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NC Finance committee forwards budget to QC

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Just prior to the Christmas-themed festivities in the Courthouse square Monday evening, the budget committee of the Nevada County Quorum Court played Santa itself, reviewing and preparing the county’s 2019 budget in front of the full Quorum Court meeting tonight, also at the courthouse, at 4:30 p.m.
The Nevada Justices will hear budget recommendations that will include upgrading the position of Emergency Management coordinator to full time employment. Currently only two counties in the state, Nevada and Hot Springs, do not have full time coordinators, and Nevada County spends less on the important position than any other county in Arkansas.
County Judge Mark Glass, who attended the special session Monday, said any increase in the agency’s budget is matched 50-percent by the state through a federal grant. The budget committee approved an increase for the agency from about $17,000 to $38,000 to maximize the matching funds.
In other budget news, the only capital expenditure expected to be included in the budget is a new vehicle for the sheriff’s department.
And, in 2017, the Quorum Court had approved employee bonuses that included bonuses for Justices themselves. This year, the Justices will again vote on $650 bonuses for all full time employees and $325 for part-time workers. Originally the vote on full time employees would again include the Justices, but outgoing District 8 Justice George Smith requested there be two votes, one for the regular county employees and a separate vote on the Justice bonuses.
In other Nevada Quorum Court news, previously at the November meeting, representatives from Bodcaw asked the Justices to consider a vicious dog ordinance due to a continuing problem with loose dogs attacking people in the town and in the nearby area.
The Quorum Court requested the county attorney research the Bodcaw and Prescott ordinances to see if a countywide ordinance would allow the sheriff’s deputies to assist in the situation.
Again in Monday’s session, it was mentioned that the Solid Waste Department is experiencing what was described as “severe financial distress” and new equipment is needed. Afterwards, Smith said it is anticipated that a motion will be introduced Tuesday to begin charging a monthly fee for trash pickup, which has been a proposal that he as suggested in the past.

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