Road work timetable sought by commissioners

Published 10:17 am Friday, July 30, 2010

Lawrence County Commissioners want a timetable from the county engineer on when a variety of road problems will be dealt with.

A motion requesting that information from David Lynd came about after the commissioners heard complaints from residents during its Thursday commission meeting. Included in that motion are County Road 48, County Road 230, County Road 19 and the ditching plan for the area.

Ray Powers of County Road 47, Waterloo, brought to the commission two snapshots of gravel-covered slips on County Road 48, past Johns Creek, that he said he has tried to get repaired for the past two years.

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“Some of our kinfolk barely had a wreck there …. just about went over,” Powers told Commissioners Jason Stephens and Doug Malone. “We have people who get killed on these roads. There are big holes in these roads.”

Powers, who moved here from Green County, has spent the past two decades traveling to livestock shows throughout the state.

“Why Lawrence County roads are the worst in the state of Ohio. What does Lawrence County do with the money?” he said. “What is going to happen is when a school bus hits one of those places and we end up with dead kids. Every county in the state gets the same amount of gas money per mile. What does it cost to chip and seal?”

Stephens explained the commission appropriates the $6.3 million for Lynd’s budget, but has no authority to direct the operations in the engineer’s office.

“How that money is spent in the checking account, that is up to the engineer,” the commissioner said. “For us to say go fix County Road 47, it would be like the engineer telling us to replace a boiler or windows.”

Powers said he wanted to ask Green County officials and an attorney to do an independent analysis of the situation.

“I drive over them every week. Even when it gets fixed, three months later, it’s the way it was,” Malone said. “They fall apart in three months. We know all the problems, but how do we fix them?”

Darrell Heaberlin of State Route 93 was among those who were hit hard by the flash flooding earlier this month that destroyed or severely damaged a number of homes in that area.

Heaberlin had a massive gash in his house and had to take out a $20,000 loan to repair the structure.

“My 87-year-old neighbor was never flooded til that. That tells me we have a problem,” he told the commission. “Maybe the state is too lazy to clean out the creek. … It is a sad, sad situation in Lawrence County.”

Because of flood damage to bridges in the county, Malone asked that a letter be sent to the state to inspect all those structures.

“We want to make sure they do,” he said.

Stephens said there have been reports of men driving a car with West Virginia plates approaching flood victims telling them they will fix their bridges or culverts.

Homeowners are told to pay the men directly and that the county will removed the charges off the owners’ property taxes.

“It is a total scam,” he said. “They say the county has hired them to do that. That is not the case.”

In other business the commissioners:

Received the Perfect Green Award for courthouse energy conservation projects from Perfection Group, a design engineering organization from Cincinnati.

Received the dog warden’s report where last week 40 dogs were destroyed, six were sold and three were returned to their owners.

Received notification that Edward Gullett, eligibility referral supervisor for the Department of Job and Family Services, was retiring effective Aug. 31.

Received notification that Eula Adams and Nanci Hackworth were recalled to work by the Department of Job and Family Services. Adams will return.

Received notification that Abbey Bentley, income maintenance 3, will replace Nanci Hackworth who declined to return to work.