The Pulaski County Fiscal Court had a first reading of an ordinance revising the policy and procedure manual at Tuesday’s meeting.

The original policy and procedure manual had been in effect since 1999, with the purpose of adopting policies for recruitment, hiring, advancement, comparable pay, training, separation of employment, benefits and supervision. It also is set up to make sure that employees are assured of fair treatment regardless of gender, race, age, national origin, religion, political affiliation or physical handicap.

County Attorney Bill Thompson said hat he had reviewed the new manual and had found a few items which needed to be tweaked before the second reading.

“There is a reason for all of it and a reason why it is worded the way it is,” said Rick Barker, director of the 911 Center, who was heading up the committee that is reviewing the manual.

Barker said that he believed the manual is easier for employees to understand. He said the original version used a lot of confusing legal terminology, but the new one employs much more “down to earth” language.

“Since (the policy and procedure manual) is written for employees, its beneficial that anyone can read it,” said Barker.

In other business:

• Jasper Bend resident Doyle Hampton asked the court when the county would be back to finish repair work on the boat ramp.

Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock told Hampton workers would return as soon as they could get approval from the state.

• Several residents were on hand in opposition to the closing of Maple Drive in Diamond Acres subdivision. The court held a hearing on July 5, and there were people present to protest the decision. The court plans to make a decision on the road closing at the next meeting.

• Barker told the court he met last week with the Department of Highways open the first four-lane section of north U.S. 27 open soon. He said all these roads will have name changes, which will affect about 400 addresses. The 911 center will be working on that project in the next couple of weeks.

• Joe Harp of the board of elections said he expects changes to be made to the voting system that should announced in the next week or so.

Harp said the sooner they could get everything in place, it would offer a chance to practice once before the upcoming presidential election.

“I’m willing to make this step for the upcoming election if we’re able to,” said County Clerk Ralph Troxtell.

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