Special budget passed

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cuts include EMS, 911

At the last Lawrence County commission meeting for the year on Thursday, the county’s special budget was adopted, and included cuts to the Emergency Medical Services ambulances and the 911 dispatcher.

In 2016, the county EMS had a budget of $1.1 million, which was cut down to $925,000 in 2017. The 911 dispatch center is also looking at a cut of about $100,000.

At the previous commission meeting, the temporary general fund budget was passed, and included a 10 percent cut to salary line items for the staffs of office holders.

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Commissioner Bill Pratt said county revenue has been down 5 percent for the past four months from the half-percent county sales tax, and will be down even more next year when Medicaid sales taxes are cut, which account for about 20,000 residents in Lawrence County on Medicaid.

Currently, about 90 percent of the expected tax revenue for 2017 has been certified by the budget commission.

The commissioners also discussed plans to go to the ORV facility in Franklin Furnace early next year when commissioner-elect DeAnna Holliday takes office to see what works and what doesn’t for a possible jail move or to cancel the county’s lease on the facility with the state.

Brentwood Village subdivision resident John O’Conner also addressed the commission about looking into the possibility of rerouting the proposed Chesapeake Bypass away from the village.

The commissioners and several office holders also thanked commission clerk Tami Ailster on her retirement, and thanked her for all of her service to the county.

The commissioners also:

• Approved and signed the weekly invoices as presented by the Auditor’s office.

• Approved one floodplain permit.

• Received and filed the Dog Warden Report dated Dec. 10, 2016.

• Proclaimed Dec. 20, 2016, as Lawrence County Bicentennial Day.

• Appointed Bonnie Holmes to the ADHAMS Board.

• Approved three transfer funds.

• Reappointed Jason Stephens, Bill Dingus, Terry Porter, Patrick Leighty and appointed commissioner-elect DeAnna Holliday to the Transportation Improvement District Board.

• Received and filed the 2017 liability insurance in the amount of $372,023.

• Adopted the 2017 special budget.

• Accepted the resignation of Simon Gore from the Storm Water Task Force, effective Dec. 20, 2016.

• Approved the intent to retire for Vince Sheridan, Maintenance, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

• Received and approved the letter of intent to retire for Tami Ailster, commission board clerk, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

• Approved Randy Thompson as the Humane Agent, appointed by Judge Payne.

• Made Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. president pro tempore.