Committees of the Jefferson County Quorum Court on Tuesday will discuss a proposed 2019 budget for County General of just over $8.3 million when they meet at 5:30 p.m.
A budget preparation summary for members of the county’s legislative body showed that the revenue projection for 2019 was $9.639 million, and the county would have $8.675 million available for appropriations from the County General Fund.
County General serves as the funding source for most county offices and departments to pay salaries, benefits and operational costs.
Under state law, Jefferson County can only appropriate 90 percent of projected revenue, and the county has continuing financial obligations totaling $352,055, which includes the county’s portion of the MECA (Metropolitan Emergency Communications Association) bill and a contribution of $86,086.73 to the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System for a settlement of money owed to former count employee J. Y. Williams.
That leaves a total for county general in 2019 of $8,323,325.05.
Included in the packet of information that was distributed to Quorum Court members Friday was a copy of a letter from the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee dealing with findings from the 2017 audit of Jefferson County, and addressed to Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter.
The letter, which was dated Nov. 9, reported several findings that violated state laws or were not adequately documented.
Specifically, the letter said the county judge at that time paid $2,000 to a business owned by a county employee to host a candlelight vigil and $750 to the wife of a county employee for a water tank without authorizing ordinances from the Quorum Court. Also, the letter said the county made payments to organizations in violation of state law that provides that no county can appropriate or obtain funds for any corporation, association, institution or individual.
The funds were paid to the following: Grassroots Consulting for $8,125; Community Empowerment Council for $5,000; De’Nes Productions for $2,000; and Salvation Army of Pine Bluff for $2,000.A separate note said the county judge and the sheriff paid an individual who held a full-time position as a major in the Sheriff’s Office $55,178 and an additional $9,600 for a position part-time with the County Road Department without documenting the hours worked part-time.
Other items on the agenda Tuesday include:A $7,876.72 appropriation for the Jefferson County Board of Election Commissioners for the Altheimer run-off election.A $420,000 transfer within the County Treasurer’s Automation Fund for general supplies.A $96,983.76 supplemental appropriation for the County Road Department to reimburse the department for fuel obtained by other county agencies and departments.A resolution allowing retiring Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson to buy a Glock G27 .40-caliber pistol and a Bushmaster XM-15-E25 .223 caliber rifle that had been issued to him for fair market value. The resolution would also allow the county to award Robinson his service pistol, a Glock G-22, upon his retirement at the end of the month. He will become Jefferson County judge on Jan. 1.