Lawrence County Commissioners wrap up 2021 with signing contract and opening bids

BEDFORD – The Lawrence County Commissioners wrapped up 2021 Tuesday morning opening bids and approving contracts.

The county received four bids for work on Bridge 138 on Oolitic Road, and two bids to complete the county reassessment. All of the bids were taken under advisement.

Clerk Billie Tumey

Clerk Billie Tumey requested the commissioners sign a contract to move the voting equipment from a secure location in the courthouse to a new secure location at Courthouse Plaza. Not much information was released on the details due to security risks. The commissioners signed two contracts one for $911 and the other for $2,402. The company will move the equipment and provide security to keep the voting machines safe throughout the year.

The commissioners also signed yearly contacts with Purdue Extension – Lawrence County and White River Humane Society to continue to provide their services.

Department heads then presented their reports.

Highway Department Superintendent David Holmes was not at the meeting. His report was presented by Commissioner President Rodney Fish. he reported crews are patching roadways, hauling sand, and stockpiling sand for incumbent weather.

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer reported COVID numbers are increasing. She said the hospitals are beyond capacity due to COVID patients.

Valerie Luchauer

She stressed vaccines are available and stressed those not vaccinated should get vaccinated.

Sheriff Mike Branham reported the jail is at 83 percent capacity. Currently, there are 149 inmates in the jail, of those 126 are males, 23 are females, one Level 6 felon and 21 are Department of Correction holds and no parole holds.

“The number of DOC holds is high,” said Sheriff Branham. “We have sent emails and now it is time to start making phone calls.”

Last year at this time there were 155 inmates in the jail.

Sheriff Branham has fired Verizon Wireless as the department’s carrier. They were providing services to deputies in-car computers and other mobile devices at the department.

“There service has not been very good,” said Sheriff Branham. “They are not keeping our bills reduced and it’s time to fire them. We are hiring ATT FirstNet who specialized in providing services to first responders and public safety professionals. This will save us money next year.”

Sheriff Branham reported that Central Dispatch is now under the direction of the 911 Board.

“This had taken about three years to complete,” said Sheriff Branham. “But now they are separate from the jail budget.