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Unpaid sewer fees added to tax bills

Jan. 19, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- More than $430,000 was added to 2013 Lawrence County tax bills to be mailed out this week representing non-payment of Union-Rome sewer district bills.

About 10 percent of Union-Rome sewer customers aren't paying their sewer bills, said Lawrence County Commissioner Les Boggs during a meeting of the commissoners on Thursday.

The office of Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens adds the unpaid sewer fees to first half tax bills, said Chris Kline, deputy county auditor. The sewer district provides a list of unpaid sewer bills to the auditor's office in September and they are added to the tax bills, he said.

First half taxes will be due March 7 and second-half taxes will be due July 18, County Treasurer Steve Burcham said.

Commissioners on Thursday voted to send a letter to Stephens' office to see if unpaid sewer bills could be collected twice per year.

In other action, the board approved $299,726 to make repairs to County Road 32 in the Chesapeake area. County Engineer Doug Cade said the bid came in under estimates. The road has been closed since Aug. 27. Repair work is scheduled to begin in about a month, he said.

The project is expected to take about 97 days to complete, Cade said. Repair work also is expected to begin on County Road 123 this spring. Both roads were damaged in 2011 by landslides caused by heavy rains. The engineer's office was able to get an Ohio Public Works grant to make the repairs on County Road 32. The work is to be done by Alan Stone Co. of Cutler, Ohio.

Meeting as the Neighborhood Investment Program, the commissioners, Burcham and Clerk of Courts Mike Patterson agreed to issue $220,000 in bonds to buy two new ambulances for the county Emergency Medical Services ambulance.

Estimates for the cost of two ambulances was about $210,280, said Earl "Buddy" Fry, director of the ambulance district. The county started its fourth year running its own ambulance district on Jan. 1. The number of ambulance runs increased from 10,125 in 2012 to 10,822 last year.

The officials also agreed to extend from three to five years the $122,400 owed in bonds by the village of Proctorville. The village borrowed the money to buy several police cruisers and for water line improvements.

The board also:

Agreed to increase the budget for the Lawrence County Juvenile Center by $35,000. The board budgeted the agency $746,000 last year, but started out this year with a budget of only $700,000.

Heard a report from Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence Scioto Joint Solid Waste District, that five recycling bins are being moved from Food Fair to the King's Daughters Medical Center plaza in Proctorville starting next week. Seven recycling bins will remain at the Food Fair site in Rome Township. The district collected 2-6 tons of recyclable materials in November, the most ever, Palmer said.

Agreed to move this week's regular meeting from Thursday to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Received a 19 percent reduction in workers comp rates from $411,953.31 to $332,506.74 for 2014.

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