Lawrence County justices of the peace heard an update on the county’s finances at Monday night’s quorum court meeting.

Judge John Thomison said revenue from the three-cent fuel tax was down as expected, while state turnback funds had not dropped as bad as anticipated.

“Turnback funds have been more up and down,” he said.

He said the road department budget has been hit hard, but because of measures taken, like the part-time furloughs, the budget is holding out OK.

Income from the new cell phone tax that is being used to help fund the 911 center has provided some relief for the county, as well.

“The disbursements have been where we projected them to be,” Thomison said.

Justice Junior Briner, who chairs the budget committee, said a budget committee meeting is slated for July 30 as the furlough in place for many county employees is slated to end this month.

Also on Monday, justices tabled discussion on the proposed annexation of property between Hoxie and Minturn into the city of Hoxie to allow for Minturn to become part of Hoxie. Thomison said County Attorney Clay Sloan will discuss the proposal with Hoxie city officials, and a final draft is expected by the next quorum court meeting.

Thomison and several justices expressed their support for the annexation if the residents are for it. It was noted that Hoxie already provides many services to Minturn residents.

In other business, justices:

Thomison reported that the courthouse was closed on Friday afternoon for a deep cleaning and ionization treatment after a possible COVID-19 exposure was identified by the Arkansas Department of Health. He said the process is supposed to provide 30 to 90 days of residual protection. Thomison said if they are pleased with service, the courthouse could be treated again as a preventative measure.

approved a resolution regarding the continuation of benefits for furloughed employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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