Toledo City Council approves ordinance for jail ballot issue

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo city council has given new life to a ballot measure that would keep the jail in downtown Toledo.

"We feel very accomplished right now. We're very happy," Mary Dutkowski, Keep the Jail Downtown, said.

Tuesday, Dutkowski and a handful of supporters watched almost in disbelief as council voted in their favor.

In a unanimous decision, an ordinance was passed on an initiative that would change the city charter to ensure a new jail would stay downtown.

"It's very rewarding at this point," Dutkowski added.

The road to this has been anything but easy for the grassroots effort.

First, the Lucas County Board of Elections voted to keep the measure off the November ballot saying it went beyond what Toledo law could enforce.

Then, the appeal on that ruling was denied because according to the Ohio Supreme Court, council needed to pass an ordinance to get the charger change on the ballot. So council made a move.

"The citizens that did this working so hard and did everything right," Chris Delaney, district 6 councilman, said. "It was only right for us to allow this to go on the ballot."

But the big question now is which ballot?

Election Day is just one month away and early voting starts Wednesday.

At first glance, Josh Hughes, a member of the Lucas County Board of Elections, says he doesn't know how this measure could get on the ballot simply because time has run out.

Will it be a special election down the road? I don't know," Dutkowski said. "We're ready for November and we're ready for a special election."

There's no word when the BOE will make the final decision. The next regularly scheduled board meeting is November 5th, one day before the election.

In the meantime, the county has a levy on the ballot that would fund construction and operations of a new facility to be located on Detroit avenue near Alexis road.

Commissioners are asking voters to approve a 1.37 mill levy. If it's approved it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home and extra $48 a year in taxes.