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Friday, May 6, 2016

Loan may be needed in SC

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sharp County has some additional money if its financial status takes a turn for the worse.

Because of the damage to the county road system from flooding in March and April, the Sharp County Quorum Court unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Sharp County Judge Larry Brown to obtain a loan up to $350,000 from White River Planning and Development District for reconstruction and repairs to the road system.

The interest, if the county must obtain the loan, will be 5.5 percent.

Brown said during March and April Evening Shade saw more than 28 inches of rain. Hardy had more than 19 inches, he said.

The intense flooding wreaked havoc on the county roads and bridges.

"It seems every time we fix something we have to go back and fix it again," he said. "It's going to take a long time to catch up and rain is still in the forecast."

Road Superintendent Dan Melbourne said a bridge on Puckett Road remains closed due to flooding damage. Two other bridges -- one on Banks Road and another on Shaw Cemetery Road -- have been temporarily repaired and remain passable although the county continues to keep an eye on those areas.

Brown said it will take two years to get the county road system back where it needs to be.

"We've got a lot to do and they (the road department employees) will do the best they can," he said. "It's going to take some time. It's not just us. It's counties all around us."

As of April 30, the county was owed more than $251,000 from the federal and state government for disaster assistance. He said he hopes that money will be enough to pay for the expense.

Brown said the road department's budget has actually increased despite the rising fuel costs. The increase is due to the county selling old equipment, he said.

However, Brown said he doesn't expect the budget to hold out with the rising cost of fuel. Fuel is costing $10,000 more a load now than it was last year, he said.

In other business, Brown said the county has been able to negotiate with Baxter Regional Medial Center to reduce the amount of the bill for a former inmate's hospital stay.

Sheriff Dale Weaver said the county recently received a bill from the Mountain Home hospital for the treatment of Brian Lee Lashley.

Lashley had been in the Sharp County Jail since May 2007 when he held Cherokee Village Police Chief Scott Goodwin and his girlfriend and Lashley's ex-wife, Peggy Lashley, hostage for five hours inside Peggy Lashley's home.

In February of this year Lashley became ill while in the county's custody. He was taken to White River Medical Center's Urgent Care Clinic in Cherokee Village. From there he was transported to Fulton County Hospital. He was transferred from there to the Mountain Home hospital where he died just days later of pneumonia.

Brown said the county has made substantial progress on the bill but still would not disclose the total amount of the bill.

The court also approved an ordinance increasing the budget of the sheriff's office by $6,607.70. The budget was increased by $1,924.57 for jailhouse maintenance, $4,368.13 for motor repair and $315 for postage.

The ordinance also increased the circuit court budget by $3,333.33, the amount the county was awarded in a grant for courtroom security.

The ordinance also decreased the OES-Civil Defense budget by $4,000 in salaries and $2,800 in travel. The ordinance also increased the budget by $1,200 for rent.

Brown said the county's revenue for the year has increased but the amount brought in during April decreased slightly. The decrease reflects the decrease in business from the Feb. 5 tornado, he said.

Weaver said the kitchen in the jail still needs a vent system installed. He said he is trying to find used equipment to install before summer begins.

He also said the county has saved a tremendous amount of money by using jail trustees to perform work the county would otherwise have to pay someone to do. Trustees have replaced a motor and a transmission, he said.

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