January 9, 2013 Edition

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Freeman discusses
state of county

Gretchen Hunt

Lawrence County Judge Dale Freeman discussed the state of the county with justices at Monday night's Quorum Court meeting, with an emphasis on the financial status of the county.

Freeman said the county was able to stay within its budget for maintaining the courthouse, partially because of the addition of a maintenance worker who can do repairs that had previously been done by contractors.

"The budget for the courthouse now is $135,000, and we have managed to stay within this for both years," Freeman said. He said the road department also ended the year in the black, finishing with an excess of $200,000.

"We are still getting gravel in Lawrence County as I promised I would do if at all possible," he said. "We have leased three new gravel trucks and also bought a tractor and bush hog for cutting alongside roadways."

Freeman said the county faces a challenge in funding the Lawrence County Communications Center, which he said has been over budget since its inception.

"I have visited with several other county judges about this matter and it was suggested to make the 911 department feasible, it should be put back with the sheriff's department," Freeman said. "This will be discussed."

Freeman said a major boost for the county this past year was the opening of the new Birdsong Peanut buying point near Portia.

"This is an attention getter for Lawrence County," he said. "We are still talking with a peanut butter plant from North Carolina. They are showing great interest in coming to Lawrence County. We have also had several other companies looking at this area."

Freeman said he has enjoyed his first term as county judge and looks forward to continuing in the position.

"I look forward to the next two years and feel that we still have a lot to accomplish," he said. "With your help, I know we can do it."

Clark appointed

During Monday night's meeting, recently elected Justice of the Peace Lloyd Clark of Powhatan was appointed as the court's delegate to the Arkansas Quorum Court Association. He will attend the association's meeting in March.

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