Court approves camera purchase to assist divers
The Fulton County Quorum Court passed an ordinance May 13 to appropriate $463.42 to search and rescue from the county general fund so the sheriff's office can purchase a camera that can be used underwater to help locate drowning victims.Judge Curren Everett said the camera would help rescue workers during emergency situations on the Spring River. Sheriff Lloyd Martz said the camera would be a useful tool because it can locate bodies in dark, murky or clear water.In other action, Betty Dickey of the Public Service Commission presented updated information on the electric, natural gas and telecommunications industries in Arkansas.The PSC is a state agency that regulates the rates and services of investor-owned utilities.Dickey said part of the agency's community outreach effort is to inform customers what the current utility issues and proceedings are, as well as hear from customers about their concerns.In December of 2001 the commission presented a report to a legislative committee on the prospects for electric restructuring in Arkansas. She said based on the latest cost benefit analysis and market, the current statutory timeframe of implementing competition for electric companies between 2003 and 2005 is not in the best interest of the state.She concluded that doing so would result in price increases to every class of ratepayers. The commission's recommendation is for the general assembly to do one of two things during the 2003 sessions: suspend indefinitely the current electric restructuring laws on the books until 2010 or 2012, or repeal the statues in their entirety.The Fulton County Land Use Committee met for the first time after the quorum court meeting since appointing new committee members.Committee member Mary Rivera said the committee will be requesting that quorum court members pass certain ordinances for the land use plan to help protect the history, culture and heritage of the community.Rivera recently attended a conference in Idaho regarding land use plans. She said she received valuable information that will be useful for implementing a permanent land use plan for the county.Newly appointed committee member Margarette Jarrell said it is important to have local control over issues concerning the environment and for the public to realize how much authority the federal government has over landowners.