Commissioners Address Animal Ordinance, Oolitic Road will Open Soon, Veterans Received $22.4 Million in Benefits, Next Generation 911 Coming to Lawrence County

(BEDFORD) – On Tuesday morning, Buddy Hendricks addressed the Lawrence County Commissioners about the importance of drafting a county ordinance regarding the issues of dogs seized by animal control.

He had offered in past meetings to help draft the new ordinance.

“I am perplexed that you didn’t take me up on my offer,” he stated. “I know where to get expert help.”

That expert help is from the Humane Society of the United States and other organizations who experts have drafted ordinances involving vicious animals.

Commissioner President Dustin Gabhart told Hendrix plans are moving forward with the new ordinance.

“This is a top priority and we are taking it very seriously,” Gabhart added. “Everyone involved has reached out to other organizations.”

Sheryl Langdon also addressed the commissioners on the need to update ordinances.

“Many of our county ordinances are outdated and need revisited,” she stated.

She says the White River Humane Society needs more financial support and there need to be harsher fines and even jail time for repeat offenders.

Langdon told the commissioners she is “being terrorized” by those violating the ordinance.

“It’s time to take a hard look at our county’s toxic nature… and take a hard look at how we present ourselves to others,” she added.

In other business:

Brad Bough

Veterans Affairs Officer Brad Bough gave the commissioners a copy of his department’s Gross Domestic Expenditures.

In Lawrence County, there are 3,649 veterans seeking service from the Veterans Affairs office. Bough and his staff were able to assist those veterans with receiving more than $22.3 million in benefits.

“We would like to be able to help more veterans,” Bough says. “They just need to come to the office or give us a call.”

Bough also thanked the county’s first responders, who keep the homeland safe while those are out of state serving their country.

Bough and his staff continue to meet with legislators to seek a veterans hospital or clinic in Lawrence County.

Highway Department

The commissioners signed a contract for a part time registered nurse for the health department.

Highway Director David Holmes says crews are mowing and cutting brush.

David Holmes

Milestone Construction is continuing to pave county roads.

The following roads will be closed for paving, weather permitting.

On Wednesday, Pleasant Run Road from Bartlettsville Road to Hearth Road will be closed from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

On Thursday, crews will close Meadows Church Road from Dutch Ridge Road to Dunn Bridge Road from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

On Friday, crews will pave Salem Road from Heltonville Road to West Powerline Road from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and also on Friday crews will pave Elm Street on the north side of State Road 58.

The commissioner signed a contract with White River Co-op to provide LP gas for the highway department.

Holmes told the commissioner he is still waiting to hear from the Indiana Department of Transportation to move forward with the county bridge inspections.

Bridge crews are laying concrete to patch some area bridges.

Crews are on schedule with the completion of work on Oolitic Road.

“The sidewalks and fencing and curbing are being completed,” Holmes added. “We are shooting for a July 25th completion date if not sooner. It looks good and I think it is going to be a big improvement.”

Emergency Management

Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer asked the commissioners to approve a resolution to change the wording in the 911 advisory board ordinance. The wording will state a chief of a volunteer fire department will be appointed to serve on the board.

Valerie Luchauer

She also updated the commissioners on Next Generation 911.

“Because most 911 systems were originally built using analog rather than digital technologies, public safety answering points across the country need to be upgraded to a digital or Internet Protocol (IP)-based  911 system, commonly referred to as Next Generation 911,” Luchauer said.

While the technology to implement these new IP-based 911 systems is available now, the transition will involve much more than just new computer hardware and software it will require the coordination of a variety of emergency communication, public safety, legislative and governing entities.

Luchauer has money in her budget to have a public safety map created for the upgrade. The commissioners signed a contract to have that done.

Luchauer says the success and reliability of 911 will be greatly improved with the implementation of Next Generation 911, as it will enhance emergency number services to create a faster, more resilient system that allows voice, photos, videos, and text messages to flow seamlessly from the public to the 911 network.