With only one item on the agenda, Franklin County justices spent most of their time Thursday discussing budget committee ideas.

Meeting at Charleston, the quorum court routinely approved an ordinance authorizing $2,500 in grant funds for the Altus Rural Fire Department.

Justices then voted 8-0, with Freddy Ree absent, to recommend returning to the former method of having quorum court members comprise the budget committee.

Last year, the budget committee was composed of elected county office holders, which did not meet with approval from all of the justices.

During the discussion, it was pointed out several of the surrounding counties use elected office holders on the budget committee while in a few others, judges decide the budget.

Judge Janet Powell said she would take the matter under consideration and also look at other possibilities before making a final decision.

Charleston gazebo

In other action, justices approved a low bid of $18,000 from Turner Construction Company of Charleston to build a gazebo on the lawn of the Charleston courthouse.

Grant funds will pay for the construction.

The Ozark courthouse already has a gazebo, build in the 1980s and paid for by the Ozark Rotary Club with labor donated by the Cass Job Corps.