Arnold calls for united front to FEMA

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Justice of the Peace Mary Ann Arnold encouraged several of her fellow JPs and concerned citizens attend a meeting with FEMA officials at 3 p.m. Monday at the West Memphis Community College.

FEMA is proposing changes to flood maps. Changes so far extend from the Mississippi River to Crowley's Ridge. Several have said this is just a way for FEMA to make money off of flood insurance policies in order to pay back the treasury for the agencies efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

County Judge Charles Nix noted FEMA has been concerned about the levees in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri.

"But we in Northeast Arkansas and Poinsett County are OK because of the St. Francis Levee District," he said.

"I'm very concerned about this," Arnold said. "I am concerned this is gonna get ram-roded down our throats like other things in Washington, D.C. ... We all need to go to this meeting, be aware of what is going on and get the correct information so we know what to do."

In other business, the quorum court passed an appropriations and transfers ordinance to the 2010 budget. The items in the budget had already been approved by the court and included $8,000 for additional expenses for the prosecutor's office; $3,000 for a computer server for the prosecutor's office; $103,378.29 as a FEMA reimbursement for gravel, dirt and sand; $100,000 for culvert and pipe work in unappropriated funds; $4,102.20 as reimbursement from Gallagher Bassett Insurance for lightening damage at the county jail; $500 as reimbursement from WTI for property damages cause by a truck; $20 to buildings and improvements for reimbursement from inmate for damages at the jail; and $261.80 to salaries as reimbursement from an employee for health insurance.

Total appropriations and transfers equaled $219,162.29.

Nix announced he will go to Little Rock next week to receive a $66,000 courthouse preservation grant. The county judge said the funds will be used to make improvements to the outside of the courthouse as well as replace handicap accessible water fountains.

The judge also hopes to hear something soon about an energy grant for which they applied. The county hopes to be able to use the funding from the grant to make interior improvements at the courthouse including the air conditioning unit. Nix said he hopes to get some information soon about the grant.

Nix said the quorum court will meet at 6:30 p.m. July 12 at the old senior citizens center across the street from the courthouse.

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