Sheriff requests new equipment, vehicles

Published 7:57 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Resident expresses support for possible medical marijuana grow facility

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said that although he was satisfied with the draft of next year’s general fund budget, there were a few additional requests that he had when addressing the county commission on Tuesday.

He said the office needs some munitions and equipment, as well as a new Ford F-250 pickup truck and three additional cruisers.

Lawless added that the current pickup truck the sheriff’s office has is a 1996 model, and that they use it for everything they can, including towing the boat or other large jobs. He said the additional cruisers are needed because of the wear and tear the cruisers take due to the amount of use and the types of terrain often having to be driven on, adding that SUVs work best.

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The commission stated that those are the types of things the capital improvement budget, which was built into next year’s general fund, will be able to provide.

Chief deputy auditor Chris Kline also stated that he would like to sit down with Lawless sometime in the near future to go over all of his needs and come up with a plan for the next five years, adding that the same can be done with other office holders and department heads as well.

Fayette Township Trustee and local businessman Mike Finley also addressed the commission regarding the vacancy sewer rates in the Union Rome Sewer (URS) district.

He said he has eight vacant properties in which he’s paying more than $28 a month for sewage that he is not using, adding that he didn’t believe it was fair to have to pay anything for sewage that is not being used, while certain residents are billed on usage rates, including the senior living communities on the eastern end of the county.

Finley stated that the way it is currently set up is pushing potential growth away from the county due to the high prices.

The commission said that although they agreed that the vacancy rate was too high, there needs to be a decrease from what it is now due to the taps being active on the properties.

Commissioner DeAnna Holliday also said that she believes everyone should go to usage rates, but it is difficult to do it that way because of multiple water companies in the URS district and the usage information not being released.

The commission is hoping to set up a meeting with URS administrator Gary Criswell to see if there is anything that can be done about the situation.

Lawrence County Treasurer and head of the county land bank Stephen Burcham updated the commission on the land bank, and said that so far this year, 62 houses have been knocked down with seven more awaiting contracts that will be demolished sometime in January. He added that the land bank is planning on continuing demolitions all through the winter as well.

He also reminded the commission of his request to get the land bank allocated for county funds, and said he is looking for something around $25,000. Holliday said that as soon as the commission finds out of the interest from the capital improvement budget, it would determine how much would be able to be allocated to the land bank.

Laura Brown, director of the Lawrence County Humane Society and commissioner of the Ironton Health Department, talked about a pet vaccination event going on from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday at the Tractor Supply in South Point.

The cost is $25, with the canine package including a rabies vaccine, Da2PPV and one does of Effitix Plus, and the feline package including FVRCP, a rabies vaccine and one dose of Effipro Plus. Pets will also receive a brief examination from an attending veterinarian.

She also said that the humane society now includes 66 members, and another drive to gain new memberships as well as the election of officers will take place in January.

Hanging Rock resident Tim Dickens also took the time to speak to the commission of his support for the possible medical marijuana grow facility in the Hanging Rock area of Lawrence County.

Harvest Grows LLC was granted two provisional licenses last week, one for the Hanging Rock location and one for a location in Cleveland, that it would have to decide from within the next week.

Dickens said he supports the facility for Lawrence County because of the opportunities for jobs, taxes and more economic growth.

In other action, the commission:

• Approved one floodplain permit.

• Approved the Dog Warden Report dated Nov. 18, 2017.

• Approved 17 transfer funds.

• Approved one appropriation.

• Received and filed the approval of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Slum and Blight waiver for projects totaling $154,800, as requested by Cindy Anderson, CAO.

• Approved and signed the grant agreement B-F-17-1BN-1, as requested by Cindy Anderson, CAO.

• Met in executive session with Lori Morris, EMS finance administrator, regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand. No action was taken.

• Met in executive session with assistant county prosecutor Jeff Smith and chief deputy auditor Chris Kline regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand. No action was taken.

Pending the passage of the 2018 Lawrence County General Fund budget, the last commission meeting of the year will be 11 a.m. Thursday in the commission chambers on the third floor of the courthouse.