Commissioners headed to White House

Published 9:24 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Lawrence County Commissioners are going to Washington, D.C. after getting an invitation to go the White House.

Commissioner DeAnna Holliday said that the trip would include a five-hour conference with Administration officials at the White House on Aug. 29. They will also get to do a tour conducted by the Secret Service.

Many details are still being worked out and Holliday doesn’t know whether they will meet with President Donald Trump or any of his advisors.

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The Lawrence County Commissioners will be part of a group of Ohio county commissioners who were invited to attend the meeting.

“The Administration has been very clear about meeting with Ohio commissioners directly,” said Commissioner Freddie Hayes. “We don’t know whether they have questions for us, but it sounds like they do. We have much for them.”

Holliday said they do have questions for the Administration.

“We want to talk about Wayne National Forest, the opioid problem, and (Community Development Block Grant) funding,” Holliday said. “That’s been a program that has been very helpful for our communities. We don’t want to see that program end.”

She added that they want to know what programs, grants and federal monies are available, and the commissioners want to talk about development.

Commissioner Bill Pratt said he couldn’t make the trip, even though he wanted to, because one commissioner had to stay behind for another meeting.

“I want to know what might be available regarding roads, bridges and other infrastructure,” he said. “I think sometimes they forget how much we take care of as a county.”

The invitation comes from Trump’s Intergovernmental Affairs office as part of an effort to reach out to leaders involved at the grass-roots level.

At commission’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, the commissioners:

• Approved the Dog Warden Reports dated Aug. 5 and Aug. 12.

• Approved one floodplain permit.

• Approved eight transfer funds.

• Approved two appropriations.

• Received and filed the correspondence from the Court of Common Pleas regarding authorization of the employment of outside council for the public business for the investigation and pursuit of civil litigation to the public nuisance of opioid abuse.

• Approved the resignation of Paramedic Matthew Horn, effective Aug. 19, 2017, requested by Lawrence County EMS Director Buddy Fry.

• Approved and signed the partial demolition contract for the Grandview Inn, requested by Cindy Anderson, CAO. The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation will be funding any amounts not covered by the grant.

• Approved and signed the amendment to the 2016 Engineering Services Agreement.

• Approved and signed the 2017 Engineering Services Contract with Stantec.

Lawrence County EMS Director Buddy Fry also added that he was pleased to say overdoses in the county have been trending downward recently. In July, Lawrence County saw its lowest number of overdoses this year with 29, compared to 45 in May and 42 in June. On Tuesday, Fry said as of Monday this week, there have only been 16 so far in August, which he called a “drastic cut.”


Dustin Melchior also contributed to this story.