Funds for coroner’s office renovations, park equipment on committees’ agenda

Additional grant funding to pay for renovations to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office and a grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to add recreational items at the Sulphur Springs Park will be considered when committees of the Jefferson County Quorum Court meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

According to a memorandum from County Judge Dutch King, the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District has awarded the county an $8,900 grant for the coroner’s office, which has been undergoing renovations including a new roof and expanded morgue area.

The $45,000 grant from Parks and Tourism is through the Fun Park Grant program, King said in the memorandum. According to a letter from the state, the money must be used to construct playground equipment, a pavilion with picnic tables, a half-court basketball court and ADA-compliant walkways and parking.

Also on Tuesday, an ordinance transferring $71,800 from the county’s general fund to the Sheriff’s Office Jail Construction Fund will be considered. The money was collected when the sheriff’s department held an auction of seized weapons. According to the proposed appropriation ordinance, the money would be applied only to expenses incurred to date on the new building, to include architectural fees for drawings of Phase II only.

An additional $400 that was collected during that same auction will be returned to a person who bought a gun, then returned it because the serial number was missing.

The same ordinance was tabled last month when it was discovered that the county’s legislative body had not approved any funding for Phase II of the new building, which is adjacent to the adult jail and currently houses the Criminal Investigation Division. Phase II will move the sheriff’s office’s patrol division to the new building. That division currently is housed in a building in the 100 block of Main Street.