After postponing their Thursday meeting due to the expected storm threats from Hurricane Laura, the Hempstead County Quorum Court held their monthly meeting on Friday, August 28 in the Courthouse. Once the July minutes were approved, Hempstead County Judge, Jerry Crane said that they were making progress at the new courthouse and he appreciates everyone’s hard work in getting things going.
A representative from Tyson gave an update on the feed mill project. The state has awarded the contract on asphalt overlay and they have began the prep-work, working their way back from Fulton to Old Washington, and are planning for completion in mid-December. He stated that they have set an expected start up date for late December 2021.
Justice David Clayton spoke to the court about AR State Hwy 355 W being changed to a county road. He stated that the initial discussion was to make the change from Hempstead 7 to Bois Darc, but the paperwork states from Hwy 174 at Bethany Baptist Church to the lake. Clayton said that if that is the case, it will put Spring Hill School on a county road instead of a state hwy and that is not acceptable to him or the people in his district for the school to be on a county road. Judge Crane asked Justice Atchley to look at the paperwork and talk to the state about beginning the county road at the Hempstead 5/Hempstead 36 junction instead.
Justice Ed Darling discussed the financials, saying that the financial report is the best they have had in a long time. Adjustments that were made in February and March will allow them to take a look at reinstating some of the capital spending for roads. He also said that sanitation is in bad need of a dump truck and can now afford it. Darling informed the court that they will be bringing some ordinances before them at next month’s meeting to reallocate things taken out of the budget earlier in the year.
Sheriff James Singleton informed the court that Hempstead County has 2 new deputies that have recently graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy. Stevie Beck and Layton Medlen, both life-long Hempstead County residents and graduates of Spring Hill High School will begin with the department this week. Singleton also told the court that they have had to spend about $7,500 on repairs for some older vehicles this week and asked them to look at his budget in order to help his office get some new vehicles.
Justice Lerew called for adjournment and the Hempstead County Quorum Court will meet again on September 24, 2020.