The Lonoke County Quorum Court met Monday night and the agenda included election updates and vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office.
Election Commissioner Camille Bennett spoke to the Quorum Court about the status of election costs and payments received from Cabot. Bennett said after Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert questioned the formula used for election billing, the election commission began consulting with the county attorney, secretary of state’s office and the state election commission until there was a consensus on how elections should be calculated.
“The bill ended [for Cabot] up being $492 less than we had originally billed,” Bennett said. “The reason is, we had put all the expenses in and we changed the formula for the voters. So the voters went down, but the expenses we up. Mayor Cypert and I met and he understood. I think he still has some objections to the past commissioners expenses, but that’s nothing we can talk about and I’m happy to report that we actually have a check from Cabot. So we got a check for $65, 541.66 today.”
Bennett said after reapplying the formula throughout the county, the election commission found some over payment by other cities. Therefor the commission will be cutting checks to those cities for over payment to balance the books according to the new formula. According to Bennett, the check overages range from $4 to $97.
Judge Doug Erwin address Cypert, asking if he had any input to add to Bennett’s report.
“No sir,” Cypert said. “It’s all being done correctly now, at least as I understand it. We’re content.”
In other business, Sheriff John Staley spoke to the court about financial options for purchasing addition vehicles for the fleet.
“I don’t come to you guys and ask you for things unless we absolutely need it,” Staley said. “Each year we’ve
According to Staley, for 2016 the department made $564,000 renting beds and turned back $310,000 of unused money from his budget. With the turn back and income brought in, Staley asked members to consider purchasing new cars in addition to his yearly car budget.
According to Staley, his car budget has grown from $10,000 in 2013 to last years $51,000 for two cars. He said last year the department stretched the $51,000 to actually purchase three used cars, one of which has since been hit and totalled.
“Guess what we are getting for a 2012 totaled charger,” Staley said. “Not enough to get another one. So we are penny pinching like we always do, but we are about penny pinched out.”
According to Staley, his patrol officers are putting 40,000 miles on their vehicles each year and his transport officers are putting 60,000 miles on their cars.
“Thank the Lord, most of the accidents we’ve had, with the exception of very few, have been animals that have ran out in front of them,” Staley said. “And they are totally obliterating the Chargers. You hit a squirrel, a raccoon… it knocks it out. Its out for a week, two weeks. No kidding. That’s what happens in a rural county. These guys driving that many miles, you’re going to have to have quality vehicles.”
Staley said he he would like to invest for the future, in trucks or SUVs for the department. He said the gas mileage would be about the same, but the upkeep would be about the same as a car. He added that they will also dive over most animals which would damage a car.
Staley said he collected three bids on loan options. The first being from First Community Bank with an any term option up to five years with a 2.65 percent interest rate. The second was a 2.97 percent interest rate from Bank of the Ozarks. The third was from First Arkansas with a 3.4 percent interest rate.
While no official motion was made, the court requested that Staley get a firm figure on $250,000 for a three year loan.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in the annex building.