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Lawrence County Commissioners Address Insurance Premiums And Parking Issue
Updated July 26, 2017 6:50 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners voted Tuesday morning to renew their contract with Anthem to cover county employee's health care needs.

Miles Parker with Parker Group presented the insurance proposal to the commissioners saying the county employees will see no increase in premiums.

The commissioners voted to renew their contract with Anthem which was to expire on August 1.

In other business:

The commissioners addressed a parking problem issue at Courthouse Plaza.

Currently people who are not attending court hearings or conducting court business are using the lot.

The lot is directly behind Courthouse Plaza on the northeast corner of 17th Street.

"The lot is clearly marked for courthouse parking," says Commissioner Dustin Gabhart. "We are asking nicely that people not park there. If they don't heed the warning, we will start towing their vehicles."

Gabhart watched the lot for several hours and within just a few minutes saw several motorists park in the lot and then go to the St. Vincent Thrift Store or to the gymnastic school.

Commission Rodney Fish says sidewalk construction in the area is also hampering the parking situation.

"It becomes a large problem when the courts are holding a hearing where a number of jurors are called," he added.


Sheriff Mike Branham reported that there were 162 inmates in the Lawrence County Jail on Tuesday morning. Of those, 41 were females, 13 Level 6 felons and 1 was a Department of Correction hold.

He addressed an issue of residents calling 911 when they don't have an emergency.

"This is becoming a problem," he added. "We are running out of ambulances because they are making runs on lift assists and not true medical emergencies. Those issues should be addressed by family members and not tie up an ambulance that is needed to run for someone suffering a heart attack, stroke or involved in a serious motor vehicle accident."

The issue will be addressed.

Sheriff Branham says they are addressing the issue by educating residents on when to call 911 and sending letters to those who abuse it.

"This is their warning," Sheriff Branham says. "It is a misdemeanor offense to abuse the 911 system and if they continue they will be cited."


Highway Superintendent David Holmes reported crews are patching county roads, mowing and cutting brush.

Paving on Warner Quarry Road should be completed in a few days.

"They should be done with striping today (Tuesday)," he added. "There are few more things to finish up on and we should have the road open in a few days."

The Commissioners were concerned when Holmes reported paving will not be done by the time school starts.

"We are looking at paving being completed by mid-August," Holmes added." Crews are working on I-69. I am not thrilled with this."

And neither were the commissioners. They asked Holmes to contact the paving crews connected with the county and see if something could be worked out.

Crews continue to work around the clock on Bridge 133 on Sand Pit Road.

"They worked all night pressure washing the top of the deck and it is in worse shape than we thought, but it is not anything we can't address," Holmes added.

Holmes says crews are working to get the bridge finished.

"It is a big inconvenience to the community," says Commissioner Rodney Fish.


Holmes and County Surveyor Corey Allen addressed the commissioners about an issue in Fort Ritner.

There is a bank that is attempting to finance property on Depot Street, but the mobile home is sitting on a county right of way.

"It sits 8 feet into the 60 foot right of way," Allen says. "The bank is requesting an encroachment letter so they can continue with the financing."

Whoever County Attorney David Smith says issuing that letter will set a precedence the county does not want to set. Smith says it would be wise to have the bank the commissioners to vacate the land back to the landowner.


Valerie Luchauer with Emergency Management says the county was hit hard with storms this weekend.

"We had a number of trees and lines down," she added. "Everyone worked around the clock to clean up areas."

One family on US 50 West in Huron found themselves in ankle-deep water.

"Their livestock was also standing in deep water," she added. "We were able to address the situation."

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