Benton County Quorum Court Approves Federal Money For Claims

BENTONVILLE – The Benton County Quorum Court voted Thursday to use US bailout money to pay for a series of claims, but another will be back in court next month for consideration.

The plan provides $ 350 billion in federal funds for qualifying state, local, territorial and tribal governments nationwide, according to the county.

The county will receive a total of $ 54 million – $ 27 million over the next two years.

Justices of the peace approved the payment of bonuses of $ 2,000 for full-time employees and $ 1,000 for part-time employees by a 13-0 vote, with one member absent and a seat on the tribunal open. The cost is $ 1.5 million, according to county documents.

The use of federal funds to pay the staff of the Beaver Lake and Northeast Benton County Volunteer Fire Departments was also approved 13-0. Beaver Lake has four full-time and 27 part-time employees; Northeast Benton County has three full-time positions and 40 part-time employees. The premium payment would be the same as that which goes to full-time and part-time county workers. The total cost will be $ 90,000, according to county documents.

According to County Judge Barry Moehring, the two are the only volunteer fire departments not supported by the municipality with paid staff primarily, but not fully, as they have an ambulance service.

The county will also use $ 253,517 in volunteer firefighters‘ rescue funds to match state money under Bill 833. The vote was 13-0. The departments do not receive any municipal support, Moehring said.

The State Fire Services Program – Act 833 of 1991 – provides money for upgrades to qualified fire departments and is not intended to pay for the day-to-day operation of the fire departments . All spending using Bill 833 money must relate directly to firefighting capabilities, according to the state.

The county jail will receive some improvements via a 13-0 vote by the court. The county will use just over $ 1 million in bailout funds to replace the original heating and air conditioning units on the roof of the jail that opened in 1999.

The money from the US bailout can be used to “support prevention, mitigation or other services in community living centers (incarceration centers, homeless shelters, etc.)”, according to the reports. county information.

$ 113,000 credit order for Northwest Arkansas Council’s covid-19 vaccination and public education campaign will go to second reading next month after failing to secure the 10 votes needed for such an order. The vote was 9-4 in favor of ownership.

Justices of the Peace Carrie Perrien Smith, Brian Armas, Joseph Bollinger and Leigh Nogy voted no. Armas and Bollinger mentioned the marketing aspect of the campaign as part of their reasoning.

Moehring supported the council and its efforts, saying he has been a leader in northwest Arkansas since the covid-19 pandemic began last year, citing his ability to bring different entities together and bring them together. make it work together during the crisis. He encouraged justices of the peace to think about the big picture before voting.

Benton and Washington counties as well as Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale have been invited to be part of the campaign, Moehring said.

Rogers City Council on Tuesday approved a partnership resolution with the council to help it continue the vaccination and public information campaign. The resolution appropriates up to $ 69,908 of the city’s bailout money, according to Mayor Greg Hines. Springdale City Council has pledged $ 87,176 of its bailout money to support the council’s efforts.

Bentonville, Fayetteville and Washington County have yet to decide whether to fund the initiative.

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Declared vacancy

The Benton County Quorum Court on Thursday night declared a vacancy for District 1 Justice of the Peace Mike McKenzie of Rogers recently announced his resignation after he and his wife bought a home in Bentonville outside his district. District 1 covers the east side of the county, including Beaver Lake. McKenzie has served on the Quorum Court for six years. Governor Asa Hutchinson will appoint a replacement. County Judge Barry Moehring expects it will take 30 to 60 days for the governor to make the appointment.

– NWA Democrat-Gazette

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