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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • County finances looking up

  • The county finances, on Aug. 1, had $167,643.59 in the county general fund, down from the $447,303.69 reported last year, while the county road fund had $166,228.33, down from last year’s reported $409,758.72. Horton has said the difference is that the county has started paying what it owes to taxing entities at the start of the year while in the past it paid in October.
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  • Arkansas County finances are looking better this month, a difference Treasurer Charles Horton credits to a “real good collection” last month.
    “At this point in time, well (Monday afternoon), $302,460.76 was in the county general. The county road fund had $288,000 so county general is almost double what it was at the end of the month,” Horton said Tuesday during the Arkansas County Quorum Court meeting. “And the road fund has $120,000 more than it did at the end of the month.
    “So if we can have a good month this month in collections as we did last month, we might have the cash flow crunch behind us,” he said.
    The county finances, on Aug. 1, had $167,643.59 in the county general fund, down from the $447,303.69 reported last year, while the county road fund had $166,228.33, down from last year’s reported $409,758.72. Horton has said the difference is that the county has started paying what it owes to taxing entities at the start of the year while in the past it paid in October.
    Still, Horton said the county ended the month of July with some positive additions.
    The general operation maintenance fund had $10,000 more in it going from $101,000 last year to ending July with, $112,629.75. The 9-1-1 fund also ended July with $242,291.91, an increase from $167,000 last year at this time.
    “So not everything is as bad as it sounded the last few meetings we’ve had,” Horton said.
    County officials, with Justice of Peace Kirk Meins absent, have also approved an ordinance to amend the adult detention facility budget’s small equipment fund to include a $2,273 reimbursement or litter pick-up from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department as well as a re-appropriation of $2,000 for Bell Point Tornado Pods in Stuttgart. A third approved ordinance has amended the county general fund budget to re-appropriate $219 in the tax collector’s budget for advertising.
    Sheriff Allen Cheek has also reported a problem within the collector’s and assessor’s office that has the system shutting down every day as people attempt to pay their owed taxes. The problem is either an old server that will have to be replaced or with their Internet connection. It is still being looked into.
    A final ordinance approved Tuesday now has the county under a new county inventory system for listing its values of property as well as the inventory record keeping for all offices. Arkansas County Judge Glenn “Sonny” Cox said the new ordinance will have his office keeping a list of all items valued at more than $5,000 while each individual county office will keep a list of inventory valued between $400 to $4,999.
    Each item must now be listed with its serial number, and each county office will be required to turn in its inventory list at the start of each year. The ordinance is retroactive to Jan. 1. The list was previously inventoried by the item’s life cycle.
    Page 2 of 2 - In other business:
    • Any Arkansas County resident wanting a pink trash cart to support breast cancer awareness may now sign up for one at the Office of the Arkansas County Judge. The carts come in three sizes: 35 gallon for $50; 64-gallon for $60; and 96-gallon for $70.
    Administrative Assistant Ruby Allen said it’s being done at the request of county residents, with the county to conduct an overall order so the shipping cost can be divided among the purchasers. The carts are supplied through Cascade Cart Solutions with $5 from each purchase donated to the American Cancer Society to support breast cancer awareness.
    • Justice of the Peace Tom Hasty reminded all elected county officials and their deputy clerks that it is mandatory to attend scheduled meetings for elected officials/chief deputies training. It should be a top priority with any conflicts in schedules delegated to others as much as possible.
    Justices of the Peace receive an agenda for each meeting in advance as well as an attendee sign-in sheet following each meeting. In July, those absent were Allen Cheek, Robbie Fread and Todd Wright.
    • Cheek said the adult detention facility presently has 63 adults, including 47 males, and one juvenile in the juvenile detention facility. There were no work crews picking up trash within the last month due to the heat.

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