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Court approves bleacher work at rodeo arena

By Staff, 03/13/19 10:12 AM

PRESCOTT – Nevada County’s Quorum Court went on a bit of a spending spree at its March meeting Tuesday evening.

The court voted to refurbish the bleachers at the rodeo arena at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. The bid proposed was for $7,181.10 for both sets. The court discussed whether or not this could be done cheaper and whether or not the money was there for the project. In the end, with a 6-2 vote, the court agreed to redo both sets of bleachers, but try and do it for less.

It also tentatively approved, though the suggestion was tabled, making renovations to the CenturyLink building the county is planning to purchase for the Extension Office. The county had prices from one person, Kevin Sanford. One “bid” was for $5,100 and included caulking the walls, painting the interior of the building and repairing three doors. The other was for $16,605, as a separate bid, and include the above repairs along with new flooring in four rooms, two four-by-four closets with doors and lights and 12 board feet of cabinets, with plywood doors, to store kitchen supplies.

Primary discussion about this project was whether or not to include this amount in the loan the county will be taking to buy the property. Justice of the Peace Pat Grimes asked if there were no other bids. From there, discussion went on about how few local contractors there are to get bids from.

In the end, the issue was tabled until more bids can be obtained. The new bids will include indoor/outdoor carpet instead of the type of flooring in the initial bid. It was said one of the biggest expenses in the initial bid was the flooring, which was the same type as used in the new dentist’s offices.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, provided the court with the EDO’s annual report, showing what was worked on in 2018. She reminded the panel of the Regional Economic Development Job Fair at Hempstead Hall Thursday, with juniors and seniors from high schools in the region attending in the morning, with it being opened to the public in the afternoon.

She also told the court about a Photo Quest being done in partnership with the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District. This is a photo contest to obtain pictures which will be used to help market the area. There will be prizes and certificates for the winners.

When asked the status of the medical marijuana business that’s supposed to be located in Prescott. Godwin said she and Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver recently went to Little Rock and met with the commission because the business now wants to locate in Texarkana instead of Prescott. She said there are five members on the commission and 32 dispensaries were awarded in different zones. Nevada County is in zone 8, one of the largest. The business would create five or six jobs and a site had been approved, but the company is claiming it can’t work with the landowner. Godwin pointed out there are restrictions as to where such a business can locate. It can’t be within 1,500 feet of a school or church, which severely limits where one can be put in Prescott.

According to Godwin, the company was given nine months from January 1, 2019 to be up and running, but says it doesn’t have time to put up a new building by September. She told the court four other locations were submitted meeting the requirements, but some building owners didn’t want this type of business on their property. She and Oliver will be going back to Little Rock to meet with the commission on this again in April.

The court approved three appropriation ordinances. One was to clean up the 2018 budget and make sure no area was in the red. Another was transferring funds within a budget, while the third amended the solid waste budget to $555,817 for 2018.

There was also talk about charging for trash pickup. It was pointed out most of the comments on this topic in the county have been negative. Nevada County Judge Mark Glass suggested tabling this, which was done, with JP Willie Wilson repeatedly asking nothing be done until November. In the meantime, the JPs have been charged to talk with their constituents about this issue.