Agreement maintains shared expenses for library

Delta Digital News Service

Wednesday, February 21, 2023

By Laila Casiano | Contributor 

JONESBORO, Ark. – The Public Service Committee of the Craighead County Quorum Court adopted an interlocal agreement between Craighead County and Jonesboro concerning the management and supervision of the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library., Monday, Feb. 12.

     The agreement maintains shared expenses for the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, solidifying terms and shared finances for the benefit of all citizens. This contractual arrangement supports the local library by assisting in maintenance and operations of the public library systems. Additionally, the committee adopted an ordinance between Craighead County and Poinsett County regarding library services.

     “The committee essentially examined an agreement with Poinsett County and the city of Jonesboro to operate the library within a regional library setting that updates every five years,” District 13 Officer Kevin Williams said.

“The committee essentially examined an agreement with Poinsett County and the city of Jonesboro to operate the library within a regional library setting that updates every five years.”

District 13 Officer Kevin Williams

    Last fall, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Craighead County Judge Marvin Day received an email from the public library staff requesting an update on the Interlocal Agreement between Craighead and Poinsett County. Day received a copy of the public library’s financial statement and noted the Craighead County Public Library was following an outdated Interlocal Agreement from 1941.

     Day forwarded the financial records to Craighead County Attorney Kimberly Dale, and they were advised regarding issues in the language initially passed between Craighead County and Poinsett County. 

     The interlocal agreement between Jonesboro and Craighead County needs renewal and passage every five years, according to a new state law requiring agreements not to last more than five years without renewal or appropriate acknowledgment by governing bodies. Their attorney then began drafting a “bare-bones” ordinance.

     “More than anything, we are trying to keep it as apolitical, non-political, as possible,” Day said. “We are just following state statutes and agreeing to partner with the city of Jonesboro or Poinsett County, however that may be, to provide these services for the people.”

     Day reassured the committee that nothing will change, and that the agreement will essentially bring the Interlocal Agreement up to current state code. Regarding how things are run or how the library decides to govern itself, Day reiterated they are not attempting to change anything.

     “Let’s just bring it up to the current codes and move forward,”  Day said. “If someone wants to change something in the future, that’s great, but as of right now, we are doing the bare minimum of what we need for the agreement.”

     The county and city will consider the capital contributions of each entity. They aim to establish the benefits of the library to its citizens and take legislative steps to ratify the agreement, effective from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2027.

     “At the end of the day, it’s an agreement between us,” said chair of the Public Service Committee and District 7 Officer Richard Rogers. “The library runs its own board to manage its own affairs, so it doesn’t fall on our lap.”

     In other business, the quorum court:

  • Approved the road report for January 2024.
  • Approved a resolution expressing Craighead County’s willingness to utilize Federal-Aid monies for Highway 49/ County Roads 792 and 960 improvements.
  • Approved the annual report of the Hot Check program from the deputy’s prosecuting attorney’s office, pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated (ACA) 16-21-120(c).
  • Honored Barbara Weinstock, District 5 officer, for her 27 years of service as Justice of the Peace.

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 Laila Casiano is a junior in the multimedia journalism program in the School of Media and Journalism at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She can be reached at: [email protected]

NOTE: Featured photo shows from left, Public Service Committee Service members, Craighead County Judge Marvin Day; District 1 Officer Brad Noel; District 7 Officer and chair of the committee Richard Rogers; District 14 Officer Linda Allison; District 13 Officer Kevin Williams.