Possible pay raise, healthy sales tax collections, and more topics on tap for tonight’s Independence County Quorum Court

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When the Independence County Quorum Court meets tonight, there is one item listed under new business: a 5 percent raise for employees.

In their June 24 meeting, the county’s budget committee voted to recommend the raise. Tim Stewart, the committee chairman, said it should be set up so that if their department’s budget can fund it, employees could be compensated with pay or a reduction in work hours with no reduction in pay equivalent to the 5 percent raise.

In some departments, such as dispatching, the raise could be credited to their comp time. County Judge Robert Griffin said those comp hours would eventually be paid to dispatchers when the county receives newly approved 911 funding or employees would be allowed to use the accumulated comp time.

Any funding, or change in a budget, would have to be approved by the court through an ordinance.

The JPs will also hear that sales tax collections received in June were just over 14 percent above last year’s collections — and about $35,000 more than what was projected. The June collections are for sales in April, sent to the state in May, and returned to the county in June. The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville will receive almost $135,000 as will the county’s fire departments.

This is the time of year that most budgets will show expenditures to date around 50 percent of their budgeted amount. Of the 25 budgets, 16 are under the 50 percent expenditure line, and nine are above.

The JPs will also learn that the Juvenile Detention Center showed a profit of over $22,000 for the month of June.

There are also four resolutions on the agenda. Two deal with Economic Development Administration funding for construction and renovation of Big Creek and Center Grove bridges. Another resolution deals with filling a vacancy in the office of constable for the Hill Township. And the last resolution deals with the circuit clerk’s office applying for a funding grant in order to scan the county’s older deed books.

The Independence County Quorum Court meets at 6 p.m. in the Juvenile Courtroom of the Jess B. Carpenter Building in Batesville.

It is a meeting open to the public.

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