A Second Chance: Sobriety Court offers repeat offenders another shot at a better life

In Pulaski County, alcohol is one of the most prevalent drugs of choice and directly correlates with a number of crimes seen in the Pulaski County District Court including assault, battery, criminal mischief and DWI. To address the ever-growing problem, in August 2016, the District Court of Pulaski County established the DWI/Sobriety Court.

“Alcoholism and drunk driving is an extraordinarily serious problem in Arkansas and our county,” said District Court Judge Wayne Gruber. “The purpose of our Sobriety Court is to address the problem head on at Pulaski County District Court with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that stresses abstinence, treatment and strict accountability.  The goal of the one-year program is to foster a life of sobriety, hereinafter, for the defendants, rid the roads of repeat DWI offenders, and to free jail space for more serious offenders.”

The 12-month program accepts individuals charged with their second or third DWI. The team consists of one representative from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, two representatives from Recovery Centers of Arkansas, one representative from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, one representative from the Public Defender’s office, a case coordinator, a project coordinator and presiding Judge; Wayne A. Gruber. The team has also developed several partnerships that aide in the recovery of each participant.

“I’m proud to have this program in our county,” said County Judge Barry Hyde. “Judge Gruber and his team are doing excellent work—all without additional funding. We have a significant problem with alcohol dependency. With this program, I hope that we can get more people into treatment, out of jail and from behind the wheel.”

Once assigned to Sobriety Court, the treatment provider conducts a clinical assessment and designs a treatment plan for each participant. The case coordinator and law enforcement representative monitor each participant and utilizes an Alco-Sensor FST Intoximeter to detect alcohol consumption. The case manager also refers participants to services that assist with sobriety and recovery. The case manager keeps close contact with the participants to ensure each one is following his or her treatment plan objectives.

When a participant goes before Judge Gruber, the case coordinator provides a progress report and allows the participant to share his or her experiences since the last visit. The judge asks a series of questions regarding his or her progress. Unlike most court proceedings, Sobriety Court is more informal.

“We are focused on rehabilitation not punishment. In this court, we will push more social work,” said Judge Gruber.

The program has four phases that require 12-step attendance, random home visits, contact with a probation officer, alcohol screenings and employment or school enrollment. Participants are eligible for graduation following successful completion of each phase; sobriety for at 120 consecutive days and has a support system in place. Since established, one participant received a night in jail for violation of program rules, failure to appear and outstanding warrants.

“It’s a bit disappointing. We have high expectations for each individual in the program. We hope that this participant can rebound and continue the program successfully,” said Judge Gruber. “We are not naïve to the high level of difficultly in completing this program. That’s why it’s essential that each person involved understands how important they are to the recovery of the participants—that includes my team, the families and of course, the individual.

For more information about Pulaski County’s DWI/Sobriety Court, call 501-340-6824.

*article compiled from 2016 annual activity report and 2015 jurisdictional snapshot

Storm Drain Illicit Discharge

Pulaski County passed a stormwater management ordinance in 2007. This ordinance was passed to assist in keeping local waterways clean and free of debris and other contaminates by regulating residential and commercial development, as well as illicit discharges.

Did you know gray water is considered wastewater?

According to the ordinance gray water is considered wastewater, defined as any water or liquid, other than uncontaminated storm water, discharged from a facility.  Wastewater dispensed into a County drainage system, street, catch basin, gutter, ditch, man-made channel, or any other storm drain is considered an illicit discharge and can be harmful to local waterways.

Illicit discharges can be reported to the Pulaski County Road & Bridge Department or by the Pulaski Works App, available through Iphone or Android download.

For more information regarding stormwater contact the Road & Bridge Department or visit the Pulaski County Road & Bridge website: https://pulaskicounty.net/pulaski-county-road-and-bridge/


Pulaski County Launches GIVE 5 Campaign

In 2016, Pulaski County Quorum Court passed an ordinance providing county taxpayers the opportunity to contribute an additional $5 to their business or personal property tax payments. Funds contributed will go directly to the “Pulaski County Animal Control Spay and Neuter Fund.” The purpose of the fund is to provide pet owners with financial assistance through a variety of methods, which may include:

  • Financial vouchers (i.e. discounts) with animal shelters,
  • Financial vouchers with partnering veterinary clinics,
  • Special spay and neuter clinics organized, publicized and held throughout the various county communities, and
  • Possible access to mobile spay and neuter clinics in target neighborhoods.
  • Services will be limited to spay/neuter, vaccinations against preventable diseases and wellness screenings.

“We are proud to say that this fund is an expansion of our pilot program with ‘Arkansans for Animals,’” said County Judge Barry Hyde. “Through this pilot program, significant strides have been accomplished toward controlling our stray pet population. Seeing its success provided evidence to support the ordinance that created the fund,” he said.

Pulaski County residents have two options to GIVE 5: use the $5 voluntary tax payment coupon when paying by check or check the “animal control” box via the online payment system.

For questions about the Spay and Neuter Fund or the ordinance call 501-340-8523 or visit http://pulaskicountytreasurer.net/voluntary/. For more information on how or where to pay your personal property tax, visit http://pulaskicountytreasurer.net/.


