County Judge

County Judge Dennis Gilstrap
County Judge Dennis Gilstrap
300 Main Street, Room 4
Van Buren, Arkansas 72956
: 479-474-1511
: 479-471-3201 (fax)
: county.judge@crawford-county.org

About Judge Gilstrap
Judge Dennis Gilstrap is serving his second term as County Judge; however, he served 25 years on The Van Buren Fire Department, and 16 years as the Director of Crawford County Emergency management. He has served on many boards and continues to be an active member of several organizations and associations.

County Attorney Information
Jacob Howell is the current Deputy Prosecuting Attorney assigned to the quorum court. He can be reached at 479-474-5000.

What is a County Judge?

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Road Department Information

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Current & Completed Projects

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a County Judge ?
The chief executive officer for county government in Arkansas is the county judge. As chief executive, the judge authorizes and approves the disbursement of all appropriated county funds, operates the system of county roads, administers ordinances enacted by the quorum court, has custody of county property, accepts grants from federal, state, public and private sources, hires county employees except those persons employed by other elected officials of the county, and presides over the quorum court without a vote, but with the power of veto. (A.C.A. 14-14-1101 - 1102)

All powers not vested in the county judge as the chief executive officer of the county shall continue to be exercised and administered by the county court, over which the county judge shall preside. The county court, in fact, is the county judge sitting in a judicial role.

In addition to the duties of the county court, the county judge is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day inter-governmental relations between the various state and federal agencies operating at the county level. The judge must also apply for all federal and state assistance moneys for which the county is eligible and appoints the members to all administrative and advisory boards in the county, some of which have to be confirmed by the quorum court.
The county court of each county has exclusive original jurisdiction in all matters relating to:

  1. County Taxes: Including real and personal ad valorem taxes collected by county government. The county court’s authority in this area incudes jurisdiction over the assessment of property, equalization of assessments on appeal, tax levies, tax collections, and the distribution of tax proceeds.

  2. Paupers: The court’s jurisdiction includes all county administrative actions affecting the conduct of human services programs serving indigent residents of the county where such services are financed in total or in part by county funds.

  3. Jurisdiction in each other case that may be necessary to the internal improvement and local concerns of the respective counties including county financial activities and works of general public utility or advantage designed to promote intercommunication, trade and commerce, transportation of persons and property, or the development of natural resources, which are not otherwise transferred to the county judges to be administered in an executive capacity.

  4. The county court shall have all other jurisdiction now vested by law in thee county court except with respect to those powers formerly vested in the county court under the provisions of Section 28 of Article 7 of the Constitution which were transferred to the county judge under the provisions of Section 3 of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution, (and those powers removed by Amendment 67 as the pertain to the apprenticeship of minors. (A.C.A. 14-14-1105)
Road Department
As your County Judge, with our staff of 42 employees, I manage approximately 300 miles of paved roads and streets and another 600 miles of graveled county roads in our diverse county. During the last six years, we have acquired many new pieces of equipment which work from about April to late November paving as many miles of county roads and highways as our budget allows. We have many new graders who work all year to keep our improved roads in good shape for our growing population.

Annually, we spread approximately 200,000 tons of gravel to county roads, put in new culverts, clean and improve drainage ditches, cut back trees and shrubs that impede traffic and continually look for other ways we can improve our county’s highway and road system.

We hope you will find this site helpful and informative. Our new road standards have been included as well as forms for single family driveways, road bores, road cuts, heavy haul permit, private road grading request and any private road development. All utility companies operating in Crawford County should take note of the new standards which could affect their operations on and under our county roads.

All new public roads, subdivision streets, and private road developments have fees and permits that will be required. Contact the County Judge’s office before any plans are developed for these projects.

3703 Pointer Trail East
Van Buren, Arkansas 72956
Hours of Operation
Summer
Monday thru Thursday
7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Winter
Monday thru Friday
7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

: 479-474-6017
: 479- 471-3251 (fax)
: drush@crawford-county.org

All required permit fees may be paid by Check, Money Order or Cashier’s Check, made payable to Crawford County Road Department.
Important Documents
: County Road Standards (Rev May 2019)
: Driveway Permit
: Heavy Haul Permit
: Private Road Grading Request
: Road Cut Permit
: Road Bore Permit
: Application for Private Road Development
REMEMBER
CALL BEFORE YOU DIG TO HAVE ALL UTILITIES LOCATED IN ANY CONSTRUCTION ZONE.
State wide free call from any telephone – Dial 811
Current & Completed Projects
Completed Projects:
  • Remodeled Old Detention Center to house the Circuit Clerk / Vital Records Complex
  • Remodel storage area to house NEW Election/Special Projects Coordinator and new Voting Machines
  • Construct a Criminal Investigation Division Building to include the Coroner’s Office
  • Purchase 1.5 acres joining the Highway Department to extend equipment/supplies storage lot
  • New bridge on Old Uniontown Road
  • Widen and pave Melody Lane for 1.6 miles
  • State Aid Project to overlay 3 miles of asphalt on Old 81 Loop
  • Extend 1.3 miles of Chip & Seal from the end of the asphalt on Old 81 Loop
  • New bridge on Old 81 Loop
  • Partnership with Cedarville Road to Chip & Seal .08 mile of Neal Road
  • Partnership with Dyer on 1.2 miles of East River Road
  • Partnership with Mountainburg Library to asphalt the parking lot of the new library
  • Overlay 1.6 miles of asphalt on Old Turner Road
  • New low water bridge on Old Hobbtown Way
  • Overlay 2 miles of Old 12 Crossroads and extend 1 mile of Chip & Seal
Current Projects:
  • Widen and Chip & Seal 1 mile of Pinecrest Road
  • Widen and Chip & Seal 1 mile of Old Rouw Road
  • Widen and Chip & Seal .02 miles of Dobbs Lane
  • Plans to widen and Chip & Seal 1 mile of Belmont Road
  • Overlay 1 mile of Baugh Road
  • Partnership with Mulberry on 1.2 miles of Chip & Seal
  • Partnership with Van Buren School District on Walking Trail Grant
Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my private road graded?
See the Road Department section. You must have a permit and qualify.
Is the county under a Burn Ban?
Check media announcements and local newspaper, or call the County Judge’s office. (479) 474-1511
Where do I pay my traffic fines?
If you need to appear to appeal the ticket, check the front of the ticket and it will tell you location you are required to go.

Please check the back of the ticket for the law enforcement stamp. This is the location you will go to pay your fine. Correct change, exact amount, in cash accepted only.
What are the Courthouse hours of operation?
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Some offices may be closed from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for lunch. If in doubt, please call that office.
When is my court date?
Call the Circuit Clerk at 474-1821 for schedule.
Who do I call about my jury duty?
Call Judge Gary Cottrell’s office at 474-7604.
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