County adds truck to drought arsenal

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 30, 2000

County commissioners and the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency took another step Thursday in preparing for a summer drought.

Friday, June 30, 2000

County commissioners and the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency took another step Thursday in preparing for a summer drought.

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The county bought a $14,975 truck from Bob Clyse Oldsmobile that the EMA will use for official business and to haul its four 450-gallon drinking water tanks. The price is under the $15,000 requirement to bid the purchase.

The EMA will pay for the truck through a lease arrangement with the county – about $700 a month with interest for two years. The state EMA will reimburse the local agency for more than half the cost. The county will retain ownership of the truck once lease payments end.

Earlier this month, the county bought a trailer that can carry the EMA’s water tanks.

Joining the truck with the trailer means township trustees or other officials who request drinking water assistance this summer will not have to worry about transporting the EMA’s tanks, EMA/911 executive director Don Mootz said.

"Predictions are we will have another drought this year," Mootz said.

The MEA tracks National Weather Service data, which shows that although precipitation is neat normal so far, there is still a groundwater deficit," he said.

And normal precipitation will not be enough to recharge wells, springs and other water sources that many township residents who cannot access public water lines rely upon, Mootz said.

"If we don’t have a dry summer, we’ll be OK," he said. "But we’re going to be ready just in case."

The commission approved the truck purchase unanimously.

Commission president Bruce Trent commended the lease-purchase arrangement for the benefit it gives to the county budget and the emergency need it fills at the EMA.

Commissioner Paul Herrell agreed but voice concern, saying he was worried about how to deal with the many similar requests that might come from other agencies.

In other action Thursday, commissioners:

– Transferred Dick Lang to the Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management District director’s position on a full-time basis.

Commissioners had previously placed Lang there on a part-time basis and at the EMA on a part-time basis, but Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials suggested that the solid waste position be manned by a full-time director, commission president Bruce Trent said.

The commission will coordinate with Scioto County on other details of the position left vacant by former director David Sheets’s retirement this month, Trent said.

– Tabled a request from the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to use the solid waste management office space.

– Authorized attorney Richard Meyers to file the necessary papers to remove obstacles around the Lawrence County Airpark. Tall trees and other obstructions have prevented the county from receiving grant money for repaving the airstrip, commissioners said.

– Awarded the contract for operating the courthouse snack bar to Karen Ruberrty for $130 a month.

– Awarded the purchase of a four-wheel drive Dodge Durango from Harmon Motor Sales for $28,000. And awarded the bid for a long-wheelbase van to Hamilton Chevrolet.

Both purchases are being made by the Lawrence County Department of Human Services, which officially changed its name Thursday to the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services.