(AP Photo/Kelley McCall))
Chief Deputy Tom Hanselman presented to the court an emergency ordinance to ban the product known as Spice or K2 in Fulton County.
"Sharp County and Baxter County have passed an ordinance about K2, which is showing up more and more," said Hanselman. "The Mammoth Spring City Council also passed an ordinance on this for their city. I've given you a description of it which is from the US Naval Investigations Division." According to that report, Spice "is an olive colored plant material that can be laced with a synthetic cannabinoid mimicking compounds, most notably 'HU210' and 'JWH-018.'"
According to the same report, "HU-210" is hundreds of times more potent than THC, the active chemical in marijuana.
"This proposed ordinance would ban the sale, selling or possessing of these harmful chemicals that are now coming into the county," said Hanselman. "A lot of the youngsters have it because there is no law against it. According to the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigations section, it's as harmful as LSD or marijuana."
Ordinance number 2010-6 is an emergency ordinance prohibiting the purchase, possession, sale and offering for sale of the synthetic cannabinoid known as Spice or K2, and declaring an emergency.
"This ordinance shall be effective immediately upon it's passage and approval," said Fulton County Judge Charles Willett.
The court unanimously passed the emergency ordinance and moved on to other business.
The court unanimously voted to reappoint Salem Chief of Police Al Roork to the Fulton County Hospital Board of Governors, where is he Chairman of the Board. Roork then was invited to address the court concerning the hospital's clinic renovation project.
"We've recently contracted with two new physicians, one from California and one from Dequeen., Ark.," said Roork. "Dr. Krish will be here the second week in July and Dr. Saab will be here probably around the second week of August. We are paying $800 a month in rent to you for Dr. Kaufmann's clinic there behind the hospital. That building out there was in a pretty bad state of disrepair. The roof leaked on it, the floors were buckled, it has several water leaks in it and just a whole lot was wrong with it. Basically we felt like there was no way we could put two physicians in it --it wasn't big enough and it wasn't made right. These doctors are crucial to the success of the hospital. We have to have new doctors for the hospital to survive. With that said, we decided that we weren't going to bring them in to a bad environment that wasn't safe for them or their patients. So we have borrowed money from White River Planning and Development and have hired Herman and Doug Lee of Lee and Associates to come up and they decided that they could change the floor plan up some and give each doctor three exam rooms and the necessary procedure room and triage room, but it is going to be necessary to add a waiting room. So we are adding a 31 foot x 32 foot lobby onto the west side of that building. It's going to be a pretty good expenditure; it's going to cost us in excess of $150,000 to do that to your building. Basically, what we want you all to consider, if you can, is to forgive the rent on that thing for at least two years, while we get caught up a little bit and let these two doctors get their feet on the ground."
Court member Jim Bicker asked Fulton County Judge Charles Willett what the county liability as far as costs were on the building.
"Insurance and it seems like it's around $2,000 a year to keep insurance on it, but I'm not for sure," said Willett. "We'll need to double check that."
Roork then pointed out that the insurance would most likely increase due to the amount of renovation being done to the building.
"I don't know what the numbers look like, but I think if we can afford to do it we should do it and try to help them," said Bicker.
It was pointed out the $9,600 in rent payments had been factored in to the county's annual budget.
"Is it possible that maybe you can come back to us at the end of the year, during budget time and make that request," asked court member Jack Haney. "We'd be a little freer at that time to assist you."
Roork then countered with an offer for the hospital to cover the annual insurance costs on the building for the county in place of paying the monthly rent for two years.
"We're spending the money and we're fixing your building," said Roork. "We've got to be finished and done by the second week in July. In 30 days, we are going to be done. I don't know how, but we've got to do it."
"It's not a question of whether or not we want to do it, it's just we don't know if we can do it," said Bicker. "Our biggest problem is we don't have the numbers in front of us right now to know if we have it or not."
Roork replied that he understood the courts dilemma and that he felt the other board members would as well.
The court agreed to review the budget and research the insurance rates in order to revisit Roork's request at the July Quorum Court meeting.
In other business, it was reported that the hospital's sales tax amount over andabove payments for the month was $12,060.48.
At this point, the court adjourned into executive session to discuss a grievance hearing concerning former Fulton County Sheriff's deputy Terry Walker.
Upon it's return from the executive session, Judge Willett stated that the court would be recessing the hearing for two weeks, until June 28 at 7 p.m., in order to acquire more information regarding the situation.
Upon this statement, the court adjourned. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Quorum Court will be Monday, July 12 at 7pm.