BEDFORD - (April 12, 2022) - The Lawrence County Commissioners heard from the public on how they would like to see the APRA funds to be disbursed.
Lawrence County will receive a total of $8.8 Million in American Rescue Funds Act funds.
Some of those who spoke during the meeting included the following requests:
Greg Jones, Southern Indiana Development Commission asked the commissioners into land banking properties. This will allow the counties to take care of area blight, with houses that are no longer on the tax rolls and be used for a greater benefit of the community.
Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II supported efforts to expand broadband internet service in the county. Arp stated he lived in three places throughout the county and was not able to have good internet service. This left him having to travel to Bedford to get search warrants completed.
Ryan Turner, speaking on behalf of the Lawrence County Independent Schools spoke about giving funds to the two charter schools that just recently opened. The schools are not supported by property taxes.
David Holmes, spoke about using the funds for mental health issues that Lawrence County is dealing with. The drug addiction and issues surround the drug problem relate to mental health and asked part of those funds be used for those projects.
Jason Lewis spoke on behalf of the volunteer fire departments asked for funding for radio communication, equipment upgrades and address issues each of the nine volunteer fire departments are dealing with. Some departments are having troubling communicating with one another as the county using a dual band system that is not working properly in the rural areas of the county.
Phil O Toole spoke about stormwater issues he is having in the City of Bedford. According to O Toole the city has not completely remedied the problem when the city attempted to correct the issue on Forestview Drive.
Another resident asked about resolving an issue with septic systems between Oolitic and Bedford on Oolitic Road. Approximately 16 homes in the area have failing septic systems and wanted funds used to get those homes on the municipal sewer system.
Questions still remain on how the funds could be spent and Jason Semler, CPA from BakerTilly is working as a consultant for the Lawrence County Commissioners.
However, a committee would have to be convened to help with the process of selecting projects for disbursal of those funds.
Lawrence County Council will also weigh in on potential projects. Lawrence County Commissioners will be more forth coming in the weeks ahead.
A video of this evening's meeting will be available by Lawrence County Zephyr later this evening.