Board of Elections to decide if sheriff’s levy appears on May ballot

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — The Meigs County Board of Elections will get the final say on if the proposed bond issue for the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility will move forward for a May special election.

An email from the Secretary of State’s Office to the Meigs County Board of Elections on Tuesday morning quotes a section of “Questions & Issues Handbook” referring to the ballot language of the issue.

“If the comment on the returned proposed ballot language is ‘approved to form only,’ the wording of the submitted ballot language does not match statutory wording for that purpose. Contact the subdivision submitting the question/issue for clarification, or the administrator in the Secretary of State’s office who reviewed the ballot language for clarification on the purpose wording,” the email quotes the handbook as stating.

“Basically, there are some issues with the resolution, so we can only make it approved to form, and your board makes the final decision,” wrote a representative from the Secretary of State’s Office.

That means, that the Board of Elections will have the final say when it meets next week for its regularly scheduled meeting.

The decision from the Secretary of State’s Office comes nearly a week after the Meigs County Commissioners submitted the ballot language for the second time. The issue was rejected the first time it was filed due to the form, according to previous Sentinel reports.

Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood requested the commissioners place a 2.95 mill levy (bond issue) on the May 2 ballot, with the money from the levy to be used to construct, equip, furnish and operate a sheriff’s office and correctional facility which would house up to 62 inmates. The levy funds would also cover demolition of the former Veterans Memorial Hospital and site work to make the space ready for construction of the facility.

The commissioners approved placement of the bond issue during a special meeting on Jan. 30, allowing for paperwork to be submitted ahead of the Feb. 1 deadline for the May election.

The bond issue would be the only thing on the ballot countywide should it be approved by the board. Voters in Columbia Twp. would be voting on an income tax levy for Alexander Local Schools which was filed with the Athens County Board of Elections as the district is primarily in Athens County.

By Sarah Hawley