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Sheriff’s union wants into buyout deal

No response from county commissioners

A proposed retirement buyout offered to certain county employees has one union upset since it’s not part of the offer.

Recently, the Lawrence County Commission offered a three-year buyout plan to the two administrators, custodial staff, union workers at the Union-Rome Sewer District and the EMS union members. The only departments under the commission’s jurisdiction not eligible were the department of job and family services, animal shelter and child support.

At the commission’s regular Thursday meeting, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless reported that during a recent meeting with one of the unions that represents his employees, the buyout was discussed.

“They don’t work for the commission but they feel you are the funding source,” Lawless said. “If you are offering a buyout, they should be entitled to it as well.”

The commissioners made no response to that information.

Lawless also reported that the sheriff’s office is averaging $1,000 a month for gasoline to take prisoners to Morrow County, where they are housed to reduce overcrowding at the county jail.

Right now, there are 30 inmates housed out of county with two at Scioto and the rest at Morrow.

So far the sheriff’s office has spent $360,263.99 to other counties for their prisoners. That figure includes current and October and November bills.

In other action the commissioners:

• Approved submitting to the state a speed zone study on County Road 36 and County Road 55;

• Received a notice from Aqua Ohio where rates are to go up $4.96 per month;

• Received correspondence from the county engineer to dedicate a private drive off Township Road 1204 in Rome Township.