Library identifies potential new site

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Berryville Public Library is hoping to construct a new building, and library director Julie Hall told the Carroll County Quorum Court on Monday that the library’s board of directors has identified a potential location.

Hall said the city of Berryville has agreed to sell a piece of property across from the city pool to the library board when the board has raised enough money for the purchase.

In response to a question from District 6 Justice of the Peace Craig Hicks, library board member Joe Scott said the city purchased the property for a price below market value and has agreed to sell the property for the same price.

The board also heard an update from Amy Leivan of the Eastern Carroll County Ambulance Commission. Leivan said the commission met on Oct. 3 and heard a report from Southern Paramedic Service, which is contracted to provide emergency ambulance service in the eastern portion of the county. Leivan said Southern is currently maintaining one ambulance each in Berryville and Green Forest and has responded to an average of 198.7 calls per month.

“To my knowledge we have had very few complaints, and the ones that we’ve had have been unfounded or easily fixed through training,” she said.

Leivan said the commission is studying the possibility of adding a third ambulance and also is interested in moving to an emergency medical dispatch system that could result in faster implementation of protocols and improve emergency treatment. The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, in the training room at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at 205 Hailey Road. That meeting is open to the public.

JPs also heard a presentation from Catherine Baker of the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, who spoke about grant proposals to expand and renovate the Carroll County Health Unit and to assist with sewer lines at the Echo Village housing project in Eureka Springs. Baker said the economic development district will pursue Community Development Block Grants for the two projects and would act as the grant administrator if either or both of the grant applications are successful. She told JPs that the grant applications were contingent on the quorum court’s passage of several resolutions in support of the projects, and JPs unanimously approved a total of seven resolutions related to the grant applications.

JPs also approved the third and final reading of an ordinance that will establish a direct deposit payroll option for county employees.

In other business, JPs:

• approved a resolution declaring a vacancy in the District 3 seat formerly held by Lamont Richie, who resigned last month;

• approved a supplemental appropriation ordinance transferring $100,000 from the county’s general fund to the maintenance fund for the Eastern District Courthouse;

• approved an appropriation ordinance transferring $18,352 that had been received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office to pay deputies for extra patrols of Beaver Dam;

• approved an appropriation ordinance appropriating $20,000 from the sales tax fund to the Carroll County Detention Center for food and fuel;

• and approved an appropriation ordinance transferring $2,800 to the county building fund to replace the two entrance doors at the Carroll County Health Unit.

During the portion of the meeting set aside for JPs’ comments, District 1 JP Jack Deaton said the joint budget and finance committee has completed a proposed 2019 county budget that will be presented at the quorum court’s December meeting, scheduled for Dec. 17.

“We came out better than what we expected,” Deaton said, adding that the committee was able to budget raises for county employees. He said some departments’ budget requests were not fully met.

“We may have to come back later and take care of some things but we did the best we could,” he said.

District 5 JP Matt Phillips presented a plaque to longtime county treasurer Cindy Collins, who will be retiring on Nov. 30. Makita Williams, an employee in the treasurer’s office, was elected earlier this month to replace Collins but won’t officially take office until Jan. 1. The quorum court will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at the Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville to appoint an interim treasurer. The budget and finance committee will meet at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, also at the Eastern District Courthouse, and the quorum court’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17.

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