Independence County Quorum Court removes hiring freeze during Monday’s meet

Article by Madeline Pyle

After approving the annual operating budget for 2020, the Independence County Quorum Court voted to remove the county’s hiring freeze at last night’s meeting.

When County Judge Robert Griffin asked the court to consider removing the freeze, he said the purpose of the freeze was to prevent budgeted positions from being filled. He believed the budget was stable enough to now to fill those empty positions.

“The county budget was upside down when I came in,” he said, “but with [the court’s] help and cooperation…we’re about to get back into a beacon of hope.”

However, not all county funds are in the black yet.

The court voted to appropriate county funds to the Senior Citizen Fund, which is currently $26,783.36 in red.

Victims advocacy funds are also in the red. County Treasurer Bob Treadway said he would try to contact Prosecuting Attorney Eric Hance to ensure the funds were in the black by the end of the year.

In other news, the court approved the interlocal agreement between the county, Batesville, and Southside to purchase 19 acres along Ramsey Mountain. According to the agreement, the property costs $137,500, and each party will pay $45,833.33. (Click here for more information on this story.)

In the White River Juvenile Detention Center’s report, Sarah Martin announced that the center’s treatment contract will go into effect Dec. 20. The center will also change its name to White River Regional Youth Success Center.

Griffin said the name change will “get [the center] away from the past which has a negative connotation.”

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