On June 11th members of the Lawrence County Quorum Court met in Walnut Ridge for their regular meeting.

Once called to order, the focus of the meeting quickly turned toward the issue of the county roads.

First, members of the quorum court heard from a Little Rock firm with their suggestions on reappropriating tax funds. Discussed proposals required voters repeal a current tax and then approve a tax measure to fund the road department.

The current 3/8 cent jail tax is set to expire in 2028, the proposed tax funding for the road department would be permanent tax.

County Judge Gary Barnhill once again requested additional funds be moved to the Lawrence County Road Department for gravel and culvert purchases. Some members were reluctant to go along with the County Judge’s request, Justice Binkley even went so far as to ask the judge for a prioritized list of the county roads be provided before he’d go along with the request.

An open discussion began about some roads receiving wasteful amounts of material and others lacking material. Justices again ask the Judge to “promise” to prioritize the roads that need it worse.

Several of the Justices have taken a particular interest not just in the finances of the Lawrence County Road Department but also the performance after numerous citizens came forward expressing their displeasure with the department. Citizens expressed concern of the lack of material on the west side of the county and quality of work citing lack of training.

No proposed changes to any current or future tax concerning the road department is on the November 2024 ballot, yet.

This proposal can only be placed on the ballot by the Quorum Court, it would still require the vote of citizen to pass or fail.