Posted on March 22, 2019
By Caitlan Butler
Union County officials agreed to donate a used truck to an area school district Thursday to benefit the Future Farmers of America program.
At Thursday's Quorum Court meeting, County Judge Mike Loftin presented the request for the truck after receiving a letter from the JCSD requesting the truck for their Future Farmers of America program.
“I think that FFA program at Junction City would get much more benefit … They need something that’s halfway decent and big enough to pull their cattle trailer,” Loftin said.
Loftin said the county currently has a 1997 ¾-ton Ford truck with about 250,000 miles on it that is not in use at the County Shop. District 6 Justice of the Peace Cecil Polk said he thought giving the truck to the students was a good idea and would reflect well on the county.
“Any time you’re helping kids with that type of program, I think it looks very good on the county,” Polk said.
District 1 JP Mike Dumas asked whether, since the JCSD is a taxing entity, the county was required to go through a bidding process. The Quorum Court legal counsel, Union County Prosecutor Jeffrey Rogers, said the Quorum Court was allowed to simply donate the truck.
Loftin said if the county chose to sell the truck at auction, it would only raise between $1,000 and $1,500. District 9 JP Benny Vestal said since the value of the truck is so low, donating the truck would not be a sales tax issue for the county. Dumas moved to donate the truck and the Quorum Court, excluding absent District 3 JP Greg Harrison, voted unanimously to do so.
"The Junction City School District is grateful to the Quorum Court," said JCSD Superintendent Robby Lowe. "The truck will greatly benefit our agriculture program. Hopefully, we can expand our animal show program."
The Quorum Court had two appropriation ordinances to review under new business. The first was to appropriate $56,000 from the County General Funds account for the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
“This $56,000 came through the sale of the Mobile Command trailer and truck,” Dumas said. Union County Sheriff Ricky Roberts said the Mobile Command unit was purchased by Code 3 Services, LLC.
The Quorum Court finance committee supported the appropriation and it was unanimously passed by the Quorum Court. Chief Deputy Charlie Phillips said the money would go towards new vehicles and the accessories police vehicles require; $45,000 was appropriated for vehicles and the rest for equipment.
David Lee, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado, also attended Thursday's meeting to answer any questions about the second ordinance on the agenda, which sought to replace a full-time position at the Union County Recreation Complex with two parttime positions.
“Do you have two people lined up and ready to take these positions?” District 2 JP Justin Hendrix asked.
Lee said he had talked to several people interested in the jobs but had not hired anyone yet. He said the position would be open to high school and college students as well as the general public.
Lee said the main reason for changing the position to part-time was to get workers to the complex for night events. He noted that he believed making the switch would save the county money since the part-timers would not be required to receive benefits.
“There’s so many things going on out there in the evenings, we’ve got to have somebody shutting down. We feel like if we have several part-timers we can get just as many things done and it will save the county, as a matter of fact, and the city, money on benefits,” Lee said.
The ordinance proposed taking $28,944.18 from the complex’s full-time salary fund, $4,420.98 from the non-contributable retirement fund and $8,375.68 from the health insurance matching fund. $40,761.89 would go to the part-time salary fund and the remaining $978.95 to the Social Security matching fund.
“Some of the tournaments I was at last year, you (Lee) were there late at night because there wasn’t enough help,” Polk said. “Not that you can’t do it, but it held the tournaments up last year.”
The Quorum Court unanimously approved the ordinance.
Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.