WAXAHACHIE — The Ellis County Commissioners Court granted permission for members of the Texas Department of Transportation to conduct both topographical and utility surveys as part of a proposed Loop 9 project on Tuesday.

The Loop 9 project's website states that TxDOT wants to construct a new six-lane frontage road system between I-35E and I-45 through Dallas and Ellis counties. The proposed right-of-way would include a median that would accommodate the future construction of an ultimate access-controlled mainline facility.

The website also adds the project would be based on the expected traffic and funding would require additional environmental analysis before construction. Once approved, the frontage road system would be constructed in three phases as funding becomes available.

Presenting this item before the court was Ellis County Department of Development of Development Director Alberto Mares

“The item before you before allows the engineers of Loop 9 to go onto the property that the county owns and have them survey the piece property for Loop 9,” County Mares said. “I would estimate that three-quarters of a mile actually touches in Ellis County near Red Oak. The other mile or so splits Dallas and Ellis County going to I-35E.”

Mares added that the project wouldn’t go to bid for construction until about 2022.

“It will be years before they start construction because they are doing all of the potential surveying and the environmental impact study,” Mares stated. “They are still a long way out.”

Commissioners also heard from members of the Waxahachie Rotary Club about participating in its flag program. Presenting the item before the court was club secretary Melissa Ballard.

“As you know the courthouse has participated in the Rotary Flag Program. That program is where we put (out) American Flags. We are currently putting out 1,575 (flags) in Waxahachie,” Ballard said. “We come to you every year to ask for the renewal of the flags that are put around the courthouse. Currently, there are 16 places around the courthouse. It is up to you on how many you want to place. We store them. We put them up for five holidays."

According to the Rotary Club ‘s website, the club places flags at a residence or business for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Sept. 11. The annual subscription to the program is $40 per flag each year. The court approved to participate in the program with each Road and Bridge and Precinct sponsoring four flags for a total of 16 flags being installed at the historic courthouse during different times of the year.

In other business the court

• Approved a request to grant a one-time variance from the county rules and regulations and specification for subdivisions and manufactured homes to allow for the platting of two residential lots without meeting the minimum road frontage requirements located at 960 Wickcliff Road in Ferris.

• Took no action to amend a section I-W definitions of county rules and regulations and specifications for subdivisions and manufactured homes.

• Approved for County Judge Carol Bush to sign a one-year agreement from BJ Wakefield Services for the sheriff’s office law enforcement center.

• Approved for the county judge to sign an agreement with Scott Merriman for the Ellis County District Clerk’s records preservation project.

• Took no action in regards to enacting a burn ban.

• Approved to accept the annual reports from Road and Bridge Precinct one, two, three and four.

• Heard a report from Director of Human Resources Theresa Taylor about compensatory time.

• Approved to refund tax funds to Holcim of $146,975.30 for the 2012 tax year to satisfy a court judgment.

• Approved to cancel the contract authorized by the commissioner's court on April 11 for the Lexis Advance Upgrade Amendment for state and local government with the County and District Attorney for $810 a month.

• Approved to for the county judge to sign a new Lexis Advance Upgrade amendment for state and local government for the county and district attorney’s office for $577 a month.


• Approved the replacement and upgrade of IT servers and infrastructure in an amount not to exceed $85,700.


• Approved the nine members of the public to serve on the salary grievance committee as well as alternates. Bush drew the committee members from a jar during the meeting. The names of people the were individuals that severed last year on the grand jury.


Contact Andrew at abranca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451. Follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI.