Star City to fund half of OEM coordinator’ s salary

Lincoln County Judge Sam Stephens, at Monday’s meeting of the Quorum Court, announced that the city of Star City has agreed to fund half of Lincoln County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Sheila Magness’ salary.

Magness’ hours were cut last year from 40 to 20 after county revenues fell dramatically. (Five Lincoln County employees were also laid off.) Stephens explained that Magness has been helping the city with their wastewater treatment plant.

Stephens requested a rare executive session Monday with the court to discuss the proposed arrangement with the city.

“[The City] offered to pay the other half of her salary to make her full-time,” said Stephens. “We’ll try to put together an ordinance for the next meeting to reflect everything we said in the [executive session.]”

Stephens said he did not know how long Star city will be willing to pay half of the OEM salary, but he expected it would be at least until the end of the year.

Contacted on Tuesday, Star City Mayor Gene Yarbrough confirmed the the city will pay half of Magness’ salary on a contractual basis for her work on the wastewater treatment plant. Yarbrough said the city would pay their half of her salary for at least six months, possibly for a year.

County records indicate the OEM coordinator’s salary was $26,000 a year before the hours were cut in half.

The agreement between the city and county, however, won’t go into effect until the court passes the ordinance officially authorizing the arrangement at next month’s meeting.

In another issue, passed two ordinances appropriating funds for grants the county has already received.

The first ordinance allocates $10,732 to fund the purchase of five new lvotronic voting machines and one “communication box” for the Lincoln County Election System.

The other measure approved $70,386 for an Arkansas Historic Preservation Program grant to improve drainage on the south side of the courthouse, which leaks into basement offices, including the Sheriff’s Department.