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Friday, Apr. 24, 2015

Fulton County Quorum Court decides to cut one deputy

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fulton County will lose one full-time deputy next year if the preliminary 2006 budget is approved by the Fulton County Quorum Court.

Fulton County Judge Charles Willett said when Fulton County chief deputy Paul Martin retires at the end of the year another officer will not be hired.

"We hired an extra officer to train and get certified this year to take Paul's spot," Willett said. "So this year we ended up with an additional deputy while Paul was still working."

Currently there are seven fulltime deputies on Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger's staff.

Dillinger said he would like to hire an officer when Martin leaves, but he thinks the county budget will be tight next year.

"We'll just have to make do with the deputies we got," Dillinger said. "We've got a good group of guys who are more than capable of doing the job."

The complete 2006 budget will be approved at next month's quorum court meeting.

The Fulton County Quorum Court approved an ordinance to reimburse Fulton County Natural Resources Planning Committee member Mary Rivera $191.72 for postage fees.

Rivera said she paid to send copies of the Fulton County land plan to Gov. Mike Huckabee's office, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Game and Fish Commission, the Highway Department and others.

"In order for our land plan to be legal a copy must be sent to each of these organizations," Rivera said.

The land plan was approved by the quorum court earlier this year.

Rivera said communication between her committee, which oversees property rights and environmental issues in Fulton County, and the quorum court is going to improve.

"We've been doing a lot of work over the last couple of years and we have been basically keeping it to ourselves," Rivera said. "In the future we are going to try and let the court know more about what we are doing."

Fulton County Coroner Steve Barker asked the quorum court to include $4,910 in next year's budget to cover extra costs at the coroner's office.

Barker said he has been supplying the county with body bags, phone service for the coroner's office, and mileage on his vehicles without being reimbursed. He said he can't afford to do this next year.

Court members agreed to include Barker's request in the budget.

Sheriff Dillinger said the quorum court should consider cutting the Drug Task Force from its budget.

"They're real good when you can get ahold of them, but that's the problem. We can't ever get ahold of them," Dillinger said.

Financial cutbacks at the state level have reduced the Drug Task Force to four investigators to cover Independence, Izard, Stone, Cleburne and Fulton counties.

Fulton County currently gives $8,300 to the Drug Task Force to help pay for the unit, Dillinger said.

He said he contacted Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence and the two discussed the possibility of hiring a drug task force officer to work in both counties.

Last month, Lawrence asked the Izard County Quorum Court to stop sending money to the Drug Task Force.

The Fulton County Quorum Court did not act on Dillinger's request.



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