The Rockwall County Commissioner’s Court revised the county policy on smoking, administrative leave and other factors at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Commissioners unanimously approved a revision to the county’s employee smoking and tobacco use policy, adding in E-cigarettes and “vape” products to the list of prohibited substances. The county forbids the use of these substances inside all county property and adjacent grounds such as parking lots unless used in a personal vehicle.

A change was also approved for the policy on administrative leave, which now includes an exclusion and a limit of 80 hours per fiscal year. The county’s policy on the employment process was also revised to reflect that applications are taken solely online.

The court heard a presentation by Commissioner David Magness on possible improvements to Crenshaw road within the county. The road is south of Royse City and is connected to FM 548 at its western terminus and FM 2543 at the eastern end, where it becomes FM 2591.

The small dirt road also includes a water treatment plant at roughly its halfway point.

It holds a unique distinction as the only east-west access to FM 548 and nearby FM 35 in-between Interstate 30 and State Highway 276. It also features housing developments at both ends.

Magness asked the court’s permission to look into strategies for improving the road, stating that the area is poised for growth in the near future, including a possible elementary school in the area in the next decade. He recommended that it at least be widened to two lanes and built up to prevent flooding. The court agreed to continue research into any potential improvements.

Also approved was a measure to allow County Court at Law 1 Judge Brian Williams to appoint a visiting judge for County Court at Law 2 when it goes into effect at the beginning of 2020. This would alleviate much of the caseload at the existing court and allow for flexible scheduling of judges until an election can be held to vote in a full-time judge.

The following items were also approved unanimously by the commissioners

- Approved a request from the Downtown Rockwall Association to use the steps and parking area of the Historic Courthouse for Hometown Christmas from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 7.

- Approved a location agreement with the Rockwall Lions Club allowing them to use the Historic Courthouse parking area and sidewalks for the Rockwall Lions Club Steak Cook-Off, April 18, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and to barricade off the parking area April 17 to allow for early Saturday morning set up.

- Approved a request from Steve Selinger for extension of timeline on the preliminary plat on Poetry Road.

- Approved a one-year service agreement with Housewarmers of Rockwall County for veterans services at a cost of $900.

- Approved Supplemental Agreement Number 2 to the contract for engineering services between Rockwall County and HNTB for the FM 552 Project at an increased cost of more than $2 million, which is budgeted for out of the advance planning fund.

- Approved a renewal agreement with HTS\ to provide continuing disclosure obligation services at a cost of $3,500.

- Approved the Indigent Defense Formula Grant for Fiscal Year 2020. Rockwall County received roughly $73,000 in reimbursements through this program during the last fiscal year.

- Approved an agreement with the City of Rockwall regarding animal control services.

The following item was approved unanimously, but Commissioner Cliff Sevier did not vote due after briefly leaving the room.

- Approved an agreement with Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Bleeding Disorders at Children’s Medical Center, which can save an estimated $185,000 in insurance costs.

The following item failed to pass with a 2-3 vote. County Judge David Sweet and Commissioner Magness voted in favor while Commissioners Sevier, Lee Bailey and Dennis Gilbert voted against.

- A Memorandum of Understanding with Mobile City, Texas, regarding animal control services.

The Commissioner’s Court will hold a workshop meeting at 9 a.m. on Nov. 19 to discuss the county subdivision regulations and will be present at another workshop on Nov. 20. The next regular meeting will be held on Nov 26. All regular meetings are held at 9 a.m. at the Historic Courthouse at 101 E. Rusk St.

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