The Ennis Town Commission rang in the New Year on Jan. 9 with its first meeting of the year under new mayor Becky Vujovich. The commission selected a commission chair at the meeting and filled the vacant commission seat left by Vujovich’s election as mayor.
Brian Vincent was selected by the other four commission members to be the chairperson. That title means Vincent will lead meetings and fill in for Vujovich when she is unable to attend. Vincent was quiet about his selection, but said he believes Vujovich laid out good priorities at the meeting about what she wants to accomplish with the commission.
Brandi Palmerton, the lone applicant for the vacant seat, was appointed by the commission and took office immediately. Vujovich said Palmerton had good questions right away and jumped right in. She will fill Vujovich’s position on the Ennis Planning Board as well.
“She will be a good fit,” Vincent said of the newest commission member. “She is very enthusiastic.”
In other commission business, Jeremiah Theys from Great West Engineering presented an update on the Moore’s Creek culvert project. Vujovich said she and the commission were excited to hear that the county commissioners were working with Theys to make the project happen for Ennis. She added that updating the eight culverts along Moore’s Creek throughout Ennis could shrink the town’s floodplain.
Vincent said the floodplain was redrawn just a few years ago to include the effects of Moore’s Creek’s flooding, but after the bigger culverts are installed people who currently reside in the floodplain might find themselves out of it. He was adamant though about the work being timed right.
“Some of the work involves Main Street and the goal is to avoid the heavy tourist season,” Vincent said.
Dan McCauley, also with Great West Engineering, updated the commission on a water well project. Ennis’ well No. 1 is near the corner of Armitage and First. According to Vujovich, it is an old well that has recently shown its age with a broken pump. She said McCauley told the commission the pump may have broken due to debris in the well. Vujovich said the broken pump is not a problem now during the winter months, as the city does not use well No. 1 much due to lower water needs, but if it were to go down during the summer, water restrictions would be put in place.
To alleviate that possible issue, Vujovich said the town is installing another well nearby well No. 1.
“It is not an exact science,” Vujovich said of well drilling. “It is a guessing game.”
In addition to the new well, Vujovich said there needs to be more maintenance done on existing wells.
Ennis City Judge, Arthur J. Behar told the commission the extra two days of work it approved for him have paid off in the form of fines collected for the city. Behar uses his two extra days in the office to track down people who owe the city money from court fees and other fines and violations, Vujovich said. The return has been profitable with less and less outstanding fees.
“There were less tickets this year. I think we are getting our message across,” Vujovich said.
The Ennis Town Commission meets the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at Ennis Town Hall.