Commissioners Elect Officers

(BEDFORD) – Commissioner Rodney Fish was elected president of the Lawrence County Commissioners Tuesday morning.

Rodney Fish

Serving as Vice President will be Dustin Gabhart.

Dustin Gabhart

The Commissioners also welcomed the newest commissioner Wally Branham and Auditor Jessica Staggs.

Wally Branham
Jessica Staggs

The commissioners also approved several appointments to different positions and boards.

  • County Attorney – David Smith
  • Human Resource Director – Brian Skillman
  • Highway Department Superintendent – David Holmes
  • Highway Foreman District 1 – Troy Fountain
  • Highway Foreman District 2 – Fred Stout
  • Highway Foreman District 3 – Richard Henderson
  • Cum Bridge – John Stewart
  • Garage Superintendent – Robert Woods
  • Highway Bookkeeper – Brandi Woods
  • Weights & Measures – John Cobb
  • Emergency Management – Valerie Luchauer
  • Veterans Affairs – Brad Bough
  • Plaza Security – Aaron Shoultz
  • ABC Board – Larry Chenault
  • 4-H Board – Dustin Gabhart
  • Southern Indiana Development Commission – Rodney Fish, Bill Spreen Wally Branham
  • Community Child Protection Team – Rob Herr
  • Lawrence County Economic Growth Council – Wally Branham
  • Boys & Girls Club – Rodney Fish
  • Lawrence County Board of Health Director – Alan Smith
  • Region 8 Workforce Board – Rodney Fish
  • Tourism Commission – Wally Branham, Sam Carnell, Larry Root
  • Redevelopment Commission – Janie Craig Chenault, Tim Deckard, Wally Branham, Jack Kenworthy – There is still one vacancy to fill
  • Airport Board – Chris Woods, Michael Robbins
  • Insurance Committee – Rodney Fish, Scott Smith, Brian Skillman, Jessica Staggs, Jody Edwards
  • Health Board – John Sherrill
  • Judicial Review – Dustin Gabhart
  • Bedford Public Library – Amanda May
  • Mitchell Public Library – Vicky Schlegel
  • Courthouse Security – Dustin Gabhart

In other business:

The commissioners tabled approving a contract for the repair of Plaza Courthouse. Commissioner Dustin Gabhart said the mason walls surrounding the building on the roof are damaged and need to be repaired before the roof can be fixed. The commissioners will seek bids that include the repair of those walls along with the roof.

The commissioners approved a contract with Spice Valley Landscape execute ground maintenance for the county. The contract will be paid in two payments of $2,420.

The commissioners also extended the county’s COVID-19 policy which expired on December 31. The county is currently listed in red. The policy will be re-evaluated on February 2.

Highway Superintendent David Holmes reported highway crews are cold patching roads, cutting brush, and doing edging and ditching on roads that will be paved with Community Crossing funds.

The commissioners signed the Community Crossing contract. The county was awarded $1 million.

Bridge crews are cutting brush around the bridges and repairing wash out areas.

Holmes reported he has submitted Bridge 172 on Cement Plant/Slaughterhouse Road for federal funding.

Holmes also discussed repairs needed on Bridge 138 on Oolitic Road.

“The concrete deck is deteriorating,” Holmes said. “We are keeping it patched the best we can but I am contemplating submitting it for the second round of the Community Crossing grant, but to do that we first need to have a design plan and that will cost $50,000.”

The total cost to replace the deck is estimated at $750,000.

Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 138 inmates in the jail this morning. That number was still a little high, Branham said, but much better than last year when there was 172 inmates in the jail.

Of those 138 inmates, 114 are male, 24 females, no Level 6 felons, and eight Department of Correction hold.

“DOC is still a little slow on getting inmates transported,” Branham said.

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer said COVID numbers continue to increase in Lawrence County.

To help boost the moral of healthcare workers a group of 20 organizations drove to facilities, honked horns and held up posters to encourage those on the front line. Included in the group were buses full of Head Start students.