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Quorum Court approves ordinances

The Van Buren County Quorum Court approved several ordinances and resolutions at its meeting last week. The Quorum Court was meeting a week later than its usual date because of inclement weather Feb. 21.

In his road report, County Judge Roger Hooper said heavy rains Jan. 12 caused more than $112,000 in damages to county roads. He said the county can recoup 35 percent of the expense because the state declared it a disaster. The road committee will meet at the Courthouse Annex at 5 p.m.March 14. Members of that committee are Richard Collins, Randy Story, James Reed, Gray Linn and Robert “Bogie” Bramlett. That meeting is open to the public.

Sheriff Scott Bradley told the justices of the peace that there are some issues with the floor at the county jail. He said they are considering scoring the concrete floors to make them last longer.

He also told the Quorum Court that he has heard some complaints about switching to digital radios that most of the public cannot hear. He said many folks complain that the department is trying to keep the public from hearing them.However, he said, that is not the case. He said it is a safety issue for deputies who sometimes were affected by interference in the airwaves, and, he said, though the changeover did not have to take place yet, it would down the line.He said making the switch now was a way to save money.

The JPs also heard from Clinton Junior High counselor Brandy Alexander about the school’s youth entrepreneurship program.She introduced a student who has opened a catering business. The youth entrepreneurship members provided snacks for the Quorum Court.

Van Buren County Hospital Board of Governors Chairman Donnie Collins updated the Quorum Court on the hospital project. So far, he said, $9 million has been spent with about $4 million still to be spent. He said a lot of equipment is currently being purchased.

He said a new medical offices building will be constructed on the west end of the nursing home. He said more parking will be added. He said the target date to take bids on the project is June.

The ordinances and resolutions the Quorum Court approved included:

• A $22,486 appropriation ordinance for items such as the child care budget fund and fire and extended coverage at the Volex building. Those items were left out of the 2013 budget.The vote was unanimous.

• A $41,543 appropriation for the sheriff’s office to place a resource officer at South Side-Bee Branch school.The salary for the position if $28,200 if the deputy is certified. This is the same thing the county provides for Shirley, Bradley said. The JPs unanimously approved the amendment.

• A resolution to authorize the county judge to submit an application to the Arkansas Economic development Commission for a community and economic development project. It was unanimously approved.

• Approval of the appointment of Sherrin Richardson to fill a vacancy on the Van Buren County Library Board.

• Approved unanimously a 99-year lease for the Van Buren County Rescue Squad for $1 per year.The property is on Shake Rag Road.

All of the ordinances and resolutions approved by the Quorum Court at its Feb. 28 meeting are printed in full in the B Section of this edition of the Democrat.

The Quorum Court’s next regular meeting will be 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Courthouse Annex in Clinton. The meeting is open to the public.

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