Ellis County Commissioners Court allows driveway access

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After revisiting the issue that was raised at their last meeting, Ellis County Commissioners reluctantly but unanimously agreed on Tuesday to a one-time waiver that allows individual lanes in a development to open onto the future main arteries.

The developers of the Cunningham Estates development on the west end of Waxahachie have revamped their plans to reduce the number of exterior lots from 23 to nine. The Commissioners followed suit with a single exemption to allow these “subdivision” lanes to access the outer county roads within the proposed subdivision.

County development director Alberto Mares said staff recommended approval with a few conditions which mainly relate to the intersection of Old Maypearl Road and Cunningham Meadows Road, which has been the center of the county in recent weeks.

On September 7, the Commissioners’ Tribunal approved a traffic change at the intersection of Cunningham Meadows and Old Maypearl, where a curve at that intersection has been converted to a one-way turning lane for motorists heading towards south and turning west.

Mares said the lot sizes facing the county roads had been redesigned to make them larger, increasing the distance interval between the lanes. The new plan divides direct lanes between the two intersecting roads to minimize the impact of traffic, with five lanes on Cunningham Meadows and four on Old Maypearl.

The county’s development policy is that any development with inland roads must have houses that face inward. Speakers pointed out that the waiver request goes against this policy and noted several traffic hazards on existing roads that could be exacerbated by construction trucks. Other issues such as drainage and mailboxes were raised.

Road safety at the intersection of FM 66 and Cunningham Meadows Road was also discussed. Flashing lights were installed at the intersection a few years ago, but the intersection remains unsafe, some residents said.

However, the commissioners approved the measure with the idea that the area falls under the extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, of Waxahachie and will one day be subject to city ordinances.

Developer Lance Rust told commissioners rotating lots to face inward would increase the density of the subdivision and create even more traffic on overtaxed county roads.

Because Ellis County is a so-called “level 2” county, residents cannot be annexed to a city unless it is voluntary, District 3 commissioner Paul Perry said. As a result, the county is unlikely to be able to improve the roads serving the new subdivisions.

“The big picture is we have people who have moved to the country and they want that lifestyle,” Perry said. “But all of our resources are limited.”

But since the area is within the Waxahachie YSS, Mares said, any future right-of-way allocation will eventually have to comply with Waxahachie’s ordinances.

All the members of the tribunal were present.

Other elements

• Commissioners attended a presentation by Berry Dunn on the County Justice and Public Safety Needs Assessment. After the presentation, the court agreed to solicit bids for the selection of justice and public safety software, and gave Dunn the green light for the next phase of the county’s software project.

• The court allowed County Judge Todd Little to sign the UT Southwest Medical Center Mobile Mammography Service Contract.

• Following a short presentation, the County Meals on Wheels Grant program was approved for fiscal year 2022.

• Dr Donald Kelm from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension District 8 gave a presentation on the agency’s annual program.

• The commissioners held a public hearing, followed by a vote to ratify the 2021-2022 budget. The county’s total tax rate of 33.9338 cents was also ratified.

• The approved consent agenda included the minutes of previous meetings, acceptance of various reports, budget line transfers and a $ 12,588 increase in the balance of the equipment fund for roads and bridges. due to receipt of an insurance claim.

• The court approved land for a 5,243 acre property on the north side of Alsdorf Road near Ennis; issued a drainage maintenance bond for the Ike Farms development at the southwest corner of Ike Road and FM 878 in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Waxahachie; approved a flat 10 acre property on the north side of FM 85 near Ennis; and released a maintenance bond for Pioneer Point, Phases III and IV, on the north side of FM 66 in ETJ Waxahachie.

• A 4 acre lot on the south side of Mulkey Road in the YSS Waxahachie and acceptance of a performance bond on the 129 acre Oak Creek Ranch development east of the intersection of Skinner Road and FM 875 have also been approved. in the Midlothian ETJ.

• The Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2021 F600 / F650 for the Commissioner of District 1 in the amount of $ 130,377.

• Furnishings and installation services for the Sheriff’s Office were approved for $ 60,281 and Renovation services from Lookup Properties, Inc. were approved for $ 236,759. Both will be paid from a water damage insurance claim.

• The court agreed to solicit offers for a physician with staff to administer monoclonal antibodies. In a separate motion, the Commissioners amended the agreement between the County, MDLabs LLC and the City of Ferris providing for a monoclonal antibody infusion clinic to add a termination notice.

• An annual payment of $ 300,000 to the Texas County and District Retirement System was approved to reimburse Ellis County’s liability.

• The Commissioners have authorized Sheriff Brad Norman to enter into an expanded subscription agreement with Guardian Tracking, which will provide software subscriptions for the entire agency for an annual fee of $ 7,340.

• The Texas Association of Counties workers compensation program has been renewed for plan year 2022.

• Ellis County and District Attorney Ann Montgomery have been authorized to terminate an employment contract with the law firm Campbell & Associates, PC regarding an administrative matter at the State Bar of Texas.

• Following an executive session, the court took no public action.


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