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County Officials Slightly Under Budget


Monday afternoon the Quorum Court Finance Committee met for their March monthly meeting.

Finance Chairman Michael White stated that currently the county is 16.70 percent, or 17 percent, through the 2019 year. White said the budget is "tracking very well" even though the first quarter is always the toughest quarter of the year due to revenues being down and expenditures are always taking place.

White explained that the revenues in some areas were down and others where up in the month of February.

County Treasurer Peggy Meatte explained the revenues were "actually above what we projected" in county general and county roads.

White added, "Being 17 percent into the year our total county general is 10 percent of budget. It can be a little bit misleading because we budget for some major expenditures that don't get spent until later into the year, but if you look at county roads they are at 10 percent, county landfill is at nine percent, county jail is at 13 (percent) - which is still nearly four percent under budget. You look at our elected officials, every one of them is under budget of the moment. Judge at 16 (percent); the county clerk, county collector and county sheriff all at 13 (percent); the circuit clerk, county treasurer and county assessor at 15 (percent). Everybody is slightly under budget. So, we are tracking right along. Revenues are good and overall budget is looking good."

Meatte added that she saw where the sales tax was "way below" what the state had projected.

After last Thursday's Personnel and Development Committee meeting, Justice Bill Nelson, who is the chair of P&D Committee, said it needed to be an appropriation ordinance. The ANC W.O.R.K. Program for $25,000, the W.O.R.K. Program Apprenticeship for $400,000, the BRONCO commitment for $360,000 and the Arkansas Mechanical commitment for $514,000.

Nelson made the motion to send this to the full court in the form of an appropriation ordinance, and Justice Neil Burge seconded the motion.

County Judge John Alan Nelson added that Friday morning he received a call from FTN, the county's engineering consultant from Little Rock, that the Class One may make it to Dec. 31, 2019. Burge stated they were hoping for another full year - Dec. 31, 2020 - out of Class One.

Nelson said they are in good shape but not in a good position trying to get from here to there, but they will make it.

Nelson added they would start working on phase one soon at the landfill.

White also mentioned the 2017 legislative audit came in and said it was "very clean".

"Very clean. Very nice," White said. "The only thing that they fussed at us about was [former Landfill Supervisor] Wil Allen. We were under some heavy obligations that they got fixed as quickly as was feasible and it is fixed. It even addresses the fact that he's under charges and talks about that just a little a bit... if you go back a few pages it talks about our liabilities, the next to the last page, and it actually refers to the closure fees and the liabilities that we have on the landfill. It's looking at like $1.5 million but that's mentioned in our audit, but overall the audit shows us very clean, very good and everybody has done a pretty good job. We had a pretty clean, pretty nice 2017."

Nelson made the motion to move the 2017 audit report to the full court at next Tuesday's Quorum Court meeting for approval and Burge seconded the motion.

Nelson added that he visited the Crisp Center and it's a nice building but it wouldn't be able to accommodate a circuit courtroom. He added they haven't seen any other buildings that are as "appropriate" as the Arkansas Northeastern College-Burdette Center.