City & County

Justices to vote on EDCCC guidelines; Scott proposes new ordinance

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

The Clark County Quorum Court on Monday is expected to hold a lengthy meeting and discuss a variety of topics ranging from the 2022 budget to the passage of how the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County may spend funds collected for job recruitment.

There are two ordinances up for consideration regarding the latter topic. The first, Ordinance 2021-22, will be on its third and final reading. If adopted, it would allow the EDCCC to maintain a separate account for the 1/2-cent sales tax collected for economic development, as well as authorize its governing board to create guidelines on how the funds are spent.

To date, two justices — Albert Neal and Jenna Scott — have been outspoken on the ordinance. Neal’s opposition to the ordinance is based off what he calls “truth against untruth” because, he said, those campaigning in support of the tax vowed to allow the quorum court to write the guidelines. 

Scott, meanwhile, is sponsoring a revised version of the ordinance. Scott’s version adds language to the ordinance originally proposed. Scott’s revised ordinance would require the quorum court’s review and approval of the EDCCC’s recommendations. Her version also caps the EDCCC’s spending coffers at $100,000 without prior approval from the quorum court.

Another portion of Scott’s proposal adds language to the ordinance as it relates to the EDCCC’s contract with a private entity such as the Alliance.

Scott included a summary of her proposed ordinance: “This proposed ordinance clarifies the requirement that the Quorum Court remain involved and provide final approval, rather than following the EDCCC to establish their own guidelines with no oversight by the Quorum Court. This issue was addressed prior to the election and voters were repeatedly told that the Quorum Court would have the responsibility to oversee and enforce the rules for the EDCCC.”

Justices also are expected to appropriate funds from a $9,849 state library grant for the Clark County Library. Library director Betsy Fisher is requesting this second-installment grant fund eBook content and nonfiction titles ($2,600), update network technology ($4,100) and buy a book return ($3,000).

There is an ordinance proposed that would set a new personnel policy for county employees, as well as an ordinance adopting a base pay threshold for new full-time employees beginning Jan. 1.

Justices will also consider an ordinance creating the 2022 budget, and also one to levy taxes on real and personal property.

Finally, justices are set to hear an update by the county’s election commission on new redistricting maps.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.