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Court stalemates on slaughterhouse

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Diana Buckley
Ellis County Communications
WAXAHACHIE - The Ellis County Commissioners' Court reached a stalemate Monday in its deliberations regarding a request for a permit to operate a slaughter house on Highway 157 southeast of Venus.

As a result, no action was taken.

Commissioner Ron Brown, pct. 4, represents the precinct in which the property in question is located and was unable to be present at the meeting.

'I do not recommend allowing the approval of a slaughtering house in a residential neighborhood,' stated Brown in a note read by Department of Development Director Delton Ake.

'It depends on what you are picturing as a platted subdivision,' said Commissioner Heath Sims, pct. 3, who proposed that the item be tabled.

'I think it would behoove all of us to get a little more education.'

'I think we need input from the people in the area,' said Commissioner Bill Dodson, pct. 2, in seconding the motion.

Commissioner Dennis Robinson, pct. 1, and County Judge Chad Adams voted against the motion to table, indicating they supported Brown's position on the issue.

'I've often said that on development we look for leadership to the commissioner whose precinct the issue is in,' Adams said.

'I think that should be a strong governing value in our decision regarding this.'

'I don't think my mind is going to be swayed, regardless what we find out, because of the simple fact that it is in a platted subdivision,' said Robinson.

The stalemate occurred because the members in attendance at the meeting were evenly divided on the topic.

A majority vote would be required either to table the issue or to deny the request.

'This is an interesting dynamic that's come up because one commissioner is missing,' said Adams.

'If there is no further action regarding the item, then it stays on the books as ‘no action taken,' and it will be eligible to come back up to the court at a later date.'

Also under the Department of Development, commissioners held a public hearing regarding a potential action by the county to abate a public nuisance at 5000 Vaca Road.

After closing a public hearing, the court voted unanimously to authorize the use of county funds for cleaning up the property. The property owner will be billed for the cost of the work, with the county having the right to place a lien on the property if the bill is not paid.

'I have the funds available - I've been planning on this for a while,' said Sims. 'I think it is a good thing. I think it sets a pattern for us. Personally, my constituents in precinct three don't want to live in a junk yard.'

In other business, commissioners:
• Approved a proclamation honoring the 127th Anniversary of the Wayman Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Ennis on the occasion of the church receiving a Texas State Historical Marker;

• Appointed Shirley Graves, Virginia Duff, Susie Toal, Helen Prude, Virginia Kellum, Mary Helen Gentry, Reeda Peel, James C. Templin, Harold Dorsey, Wilma Dorsey, Edwin Farrar, Carol Farrar, Margaret Felty, Shannon Simpson, Carolyn Robinson, William Robinson, Nancy Post, Larry Felty, Jane Dickinson, Sylvia Smith, Betty Dillard, Nana Lou Dudley, Karen Esberger, Carolyn Miracle, and Jimmie Faye Bynum to two-year terms on the Ellis County Historical Commission;

• Appointed Sylvia Smith (chair), Diann Wilson (treasurer), Bernyce Crownover (vice president), Anita Prewitt, Cathy Beer, Robin Alred, Leroy Fenton, Billie Maxwell, Claire Crabb, Carla Estes, and Marj Witherspoon to two-year terms on the board of Child Welfare Services;

• Approved a resolution supporting Low Income Repair and Replacement Assistance Program (LIRAP) improvements;

• Approved a resolution supporting the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP);

• Amended the FY 2006-2007 Budget to add the position of part-time Clerk I, not to exceed 25 hours per week, in the office of Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3;

• Approved a lease agreement between Ellis County and the City of Midlothian for offices for the Justice of the Peace and Constable of Pct. 4;

• Approved a lease agreement between Ellis County and William H. Getzandaner, Jr. for office space for the Ellis County Elections office.

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