"This is going to be a slow process," Sharp County Judge Larry Brown told everyone at the Quorum Court meeting Feb. 9. "It is going to take a long time to clean up all of this debris."
Brown commented during the meeting on how well he thought all of the county and city workers did during the ice storm. "There were lots of volunteers, fire departments, every department out there helping," Brown said. "The sheriff's department was taking chain saws and cutting their way to people to do welfare checks."
But, despite all of the compliments from the judge and the justices, two men attended the meeting to voice a different opinion.
"I had to cut my way out of my road myself," one man told the judge. "Why can we not get any help getting debris cleaned up on our county roads?"
"We have 21 men (county workers) to take care of 1,200 miles," Judge Brown told the gentleman. "They are working around the clock to do their best -- and you know they don't get paid over time."
Brown continued to explain that the county had to get to the worse areas first and clear one lane of traffic on all of the county roads. He said then they will go back and start addressing other issues and clean up better.
Brown said he estimates at least $2 million worth of debris on the roads. The county will wait for FEMA to assess the damage before purchasing any equipment, Brown said. According to Brown, FEMA pays 75 percent and the state pays 12.5 percent leaving the county with 12.5 percent of the cost of clean-up.
"This is the fourth natural disaster we have claimed in 11 months," Brown said.
Burn and dump sites were also discussed during the meeting. Brown told the justices that the county is allowed four burn sites without a permit.
Brown said Highland has a dump site and he thought Cherokee Village was going to open one in Fulton County.
There is no burn ban in Sharp County the judge said. Each city can set their own burn ban, though.
JP Greg Prenger was appointed as the representative for Arkansas Association of Quorum Courts again. "I'll stay on one more year," Prenger said in accepting the appointment.