Fulton County Quorum Court members approved Aug. 11 the hiring of one full-time and one part-time dispatcher for the sheriff's office because the jail is not in compliance with jail standards. Both dispatchers are to be male.
During an inspection of the jail Dec. 3, 2002, David Underwood, coordinator of Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, determined the jail does not have sufficient personnel.
The jail was built in 1977 to hold a maximum of seven inmates, the report said.
The report also said the facility needs a male jailer on duty during each shift when male inmates are incarcerated.
But even with hiring the extra personnel the jail will still not be in compliance with jail standards because of the lack of male jailers.
Presently the sheriff's office is staffed with one part-time male jailer, one part-time female jailer and five full-time female jailers.
Everett said the hiring of the extra personnel is the first step toward bringing the jail into compliance. "It's something we have to work on," he added.
The report noted inmates were not being separated by class (felony or misdemeanor). The jail also lacks sufficient space for a secure visitation area. An exercise area is not available for prisoners, the report continued.
The court appropriated $10,000 to the sheriff's office to hire the extra personnel for the remainder of the year.
Judge Curren Everett said he needed to speak to state auditors regarding procedures but hoped the extra personnel could be hired by next week.
In other action, the court appropriated $80,000 from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for repairs on Hand Cove Woods Point Access.
The money was a request from Everett and provided by a marine fuel tax assistance.
Funds will be used to reconstruct and surface a one-mile section of the county road serving the Hand Cove and Woods Point Access point on Norfork Lake.
Everett said Fulton County will rip out the old roadbed, reconstruct a new road, then haul and place gravel.
This is the only road providing access to two popular boat ramps, as well as several smaller neighborhood ramps on a section of Norfork Lake.
Everett said the road was heavily traveled by both locals and tourists.
Commissioners of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said the improvement will benefit sportsmen of the area.
The judge said he has been working with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for at least three years to get this project started.
In other action, the court appropriated $301,110 to Salem's HazMat team from grant money through Homeland Security.