Commission successes detailed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 28, 2015

PROCTORVILLE — Lawrence County Commissioner Les Boggs still remembers his first day in office.

That was in 2009 when he turned around from his seat in commission chambers to see a box of $429,000 in unpaid bills. He wondered how they were going to get paid with only $150,000 in carryover.

“The first day on the job, we were $350,000 in the red,” Boggs said. “Everyone had to tighten their belts at home, so why shouldn’t the government have to tighten their belt? That’s the philosophy we took, and as of this last year, we had $1.8 million in carryover instead of $150,000.”

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Boggs recalled those days as he was the keynote speaker at the Chamber of Commerce’s Friday luncheon at Ohio University Southern Proctorville.

Helping the city and villages of the county with Community Development Block Grants, grants, carrying a $2 million loan to help start St. Mary’s Medical Center-Ironton Campus, the Ninth Street Gateway Project in Ironton and the recent grand opening of Wyngate at RiversEdge in Rome Township have been among the successes of the current commission, Boggs said.

“When everyone in the community comes together and different entities focus on working together, good things can be done,” Boggs said. “A lot of good things are happening in Lawrence County.”

One thing that Boggs is particularly proud of is his work with Lawrence County Animal Shelter and increasing the adoption rate while decreasing the number of dogs that are put down.

“We are picking up about 55 dogs a week,” Boggs said. “About 95 percent of those dogs were euthanized, just brought in and put down. I got together with the dog pound manager to try and change things from a death shelter. Now, I can tell you to date as of this year, somewhere between 12 and 16 dogs have been put down so far this whole year. It changed from a 96 percent kill to 97 percent adoption and I’m proud about that.”