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Sewer district employees approve contract

The eight employees at the Union-Rome Sewer District have a new contract with Lawrence County; what they won’t have for the next three years is a pay raise.

The Lawrence County Commission Thursday gave its blessing to a new three-year contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3319 A.

The agreement that takes effect this summer has no pay increase.

Attorney Mark McCown, who represented the county during negotiations, said even though these employees are not paid out of the general fund, they still agreed to forego any pay increase in light of the county’s budget crisis.

“The general fund employees were taking hits and they recognized these are not good economic times,” McCown said.

The old contract expired three years ago and the sewer district employees had been working under yearly extensions.

AFSCME Representative Sandra Shonborn was not immediately available for comment.

In other matters, flags were lowered to half-staff Thursday in honor of the late Richard “Dick” Brown, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputy and Ironton Municipal Court security employee who died this week. Commissioner Doug Malone paid tribute to Brown at the commission meeting.

“If you knew him, he was always a giving person,” Malone said.

Malone said he planned to visit the Lawrence County Jail in his honor. Brown worked in the jail and often donated his time to make necessary repairs.

Brown’s funeral procession made a last trip past the sheriff’s office and courthouse and past the city center. Those who could not attend the funeral stood on the sidewalks as the hearse drove by.

The commission proclaimed Saturday as Knight of Columbus Day in Lawrence County.

Commissioner Les Boggs acknowledged the community service work the Watterson Council 1405 undertakes each year both at the Open Door School and for the Lawrence County Board of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities.

“They do a lot of charity work,” Boggs noted.

The commission also proclaimed May as Older Americans Month in Lawrence County.

The commission also agreed to send a letter to Armstrong Cable, expressing concern about reported customer dissatisfaction with the cable company.

Boggs said he has gotten phone calls from people who are not happy with channel duplication and increasing prices.