Proclamation outlines vision for proposed jail

By Sarah Hawley -

RACINE — The Meigs County Commissioners approved a proclamation during Thursday’s meeting, putting into writing the vision of the commissioners and Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood for the proposed Meigs County Correctional Facility.

A 2.95 mill levy with intent to sell bonds is to appear on the November ballot for consideration of the voters regarding the proposed facility which would house the sheriff’s office, administrative office and 71-bed correctional facility.

The proclamation read by Commissioner Randy Smith, and unanimously approved by the board, read as follows:

WHEREAS, The Meigs County Commissioners and the Meigs County Sheriff share a common vision, and

WHEREAS, the current jail in Meigs County was constructed in 1894 and has the current capacity of holding five inmates, and

WHEREAS, the lack of space requires Meigs County to rent bed space from various other counties costing hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and

WHEREAS, the current jail does not pass jail inspections because of modern jail standards, and

WHEREAS, the current jail does not allow for much needed programs that could be integrated into a new facility, such as veteran’s services, recovery services and counseling, and

WHEREAS, the need to make transports to other facilities leaves the county vulnerable having deputies driving sometimes hundreds of miles per transport, and

WHEREAS, the financial burden of inmate housing, inmate medical care, and inmate transportation is a severe issue that needs addressed, and

WHEREAS, Commissioners Mike Bartrum, Randy Smith and Tim Ihle along with Sheriff Keith Wood do not take lightly the need to ask the property owners for a levy to complete this project, and

WHEREAS, it is our desire to form a true partnership with our community, and

WHEREAS, this administration will seek every reasonable avenue to pay off the construction phase of this project as early as possible by using expected revenue from the renting of bed space to other departments, and

WHEREAS, it is our desire that once the construction obligation is paid in full to re-visit the construction portion of the levy and if possible to remove that burden from the property owners, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the Meigs County Board of Commissioners pass this proclamation to serve as a reminder and as encouragement to future administrations to stay the course and run the proposed Meigs County Correctional Facility as a responsible venture and protect the future of Meigs County and its property owners.

While the proclamation does not require that future commissioners and county officials will follow the guidelines, it does guarantee that the intent of the current officials is documented.

In other business, the commissioners approved resolutions regarding foster care services, authorized signers and a memorandum of understanding with local attorney Michael Barr as requested by Department of Job and Family Services Director Chris Shank.

Newly appointed ODOT District 10 Deputy Director Darla Miller and John Burdette, Meigs County ODOT manager, were in attendance to provide an update on projects in the county including slip repair on State Roue 124 and the project at State Routes 143 and 7. The 143-7 project should be completed in the next week.

The commissioners meet each Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Meigs County Courthouse.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.