November 15, 2017 Edition

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JPs discuss district court funding

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Quorum Court held preliminary discussions at Monday night's meeting on how to fund the district court's virtual system. The system was previously being funded through an additional fine placed on those in the court system using payment plans.

Judge Adam Weeks stopped collecting this fine as a large percentage went to the state and it was making it harder for people to get their fines paid in full and keeping them in the court system longer. He was able to fund the virtual system through the fines previously collected until this point.

The system, which is integral to keep the court running, costs about $800 monthly. County Judge John Thomison said he has been in discussions with the other municipalities that use the system to determine a payment breakdown. Currently, the county is looking to pay half of the $800, while the other four municipalities, Walnut Ridge, Hoxie, Black Rock and Ravenden, would pay $100 each.

Thomison said he expects to have a proposal for the court to vote on at the December meeting.

Also at the meeting, the court approved the 2018 budget. Justice Junior Briner commended the work of the elected officials and budget committee in their efficiency in getting the budget together.

Briner added that the county is set to finish 2017 in the black and have a good carry over for 2018.

In other business, justices:

reviewed an ordinance which would allow the sheriff's office to enter into an APN contract for the jail. The contract would include a weekly visit to the jail for medical observation and on-call service to advise in emergency situations. The ordinance was tabled to allow further clarification on liability.

approved the millage rates for 2018. There were no changes other than the removal of College City.

approved pass through funds in the amount of $4,500 to the office of emergency management.

moved the December meeting to Dec. 4 @ 5:30 p.m.

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