Meigs Sheriff requests levy for new jail and offices

Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood looks over the proposed location for a new jail and Sheriff’s Offices with Meigs County Commissioners Tim Ihle and Randy Smith. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner.

POMEROY – It has been 121 years since Meigs County has had a new Sheriff’s Office and County Jail. That may be change if a proposed ballot issue passes in May.

During the regularly scheduled weekly Meigs County Commissioners meeting, Sheriff Keith Wood presented the commissioners with a letting requesting them to adopt a resolution before Feb. 1, 2017 to place a 2.95 mill levy on the May 2, 2017 primary ballot.

Meigs County Commissioners Tim Ihle and Randy Smith were present for the meeting and accepted the letter, referring it on to the Meigs County Auditor. Once it comes back from the Auditor’s Office for certification on the millage, the Commissioners will have to vote on the resolution. Due to the time constraints of the Feb. 1 deadline, a special meeting of the Meigs County Commissioners will be held on Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. in the County Commissioners’ Office concerning the resolution. Once a resolution is passed, it must be sent to the Meigs County Board of Elections to be placed on the May ballot.

According to information presented by Sheriff Wood in the meeting and through the letter submitted to the Commissioners, the proposed new facility will house the Sheriff’s Administrative Office along with a 62 bed correctional facility.

“A little over four years ago, when I was bestowed the honor and privilege of protecting and serving the citizens of Meigs County, I came into the office with several goals to make our county safer through the efforts to offer more training, equipment, school resource officers, a canine unit and expansion of our housing facility. As a law enforcement agency in today’s world of new and numerous types of threats to public safety we must be committed to planning, preparing, changing and growing,” Sheriff Wood stated in the letter to the Commissioners concerning the proposed facility.

The new facility will mean that deputies will not have to take time and resources to travel outside of the county with prisoners. Sheriff Wood said last year deputies drove 20,000 miles outside of the county transporting prisoners to facilities outside of the county for incarceration.

“I’m excited about this for our community,” Sheriff Wood said. He said this project has been years in the making as they have done extensive research along with the County Commissioners to work on crunching the numbers as much as possible.

More information about he proposed facility will be forthcoming as Sheriff Wood says there will be open houses at the current facility and opportunities for them to explain the proposed project further to the voters of Meigs County.

The proposed location of the facility is at the old Veteran’s Memorial Hospital location. The proposed project includes demolition, new construction, and furnishings for the new jail and administrative offices.

The new facility would be located where the old Veteran’s Memorial Hospital currently stands. Photo cry Carrie Gloeckner.