As people begin to make plans for their summer vacation, some of them are going to need passports, which can create clutter as the only place to apply for passports in Ector County is at the District Clerk’s office.
With that in mind, District Clerk Clarissa Webster is asking the Ector County Commissioner’s Court to approve a motion to allow her office to host the county’s first Passport Fair, opening up the courthouse from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24 to dedicate that time in the clerk’s office to handling passport applications.
The Commissioners’ Court meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in the commissioners’ courtroom located in the Ector County Administration building annex, 1010 E. Eighth St.
Webster said she wanted to give people a chance to come to the courthouse and place their application while it’s not regular business hours due to how busy her office gets in March.
“The month of March is always our highest month, probably because spring break usually falls in the month of March,” Webster said. “But it gets so busy in the courthouse that when you mix that traffic in with jury trials and arraignments, it gets really crowded and stressful.”
With no jury trials or arraignments on Saturdays, Webster said her office will be able to devote its time completely to handling passport applications.
Webster said should commissioners approve the fair, those who wish to apply for a passport on that day should make appointments ahead of time so the crowd is dispersed throughout the day. While usually the office handles around 80 to 140 applications per day, Webster said they should be able to take 200 applicants and possibly more.
The other reason people should get their passport application in early is because the U.S. Department of State will increase the $25 acceptance fee to $35 on April 2, Webster said.
Another item Webster has listed on the agenda is asking the court to allow her office to begin taking passport photos themselves, as opposed to getting the photo taken at a local photography business.
“If they went and had their photograph made somewhere and we have to reject it because of violating guidelines and they have to leave and go get another photo, that’s a lot of time and bother,” Webster said.
The District Clerk’s office will be offering photographs for passports the following Monday, Webster said, should the item be approved Thursday.
Commissioners also plan to discuss legal matters, personnel matters and real estate issues during executive session.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, COMMISSIONERS:
- Will vote to approve a donation of a 3-year-old canine to the Ector County Sheriff’s office Canine Unit.
- Will consider a proposed burn ban in Ector County, authorizing the county judge, county commissioners and other county officials and employees to sign an order prohibiting outdoor burning, detailing the scope and duration of the burn ban.
- Will consider a proposed transfer of title to unit No. 1047, sheriff’s office vehicle, 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4×2 police, in connection with the settlement of an auto claim—travelers insurance.
- Will consider the proposed third party authorization for special waste disposal with Republic Services.
- Will consider the proposed submission of the 2017 SCAAP application with the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Will consider a request to hire road maintenance technician II at a 732-05.
- Will consider a request to hire traffic technician II at a step 5 due to previous experience with State of Texas Agency and to approve a proposed account expenditure line item transfer to Sign Shop FMLR fund, salaries, full time, for $3,172, social security taxes for $243, retirement for $551, workers compensation for $91 and unemployment for $5, from sign materials & supplies for $4,062.
- Will vote to move a legal secretary from a 110-01 to a 110-02.
- Will consider a request for the Highways and Streets Department to require prior notification, traffic control plans and reconstruction plans by and from all third parties and agencies, including public utility companies, working on the county right-0of-way with respect to and concerning all county roads and county rights-of-way affected by such work.
- Will consider accepting a right of way along the south side of E. 56th Street from Billy Hext Road toward the East Loop from Arco Environmental Remediation LLC.
- Will consider a proposed replat of the north half of the west half of lot 3, block 1, chaparral addition, second filing A subdivision of Ector County.
- Will take action on Lazy “L” Estates A subdivision of 10.11 acres located in section 4, block 43, T-2-S, T&P R Y Co. Survey.
- Will consider a proposed line item transfer to jail expansion project, county advertising from improvements and construction in the amount of $524.
- Will consider proposed budget amendments to general fund, district attorney, witness travel & expense and to general fund, state reimburse witness travel for $14,000 and to capital projects fund, interest earnings and to software maintenance contracts in the amount of $150.
- Will receive the accounts payable fund requirements report for March 8, 2018.