The Red Oak Area Chamber of Commerce held its monthly membership luncheon Nov. 28, with Ellis County Judge Chad Adams as guest speaker.

Adams spoke about the different budgets within the county as well as the Loop 9 project.

“I was asked to touch briefly on Loop 9 in my talk and mainly I let everyone know that Texas Department of Transportation is predicting the road to be open in 2010 or 2011,” Adams said. “As with any transportation improvements, having so much of the roadway just to our north in Dallas County is expected to be a great economic engine for us.

“It is important to remember that 22 people a day are moving into Ellis County and that equates to about 12 cars a day added to our roads,” he continued. “This makes transportation planning an extremely important issue. Keeping up with the infrastructure needed to support this influx of population is how we will be able to retain the rural qualities we love about our community.”

The best way readers can learn more about the Loop 9 project is to visit the Web site, Adams added.

When it comes to the understanding of the different budgets, Adams said that “the high cost of crime” is an important highlight to focus on.

“In regard to the budget, one thing I often highlight is the high cost of crime — the cost of dealing with the criminal element amounts to a staggering percentage of our budget every year — upwards of 60 percent,” Adams said.

In chamber news, new board members were elected for the upcoming 2008-2009 term. New elected members are Jeff Hamilton, Scott Niven, Matt Okorowski, Andrea Walton, Jerry Watson, Cathy Harris and Nickie Weyrauch. Alternates are Andy Bell and Darlene Williams.

In other announcements, board president Ben Goodwyn presented Andrea Walton with the Business Woman of the Month award, with her thanking the chamber as a whole for its support and acknowledging that she met many true friends since she joined the community.

There was no Ambassador of the Month for this month.

Upcoming events include a Business After Hours scheduled for 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6 at State Farm-Andrea Walton, and the Christmas parade, which will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the junior high. Staging for the floats is at 4 p.m.

The membership luncheon is held every fourth Wednesday and the next luncheon will be Jan. 23, 2008.

E-mail Chicarra at