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Lawrence sheriff asks for $80k for jail

Oct. 12, 2012 @ 12:41 AM

IRONTON -- Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless asked county officials for another $80,000 to finish out the year.

"We've had two employees leave, and we haven't filled those positions," Lawless told the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners on Thursday morning. "We're taking care of it with overtime. We're down another eight positions other than those two. We're struggling."

He asked for the money for the department's supplies account which covers food for prisoners at the jail and gasoline for patrol cruisers. Gasoline is among the biggest expenses in that account, he said.

"We also need more money for medicine" for prisoners, Lawless said. "We had a bill come in that we couldn't cover."

Lawless also asked for another 10 gallons of paint to finish painting the jail. "We have a jail inspection coming up," he said. "I'm not worried about labor. We have 100 painters over there."

The jail, built in 1972, has only 52 beds. There are generally between 70 and 90 prisoners in the jail each day, meaning 20 to 40 prisoners each day sleep on mats on the floor.

In other action, Commissioner Bill Pratt said he attended a meeting in Scioto County about the proposed $7 billion New Steel project.

"They appear very optimistic, but they still need to raise money locally," Pratt said. "They are selling shares on the project. They still need $380,000 for a feasibility study.

"Gov. Kasich is still unwilling to approve state money for the project," he said.

The board also adopted a resolution seeking assistance from the Ohio Public Works Commission to serve 72 homes in the Farmview and Indian Village subdivisions.

The subdivisions currently are served by 30-year-old package plants. Sewage from the area will be sent to the sewer plant at Collins Career Center. The annual cost of expanded operation of the sewer plant is $8,500 and will be covered by the Union-Rome sewer district, Pratt said.

The board also agreed to look into renaming Burlington-Macedonia Road in honor of Theodore "Tuck" Church, a Burlington area resident killed in the Iraq War.

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