Grant money for recycling operations on quorum court agenda

A proposed appropriation ordinance that calls for spending $199,000 for recycling activities will be considered during a special meeting of the Jefferson County Quorum Court’s Solid Waste/Recycling and Finance committees before the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

The committee meetings will start at 5:20 p.m.

Daniel Marks, the legislative assistant to Jefferson County Judge Dutch King, said in a letter to Justice of the Peace Edward Spears, who is chairman of the solid waste/recycling committee, that the county has received $199,000 in grants from the Southeast Arkansas Solid Waste District for recycling programs at the facility on Gravel Pit Road.

According to the proposed ordinance:

— $78,000 of that will be spent for machinery and equipment, including $71,283.56 for a mini-excavator and an additional $5,957.65 for a 14-foot tilt bed trailer;

— another $6,500 for small tools and equipment;

— $90,000 for parts and repairs, which will include regrinding and sharpening cutter/spacer blades at the tire recycling center, an additional;

— $20,000 for a new fence and repairs to the existing fence;

— And the remaining $4,500 for general supplies.

Marks said the expenditures are needed “to continue, improve and expand our operations.”

If the committees approve the proposed appropriation ordinance, it will be added to the regular monthly agenda.

On that agenda is an appropriation ordinance that calls for spending $34,000 from the County General Fund to help pay for election costs. That figure is less than the $45,000 that Election Coordinator Will Fox asked for in a letter to King, but reflects all the money that is currently available.

Fox said the funds were greatly needed because of the countywide runoffs for both the Republican and Democratic parties.

“We have cut staffing to the bare minimum in an effort to contain expenses,” Fox said. “However, there is a base cost to carry out a full-scale election.”

Also to be considered will be an $11,600 proposed appropriation ordinance to improve security at the county courthouse, using a grant from the Administrative Office of the Courts for the Arkansas Supreme Court.

According to a letter from Pete Hollingsworth, director of security and emergency preparedness for the office, the money will be spent to upgrade the closed-circuit television system in the courthouse and to buy a new walk-through metal detector. All the funds must be spent and the projects completed by the end of the year.

The county’s legislative body will also consider two appointments to the board of the Economic Development Corp. of Jefferson County. That board administers the three-eights cent sales tax that was approved by Jefferson County voters in 2011 for economic development.

Current board member and former White Hall Mayor James” Jitters” Morgan is being reappointed for a five-year term and current White Hall Mayor Noel Foster is being named to the board for the first time and will also serve a five-year term. Foster is replacing former state legislator Jimmy Don McKissack.

After the meeting, a reception honoring high school senior valedictorians and salutatorians will be held at the courthouse. That event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.