Bradley County Quorum Court discusses shortfall in tower reconstruction

Members of the Bradley County Quorum Court met for the August monthly meeting of the Court and conducted routine business as well as discussed several other items of business. Judge Klay McKinney told the JPs that he has signed the contract to finalize the Bell Tower repairs and reconstruction and that the additional repairs, determined after the original project was undertaken, will cost $400k. The County has come up with some additional funding but remains $56k short. He stated that efforts continue to find additional State money to cover the cost. The Judge said he went ahead and signed the contract because the project needs to be completed.

Judge McKinney informed the Court the efforts are underway to secure two grants to upgrade and expand New Beginnings, the non-profit that provides drug and substance abuse treatment, located on York Street in Warren. The treatment facility serves the 10th Judicial District of Southeast Arkansas. Two grants for a total of $600k are being pursued, and if awarded, will come through the County.

Leslie Huitt, Bradley County Hospital Administrator, updated the Justices on hospital activities and projects. She indicated a major effort is underway to improve the Swing Bed section of the hospital.

The County Judge then reported that work is almost complete on the replacement of a wooden bridge on Bradley Rd. 60. It will be a steel bridge. The Judge stated Bradley County has three wooden bridges remaining and he hopes to replace them.

Justice Randy York asked about the status of the solid waste collection system. Judge McKinney replied that some progress has been made but more work is needed. Problems have existed with the placement of garbage containers and the type materials put in or around them.

The Court then voted to approve the 2020 county audit, performed by the State of Arkansas. There were no findings.

Immediately after the Quorum Court adjourned, a public hearing was conducted in accordance with law to discuss how to spend the $1.8 million dollars the County has received from the American Rescue Plan as funded by the United States Government. The following comments were submitted:

  1. Dana Harvey-JP-Elect for District 9–Consider using some funds to make a place for public use on the Old Martin’s lot on Main Street. There is a need for a farmer’s market.
  2. Gregg Reep-Work with the city to remove and make use of the Old Bryant’s property for a multi-use site for parking, concerts, Tomato Festival, etc.
  3. JP Pat Morman-Use funds to benefit everyone. Provide a generator for the courthouse and maybe a community building
  4. JP Gwen Bullard-Create a place for teenagers to gather.
  5. JP. Randy York-Consider youth and sidewalks, particularly on the Old Camden/W. Pine Street area.
  6. JP Bobby Hargrave-Improve rural fire capabilities and water supply.
  7. There were also comments made about needing a County jail. It was noted that jails are not eligible under this program.

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