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ORVJC remains on county agenda

Lawrence County Commissioners continue their fight to stop the proposed shutdown of the Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility.

Recently Gov. John Kasich announced a budget that called for a $41 million reduction from the Department of Youth Services, which oversees the Franklin Furnace facility. Kasich has proposed a variety of governmental cutbacks to attack an $8 billion shortfall he inherited when he took over in January. Closing the center would save the DYS a little more than $25 million.

When the closure was first announced, commissioners sent a letter of support for the center to State Rep. Terry Johnson. At its Thursday meeting commissioners intensified their effort by passing a resolution calling for the state to keep the center open.

“We understand that our governor inherited an $8 billion deficit,” Commission President Les Boggs said. “We don’t understand why the governor would want to close the most efficient, safest juvenile facility in Ohio.”

Although the center is located in neighboring Scioto County, approximately 26 percent of the facility’s employees live in Lawrence County, Boggs said.

“It has a big economic impact on our county,” he said. “In this resolution, we support the juvenile center remaining open to save those jobs.”

Commissioners also agreed to accept bids for materials to be used by the county engineer’s office. Doug Cade presented the tabulation of bids and asked that the commission award contracts for 2011.

Among those bids accepted were limestone delivered by Waterloo Coal Co. at $15 per ton; liquid asphalt delivered by Marathon Petroleum at $1.8457 per gallon; hot mix asphalt to be picked up from Shelly Materials at $63 per ton; various sizes of plastic pipe delivered from Ferguson Enterprises for lump sum of $26,819.60; and steel piling delivered from Superior Steel for lump sum of $40,640.

“We will significantly save more on those items, especially the delivered items,” County Engineer Doug Cade said.

Commissioners also approved a three-year $182,000 bond anticipation note to buy two ambulances. The terms are three years at 2.49 per cent fixed rate with no fees.

“We have a fleet of ambulances that has mileage on them that is very, very high, “ Boggs said. “This is good news to our EMS. It is a good morale booster for staff to get into a truck and not break down.”

Boggs said he expects the note to be paid off early.

County Auditor Jason Stephens reported that his office is in the process of reconciling the first half tax collection reports that came from the treasurer’s office this past Friday.

By next week the auditor’s office will be ready to begin distribution of the revenue to the school districts, townships and villages.

In other news the commissioners:

Approved travel requests for County Clerk Mike Patterson and Veterans Services Officer Jack Welz to attend seminars;

Elevated Carol Bowens to full-time EMT at a pay rate from $9.40 to $9.80 per hour;

Accepted the resignations of Debbie Willis and Wendy Walker, both part-time paramedics; and

Received a letter from Cade recommending that the county not establish Private Drive 2568 in Fayette Township because it didn’t meet Ohio Revised Code guidelines.