Quorum court asked to waive competitive bidding for hazard mitigation plan


The Jefferson County Quorum Court is being asked to waive competitive bidding and and allow the Office of Emergency Management to contract with a company to update the county’s Hazard Mitigation Plan when the court meets Monday at 5:30 p.m.

According to the proposed ordinance, the county office has received a grant from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management to update the hazard mitigation plan and has determined that Witt O’Brien’s, a risk management consulting firm, “is highly qualified and best fits the needs of the county.”

The proposed ordinance also states that successful completion of the plan will make the county eligible for additional hazard mitigation funding, including community safe rooms and flood control.

A letter from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said that the county will receive $41,808 and will be required to put up an additional $13,936 to totally fund the project.

Former Federal Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Democratic Party 4th District Congressional candidate James Lee Witt is chairman of the board of Witt O’Brien.

The proposed ordinance will be considered for the first time Monday.

Also on the agenda Monday is an appropriation ordinance that will add more than $593,000 to the 2014 budget of the Jefferson County Road Department using funds received from the Arkansas Highway Tax and Natural Gas Distribution Tax.

According to the proposed ordinance, more than half of the money — $300,000 — will be spent on fuel and lubricants.

A resolution reappointing B. K. Bethge to a three-year term on the Jefferson County Equalization Board is also to be considered.

Both those items were recommended for approval during committee meetings last week.