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Court approves budget, premium pay

By Staff, 12/16/21 11:15 AM

PRESCOTT – It should come as a surprise to no one the Nevada County Quorum Court, at its December meeting Wednesday, approved premium pay for county employees and elected officials, excluding the justices of the peace.

The court approved two ordinances, one for employees, the other for elected officials, totaling $389,957.87 in premium pay. These funds will be transferred from American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) money to county general and distributed as paychecks, separate from the normal pay.

The meeting began with Nevada County Judge Mark Glass informing the panel the county has done its part on the Nubbin Hill Bridge project and bids will be led in January by the Arkansas Highway Department.

The court also approved a budget, with some changes. The jail’s commissary fund was given its own category to separate it from the county general fund. This is a fund allowing the family and friends of inmates of the Nevada County Jail to put money in accounts for them for the purchase of items like candy and soft drinks.

Nevada County Clerk Julie Oliver said to help the jail budget the phone and postage budgets were transferred to county general.

JP Bob Cummings told the panel Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin had asked for one salary to be raised by $2 an hour, but dropped it to 80 cents an hour, which would make it $14.05 an hour. He said Martin agreed to provide the court with a monthly printout of the jail’s expenses so it could keep better track of the jail’s budget, along with having quarterly meetings with the budget committee, so there would be no surprises.

JP Pat Grimes said the committee should meet with Martin monthly as a budget can be shot in three months.

A change was also made for Christmas bonuses next year with all full-time employees to get $600 unless the budget is in good shape in which case this would increase to $650.

The budget was approved.

The panel approved an ordinance creating a federal grant award administration policy to deal with federal funding. It also passed two ordinances for premium pay.

There was roundabout discussion concerning premium pay, but in the end, the court approved spending $356,239.44 to pay county employees and $33,718.87 for elected officials, not including the JPs.