New JPs seated as BC Quorum Court holds 1st meeting of 2021

Newly seated 14th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Johnnie Copeland administered the oath of office to 10 members of the Baxter County Quorum Court Tuesday evening to kick off the evening’s proceedings.

New members Dennis Frank, District 1, and Roger Steele, District 8, joined eight returning members of the quorum court for the first meeting of the new year. Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass told the justices that new District 2 member Angela DeGroote sent her regrets, as she was practicing COVID-19 protocols after having been exposed to an individual with the coronavirus.

The court then breezed through a nine-item agenda in about 20 minutes. Much of the items were routine housekeeping matters and confirmation of Judge Pendergrass’ appointments to fire protection boards.

The justices gave their unanimous approval to an ordinance establishing an e-waste grant fund. Pendergrass told them the fund was being established as a mechanism to forward $18,533 from the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District to the Baxter Day Service Center, which serves as the county’s recycling center.

E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products deposited at the Baxter Day Service Center’s recycling operation. Pendergrass says there is no longer a market for these items. Funding has been provided by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to keep the items from landfills. The judge says these funds represent the final dollars from ADEQ for this purpose.

The court then confirmed the appointment of Clyde J. Smith to complete the term of John Browning and Jana Perryman to complete the term of William Black on the Henderson Fire Protection District Board of Commissioners.

Approval was also given for the reappointments of Dianne Beaman and Dave Matty to the Cotter/Gassville Rural Fire Protection Board of Commissioners.

Under announcements, Judge Pendergrass told the court the Eaton Corporation recently exercised its option to purchase the land where the manufacturing facility is located at 1830 South College Street. The option established almost 30 years ago allowed for the purchase of the land from the county for $100.

Pendergrass says Paul Fagras has been hired to fill the part-time role as manager of the Baxter County Airport following the retirement of Kathy Frederick. Fagras brings about 30 years of FAA experience to the role.

In addition, Pendergrass announced that former sheriff’s department employee Joe Quinn has been hired as an OEM assistant.

And finally, the judge told the justices he needs their help in securing three to four individuals to fill openings on the county’s planning board.

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