By Ray King

Committees of the Jefferson County Quorum Court on Tuesday will be asked to consider transferring $3 million from the Federal American Recovery Plan to Southeast Arkansas College to help pay the costs of constructing a new student center and on-campus housing.

Steven Bloomberg, the President of SEARK, said in a letter to County Judge Gerald Robinson that the school wants to build 300 units of student housing as well as the student center. He said they will be built to operate as college facilities during non-emergency times but could be transitioned quickly to serve the public during a pandemic or other significant emergency situation.

In return, Bloomberg said SEARK will sign an interlocal agreement with the county to allow the county to use the buildings during a public health emergency.

The agenda for the committee meetings shows that Bloomberg is scheduled to make a presentation to the county’s legislative body at the beginning of the meeting.

Another transfer of the federal funds to the Sheriff’s Department for $374,387 will also be considered.

In a letter to Robinson, Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr., said the money will be used to repair and replace glass in detainee housing areas, repair and reinforce stainless steel panels in detainee lavatory areas, repair and replace 10 porcelain commodes with durable steel commodes in detainee housing areas, improve communications infrastructure which Woods said is over 16-years-old, using some of the money to provide hazard pay costs, and acquiring a door/intercom control system.

A third transfer of funds, this one for $57,200 to fix issues with the City of Humphrey’s water treatment plant, is also on the agenda.