Commissioners hear about work throughout the county

BEDFORD – The Lawrence County Commissioners this morning heard from Lawrence County Surveyor Corey Allen about a new subdivision – Stonehaven.

The final plans will be presented during the next commissioners’ meeting.

The first phase will include 1,200 feet of road, six lots complete with sewers, with plans for a second phase that will add an additional 40 more lots.

Michelle Carrico, Southern Indiana Development Corporation asked the Lawrence County Commissioner to extend the release date for grant funds awarded for a new wastewater treatment plant in the Judah area.

The $700,000 grant was applied through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs on behalf of the South-Central Regional Sewer District. The Lawrence County Commissioners was just a conduit for the grant application.

The request for the extension was asked after a snag in getting a construction permit approved. That permit is now under review and should be approved soon with construction beginning in June.

The current wastewater treatment plant was built in the mid 1970’s and serves 117 residents and area businesses in the Briarwood and Judah area. Officials stated this utlitiy service needs updated.

The sewer district is responsible for their portion of the cost for the project.

The commissioners also rescinded an old ordinance and replaced it with a new one appointing Wally Branham, Rex Knight, and Tim Deckard to the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission.

“This is just a legal requirement we needed to meet,” said Commissioner Rodney Fish.

Highway Superintendent David Holmes updated the commissioners on bridge projects and preparing for the paving season.

Highway crews are patching potholes, working on culverts, and ditching to prepare the roads for the paving process. Crews are also replenishing stones and grading gravel roads.

The county received $552,240 in federal transportation funds to replace road signs to meet the latest national retro-reflective standards set by the Federal Highway Administration. These funds will not replace road name signs. The project in District 1 should be complete by the end of the month. Crews will then being in District 2 and District 3. It could take up to four years to complete the project.

Highway Superintendent David Holmes

Bridge 124 on Huron Williams Road has been removed and crews are building abutments. The abutments support the ends of the bridge and transfer the loads from the superstructure into the ground. The abutments also support the bearing devices and the back walls. Abutments are usually constructed of concrete.

Work continues on the Bridge 150 on Mill Creek Road.

Work continues on bridge 172 on Cement Plant/Slaughterhouse Road. The bridge is a federal aid project. The total cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $1.6 million. The county received three letters of interest from companies wanting to do the project. Those letters were taken under advisement.

Sheriff Mike Branham

Sheriff Mike Branham reported the number of inmates being held at the jail is climbing. Sheriff Branham reported there were 165 inmates in the Lawrence County Jail this morning. Of those 128 were males, 37 females, one Level 6 felon, six Department of Correction holds, and two parole holds.

In April 2020, there were 124 inmates in the jail and in 2019, there were 149 inmates.

“That number is a more realistic comparison due to COVID in 2020, and where we should be,” Sheriff Branham added.

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer requested permission to replace a part-time nurse that left her position at the Lawrence County Health Department. The nurse was being paid with CARES Act funds to administer vaccines at the Lawrence County Health Department. The nurse worked two days a week for 50 days to administer vaccines for school-age children and others who need routine vaccinations. The commissioners approved the hiring of Melony Kern to fill the open position.