Burcham’s program may pay for sheriff’s van

Published 11:49 am Friday, September 11, 2015

Using the Neighborhood Investment Program is being considered as a way to pay for a replacement van for the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

Two weeks ago Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless asked the county commission for funds for a new van to transport inmates out of county. Following the July state inspection of the jail, which has repeatedly failed to meet mandated standards, Lawless began reducing the number of inmates held at the Fifth Street facility.

The majority of those sent out of county go to Morrow, which is a six-hour round trip. Right now the only other option the county has is to send prisoners to Scioto County, which only takes one or two at a time.

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Since Sept. 1, sheriff’s deputies have made five trips to Morrow, where on Thursday 29 inmates were housed with one in Scioto. There were 38 in the county jail.

“These things take time. I don’t want us to get to the end of the life of the van he has,” said commissioner Bill Pratt, who asked county treasurer Stephen Burcham at Thursday’s commission meeting if the NIP could be used.

Burcham started the program four years ago where he will buy the bond issued by a governmental entity at an interest rate less than that offered by the bank but more than the CD rates currently available.

“I think the sheriff will be utilizing (the van) more and more,” Pratt said.

The NIP committee will meet in October to review financing the van purchase.

“I am pleased they are moving forward with the vehicle,” Lawless said. “It is going to be much needed with this extremely long trip we have to make to keep our numbers down in the jail.”

Burcham reported that the NIP will finance a $375,000 paving project for the village of South Point buying a five-year bond at 2 ¼ percent interest.

The treasurer also told the commission that sales tax for August came in $142,967 more than August 2014. However, overall sales tax is only $135,332 more than this time last year.

Burcham also said that using the treasurer’s website to make online payments totaled $716,571 this year.

“It is extremely popular,” he said.

The website will be modified to allow owners of multiple parcels to pay taxes on all at the same time. Now paying tax online is done parcel by parcel.

In other action the commission:

• Awarded the bid for the Union-Rome Fairview project to install two sanitary sewer pump stations to C.J. Hughes with lowest bid of $346,325;

• Appointed Michael Boster, Mike Mahlmeister and Jane Griffith to the Lawrence Emergency Planning Committee;

• Accepted the resignation of Jim Sites on the ADAMHS Board;

• Received liquor license notification for Clark PumpNShop in Perry Township;

• Accepted resignation of EMT Chris Epperson from county EMS;

• Terminated employment of Logan Laughman from the county EMS;

• Accepted voluntary demotion of Lana White from income maintenance worker 3 to income maintenance worker 2

• Received the dog warden’s report where five dogs were euthanized, 24 were adopted or sent to rescue and none was redeemed by owners.