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WASHINGTON COUNTY NEWS & UPDATE BY JP BETH COGER 7/7/24. Attend the Quorum Court Finance & Budget/Combined County Servics meeting with meTuesday 7/9/24.

Updated: Jul 8

PLEASE go to YouTube and sign up for Washington County’s YouTube channel.  Subscribe and be informed.  You can do that here: https://www.youtube.com/@washcoar  

There are now 794 subscribers and we need everyone in Washington County to subscribe and watch the meetings.  Only 267 have viewed the most recent quorum court meeting. 


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SAVE OUR NWA COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS CENTER


If you haven’t done so, or if you have done so and want to do it again, contact Judge Deakins, Sheriff Cantrell, the Arkansas Board of Corrections, the governor, and your legislators.  Tell them you want the NWA CCC (the women’s prison on College Avenue) to remain here so that women can get the treatment they need and the benefit from the over 350 community volunteers from 24 different volunteer groups that come into the women’s prison to teach, mentor and guide the women!  They also have a Civilian Advisory Committee for the facility.


Did you know that the 2020 Criminal Justice Assessment Study prepared by the National Center for State Courts had to say about our CCC (P. 119):  


"NWA CCC, the female center in Fayetteville, is a model for jails and prisons."

Here’s how you can contact your county officials.  You can write to the Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Lindsay Wallace, by contacting her Chief of Staff, Wade Hodges, at Wade.Hodge@doc.arkansas.gov and Vicki McDonald at Vicki.McDonald@doc.arkansas.gov  or by calling 501-682-3309.

 

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🌟 WASHINGTON COUNTY QUORUM COURT FINANCE & BUDGET COMBINED WITH COUNTY SERVICES COMMITTEE MEETING TUESDAY 7/9/24, 6:00 PM, WASHINGTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE.  In person meeting only.  Meeting will be live-streamed on the County’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar


There will be a twelve minute public comment time before we vote on any resolution or ordinance, and also another twelve minute public comment period at the conclusion of the meeting, after all decisions have been made and votes taken.  Some Agenda Items to

Watch (see the complete Agenda here):


  • Item 4.1  Juvenile Detention Center Monthly Statistics Report 6/24.  As of 6/30/24 we had 14 juveniles in our WCJC with an average length of stay for 6/24 of 6.68 days.  See the report for more details.  The JDC does a great job sharing statistics and information.

  • Item 5.1  Washington County Sheriff’s Report 5/15/24 to 6/15/24.  We had 975 detention center intakes (compared to 941 for prior year); 78 are federal prisoners that we have a contract with the Bureau of Prisons/US Marshall’s Office to hold and we have 526 people in our jail pre-trial average daily population as of 6/15/24.  

  • Item 6.1  Treasurer’s Financial report.  We received $621,927.11 in County General Property Taxes for 6/24.  The county’s share of the one-cent sales tax wa $895,069.43, for a total of $5,311,849.73 through 6/30/24.

  • Item 8.1  Unappropriated Reserve Balance Report as of 6/30/24

  • Item 11.1  A regrade of the Planning Director position for 2024 to grade 24.  Doesn’t require additional funding for 2024 as the “planner position being vacant these change (sic) will not impact the overall budget since funds are available…”

  • Item 12.1  A regrade of the JDC Director to a grade 25.  This requires additional funding for 2024 in the amount of $11,200.49

  • Item 13.1  Appropriates $1,825,620.00 from the unappropriated reserves to the Radio Sales Tax Fund for 2024.  The ordinance states “...the County is nearing completion of its emergency communications system and will be paying final invoices soon…”

  • Item 14.1  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Grant of $399,996.00 to provide substance abuse treatment for participants in the Washington and Madison County Drug Court Program.

  • Item 15.1  Discussion of Fayetteville Alcohol Sales.  Read Fayetteville City Attorney’s legal memorandum starting Page 56 of the agenda. I’m not sure what this is about, but likely procedural matters for the Sunday alcohol sales to be placed on the general election ballot for November.


🌟  Washington County Planning and Zoning Board meets Thursday 7/11/24, 5:00 PM, Washington County Courthouse, Quorum Courtroom.  In person meeting only.  Here’s the agenda https://acrobat.adobe.com/id/urn:aaid:sc:US:04699dd5-bd12-44ae-872f-59adca2010af.  


  • There’s one variance hearing for Andreas Espinoza, 1884 N. Double Springs Rd WC881

  • Three Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Hearings.  

  • A.  Desert Sand Commercial Buildings CUP 7645 W John Garrison Rd, Fayetteville, Applicant Joseph Warren 5 acres to be used as a multi-use warehouse

  • B.  Kramer Facility CUP 10508 N Hwy 265, Fayetteville, Applicant John Holmberg 1.20 acres for a commercial detergent factory.  That’s a new one for me.

