Hempstead County Quorum Court Meeting

The Hempstead County Quorum Court met February 27 to discuss items on the agenda. The meeting began with an opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the roll call and the meeting was then underway.

County Judge, Jerry Crane made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting on January 23, 2020 and they were approved by the members.

Resolution 2020-1 – Honoring Olen Dorman
Olen Dorman, a former quorum court member who recently passed away, was honored at the meeting and thanked for his service to the community. His wife was present to witness his resolution as Prosecuting Attorney, Christi McQueen read it aloud. “The county officially recognizes and acknowledges the many years of service and sacrifice given to us by Mr. Olen Dorman. In addition to the many years given to the City of Hope and the Army of the USA, the county formally extends it’s gratitude to Mr. Dorman,” read McQueen. The resolution was approved and accepted by all members of the court. A warm round of applause and thanks followed the reading of the resolution in honor of Mr. Dorman and his many services to this community.

Ordinance 2020-1 – 1% Sales and Use Tax
“Being enacted by the quorum court of Hempstead County, an ordinance declaring the authorized uses for collections of a temporary 1% sales and use tax within Hempstead County, Arkansas,” McQueen read. “If such tax is approved by the voters and prescribing other matters pertaining there to, where as the quorum court of Hempstead County has passed on December 2nd, 2019 the ordinance 2019-21 providing for the levy of a temporary 1% sales and use tax in the county which will expire on June, 30, 2022. If approved by the voters, the tax may be used by the county to fund general purposes of county government. The purpose of this ordinance is to declare the authorized uses for the collections of the tax. The county shall expend the collection of the tax for one or more of the following purposes; acquiring, constructing, improving, remodeling, equipping, furnishing, repairing, operating and maintaining a new County Courthouse and any necessary land acquisition, relocation cost and parking, drainage, flood control, lighting, street, road, curb and utility improvements therefore and to preserving repairing and demolishing all portions of the existing county court house and remediating any environmental hazards there in or associated with.” A motion was made to approve the ordinance and it was approved by the court.

Ordinance 2020-2 – Transfer and Appropriation
“An ordinance for transferring and appropriating funds from the revenue repayment budget entity 3450, to the capital improvement courthouse fund entity 4850 for Hempstead County, Arkansas for the year 2020. The amount of $54,881.56 shall be transferred from the revenue repayment fund,” read McQueen. This was approved by the court.

Hempstead County Sheriff, James Singleton presented the highlights of progress of the Sheriff’s office over the last year. Singleton addressed the court, with the first topic on his list being animal control. Reports of more and more stray pets have been sent in and he requested the court discuss options as to what to do and how to deal with the rising problem of stray dogs at future meetings. They are running out of places to put them when they’ve been found. Singleton shared the numbers of arrests, incidents and other reports over the last year with the court.

Court Member, Ed Darling had a request towards the end of the meeting. “I was visiting with Catherine Cook this evening and she reminded me that the census is upon us. Not enough has been done as far as notifying individuals about the upcoming census and how to do it and what they need to do. As a minimum I think we would like to put some kind of a mailer in every mailbox in Hempstead County reminding people to go register with the census. Most of the registration is online and 50% of Hope doesn’t have good internet service. I think the City of Hope would like to establish some places around town for providing more computer and internet availability. For us as a county, I would like to see us work with the surrounding school districts to see if we can make places where folks could have access to the internet more accessible. We have even considered doing a bilingual mailing to better inform more of our citizens,” said Darling. “It would only cost us around $2,000 for putting a mailer in every mailbox, but if we don’t do it now it will affect us big time in the future.”

The next Quorom Court meeting will be held on Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 in the Courtroom of the Hempstead County Courthouse.

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