It now appears to be a matter of when -- not if -- the Vinton County Sheriff’s Office will be relocated to a new building. Vinton County government leaders are working toward a solution to move the office out of their historic, but deteriorating building located next to the courthouse on Market Street in McArthur. 

Vinton County Commissioner Mark Fout and Auditor Cindy Waugh explained the county is close to a “comprehensive and affordable plan to resolve the issue -- but there is still some work to do.”

Fout stated he is concerned about the condition of the Sheriff’s Office building. “Law enforcement services and coverage is a top priority of the commissioners,” Fout says.

The county has some options at its disposal, involving buildings it already owns, to provide the Sheriff's Office with a new location. Fout says this needs to happen in a way in which all the affected parties can agree and be fairly compensated if moves are made.

Waugh says the county is putting together a funding plan it can live with must be cost-effective. She says in the current pandemic and uncertainty about the future and grant funds, the county has to “accomplish this goal without breaking the piggy bank.” There may be some renovation and reconfiguration costs associated with this plan. The county will, though, get a handle on those costs when a final plan is publicly presented.

Both Fout and Waugh appreciate the history and heritage of the Sheriff’s Office building and the significance of that Maude Collins, Ohio’s first female sheriff, served from that location.

However, they also understand there is not enough money for a major renovation project at the Sheriff’s Office building, and they have come to the conclusion county law enforcement operations will have to operate in another location for the first time in over a century.