklos. 'They put these two tracts together in one resolution.'

Miklos said that appointment of two negotiation committees would increase expenses for both the city and the residents of the two tracts.

'The real thing to avoid is that you may have two different results,' he said.

'You are almost certain to have inconsistent results, and that's not really what the law provided for.'

Stephens argued the two tracts should each negotiate their own service delivery plan with the city, but asked the court to delay its decision.

'After the public hearings, the city council does have an action item on the agenda that states whether or not they intend to proceed,' he said.

'I think it will pass, but if it doesn't, your appointment is a moot point. Why would you want to do that?'

Miklos and the citizens addressing the court all asked for an immediate decision.

'If you delay, you are robbing these neighbors of the opportunity to negotiate these services,' Miklos said.

'I'd like to thank you for standing up today and taking a vote, whatever it may be,' said property owner William Redding.

In the end, commissioners voted unanimously to appoint the five citizens put forward by members of RCAA to a single committee. Those appointed were John Hermanson, Dennis Smart, Hank Miller, Randy Smith and Ann Major.

Applause filled the courtroom when the gavel came down on the court's vote.

'I would like to express thanks and gratitude for you gentlemen putting us on your docket today and listening to our concerns about this annexation,' said property owner Bill Yindrak.

'I thank you for accepting our nominees and giving us the opportunity to speak today.'

Commissioners also voted unanimously to approve a partnership with the National Association of Counties to offer free prescription discount cards to uninsured and underinsured residents of the county.'

'This is at no cost to the county,' said Special Projects Director Holly Davis.

'They will give us as many cards as we like. Quite a few pharmacies in the county participate - the citizen takes the card, tears it off and gets the discount.'

Davis said discounts average 20 percent when compared to retail prescription drug costs.

In other business, commissioners:
• Reconfirmed and ratified the tax rate for Ellis County fiscal year 2006-2007 after an error posted the wrong date for the initial vote;

• Directed all money, otherwise to be deposited in a salary fund, created under chapter 154.007 of the Local Government Code, shall be deposited into the general fund of Ellis County;

• Approved interlocal agreements with the Avalon ISD, the City of Ennis, the City of Garrett, the Milford ISD and the Maypearl ISD;

• Accepted corrections to the Ellis County Roads Map previously adopted by the court;

• Accepted a contract through a grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments for professional services to create a Municipal Solid Waste Siting plan;

• Approved the renewal of the IBM software/hardware maintenance contract with Net Data for the Elections office;

• Discussed possible contracts for the lease of voting equipment and election services;

• Tabled a request to adopt 'Rules for Procedure, Conduct and Decorum at a Meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners' Court;' and

• Accepted a bid for lease of the County Farm from Edwin Spaniel for one year at a cost of $20.01 per acre, a total of $6,461.23.

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