  • C.  Red Hawk CUP 10637 SE Campbell Rd WC 63, Fayetteville, 6-14 acres out of 61.77 acres to be used as a commercial mobile storage container site (HogBox), Applicant John Ogle and Owner Lori Devecsery.

  • One Land Development Hearing  Replat of Lot 5 Sonora Subdivision, 17705 Matthew Way, Springdale, Applicant Blake Murray (Crafton Tull) one parcel.


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YOUR WASHINGTON COUNTY DETENTION CENTER INFORMATION 7/7/24


Here’s the link to an Excel Spreadsheet of the data which you can download and play around with and get a lot more information.


As of  7/7/24, there are at least 757 people locked away in our Washington County Detention Center.  Most of those are pretrial - meaning they’ve been arrested and/or charged, but have not been found guilty.   98 of those people are homeless. The unsheltered population consists mostly of young people in their 20s, 30s or 40s, up to 50.  There are 16 people who are listed as unsheltered or homeless that are over 50.


There are 234 Failure to Appear charges;  245 “holds for other departments”; and 62 “courtesy/contract holds.”  Here’s the link to the Detailed Charge Report:  



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NEW COUNTY BID POSTINGS  


 🌟 No new bids or proposals as of 7/7/24.


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COUNTY JOB OPENINGS THIS WEEK (7/7/24)


Washington County Judge Patrick Deakins is looking for a new Chief of StaffHere’s more information on that position.  It pays quite well:  Type: Full Timelary/Pay Rate:$111,104.05 - $124.992.06 (DOE)ted Date:0621/2024

New Job Posting:  Deputy Veterans Services Officer.  Salary/Pay Rate:  $20.24  Type:  Full time.  Must be a military veteran or spouse of a disabled veteran  Go here to apply:  https://www.washingtoncountyar.gov/Home/Components/JobPosts/Job/4333/25

Please share these job postings.

 There you’ll be able to complete an online application, see salary ranges and more.  

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THINGS TO KNOW:


 AR Citizens for Transparency in Government (Arkansas Freedom of Information Act) didn’t have the required number of signatures to get the initiatives on the ballot this time, but we’re not going away.  We’ll be refiling very soon.  


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COUNTY ZONING PROPOSAL (ORDINANCE, RULES & REGULATIONS)


PLEASE SEND ME ALL YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ABOUT THE NEW ZONING ORDINANCE AND ZONING MAP.

ZONING MAP FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY:  The white parcels would be zoned commercial - these mainly follow along state highways and the interstate.  The blue parcels would be zoned industrial - these include existing dirt mines and quarries…To see the proposed zoning on the interactive map, select “Layer List” from the top menu and click the box for “County Zoning Map 2024.”

To get a copy of the proposed planning ordinances, please check the Planning Department Ordinances and Regulations page, as shown in the image below.

 

Here are the links to the zoning districts webmap draft and the planning ordinances draft (PDF also attached).


 My email is:  ejcoger@gmail.com.  My number is 479-306-9994.  Please call and/or text.

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WANT TO BECOME INVOLVED?


  • ATTEND AS MANY MEETINGS OF THE QUORUM COURT AND ITS SUBCOMMITTEES AS YOU CAN.  CHECK MY WEBSITE WWW.BETHCOGER.COM FOR DATES AND TIMES.   

  • CONTACT JUDGE DEAKINS AND TELL HIM YOU WANT OUR CRISIS STABILIZATION UNIT TO REMAIN OPEN AND ASK HIM TO GET TO WORK ON FINDING ANOTHER VENDOR BECAUSE WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.

  •  Continue to ask Judge Deakins to appoint members to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and get that group up and running! This is too important. If you haven’t called, please do so, or send email, or go by the courthouse and speak to the judge in person.  WHAT’S NEXT?  WHY WON’T JUDGE DEAKINS APPOINT MEMBERS AND ACTIVATE THIS COMMITTEE AND LET IT GET TO WORK?  ASK HIM.

  • Contact your JP and set up a time to meet them for coffee or just to get together.  Become a regular voice in their ear and urge them to support criminal justice reform and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.  That’s how I got started advocating to the court back in 2019. CAN YOU TAKE AN HOUR OR TWO AND MEET WITH YOUR JP AND SHARE YOUR CONCERNS OR COMMENTS, OR WHATEVER YOUR THOUGHTS ARE.

  • Share this Newsletter with your friends and neighbors!

  • Write letters to the editor.  letters@nwadg.com

  • Do you have a court date in Benton or Washington County? Arkansas Justice Reform Coalition (AJRC)  has a program to train volunteers to offer practical, procedural, and emotional support during your court hearing. From a reassuring check-in before your court date, to standing by your side on the day of court. Everyone deserves to be heard, supported, and understood.

  • To request a Court Support Volunteer, please fill out the Courtside Support Request Form. Questions? Concerns? Reach out to us at arkansasjusticereform@gmail.org.

  • To become a volunteer, contact AJRC at 479-345-1150 or the above email.  They provide training that will help make you a great Court Support Volunteer.


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