AP NEWS

Board of Commissioners office being remodeled

January 25, 2019

SOUTH POINT, Ohio — The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners will be homeless for a while until temporary offices are ready at the Joint Response Operations Center in Coal Grove.

The commissioner’s office on the third floor of the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton is being remodeled and will be used as temporary offices for Jason Smith, an Ironton lawyer, who was elected last November as an Ohio Court of Appeals judge.

Smith will hear cases from 14 Southern Ohio counties, including Lawrence. He is to be sworn in next month.

Another office in the courthouse will be remodeled for Smith and the board will meet at different locations in the next year, said Commission President Freddie Hayes Jr.

The board met at the offices of the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce on Collins Avenue in South Point on Tuesday. The board also is scheduled to meet at the chamber office at 10 a.m. Jan. 29.

In a month or so, the board will hold meetings at the Joint Response Operations Center, the former Ford dealership on Lane Street, said County Auditor Jason Stephens. The board bought the 1,500-square-foot building from the Board of Development Disabilities last year and plans to move a number of offices to the building in the coming weeks, he said.

Remodeling is nearly complete and county officials need an occupancy permit, Stephens said.

Other offices being moved to the building include 911, the county coroner, county Emergency Management Agency, county Emergency Medical Services, dispatching for 911 and the sheriff’s department, sheriff’s department detectives and HAM radio operators.

The board took no action on a request by First State Bank to waive $90,000 in Union Rome Sewer District fees for an apartment complex on Brown Street in Chesapeake.

In other action, the board held several executive sessions and hired the Ironton law firm of McCown and Fisher to handle cases for the county child support agency.