HEBER SPRINGS — Cleburne County Quorum Court met in its regular session Oct. 8. The meeting in this case was in an out-of-the ordinary location, as the county court house was in use for other purposes. Justices met in the old courthouse on Main Street, in a courtroom on the second floor.

Matters discussed included electrical service for the old courthouse, as well as county ambulance service.

The electrical service was actually a more sweeping review of the courthouse. Cleburne County Judge Jerry Holmes asked the court how the justices felt about splitting up or combining two projects for the courthouse.

At issue was the earlier approval of $96,676.89 left over from an earlier grant awarded in 2019 now being used for an electrical system upgrade needed for an upgrade to the courthouse’s heating and air (HVAC) unit.

Holmes explained to the justices that other needs existed at the courthouse, including repairs to its columns (this was also briefly discussed up at the September Quorum Court meeting) and repairs to the courthouse dome. The latter would be especially expensive due to the need to construct scaffolding around it prior to any work being done, justices heard.

Per the ordinance, the grant extension had been approved after the budget process, and needed to be approved.

Justices approved the electrical system upgrade with the remaining work to take place under a separate bidding process.

Justice Sean Blackburn make the first reading of an ordinance he sponsored, which was a lengthy listing of the qualifications needed for an ambulance service to bid on providing county service, including ambulance condition, staffing, and other operating requirements.

The service which meets the requirements would be eligible to receive the county franchise.

Based upon the ordinance requiring three reading before becoming law, two additional readings would be required, expected to take place at the next two Quorum Court meetings.

Holmes asked Blackburn prior to the reading if the ordinance had received legal review.

After the meeting, Holmes stated that the Ambulance Committee, formed to address county ambulance needs, had only had its first meeting, with additional meetings scheduled for Oct. 22 and 29.

The court also approved an ordinance forming a separate fund for CARES Act funding, provided by the national legislature to address COVID-19 issues. A stand-alone fund, essentially an accounting classification, was approved.

The jail committee report toward the nature and scope of changes for the county jail remained in work, Justice Chad Evans told the court, as meeting with consultants who will draw up any proposal are ongoing. A report should be expected in November, Evans said.

Justice Roger Pearson read into the record an Oct. 1 letter from Arkansas Division of Law Enforcement Standards and Training Joe Duboise which spoke about Van Buren County Sheriff Chris Brown’s contribution to training, as well as Brown setting “... a high bar on professionalism and leadership.”

The letter also praised Brown’s contribution as an adjunct instructor for the Central Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (CALETA).

A second letter was read into the record praising the work Veterans Affairs Cleburne County Lisa Evirdge was doing for veterans in the county.

The next Quorum Court meeting is scheduled for Nov. 19.

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