By Ray King

With no dissent, the Jefferson County Quorum Court on Monday approved a just over $30 million budget for 2021.

That budget includes $9.14 million in County General, which funds most of the county’s business, and another $20,928 million in miscellaneous funds, including $5.28 million for the road department, $4.13 million for the adult jail, and $1.64 million for the juvenile justice center.

The 2021 budget includes a provision to deal with tax revenue received from the Saracen Casino next year. That provision calls for putting $75 percent of the amount received into an Emergency Reserve Fund and the remaining 25 percent into county general.

Prior to the opening of the casino itself, County Judge Gerald Robinson said all of the tax revenue from the annex went into the reserve fund, allowing the county to set back an estimated $400,000.

“This round, we’re changing that up and putting some of the money in county general to be able to do somethings we need to do,” Robinson said.

He was asked about how much revenue the county has received In the past, and what he expects in the future.

An ordinance establishing a $30 per day fee for cities who bring prisoners to the adult jail was also approved.

The ordinance provides that the county judge or his designee is authorized to enter into an appropriate interlocal agreement with any city wanting to use the jail to hold prisoners but those agreements are not required to impose the daily fee.

In another matter, the county’s legislative body approved the appointment of Joni Alexander to the Economic Development Corporation Board, replacing Kalibra Morehead, whose term has expired. The Board administers the three-eights cent sales tax that was approved for economic development in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County.