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‘Eyesore’ potential project for land bank

The Lawrence County Commission agreed to appropriate $45,000 as a line item in the budget for the Lawrence County Land Bank, which will be used for the asbestos removal at the old Pulley Nursing Home building on County Road 1 in South Point.

Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens said the money is the actual carryover compared to the county’s estimated carryover, meaning that the county had around $45,000 more in carryover than what was originally anticipated.

The asbestos removal would take place before demolition, but Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Burcham, who also heads the land bank, said when the contracts are given out, it would be coordinated to take place back-to-back to get completed in a faster amount of time.

Burcham also said the demolition of the former Pulley Nursing Home building is needed for multiple reasons, including being an eyesore and attracting vermin and potential criminal activity.

“I’ve been the treasurer here for 12 years, and that building has been vacant even before that, so it’s a long term eyesore for the community,” Burcham said. “Having that vacant building there attracts vermin and drags down the neighboring property values.”

Burcham also added that he is very pleased that the commission appropriated the money for this purpose.

“I’m very appreciative to the commissioners for forwad thinking on this project,” he said. “I anticipate the whole project, with asbestos removal and demolition, will cost more than $100,000, so this will be great to get us started.”

Burcham and the land bank are also currently looking for business partners for the project to raise money, which will all go toward the Pulley Nursing Home project.

“The land bank is a non-profit,” he said. “So it’s all tax deductible.”

He said if the land bank can receive the remainder needed for the entirety of the project, he hopes it will be completed sometime this summer at the earliest.

Larry Pernestti, president of the South Hills Longbeards chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, spoke to the commission about the chapter’s upcoming events this year, as well as events the group has recently completed, including the NWTF’s Turkey Hunters Care program, in which the local chapter donated more than 150 turkeys to local food pantries and churches back in November. A story on the NWTF South Hills Longbeards chapter 2018 events will be in Thursday’s edition of The Tribune.

Ralph Kline, of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, and Chris Chiles, of the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission, also spoke about upcoming projects that the organization is working on.

In other action, the commission:

• Approved one floodplain permit renewal.

• Approved the Dog Warden Report dated Jan. 6, 2018.

• Approved four transfer funds.

• Approved and signed the grant amendment for the Department of Youth Services, requested by Joyce Lynd, Lawrence County Juvenile Court.

• Approved Danny Holschuh, Larry Wood and Gary Riley for a three-year term to the Lawrence County Planning Commission.

• Approved Lawrence County Commissioner DeAnna Holliday to the Board of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization (CAO).

• Approved and signed the Material Services Contract with Gallia County for 2018, requested by the Lawrence County Engineer’s Office.

• Met in executive session with Lawrence County Chief Deputy Auditor Chris Kline and Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens regarding real estate. No action was taken.

• Met in executive session with Kline and Stephens regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand. No action was taken.