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Hempstead County Quorum Court Meets

By Staff, 06/23/17 9:37 AM

HOPE –┬áThe Hempstead County Quorum Court met Thursday June 22nd. Prior to the meeting the Solid Waste Committee met and decided to recommend the county solicit bids for a trash truck for a three year lease and solicit bids on the financing from a local institution. A motion was made and the measure was approved by the JP’s.
The JP’s talked about an appointment for the Equalization Board. The EQ Board meets over a two week period in August. No action was taken.
JP Cherry Stewart asked Judge Morse to ask Clark County and Hot Spring County to help on the VA Van. Judge Morse said he would be at a meeting with those judges next week and would broach the subject.
The JP’s looked at a change in the county employees’ handbook for catastrophic leave. Ed Darling suggested they look at the handbook as a whole. There was discussion on the catastrophic policy and the fact that the county benefits somewhat make up for low pay. The catastrophic policy would not kick in until the employee uses their vacation. The JP’S approved the change and voted to appoint a committee of three JP’s to hear grievances. The motion passed 8 to 3.
Ed Darling noted the year is half through and he asked to have a report next month on where the county is. Judge Morse said most budgets have 55% left for the year. The JP’S voted to ask for a report from each official every month and and to have a 6 month report at the next meeting. Comp time was also discussed.
JP Ed Darling talked about prudence in purchasing and he said he didn’t think the recent purchase of a truck for the road department was extravagant. Darling moved all vehicle and machine purchases, despite whether they are budgeted or not, be approved by the JP’s. Judge Morse explained for JP Doris Brown about the purchase of the truck in question and explained his thinking on the issue. Most of the JP’s said they’d had calls on the issue. JP David Clayton said he realized the Judge was in budget on what he did but that this looked bad and he suggested the judge instead should have bought a government contract truck. A spectacular asked how the judge used the truck for personal business. That spectator said her county road is in terrible shape. The judge asked her where she lived. She said she felt the judge had bought an extravagant truck with county money when a simple truck would do. Cherry Stewart asked what the policy is in such situations. She also noted the previous judge must have bought a pretty expensive truck considering the trade in. Cherry Stewart said she thinks trucks should not be bought out of town and the judge said it was bought locally. Ed Darling ‘s motion was approved. The judge apologized for the problem.
Judge Morse noted the Arkansas Association of Counties convention in August. He gave an update on stare aid projects on county roads. In answer to a question the judge noted nearly 15 miles of road will be resurfaced. County road 12 was also discussed.
Sheriff Singleton noted you can now pay your property taxes with credit cards and with a check by phone. The meeting then adjourned.image

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