Quorum Court approves incentive for Big River Steel, adopts social media policy

Quorum Court approves incentive for Big River Steel, adopts social media policy

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - The Mississippi County Quorum Court discussed several items on their agenda Tuesday night, including an appropriation of funds for an incentive to Big River Steel.

The incentive is $1.8 million in economic development funds to the steel producer.

Clif Chitwood, the county economic developer, said during the county’s planning and development committee meeting on June 18 that Big River Steel will start their Phase 2-A expansion project soon, adding 100 jobs.

With the incentive commitment, the county will give Big River Steel $18,000 for every Mississippi County resident hired to a new position, and $9,000 for every resident hired from Dunklin County or Pemiscot County, up to that $1.8 million limit.

Justice of the Peace Howard Norvell asked Chitwood how many people hired at the mills in Mississippi County live outside the state of Arkansas.

“It depends on the employer,” Chitwood said. “Now like Big River, their baseline, where they are starting, is with 245 Mississippi County employees, and 62 employees from the two Missouri counties, so that is almost four to one for Mississippi County.”

That appropriation passed.

Justices also passed a resolution to implement a social media policy for county employees and add the guidelines to the employee policy handbook.

Social media defined in the handbook will be any posting of information or content of any sort on the internet.

It states the same principle and guidelines applicable to county employee conduct will also apply to their activity online.

It said employees must maintain a certain level of professionalism during working and non-working hours.

Also, any conduct that adversely affects an employee’s job performance, the job performance of others, or affects the interests of the county and/or it’s citizens is punishable by disciplinary actions up to being terminated.

Harassment, cyberbullying, racist or sexist comments, and comments that target the religious beliefs of others will result in termination, the resolution said.

Also, a new line item was added for the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office budget for funding to buy supplies for criminal investigation by CID.

This came after the sheriff’s office had to send D-N-A from a dog to be tested in California.

A policy prohibiting excessive force during non-violent civil rights protests passed so the county could finish the application for a Community Development Block grant.

That grant, if the county receives it, would give $750,000 to the Mississippi County Hospital System.

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