Camden News

Saturday
December 15, 2018
Camden News

Court bids farewell to two, approves budget

By Tammy Frazier
This article was published December 7, 2018 at 12:58 a.m.

— Members of the Ouachita County Quorum Court met Tuesday and considered amendments to ordinances that affect the county’s general fund, the county clerk’s budget, the collector’s budget, the jail fund, the sheriff’s budget and funds for other purposes.

All members of the court were present at Tuesday’s meeting.

The court approved the minutes of the prior meeting and the treasurer’s report.

In unfinished business, the court was presented with two budgets: One that does not exhibit any raises, but there was a mistake in the prosecuting attorney’s budget.

($89,979.34.) Will adjust the bottom line.

Number for 2018: $12829295.48.

The positions approved totaled: $329,000.

Total $13,158,295.48.

County general: $3,326,036.42.

Changes to $1,541,491.72.

Entire budget: $12,268,919.21.(For 2018?)

Prosecuting attorney amount was $88,200,032.00.

Brown: Number reflects the whole budget and salaries are included. But notice on courthouse maintenance went up $16,000? Not because of salaries, right?

No. Salaries are part of daytime janitor, groundskeeper and evening janitor.

Truelove: Added $300 back and the $8,000 with the Red Cross - answered by McAdoo.

Judge percent cost of living increase, SS non-contributory retirement and federal income tax withholding.

West: Do 3-percent increase, do bonuses?

Judge: Look at reduced budget. Depends on how well money is managed. Need to look at policy on hiring freeze on full-time employees. Cannot continue to add full-tie people its $47,000 each time one is added.

Truelove: Put in a rift program, reduction in force?

Judge: Yes.

Trulove: REfer t the council if there’s a rift program, still an at-will employeer.

Judge: Look at attrition first. All depends on how well we manage our budgets and stay within them.

Trulove: All for pay increases, but strongly consider how we move forward.

Judge: Not in the position where it’s needed to reduce force, but freeze adding full-time positions. Don’t have to reduce force at any means. But some time in the future, depending on revenues, may have to do so.

Original budget, elected officials made a concerted effort to cut their budget. Part of abiblity to do that is grounds for 3-percent cost of living adjustment for staff. If continue to budget,, we’re gonna be fine. But as keeper of the big pot, have to make you aware of this.

My recommendation is to go with the 3-percent cost of living adjustment budget.

Nee a motion to amend the agenda to add to item #4 in new business the budget ordinance.

Moved and seconded.

Draft to accept cost of living increase.

Fuller: Does bonuses at tne of year not include it, but surpassed it.

Yes.

● What will giving increase do to the county in the future.

Judge: That’s the question, If COL, it stays. Bonus is one-time thing.

Truelove: Employees see it throughout the year instead of just at end of the year.

Brown: Not in crisis mode now, just looking ahead. Department heads as a whole have done a good job taking care of tax-payer’s money and they are to be commended. And judge has done a good job with the highway department.With less people, you can pay them more. One outweighs the other.

WEst: Also helps them tax wise.

Judge: NO. lump sum, taxes eats them alive.

Truelove: Probably, based on income at the end of the year, take it case by case. Perpetual pay increase

Judge: Also must work toward, by 2021, all employees must be at $11, and we are not there, but this will put us closer.

Trulove: Percentage of those below 11?

Judge: Less than 15 percent in 2011. Must be $10 Jan 1, 2020, $11 Jan 1, 2021.

Williford: Deputy crew is $10.16 per hour.

Judge: Raise plus smaller bonus will all equal out. All due to good job by the end of the year. (Russell)

This is all just

Amend agenda to add cost of living adjustment.

Accepted unanimously.

Item 1 under new business:

Item number 1: $5,400 to small equipment, $2,900 overtime. Approved.

Item number 2: county general fund, collector budget, $3,602,74 retirement fund, full-time salaries. $256.02 overtime. Approved.

Miss Carolyn is retiring and has been a valuable asset. Done a great job. Has really spruced things up for Veteran’s Day, Independence Day.

Carolyn say anything?

“Goodbye. Enjoyed my 26 years at Ouachita County.”

Item number 3: Ordinance in jail fund, sheriff’s budget.2,773.04. Fro special retirement account for full-time employees. Approved. “This is sheriff is running people off.” Terry West.

Sheriff: She’ll be missed. Does all finances for county jail and oversees money that comes from prison inmates. Busy week with training. At first of year, will be getting federal inmates.

The 2019 budget for the county includes sums for the office of the county judge, county clerk, circuit clerk, treasurer, collector assessor, the equalization board, the quorum court, courthouse maintenance, grants in aid, mosquito abatement, economic development, the county health department, the county health department, the first and third divisions of the circuit court, the district court, juvenile court, the prosecuting attorney, the coroner’s office, the office of emergency management, and the county extension.

Funds have also been allotted for the solid waste department, the new animal rescue program, the road fund, the library fund, the 911 funds, money for the sheriff’s budget and jail budget, and funds for the area’s law library, drug court, juvenile court, for hospital maintenance.

Item # 4: For operating budget for 2019.

$3,441497.96 (LIsten to recording.)

General fund total: $3439688.95

$3439688.95

Solid waste: $1109419.77.

New animal rescue fund: $18,000.

Road fund: $3,169238.11.

Treasurer: $104,plus

Collector: $76,000

Circuit court: $13,200.

District court automation fund: $0

Assessor’s amendment: $8,922.12 - $14087.8.

Circuit clerk: $19,800.

LIbrary fund: $191,484.09 $224,931.27

Co clerk operating fund:

Circuit clerk child support: $1,64.51

Drug forfeiture fund: $4,

Jail operating fund, 3099631.19 $2,639,212.15

Sheriff 1,736,673.57

Jail $1,590,452.22

Emerg. Rescue: $10,300

911 fund: $120,309.74

PUblic defender: $23, 183.94

Victim witness: $122,322.23

Indigent defense fund: $15,949.47

Drug court fund: $40,491

Juvenile: $5,538.07

Circuit clerk commissioner’s fund: $4,253.71.

Drug enforcement fund: $5,000

Assessor’s weight fee fund: $0

New sales tax fund: $0 123,752.68

Recorder’s $)

Child support fund: $0. Bal un $265.60

Special reserve retirement fund: $10,00 with $90, unappropriated.

Hospital maintenance fund: $1,397,118.90

Law library: $100,000

DHS: $213,443.14

$13827,711,28233,000

Judge: transfer from circuit child support, they now have their own budget, $1,018 won’t be transferred.

Truelove: Jail operating carry-over is not 90 percent.

Judge: On the road budget. Rainy-day fund.

Voted on by roll call.

Approved unanimously.

Judge: Tonight, a couple of quorum court members retiring tonight: Doris Grissom and Addie Edwards.

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