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Study approved for new jail

Next week proclaimed National AG week

The Lawrence County Commission approved to have a needs study, or an assessment, done on a potential new jail for the county at its meeting Tuesday at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

Last week, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless, along with commissioner DeAnna Holliday, commissioner Colton Copley, Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Christen Finley and others met with members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus to go over potential plans for a new jail in Lawrence County.

Lawless said that a lot of useful insight was gained with those from Franklin County being very informative and helpful in helping Lawrence County move forward in the process. He said that the next step for Lawrence County would be to get the assessment completed regarding the biggest needs that face the Lawrence County community, adding that he is still waiting for additional information from Franklin County, but that he is hoping to have another meeting next week. Lawless also said that he is going to reach out to those who completed the study on Franklin County’s jail at the time to get some quotes of potential costs of the assessment.

The commission also proclaimed next week, March 10-16, as National AG week in Lawrence County, and had members of the Lawrence County Farm Bureau present at the meeting.

American agriculture plays a crucial role in strengthening the economy and providing food in our country. It is also the nation’s largest employer with more than 22 million people working in the agriculture industry.

Commission President Freddie Hayes Jr. said that he comes from a family of farmers and that he has been in the produce business his whole life, adding that he appreciates all of the hard work that farmers do to provide. Hayes also mentioned the late commissioner Bill Pratt and said that he was a great farmer himself.

Michael Love, with the Ham Radio Association, also spoke to the commission about getting approval for an upcoming statewide event, set for Saturday, Aug. 24, to have an amateur radio station set up on the courthouse lawn. He said the event, which would run from around 9 a.m.-4 p.m. would be a fun time highlighting the rich history of Lawrence County with interviews and other publicity that would benefit the county.

The commission also approved to make Saturday, Aug. 24 Amateur Radio Day in Lawrence County.

Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham also reminded everyone that this Friday, March 8, is the first-half tax deadline, and payments could be made at his office during regular business hours, at U.S. Bank, City National Bank, Liberty Bank and Citizens Deposit Bank during their regular business hours, or online at the treasurer’s office website www.lawrencecountytreasurer.org.

Burcham added that currently, first-half tax collections are at $15.7 million, ahead $6.3 million for the same time period last year, and that last year’s total first-half tax collections were $24.2 million. He said that 75 percent of the tax collections go to the local school districts in the county to help educate our children.

Burcham also mentioned the Hope 4 Heidi spaghetti dinner fundraiser that took place a few weeks ago at New Hope United Methodist Church in Proctorville to benefit four-year-old Heidi Adams, who is battling a rare form of childhood brain cancer. He said that a total of $11,000 was raised through the event, which will be used to help the family while Adams undergoes treatment in New York.

In other action, the commission:

• Approved one new floodplain permit and one floodplain permit renewal.

• Approved three transfer funds.

• Met in executive session with Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless and Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services Director Terry Porter regarding legal contracts.

• Met in executive session with Chris Kline and Ronnie Hatfield, interim dog warden, regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand.