• 63°

Signatures collected for DD levy: 3,098 want funding effort of March ballot

Supporters of Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities collected 3,098 signatures over the weekend to put a funding levy on the March primary ballot.

Julie Monroe, superintendent for LCDD, was present at Tuesday’s meeting of the Lawrence County Commission, along with Debra Jones, president of the LCDD board.

Monroe said supporters had rushed over the weekend to gather the signatures.

The levy, which was defeated narrowly in last week’s general election, is eligible to go before voters again.

LCDD announced major cuts to its programs and services on Friday, following the failure of the levy. Officials said it was a contingency plan that had been devised in the event that the levy did not pass.

“Can a levy be put back on the ballot?” Commission President Freddie Hayes Jr. said. “It can, because it is DD. That is the only one that can. We checked into it.”

Hayes said they would have to receive and verify the signatures first ,and the commissioners voted to accept them.

Monroe said the LCDD board would be meeting and would decide on a resolution to formally request the levy go back on the ballot, which would be presented to commissioners at their Nov. 26 meeting.

She said she understood that there had been questions on the finances of LCDD and she would seek to clarify things with voters.

“We can share more definitive information about finances,” she said.

She thanked the group, Moms on a Mission, organized by Tina Irwin, who she said had worked to gather the signatures.

In his commissioner report, Colton Copley said he wanted “to commend the people of Lawrence County for the outpouring of love shown to the DD community over the weekend.”

“I thought of families affected by that and how it must feel,” he said. “I’m glad the people of the community are stepping up.”

In other business, the commission:

Heard from Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce president Shirley Dyer, who said the Chamber’s annual Festival of Trees will take place Nov. 22-23 at the Chamber headquarters in South Point and will feature a Kids Day on Saturday from 1-3 p.m., featuring magician and ventriloquist Gary Booth.

Trees will be up for bid and there will be vendors and live animals on hand.

Heard from Lawrence County auditor Paul David Knipp, who said his office is streamlining the purchase order and bill payment system. Knipp said there are several departments to be trained and he hopes this will be finished by next week.

Heard from Lawrence County clerk of courts Mike Patterson, who said he wants to meet with commissioners for budget talks.

“I want to be able to justify how I spend,” he said.

Patterson also put forward that the county consider hiring an IT person for the courthouse, stating it would save money on computer repairs.

• Thanked local schools, in particular Fairland West Elementary, as well as Woodland Cemetery for their Veterans Day services.