Karysa Kent

Levy Issued for Ballot on New Jail

by Karysa Kent on August 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Muskingum County Commissioners passed a resolution on August 7, 2017 to put a one mill bond issue on the November ballot for a new Muskingum County Jail.

If the issue passes then the Sheriff’s Office will raise $30 million for 30 years. Sheriff Matt Lutz said the one mill levy will cost the tax payer about 35 dollars a year.

“It’s like $100.00 a year for an assessment value, but the tax payer only pays 35% of that,” Sheriff Lutz said. “So to do this one mill levy will only cost the tax payer approximately $35.21 a year to pay for this.”

Sheriff Lutz explained they wouldn’t ask for the extra taxes if they didn’t feel this was important for the county.

“That seems like a small amount, but to the tax payer when you start adding those things up, it does way on them and we know that,” Sheriff Lutz said. “We’ve been very good with our budget for the last eight and a half years that I’ve been Sheriff. The commissioners have supported us very well, our community has supported us very [well], and we’re hoping that we can get that support for this.”

The Muskingum County Sheriff’s office has been in need of a new building for years and now Sheriff Lutz said they are obligated to build a jail that’s under state mandates and state restrictions.

“I get ask a question sometimes about ‘why would I vote for it when I’m never going to use it,” Sheriff Lutz said. “That’s not what it’s about it’s about protecting our community and if you haven’t been a victim, there’s a chance you could be down the road. Hopefully folks think about building this, they keep two things in mind is safety and the ability to put prisoners and criminals off the streets.”

The thought process for the new facility is to keep it in working order past the thirty years of payment.

“If I can get 40 years out of a building that wasn’t designed for jail,” Sheriff Lutz said. “I would think for the next 50 years easily we got to be able to run this thing and have a good operating jail. The nice thing about this would be if it’s paid off in 30 [years] and we still run it through 50 [years]. Then if we get to the point in this county where we need more space, this jail is actually built to where you can add-on a pod to it.”

The General Election will be November 7th. For more information on the current Muskingum County Jail and the possible new jail follow the link provided below.