Coroner’s office funding gets Quorum Court approval

With no dissent, the Jefferson County Quorum Court on Monday approved a $46,000 appropriation that will be used to repair the County Coroner’s Office.

The money came from a grant from the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District and will pay for, among other things, a new roof on the building that is located in the 100 block of Main Street.

Other improvements will include work inside the bay where the coroner’s vehicles are parked, as well as the addition of a viewing room for the families of victims who have to come to the office to identify their loved ones after a homicide or other violent death.

No timetable has been set on when the work will be completed.

Also Monday night, the county’s legislative body approved a resolution allowing County Judge Dutch King to apply for a $5,000 grant from the Arkansas Agricultural Department for the Sweet Potato Festival at Saracen Landing.

The item was not on the agenda last week when committees of the court met and Justice of the Peace Ted Harden, chairman of the Community Development/Grants Committee, who introduced the resolution, said it was added on an emergency basis.

Trudy Redus, the manager of Saracen Landing who also manages the Farmers Market, said the deadline for applying for the grant was Jan. 24.

She said the Sweet Potato Festival is in its third year and is a part of the closing of the Farmers Market on the first Saturday in October.

According to the resolution, a health fair is planned in association with the festival.

Also Monday night, resolutions allowing King to apply for two additional grants were approved without dissent.

One of those grants, for $150,000 would provide money for the Jefferson County Humane Society to build an animal shelter and the other grant, for $5,000, would pay for improvements to Hestand Stadium to host events for the Future Farmers and Master Gardener’s Association.

An appropriation ordinance setting an $82,567.50 budget for the new E-waste recycling center was also approved, with the money coming form the Southeast Arkansas Solid Waste District.

The recycling center, to be located in a county owned building behind Pope Furniture off East Harding Avenue, will handle E-waste for the northern half of the district consisting of Jefferson, Arkansas, Cleveland, Grant and Lincoln Counties.

Funding for the recycling center will come from E-waste recycling grants from the state.