POMEROY — If all goes as planned, voters will have a chance to voice their opinions on financing a bond issue for the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility during November’s general election.
The Meigs County Commission met for its regular meeting on Thursday, with Commissioners Randy Smith, Tim Ihle and Mike Batrum in attendance. Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood was also in on the discussion.
Rather than put the jail issue to voters during a special election in August, commissioners and Wood agreed that November is a realistic time frame to focus their efforts toward. Based upon meetings Wood and the commissioners attended to look at different ballot languages, and other discussions concerning current legislation, Wood’s recommendation the issue be bumped to November was unanimously approved.
Ihle said, next up is getting the levy certified which includes determining the millage which is unknown at this time, although commissioners don’t foresee there being a change to the original total cost proposed for the jail. Ihle explained getting the issue to the voters is definitely “in motion” but commissioners are waiting on specific information concerning a breakdown of costs (how much is for actual construction, how much goes to operations, etc.) before determining that millage and what needs to be generated to operate the facility.
Originally, it was proposed bonds would be issued in the principle amount of approximately $9 million to be repaid annually over a maximum period of 30 years for the jail.
After these breakdown in costs and the millage are determined, commissioners will draft and pass a resolution on the matter, submitting it to the Meigs County Board of Elections. This all needs to be done and approved for the ballot, 90 days before the general election – this means that deadline will fall in August. Commissioners are shooting for around the first of July to attempt to get all the necessary paperwork to the Board of Elections for its approval. Last week, the commissioners hired a bond attorney to help oversee this process.
“The sheriff desperately needs it, it’s time to get this moving…what we do know is, we need a jail,” Ihle said.
By pushing the issue back to November, Wood also said this will give him more time to meet with the public to discuss the details of this project and how it will impact residents.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.