WAXAHACHIE — Residents who have more than 100 toll violations from the North Texas Tollway Authority could be unable to renew their vehicle for the upcoming year after the Ellis County Commissioners Court passed a new interlocal agreement at its Tuesday meeting.
For those who meet the criteria, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles could place a computerized block or hold on the resident’s account with the Ellis County Tax Office. The block would be removed when arraignments with NTTA have been made to resolve the issue of unpaid tolls.
“Anybody who amasses 100 or more unpaid tolls in the course of a year with at least receiving two notices of unpaid tolls goes into what we call toll enforcement remedy program,” NTTA Media Relations Manager Michael Rey said. “They can have a couple of things done. One is the registration block through Texas DMV. They are unable to renew registration until they make some provision with NTTA to take care of these tolls. It is similar to what other cities and counties have used for unpaid parking or traffic tickets.”
Rey said residents are notified that there is a block on their account when they receive their renewal notice in the mail.
“When their renewal comes in the mail, there is a box on there from DMV, and it will show that block prior to making the trip up to the county tax office and correcting that. We have also notified them through our invoicing system, as well,” Rey said. “They receive a separate notification as well from NTTA that they are in violation of these 100 or more tolls. Therefore their registration is being blocked. We also have the ability to impound the vehicle and to ban a vehicle from driving on NTTA roadways. I think that we are finding that the registration block is very effective.”
According to Rey, there were 1,045 habitual violators from Ellis County with 1,429 blocks issued in 2016. The unpaid tolls in Ellis County totaled $111,000 in 2015 and $271,000 in 2016. Rey added that two Ellis County residents in 2015 disputed the fees, while eight Ellis County Residents challenged the tolls against them in 2016.
Other counties that are participating in the program include Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Rockwall and Grayson.
Rey said he encourages people if they have a concern, issue, question or problem to contact NTTA right away and get it resolved. Individuals with questions can contact the NTTA at (972) 818—6882 or (817) 731—6882. They can also go to the agency’s website at www.ntta.org.
The interlocal agreement passed in a 3-1 vote on Tuesday with Precinct 3 Commissioner Paul Perry Voting in opposition.
“Well, I think that the NTTA does some good work. Mobility is an issue, but in this particular case, there are all sorts of ways that a person could be identified as a habitual violator. You could not register to sell a car properly. The person you sell to could not register it properly. There are ways that people could be misidentified,” Perry said. “If the tax assessor sees it one way I think that you need to have due process and that due process should occur in a court in Ellis County if you are dealing with Ellis County residents and not in a court in Dallas County, which would inconvenience our residents. I want those appeals made here.“
Perry said if 20 percent of those violations occurred on Central Expressway, for instance, they would have to make that appeal in a Justice of the Peace jurisdiction in Dallas County.
"For a lot of us that is half our day gone," Perry added.
Perry noted the commissioner’s court previously approved this interlocal agreement with the NTTA in 2014. After Perry had conducted some research, he determined that the court of jurisdiction would not be a local court, which is why he brought it back up and why the court voted it down in 2015.
Perry said the interlocal agreement negatively impacts residents.
“I have heard of cases where people have sold cars, and people have accrued those toll road violations, and they have had to clear those up. I do not trust an entity that is quasi-private, quasi-governmental to make that determination about due process,” Perry said. “Even though they may have the best of intentions down there and my personal experience has been positive in working with them, I still want folks to have due process in a court of law.”
In other business the court
• Approved a request to accept the roads, drainage, and infrastructure for Summit Estates Phase on located in Waxahachie.
• Approved to release a maintenance bond issued by International Fidelity Insurance Company of $472,310.80 for phase one of the Summit Estates subdivision.
• Approved a request to approve a preliminary plat of Long Branch Estates located on the east side of Long Branch Road and south of Hayes Road in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Midlothian and Waxahachie.
• Approved a request to grant an on time variance from the county rules regulations and specifications for subdivisions and manufactured homes to allow the construction of two single-family structures without meeting the minimum fire hydrant requirements located in the 4000 block of Olvido Road in Waxahachie.
• Approved a request to grant a one-time variance from the county rules regulations and specifications for subdivisions and manufactured homes to allow the construction of two single-family structures without meeting the minimum road frontage requirement in the 2800 block of Farm-to-Market Road 983 in Red Oak.
• Approved the purchase of 220-volt emulsion pump and tank from RB Everett Company.
• Approved to use E and G Quality Roofing for the jail refurbishment project.
• Approved to utilize $16,994 of the currently budgeted roofing replacement funds to replace two rooftop air conditioners units at the jail.
• Took no action to rescind a Jan. 10 commissioners court decision to proceed with total loss paperwork regarding a Trident Insurance claim involving a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe.
• Took no act to rescind an item from a Jan. 10 commissioners court decision to declare a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe as surplus from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.
• Took no action for County Judge Carol Bush to sign an affidavit of motor vehicle salvage retention from Trident Insurance claim involving a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe.
• Approved to proceed with a proposal from TelePacific for Internet connectivity at the Midlothian Tax Office.
• Approved the repair to a Caterpillar Motor Grader 12G for Road and Bridge Precinct for the replacement of a transmission and final drive of $29,770.
• Took no action to enact a burn ban.
• Approved the Cisco SMARTnet renewal quote from Flair Data of $44,059. 17.
• Heard a report on compensatory time from Director Human Resources Theresa Taylor.
• Heard a report on the 2016 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System from Assistant County Engineer Joseph Jackson.
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