SCIOTO — After 40 years without an increase in the Sheriff’s Road Department, the Scioto County Commissioners signed an agreement that will allow the sheriff to increase its personnel.
During a regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, the Scioto County Commissioners heard from Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman about signing off on an agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police. The agreement would reduce their yearly pay increase to allow that money to be redirected to hire additional personnel to the sheriff’s office.
“We haven’t added any road deputies to the department in, I believe, 40 years,” Thoroughman said. “It’s very much needed and very much overdue.”
Thoroughman thanked the FOP for the negotiation process and for coming up with a solution. He also thanked the county commissioners for working with the sheriff’s department as well.
“This may be the first time that I can recall having this level of cooperation and trying to figure out how to pay for it,” Commissioner Bryan Davis said. “This is going to help make our county safer and the road patrol safer.”
Thoroughman and Davis both stated that the county had seen growth not only in the city but in many of the townships throughout the past 40 years and with help from the FOP, they will now be able to keep up with the needs of the county.
“It was great to work with the FOP because it was not give me, give me, give me,” Thoroughman said. “We had the discussions as to what we can do for our citizens and I have to commend the FOP on that.”
“It’s always a breath of fresh air when someone comes to a meeting, since we are the fiscal body, instead of saying hey we need something, but here is a solution,” Commissioner Scottie Powell said. “We appreciate that level of thought going into the problem and having a possible solution to present to us.”
Powell also stated the commissioners are looking into a grant by ODNR up to $75,000 to bring paddle sports to the area. The grant is a 100% refundable grant that would help place public access points on the local rivers.
“The way our community is shifting toward a destination for nature with all the mountain bike trails, hiking and what ODNR is doing in West Portsmouth, a piece of that puzzle is waterway access,” Powell said.
Powell stated that currently, many local waterways have very limited public access points for paddlers to access the rivers.
“There are no public access points currently on the Scioto River. There is only one public access on Scioto Brush Creek,” Powell said. “We are looking at ODOT properties and the right of ways to put some in.”
Powell stated the goal was to have multiple access points for anyone looking to do a four-hour paddle or eight-hour paddle, to have that option and access points with all local waterways.
“This is hopefully the first step of seeing that vision come true,” Powell said.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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