Benton County Quorum Court Approves Federal-Funded Projects

BENTONVILLE – The Benton County quorum court on Thursday evening approved an order filled with items to be funded by the US bailout.

US bailout appropriations for fiscal 2022 include Phase I of a county jail triage center for $ 100,000.

The first phase will cover the programming and design of the proposed triage facility as well as a master plan for the future growth of the Southwest 14th Street Prison campus, according to a letter to County Judge Barry Moehring of Hight Jackson Associates. .

TreanorHL will do the job with Hight Jackson in support, according to the letter. The work could take three to four months.

The triage center will essentially modify the admission facility and add additional space for quarantine, isolation and medical exams, Moehring said previously.

The money from the US bailout can be used for “support for prevention, mitigation or other services in community living facilities (incarceration facilities, homeless shelters, etc.) According to county information.

Other ordinance spending using US bailout money includes a $ 1.15 million jail medical services contract, volunteer firefighters bonus ($ 90,000), county employee bonus Benton ($ 1 million), matching funds for Bill 833 ($ 264,000) and administrative and personal protective equipment costs ($ 148,000).

The State Fire Protection Services Program – Act 833 of 1991 – provides money for the improvement of qualified fire services and is not intended to pay for the day-to-day operation of fire services. fire. All spending using Bill 833 money must relate directly to firefighting capabilities, according to the state.

These departments do not receive any municipal support, Moehring said.

Justices of the Peace also approved the use of the bailout money for a two-channel extension of the Arkansas wireless information network with four-way talk at a cost of $ 1.38 million and a console backup system in Central Communications County for $ 280,450.

Robert McGowen, county administrator for public safety, said more channels are needed to handle the increased radio traffic. The county now uses four canals.

Congress passed a $ 1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill to accelerate the country’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the covid-19 pandemic. President Joe Biden signed the bill in March. The plan provides $ 350 billion in federal funds for qualifying state, local, territorial and tribal governments nationwide.

The county will receive $ 54 million in US bailout funding – $ 27 million this year and next. The total requests in the priority areas of county employees, county facilities, criminal justice, infrastructure such as water and sewerage, administrative costs and public health and economic recovery total just over $ 109 million, according to county documents.

The county has already contributed $ 1.8 million and earmarked an additional $ 3.9 million of its US bailout funds, County Comptroller Brenda Peacock said.

An amount of $ 25,000 was also approved for the emergency purchase of a battery backup for the data center servers and central communications operations. The money will come from the Department of Information Technology and other county accounts.

Central Communications lost power when a storm hit the night of December 10.

McGowen was informed at 7:27 p.m. that Central Communications was on generator power. Central Communications lost power to the generator at 7:55 p.m., he said.

The backup battery system did not reset after restarting the generator. A manual reset of the backup battery system restored power and Central Communications was back online at 9:05 p.m., McGowen said.

Moehring called the situation an anomaly during discussions at the meeting.

Central Communications is located in the basement of the County Administration Building downtown.

Other business

On Thursday evening, the Benton County Quorum Court also approved:

The county’s real estate and personal property tax mileage for each tax unit and various political subdivisions thereof for 2021 is due in 2022. Twenty-one entities have seen their mileage decrease due to the decommissioning. There was no increase in mileage.

A credit of $ 3,971,223.24 for the Emergency Rent Assistance program.

The appointment of Xyta Lucas to the Benton County Historic Preservation Commission.

Source: Benton County

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