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Oct. 25-31 declared Red Ribbon Week

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WAXAHACHIE – In a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Oct. 12, the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court declared the week of Oct. 25-31, 2009 to be Red Ribbon Campaign Week in Ellis County.

"[We encourage] citizens to participate in drug prevention education activities, making a visible statement that we are strongly committed to a drug-free county," said County Judge Carol Bush, reading from her proclamation.

On hand to receive the proclamation were Mavis Lloyd, director of Drug Prevention Resources, Inc., Jerry Chapman of that organization’s board of directors, and Larry Wilson, representing Impact Waxahachie and Impact Ennis.

"Drug Prevention Resources, Inc. is the oldest prevention organization in the State of Texas," said Lloyd. "We provide prevention education to youth and families to help them flourish in their environment. It is so important that we have young people remain drug free."

Lloyd told the Court that Red Ribbon Campaign Week was established as an ongoing educational effort after a DEA agent was killed in the line of duty some 20 years ago.

"This can only be done by a combination of all our communities working together," Lloyd concluded. "Thank you so very much for this proclamation and for allowing us to come in and do this work."

The Court appointed Mr. Randy Kirk and Mr. Maurice Osborn to represent Ellis County on the Prairieland Groundwater Conservation District that was created by the 81st Texas Legislature to include Ellis, Hill, Johnson and Somervell counties.

"Basically, the area was expected to experience groundwater problems, such as shortages and contamination," said Bush. "In an effort to protect our water and develop a strategy rather than be drawn into a larger area that would in effect dilute Ellis County’s control, the 81st Legislature created the Prairieland Groundwater Conservation District."

Bush explained that all members of the court had taken advantage of the opportunity to review the applicants who submitted their names for consideration.

"Interviews have been conducted individually with the Commissioners," she said.

Commissioner Heath Sims, pct. 3, added that he and former county judge Chad Adams had represented Ellis County in negotiations with Johnson, Hill and Somervell Counties for about three years.

"This has been a very difficult task as elected representatives, to go to the legislature and seek the creation of an entity," he said.

"All of us have a big fear of this entity becoming bureaucratic. We want to be as conservative in our appointments as we can."

Sims nominated Kirk, noting he has almost 30 years experience relating to water.

Commissioner Bill Dodson, pct. 2, nominated Osborn.

"He has been actively involved in water issues for a long period of time," Dodson said.

"In talking with Maurice, I know he feels basically the way we do."

The two nominees received unanimous approval of the Court.

Under Section 6.03(g) of the Texas Property Tax Code, each taxing entity within the Ellis Appraisal District may nominate as many as five candidates for the District’s

board of directors every other year.

Nominations are submitted to the Chief Appraiser before Oct.15; the appraiser then compiles a ballot and delivers it to each of the

voting entities.

Voting will take place in early December.

"I have a constituent in my precinct that lives between Italy and Milford that has shown interest in being nominated to serve on this board and is willing to serve," Sims said.

"I owe to this person or anyone who comes to me to bring their name forward at this time. I make a motion to nominate Paul Perry."

The motion failed, however, for lack of a second.

"I was a little concerned about something you said, about feeling compelled to nominate someone who came to you," said Bush.

"Did you mean somebody was exerting pressure?"

"No, ma’am," replied Sims.

In other business, Commissioners:

• Determined that the previous prima facie speed limit on the road was unreasonable and unsafe on Hampton Road south of the Red Oak Creek Bridge and decreased the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph;

• Approved interlocal cooperation contracts with the City of Italy, the City of Maypearl, the City of Milford, the City of Waxahachie, Italy ISD, Maypearl ISD, Midlothian ISD, Milford ISD, and Waxahachie ISD;

• Took no action on two requested variances on Barton Road in precinct 3;

• Authorized hiring Davis and McDill for professional services involving easements, drafting and surveying for the Sub-Courthouse located in Ennis, the County Farm Development, and the Adult Probation Building in Waxahachie;

• Authorized hiring AGTM Engineers for professional services for structural and foundation design of County Farm buildings and necessary modifications for the Adult Probation building located in Waxahachie;

• Authorized purchase for the Sheriff’s Office of three 2010 Ford Explorer XLT SUV’s through the Buy Board from Philpot Motors at a total cost of $60,010 using seized money;

• Declared one 1984 International Truck at precinct 4 as surplus and authorized disposal at auction;

• Authorized purchase of a 2001 International Truck, Model 3700, from Fleet Motors for a total cost of $9,000 for precinct 4.

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