Pomeroy Village Council recently endorsed the levy to build a new justice center (jail and treatment facility) in Pomeroy. I believe this endorsement is warranted, at least in part, for the following reasons.
The cost to house inmates elsewhere is $48 to $90 per person per day. In 2016, the sheriff’s office alone was responsible for housing an average of 16 inmates a day but had room for only 5. Those 11 extra inmates cost the county about $300,000. Transportation cost another $10,000.
The economics of the issue is important but did you know that the village of Pomeroy as well as the sheriff’s office often release inmates when no jail space is available? How many crimes do you suppose are committed by these individuals before they stand before a judge, if they ever do? Does it make sense to apprehend individuals just to turn them loose within hours of having them in custody?
Perhaps most importantly, the proposed facility will offer treatment for those with drug dependency issues and not just serve as a place to lock them up. A major component of the solution to the opioid epidemic lies in treatment for those suffering from drug dependency. Treatment will also be available for those wishing to help themselves. Individuals seeking help can walk in to the facility and have the treatment they need to start living a real life.
So, is the increase in taxes worth the benefits gained by the whole county? If you own property with a market value of $100,000, you would pay about $100 per year in taxes. The proposed justice center would benefit our families, friends and neighbors throughout the county, and especially those individuals with drug or mental health issues that are desperate to gain some normalcy in their lives. Please vote for the levy to build and operate the Meigs County Justice Center. I believe the benefits gained far outweigh the costs.
Don M. Anderson
Mayor of Pomeroy