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Edwards Named President Of Lawrence Co. Council

Last updated on Thursday, January 26, 2012

(BEDFORD) - Jim Edwards was elected president of the Lawrence County Council for 2012. Mike Branham was voted vice president.

Joe Dibert, head of the county's community correction project, reported to the council that they are on a different fiscal grant cycle than most other county departments. Its advisory board and the board of county commissioners already had approved the proposed budget to the Indiana Department of Correction.

The budget, $506,741, is approximately 1 percent less than last year's total and there were no significant changes to the budget. The council moved to approve the budget.

This is the 26th year for community corrections and they are beginning a new program that will offer sentencing alternatives to the courts for non-violent offenders. The system is comprised of home detention, community service work group programs and juvenile alternatives.

Dibert said you can't put everyone in jail or juvenile detention centers and the program is a go-between, a buffer. It will give the courts an option to provide a service to the people before they end up in the Department of Corrections.

In other business:

* Sheriff Sam Craig distributed a detailed report on commissary revenue and expenditures.

* Gene McCracken requested volunteers to serve on a new airport committee to study how to address long-term budget issues at Virgil I. Grissom Municipal Airport. Robert Daggy approached the board of commissioners last week seeking input from county officials. David Flinn will represent the commissioners. Mark Mathis, Mike Wright and Edwards agreed to serve on behalf of the council.

* The council approved a request by Lawrence Superior Court I Judge Michael Robbins to designate his clerk a second court reporter. The change would not impact the budget.

* Mark Mathis, spokesman for the abatement committee, recommended approval of D&M Tool's abatement request. He noted the company plans to spend $530,000 on a couple new pieces of equipment and create two new jobs. The council accepted his recommendation.

* Billy Carlisle was appointed to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

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