MIDDLEPORT — The Meigs County Pioneer and Historical Society hosted the Meigs County Commissioners during their regular session on Thursday, Oct. 21.
The meeting was held at the Museum, formerly located on Butternut Street in Pomeroy, to mark its second anniversary in the Middleport location on 3rd Avenue. The Middleport property, along with three buildings that included an 1872 furniture factory and a former Ford dealership, was gifted to the society in 2017.
Commissioner Tim Ihle spoke for the group when he said, “It is nice to be here and see the progress that is being made. It is also a way for us to keep up with future needs.”
Mary Cowdrey represented the Historical Society and updated the commissioners on the receipt of grants from Ohio Humanities and Walmart.
A $2,000 grant was received from Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The funds were used for producing photographs depicting historical events and buildings in the county. One was placed by the entrance to the Museum, and the others on the nearby 1872 furniture factory.
The $500 grant from Walmart will be used for increased security in the Museum.
“The restoration of these building takes time, funds, and volunteers,” Cowdrey said. “We are making progress but we still have a lot of work to do. It is difficult to get grants, but we continue to try, and hope future opportunities for grant applications will be met with positive responses.”
Cowdrey emphasized the reason for saving the gifted buildings is that they have historical significance in the county, and it is better to restore, and not tear down.
“One of the buildings, we call it the 1872 Building, was a furniture factory built in that year, and the Ford Building is 100 years old. We feel these are worth saving,” Cowdrey told the Commissioners.
She said the Ford Building is in desperate need of a new roof, and the Society has applied to have the structure added to the list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Buildings, which could put them in a better position for funding.
“We can envision what wonderful things we could do with that building, and we need the space to store and exhibit all the collections and artifacts the Society has procured over the years, but we cannot move forward until we have a new roof. Every day that the roof is not replaced brings us closer to its eventual collapse,” she concluded.
The commissioners advised that they keep a lookout for any funding that they can pass their way. Cowdrey also informed the commissions that the Society planned to reintroduce the 0.5 mill levy that failed to pass on their first attempt on the spring ballot.
In other business, minutes were approved as well as a motion to approve the week’s bills. Appropriations, advances, and budget adjustments were made to the Sheriff’s and Veteran’s offices, and the PA fund for child welfare costs.
Ihle made a motion to declare the official intent and reasonable expectation of Meigs county on behalf of the state of Ohio (the borrower) to reimburse its AL&G fund for the C3LC, C16, C51A, C17, C28AGD, C32 paving, CR06Y with the proceeds of tax-exempt debt of the state of Ohio. Miller seconded the motion and the motion was passed by yea votes from all three commissioners.
The Meigs County Commissioners meet each Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Meigs County Courthouse unless otherwise announced.
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.