The Pulaski County Quorum Court, at its Tuesday meeting, approved an order allocating part of the US bailout funds.
The order will immediately allocate $ 635,000 to the Comptroller for various expenses, of which approximately $ 9 million will go into a fund that will be used when justices of the peace determine how they wish to use the funds.
According to County Judge Barry Hyde, justices of the peace with good ideas can make plans themselves to have a lasting impact on the county.
“I asked the justices of the peace if [they] have an idea that [they] think you qualify for these funds and then write that idea down and what it would do and how much it would cost, these things, and bring it to us, âHyde said. help you perfect that. “
Pulaski County has received $ 76.1 million in funding from the federal government for Covid-19 assistance.
According to Hyde, funding is restrictive and not all plans, even if they would be good for the county, will not qualify.
âVery few of these things qualify,â Hyde said. “These funds are not coming to us to do what we want. They are pre-restrictive.”
Justice of the Peace Phil Stowers has said he would like to see a larger project that will bring economic growth to the county.
âI would like us to do something eventually in partnership with other municipalities and maybe other counties in central Arkansas through MetroPlan, a great economic development project that would have a positive impact on the economy and employment for generations to come, âStowers said. âThis is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and I would like us to spend these funds on a one-time economic development project in a generation.
Justice of the Peace Kristina “KG” Gulley has said she would like to see some of the funds go to needy places in the county. According to Gulley, her district has flood problems that she would like to solve.
âI’m sure in my colleagues’ districts there’s a need somewhere,â Gulley said. “I just think some of that money could be spent on underserved communities. I know in my district we have a lot of problems with roads and flooding.”
Hyde said Tuesday he had already met with directors inside the county and determined different goals and projects they would like to see in place with the funding.
âI’ve met with each of our directors, and we have six or seven ideas that have been put forward among the directors regarding food security and economic development and skills training and bonuses,â Hyde said. “And I think five of them looked [like they] would probably work, and I said go back and perfect your plan. “
One of those plans has already reached the quorum court procuratorate on Tuesday evening as an order to allocate funds to pay a bonus to county employees was placed on first reading.
The order would allocate $ 500 to employees, with first responders receiving $ 1,000.
At the Agenda Committee meeting a week earlier, Gulley said she wanted everyone to get $ 1,000. Gulley reiterated his position after Tuesday’s meeting.
âI see their position, but I still think everyone at that point has become essential,â said Gulley. “What’s the harm in giving them $ 1,000?” “
According to Hyde, first responders were paid what they were to thank them for remaining in their respective roles during the pandemic.
âThey were obviously more at risk of contracting the virus and having the ultimate bad effect compared to those who still worked in the office,â Hyde said. “A whole different thing for law enforcement and for roads and bridges, which are in the public every day.”