ICQC: County discusses coronavirus plans; approves property purchase

Article by Madeline Pyle, White River Now

During Monday night’s Independence County Quorum Court meeting, County Judge Robert Griffin discussed the county’s plan for the coronavirus outbreak. 

Griffin said he has identified local, regional, and state contacts to alert if a confirmed case is reported in Independence County. He added that the county could access additional support if needed.

Griffin stated the county “is probably more prepared than” other counties in the state. Currently, no coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Arkansas.

In new business, the court approved Griffin to purchase 2.4 acres on White Drive for $80,000 with the County’s Road Contingency Fund. After the purchase, the fund will be approximately $493,000.

Griffin said he wants to use the property as expanded shop room for county vehicles or as a “bargaining chip” for another property.

White River Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) administrator Jonathan Pickering reported the JDC is in the red because it is still waiting on housing payments from five counties and transport reimbursements.

Pickering said the JDC will be in the black once they receive the overdue payments, and he expects revenue to increase $30,000 next month.

“I’m optimistic, but I’m also a realist,” he said.

His report also stated the JDC’s success was acknowledged in Division of Youth Services Director Michael Crump’s presentation at the Arkansas Capitol.

The court approved an ordinance establishing a Juvenile Officer Grant Fund of $10,751.77 for 2020. The funds were derived from a grant from the Administrative Office of the Courts and appropriated to the line items: small equipment and travel/mileage.

In other business, County Treasurer Bob Treadway reported the one-cent county-wide tax has a 6.4 percent year-to-date increase over 2019.

All justices of the peace were present.

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