New jobs for the Salem area is one step closer to reality after the Fulton County Quorum Court approved a resolution for Arkansas Community and Economic funding for Superior Sewing of Salem during its regular meeting Jan. 14.
"The resolution authorizes the Fulton County Judge to submit an application to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission for an economic development project," Fulton County Judge Willett said.
"What the project is, they are offering to help finance his equipment. He (Superior Sewing) is in the process of obtaining the Salem Plastics building. This obligates the county in no way, but the money comes to our county and we pass it on to him," Willett said.
Superior Sewing makes cheerleader uniforms, letterman jackets and swimwear.
"With the acquisition of this building we will have some additional jobs starting in February," he said.
In other business, Mary Rivera addressed the Fulton County Quorum Court with updates about the National Animal Identification System.
According to the USDA's Draft Program Standards and Draft Strategic Plan concerning the NAIS, released April 25, 2005, every person who owns even a single horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, pigeon or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including owner's name, address, and telephone number, and be keyed into Global Positioning System coordinates for satellite monitoring, under a 7-digit premises ID number, Mary Zanoni executive director of Farm for Life said.
"You have to pay to report the movement of an animal, the birth and death of an animal. So, none of this is for free, and the farmers are going to have to pay for this," Rivera told the court.
"The USDA has come up with a biosecurity crusade. A report from officials at the Department of Agriculture in Washington reads, 'The USDA wants all small chicken growing operations to get serious about biosecurity. We are reaching out to them because we want them to come to us to report the birth.' I don't have a problem with that," Rivera said.
She went on to talk about other mandates in the NAIS program. "They want to ensure that farmers disinfect tires when driving on and off the farm and visitors must wear coveralls. This is for people who just have a few chickens in their backyard. These are the things that are coming to us through the Animal Identification System," she said.
According to Rivera she has traveled the state in hopes of generating opposition to the program.
The NAIS program is completely voluntary and was created in order to prevent the outbreak of foreign animal diseases on U.S. soil, according to the NAIS official Web site.
Rivera said this is not completely true; if enough people volunteer to participate with the NAIS, it will evolve into a federal regulation, she said.
In other business the roof of the Federal Building on the square in Salem was discussed.
"We have had two different contractors look at it. We do have a problem with it. Both contractors state that we are going to have to have a new roof. It is leaking and the roof is falling in upstairs," Willett said.
The county has received two bids on the job for around $3,800 for a shingle roof. The court agreed to get bids on both a shingle and metal roof.
The court voted unanimously to elect Marjorie Rodgers to be the Fulton County Quorum Court's delegate for the Association of Arkansas Quorum Courts.