Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 8, 2013

County: Tap the brakes

Commissioners lower speed limit from 60 to 35 on Mill Run Road

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Drivers will have to ease up on the gas pedal on Mill Run Road following a move to lower the speed limit by the Henderson County Commissioners Court on Tuesday.

The court action decreases the speed limit on a section of the road (also known as County Road 41107) from 60 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. The change affects the section of the road from Farm-to-Market Road 753 to County Road 4622.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said he requested that Sgt. Brian Hemati of the Texas Department of Public Safety in Athens look at the road and give his personal recommendation on whether a speed limit change is warranted. Hemati agreed that a 35-mph limit would be appropriate.

“It isn’t that wide, like most county roads,” Geeslin said. “It’s pretty well residential now, whereas years ago it was all farm land south of Athens.”

Athens Middle School is located at FM 753 and State Highway 19. That has contributed to increased traffic on Mill Run, Geeslin said.

In other action, commissioners tabled a move to amend the county’s current cell phone policy. Under the amendment, the county would no longer issue cell phones to its employees, but instead, give them an allowance to apply to their own phone bill when used for county business.

County Auditor Ann Marie Lee said one downside to giving the employees a cell phone allowance would be that the amount would be included on a W-2 form, on which the employee would later have to pay taxes.

 Commissioners also approved:

• purchase of a $100,000 surety bond for Tax Assessor/Collector Milburn Chaney to be filed with the State Comptroller’s Office;

• transferring use of a 2009 Dodge Charger from the District Attorney’s Office to the County Attorney’s Office;

• transfering a 2004 Chevrolet Impala from the defunct Precinct 6 Constable’s Office to the Precinct 2 Constable;

• refunding more than $30,000 in overpaid property taxes from the Henderson County Tax Assessor Collector’s Office to various mortgage companies;

• implementing a 35 mile-per-hour speed limit for County Road 2514, also known as Chambers Road in the Payne Springs area; and

• payment of bills incurred in 2012 in the amount of $405,735.14 and payment of 2013 bills in the amount of $72,157.21.