January 13, 2010 Edition

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County finishes year in black

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

Lawrence County Judge Alex Latham gave a positive state of the county address to the Quorum Court Monday night.

Latham said, "Lawrence County is on target as anticipated with the 2009 budget. This year we survived four federal disaster declarations, but still have come out on top financially. I attribute that to the efforts of our employees, and to the members of this Quorum Court, that spend conservatively and within budget." Latham continued, "We can be very proud of this."

Lawrence County ended 2009 approximately $1 million in the black, with an additional $550,000 in the county road fund.

There are two lots, each 50 by 130 feet, on the south end of Hoxie on Highway 67 just before the overpass that the county is considering putting up for sale. The lots will need to first be appraised and then advertised at least twice. Sealed bids will then be accepted.

Bids are also being accepted regarding repairing the roof of the Health Department. The bids taken six months ago are considered obsolete because of the changes in the price of material. (See related legal notices for more information.)

Two ordinances were passed regarding equipment the county is currently leasing. The ordinances allow the county to continue the lease past the yearend mark. There is a Link Belt Crawler Excavator that was leased in January 2009. The total lease-purchase cost of the excavator is $116,000 at $2,235 per month. There is also a Caterpillar Motor Grader leased since May 2009 at the cost of $1,496 per month.

County fire departments have received funds under Act 833. Funds were awarded as follows: Clover Bend, $788.43; Egypt, $435.97; Lynn, $1,627.57; Saffell, $627.12; Sedgwick, $1,063.41; and Smithville, $772.53.

The court voted to pay three employees overtime to compensate them for working full-time for the Sheriff's Department and part-time in the Communications Center. The overtime payout totals $2,434 to clear the records.

"The mistake was done innocently, but since they worked for the same entity (i.e. the county government), it became overtime. I suggest that we take care of it immediately," said Justice Junior Briner.

In other business:

  • Communications Center Director Steve Jones will be reviewing the 2010 operating budget for the center to troubleshoot and make corrections so there is not a problem at the end of 2010.

  • it was reported that the Lawrence County Meeting Room, located in Walnut Ridge, brought in a revenue of $1,557 in 2009.

  • Justice Craig Stone was chosen to be the delegate to attend the Quorum Court Association meeting in March.

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