Local News

Russell County Commission Changes Burn Permit Regulations, Discusses Bridge Repairs

Russell County CourthouseThe Russell County Commission voted Monday at its regular meeting to change current burn permit regulations, allowing for a more streamlined process.

Commissioner Larry Hickman says the elimination of annual renewals will make the process easier on the public and emergency officials.

"We're going to discontinue the requirement for annual renewal of burn permits; they'll be ongoing, unless there is a violation," said Hickman.

Also addressed at Monday's meeting, a discussion with the Rush County Commission about repairs to an aging bridge that overlaps both Russell and Rush Counties. Commissioner Hickman says one main argument that arose between the two groups, was that the Russell County Commissioners wanted to replace the bridge due to its age and unsafe condition, but the commissioners from Rush County wanted to repair it because of its historical significance.

"We initially were interested more in replacing the bridge, but Rush County's not in the position to do the replacement of the bridge themselves, so Russell County offered to replace the bridge," Hickman said. "Due to the complications arising from the historical designation, we agreed to make an offer of $65,000 to assist Rush County in repairing the bridge."

Other items of discussion Monday included county water conservation efforts, other county road repairs, and three executive sessions - one each with Public Service Administrator Kenton Lyon, Sheriff John Fletcher and EMS Director Jennifer Cisneros - with no action resulting from any of them.

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