The Ennis city commission met in a regular called meeting this week and announced that it has begun discussions regarding a prospective future street bond program that is estimated to cost $29.1 million over the next 10 years.

The bond program will be developed and reviewed by the city commission over the next six months with consideration for adopting the program to come during the summer of 2008. According to a statement prepared by city manager Steve Howerton, the commission plans to hold public hearings regarding the issue as a process in their consideration of the bond program as it will pertain to many areas within the city.

A draft list of prospective streets identifies 83 street projects consisting of 21.64 miles of roadway. The streets outlined in the draft are used by about 87,000 vehicles per day and provide direct access to about 1,700 structures. The city came by these figures from commission and citizen input, street petition requests and staff input. Cost estimates for the project were developed by Freese & Nichols Engineers.

Funding for the project is not expected to raise the current tax rate.

“Funding for the prospective future street bond program will be derived from the issuances of certificates of obligation over a 10 year period. The debt service for the certificates will come from existing industrial tax abatement revenues that roll off during the next 10-15 years. Certificates of obligation will only be issued when sufficient industrial tax abatement revenues exist to serve the debt. No tax rate increase should be required for an approved future street bond program,” said Howerton

A complete list of streets that are included in the draft can be seen on the city's Web site by following the link: Government/PDF Files/Prospective Future Street Bond Program.pdf.

In other agenda items, the commission held the third and final public hearing regarding annexing two tracts of land with no public comment. The meeting also marked the first reading of the ordinance to adopt by annexations by the commission. The first parcel of land consists of 28.27 acres and is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of South Interstate Highway 45 and the U.S. Highway 287 Bypass. The second parcel of land consists of 495.80 acres and is located on the east side of South Interstate Highway 45, south of FM 3413 to U.S. Highway 287 Bypass.

The commission also voted to give the owners of two sub-standard structures a final 60-day written notification that if steps are not made to either fix or demolish the structures, they will be torn down by the city at the cost of the homeowner. The structures are located at 1500 N. Daffan St., and 608 E. Latimer St.

The commission also tabled an executive session agenda item concerning the sale of the old Ennis Regional Medical Center facility until the next meeting, which will be held in January.

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. Both meetings are open to the public.