County Judge’s Report April 2013

The County Road Department is off to a fast start in 2013. Below is this years goals and the last twelve (12) weeks YTD totals;

ITEM                                                                                               2013 Goals                                             2013 (12 wk. total)

Tons of gravel                                                                              160,000 tons                                         46,722 tons

4”+ gravel/drainage improvement/completed             61.0 miles                                                12.0 miles

Asphalt overlay                                                                            4.0 miles                                                  ————

Chip & Seal overlay                                                                    27.5 miles                                                ————

Total feet of culverts 5,000 ft. 1,211 ft.

Chip & Seal overlay and preparation work will begin on July 29, 2013.

The bridge has been completed on Round Springs Road, off of Highway 9W. A new box culvert was installed on Linn Creek Road off of Highway 110.

On February 20, 2013, an announcement was made that Global Food Group was purchasing the ‘old’ Volex building, behind Wal-Mart, to renovate the building into a food manufacturing and freezer facility.

The estimated time-line to renovate the building and start production is; Two (2) to three (3) months to complete legal work, loan application, developing plans and selecting construction contractors. Four (4) to five (5) months, after initial planning stage, to renovate plant by building. Building a 30,000 sq.ft., below zero, freezer, by installing racks, walls, and refrigerator system, in the freezer. Build a 10,000+ sq.ft. manufacturing area with walls, 40 degree rooms and equipment. Install walls and refrigeration in dock area.

Estimate start-up of production is to be in the fall. Starting with 50+ employees and expanding to 225 employees within five (5) years. Some high-lights of Global Foods are; Global Foods is a subsidiary of Global Performance Group out of Cabot, AR. Global has sales and head-quarters in Cabot, AR. and a branch sales office in Memphis, TN. They also lease a manufacturing plant in Georgia.

Products made and sold by Global Foods are retail sandwiches, quesadillas, tortillias, and burritos. They will also package control brands of products, such as chicken tenders, all types of potato products, southern vegetables, breads, rolls and biscuits.

Global Foods customers are Associated Grocers, Super Value, Harps and Food Giant. A selection of ‘Pick Five’ (5) products, made or packaged by Global Foods, are now available in the freezer section at the Thriftway store in Clinton.

I believe that Global Foods will be a good community partner. I believe that with this partnership, our community will prosper.

Some local realtors tell me that sales of existing homes are picking up. I am seeing a few new homes construction and remodeling beginning.

I understand that the home mortgage interest rate continues to be at near historical lows. I see several new businesses opening up. Please help support your local Van Buren County businesses and tell all of your ‘out of County’ family and friends to visit our County in 2013 and check out our lake, beauty and businesses.

Recently, I signed a Proclamation in commemorative of 100 Year Anniversary of the Arkansas Department of Health. During those 100 years, the average life span increased by 30 years, from approximately 50 in 1913, to approximately 80 in 2013.

They feel that 25 of those 30 years was attributed to measures promoted by the Department of Health, such as; Control of contagious disease, Immunization of children and adults, Preventing infant deaths by providing good prenatal care to expectant mothers, Assuring safer food and drinking water, Promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes, Better dental and oral health with fluoridating drinking water.

Van Buren County has an Early Weather Warning Alert System called Code Red. In the past year we have went from 1,500 households that had signed up, to 2,400. If you would like to sign up, call 501-745-3911 or 501-884-6004 and ask to sign up for Code Red Weather Alert. This service is at no cost to the residents.

The Department of Health can help answer your questions concerning health related issues at 501-745-2483. Ozark Health Foundation can help answer your questions concerning the life style behavior program at 501-745-7004 ext. 120 and speak to Sarah Bates. Regina Chaney at the Van Buren County Extension Office can provide information concerning health, nutrition and exercise activities at 501-745-7117.

Thank you and may God richly bless you and your family,
Roger Hooper, Van Buren County Judge

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