ENNIS – Members of the Ennis City Commission approved extended hours for early voting for the upcoming municipal election.

“This is a new regulation required by law to allow people who work an opportunity to vote,” City Manager Steve Howerton said. Early voting will run from April 27 to May 5, with two days agreed on for extended hours: April 28 and May 5. The extended hours will be from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. those days only. Voting hours all other days will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

In other business, the commission approved a listing of properties requesting a historical tax abatement of up to $25,000 per property.

“This year 99 properties applied for historic landmark status,” Howerton said. The commission also approved 22 historic properties whose owners had requested reinvestment tax abatements for such work as upgrading HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems among other building improvements. In other action, commissioners approved an interlocal agreement between the city and Ennis ISD that allows both to use school district facilities for the May general election.

Also approved was a public use permit for the upcoming Bluebonnet Festival as requested by the Ennis Garden Club. The festival will be held April 17-19. The request asked that portions of Main Street and certain parking spaces be blocked off for the event.

The first of four public hearings was held for the requested annexation of about 60.6 acres along Cooke Road, about 1,200 feet north of West Ennis Avenue.

“I have no plans at this time for the property, but I need water and sewer to the property,” property owner F.W. Lynch said.