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NCQC takes care of business

By Staff, 03/15/17 9:35 AM


PRESCOTT – Justice of the Peace Bob Cummings stepped in to act as moderator for the March meeting of the Nevada County Quorum Court after Nevada County Judge Mark Glass became ill and was unable to.

The meeting began with Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office telling the court Firestone will be giving tours of its facilities Tuesday, March 21, at 2 p.m. and needed a list of those who planned on attending.

She told the panel she’s been working with Chief Deputy Larry Miller, with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, on a grant that would, if approved, allow the NCSO to buy four new body cameras for deputies, light bars for patrol cars, a new Nikon camera and three rechargeable flashlights, among other items. The grant, she said, would pay 100 percent of the cost with the NCSO and county out nothing.

Godwin introduced two members of Leadership Nevada County, reminding the panel attending such meetings is part of the program.

Jamie Hillery, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, was up next telling the court of a ribbon cutting in Bluff City on March 30 for Big Man’s BBQ and Grocery. The ribbon cutting will be at 11 a.m. The Chamber Banquet will be at 5:30 p.m. on April 25 in the cafeteria at Prescott High School.

On May 6, she said, there will be a day long crafts and community garage sale. The idea is to bring people into Prescott and give them a reason to spend money and visit the community. The goal is to turn this into an annual event.

The court talked briefly about trash getting picked up in the county. This issue was addressed at the February meeting. It was said there are areas of the county where people are littering and there’s no viable way to get the trash picked up. The court discussed using inmates to do the cleanup or possibly relying on those given community service in District Court to do it.

JP Ryan Harvey said he’s been trying to meet with District Judge Tony Yocom about it. He said Yocom has been busy but is aware of the situation.

Miller told the court the NCSO has a jailer who would be willing to supervise inmates on his off days for this project.

In the end, though, no decision was made.

Two ordinances were approved by the court. One was a cleanup ordinance for the 2016 budget to make sure all departments balanced out and none were in the red. This is an annual ordinance. Counties in Arkansas are required to operate on a balanced budget by law and cannot deficit spend. Some parts of the budget may end the year in the red, but funds are transferred from those in the black to make up the shortfall and balance the budget.

The other ordinance was a Justice Assistance Grant. The grant has been approved and the funds spent. The ordinance was to make sure the county is reimbursed its 50 percent of the money spent. The funds were to purchase bullet proof vests for deputies with the NCSO. Miller said there was a conflict with the bank records, but it has been taken care of.

Cummings told the court the Assessor’s Office has a program it uses that needs to be updated. Nevada County, he said, is one of two in the state without the capability the program allows, which is to access property from anywhere. The estimated cost, he continued, would be about $5,000. This was also approved.

JP George Smith said there’s an old church in the Sutton community that’s been vacant for 25 years and is falling down. He told the court he’s contacted the Nazarene Congress, who may be the owner, about getting something done with the structure. According to Smith, he and the Congress discussed letting the volunteer fire department use the building to do a test burn, with the remains to be cleared and land used as a park in Sutton.

Godwin addressed the court about a grant approved in 2016 to paint the interior of the courthouse. She will get paint samples from Gilbert’s Lumber and take around to the various elected officials for them to choose the color they want their offices painted. This will be done Monday.

The court also addressed a “leash law” for the county. There was discussion about how dogs are allowed to run wild in the county, and there’s nothing that can currently be done about it.

Miller said state law allows people to protect their property and someone could kill any dogs threatening them or their animals. The problem, he told the court, is the county doesn’t have anywhere to put such animals and can’t afford to. He reminded the panel the City of Prescott contracts with the City of Nashville for animal control and has a holding pen for dogs caught running loose inside the city limits. All the NCSO can do, he added, is issue a citation to the animal’s owner.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tracy Graham was charged to look into the matter.


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