SEOEMS deal not wise move

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 16, 2015

Nearly five years later, officials and taxpayers of Lawrence County have still not seen any of the roughly $400,000 owed by Athens and Jackson counties for the former Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service (SEOEMS).

Some steps in the right direction were made this week during a mediation that provided Lawrence County Commissioners a proposal that would allow around $75,000 to go into the coffers. Additionally, this would cease any forward movement of lawsuits by the parties involved.

However, if the proposal is accepted, Lawrence County would then be on the hook for any outstanding debts that amount to nearly $111,000 at a minimum. On the surface, this simply doesn’t seem like a good deal for Lawrence County and its residents.

While we applaud the continuous efforts of the commissioners and others not to let Athens and Jackson counties off the proverbial hook, it is important to ultimately work to receive the remainder of themoney that is owed to the taxpayers of Lawrence County.

In a time when the county is facing financial difficulties in many areas, the ability to recoup all the money owed to Lawrence County will be a valuable resource to help face some of the financial challenges.