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Extension Service gets new home

By Staff, 02/12/19 11:51 AM

PRESCOTT – In the not-too-distant future, the Nevada County Extension Office will be moving.

The Nevada County Quorum Court, at its February meeting, voted to purchase the former Centurylink building to house the Extension office due to structural problems with the existing office.

The county will go through the Bank of Prescott for a $60,000 loan, at 4 percent interest, to purchase the building. It was pointed out the structure appraised for $84,000. It should provide plenty of room to meet the extension service’s needs as it has a full kitchen, three bathrooms, two air conditioning systems, fenced storage, a storage building with a roll-up door and office space.

Justice of the Peace Bob Cummings said some renovations will have to be done and this will cost upwards of $5,000. Cummings also pointed out this building has no wood so there won’t be any termite problems.

The court agreed to sell the existing building and put the proceeds toward the loan on the new structure. There were questions about who owns the property the current offices are on, whether it’s the city or county. If it’s county-owned, the land will be sold with the building. But, if the city owns the property, the building will be sold to be moved, unless the buyer wants to make a deal with the city to leave it where it is.

No other properties were discussed as a possible new location for the extension office during the meeting.

Cummings said the county needs to put No Parking signs up so trucks don’t use the parking lot and destroy it.

County Agent Darren Neal said this will be a wonderful move for the extension service and be a better work environment as well. “We’ll have a good roof over our head for years to come.”

Nevada County Judge Mark Glass brought up the subject of charging for trash pickup. He said the county’s attorney has been working on an ordinance, which will be sent to Mark Whitmore, attorney with the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC), for approval. A special meeting could be called later this month to discuss and possibly adopt the ordinance.

Glass said the county is looking at charging $75 a year or $6.25 per month per household, with property-owners being responsible for paying the trash fees and collecting it from their renters. He pointed out residents in Prescott are paying $10.50 a month for garbage pickup, adding this should generate around $100,000 a year with the money going to the Solid Waste Department to keep it solvent.

Questions were raised about those who don’t pay the fee. Ricky Reyenga, the judge’s assistant, said this will be tied to property taxes and those who don’t pay won’t be able to get tags for their vehicles. The ordinance, he added, will cover all issues in question.

Glass said the AAC has helped other counties with similar ordinances. “We have a nice landfill,” he said. “The crew keeps it picked up, mowed and weed eated.”

Mary Godwin, director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, told the court about a career fair scheduled for March 14 at Hempstead Hall in Hope. The fair, she said, will be for juniors and seniors in high school during the morning, and open to the public in the afternoon. Right now, those involved are working to get the word out about the career fair.

Godwin introduced the 2019 class for Leadership Nevada County, and told the court the recent job fair for Red Stone Construction was a success with 74 people showing up and applying for jobs. A total of 11 were hired that day, with others to be hired later on. For those willing to put in the time and effort, she said, the company stated they could make up to $1,000 a week.

Jamie Hillery, director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, updated the court on what the Chamber’s doing. She said the county-wide cleanup is set for March 20, during spring break. This is being done to help those students needing community service hours a chance to earn them. The annual Easter Egg Hunt and banquet have also been scheduled, and the Chamber is working on a community directory which will include Chamber partners, information on civic clubs and need to know numbers. It should be out next month, she said.

Neal told the Prescott and Nevada school districts will be sending eight students each to Little Rock for 4H Day. This will give the students a chance to see government in action as they’ll be visiting the legislature while it’s in session.

A pesticide training session will be held March 18, with an artificial insemination class scheduled for March 20-22.

The court approved a transfer of funds of $21,250 back to the assessor’s office. This amount was inadvertently taken from the office. It also approved applying for a $15,000 matching grant for the Oak Grove Community. The county won’t be financially responsible for the grant in any way, but is the entity the grant will pass through.