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Commissioners’ Court requests meeting with Staubach Group

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Ellis County Communications
ELLIS COUNTY - In moving forward on plans for the new courts building and detention center, the members of the Ellis County Commissioners' Court requested that a workshop be held with a representative of the Staubach Company to go over timelines for the Request For Qualifications (RFQ), beginning with design services for the building.

Commissioner Ron Brown, precinct 4, requested regular updates be made to the Commissioners' Court as the planning and design process goes forward.

Jon Vidaurri, vice president of Design and Construction Consulting Services for the Staubach Company told the court an architectural selection committee comprised of Ellis County Engineer Joe White, a representative from the City of Waxahachie, Ellis County Sheriff Ray Stewart or his representative and two representatives from the Staubach Company will meet to formulate the RFQ.

Plans are to put the RFQ out for bids by June 14.

'By putting the courts building, detention center and parking facility together for bids, we can leverage better fees and have continuity with the projects,' said Vidaurri.

'We will certainly make sure everything meets the county's purchasing and legal requirements in every phase of the process and I or another Staubach representative will make sure the court is kept up to date on the project.'

Vidaurri said that while he will continue to be part of the project, he will not be part of the committee for the RFQ for design services because he has a relative that will most likely bid on the project.

In discussing the -continued from page 1
Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee, the Commissioners did not come to a consensus of how many people should be asked to serve on the committee.

The range of proposals was broad, with Brown suggesting five - one appointed by each member of the Commissioners' Court - and Commissioner Heath Sims, precinct 3, suggesting 21, with some being appointed by the County Judge and the rest by each Commissioner with equal representation from their precincts.

'I know the Commissioners want more transparency than historically perceived with this building process,' County Judge Chad Adams said.

'I think that after we have the workshop with the Staubach Company, we as a Court will have a better understanding of how many people we need and what they need to bring to the committee.'

In another bond-related issue, the Commissioners approved the agreement and Standard Terms of Engagement for Legal Services with Vinson and Elkins to act as bond and finance counsel for Ellis County in the issuance of bonds and other debt obligations.

The Court recognized the announcement from the Institute for Supply Management that Richard T. Denniston, Ellis County Purchasing Agent, has earned the status of Original Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M).

The certification is awarded as a result of years of experience and qualifying through testing. Jane Anderson, Ellis County Elections Administrator, along with her staff members Becky Morgan and Nancy Byers, informed the Court of the continual problems with the voter registration software they use, which is offered by the State of Texas.

Citing problems with getting online and being able to efficiently process the registrations, Anderson asked for approval for the Purchasing Department to issue bids for replacement voter registration software.

'Several Counties have already pulled away from using the State's software,' said Anderson.

'I brought Becky and Nancy here to explain the problems and frustrations they have encountered using this software from the State.'

Anderson introduced Jerry Whitehead, President of Southwest Data Solutions, LLC, of Waxahachie.

After Whitehead's presentation on alternative voter registration software, the Commissioners voted to go forward with the bidding process.

The Court accepted the certification of the signatures on two petitions to 'legalize the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only' and to 'legalize the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only' within the City of Midlothian. The election on this issue will be held on Nov. 6, 2007.

'I want to clarify that we have to accept these certified petitions,' said Adams.

'It in no way reflects our position on these issues.'

In other business, the Commissioners:

Approved contracts to update Westlaw online legal research resources for Judge Gene Calvert, Ellis County Court at Law #2 and the Ellis County Law Library.

Approved a contract to enter into a Tax Abatement Agreement for taxable real and personal property with Coal City Cob Company located in the City of Waxahachie Texas Enterprise Zone.

Approved the Tarrant County Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation Texas Hospital Revenue Bonds (Methodist Hospitals of Dallas Project) Series 2007. The approval does not create any type of obligation on the part of Ellis County but is solely for the purpose of complying with certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to the issuance of tax-exempt bonds.

Approved payment of $3,353 to the North Texas Council of Governments which allows Ellis County to obtain a license to use the Integrated Stormwater Management Design Manual for Site Development.

Authorized the County Attorney's office to file a lawsuit against Barbara and Stephen Parsons individually and d/b/a BMP Auto to prevent further violation of the Ellis County's Amended Order Regarding Screening of Certain Outdoor Businesses and Licensing and Regulation of Automotive Impound, Salvage and/or Wrecking Yards and Junkyards.

Awarded the bid for a F250 Pickup to Cole Ford for Precinct 2 at a total cost of $24,186.67.

Approved hiring of Ms. Deborah Sartor for the position of Human Resources Director at an annual salary of $52,500.

Approved awarding the bid for nine Panasonic Arbitrator Cameras for the Sheriff's Department to John Wright and Associates at a cost of $54, 948. 96.

Also, approved the bid for a base storage unit to be used with the Arbitrator Cameras to Insight Co. at a cost of $19,984.53.

The cameras are for Sheriff patrol cars in order to switch from using tapes to DVDs.

Granted a variance to County rules, regulations and specifications for subdivisions and manufactured homes to Elizabeth Lawrence and Lee James in Precinct 1 to divide their existing two homes to sell one of the lots. There will be no more than one residence on each lot and they are existing.

Granted, with Commissioner Brown voting no, a variance to Ellis County rules, regulations and specifications for subdivisions and manufactured homes on Highway Park Road, F.W. Lynch in Precinct 2 as it related to fire hydrant regulations.

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