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Hearings set on utility tax

Two public hearings have been set up to get input on a possible public utility tax.

At the this past Thursday’s Lawrence County Commission meeting, commission president Les Boggs proposed the tax as a way to fund the current expenses of housing prisoners out of county and also to pay for a new jail down the road.

For some time, overcrowding at the jail has brought the state in requiring the daily census be cut down to 52 inmates. That has increased the cost for housing prisoners out of county to where it has almost depleted the fund for such costs.

Boggs said a utility tax would be fairer than a levy that would only target property owners.

The first hearing will be at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, June 23, at commission chambers before the regular meeting. The second one will be 10 a.m. Thursday, June 30, at Chesapeake Public Library during the regular meeting.

“That would make it more convenient for that end of county who might have problems or concerns,” Boggs said.

The hearings are open to anyone in the county.