Commissioners seeking SOPA debt

By Chris Slone -

On the heels of SOMC and Glockner requesting their donations back from the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) — and with two more business, OSCO and Appalachian Wood Floor, indicating desires to obtain their past donations — the Scioto County Commissioners adopted a resolution Tuesday to have SOPA immediately pay more than $95,000 in past debt to the county.

“Personally, I would like to see it paid back immediately,” Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Bryan Davis said. “It’s a debt that they’ve owed and they’ve known this for years — it’s been on their audit. They have recently, within this past year, mentioned it as far as repaying it. I think the taxpayers of Scioto County should be made whole.”

Fellow Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree said the debt stems back almost a decade.

“They’ve owed us money longer than anybody else and it seems that every other member on that board is asking for their money back,” Crabtree said. “I think the right thing would have been to pay the County back their money first … “

Scioto County Commissioner Cathy Coleman echoed Crabtree’s statements.

“All their debts should be paid first,” Coleman said.

According to Crabtree, SOPA, at one point in time, did have the intentions to repay the County. However, with the recent requests to rescind past donations, the Commissioners wanted to reclaim that debt.

“Now what they’re doing is emptying their coffers,” Crabtree said. “That’s their business how they handle that. My thoughts are, the first thing they ought to do is pay off what they owe. All of those monies were donations to the Port Authority.”

Crabtree, who has made past donations to various organizations, can’t fathom asking for any previous donations to be returned.

“That don’t make sense to me,” Crabtree said. “A lot of what was given was given to SOPA for operations. As far as I’m concerned, it was either for the operation of their business or for salaries. My thoughts are, before you clean out the bank, you pay your bills.”

By Chris Slone

Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.

Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.