Quorum committees to discuss 2014 budget


Committees of the Jefferson County Quorum Court will discuss the 2014 budgets for County General and the county Road Department when they meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Quorum Courtroom.

Because of last-minute changes and the Thanksgiving holiday schedule, the ordinances setting out the budget amounts were still being worked on Monday, but the numbers will be identical to the 2013 budgets with adjustments that were made during a meeting in November.

The 2013 County General budget was $9.323 million while the county Road Department budget was $3.761 million.

Also on the agenda is an appropriation ordinance for $140,000 that the county Road Department has received in highway tax money which was more than what was projected. The ordinance provides that $75,000 of that money will be spent for asphalt, $30,000 for fuel and lubricants, $19,800 for general supplies, and $15,000 for gravel. The remaining $180 will go toward uniforms and clothing.

The county’s legislative body will also discuss a vacancy on the Watson Chapel School District Board and consider three applicants for the position. The current board was unable to fill the vacancy within 30 days so it will be up to the Quorum Court to fill it.

Those who have applied for the position are former teacher and state Rep. Toni Bradford; Shade Culclager Jr., who is retired from the Department of Defense and the Army; and Ron Womack, who works for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

Jefferson County is projected to receive $2,015,333 from the one-cent Public Safety Sales Tax next year and an appropriation ordinance to be considered allocates those funds as follows:

• Rural Fire Protection $200,000

• Sheriff’s’ Department $985,333

• Juvenile Justice Center $830,000

In addition to discussing the 2014 County General and county Road Department budgets, the Quorum Court also will consider budgets for a number of departments and agencies whose funding is separate. Those include:

• A $486,668 budget for Jefferson County District Court

• A $600,000 budget for the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System.

• A $47,600 budget for the Public Defender’s Office.

• A $60,000 budget for jury fees for 2014.

• A $294.356 budget for recycling operations.

• S $4,500 budget for adult drug court operations.

• A $26,933 budget for the Environmental Enforcement Officer.

• A $44,576 budget for the Tri-County Drug Task Force.

• A $1.43 million budget for the Juvenile Justice Center.

• A $566,635 budget for education programs at the juvenile center.

• A $3,818,966 budget for the Adult Jail.