April 11, 2007 Edition

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County to enter lawsuit

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

Justices approved the entry of the county into a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for the over production of ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine, during their regular meeting Monday night.

The litigation will enable Lawrence County to recover portions of its cost over the years related to methamphetamine production and use, including costs to law enforcement, health care and health and human services.

A private law firm has begun the lawsuit, of which Independence County is already a part. The suit will be of no cost to Lawrence County.

Justices also approved an ordinance pertaining to vehicles on Rails to Trails property. No motorized vehicles of any kind will be allowed on any property dedicated as Rails to Trails property. Any use of a motorized vehicle on this property will be considered a misdemeanor and may result in a $500 fine.

Junior Briner updated justices on the voting machine, reporting that the election committee has discussed the purchase with the company and they have agreed to allow the county to pay $10,000 this year and $5,000 next year.

Also during the meeting, County Judge Alex Latham reported that the county is looking at getting $140,000 extra this year of funding to be used for capital improvement.

Latham said he just wanted to let the justices know it was coming. "In the future, we'll be deciding where we want to go with that," he said. On a use for the money, Briner said that employees on the west end of the courthouse have been requesting a private restroom be installed. Latham also told justices that something would have to be done with the courthouse roof some time in the near future.

During the meeting, Justice Craig Stone recommended more regular committee meetings, suggesting six times a year.

"We just need to get caught up," he said, "and see where we are on each [committee]."

Latham said that six times may be more than is necessary, and recommended that the budget committee look at the cost and see what is feasible.

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