Public hearing held on COVID-19 grant

BEDFORD – Southern Indiana Development Corporation held a public hearing during the Lawrence County Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning on a $250,000 COVID-19 grant.

The grant, if awarded, will help local businesses that were negatively affected by COVID-19.

Rex Knight

This is the second time the county has applied for the grant.

The first grant of $250,000 was used to assist 27 businesses and their 144 employees.

The application is due by March 11 and should be awarded in mid-April.

“This will be a competitive round and not a guarantee,” said Rex Knight of SIDC. “But we are hopeful. We will give a 100 percent effort to get the funds.”

In other business:

The Lawrence County Commissioner voted to allow an architect to put together a bid package to transform the former WorkOne office at Courthouse Plaza into an auxiliary courtroom.

“We have reviewed the plans we received,” said Commissioner Rodney Fish. “Now we will put the project out for bids to see what the cost will be.”

The plans for the 3,100 square foot courtroom were presented to the Lawrence County Commissioners by retired Judge William Sleva. Currently, court cases are backlogged due to COVID-19.

The new courtroom will also be used to hold grand jury hearings, children in need cases, and juvenile cases.

A total of $301,000 has been allocated to the project using the $200,000 the Lawrence County Council approved from the CARES Act and a $101,000 from the Indiana Justice Institute.

The commissioner approved an ordinance to remove the 3-way stop at Wallner Quarry and Bartlettsville roads. The stop sign will be removed on Wallner Quarry Road. A stop sign will remain in place at north and southbound traffic on Bartlettsville Road.

Sheriff Mike Branham reported there are 150 inmates in the jail this morning that included 127 were males, 23 females, no Level 6 felons, 8 Department of Correction holds, and one parole hold.

Sheriff Mike Branham

“The Department of Corrections is still pretty slow about transporting prisoners, but they took 4 last week, hopefully, it will get better as things improve with COVID,” said Sheriff Branham.

Valerie Luchauer

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer requested permission to use CARES Act funds to pay for a part-time nurse to administer vaccines at the Lawrence County Health Department. The nurse will work two days a week for 50 days to administer vaccines for school-age children and others who need routine vaccinations.

Ritter Strategic Services, LLC will conduct a study of the county’s fire radio services. 911 funds will pay for the study.

“New technology has come out and we need to see if we are in need of upgrades,” Luchauer reported.