Sharp County will clear land and be responsible for all the site work to cut down on costs for a proposed county road shop to be located on Fairgrounds Road.
At the June 14 quorum court meeting, JP Dennis Burton said he and local contractor Ron Henry had made preliminary plans for the new 7,000-square-foot building with three bays, a pit and an office for approximately $115,000.
Before the county moves forward with the building, to be placed on county property south of Ash Flat, Judge Harold Crawford and county road employees will review the plans and determine what is needed. Additional items could be added to the plans and bid separately from the new building, Burton said.
"They need to show us where they want the air run, where they want the water run," Burton said.
He suggested the county look into obtaining an outdoor wood furnace for the shop to save the county money on utilities. He said a furnace is expected to burn approximately 30 ricks of wood a year. Trees and limbs cut by the department could be used to heat the furnace as well, he said.
The new shop, as planned, will be 1,000 square feet smaller than the building the county currently leases in Cherokee Village. The county has the Cherokee Village shop leased through 2004.
The county has been renting the 8,000-square-foot Cherokee Village road shop for five years at a cost of $800 a month. The shop serves as the headquarters for the 23 county road employees, said Dan Melbourne, county road superintendent.
The property owner, Marvin Gibbons, placed the property up for sale and gave the county the first option to purchase the property, estimated to be just more than an acre, JP Greg Prenger said. The asking price was $85,000. The property assesses at $78,600, Sharp County Assessor Kathy Nix said.
JPs voted not to purchase the property and instead construct a new shop on county property on Fairgrounds Road.
Before the county moved to the Cherokee Village shop, staff operated out of an old Quonset hut in Evening Shade. That property assesses for $2,000, Nix said. The county received one bid for the property. JPs accepted the $2,026 bid from Ronnie Qualls.
Bill Nossett, representative of Ozark Acres Suburban Improvement District, spoke to the court regarding three proposed ordinances, but the court tabled the proposals until further information could be obtained.
One ordinance pertains to traffic safety and regulations in the improved and unimproved areas of Ozark Acres. The ordinance sets speed limits and restricts specific types of vehicles including ATVs. Another ordinance regulates boat traffic and sets safety regulations for Lake Vagabond and Spring Lake. The last ordinance prohibits the discharge of firearms and hunting within Ozark Acres boundaries.
County attorney Larry Kissee said he was unsure of the court's authority regarding suburban improvement districts, although he did speak with a representative from the Arkansas Association of Counties before the meeting. Kissee was told that the county could need to ask for an attorney general's opinion to determine the authority of the SID and the court regarding the ordinances. He is to report back to the court at the July meeting.
"We're working in the dark right now," Crawford said. "Let's find out where we're at. It's better safe than sorry on both sides."
The court unanimously agreed to increase the budgets for the county recorder's fund by $20,000, the juvenile office by $6,000, the child support cost fund by $1,867.03 and boating and safety by $2,360.70.
The additional money for the recorder's fund and the child support cost fund will be used for machinery and equipment.
The juvenile office's budget was increased to provide lodging and meals for juveniles who are sent to Batesville at a cost of $85 a day if they are found to have committed a criminal act. The increase is expected to provide for juvenile housing for the remainder of the year.
"It should be real close," said Kevin Burton, county juvenile officer.
The boating and safety budget was increased to provide for labor and repair.
JP Darrell Kehrli and Amanda Brewer, small and civil claims court clerk for the district court, were appointed to the Grievance Committee. Kehrli replaces Bob Evins and Brewer replaces Bob Gotte.