By Joe May
The Southern Standard
Asking for fairness in regards to small businesses receiving EDCCC funds, NAACP President Bruce Bell addressed Monday evening’s meeting of the Clark County Quorum Court.
“Every home needs to be on a solid foundation,” Bell told the court, explaining that as a small businessman in Clark County and a minority, he could not see fairness in the way funds from the county’s 1/2-cent sales tax would be distributed by the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County.
Bell stated that the was “disappointed” in those justices who voted earlier in the year to send the governing ordinance to the EDCCC because “there’s nothing in the ordinance that speaks to the small businessman.”
“That left me a little big intrigued,” Bell said, calling the ordinance that governs the EDCCC “vague.”
“This ordinance is not a good foundation,” Bell continued. “I wish, hope and pray that you justices will listen to us.”
He expressed the hope that the ordinance could be amended to make it easier for “the black community, women and minorities” to receive funds for their businesses from the ordinance. “We can always amend it to make it better for the small businessperson,” Bell said.
Noting that no minority businesses received funds for the first 14 years of the 1/2-cent tax, Bell asked that the court look at making it easier over the next 14 years for minority businesspeople as well as small businesses to benefit economically from the tax.
In the absence of Treasurer Karen Arnold, County Judge Tucker noted that the tax brought in $183,221.40 in June. Of that amount $56,096.36 went to pay bonds while $126,624.04 went to the EDCCC.
In other economic news, Tucker stated that under Act 224, the state will be sending enough money for every law officer in the county to receive a $5,000 stipend. Clark County will receive $86,120. The county will be responsible for paying retirement and other benefits, which amounts to $12,256, he said.
The money will be distributed as a separate check at the next pay period, Tucker noted.
At the motion of Justices Tom Calhoun and B.J. Johns, the motion carried.
• Justices passed a resolution of support for Hostess to participate in a tax-break program at the motion of Justices Darrin Buscher and Albert Neal.
• Tucker said an old copier will be removed from the county’s inventory.