County approves lease settlement for little one help unit | Native Information
To offset an impending budget cut, the Hopkins County Revenue Court approved a lease at its meeting Tuesday with the Hopkins County Child Support Unit, which has office space in the former District Court on Main Street.
The move reduces the unit’s rental payment to $ 1,140 per month starting Tuesday and ending June 30 next year.
According to Jack Whitfield Jr., Hopkins County judge, the Child Support Bureau is the only county authority housed in the courthouse.
Under the lease, the Hopkins County Tax Court will be the landlord of the property.
Hillary Lantrip, director of the child support division and assistant attorney for Hopkins County, first turned to the court in October for assistance after finding out that a $ 38,000 budget cut for all state child benefit units called the local bureau to cut could force an employee.
The rent reduction will help the unit cover the cost of an outgoing assistant district attorney and incoming district attorney, and keep supplies in stock to keep up with COVID-19 recommendations, Lantrip said.
For the next fiscal year, Lantrip is filing for $ 73,720 funding.
“We could reimburse the tax court 66% of the total funding amount, which is $ 48,655.20, which is an actual investment of $ 25,064.80 over a full fiscal year,” said Lantrip.
Whitfield has historically recognized the unit as 17th out of 120 counties in the state by making support payments of $ 5,226,888.67 in fiscal 2019-2020.
Whitfield said the possibility of helping the unit in the next fiscal year needs to be discussed as the time for finalizing a new budget approaches.
During the meeting, Hopkins County’s administrative clerk Keenan Cloern spoke about new operations in the office to bypass the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I’ve set up a new system for our district clerk’s office where our doors can stay closed and we’re completely open to the public,” said Cloern. “We can now allow people to wait in their car instead of standing outside. This is done using a QR scanning system. You will be notified by phone when it is your turn. This system works so well that we are completely open to doing business. “
Cloern also gave an update on this year’s elections and had to break new ground by voting ahead of time by mail and in person for both the primaries and the general election.
“I would like to report that we had two successful presidential elections even during a pandemic,” said Cloern. “I want to thank everyone for working with me.”
When asked about the cost difference compared to a normal election year, Cloern said that the office had received grants that had to be taken into account and that a precise comparison was not yet known.