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Courthouse Employees Complain About Parking
Updated December 2, 2015 7:26 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(BEDFORD) - The commissioners heard from several courthouse employees Tuesday who voiced complaints about the parking situation around the Lawrence County Courthouse.

The complaint involves officials asking employees not to park in the area while construction was underway. Now that construction is finished officials have decided to continue the practice and not allow employees to park around the square.

That decision has several employees upset.

"During the summer months it was not a problem," Collins told the commissioners Tuesday morning. "But now that the weather is turning bad it is a great concern."

On Monday, which is a busy day in court and at the courthouse, Collins says 67 of the 131 parking spaces were empty.

"There are only 38 of us," she added.

The employees requested permission to use 38 parking spaces on the south side of the courthouse.

The main concern of employees is walking through snow drifts and on ice-covered sidewalks to get to work.

"The problem is businesses don't clear their walkways," Collins added. "Some of us are walking almost two blocks to get to work. How are we going to get to work safely?"

Commissioner President Chris May agreed parking has been an issue for years, but not only for employees but taxpayers.

Another concern was employees walking to their vehicles in the dark.

"It then becomes a safety issue," says Clerk Myron Rainey.

Several employees leave the courthouse with large sums of money to make nightly deposits.

The commissioners listened to the complaints but offered no solution and the parking policy remained in place.

In other business:

Chief Public Defender David Shircliff introduced himself to the commissioners.

He asked the commissioners permission to do a re-assessment of the building used to house his department. Currently the state reimburse the county for allowing the Public Defender's Office to use their building in Dunn Plaza.

Shircliff says an assessment has not been done in a few years and thinks the county could receive more money from the state for the use of the building.

Shircliff also asked to do a air quality assessment of the building say he and other employees are suffering with upper respiratory issues.

Shircliff says the roof leaked about two years ago and was repaired, but he is concerned there may be issues causing the illnesses.

The commissioners approved the requests.

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Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 144 inmates in the county jail Tuesday morning. Of those 29 were women and 4 were Department of Correction holds.

Cornwell Communications will be installing the new phone system at the Sheriff's Department on Wednesday.

Sheriff Branham says the jail passed their fire inspection. There was only one problem there was no sprinkler head in the maintenance room. That was installed.

Center Stone has agreed to sign inmates up for Medicare at no cost to the department.

New desks arrived and are in place at the courthouse.

"This allows security a clear view of both doors," Sheriff Branham added.

The Courthouse and Courthouse Plaza public address systems will be installed. Branham is meeting with officials on Wednesday to make plans for installation. Once the systems are installed, county employees will participate in safety drills.

Branham told the commissioner that they could use the four extra spaces that have been designated for police parking on the east side of the courthouse. Branham says the department will use the two parallel spaces along the courthouse yard for parking.

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County Highway Superintendent David Holmes says crews continue to cold patch county roads. Crews are replacing stone on gravel roads and culverts where needed.

Work continues on Bridge 82 on Judah Logan Road over Salt Creek. Extra crews will be working on the bridge to expedite the work.



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