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Resident Complains About High Grass, Abandoned Homes, Junk Vehicles
Updated May 20, 2015 7:58 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(BEDFORD) - James Drake didn't have anything nice to say about Southern Acres housing division off Cassidy Lane.

Drake has lived on North Acres Drive for more than 42 years and now he is ready to move.

"There are vacant houses with tall grass and weeds, there are drug dealers and now a man has vehicles parked all around his house and is opening a mechanics shop," Drake says. "I am ready to sell out and move to Arizona. Is that what the officials of this county want me to do."

The commissioners told Drake there wasn't much they could do.

"The houses have probably been given back to the banks and many of those banks are out of state and they just don't care about the upkeep," Commission Bill Spreen told Drake. "As for the drug activity that is a problem the sheriff's department can address and for the mechanics shop is not much we can do. There is no zoning in the county."

But Spreen says the commissioners are receiving more and more complaints about happenings in the county.

Lawrence County is one of only a few counties in the state that doesn't have zoning laws or a comprehensive plan to address issues like high lawns, or businesses being opened in a residential area.

"It is becoming a problem and something we are be forced to address," Spreen added. "We will have to look into adopting a comprehensive plan. We are slowly getting pushed into looking into zoning because people are not taking pride in what they have at home. People just don't have that pride anymore. We are at that point where we need some type of plan."

For now, Drake was told to seek help from Lawrence County Health Department officials and to see if some state laws could address his issues.

In other business:

The county highway crews are patching roads with hot-mix and mowing. A culvert is being replaced on Valley Mission Road and as soon as that job is complete the road will be paved. Crews will also pave the bridge approaches on Mount Pleasant Road.

Superintendent David Holmes says while bridge crews were washing the Tunnelton Road bridge they found someone had stolen the bolts from the guard rails.

He reported he is having a detailed inspection of that bridge done in hope of raising the weight limit.

The demolition of bridge 89 on Guthrie Road should begin on June 1.

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Sheriff Mike Branham reported there was 112 inmates in the jail, of those 5 were Department of Correction holds and 23 were women.

He also updated the commissioners on the progress of repairing a 40-foot-by-60-foot pole building by the new transfer station at the county complex. The building will be used by both the sheriff's department and the Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office for storage. Both departments are splitting the cost an estimated $13,000 to make the repairs.

"We have several vehicles we are storing there now which were seized during drug arrests," Branham says. "This will help out both departments. I am currently renting three storage units and I know the prosecutor's office is renting four."

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Emergency Manager Valerie Luckhauer presented the commissioners with the transition plan for the Americans with Disabilities. A copy will be in Emergency Management office, the Auditor's Office and one will be left with the courthouse maintenance supervisor.

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Gene McCracken of the Economic Growth Council was appointed to represent elected officials for the county when it comes to decisions made by the Region 8 Workforce Board. He was appointed to the position for two years.



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