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Hempstead Quorum Court

By Mark Keith, 01/28/22 12:46 AM

The Hempstead County Quorum Court met Thursday for their January meeting.

The JP’s heard a request from the Southwest Arkansas Water System for approximately $400,000 to fund some repairs.  System Manager Robert Chism and Engineer Glen Spears spoke to the Quorum Court and also gave details on the proposed “phase 3” which would bring water to about 160 customers in the Patmos area.   The water system has turned in a list of repairs and upgrades to the state in the amount of $4.3 million dollars.  This was submitted to the state by request as the state has received $1.5 billion dollars in federal funds for such projects ; however, the state has received requests for $5 billion dollars in such work from rural water systems across the state.  Chism detailed some of the problems the utility has had in the past couple of years with culvert washouts that have also taken their waterlines out.  The worst such problem was an 8 inch line at Yellow Creek near McNab.  Also, the first contractor for the system went bankrupt but not before burying many connection sites on the main line which later bent and have leaked.  Chism detailed problems with the leaks and also the situation when the system loses major amounts of water.  JP Ed Darling said the county committee to discuss the distribution of American Rescue Plan funds will meet in the next month and take the needs into consideration.  Chism and Spears also answered questions from the audience on the status of the Patmos/Phase 3 project.  Chism also noted the problem with delinquent water customers.  The JP’s voted to table the issue.

The JP’s passed an ordinance on the county road budget.  JP Cherry Stewart asked for and received permission to discuss a calendar project on behalf of the county with the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council.

County Clerk Karen Smith noted two vehicles have been removed from the county inventory in preparation for sale.   These are a 2011 Ford truck belonging to the Sheriff’s Department and a Chevy Tahoe used by the Office of Emergency Management.

County Agent Terrie James introduced Betty Wingfield who has been working in the Extension Office as a 4-H Program Assistant but has been hired as an Extension agent.   The meeting then adjourned.