Bryan Davis

Cathy Coleman

Scottie Powell

PORTSMOUTH—Scioto County Commissioners met on Thursday to discuss a packed agenda and to hear citizen concerns regarding various community development projects.

Commissioners expressed at the top of the meeting that several residents had reached out to inquire about trick-or-treat times for the county.

“This is likely the most important decision we will make all year,” joked Chairman Scottie Powell. But when it came to designating the date and time for the occasion, Commissioners were all business.

“We always tackle this item when we start getting calls,” Powell said. “There’s a lot of people in the community that have to plan accordingly with work and being there for their children.”

Commissioners designated Monday, October 31st, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for this year’s trick-or-treat.

Though the Commissioners noted that they cannot be responsible for how the weather might behave on the designated night, they hope that the community finds reassurance in the fact that The Farmers’ Almanac apparently calls for clear skies.

With trick-or-treat scheduled, Commissioners moved on to unanimously approve a resolution to increase kennel tag fees on registered dogs in the county from $60 to $70 in an effort to offset the costs of operation for the Scioto County Dog Shelter.

“Of course the cost of everything is going up, and we all know that our kennel needs attention,” said Powell.

“On the flip side of that, we have invested quite a bit in our kennel as a county,” Commissioner Bryan Davis said. “If you go out there now, you’ll see some major changes that are going on—making it a much better place, and to be able to handle more animals which, unfortunately, is happening,” he concluded.

Shelter overcrowding means that costs for operations will continue to climb. Commissioner Cathy Coleman reminded those viewing the meeting that finding a good home for the dogs currently in the shelter would help with capacity demands as well.

“With the increase of the dogs out there, if anyone is interested in adopting a dog feel free to go out and take a look at them. There’s some sweet little guys out there that need a home,” she said.

Commissioners additionally voted to execute an agreement with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC). Part 2 of the agenda item indicated that the Local Jail Capital Project Grant agreement with the ODRC would provide $1,531,216 as qualifying reimbursement to be used toward the total cost of the project.

The project will add roughly 100 additional beds for female inmates at the former juvenile jail building on 5th Street in Portsmouth. The space will also be leased out to surrounding counties in need of beds for female inmates, which is projected to ultimately generate county revenue.

“The ODRC was very interested whenever this proposal was made because they are having trouble all over the state finding adequate housing, which is sad. But having a facility that already had doors and locking mechanisms—a lot of the refurbishment is going to be security related, bringing all that up to code. But $1.5 [million] is an amazing number when you consider a new jail to hold 100 people. It would probably cost you about $9 million. That’s a pretty good deal,” Davis explained.

The project, Powell explained, has taken over a year to develop to this point. Powell and the Commissioners praised Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman for his efforts in helping to advocate for these funds.

The Scioto County Commissioners meet weekly on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd floor of the Scioto County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public. For more information or to view livestreamed meetings, follow the Scioto County Commissioners on Facebook.

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected].

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Cathy Coleman

Scottie Powell