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Chris May To Serve As President For Commissioners
Updated January 14, 2015 8:01 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners elected Chris May to serve as president and Bill Spreen as vice president, Tuesday morning.

After the appointments, the commissioners heard a request to place a 4-way stop sign at the intersection of Sand Pit and Church Camp roads. Stanley Cope, a resident in the area, says the intersection is dangerous.

He listed several factors on why they need to make the intersection a 4-way stop including: the road is heavily traveled, speeding motorists, obstructed visibility as well as the narrowness of the roadways.

The commissioners asked the sheriff and County Highway Department to assess the situation and report back to the commissioners.

Resident Vocalizes County Easement Issue

A resident on Hickory Height Circle asked commissioners to address an issue over a county easement in front of their property.

David Harlan and his wife say they are being threatened by their neighbors because they use the county easement to access their property.

The Harlans say the situation has escalated to the point that their neighbor's son has threatened them with a firearm and the county police have been called.

The Harlans claim their property is landlocked and the only way to their driveway is to cross the county easement, which they have maintained for 15 years.

The commissioners and County Attorney David Smith say the incident is a civil matter and the Harlans will have to file a civil suit and have a judge issue an injunction against their neighbors.

Smith told the couple that the judge would not be amused about the threatening behavior.

Window Project Complete

Michael Conly, President of Architura Corp., submitted the final bill for the replacement of the courthouse windows. More than 100 windows were replaced. The final cost came in at $776,063, which was below the estimated cost of $777,157.

Much of the work was done by Tri-County Builders and City Glass of Bloomington.

"A lot of care went into this project by everyone," says commissioner David Flinn.

Commissioner May added, "we are extremely happy with the results. I under-estimated the change to the looks of the courthouse."

The commissioners also received a certificate of substantial completion which is a 2 year warranty on the windows for repairs and labor costs and a one year warranty on other work like the plaster work that was done on the northeast corner of the courthouse.

Mark Heirbrandt of Ameresco, who is overseeing the updating of courthouse's antiquated heating/cooling system, says that their job is almost complete. Sensors to better register the heating and cooling temperatures of the courthouse rooms will be installed within the next two weeks. He also requested permission to access the counties IT system so they can retrieve that data.

He also presented the county with a large bronze plaque for doing the renovations at the courthouse.

Name Added To Veteran Plaque

Keith Morrow asked the commissioners to have his son's name added to the veteran's plaque in the courthouse lobby. Morrow says for some reason his son; Donald Morrow, who is a Bedford North Lawrence graduate and served six tours in Iraq; was left off the monument.

The commissioners thanked Donald for his service and say they would address the issue.

County To Seek Bids On Bridges

The county will be seeking bids to replace two county bridges.

Bridge 89, which is located over Salt Creek on Guthrie Road and Bridge 82, which is on Judah Logan Road over Salt Creek in the Judah Bottoms, are both on the inspection list of county bridges to be replaced.

Both bridges' beams have been damaged by road salt.

Crews also plan to replace a box culvert on Tunnelton Road. They plan to close the road for about two days during spring break to do the repairs.

Sheriff's Report

Newly Elected Sheriff Mike Branham told the commissioners that the transition into office has been extremely smooth thanks to former Sheriff Sam Craig.

"I cannot compliment Sam enough," Branham added. "I walked into the position much better then he did. We were very fortunate to have Sam and he has been more than helpful in getting me prepared."

Branham reported there were 116 inmates at the jail as of Tuesday morning. Of those 16 were women with 6 Department of Correction holds.

Branham is currently addressing some heating issues at the facility. A staging for the heating elements went bad and will have to be replaced at a cost of about $1,000.

He is also seeking bids to do some structural work to the walk area at the front of the building.

Branham is also working on contacting vendors for goods and services for the facility.

"My hope is to stay local," Branham says.

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