County Offices Closed Monday, Jan 16th

Pulaski County offices will be closed Monday, January 16th in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. We encourage you to consider Monday as a day of service by volunteering or participating in a community service event or activity.

County Offices Closed to Observe New Year Holiday

Pulaski County offices will be closed Monday, January 2 to observe the New Year Holiday. County offices will reopen Tuesday, January 3.

Trash routes will run as normal.

Have a Happy New Year!

County offices will close to observe Christmas Holiday

Pulaski County offices will be closed Friday, December 23 and Monday, December 26 in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Offices will reopen Tuesday, December 27. Garbage routes will run as normal.

From all of us with Pulaski County Government…Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

County asks the community to help reduce flooding

Did you know raking leaves, grass clippings, or other debris into the street, ditch, gutter, or storm drains can potentially pollute local waterways?

Pulaski County passed a storm water management ordinance in 2007 to assist with keeping local waterways clean and free of debris. The ordinance regulates residential and construction site builds to reduce the negative effects of storm water runoff.

Pulaski County would like your assistance in storm water protection by not raking leaves, grass clippings, or debris into the street, ditch, gutter, or storm drains. Not only is this potentially harmful to local waterways, it can also clog the drainage systems and create flooding on your property, your neighbor’s property or in the street.

For more information regarding storm water contact the Road & Bridge Department or visit the Pulaski County Road & Bridge website: https://pulaskicounty.net/pulaski-county-road-and-bridge/


Pulaski County held a check presentation Wednesday, Dec. 7 to mark Pulaski PACE’S first approved energy efficiency project. The development is a 50-unit, 56,200 sq. ft. multi-family apartment complex, owned by The Preserve at Aldersgate, LLC, which will sit on two acres in West Little Rock and is expected to be completed in November 2017. Pulaski PACE has authorized funding of upgrades totaling approximately $650,000 for interior and exterior LED lighting, water conserving fixtures, high-efficiency HVAC, efficient windows and a cool roof.

“After learning more about the PACE program, we found its creative financing mechanism to be extremely attractive. PACE allows us to make our properties energy efficient without the up-front out-of-pocket costs,” said managing partner for Newcap Investment Partners, Adron Gilbert. “As a real estate developer, it is important to find sources of capital which are affordable and PACE’s cost of capital is more competitive than most other sources of funding. The 20-year financing term allows us to spread those costs out, creating less of a burden to the project.”

The project is being financed by PACE Equity, LLC, which pays upfront costs of the upgrades. Upon completion, the appraised property value will be approximately $6.6 million and the PACE authorized improvements will result in savings of $1,625,000 in utility and operating costs over the payback period.

In 2015, the County established the Pulaski PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program to allow commercial property owners to fund and install approved energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements by attaching the improvement cost to their property tax bill. Each energy savings project is amortized up to a 20-year period, providing the property owner with a cash-flow positive energy savings solution.

“Pulaski PACE puts the County at the forefront of providing a cost effective mechanism for implementing energy efficiency and minimizing companies’ environmental footprint,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “Through this project, the property owner is showing their commitment to being good stewards of resources, both environmental and financial. It is our hope that more property owners will take advantage of this cost saving program.”

Visit pulaskicounty.net/pulaski-pace to learn more about Pulaski PACE.


Pulaski County Goes Mobile with Official County App, Pulaski Works

pulaski-county-app-icon_1Pulaski County is pleased to launch Pulaski Works, the official platform for residents to access the County in a single location. With this new tool, residents can submit, track, and view nearby service requests through their smartphones, online, via phone and SMS. Residents can also use the in-app widgets to find information about events, public facilities, news and more.

The mobile app is part of an overall program for the County to improve resident communications and service delivery. On the backend, the Public Work staff redirects and responds to submitted requests through their customized workflow management system.  The County also uses the backend system to provide residents real-time status updates and comments on the submitted requests.

Pulaski County launched the application in partnership with Accela, an innovative civic software company that provides a platform of cloud-based productivity and civic engagement solutions to governments of all sizes worldwide.

Pulaski Works is free service and is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play for immediate use. Search Pulaski Works in the stores or go to these URLs to access.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.accela.pulaski_works&hl=en

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pulaski-works/id1144608406?mt=8

Pulaski County Launches New Logo and Seal

Pulaski County unveiled a new brand identity today, which includes a new logo for Pulaski County, along with a county seal and identity system for other departments within the Pulaski County Administration.pc-logo-horiz-2line-4c

“The new identity reflects our commitment to bringing Pulaski County and its residents into the 21st century,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “Many residents are unaware of the services offered by the county government. It’s our hope that residents will see this rebrand as part of an investment in improving services.”

pc-sealThe Pulaski County seal is designed for formal display in Quorum Court and on official proclamations and citations. The artwork represents the local landscape, waterways and infrastructure overseen by the county. The seal also features eight stars representing the number of cities that call the county home as well as the year the county was founded, 1818.

Pulaski County offers a wide variety of services for residents including animal control, sanitation, youth services, community services and much more. Structures that were built and are maintained by Pulaski County include Big Dam Bridge, Two Rivers Park and the Junction Bridge.

The last update made to Pulaski County brand was in 1991.