Disabled Veterans Need to File for Property Tax Exemption

(BEDFORD) – Lawrence County Veterans Affairs Officer Brad Bough addressed the commissioners Tuesday morning wanting to stress the importance that disabled veterans who have not yet filed for their property tax exemption need to do so before January 1.

Any disabled veteran or widow of a veteran who severed during a time of war can file. The deductions vary.

Lawrence County Veterans Affair Officer Brad Bough

“Every January we have a veteran who didn’t know about the tax exemption,” says Bough. “If they have already filed they do not need to refile. But if they have never filed they need to before the first of the year. A widow of a veteran who was receiving the deduction must refile after their death so the exemption is in their name.”

Bough says the Bloomington Community Outpatient Clinic that treats veterans in the surrounding area has moved to a new location. The facility is now located at 2100 South Liberty Drive in Suite B. Their phone number is still the same 812-336-5723.

“They too don’t have enough staff to handle their caseloads,” says Bough. “I will be talking to some of our representatives to push for a new VA clinic in Bedford or a VA hospital in the area.”

In other business:

Jenny Dearwester, Housing Program Manager of the Southern Indiana Development Commission, conducted a public hearing on the county Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation project, funded with a $350,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Dearwester said 10 of the 14 houses have been inspected by the Indiana State Housing Commissioner. The final four will be inspected by the end of the month.

“It went really well,” she added. “Everyone was really pleased. We had a few hiccups but all went well.”

Some of the repairs included windows roofing, heating, and plumbing. The work was done by two contractors from Greene County and one from Daviess County.

The matching funds for the project came through a Housing Preservation Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. The grant equaled about $41,238. The county did not contribute any funds to the project.

Lawrence County Highway crews are patching and ditching along county roads.

The county should hear back from the Community Crossing grant on October 10th.

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer

Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer reported that she has been busy participating in four emergency scenario exercises – a gas leak with Texas Gas, hazardous chemical spills in Columbus and Monroe County, an active shooter exercise at St. Vincent Dunn Hospital and a chemical spill at a school in Washington County.

She also warned residents about the burn ban in effect.

Indiana Homeland Security and Lawrence County firefighters and Sheriff Mike Branham approached the commissioners about issuing the ban due to county-wide drought conditions.

“We don’t want people to not enjoy the fall weather,” says Luchauer. “We are trying to be as reasonable as possible. We want them to have their cookout and fires as long as they are in approved fire pits.”

The ban remains in effect.

The following activities are prohibited:

  • No campfires or recreational fires unless they are enclosed in a fire ring.No open burning of any kind with the exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane
  • No burning of debris such as timber or vegetation
  • No use of burn barrels for any open burning at residential structures.

Anyone violating this proclamation could be cited and fined or subject to criminal charges should a fire result in personal or property damage.

Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 159 inmates in the jail on Tuesday morning. Of those 131 were males, 28 females, eight convicted Level 6 felons, and one Department of Corrections hold.

Sheriff Mike Branham

The average number of inmates in the jail in September was 163.

“That is well over 80 percent capacity,” said Sheriff Branham. “The average length of stay for an inmate in September was 31.8 days.”

Sheriff Branham says 154 inmates were booked into the jail and 169 released during the month of September.

The sewer grinder project is complete.

“We have to put up a fence and do some clean up around the area,” he added.

 T&G Construction Inc. installed the sewer grinders.

Inmates have been flushing wrappers from items purchased from commissary, clothing and other things down the toilets and clogging the city’s sewer lines.

The grinders will keep the sewer systems from getting clogged.

Sheriff Mike Branham says blockages have occurred several times this year. Many times a blockage has been found blocks away from the jail, causing lines to back up in area businesses and homes.

The commissioners approved Gill’s Seal Coating and Striping to seal coat and strip the lot at the former Dunn Plaza. The work will cost $16,062 and will be done this weekend.

The commissioners granted permission for Bedford Revitalization Inc. to conduct their annual bed race at the courthouse Saturday, Oct. 12.