County receives the first installment of American Rescue Plan funds

BEDFORD – Commissioner Rodney Fish Tuesday morning said the county has received their first installment of 4.4 million of the American Rescue Plan funds.

The commissioners have hired Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors to advise the commissioners on how to properly spend the funds.

Rodney Fish

“We want to make sure we follow all the procedures, ” said Commissioner President Rodney Fish. “The rules change every day and we want to spend the money wisely. The public will have an opportunity to give input.”

The commissioners also renewed the lease contract with Workforce Development for the WorkOne office on Mitchell Road.

Marshall Township Fire Department Chief Jason Lewis requested permission to apply for a Public Feasibility Fund Grant to build a new fire station. The commissioners approved his request.

Ginny Fullen and Heather Beasley requested permission to hold the Men’s Warming Shelter fundraiser “Spaghetti At The Ready” in Harps Common and the courthouse square. Children’s games will be set up on the square and the meal served in Harps Common. The event will be held on Saturday, September 25th from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Bedford North Lawrence Cheerleaders will be supervising the children’s games. Their request was approved.

The women also requested to hold a sleepout to bring awareness to the homeless population on August 20th. However, the commissioners had some concerns about the eventhat would allow people to sleep on the courthouse lawn. The commissioners took the request under advisement.

The commissioners rejected all the bids on the auxiliary courthouse project saying the project “has been put on hold”.

Lawrence County Highway Department continues to pave and patch roadways, mow, and replacer road signs.

Crews will begin paving around August 5th.

David Holmes

“It’s a little later than what I hoped but they are finishing up on INDOT contracts first,” said Highway Superintendent David Holmes. “They will work 22 days, they have 42 tons of asphalt to lay.”

Work on Bridge 162 on Stonington Road continues.

“The footers are poured and now they will begin working on the walls,” said Holmes. “It will take around 6 to 8 weeks to complete.”

Work is progressing and on schedule for Bridges 150 on Mill Creek Road and 172 on Slaughter House Road.

Community Crossing grants are now open. Holmes will apply for the maximum possible for paving and to replace Bridge 138 on East Oolitic Road.

Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 151 inmates in the jail Tuesday morning, of those 118 were males, 35 females, five Level 6 felons, eight Department of Correction holds and two parole holds.

Sheriff Mike Branham

“It’s above our 80 percent capacity,” said Sheriff Branham. “But we are handling it.”

Sheriff Branham also presented the commissioners with the commissary report.

Sheriff Branham and Highway Superintendent David Holmes completed several traffic studies and recommended speed limit reductions on several county roads. Those recommendations were approved by the commissioners and now will be drafted into an ordinance that will be presented at their next meeting on August 3.

Valerie Luchauer

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer reported the county’s message boards are up and working. Boards are placed at the Lawrence County Fair Grounds, Marion Township, Heltonville, and Marshall Township Volunteer Fire Departments.

Luchauer completed an exercise with local hospitals, long-term health care facilities, and the health department on June 30th. The exercise was in case of a complete power outage occurred.