Quorum Court OKs loans for road equipment

With no dissent, the Jefferson County Quorum Court on Monday approved two ordinances that will allow the county to borrow money to pay for road equipment.

One of the loans, for $138,000, will be used to purchase a ditching machine, while the second, for $80,000, will pay for a paving machine.

Both loans will be from Simmons First National Bank for four years.

Because the ordinances carried emergency clauses so that the purchases could be made immediately, the two ordinances had to be read three times before they were approved.

Also Monday, an appropriation ordinance for $83,821.68 for rural fire protection was approved by the county’s legislative body.

That ordinance provides that tax funds that the state collects on insurance premiums be distributed to volunteer rural fire departments based on the population of the county.

The Watson Chapel Volunteer Fire Department is slated to get the largest amount, $22,308.39, while the Swan Lake and Linwood-Moscow Volunteer Fire Departments will get the smallest amounts, $3,453.33 each.

Other volunteer fire departments that will receive funds are the Hardin Volunteer Fire Department, Highway 15 South Volunteer Fire Department, Island Harbor Volunteer Fire Department, Southeast Volunteer Fire Department, Tucker Volunteer Fire Department, and Wright-Pastoria Volunteer Fire Department.

The county’s legislative body also approved an appropriation ordinance that creates a separate fund for the county’s recycling program to cover a grant that the program was awarded from the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District in March.

The ordinance will provide a better accounting and reporting system, said Daniel Marks, who works in the county judge’s office.

A special meeting of the Quorum Court will be conducted at 5 p.m. Wednesday to hear a report from a company that has been doing an energy cost assessment on county buildings.