Quorum Court Gathers to Begin New Year

Thursday, January 8, 2015
Following their first meeting of the new year, members of the Clay County Quorum Court and Judge Gary Howell gathered for a group photo. Pictured are, from left: Front-Dennis Haines, Jodie Henderson, Ryan Rogers and Jeff Douglas. Back-John Mansker, Greg Ahrent, Jim Clifton, Judge Howell, David Cagle and Richie Culver.

Members of the Clay County Quorum Court gathered for their organizational meeting Monday, Jan. 5, at the courthouse in Piggott. During the gathering the JP's approved two ordinances, including the required legislation to outline their meeting locations, dates and times. The other ordinance amended the current budget, adding $5,000 to be utilized by the sheriff's department.

The meeting was the first for two new county officials, as JP Richie Culver was attending his first gathering along with Sheriff Terry Miller.

Clay County Judge Gary Howell called the meeting to order, and after dispensing with the usual agenda items the justices considered Ordinance 2015-01. The ordinance adjusts the annual budget, adding $2,500 to the sheriff's department and another $2,500 to the detention center, with the funds to be used for contract labor.

The ordinance, and the accompanying emergency clause, passed on a vote of 9-0.

The justices also approved Ordinance 2015-02, which is required by state law. The ordinance sets the time and place of the quorum court meetings for both 2015 and 2016. The legislation stipulates the court members will continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. It further outlines the gatherings will alternate between the Piggott and Corning courthouses, with meetings held in the Eastern District on odd months and in the Western District on even months.

The ordinance also made provision for holidays, noting that meetings scheduled on established county holidays be held the following Tuesday. It also addressed the process for calling special meetings.

The ordinance, and the emergency clause, passed without dissent.

The JP's also chose a delegate to represent Clay County at the annual Quorum Court Association meeting, with Justice Ryan Rogers selected by a unanimous vote.

Assignments were also approved for both the finance committee and the road committee. Chosen to serve on the finance committee were David Cagle, Greg Ahrent and Rogers. Meanwhile, members of the road committee include the remaining JP's, Dennis Haines, Jodie Henderson, Jeff Douglas, John Mansker, Jim Clifton and Richie Culver.

Late in the meeting Howell also updated several projects, including the effort to secure right-of-ways for the new Peco Foods facility north of Corning. He indicated the company's lawyers were currently addressing the matter, and noted appraisals had been done on the affected properties along CR 142.

Following an inquiry by Justice Rogers, the judge also addressed the matter of the condition of county roads, telling the JP's the road department was doing the best job possible with the funds and manpower currently available.

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