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The Pulaski County Quorum Court passed an ordinance Tuesday night that sets the starting time for its second meeting each month at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

Ordinances become law 30 days after publication in the local newspaper, which hasn't happened yet.

The Quorum Court holds two meetings each month. The first one is a 6 p.m. agenda meeting to establish the resolutions and ordinances that will be heard for a final vote during the second monthly meeting -- the 7 p.m. business meeting.

Under the ordinance, those business meetings will start at 6 p.m.

Justice of the Peace Paul Elliott, R-Maumelle, told the Quorum Court that he believed the time change would be good for everyone, including the county employees who have to stay late to attend the meetings and answer questions.

The ordinance passed 10-0 with little discussion. Justices of the Peace Tyler Denton, D-Little Rock, Donna Massey, D-Little Rock, Judy Green, D-Little Rock, Luke McCoy, R-Sherwood, and Phil Stowers, R-Maumelle, were absent for the vote. Green attended the second half of the meeting.

Budget committee pared in 11-0 vote

The Pulaski County Quorum Court's fall budget committee can no longer be composed of every member of the Quorum Court, as it has the previous two years, under a new ordinance passed Tuesday night.

By state law, County Attorney Amanda Mitchell said, no Quorum Court subcommittee can have more members than what would be considered "quorum." On the 15-member Pulaski County Quorum Court, those subcommittees can have no more than eight members.

The ordinance passed Tuesday updates the county's code to align with Arkansas Code 14-14-904, which it had not been following. It passed 11-0.

The ordinance is the latest in Mitchell's effort to update county code to align with state law and current practices, an endeavor she decided to undertake when she assumed office a year ago.

3 appointees OK'd for energy program

Pulaski County has appointed its three members to the Pulaski County Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which can now start accepting applications for energy efficiency projects.

The Quorum Court approved County Judge Barry Hyde's appointments Tuesday night 11-0. The appointments are: Wright Lindsey Jennings attorney Erika Gee, attorney Randy Rice of the Rice Law Office, and James Paul Latture II, retired executive director of the Little Rock Port Authority.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy program is an improvement district established at the request of Hyde earlier this year and later merged with Sherwood, Jacksonville and Maumelle. Little Rock and North Little Rock have such improvement districts but have not accepted the county's offer to merge.

Under the program, a prospective or existing business, for example, would apply for a loan and pay it back through an add-on to its property tax bill that would be funneled back to the improvement district. The business would be required to save more money through energy efficiency than the cost of the loan.

Funding for the loans can come from private funds, public funds or bonds, according to the Pulaski County attorney's office.

Adam Fogleman, an attorney with the county, said businesses have already applied for projects to the program's board, which is now fully appointed with the three county representatives.

Building is named for late manager

Pulaski County will name the Pulaski County Public Works building on Brown Street just off of West 31st Street the Sherman Smith Public Works Building, after the Quorum Court gave the go-ahead Tuesday night.

Smith was the longtime Pulaski County Public Works director until his death from cancer in September. Smith worked for the county for 17 years.

Public Works oversees the county Road and Bridge, Office of Emergency Management, Sanitation, and Planning departments.

A gold plaque will go on the building, signifying its new name, said Road and Bridge Department Director John Burton. The cost will be $769, but Burton told the Quorum Court it would be mostly funded by private contributions.

After Burton's statement, Larry Jegley -- the prosecuting attorney for Pulaski and Perry counties -- told Burton to count on him for a private donation, lauding Smith's contribution to the county.

"I can't say enough good things about him," Jegley said.

After Smith's death, Barbara Richard took over his position but was unable to officially assume it under then-County Judge Buddy Villines, who had a rule that the Public Works director needed to be an engineer.

Last week, Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde appointed Richard and Burton to be the official directors of their departments, Burton said. They had been serving in an interim capacity.

Metro on 08/26/2015

Print Headline: JPs vote to move meeting up 1 hour

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