Crawford County justices of the peace approved a 2014 budget on Monday that will give the county a more than $93,000 safety net.
After weeks of whittling away at what was originally a $404,012.76 shortfall in next year’s budget, department heads and JPs were able to make enough cuts to give the county an "extra" $93,279.70.
Excluding the extra monies, Crawford County’s 2014 budget for the County General Fund is $7,037,444.56.
Members of the budget committee met four times in November and December to make generous cuts to each of the major departments, including the county judge’s office, public defender and sheriff’s department.
Since the final budget was approved by committee members at their Dec. 2 meeting, County Clerk Teresa Armer has been working overtime to build an ordinance for the quorum court, she said.
Before, special funding could just be dumped into and paid out of the County General Fund, Armer said. But many of those funds have restrictions and can only be used for specific offices or specific items.
Because of those restrictions, auditors must be able to track down exactly which fund is paying for what item or need, Armer said. The state put in place new coding that must be implemented in January 2014 which is meant to help auditors with that task.
Using the new coding, Armer built an ordinance that shows each special fund and exactly what will be paid out of that fund.
JPs approved the ordinance for the new budget Monday night at their regular monthly meeting.
Also Monday night, JP Lloyd Cole and Crawford County Judge John Hall spoke briefly on plans for a new jail.
Hall told JPs that possible architects for the building have been pared down to three choices, and a recommendation will be made at the January meeting.
Hall also said he would be placing an advertisement for property for the location of the jail, and was particularly interested in land along Arkansas 59 near the industrial park in Van Buren, and along U.S. 64 between Alma and Van Buren.