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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Miller money train makes stop in Fulton

Thursday, October 6, 2005

dispersing funds: State Sen. Paul Miller (center) hands Fulton County Judge Charles Willett a $60,000 check Sept. 28 for capital improvements at the Fulton County Courthouse. Photo/Jared
The Fulton County Courthouse is about to become handicap accessible.

State Sen. Paul Miller gave Fulton County Judge Charles Willett a $65,000 check Sept. 28 at the Fulton County Courthouse for renovations to the courthouse.

Those renovations include the installation of a wheelchair lift to the second floor of the courthouse where the courtroom is located, said Willett.

"I'm very thankful for the money," said Willett.

Besides the wheelchair lift, which will cost approximately $30,000 to buy and install, Willett said the money will be used to replace old ceiling tiles and carpet and make other improvements.

"We might even paint the outside of the courthouse," Willett said. "Maybe we'll paint it brick red."

He said the money may also be used to buy flowers and other shrubbery that the Fulton County Master Gardeners will plant outside the courthouse.

The money came out of the state Legislature's General Improvement Fund, Miller said.

He said he was given $750,000 from the fund to disperse in his five counties.

Those counties include Fulton, Izard, Sharp, Randolph, Stone and a portion of Independence.

Miller had already dispersed General Improvement Fund money in the other counties he represents by the time he reached Fulton County.

"This is the end of the road for that stuff," Miller said.

In addition to courthouse renovations, Miller gave the Mammoth Spring Police Department a $15,000 check and the Fulton County Fair Association a $25,000 check.

Miller said the money has to be used for capital improvements.

Caroline Lewis, a member of the Fulton County Fair Association, said the General Improvement Fund money will be used to help pay off the Miller/Hickinbotham building at the Fulton County Fairgrounds and other improvements.

She said the county still owes approximately $42,000 for the Miller/Hickinbotham Building.

State Rep. Curren Everett, who accompanied Miller, doled out $4,000 checks to all the fire departments in the county. He said the money for the fire departments was allocated by the state Legislature.

Miller, who has served in the state Legislature for 5 1/2 years, said he plans to run for office again in 2006.

"If you know anybody who wants to run against me, please talk them out of it," Miller said to an uproar of laughter by the crowd at the Fulton County Courthouse.

Currently Miller is the sixth longest tenured senator in the state Legislature, he said

Miller said if he is re-elected next year and then elected to another term after that he will be the senior senator in the state Legislature.

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