October 12, 2016 Edition

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Justices discuss district
court, range, courthouse

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Quorum Court was approached again by District Court Clerk Joyce Roberts about back pay owed to her. Some of the money owed had been determined and the court agreed to pay it at Monday night's meeting, but there is still a raise Roberts said she did not receive.

Roberts said she would provide documents at the next meeting to show what she is referring to.

While under the topic of district court, Justice Lloyd Clark said during the budgeting for 2017, it may be good for the court to also review the district court agreement and determine if anything needs to be adjusted.

District Judge Adam Weeks said the arrangement between the various municipalities under the district court has been in place for a long time and any changes would have to be negotiated between the county and the several cities that currently utilize the district court office.

Weeks also added that in 2020, the district judge will become a state paid position, which would be a cost savings for the county and would require adjustments to the agreement in place at that time.

The court also discussed the shooting range. Justice Alex Latham explained that the range needed some additional dirt work, and County Judge Ann Pulliam said an extension to February has been given to allow the county needed time to finish the project.

Once the dirt work is complete, the court will also have to address security, signage, hours and waivers for the range. A committee of Justices Clark, Pardo Roberts and Kenny Jones was formed to develop some guidelines for the range.

In other business, justices discussed courthouse repairs. While plans to continue repairs on the roof utilizing grant money are already in place, Clark suggested forming a committee to look into the use of the space in the courthouse that will be opened up when the new county jail is finished.

Sheriff Jeff Yates said two cells would need to be maintained for holding inmates reporting for court. In addition, Weeks requested some of the space be used as a small secondary courtroom.

Pulliam said she would put forming a committee on hold until next year as the administration is set to change and the project would still be a couple of years out.

Also at the meeting, justices:

set budget meetings for Oct. 18 and 20 at 3 p.m. at the courthouse. Everyone is welcome to attend.

reviewed a request from American Silica through the Tax Back Program that sales tax paid during the construction of the plant at Black Rock be refunded. The court agreed they wanted to support the company but the amount that would have to be paid by the county wasn't clear. The court requested figures to make sure it won't hurt the county before endorsing the application.

approved the lease of two road graders for the road department.

approved the purchase of a $750 ad in the Ozark Gateway magazine to promote tourism.

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