Daily Light correspondent

The Ellis County Commissioners Court discussed the county’s 2007-08 budget and approved all items on its agenda Monday morning.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Heath Sims opened the discussion of the budget in the hopes of defining a direction for its planning.

“I felt like we should get a feel for what our goals are, what our objectives are, for the ’07-08 budget,” Sims said.

Pct. 2 Commissioner Bill Dodson said the passing of the bond election gives the commissioner court opportunities it doesn’t usually have.

“We are in unique position with the bond passing,” Dodson said. “With the bond passage there will be opportunities for efficiency in all departments.”

County Judge Chad Adams said further discussion of the budget will occur during a scheduled budget hearing.

“The budget hearing is scheduled and there will be three or four days of budget discussions in a public format where you can discuss these items with department heads,” County Judge Chad Adams said. “We will bring the department heads into this court and listen to what their needs are as well.”

In other business, the commissioners reappointed Mackie Owens as the county’s representative on the North Texas Behavioral Health Authority. Owens serves as vice-president for the organization, which is responsible for educating law enforcement about mental health as well as providing the same services in rural counties as are offered in Dallas. The authority also is developing a crisis intervention center for juveniles and a program called 340B to reduce the cost of drugs.

The commissioners also approved:

abandoning two pieces of county property: an alleyway in Skyline Acres off of U.S. Highway 67 north of Midlothian and an easement in Bristol Farms. Neither had ever been developed. a modification to the courthouse’s existing postage meter to comply with new USPS regulations renewal of the county’s liability coverage policy with Hibbs-Hallmark for an annual premium of $315,928 renewal of the maintenance agreement with AVAYA for a four-year term at a cost of $1,461.13 per month. consideration of the final plat of Units IV and V of Flying W Estates, located in Pct. 3 off of Old Buena Vista Road.

The next scheduled meeting for the court is May 28.