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County Commissioners Reviewing Draft Of Safety Plan
Updated April 20, 2016 7:08 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners received a draft of the county's safety plan Tuesday morning.

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer presented the plan saying the draft will now be sent to office holders for their thoughts.

The plan includes safety measures, evacuation plans for every office county office and how the Lawrence County Fairgrounds will be set up as an evacuation area in case of a natural disaster.

"You never know when we will have a chemical spill, fire or explosion or a natural disaster," says Luchauer. "We never thought someone would ever ram their vehicle into the courthouse."

Developing the plan was a committee of Luchauer, Sheriff Mike Branham, County Information Technology Specialist Scott Nikirk and Bedford Fire Department Inspector Dewayne Turpen.

After county employees review the plan and submit their ideas, the group will meet in June to review the feedback.

Then in August the group will meet with other officials at the fairgrounds to determine which building will be used during a disaster or emergency.

Then in November the county will hold a table top discussion and mock disaster.

"Once that is done we will evaluate how it went and make any necessary changes to the plan before final approval," Luchauer says.

In other business:

Highway Superintendent David Holmes reported crews are hot patching and still replacing culverts on county roads.

Holmes will meet with contractors on Thursday to determine a paving schedule. Paving will be done in two rounds with one beginning around May 9th and the second in mid-July.

The commissioners accepted all the bids to pave county roads.

Bridge crews are washing and clearing brush from area bridges.

Bids to replace Bridge 54 on Jasper McKeaigg Road over Guthrie Creek near Leesville are due by May 2.

The commissioners agreed to move forward with the design planes and survey for Bridge 25 at Otis Park by the old tennis courts. The City of Bedford has agreed to pay half of the costs. No work will be done until the soccer season ends in October.


Luchauer reported that new stripping and reflectors have been placed at U.S. 50 and SandPit Road. Luchauer says there was a problem seeing the turn off onto SandPit road so the city assisted in putting stripping and reflectors on the roadway. Officials have contacted Duke Energy to see if a light could be put up in the area, but Duke says there is no electricity or pole in the area to do that.


The commissioners approved and signed a contract with Tony Kinser to hold an auction of surplus equipment on May 14th. The event will be held at the county complex highway garage at 10 a.m.


Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 134 inmates at the county jail, of those 29 are females and 9 Level 6 Felons with no Department of Correction holds.

The commissioners agreed for Sheriff Branham to begin gathering bids to replace the two ramps at the jail.


Raymond Moore, Alan Armstrong and Steve Emery approached the commissioners about a road that the county took particle possession of in September 2013. The men asked the commissioners to exercise the use of eminent domain,
the power to take private property for public use to take possession of the rest of the road.

Moore agreed to pay to bring the road up to county standards and to build a cul-de-sac at the end of the road for county trucks and school buses to turn around in at no cost to the county. This would allow Moore and Armstrong access to their property, which the homeowners association is refusing to do.

Moore says he has attempted to seek an agreement with Limestone Ventures LLC but they are refusing any offer.

"I offered a fair amount of money, $25,000 and they refused it," Moore says.

In November 2013, the commissioners agreed the county would take over the care and snow removal for the roadways, but Limestone Ventures, LLC will continue to be responsible for maintaining the right-of-ways, pay for and maintain the street lights, storm sewers and sewage treatment plant and the landscaping.

Doug Conrad, representing Stone Crest, agreed that within a five year period to either create a through road or a cul-de-sac at the end of Summer Lake Drive.

Commissioner Chris May addressed at the time that once the county agreed to take over the roads they would be treated as any other county road, meaning golf carts would be prohibited.

The commissioners asked the men to come back with their intended use of the road and other information in two weeks at the next commissioners meeting.


The commissioners are reviewing bids to keep the shrubbery around the courthouse maintained.


The commissioners are seeking a company to clean the courthouse windows. Treasurer Paula Stewart will be contacting companies and bring back prices for the commissioners to review.


Commissioner President Bill Spreen told his fellow commissioner that Community Corrections will not be mowing the courthouse lawn until they find a replacement to run the program.

"The current supervisor has quit and there is no one to over see the crew to mow the lawn," Spreen added. "So we might have to find someone to mow until they hire someone."


Commissioner Spreen asked that county employees not use courthouse parking spaces because the public is coming in to pay their taxes and do early voting.

"It makes it difficult for the public to find a spot to park if employees are using the parking spaces," Spreen says. "They agreed to park off the square during heavy traffic times - that time is now."

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