Quorum committee to discuss bank loan for road equipment

A committee of the Jefferson County Quorum Court will consider an ordinance that would allow the county to obtain a loan from Simmons First National Bank to buy a piece of equipment when it meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The proposed ordinance calls for an $80,000 loan to purchase a 2001 Caterpillar paver for the county road department, and to repay the loan in four annual payments, the first three at $21,349.96 and the final payment for the outstanding principal plus all accrued interest.

According to the ordinance, the interest rate on the loan will be 2.86 percent annually.

In addition, the loan and interest will be exempt from all state, county and municipal taxes, and from federal taxes to the maximum permitted.

At a previous meeting of the county’s legislative body, Road Superintendent Jimmy O’Fallon said the paver and other equipment are necessary to meet the county’s workload, and O’Fallon was given permission to negotiate with equipment dealers to get the best deals on the equipment.

Also on the agenda is an appropriation ordinance to establish a 2013 budget for rural fire protection and allocate funds the county has received from premiums on insurance.

A 1991 legislative act provides that the state will collect the premiums, then distribute them to volunteer fire departments.

According to a memorandum from Karen Quarles, coordinator of the county Office of Emergency Management, the funds are distributed based on the county’s population.

Volunteer Fire Departments that receive funds and the amount they receive are as follows:

• Hardin Volunteer Fire Department $20,571.99

• Highway 15 South Volunteer Fire Department $11,289.82

• Island Harbor Volunteer Fire Department $4,284.48

• Linwood-Moscow Volunteer Fire Department $3,453.33

• Southeast Volunteer Fire Department $9,592.13

• Swan Lake Volunteer Fire Department $$3,453.33

• Tucker Volunteer Fire Department $5,531.38

• Watson Chapel Volunteer Fire Department $22,308.39

• Wright-Pastoria Volunteer Fire Department $5,733.15