October 13, 2010 Edition

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JPs renew commitment
to Intermodal Authority

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Quorum Court approved an ordinance committing the county to another year as a member of the NEA Intermodal Authority at its meeting Monday night.

Justices agreed to financially support the authority by contributing $13,500.

The Intermodal Authority is a multi-county and municipal organization dedicated to attracting businesses to the area by utilizing several transportation methods. Presently, members include Lawrence and Randolph counties, Pocahontas, Walnut Ridge, Hoxie and Corning.

"Clay County is also considering joining the Authority. That would bring down the money each municipality pays," said Milton Smith of Walnut Ridge.

"Progress so far includes hiring an engineering firm and attorneys, as well as receiving a $180,000 grant that supports needed preliminary and environmental work," Smith continued. "We have one promising prospect that would be a $70 million dollar business and employ 140-150 people. The hurdle we now face is coordinating railroad spur construction."

County Judge Alex Latham said, "This is going to be the best thing that has happened to this county and area for a long, long time."

Smith said, "It is definitely worth the investment. We will gain a lot of returns on our efforts."

The Quorum Court also discussed 2011 budget considerations. There is an anticipated revenue total of $3,490,100 for the county.

After preliminary budgets were submitted to the budget committee, a recommendation came from Latham for a two percent reduction in each individual budget. The budget will be reviewed and possibly passed in the November regular meeting.

It was also announced that the County Clerk Tina Stowers has billed for reimbursement for election costs for recent elections.

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