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Calls prompt commissioner to reconsider insurance payments

12/11/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

At last week's meeting of the Ellis County Commission, commissioners discussed a resolution concerning insurance proceeds.

At this week's meeting, one commissioner who last week could see both sides of the issue came out against it.

If the resolution is approved, it puts the county in the position to receive 15 percent of proceeds of any insurance payout when 75 percent or more of a property owner's structure is destroyed by fire, explosion or windstorm.

Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said in his memo last week the resolution provides the county a way to collect any unpaid taxes on the property and also makes sure the property owner either cleans up the property to the satisfaction of the county or the county can use the money to do it. As it is worded, unincorporated areas of the county would be affected by the resolution, if approved.

On Monday, Commissioner Swede Holmgren was not in favor of it after receiving numerous calls from constituents.

"I think this ought to be dropped like a hot rock," Holmgren said. "I can tell you, this week alone I've gotten 15 phone calls."

Commissioner Barbara Wasinger said by passing the resolution it would provide a way for the county to ensure property is cleaned up after a disaster.

"The proceeds is a tool in which to do it," she said.

Commissioner Dean Haselhorst was not at Monday's meeting.

"There is a lot of push-back on this issue out in the county -- a lot," Holmgren said. "I very quietly said this is only something we asked the county administrator to look at. There's nothing written in stone. There's a lot of animosity towards this out in the county right now."