MOUNT IDA – The Montgomery County Quorum Court will make a crucial decision regarding the construction of a new county jail Thursday, February 22, during a special called meeting.
County Judge Sammy Jones informed everyone during Monday’s meeting that there would be a special called meeting February 22 at 6 p.m. to determine whether they would move forward with the construction of the new county jail facility. The meeting will be to decide what kind of tax increase to request in order to fund the project, or to pass on the project.
Southbuild Team, the firm that would build the proposed facility, will be in town this week through Friday assessing the needs of the county. They will talk with a committee of county employees and members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and then produce a set of blue prints, rendered drawings, and a cost for the project.
The Southbuild Team will host a presentation Friday, February 16 at the county road crew truck shop. Everyone interested in learning more about the proposal is encouraged to attend the presentation at 9 a.m. The blue prints, artist renderings and a proposed budget will be available at the presentation.
The special called meeting February 22 is necessary to get any proposed funding issue on the ballot for this year’s election. The county judge explained to the JPs that he would like to bring it to them at the next meeting, but election rules required an early meeting.
Sheriff David White has stated that he would like to have a 30 bed facility built that would include offices for himself and his deputies, as well as offices for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas State Police. The facility would also have all the necessary functions of a detention facility. He would also like to see an impound yard constructed on site. Sheriff White stated that there would be facilities for male and female inmates, but they would not be able to house juveniles. He explained that they would need a separate facility to house juveniles. Building a new a new court room facility at the same location has been discussed.
If approved, the new facility would be constructed on county owned property adjoining road department property on Fairgrounds Road. This property has access to all public utilities, highway frontage, and does not adjoin any private property.
In other business:
JPs approved a transfer ordinance for 2017 which balanced all the line items in the 2017 budget. County Judge Jones stated that they weren’t in the red in the budget, but this was necessary to meet the requirements of the auditors.
JPs approved an ordinance for 2017 grants for an area water expansion project. The county isn’t involved in the project, but the grant requires the money to go through the county. The money will be transferred to the local entities involved in the expansion project.
JPs approved an ordinance that disburses monies to the Mount Ida Volunteer Fire Department for their work in Texas during Hurricane Harvey. A similar ordinance will be presented at a later date for Joplin Volunteer Fire Department.
JPs approved a resolution for a $4,000 grant for the Montgomery County Fair Association. The money will be used to purchase mowers.
JPs approved a resolution allowing the county judge to pursue an unpaved road grant.