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County Board Approves Requests


The Mississippi County Quorum Court Finance Committee approved several items Monday, including a cleanup budget, filling a position at the landfill and purchasing mowers, as well as a vehicle for the coronor's office.

Finance chairman Justice Michael White said every elected official is under budget currently.

The committee looked over the 2018 cleanup budget before Justice Bill Nelson made the motion to send it to the full court.

County Judge John Alan Nelson reported that he filled the position of scale house assistant at the landfill. The position was open but wasn't funded. Nelson explained that the person previously worked at the landfill and has a Class C license. He asked for an appropriation of $32,226 for the position.

Justice Neil Burge motioned for the funding of the employee, which was sent to the full court.

Judge Nelson added that the work release program has been "very beneficial" to the county as the crews have mowed properties and helped move records from the circuit and county clerk's offices to Burdette.

Nelson said they would be purchasing four lawn mowers and two weed eaters for a total cost of $1,200. White said they had already spent some money out of the funds that were never appropriated and that he'd like to appropriate all of the money at one time.

Burge made the motion to appropriate $1,500 into the small equipment landfill fund.

White reminded the justices of a request from the corner's office at the end of last year for a vehicle that would be able to help transport bodies across the south end of the county.

Justice Rick Ash, who assisted county corner Mike Godsey find a vehicle through state bids, told the finance committee that they purchased a vehicle and picked the vehicle up last week. Ash said he doesn't remember the exact amount of the vehicle but it was around $22,000. The typical price tag is 30,000 for the vehicle.
They will be adding letters to the vehicle so people know it is the coroner's office vehicle, will put a wire cage or barrier to block the front and the back and will also be getting a hydraulic stretcher for the vehicle.

White said Godsey doesn't have the exact numbers for everything but believes the total cost is around $30,000. Justice Nelson asked if the money was coming out of the county general fund and White said yes. Nelson made a motion to appropriate $30,000 to the county coroner's budgeted line item "vehicle".

Judge Nelson also mentioned that in the city of Luxora's oxidation pond they had two pumps, one working and one not, and that they needed both pumps working. The county is pumping roughly 10,000 gallons a day through their ponds, and they assisted the town and are negotiating the contract agreement.

Nelson added the county bought the trailer park near Pafford out of the judge's budget. He said they will begin repairs Wednesday to the property, which was purchased because the Blytheville Emergency Squad will have to be relocated when renovations begin.

Circuit Clerk Leslie Mason mentioned considering purchasing a storage unit behind her new building to hold her record books and any other offices records during the move if they fit.

The unit is approximately 2,988 square feet with rent being between $350-$400 a month, which Mason stated she'd be paying out of her recorder's fund.

Mason added that her revolving shelf that holds the most recent records could fit in the unit.

White said it seemed "financially feasible" but he'd like the Energy and Property committee to look at it first before it coming to the Finance Committee.

Justice Sylvester Belcher is chair of the Energy and Property Committee; however, due to health issues Justice Molly Jackson will chair the committee and look at the property before bringing it back to the Fnance Committee.

County Clerk Janice Currie told the committee that the state approved the funding for 100 percent of the new voting system. Lastly, County Assessor Harley Bradley passionately explained why his employees need a raise.

"I'm still here. I'm still asking for the raises for my people. They deserve it. Seven of them make less money than the janitor, which they work more then he does," Bradley stated. " I think they deserve something from y'all."

Justice Nelson said they had previously agreed to look at it during the middle of the summer after the Job Evaluation and Salary Administration Program (JESAP) reports came out.

Bradley responded, " Well, while y'all are the ones taking your time, they are the ones starving."

White asked if Bradley understood how much money they have been raised in the last two years and Bradley said he did. Bradley added, "If it wasn't for my office, money wouldn't be coming in. Because we are the ones putting it on the books and if we don't put it on the books, y'all don't get no money."