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$300,000 in bonds may be issued for public safety

Published 12:46am Sunday, August 25, 2013

New cruisers and a better roof at the jail are part of the list of improvements sought at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

To fund that and improved 911 dispatching software, Lawrence County may borrow $300,000 through bond issuances over five and 10-year periods.

“The roof has been leaking for the last couple of months,” Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said. “It continues to get worse and the maintenance men from the courthouse have been there on several occasions.”

The flat roof, which was replaced in 1991, is coated in rubber with a rock covering.

“It is not only leaking in the jail portion but now in the clerk’s office where there are vital records,” Lawless said.

On Monday the sheriff provided the Lawrence County Commissioners with an estimate from State Wide Emergency Services of $146,045 for five new cruisers that he calls vital equipment for his department.

“The cruisers will save us money on repair expenses next year,” Commission President Bill Pratt said.

Also, $70,000 is needed to cover the software contract with Emergitech for 911 dispatching. Earlier 911 dispatching director Lonnie Best had said half of that could come from his budget. However Pratt said those funds are needed for salaries.

“He is short on salary line items,” Pratt said. “We can save $20,000 a year with Emergitech. If we are going to go through with the consolidation, it has to be done.”

Funds for the cruisers and the software could come from County Treasurer Stephen Burcham’s Neighborhood Investment Program, Pratt said.

“We could do the cruisers and 911 with Burcham’s money on a shorter term — five years,” Pratt said. “Since (the roof) is such a big capital project, we would do it over 10 years.”

The Lawrence County Commissioners could make a decision on these projects within the next two weeks, Pratt said.

 

 

 

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