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New JPs sworn-in at first 2021 QC meeting; county fair and more discussed

Independence County Judge Robert Griffin (right) performs the swearing-in of county quorum court members for 2021.

The Independence County Quorum Court held its first meeting of 2021 on Monday night.

One order of business involved the funding of the Independence County Fair.

County Judge Robert Griffin told justices that the fair is about $38,000 in the hole, due in part to the coronavirus-related cancellation of the 2020 fair. A motion was made and approved to utilize up to $32,488 in unclaimed leftover recreational funds from 2020 to help with the deficit.

A 2021 edition of the Independence County Fair has yet to be finalized. Funding and COVID-19 restrictions will still be part of the equation in deciding to hold the fair this year. The Independence County Fair Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss its options. Even though utilities are turned off at the fairgrounds, the area still has to be maintained and insured — and that takes funds. The judge suggested other committees look for additional funding for the fair.

In other business, two new court members, Jimmy Limbaugh and Jason Jones, joined the court upon the exit of Bill Lindsey and Keith Harmon at the end of 2020.

Limbaugh defeated incumbent JP Lindsey in the November general election, and Jones replaced Harmon who retired from his post on the court.

During the regular business meeting of the quorum court, routine reports were heard from Sheriff Shawn Stephens, Treasurer Bob Treadway, as well as road and district court reports.

Stephens noted the Independence County Detention Facility is now back to accepting female inmates — but only on a limited basis. In his report, County Treasurer Bob Treadway said December 2020 totals of the county-wide one-cent sales tax were up 4.98 percent with $292,219.83 over December 2021 totals.

In other business, three ordinances passed unanimously:

  • The naming of the regular meeting time and place for the quorum court for 2021 (6 p.m. on the second Monday of every month at the Jesse B. Carpenter Building on Main Street in Batesville)
  • An amendment of an ordinance to appropriate grant funds into the Cord Volunteer Fire Department GIF (guaranteed investment fund) fund.
  • And a final ordinance clarifying language from previous ordinances regarding household trash service in the county.

The initial Economic Development Commission meeting of the year for the county was held prior to the January regular business meeting of the Independence County Quorum Court.

Appointments were made for the position of secretary (Tim Stewart), treasurer (Treadway), community editor (Crystal Johnson), and property manager (Griffin).

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