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Commissioners Approve Bid For Morgue

Last updated on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners awarded the bid for the construction of a new county morgue to Tri-County Builders - that is if the county can fund the project.

The county received two bids for the project and Tri-County was the lowest at $98,700.

Bill Spreen says the county will have to come up with a plan to fund the project, but feels it will be cost effective to build a morgue then to transport bodies to and from other facilities like Terre Haute.

"There are a lot of expenses doing that, not only to the county, but to the family of loved ones," Spreen says.

Lawrence County Coroner John Sherrill informed the commissioners the county needed use of another facility to conduct autopsies and store corpses.

Dunn Memorial Hospital once served as the county's morgue. However, St. Vincent, which purchased the facility in 2010, decided not to maintain its unit.

Sherrill then provided the commissioners with a cost analysis regarding their options. They chose to renovate existing space at Dunn Plaza into an office area, autopsy room, and walk-in storage and work area.

The county council will now be advised of the commissioners decision and see if a plan can be devised for funding the project.

In other business:

* The commissioners agreed to pay $3,500 to Architura, an architectural design firm, who completed an assessment of the courthouse's structural problems.

* The commissioners will hold a silent sealed auction for the county own property located in Orleans that was once a part of Dunn Memorial Hospital.

* Lawrence County Soil & Water Conservation District Coordinator Marsha Ralston presented the commissioners with an annual report of the SWCD.

* Highway superintendent David Holmes reported crews continue to pave county roads and are mowing. He also says the county sign inventory was complete.

* Project Coordinator Bob Dillon says bridge 20, near Needmore was reopened on June 8th. Bill Spreen says he received a call wanting to know if a guide rail was going to be placed at the bridge. Dillon says the shoulders were widened and no guide rail should be needed. Dillon told commissioners that county bridges are being inspected.

* Emergency Management Director Valerie Louchour says she is in the process of securing a contract with AT&T to upgrade the counties 911 system. The system has not been updated in almost 10 years.

* Sheriff Sam Craig reported there were 115 inmates at the jail, with 13 of the females and 18 Department of Correction inmates. Craig received back the report on asbestos in the courthouse annex. Craig says most of it was in floor tiles and the window caulking. He says he will now seek bids on removing the asbestos and the razing of the building.

* County Recorder Jessica Allen asked for permission to fill a vacancy in her office.
Circuit Judge Andrea McCord asked the commissioner if it was possible to hire someone to look for the possibility of mold in her officers. McCord is concerned the mold is making her staff sick with respiratory issues. Commissioner Dave Flinn says he has someone who could check for the mold and would contact him. McCord says she would even pay for the inspection.

* The commissioners approved an additional appropriation of $12,000 from the infraction deferral fund to the general fund for Prosecutor Michelle Woodward to pay the salary of a deputy prosecutor.

* The commissioners approved an additional appropriation for the Assessor's Office of $240,000.

* Nedra Brock-Fleetwood presented the commissioners with a grant that will allow the probation department to pay for security equipment in the offices.

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