Commissioners discuss possible resolution to sheriff budget situation

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — The Meigs County Commissioners continued their discussion regarding the budget of the sheriff’s office during last week’s regular meeting, discussing action which could be taken as early as this week to bring the sheriff’s budget to the original requested funding amount.

When the budget was set for 2020 by the commissioners, the sheriff’s budget received an allocation of $1,376,531.50 which was $200,000 less that what was requested by Sheriff Keith Wood and his administration. The $200,000 reduction was from the salary line item.

The commissioners voted on Thursday to send a letter or email to Sheriff Keith Wood stating a proposed idea of giving the sheriff’s office the full requested budget, with the statement that there would be no additional funding for the remainder of the year, meaning that the commissioners would not transfer additional money into the sheriff’s office budget should they exceed the increased allocation.

The letter was to include that the action could be voted on during the June 25 weekly meeting.

Commissioners Randy Smith, Jimmy Will and Tim Ihle stated that Sheriff Wood had been invited to attend the June 18 meeting, but was unable to be there due to previously scheduled travel commitments and suggested meeting after the July 4 holiday.

Stating that they did not want to wait another month to make a decision, or push into the second half of the year (the second quarter ends June 30), commissioners discussed the current situation and how to move forward, leading to the discussion regarding the increased allocation.

“Certain line items are heading in the wrong direction again this year and we can’t sustain it,” said Commissioner Will.

The continued budget discussion comes after the commissioners voted in early 2020 to place the sheriff’s office on a quarterly spending plan in order to closely monitor the budget after the office exceeded its 2019 allocation by more than 10 percent.

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

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By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.