POMEROY — And now they wait.
The Meigs County Commissioners refiled paperwork with the Board of Elections on Wednesday afternoon regarding the placement of a bond issue on the May ballot for the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility after the initial paperwork was rejected by the state.
Meigs County Commissioner Tim Ihle explained that the paperwork had to be redone as the form initially submitted, which is typically used for tax levies, was rejected. Ihle said they were told that form was not the correct one, prompting him to call the Secretary of State’s office to seek guidance.
Ihle said he was referred by the Secretary of State’s Office to the Ohio Revised Code, which Prosecutor James K. Stanley then used when drafting the original language for the bond issue. There is no form available from the state which can be completed by the county, or another agency, in order to place a bond issue on the ballot. Ihle said the form that was used was the same one many counties, including Meigs, have used for several years.
All of the information for the form was approved in a resolution during Monday’s special commissioner meeting. On Wednesday, it was simply putting the already approved information onto the form as required by the Secretary of State.
Now, the county must wait on word from the Secretary of State’s Office if the bond issue has been approved.
That approval could come as soon as Thursday morning according to the Board of Elections.
The county is seeking a 2.95 mill property tax levy which would generate more than $1.1 million per year for the construction, equipping and operating, of a new Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility. The levy would also cover site work and demolition of the old Veterans Memorial Hospital, where the new facility would be located should it be approved by voters.
With the deadline to file for the May election having passed on Wednesday at 4 p.m., the levy (if approved) will be the only thing on the ballot for much of the county. Given that, the election will be considered a special election.
While there are no partisan races on the ballot in May, there will be non-partisan trustee and village positions on the November ballot.
The only other thing that would be on the ballot in May is in Columbia Twp. where voters in Alexander Local School District will again be asked to consider an income tax levy.
When a special election is held with only one thing on the ballot, the agency placing the action on the ballot must pay the cost of the election, which is estimated to be approximately $50,000.
Ihle stated that the county had budgeted for two elections when planning budgets for 2017 as there are typically two elections per year. He said that action would need to be taken in the future to appropriate money to the sheriff’s office budget for the election costs, but that ultimately the county had already budgeted for the cost of a May election in 2017.
Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @Sarah HawleyNews