JPs give sheriff OK to take bids

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

By Haley Schichtl

The Carroll County quorum court voted unanimously at its January meeting on Monday to authorize Sheriff Jim Ross to start taking bids for an organization to provide medical services at the county detention center.

“It will save us a potential lawsuit which could be very serious, if we don’t take care of the medical needs,” District 3 Justice of the Peace Harrie Farrow said. “According to the sheriff, a doctor had been volunteering a lot of the time, and has been doing that less and less. And of course, we can’t count on that; there are other issues that can come up.”

“I agree we need to do something … but I don’t buy that this exempts us from all liability,” District 10 JP Larry Swofford said.

The court received an update from Barb Weems, co-founder and director of the Purple Flower, on what the domestic violence and sexual assault support center is doing with grant money it received in December.

“In December, we were able to pay two more staff members. We now have four part-time staff members, and that’s thanks to a VOCA grant,” Weems said.

The Victims of Crime Act grant has allowed the center to be open five days a week now rather than two, and provided an extra $7,000 to assist clients who need a place to stay.

Weems also said the Purple Flower is working on forming a partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Shelter, which also just received a VOCA grant, to bring an advocate into Carroll County.

“They’re hiring a Spanish advocate and we are potentially sharing office space,” Weems said. “And then we’ll be able to work together to reach even more, because this person will be bilingual, so this will open us up to other parts of the county that were underserved previously.”

In other business, JPs unanimously approved an ordinance forgiving the debt owed to the county by the Carroll County Airport, an ordinance to approve a contribution of local matching funds to the Third Judicial District Court of Eureka Springs for a bailiff, and an ordinance to appropriate funds from the county treasurer for reimbursement to line items.

The court also unanimously approved a resolution to appropriate $15,000 to complete a local match fund for an Arkansas Rural Community grant that the county judge is applying for to build an equipment shed for the fire department.

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