Sharp County may own the property the Sharp Nursing Home has operated in since 1962. The facility will close by March 3.
County Judge Joe Stidman and other county officials located a lease agreement that allowed the Sharp Nursing Home to lease the facility from the county until 2061. Once the facility closes, the lease will be relinquished back to the county, Stidman said.
While owning the property is good news -- another facility could set up shop in the building -- there are still more questions that have to be answered first, he said.
County Attorney Larry Kissee said a school district gave the county the property years ago. There could be stipulations on what can operate in the building once the nursing home closes for good.
Stidman appointed JPs Bartus Allen, Arnold Kunkel, Jeral Hastings and Buell Wilkes to a committee to help Kissee and Stidman look into the matter. Kissee will report back to the committee.
In other business, the county has been approved for a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Delta Regional Authority to fund a feasibility study to extend a natural gas pipeline from Cave City to Hardy.
Assessor Kathy Nix reported that the county has been approved for a Centerline GPS (Global Positioning System) grant; however, the amount of the grant remains unknown at this time. The GPS system will help trace roadways and outline properties, along with other uses. Nix will administer the grant. Only five counties in the state were eligible for the grant, she said.
The county received a $25,000 grant from White River Regional Management District for the Tri-County Recycling Program. Grants for the recycling program are awarded to the county, which redistributes them to the recycling program.
The JPs also voted to allow part-time employees to vote on whether they want to participate in Social Security withholding.
The court unanimously agreed to adopt an ordinance prohibiting racial profiling by the Sharp County Sheriff's Office officers. Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation are adopting such policies.