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Flood repairs move forward

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WAXAHACHIE - Two actions in Friday's regularly scheduled meeting of the Commissioners' Court will help Commissioners move forward on repairs made necessary by spring flooding.

According to County Engineer Joe White, the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services has authorized funding of approximately $556,000 for road and bridge repairs.

'We requested that the NRCS come out and examine our roads, and they saw fit to fund $1.2 million worth of work, but funding came through for only 45 percent of that,' White told the Court.

'What will happen is that the precincts will have to pay 25 percent, which is about $139,000.'

The county had previously been notified that the Office of Rural Community Affairs will provide funding relating to the same occurrence of flooding through the Disaster Relief Fund.

White indicated there is a possibility some of the ORCA funding can be used for the county's NRCS match.

'We will not be able to do any like-kind work - we will have to pay this amount, or we can reduce the contract,' White said. 'Their goal is to have all work completed by July.'

In a related action, Commissioners issued their finding that some repairs can be made without following lengthy bidding procedures due to the fact that the damage was unforeseen, per Local Government Code 262.024(a)(3) Discretionary Exemptions.

Commissioners also heard a report from the Midlothian Problem Solvers, as previously presented during a Mental Health Town Hall meeting.

Students said Problem Solvers is a team of gifted and talented students who select an annual project, identify the community impact, and compete at the State and International levels.

This group is in the senior division, which consists of students in grades 10 through 12.

To compete, the group must write a paper, document their efforts in a scrapbook, and prepare a presentation.

The project chosen by the students for this year is crisis transportation for the mentally ill.

'Mackie Owens is the one who came to visit us about this project,' said Problem Solvers Sponsor Cindy Thayer, a teacher at Midlothian High School. 'The kids thought this was something they could get involved with and do something about.'

Commissioners complimented the students on their efforts thus far and encouraged them to meet with Constable Terry Nay, who said his office includes an officer that is mental health certified, and with representatives of the Sheriff's Office, as well as contacting the County Attorney's Office.

In other business, Commissioners:

·Accepted a proclamation endorsing the 2007 Census of Agriculture;

·Accepted a contract with JPay service for inmate trust accounts;

·Accepted a contract with Convergint Technologies for security cameras and accompanying software;

·Approved the Early Voting Schedule for the March 4, 2008 Joint Primary;

·Approved a three-year agreement to purchase ballots and certain services from Election Systems and Software (ES&S) at a preset cost;

·Approved a street rehabilitation contract with Lindsey Contractors of Waco through an interlocal agreement with Midlothian;

·Accepted a revision to the Project Plan and Finance Plan for the TIF at The Reserve in Mansfield, Texas;

·Approved a revision to the contract with West Law for the Ellis County Library and District Clerk's Office;

·Appointed Judge Gene Calvert to the Ellis County Bail Bond Board for 2008;

·Awarded the 2008 annual requirement for treated pine bridge lumber and pilings to Conroe Wood Products and Cobb Lumber Company;

·Approved the purchase of a 1999 Ford F550 from Fleet Motor Sales for pct. 4;

·Renewed existing contracts for screened and unscreened pit run gravel with Bowles Farm (formerly Gillespie Farms) with no change in prices or terms;

·Approved one replat and the location of a vehicle storage facility under the Department of Development.

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