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Ellis County to open Ennis office for adult probation

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Diana Buckley
Ellis County Communications
ELLIS COUNTY - Ellis County Commissioners recently gave the green light to the opening of an Ennis office for Community Supervision and Corrections, often called Adult Probation.

'We are not people that are just in here begging all the time,' said Alfred Mims Jr., director of the department.

'We want you to know that we contribute to the county and we don't ask you to pay for staff or anything of that nature.'

Community Supervision salaries are paid by the State of Texas.

The county budgeted only $1,100 for the department in the 2006/2007 fiscal year, in addition to providing facilities.

'We want to serve the county well over in Ennis, Ferris and Palmer,' Mims added.

'We expect even more growth - so it is not going to get any easier.'

Commissioners approved a lease agreement for office space at 100 N.E. Main Street, Suite C, in Ennis.

'This is approximately 1,120 square feet in a two-year-old building that is in good shape,' said County Engineer Joe White.

'It is basically $900 a month, which is 20 to 25 percent below the going rate we are finding in Ennis.'

The office would require approximately $2,700 in modifications before community supervision employees could move in.

'We are very fortunate in that there is a phone system in the building,' White added.

'We find no reason it will not work, so for about $350 we have a $6,000 phone system taken care of.'

Commissioners also approved a resolution sup Commissioners also approved a resolution supporting the right of the citizens of Ellis County to determine whether or not to participate in any proposed sales tax funding for regional rail in North Texas. The resolution acknowledged the importance of mass transit, particularly in reducing mobile sources of NOx emissions, as well as the importance of regional rail, but sought to preserve local control over related taxation.

Ongoing discussions in the region have suggested a nine-county election, which could result in a watering-down of the local vote.

'We don't want to be a bump in the big picture,' said Special Projects Director Holly Davis.

'We want to maintain our identity.'

In other business, commissioners:

• Designated Adams as pool coordinator and Human Resources Specialist Carol Hanes as primary and billing contact for the Texas Association of Counties Health and Employees Benefits Pool;

• Approved a rider to the bond for Treasurer Greg Wilhelm, a corrected bond for District Clerk Melanie Reed and a bond for Mims;

• Approved a memorandum of understanding with Lakeview Camp for Sheltering and Mass Care Activities and an agreement with the American Red Cross, both under Homeland Security;

• Granted authority to the purchasing agent to negotiate an agreement for electric power supply from HGAC Energy;

• Approved the continuation of spot buying of asphalt products until a bid source can be located;

• Approved three variances and a replat under the Department of Development;

• Took no action on two additional variances proposed under the Department of Development; and

• Held a short executive session to consult with counsel concerning the application and creation of the Maypearl Water Control and Improvement District and to discuss potential purchase, exchange, lease, sale or value of real property as allowed by Texas Government Code 551.072.

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