September 14, 2016 Edition

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County work continues
as judge recovers

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Justice Alex Latham as chairman called Monday night's Lawrence County Quorum Court meeting to order in Judge Dale Freeman's absence.

Ann Pulliam with the county judge's office was also in attendance. During the meeting, justices approved Freeman's appointment for Pulliam to act on his behalf while he is in recovery following a car accident on Aug. 10 in which he sustained serious injuries. A formal resolution will be brought before the court at the next meeting.

Justices voted to increase Pulliam's salary to $500 weekly until the judge returns. Pulliam's salary will be considered again when preparing the 2017 budget.

Citizen Ken Guthrie asked about the judge's recovery and the state of the county in the interim. Justices said that the county is running smoothly, and Freeman is still able to review and sign contracts that are brought to him.

Sheriff Jeff Yates confirmed that he has spoken with lawyers to verify that they were following the correct procedure in getting contracts to Freeman.

Justice Lloyd Clark said that it is early and the pace of Freeman's recovery is unknown, but the Association of Counties still recognizes him as Lawrence County judge until his term expires or he resigns.

In other business, the court discussed preparations needed to clean up the 2016 budget and develop a 2017 budget.

The court will set dates to review the budget starting in October. This will allow Treasurer Marilyn Crafton time to get the state information needed to prepare the anticipated revenue and County Clerk Tina Stowers time to collect the budgets from the individual offices in the county.

The budget meetings are open to the public, but final approval of the budget will take place at a full quorum court meeting.

Justices will also look at pay scaling for county employees based on skills and experience during the budgeting process.

Also at the meeting, Justices:

approved the purchase of a new riding lawn mower at a cost of just over $900 with the trade in of the existing mower.

supported a resolution to name the Lawrence County Amateur Radio Club as official backup emergency communication.

approved the appointment of Sammy Blevins Jr. to the Lynn Fire Improvement Board of Directors.

appropriated grant funds used for the new courthouse roof and courtroom security cameras.

approved the reimbursement of $10,771 to the sheriff's vehicle budget. The funds came from an insurance payout on the loss of a Ford F-250 pickup.

heard a report form Justice Junior Briner on the state of John Thomison's expired term as a member of the Board of Governors for Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Briner confirmed that Thomison may continue to serve until Freeman is able to make a new appointment that is affirmed by the quorum court.

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