JPs to consider funding 2nd phase of sheriff’s building

Initial funding for phase two of the construction of the new Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office building is expected to be approved by the quorum court when they meet Monday at 5:30 p.m.

During committee meetings last week, the county’s legislative body recommended that $71,810 that was raised from the sale of approximately 700 weapons go into the construction fund. According to a memorandum attached to the proposed ordinance, however, the quorum court has never approved spending for the second phase of the building so the initial proposed ordinance was amended to add that approval.

Currently, the new building located adjacent to the adult detention center houses the criminal investigation division, which relocated from its former offices on Main Street at the end of last year. The second phase will eventually move the department’s patrol division, which is currently also located on Main Street.

With the additional $71,810, the construction budget will be $2.129 million.

An additional $400 that was generated from those gun sales will also be added to the appropriation, but that money will be used to repay an individual who bought a firearm but returned it because the serial number was worn off.

Also Monday, the Justices of the Peace are expected to approve an appropriation ordinance that will allow the county to pay employees who work part time at the new E-Waste Recycling Center on East Harding Avenue that will be open soon.

In March, the county’s legislative body tabled that ordinance after Justice of the Peace Lloyd Franklin II contended that employees would have to be paid overtime if they worked more than 40 hours per week, but County Attorney Jackie Harris said in a letter to County Judge Dutch King that his research indicated that would not be the case.

Last week, Franklin countered with a new proposal that would take the $60,000 that the county would set aside from a state grant to pay for the overtime work and instead put it in the sheriff’s department maintenance and operation budget, allowing the county to decrease the sheriff’s budget by that amount and use the money to pay Christmas bonuses to all employees.

Franklin based his idea on the fact that the sheriff’s department is currently paid $24,000 annually for members of the Clean Team to work at the recycling center. He said he believed the Clean Team should handle the additional work at the center, rather than using some county employees and not all of them.

Currently, 50 of the county’s 400 employees have signed up to work at the center.

Also Monday, a $1,500 donation to the Single Parent Scholarship Fund is expected to be approved, with the funds coming from the County Judge’s Miscellaneous Fund.

Michael Eggleton, treasurer of the group, asked for the donation last week, saying that the requested funds will allow the local group to obtain matching funds from their parent organization in Springdale.