Fulton County Quorum Court met Monday, Jan. 11 and went into executive session almost immediately to discuss raises for county employees. When they reconvened, a $0.50 cent raise was approved for all employees across the board utilizing monies from several departments' technology funds. "Revenues this year were a little better than we thought they would be when we finished the year end settlement," said County Judge Charles Willett. "This year we're going to put in for a raise for county employees but next year, depending on revenues, we could have a cut or no raise at all."
The court then discussed the current progress of the new county jail. The jail committee, public facilities board, and Lee and Associates met regarding the new jail, and the court was asked to pass a resolution authorizing the Fulton County Facilities Board to enter into a contract with Lee and Associates, architect firm for rural development. The resolution passed without comment.
The court also took the opportunity to appropriate funds to pay off the county's $363,021.15 line of credit loan from the Bank of Salem, which was taken out during the ice storm.
The court appropriated sales tax funds for the Fulton County Hospital in the amount of $10,980.75, and discussed having the hospital's administrator, Joe Hammond, come and update the court on a quarterly basis regarding the hospital's activities.
Additional appropriations in the amount of $232,397.52 were made to balance out the county road fund for various repair projects related to the March 18 flood of 2009, the September 19 flood of 2009, and the October 29 flood of 2009, which is still on-going.
According to Judge Willett, the state owes the county between $780,000 and $800,000 related to last year's ice storm, and for the Oct. 29 flood of last year, the county is owed close to $200,000 in both state and federal monies. "Five percent was held back from the ice storm money until we complete the clean up at Nine-Mile Ridge," said Judge Willett. "We have two other sites to clean up, and they'll then send us about $ 50,000. When we get all settled up, we'll have all of our equipment paid for and still have roughly $350,000 -- $400,000 left in the road department fund."
In regards to the Humphrey's Ford Bridge, just off the Spring River Near Nine Mile Ridge, the county has met with the state aid department. So far, the department has completed the hydrology studies, but is still doing their surveys. It's believed that by late summer or early fall the bridge repairs will begin.
Judge Willett then asked the court to pass a resolution to allow the county to apply for an Arkansas community and economic development grant for a community development project for a water line extension for the Fulton County water association. "Fulton County will conduct the proper public hearings as part of the application process to receive this funding and consider community comments regarding this project," said Judge Willett.
In other news, the court agreed to sell scrap metal from the county shop to Carpenter's Metal Recycling for $160 a ton, voted to have Marge continue as their representative to the Association of Quorum Courts, approved an appropriation of $141.33 to the indigent attorney fund to balance out the fund for the year and approved an appropriation of $6,312 for the county offices to purchase new computers, printers and software with a state automatic record system grant. With that, the court adjourned.