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Court appropriates funds, hears updates

By John Miller, 10/12/22 9:29 AM

PRESCOTT – Most of the October meeting of the Nevada County Quorum Court dealt with updates.

The only business items involved appropriating funds for the deputy’s position in the collector’s office. The deputy was hired full-time previously, but the court didn’t appropriate funds for salary and taxes at the time. This was corrected Tuesday evening as the panel approved transferring $14,000 to cover the salary. The position will revert to part-time after the first of the year.

The other item dealt with changing the meeting date for November. The court meets the second Tuesday in each month, but November’s meeting would have been on the same day as the general election. The court decided to move the meeting to Nov. 7.

Otherwise, the bulk of the meeting dealt with reports. Jamie Hillery, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, told the justices the Fall Festival was one of the biggest ever with around 50 vendors. She said most people showed up and stayed.

She also presented the panel with a calendar of upcoming events the chamber has planned, including Trick or Treat on Elm Street. The court was informed there will be a Civil War reenactment on Nov. 5-6.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, said she couldn’t provide the sales tax report because of computer and internet issues at her office.

Stacy Stone, county agent, updated the court, saying 42 children showed animals at the Nevada County Fair, and 20 showed at the district fair with another 25-30 showing at the state fair. “It’s been busy,” he said, adding a child who showed lambs won at the district fair.

There will be a field day on Oct. 28 at the Experiment Station and the Extension Service is still looking for a 4-H agent.

Justice of the Peace Bob Cummings acted as interim judge as Nevada County Judge Mark Glass had a family emergency and couldn’t be at the meeting. Cummings said he and Glass had met with representatives from Caterpillar and the county’s insurance on the grader and bushhog that were totaled. Both pieces of equipment need to be replaced as neither can be repaired. Cummings said the county needs to get another tractor as soon as possible but it will cost more than $160,000 and could be delivered quickly. The county could use Covid money to pay for it and reimburse the account when the insurance money comes in. Cummings said Glass plans on using sourcewell for funding.

Godwin pointed out if Covid money is used, the project has to be bid out.

Brenda Stockton chimed in saying there’s only $43,000 left in the Covid account and the county needs $160,000 for the tractor.

JP Ken Bailey suggested tabling the issue, getting bids and addressing it at the November meeting. The rest of the court agreed.

Cummings said the grader was leased from Caterpillar and the county will deal with the company on it.

He continued, saying  he’d been invited to go to Arkadelphia with Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin and was surprised to learn Arkansas ranks fourth per capita nationally in violent crimes. He said a lot of non-violent offenders aren’t being arrested by several counties and the idea is to get a 3,500 bed maximum security prison  built. The sheriff’s association is lobbying for a new prison.

As the meeting drew to a close, JP Pat Grimes asked about the Potlatch situation as she’s been getting a lot of calls about it.

Godwin agreed to speak with Grimes in private, saying she couldn’t talk in an open meeting with the press present due to confidentiality issues. Godwin added if anyone has any questions, they should call her office and asked the JPs to give out her number.