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Commission to return to in-person meetings

The Lawrence County Commission met face to face on Tuesday for their weekly meeting, the first time since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions forced the sessions to go virtual.

“It feels really good that we’re all able to meet together and get back to normal,” Commission President DeAnna Holliday said. “And we’ll be going back to open meetings in near future.”

Holliday, along with commissioners Colton Copley and Freddie Hayes Jr., met in their usual room at the Lawrence County Courthouse, while Dr. David Lucas, who handles the livestreaming of the sessions was offsite.

There were no members of the public present at the meeting, which was carried on the commission’s Facebook page, but Holliday said that will change soon.

Health orders surrounding the pandemic, such as mask mandates and crowd capacity limits, were lifted on Wednesday by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Holliday also said the livestreaming will continue for the in-person meetings, however the questions and comments section from social media will not.

“It has always been practice of the board to be live on Facebook and we’ll continue that,” she said, but added the public participation would again be required to be in person. “We only allowed that so you could continue to be interactive. If you would like to interact with your commissioners, you’ll need to attend our meetings.”

Tuesday’s session was a short meeting, used mainly to handle appropriations and transfers. Lawrence County Health Department director Georgia Dillon, who usually gives a weekly report, did not take part in the meeting this week.

In commissioner reports, Holliday reminded the public about the National Trails Day event at Lake Vesuvius, set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today.

“We’ll be there with Project First Impression, in partnership with our solid waste department,” she said. “We’ll have a booth and hopefully see a lot of you out enjoying the Wayne National Forest and activities.”

Holliday said several other groups would be set up for the event.

“Hopefully, it will inspire you to enjoy more of the outdoors,” she said.

Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. used his report to thank the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade Committee for this week’s parade and surrounding events.

“I want to commend the parade committee for the excellent parade that they had,” Hayes said. “We got to finally got to see the kids back out. It was a very great day. Hopefully, we’ll keep moving forward with the pandemic and it will soon be over completely.”

Hayes said he was glad to meet with his fellow commissioners face to face this week.

“It’s been a long time coming and I’ve gotten a little bit older, as you can tell,” Hayes, who has grown a beard since the last in-person meetings, joked. “And keep the prayers keep coming for the county.”

In other business, the commission:
• Approved the appropriations and transfers under $50,000.00 dated June 1, as submitted by the county administrator.
• Signed and approved the Community Based Corrections program Subsidy Grant Agreement Addendum in the amount of $310,128.00, requested by Melissa McCloud, ISP Supervisor.
• Appointed Dan Jeffries, of Prestera Trucking, to the KYOVA Board of Directors.
• Approved and signed the resolution authorizing the amount of $44,238.75 from the Medicaid Local Sales Tax Transitional Fund transferred to the Capital Improvement the remodel of space for both the prosecutor and the commissioners.