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Hearings to decide streets’ status

Switching four Rome Township roads over to county authority will be the focus of upcoming public hearings.

Eastern end developer Danny Holschuh approached the Lawrence County Commission at its Thursday meeting about four roads in the Applewood and Crystal subdivisions.

“I’m here to seek help and guidance about turning streets over to the proper authority,” Holschuh told the commissioners. “(Residents) want the streets turned over to public roadways.”

Typically when an individual wants a private drive to become a county road he seeks approval first from the appropriate township trustees. However in this case, at least two of the Rome Township Trustees do not want that authority.

“My objection is you are putting responsibility on the township trustees,” Charles Fuller, a Rome trustee, told the commission.

Fuller, who came to the meeting with trustee Dean Cooper, argued the burden of the decision should rest exclusively with the commissioners.

“You do your job. You do it right and we have no problem,” Fuller said. “If you are saying (the roads) are good, we will maintain them.”

Mandatory public viewings of the roads and hearings on the transfer will be scheduled in the next few months.

Commissioners also approved adding 911 Director Lonnie Best to an ad hoc committee formed to come up with a contingency plan should Jackson County join Athens County in pulling out of the Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services District.

On Tuesday Athens commissioners unanimously voted to leave the district that provides ambulance service to the three counties.

Lawrence County officials have been weighing options on the future of SEOEMS and how to continue ambulance service locally.

Best suggested merging the EMS with the county’s 911 center.

“It could save the county a lot of money,” he said.

The idea to add Best to the committee came from Commissioner Les Boggs.

“Lonnie does a lot of 911 dispatching,” Boggs said. “He is obviously the authority on this.”

Best will join Commissioner Jason Stephens, Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon and Bruce Trent on the committee.

In other business the commission:

Authorized spending $10,666 to participate in the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission for fiscal year 2011. The commission oversees grants coming into the county that last year totaled more than $200,000.

Received the weekly dog warden report where 23 dogs were destroyed and two were sold.

Awarded demolition of the former Cooke’s Farm Center building on State Route 141 to Rolo Demos, LLC.

Authorized the County Engineer to submit application to the Ohio Public Works Commission for resurfacing all or parts of County Roads 37, 104, 115, 118, 120, 276 and 410.