The Energy and Property Committee of the Mississippi County Quorum Court recently approved to move a resolution to the full Court for the county to accept the Moore building as a gift from Arkansas Northeastern College.
The building has long been used by the county to store election equipment and as a site for early voting and some county offices, but in recent years has fallen into disrepair and is no longer useable in its current state. ANC has offered to deed the building over to the county as it is, and Judge Randy Carney encouraged justices to accept the offer, saying that the county should easily be able to secure funds that would help renovate the facility.
Questions were raised about the poor condition of the building and the potentially high cost of repairs, but Carney said he believes the county can secure GIF funds from Sen. David Burnett, as well as possible other grant funds, that would help restore the Moore Center to a "showplace."
Justice Bill Nelson said that he is not "confident," but that he does know there are monies available from legislators -- though many other groups are likely to be requesting the same funds.
"Hypothetically, there's a $200,000 grant that we would be eligible if we used the facility as an incubator office for new industry moving into the area. It's best to accept it [the building], and then if we can't get funds we find a way to move it along to somebody else. But if we don't own it then we can't get the funds; it's a cycle" he said.
Carney, in a previous interview with the CN, mentioned that if the Moore Center was restored it would contain several offices which would be designated for use by new industry looking to relocate to the area.
The committee also reviewed an extensive list of property owned by various county departments that are not being used and could provide income through sale or salvage. Prepared by Ray Dill of the county assessor's office, the list shows vehicles and equipment in varying stages of disrepair that are not currently being used but could bring in money for the county's general fund. Some items belong to the Sheriff's Department or drug task force through confiscation and funds generated through those may need to be handled differently, but the road department owns a large collection of equipment as well.
Justices decided that a public auction would be the best way to sell the equipment, and have made tentative plans to advertise for an auction company then set the auction for sometime in January or February.