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COAL GROVE, Ohio — Thanks to $770,189.71 in CARES Act funding, Lawrence County officials are no longer worried about layoffs or potential budget cuts impacting services, according to Commission President DeAnna Holliday.

County officials earlier this year were concerned about loss of revenues up to 20% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Those fears have been allayed,” said Chris Kline, deputy Lawrence County auditor. “We don’t anticipate massive cuts or layoffs to meet our budget obligations for 2020.”

County taxes and sales tax revenues have helped and the CARES Act funds have kept things on an even keel, Kline said.

The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners allocated the CARES Act funds to county offices during a meeting Tuesday in Coal Grove.

The various offices already spent funds to deal with the pandemic and the CARES Act funds serve as a reimbursement for those costs, Holliday said.

“We’re holding our own right now,” she said. “We do anticipate finishing on budget.”

Meanwhile, the county remains on target to build a new ambulance station in the Rock Hill area adjacent to Rock Hill Elementary School. The building could be completed by November, she said.

It will take a few months to staff and equip the new ambulance station, Holliday said. The county let the project for bid earlier this year.

In other action, the board asked for an opinion from the office of Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson concerning potential hotel tax funds.

The county approved a 3% hotel tax in 1984 and increased it to 6% in 2008, Holliday said.

The city of Ironton has built a Holiday Inn Express since then and has a five-story Marriott under construction. That hotel is scheduled to open next spring.

The Prosecutor’s Office is being asked to determine if the 6% tax is the maximum rate allowed, Holliday said.

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