City and county officials feud over funds

City and county officials feud over funds

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Batesville and Independence County officials can’t seem to get on the same page as they work to deal with multiple issues.

Both agree that the feud is “fairly complex” and the problems go back 30 years.

Independence County recently accused the city of owing thousands of dollars for jails fees and district costs.
Independence County recently accused the city of owing thousands of dollars for jails fees and district costs.

Independence County recently accused the city of owing thousands of dollars for jail fees. Those fees are also holding back approved five-percent pay raises to jail officials.

The county also says the city of Batesville has refused to pay district court cost, which includes operation expenses, leaving the county to pay for the expenses, and operation of the district court.

The city contends this is all a pattern of unfair treatment of the citizens of Batesville and it’s time to hash it out.

“It’s time to honor that 1982 resolution. Maybe there’s some adjustments that need to be made. But we need to come and sit across the table from the quorum court, myself and the County Judge, as adults and work these differences out,” Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said.

However, County Judge Robert Griffin released a statement today saying in part:

“I simply can’t understand why the city administration is not willing to put in writing their concern, what they wish done and justification under the law for the action prior to meeting. The county would then respond and then we would meet on an issue.”

Judge Griffin suggests those meetings could be held after each Quorum Court meeting since court members travel from all over the county. Those meetings are held every second Monday of the month.

Griffin would like to handle each issue one by one until the docket is cleared.

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