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Airpark upgrades get OK from county commission

A 10-year capital improvements program for the Lawrence County Airpark was approved by the county commissioners at their Thursday meeting.

The FAA and the county will fund the program with the local share being 10 percent of each project.

Among those improvements will be removing trees at the end of the runaway at a cost of $111,900; adding a safety area of land at the end of the runaway for $200,000; new asphalt on the runway for $185,000; drainage rehabilitation for $123,000; and security fencing for $135,000.

The commission also agreed for E.L. Robinson Engineering to work on an FAA-approved design update on the airpark’s runway lights. Cost of design work is $25,500 with the county’s tab at $1,275.

Commissioner Doug Malone gave an update on the bridge inspections the commission requested following the severe July flooding from correspondence he received from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“Every time there is a bridge under water, they inspect it,” Malone said he was told by ODOT.

Commissioner Jason Stephens reported that the commission has not received any response from County Engineer David Lynd on the timetable for repair work on various county roads.

Last week the commission heard complaints about road problems including County Road 48, County Road 230 and County Road 19 and had asked Lynd on when these repairs would be made.

Stephens also gave an update on the financial situation of the Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services that was behind in PERS and IRS payments. Recently the three counties that support SEOEMS agreed to put in a total of $385,000 into the district to help it get caught up on past bills.

“All PERS and IRS (payments) have been made,” Stephens said. “We are moving forward to evaluate the finances.”

Right now, there is approximately $390,000 in accounts payable and $300,000 in cash in the district’s books, the commissioner said.

“I think with the commitment of all three counties SEOEMS will come out and provide effective service,” Stephens said.

However, should either Jackson or Athens County decide to pull out of the district, the Lawrence County members of the SEOEMS board — Stephens, Bruce Trent and Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon — are creating a contingency plan to make sure Lawrence has ambulance service.

In other business, the commission:

 Received the dog warden report for July 31 with 43 dogs destroyed; 10 sold and two redeemed. Currently there are 40 dogs in custody.

Signed a lease for tie-down space at the Lawrence County Airpark for Jerry L. Cooper.

Proclaimed Aug. 8-14 as National Community Health Center Week.