Budget requests discussed at county board meeting
Budget requests for a new fiscal year were discussed at last week’s regular meeting of the Union County Board of Commissioners.
The meeting was Friday morning, Nov. 12, at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
A budget is being drafted for the county’s new fiscal year, which begins on Dec. 1. The fiscal year continues through Nov. 30, 2022.
Prior to reviewing budget requests, the commissioners approved the allocation of additional federal American Rescue Plan, ARP, funds for an Anna-Jonesboro Water Commission project.
The water commission project involves water main work and construction of a new well.
The county board previously had approved the allocation of $75,000 to the water commission.
At Friday’s meeting, the county increased the amount of the allocation to $200,000.
A number of county officeholders and department heads were in attendance for the budget discussion.
The discussion involved a line-by-line look at budget requests from various county departments.
Some of the matters presented during the discussion included:
•The hiring of a second, full-time public defender. As of late last week, the county’s public defender was reported to have 505 active cases. The county has been outsourcing the services of lawyers to cope with the large number of cases.
•The hiring of a part-time deputy by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Purchase of a new vehicle and new body armor also have been requested.
•The purchase of a track mount skid steer, a brush cutter and two used dump trucks by the Union County Highway Department.
The county also is moving ahead with plans for construction of a new building for the Union County Highway Department. The county is looking at razing a structure across the street from the county courthouse as a location for the new building.
The highway department currently is housed in an aging structure located on the courthouse grounds.
The county also is looking at plans to build a new facility for the Union County animal control program.
The county has been setting aside funds for the highway department and animal control projects.