Quorum Court Approve Budget Amendment
Members of the Clay County Quorum Court approved an ordinance to amend the 2015 budget at Monday's regular meeting at the courthouse in Piggott. The measure transfers funds to the budget of the county task force for purchase of a needed piece of rescue equipment, with the monies to be reimbursed. The JPs also entertained a proposal to rent a building for storage purposes on the Piggott square, and heard updates from Judge Gary Howell and Sheriff Terry Miller.
With Justice Dennis Haines absent, the meeting was called to order by Howell. After dispensing with the usual agenda items, the court members turned their attention to Ordinance 2015-12. The ordinance authorizes the treasurer to transfer $5,000 to the budget of the Clay County Task Force, with the funds earmarked for purchase of a grain bin rescue tube.
The tube, which is used in extracting individuals from grain bins, is being purchased with grant monies but had to be paid for in advance of receiving the funding. The cost of the equipment will then be reimbursed to the county from the boat safety fund of the task force budget.
All three readings of the ordinance were heard, and the measure was approved on a vote of 8-0 along with the accompanying emergency clause.
The court also heard a presentation from Bradley Rouse, as he spoke to the JPs concerning the county possibly purchasing or renting a building he owns on the west side of the square. Rouse noted he had heard the county was in need of additional storage, and/or office space, and indicated he was currently looking for occupants for the former Greene's Market building.
The two-story building has 1,950 square feet of floor space on the first floor, and an additional 1,250 square feet on the second floor. Rouse noted he is currently seeking to sell the building for $43,500, or would lease either the first floor, or both. He added the downstairs rents for $475 a month, while the upstairs rents for $100, but noted he would try to make the county a good deal on a combination.
Rouse further noted he had invested about $10,000 in the property in recent months, which included new carpet, paint and other upgrades. Howell, and the justices, thanked him for his time and noted they would take the opportunity under advisement.
The county has been considering additional storage space in light of their current and future needs, which according to Howell will include finding somewhere to put the new voting machines when they are acquired.
During his update to the court Sheriff Terry Miller reported the new 911 computer system is now up and running, and staff members are becoming accustomed to the new processes. Miller also informed the JPs of the recent passing of the county's drug dog, Moonshine, and indicated the new dog, Marko, has already been involved in several drug busts. "He's doing a good job for us already," the sheriff surmised.
But, Miller also told the court members his department is currently dealing with both air conditioning and electrical problems at the Clay County Detention Center and would be offering a more detailed update in the near future.
Judge Howell reported during his update on county activities problems with the Volvo grader, which has been parked with transmission issues. "We just spent about $25,000 on a motor and now they want around $40,000 to fix the transmission," he explained. "We're not short, so I had them park it and we're waiting for them to bring in a replacement on lease."
He indicated the cost of upkeep and maintenance on the county's equipment has become a huge part of the road budget. "Through June we'd already spent $1,224,680 and haven't bought any new equipment--that's just fuel, tires, repairs and general maintenance," he added.
Howell also indicated the state was set to pave four miles of the "Big T" road west of Corning, and informed the justices county workers are currently in the process of replacing a total of nine pipes on CR 450, or the Crockett Road, in advance of its paving.