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Possible new fire district for Fulton County

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hardy Fire Department may wind up providing fire coverage for parts of Fulton County.

Hardy Fire Chief Lonnie Phelps spoke to the Fulton County Quorum Court at its Feb. 13 meeting about creating a new fire district which would cover the stretch of Highway 63 from Hardy to Many Islands.

"We have covered a lot of it for them anyhow," Phelps said.

Fulton County Emergency Coordinator Al Roork said there are 286 structures in the area that Hardy would cover. He said Mammoth Spring already has 1,600 structures to cover.

"They (Hardy) should be paid," Roork said, adding that Hardy Fire Department should be paid for its services in the county just like Fulton County fire departments. He added that Highway 63 is a dangerous stretch of road.

A 1/2-cent sales tax is divided up between the fire departments in Fulton County. Hardy Fire Department would be added to this.

Phelps said a portion of Hardy is in Fulton County.

County Attorney Dwayne Plumlee said he would look into how the ordinance is read and whether a district can be added without voter consent since it names specific fire departments.

Scott Holloway, president of the Fulton County Firemen's Association, said he would bring the issue before the board at their next meeting. He said they could either accept or decline. "I don't think there would be a problem," he said in regards to Hardy being paid for its services.

The quorum court approved making James Cantrell a full-time deputy in Fulton County. Cantrell would see a pay increase of $18,000 for the year, which would be added to the $4,290 he is already being paid for his part-time services.

County Judge Charles Willett said the county is owed over $1 million in fines and Cantrell would help in collecting some of the outstanding fines.

Onaga and Woodhollow Roads into Cherokee village were added to a state aid program.

Willett said the county wants to pave part of Woodhollow Road, which leads into Onaga, and Onaga all the way to the South Golf Course in Cherokee Village.

A resolution to support a feasibility study for a regional airport in northeast Arkansas was approved.

The study would cost the county nothing and is being made to see if a regional airport would be an economic boon to the the area, Willett said.

In other business:

* The quorum court appropriated $65,000 to the county general.

* The court voted to take bids on the old shop located on Highway 62 B. Willet said that the county will be accepting sealed bids from those interested in purchasing it.

* The court appropriated money from the Department of Emergency Management. A $62,594.49 grant from state Homeland Security program was appropriated for equipment. The county appropriated $34,049 to enforce a terrorism prevention program.

* Approved a merit system for inmates in Fulton County Jail was approved. Inmates with good behavior could see their time in jail reduced, Willet said.

* Rescinded Resolution 2005-15, the Wyoming Watershed Plan. Willet said the county's soil and conservation district was already doing what the Wyoming Watershed Plan did.



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