Commission thanks sheriff for report

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Treasurer reports on taxes, land bank

The Lawrence County commissioners thanked Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless for continuing to provide them with reports on the sheriff’s office at their weekly meeting Tuesday.
Commission President Bill Pratt read the letter given to Lawless from the commissioners at the meeting.

“The commissioners would like to thank you for your time and effort in compiling an annual report from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office. We recognize the importance of the information provided in this report to help us as commissioners understand the current workings of the sheriff’s office as well as planning for the future,” the letter stated. “We commend you on the various projects and programs undertaken by your office, including the drug take back program, school resource officers and the K-9 unit, especially in these trying times with the opioid epidemic. These are just a few of the available resources that make the county a safe place to live and work. We realize that we face great challenges in the ability to financially sustain the sheriff’s department with the county’s limited financial resources, but working together, we will be able to reach the goal of meeting the safety needs of our great county.”

Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Burcham addressed the commission, and said that his office is continuing to collect second half taxes, which have totaled $1.12 million so far after the second half deadline, which will go toward the first half next year.

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He added that next year’s tax deadlines will be March 2 for first half and July 6 for the second half.

Burcham also gave an update on the land bank, and said that it has recently knocked down its 44th house.

“That’s a tremendous achievement, and I’m proud of my staff,” he said.

He said one of the houses in the last group of demos in the Burlington area contained “cooking” materials, including two propane tanks, a hood and a gas recovery system.

“I’m not sure what they were cooking in there, but they were cooking something,” Burcham said. “And I don’t think they were doing any kind of catering out of that house.”

He also said that in another house knocked down earlier in the year in Ironton, the land bank discovered a bag of drugs containing Oxycotin, heroin and methamphetamine, which was taken care of by the Ironton Police Department.

The last thing Burcham talked about was working with the city of Ironton through the Neighborhood Investment Program to provide the city with new police cruisers sometime in the near future.

Also at the meeting was Jeremy Eastwood, an insurance consultant who works with Lawrence County, who spoke about the premium going up by .3 percent for county employees on the SEBCO plan. He also stated that trips to the emergency room for non-emergency situations will not continue to be covered by the plan in an effort to keep costs at a minimum.

Lonnie Best, Lawrence County 911 director, also talked to the commission about upcoming financial struggles 911 will face with the state mandated Next Generation 911 system as well as getting all of his employees the required training and certifications.

In other action, the commission:

• Approved one floodplain permit.

• Received and filed the 2017 Union Rome Sewer Delinquency List.

• Received and filed the correspondence from the Rome Township Trustees regarding Private Drive 220 being accepted as a township road and referred back to Lawrence County Engineer Patrick Leighty.

• Approved seven transfer funds.

• Met in executive session with Bill Nenni regarding pending litigation. No action was taken.

• Met in executive session with Lawrence County Chief Deputy Auditor Chris Kline regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand. No action was taken.

• Met in executive session with Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services Director Terry Porter regarding pending litigation. No action was taken.