Nubbin Hill project discussed by NCQC

By Staff, 01/13/21 10:05 AM

PRESCOTT – With luck, the Nubbin Hill bridge project will be completed this year.

Ben Hale, county attorney, told the Nevada County Quorum Court, at its January meeting Tuesday, what’s been going on. He said paperwork will be filed today concerning the bridge, and everything has been worked out with the City of Prescott concerning moving water lines. Overall, he said, it will cost around $11,255 to move the lines, with the biggest part of the cost being $7,500 for boring under the creek. The city, he continued, will absorb the labor costs.

Next, he said, will come the filing of a motion getting the landowners to agree on surrendering a portion of their property for the right of way, along with a public meeting to allow people to talk about the issue. One good thing, he told the panel, is this is a state aid project with the county only having to pay 2 percent. In talking about the right of way, Hale said it will have to be expanded on both sides of the road in order to be up to state specs. He added  the county will have to provide compensation for any condemned properties. “We want to get it done quickly, hopefully be done by summer.”

Once done, the property in question will be owned by the county and be the county’s responsibility to maintain.

Ordinances were approved setting salaries for 2021 and naming Dr. Darrell Elkins the health care provider for the Nevada County Jail. Dr. Elkins received $750 a month for his services. The court also approved a resolution to enter into a contract of obligation between Nevada County and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). This is done every three years and deals with the landfill.

On the topic of the jail, Ashley Eisley said the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office received a letter from the Arkansas Department of Corrections stating the state is now paying $32 per day per inmate for the state, backdating this to August. She said the jail received a check for more than $8,000 to make up the difference. Other law enforcement agencies have been notified about the change in rate for holding inmates at the NC Jail. The court was informed there are currently 57 inmates being held now, all paying customers.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, told the court the sales tax for 2020 wasn’t as bad as expected. The county ended up with $211,000 less than in 2019, while the city was down $108,000.

She pointed out she’d seen an article suggesting county courthouses take precautionary measures until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in because of possible violence.

When asked about Firestone, Godwin said the company will retain its name – Firestone Building Products – though it has been sold to a Swiss firm. Godwin pointed out there has been no official announcement about the sale, and plans are to keep the plant open and operating in Prescott.

The court also set the meeting time and date for the year, leaving them unchanged. The court will meet at 5 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month.

Cody St. Clair was introduced as the new veteran’s representative, replacing Herbert Langston.

Justice of the Peace Bob Cummings said a NCSO vehicle was recently totaled after hitting a deer and the department needs a new replacement for the K-9 officer. The county will get $7,500 for the damaged vehicle from insurance, but the state bid on Dodge Durangos is $26,000. Nevada County Clerk Julie Oliver asked where the money would come from to pay for it. Cummings suggested it could be taken from the grant money the county recently received under the CARE Act.

JP Chris Fore said the idea was to put that money into Certificates of Deposit, but here it is January and the court is already talking about spending it. In the end, the court agreed to purchase a new vehicle for the NCSO from the grant money.

Cummings brought up how it was pointed out it’s illegal for the court to receive bonuses, but added JPs are to be compensated for attending regular, special or committee meetings and be paid no less than $125 per meeting. Nothing was done about this as it must be presented in the form of an ordinance. JPs are now paid $275 per month to attend regular quorum court meetings. It was pointed out the checks for attending special or committee meetings can be returned to the county, but those who attend must be paid.

As the meeting came to an end, Jail Administrator Justin Hughes reminded the court it was supposed to raise the pay of jailers to $12 an hour, but they only received a 50 cent an hour raise instead. He said the jail is losing people to Hempstead County because of the pay, and pointed out the jailers have to earn the raise as it’s not given across the board.

Nevada County Judge Mark Glass said at the time the $12 an hour exceeded the budget, but with the new per diem charge of $32 per day per inmate, this will affect the budget and the budget committee will have to run the numbers and see if the raise is now possible.