April 15, 2015 Edition

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Governor to select jail sites soon

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

County Judge Dale Freeman informed the Lawrence County Quorum Court that Gov. Asa Hutchison will begin making selections for future sites of regional jails this week.

During Monday night's meeting, Freeman said he has spoken with State Rep. James Ratliff on the matter, and the selection process will begin today. Though there are still multiple stages of approval needed and contracts to be drawn up after a selection is made, Freeman said he is confident in Lawrence County's chances due to the strength of their proposal.

"We showed them a diagram and documentation that we own the land and how close it is to the fire department and hospital," Freeman said.

Going forward, Freeman will handle all paperwork in the application process. Freeman said he will consult the court and keep them informed.

The jail committee has been disbanded.

Justice Lloyd Clark, who acted as chair of the jail committee, presented the committee's recommendation for construction firms, Evans Taylor Foster Childress Architects out of West Memphis.

"We don't know if the state is going to let us use them, but if they do that's who we want," Clark said.

In other business, Freeman said the constant rain is going to put a strain on the budget for county roads.

"I get to grade two days and it rains four," Freeman said. He said he'd know more once it dries enough to work on the roads but he wanted to warn the court now in case the budget doesn't allow proper maintenance.

He also added that as chicken houses are added to the area, it will cause additional expenses on the roads as trucks haul chickens and feed. Justices asked Freeman to come up with the additional projected expenses so they could plan for them.

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