December 9, 2015 Edition

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County reviews budget, hears
concerns about JPs bonuses

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Quorum Court reviewed the 2016 budget during a special meeting Monday. The budget will be presented for final approval on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Lawrence County Courthouse conference room.

While several expenses have increased in many county departments, particularly health insurance, internet access and software maintenance, the budget overall looked good to the six justices present at the meeting.

Anticipated revenue is up based on County Treasurer Marilyn Crafton's assessments. Justice Lloyd Clark also shared some preliminary figures for the estimated value to come to the county though the addition of the Silica Plant and 100 chicken houses through Peco Foods. Figures show that the new industries could bring $43,000 to county general, $17,400 to both county roads and to the county library and nearly $300,000 to the schools.

Also at the meeting, county resident Delbert Robins presented opinions from previous Arkansas attorney generals opposed to full end-of-year bonuses for justices and justices being paid for more than one missed meeting. He stated that justices are not considered county employees, yet they receive a $500 end-of-year bonus.

Justice Jim Jones said the information presented was attorney general opinions, and the county isn’t in any violation. Justice Tracy Moore added that in his inquiries, he was told that those payment policies were at the discretion of the county judge.

In other business:

County Judge Dale Freeman said the roof repair on the courthouse will run as much as $400,000. Currently the county has been awarded $130,000 for repairs and Freeman said he will put in more grant applications next year.

Clark informed justices that the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority will meet Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas. He said this meeting could change the structure of Intermodal.

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