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Sebastian County Budget Discussions Resume Monday

In a brief session last Tuesday, the Sebastian County Quorum Court elected to table further review of the 2014 budget process to Monday, allowing for a larger timeframe for discussion.

In the Monday meeting, justices of the peace will continue to make budget reductions in order to establish a balanced general fund budget of $23.77 million with a goal of a $150,000 cushion. JPs will consider a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for all full-time county employees, as well as the salaries for the Quorum Court and elected officials, in addition to operating budgets and capital proposals. To be included in the Monday meeting will be discussions on the treasurer’s office regarding the information technology system and the county’s computer service funding. The issue was deferred to Monday because Treasurer Judith Miller was on vacation and needed to be present for questions.

The budget will be considered for final adoption at the Quorum Court’s Dec. 17 meeting.

In other business Monday, JPs unanimously approved line item appropriations of $764 from the treasurer fund for repairs; $20,715 from the rural fire department fund for equal distribution among the county’s rural fire departments; $9,548 from the general fund as a reimbursement to the election commission for the Greenwood special election in December; $7,205 from the general fund to allocate to the county school districts; and $4,767 to the Greenwood District Court for equipment purchase.

They also set school, municipal and county millage levy rates. There were no changes in millage levies from 2012.

JPs also approved a resolution supporting Chaffee Crossing as the location of the Arkansas Veterans Home.

During public comments before discussions began, residents Frank Glidewell and Bob Newbold approached the court, asking them to rethink the third early voting site.

Glidewell said he has discussed the issue with several people who had no problems waiting in line at the courthouses. Newbold added that he was unsure if the addition of the site would increase voting percentages and said he felt uneasy with the cost of the site. JPs allocated $12,937 for a third early voting site during a budget session last week.

Budget discussions resumed at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Fort Smith Courthouse, 35 S. Sixth St., Room 204.

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