Things are looking up for the old Ennis Regional Medical Center, located at 803 W. Lampasas.
City commissioners found out Tuesday night that the city is within a week of taking back management of the building from Lifepoint, who has maintained the building since they moved to the new facility in July. The decommissioning process has taken several months but the city is pleased with the clean up and the maintenance taking place at the facility.
“Lifepoint has really been doing a great job cleaning up the facility and dealing with the maintenance issues that needed attention. The building is very complex with a lot of systems that need attention and proper maintenance so that when the building is finally empty and ready to be sold everything is still in good working order,” said Steve Howerton, city manager.
The commission went into executive session later in the meeting to discuss possible offers that they have received on the facility and are ready to find a new use for the building. They voted to allow Howerton to act on their behalf to find a buyer for the facility.
“I am cautiously optimistic that we can find a buyer for the building. We have several offers that are officially in writing and now I will be evaluating each offer to make sure we find the best fit for the building and for the city,” Howerton said.
Several public hearings on annexation of land parcels along S. Interstate Highway 45 were met with no comment from the public and ordinances pertaining to zoning changes allowing commercial planned development on those parcels were approved by the commission in their second reading. The commission is working toward extending the city limits in the southern point of the city as they have done in the northern point. The annexation would allow the city to protect its boundaries while being able to help guide future development in those areas. Due to limits on how many acres the city can annex in any given year, the commission plans to secure the land on the outer areas of the land they want to include in the annexation and begin moving back in toward the current city limits next year.
In other action items:
The city approved a change order for the Ensign Road street improvement project, allowing for the pouring of a sanitary sewer manhole. The change was needed due to elevation changes with the Ennis ISD construction projects.
The city also approved charge off accounts of both utility and ambulance so that city attorney Toby Mash can work toward collection of those debts. The utility account charge off was in the amount of $9,102.31 with the ambulance account charge off at $1,335.70.
The Ennis City Commission meets at 6 p.m. in workshop, with the regular meeting at 7 p.m. the first and third Monday of each month at city hall, 115 W. Brown St. The public in invited to attend.