Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said Monday morning that the city council and city attorneys are reviewing an “Independence County/City of Batesville Interlocal Agreement” sent out Friday by Independence County Judge Robert Griffin. The email sent by Griffin also included a copy of Stone County and Mountain View’s interlocal agreement. Both documents will be posted to the Batesville Daily Guard’s website and Facebook page so readers can compare the two.

Griffin said he sent the document as a follow-up to his handshake with Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh last week during Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s visit. He wrote he appreciated the mayor and council proposing a fair 50/50 proposal based upon the Stone County and City of Mountain View District Court agreement.

“This is also my offer in Oct. of 2019,” Griffin added.

“To be clear, my Quorum Court MUST ratify this before the agreement is official, but I would expect the Mayor and City Clerk can execute their signatures based upon the previous vote of the Batesville City Council. I am happy to put aside a point of long standing conflict on District Court and look forward to a great partnership. I am sure we can find other areas of agreement as we move forward. I look forward to more handshakes of agreement,” Griffin wrote in an email.

Highlights of the agreement are:

Either may terminate the agreement at any time with six-month’s advance written notice.

The county and city will split the costs of operating the court and budget committees of both the county and the city will jointly meet to review and approve the budget for the district court prior to Jan. 1 of each year.

Any amounts spent by the district court in excess of the budget will be split 50-50 by the county and city, and any residual amount left at the end of the year will be applied towards the next year’s district court budget.

Each month the county treasurer will submit a form to the Department of Finance and Administration which details the shares of the district court costs and district court filing fees that have been received by the county treasurer.

According to state law the following will be funded: the district court law library, the county-appointed attorney, the Breathalyzer fund, the district court special fund, and residual monies left after the district court is funded will then be disbursed 50-50 to the county and city.

The county and city will retain any personal property or real estate property should this agreement be terminated.

At the beginning of the document, the county and city would agree that there is a need for a district court to operate within the county and city, for the administration of justice and to benefit the general public, and that there is a need to share financial resources to provide for a sufficiently funded and operated district court.

This interlocal agreement would prove both parties are acting in good faith to split the expenses of district court, as well as the distribution of uniform filing fees and court costs as provided by the Department of Finance and Administration-Administration of Justice Fund.

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