POMEROY — Here we go again.
The Meigs County Commissioners approved a resolution on Thursday to send the 2.95 mill bond issue and levy for the Meigs County Correctional Facility to the Board of Elections for placement on the May 2018 ballot.
The millage requested remains the same as the measure which was put before voters in November 2017, although the overall cost of the project has increased due to an increase in construction costs. The millage was able to remain the same due to a lower interest rate this time around.
The resolution and associated paperwork are expected to be submitted the the Board of Elections later this week or early next week in advance of the Feb. 7 filing deadline.
This is the third time the commissioners have taken steps to place the bond issue and levy on the ballot.
If certified by the Board of Elections, this would be the second time for the bond issue and levy to appear on the ballot, with a failed placement attempt in May 2017 coming before the placement in November.
The ballot language is for a 2.95 mill levy, including a provision to sell bonds, which would provide the necessary funding for the proposed 71-bed facility.
The funds from the levy would be used for demolition, new construction, furnishings and operations of the proposed Meigs County Sheriff’s Administrative Office and Correctional Facility.
The proposed 71-bed facility would be located at the site of the former Veterans Memorial Hospital. According to previous Sentinel reports, the former hospital would be torn down to make space for the facility to be constructed.
The facility, as proposed, would provide the opportunity for in-house treatment programs in an effort to help combat the drug epidemic.
If approved, the new facility constructed with the levy funds would replace the more than 120-year-old sheriff’s office and jail which is located next to the courthouse.
The safety of the current building, which houses five inmates, has been a concern regarding the safety and healthy of those working in the building, as well as visiting the office.
Those health concerns were highlighted from the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (OPBA) in a letter earlier this year.
The letter from OPBA attorney Mark Volcheck asked for environmental testing of the building and land to be completed.
Prosecutor James K. Stanley has reviewed the letter according the commissioners and is to be in contact with Volcheck to determine exactly what the union is requesting be completed.
The commissioners have scheduled a special meeting for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6 to address any additional paperwork needs for the proposed bond issue and levy.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.