POMEROY — Slight modifications could be noticed during Thursday’s Meigs County Commissioner meeting following the letter received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) earlier this week regarding alleged constitutional infractions by the board.
Rather than opening the meeting with prayer as has been tradition, a sign was posted outside the Commissioner Office stating that the commissioners would have prayer at 10:55 a.m., before the meeting with the public welcome to join them if they so wished. The prayer was concluded prior to the 11 a.m. meeting time.
Following regular business which was on the agenda, President of the Board of Commissioners Randy Smith opened the floor for any public participation as there were around a dozen in attendance for the meeting.
Local Pastor and National Day of Prayer organizer Brenda Barnhart stated that she was in attendance to show her support for the commissioners from the National Day of Prayer committee. The National Day of Prayer event was one of the items mentioned in the letter from FFRF.
“We stand with you,” said Barnhart.
Barnhart stated that the National Day of Prayer event will continue to take place whether on the courthouse steps or in the street in front (the street in the area is blocked off for the event each year). Barnhart said she would return in the spring, as she does each year, with the requests for the event.
Also attending was Del Pullins, who has led the prayer previously. Pullins was accompanied by other members of the Thursday morning men’s breakfast group who were there to support the commissioners. Glen Zeiner also attended the meeting in support of the commissioners.
In other business, the commissioners noted that property tax collections for the second half of the tax collections for the year. A letter provided by Treasurer Peggy Yost stated that collections on real estate taxes were in the amount of $5,426,077.66 (an increase of $26,012.29 from last year), and a total of $106,043.25 in manufactured home taxes (an increase of $15,272.52 from last year).
The commissioners approved $1,000 for the Sternwheel Regatta following a request from the organizers.
The annual allocation of $8,000 for the Meigs County Council on Aging was approved as requested.
The commissioners approved $900 for the Albany Independent Fair for the participants who reside in Meigs County. The amount is based on the number of participants as required in each county in Ohio for local fairs.
Appropriation adjustments were approved as requested from the Meigs County Veterans Service Office and the Highway Department.
Bills were paid in the amount of $192,129.72, with $63,342.65 from County General.
The commissioners meet each Thursday at 11 a.m. in their office on the third floor of the Meigs County Courthouse.
Editor’s Note: The original article on the FFRF letter to the commissioners can be seen at mydailysentinel.com or in the Aug. 30 print edition of The Daily Sentinel.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.