January 12, 2011 Edition

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JPs give funds for Chamber

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

At the suggestion of new County Judge Dale Freeman, the Quorum Court approved appropriating an additional $5,000 per year, bringing the total to $10,000, dedicated to the Chamber of Commerce in support of hiring a part-time individual qualified to work on economic development.

"For the past few years, the Chamber of Commerce has been an all volunteer organization," Justice Junior Briner said. "They are ready to do business now."

Freeman and the Quorum Court, which includes three new members, Kenny Jones, Nathan Crafton and Alex Latham, centered their first meeting of 2011 on improving the attitude of cooperation and unity in Lawrence County.

"We need to go forward and not look back," Freeman said. "Every member of this quorum and the community needs to work together if we are going to move forward." Walnut Ridge resident Mike Shelton also addressed the court regarding the future.

"There is a lot of negative talk among communities, cities and the county," he said. "We need to forget the past and focus on the future. Prospective businesses evaluate the entire community. If you're not ready to forget the past, you're not in the right seat."

"It's not about Dale Freeman," Freeman said. "It is about all of us. If we will all support each other - a 'we' attitude, not I or them - we will be able to make the changes Lawrence County needs."

In other business:

  • Freeman reported that several test holes are being dug to scout for possible gravel within the county to be used by the road department.

  • Crafton was selected to represent the court at a County Association meeting in Little Rock.

  • the Inclement Weather Policy for courthouse employees was clarified. Freeman said that if an employee's school is closed, then that employee has until 10 a.m. to report to work (unless the courthouse is also closed).

  • the budget committee, consisting of Briner, Jim Jones, Doug Wayland, Latham and Jeff Reese, will now meet on the first Monday of each month at 5 p.m. The public is welcome.

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