Bridge Limit Lowered on Tunnelton Road

(BEDFORD) – Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes says the rating on the bridge on Tunnelton Road over the White River has been lowed to a 20-ton limit.

“This will put a hardship on some farmers,” he added.

The bridge, built in 1968, was not designed for tractor trailers.

“The only thing we could do to change this is to rip the deck off and replace it and that would be a multi-million dollar project,” he added. “There is just nothing we can do about it.”

Commissioners Pass Ordinance

The Lawrence County Commissioners passed an ordinance increasing the real property endorsement fee.

State Law previously provided that the auditor collect a fee of $5 from the legal description for each parcel contained in a deed, for which the auditor makes a real property endorsement. Now the auditor is required to collect a $10 fee.

The commissions voted to amend the ordinance to collect that $10 fee for each legal description of each parcel contained in the deed.

The new fee will go into effect July 1.

The commissioners also approved to accept the SRI Tax Sale fee from $75 to $100.

Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 175 inmates in the jail, of those 134 were males, 41 females, 10 Level 6 offenders and one Department of Correction hold and no parole holds.

“The numbers are increasing,” he added. “The started climbing in May and will continue to climb into July and until late August.”

Sheriff Branham said he will spend around $10,000 from his budget to make repairs to the ramp outside of the department.

“This is not a long-term fix,” he added. “But it will improve it aesthetically…It currently looks horrible.”

The rails will be removed and re-fabricated, the ramp will be pressure washed and all the cracks and holes will be filled and repaired and everything will be painted.

Highway Department

Milestone Contractors has moved up the paving schedule. Crews will begin paving June 25, weather permitting.

Work continues on Bridge 160 on Oolitic Road and is on schedule to be completed by August 2.

Flynn & Sons Construction was awarded the bid and is removing the bridge over the abandoned railroad tracks. They will also fill in the area and construct a road. The sidewalk from 5th Street along Lincoln Avenue to Wiley Park on the west side of the roadway will also be addressed.

Holmes apologized to residents and business owners for the inconvenience.

Emergency Management

Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer reported St. Vincent Dunn Hospital donated an automatic emergency defibrillator to the courthouse. The courthouse staff has been trained on how to use it.

“It’s pretty simple and idiot proof,” she added. “We greatly appreciate this generous donation.”

Officials are currently working on getting one donated to Courthouse Plaza.