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County closer on Mended Reeds deal

Lawrence County will likely finalize its purchase of the Mended Reeds facility by March 27.

The commission made known its intent to purchase the property earlier this month and use the building to house the Dennis J. Boll Group and Shelter Home.

The $800,000 price tag is being largely paid through a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Youth Services.

The rest will come from savings commissioners hope to realize by moving the group home to a newly remodeled facility.

In other matters, the commission agreed to send an official commendation to Coal Grove Police Chief Jason Bloomfield, who rescued a blind man from his burning house last week.

“That is really going above and beyond the call of duty,” Commissioner Doug Malone said. “He did an outstanding job.”

The commission also wrote a letter of support for the Chesapeake school system in its pursuit of a planning grant to develop a soccer field. The school district is creating a middle school soccer program this fall, Commissioner Jason Stephens said.

The commission proclaimed the month of March Mental Retardation/ Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Lawrence County MR/DD Superintendent Paul Mollett thanked the commission for its support throughout the years and reminded them that the annual Chili Fest will be March 28 at Dawson-Bryant High School.

Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham told the commission the first-half real estate tax collection period ended on a slightly better note than he had indicated when he met with them last week.

Burcham said some money in escrow from various banks and mortgage companies was recently forwarded to his office, thus boosting the first half tax collections to $14.59 million, slightly under last year’s $14.7 million.