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Quroum Court to consider end of year business at meeting today

by Caitlan Butler | November 18, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.
Unlit Christmas lights can be seen on the Union County Courthouse facade. The county Quorum Court will meet today at the courthouse at 10 a.m. (Matt Hutcheson/News-Times)

The Union County Quorum Court will meet today to discuss several end-of-year business items, among others.

First on the agenda is consideration an ordinance setting tax levies on real and personal property. No changes to local tax rates are shown in the ordinance up for review today.

Justices of the Peace will also consider today whether to accept a property donation from the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The donation would include a 3.02 acre tract of land located next to the Union County Maintenance Shop on Champagnolle Road.

David Archer, district engineer for ARDOT District 7, said should JPs approve the donation, the matter will then need to go before the Arkansas Highway Commission, who are scheduled to meet on Dec. 7.

"We (ARDOT) built a new facility on Industrial Road and it is my understanding we are going to donate our old site to the county for transportation purposes," Archer said in an email Wednesday.

Also on the agenda is a proposal to change the inmate housing fee charged to cities in Union County to $53 per inmate.

In 2019, after several back-and-forths between the El Dorado City Council and Quorum Court, the inmate housing rate was set at $175,000 per year, plus an upfront payment of $600,000 to the county to help offset the costs of upgrades at the Union County Detention Facility.

The News-Times reached out to Sheriff Ricky Roberts to ask about the proposed change but did not hear back by press time Wednesday.

JPs are also set to consider an ordinance that would allow the county to do business with Loftin Lawncare & Landscaping, which is owned by Brandon Loftin, a relative of County Judge Mike Loftin.

According to the ordinance, Loftin Lawncare purchased Hilyard Lawn Services, LLC, the company the formerly provided lawn care services at several county-owned properties, including the Union County Courthouse and the Union County Local Health Unit.

The ordinance would allow the Loftin Lawncare to continue to provide the services Hilyard formerly furnished to the county.

The final agenda item for today's meeting is consideration of the operating budget for fiscal year 2022.

District 3 JP Greg Harrison is also expected to provide an update on the El Dorado-Union County Recreation Complex at today's meeting.

The Quorum Court's Finance Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor conference room at the Union County Courthouse before convening with the full Quorum Court at 10 a.m. in the same location.

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