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Commissioners recognized for continuing education

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Diana Buckley
Ellis County Communications
ELLIS COUNTY - Representatives of Ellis County's Cooperative Extension Service office were on hand Monday morning to present framed certificates of completion to all four Ellis County Commissioners, recognizing their recent participation in the 48th Annual County Judges & Commissioners' Continuing Education Conference held by the V.G. Young Institute of County Government.

The Institute is part of the Texas Cooperative Extension and the Texas A&M University System.

'The Texas Cooperative Extension serves every County in Texas, with a network of 1,400 employees across the State and a presence in all 254 Counties,' said Mark Arnold.

'Through this extensive network, County Judges and Commissioners have received educational programs from the Extension for over five decades.'

Referring to information from the Texas Cooperative Extension website, Arnold told the court the Institute was created by the Texas Legislature in 1969, adding programs for County and District Clerks in 1973, Tax Assessor-Collectors in 1982, and Justice Court Judges in 2005.

'Remember our door is open,' Arnold concluded.

'We look forward to continuing our relationship with this Court.'

County Judge Chad Adams invited Arnold to return at a future date to present the certificate to Commissioner Dennis Robinson, pct. 1, who was absent in order to attend funeral services for close friend and long-time Palmer resident T.M. Harper.

Action items on the morning's short agenda focused on roads.

'As most of the Commissioners probably know, FM 2377 at one time made a 90 degree turn, and over the years they cleaned up the turn and put a curve,' said Commissioner Ron Brown, pct. 4.

'That portion of the road that was left is a cut through and we have maintained it.'

Brown said the unnamed road between Shawnee and Louise Ritter is less than a quarter of a mile in length.

'The lady that lives there on that road made a suggestion that we could name it after her,' he added.

'I thought that was a great idea and I move we name it Shirley Lane.'

Brown also asked the Court to lower the speed limit on Joe Wilson Road from 35 mph to 30 mph due to the current speed limit being unreasonable or unsafe (Transportation Code Section 545.355(b)(1)).

'There have been two or three accidents and law enforcement was nice enough to come out and do traffic control,' Brown said.

'They are clocking vehicles going about 40. We want to try to get them down to 30 so there are no more accidents.'

The court also authorized the County Judge to sign an amendment to a TXDOT off system bridge replacement contract for Mt. Zion Road.

'This project had started maybe before Jackie (Miller, Sr.) had even started, and in that time frame the City (of Midlothian) annexed it in,' said Commissioner Heath Sims, pct. 3.

'The project got finished but there's still some payment left out there.'

County Engineer Joe White reached an agreement with the City of Midlothian to reimburse the county for its portion of the cost of the project, which was approximately 10 percent.

The court heard a presentation from Enhanced Benefits regarding offering, via payroll deductions, insurance coverage for cancer treatment, heart disease/stroke treatment, short-term disability and portable life insurance to Ellis County Employees.

No action was taken on the proposal.

No action was taken on a request to approve the final plat for Black Champ Country Estates in pct. 4.

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