Commissioners review budget and bridge updates, discuss Facebook page, shutdown, post office
During their regular meeting Monday, the Ozark County Commissioners acknowledged that all county offices have submitted their budget requests and said the county budget will be finalized this week. Ozark County County Clerk Brian Wise reported that the budget process is going “as smooth as it possibly can.”
The commissioners discussed a contract for design services on the Pond Fork bridge on County Road 912 that will be awarded to Anderson Engineering, with engineering costs not to exceed $80,050. The total project is estimated to cost about a half a million dollars, none of which will come out of the county budget, the commissioners said, thanks to funding from the Off-System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, known as B.R.O. The bridge-replacement process is slated to begin and be completed in 2019 or 2020.
The shutdown of the federal government over the weekend and on Monday while Congress wrangled over budget and immigration issues had no apparent impact on Ozark County. The commissioners have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance related to the spring 2017 flooding, but presiding commissioner John Turner said that process apparently continued unchanged during the brief shutdown. A news release Tuesday from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Little Rock, Arkansas, office said Corps-operated facilities on area lakes, including campgrounds, day-use areas, visitor centers and offices that are nomally open in winter had reopened Tuesday after being closed Monday because of the shutdown. Little Rock commander Col. Robert Dixon said only a few Little Rock District parks remain open through the winter months, and any visitors whose reservations were canceled due to the shutdown can request a refund by calling 888-448-1747. Ozark County parks on Bull Shoals or Norfork lakes weren’t impacted by the shutdown, which ended Monday afternoon when Congress passed a short-term spending bill that funds the federal government through Feb. 8.
In comments during Monday’s meeting, Western district commissioner Greg Donley noted that his post about snowy road conditions on the Ozark County Commissioners Facebook page last week had more than 3,000 views. For updates on county road conditions and other issues, residents can search Facebook for “Ozark County Commissioners” and then “like” the page.
Responding to a question about his recent email message to the U.S. Postal Service saying a new $270,000 post office at Zanoni is not wanted or needed, presiding commissioner John Turner said he has not had any further correspondence with anyone from USPS. (See related story, page 1.)