Constable’s Office honored

Constable Terry Nay and Deputy Constable Brad Elliott were recognized in Commissioners’ Court on Monday morning for their part in the EPA Regional Emissions Enforcement program Achievement Award received by the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

“This is a terrific example of what we think regional cooperation is all about,” said Dan Kessler, Assistant Director of Transportation for NCTCOG. “We have linked together a Federal initiative with State and Regional dollars, and the funding gets all the way back to the county.”

According to Chris Klaus of NCTCOG, Ellis County’s Emissions Enforcement Program has helped to significantly cut down the occurrence of fraudulent vehicle inspections and other crimes associated with vehicle emissions testing.

“Mobile sources are a major portion of emissions here in North Central Texas,” Klaus added.

The Award was given to the NCTCOG, but all participants were recognized in the submission and were able to attend the EPA Awards Ceremony.

The Ellis County Human Services Department was recognized by the Texas Association of Counties Healthy County program.

“Year after year, Ellis County is among the top counties in terms of participation,” said Carrye Chen of TAC. “This year, you are among the top four.”

Healthy County is a wellness program sponsored by TAC’s Health and Employee Benefits Pool to encourage employees to take positive actions toward improving their health.

“The Employer Rewards program honors participating counties for their efforts and success in helping employees enroll and complete various Healthy County programs,” Chen told the Court. “Your Human Services team has done an outstanding job.”

According to Chen, Ellis County will receive $2,275 because 54 employees took a health risk assessment and 37 completed the 10-week PATH walking challenge. Employees also received incentives for these programs through Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas.

Human Services Director Diana Buckley thanked the Court for its support of the employee health and safety initiative, which is designed to save dollars in both the employee health insurance and workers’ compensation arenas.

“Thank you, Diana, for spearheading these programs,” said County Judge Carol Bush.

The Court also approved the sale of real property that had previously been struck from the tax rolls.

“You are actually going to receive more than was due on the judgment, and I would encourage you to approve this bid,” said attorney Alan Bristol of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson. “While I’ve got John Bridges here, I want to give him some checks totaling $11,290.92, representing your pro rata share of (unclaimed excess proceeds) on 11 pieces of property.”

Bridges will turn the funds over to the County Treasurer, where they will be deposited to the general fund. Bristol praised both Bridges and District Clerk Melanie Reed for their assistance with collection of delinquent taxes.

A proposal to create a position of Road Worker VI for a new employee in Road and Bridge Pct. 3 failed for lack of a second. The employee was hired last week to replace a Road Worker IV.

“I don’t have a problem with him being a Road Worker VI, it’s the pay increase I’ve got a problem with,” said Commissioner Dennis Robinson, pct. 1, noting that most other county employees have not received any pay increase in two years and are not expected to see any increases in the 2011/2012 budget cycle.

In other business, Commissioners:

  • Convened a public hearing for comment on the application for 2011 JAG grant to purchase computer software, hardware, and field equipment, with no members of the public addressing the court;
  • Approved application for the Edward Byrne Memorial 2011 Justice Assistant Grant in the amount of $10,458;
  • Heard a presentation by Jim Sabonis, First Southwest, regarding a potential re-funding opportunity that would save approximately $179,000, with no action taken;
  • Reduced a bid to a formal contract and approved Option 1 to extend bid number BPA130A for an additional 12 months for bridge and headwall repair with the primary low bidder James Bolton Construction Company at a price of $175 per hour;
  • Reduced a bid to a formal contract and approved Option 1 to extend bid number BPA130A for an additional 12 months for bridge and headwall repair with the secondary low bidder Neyland Bridge Construction at a price of $200 per hour, same equipment;
  • Reduced a bid to a formal contract and approved Option 1 to extend bid number BPA270 for an additional 12 months for miscellaneous concrete repair with J.C. Concrete;
  • Took no action on a proposal to increase the not-to-exceed cost amount with Corbet Construction for security fencing and wastewater treatment at the Juvenile and Sheriff’s facilities;
  • Accepted a dedication from the state of Texas of an approximate 1.5 mile section of right of way known as Old Highway 287 near the community of Reagor Springs.