WAYNE COUNTY, OH, May. 2, 2024 —  The State of Ohio is taking a bold step towards creating safer communities for its citizens. With a significant investment of $15 million, the Governor’s Office is helping the Wayne County Jail bolster its capacity, security, and operational capabilities, promising far-reaching benefits for public safety, law enforcement, and the communities it serves.

Before the introduction of Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Wayne County Commissioner Ron Amstutz recounted the eight-year journey that finally led to the groundbreaking ceremony. In the face of adversity and a defeated levy, the commissioners finally achieved their goal with a new jail scheduled to be operational in 2026.

“The ones that collaborate are the ones that succeed,” Lt. Governor Husted told a group that gathered for the occasion. “Clearly, that is happening here; collaboration is what we do in administrative government across the state. The citizens benefit from the partnership between state and county governments. We recognize the challenges that local communities face.”

At nearly 50 years old, the current jail desperately needs renovation. Opened in 1977 and with a maximum allowable capacity of 80 inmates, the grant will add 72,000 square feet of space, bringing bed capacity to 200 when the project is complete. This groundbreaking is a testament to Ohio’s commitment to addressing the pressing concerns of jail overcrowding, outdated infrastructure, and inadequate resources in the state’s correctional facilities.

“There are many who contributed to our arrival to this day. We have more than 25 persons on our Community Corrections Planning Board, including judges, law enforcement, community members, social services, and other community leaders,” said Wayne County Commissioner Ron Amstutz. “We set this project as one of our top priority goals several years ago. The commissioners hired Greg Strollo’s Architect firm, and now we have hired local Bogner Construction Company as the general contractor and construction manager for what is underway as we speak.”

Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

Amstutz admitted that financing the project went through twists and turns, and features were redesigned occasionally.

“We thought we needed to raise our sales tax rate, but now we can avoid that because we have substantial state and federal funding. We are very thankful for that,” he said. “Patrick Herron, our administrator, has played a vital role in this from the beginning and continues to provide invaluable leadership.”

Ohio’s need for enhanced jail facilities is undeniable, and the statistics paint a stark picture. The opioid epidemic has led to a surge in overdose deaths, and jail facilities are struggling to provide adequate medical care to inmates with addiction.

No one is more familiar with the condition of the jail than Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson. “When I first started here, I was 20 years old,” he said. “We moved into this building, and at that time, it was state-of-the-art. Seeing this new phase start with another state-of-the-art project is very humbling. The support of the state, city, county, and citizens is overwhelming.”

Those in the criminal justice system recognize that many individuals incarcerated in local jails struggle with mental health issues, substance abuse, and other challenges that hinder their ability to reintegrate into society upon release.

By providing a facility with access to counseling, therapy, and treatment services, we proactively address the root causes of recidivism and promote a safer, more rehabilitative environment within its jails, lending to a safer community.

Dan Starcher is the Public Communications Coordinator for Wayne County.

State of Emergency Declared

State of Emergency Declared

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Jun. 17, 2022 — The Wayne County Commissioners announced today that they are declaring a state of emergency in response to damage sustained by a series of intense storms that passed through the area this week. County officials are working with state and local public and private organizations and officials attempting to provide relief and assistance.

Commissioners express appreciation toward those people and organizations that are stepping forward to help with the clean-up effort, but most importantly, ensuring the safety of their fellow citizens.

United Way’s WHIRE (Wayne Holmes Information Referral Exchange) is helping answer questions about where those impacted can receive aid. Their number is (330) 263-6363. United Way has established a local relief fund where people can donate; the link is

The Wayne County Commissioners are fully engaged with the State of Ohio to ensure all available resources are obtained and distributed in a timely manner.


Wayne County Commissioners,

Ron Amstutz – President | Becky Foster | Sue Smail

Tenth clean audit review for Solid Waste Management District

Tenth clean audit review for Solid Waste Management District

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Sep. 2020 — For the tenth year in a row, the Auditor of the State of Ohio presented an award of excellence to the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District for its accounting practices.

The award is based, in part, on the District’s ability to meet filing deadlines, comply with standards, and record no findings of recovery or material deficiencies.

“This is a shared responsibility that requires everyone to do their part,” the District’s Finance Director Erica Wright said. “It is not just finances, it is compliance, policy adherence, and it is doing a lot of things right.”

The District was formed in 1988 to prepare, adopt, submit, and implement a safe and sanitary solid waste plan. The commissioners from each county serve on the board of directors.

One of the methods the District uses to promote recycling in the area is through the use of an outreach coordinator who is available for classroom and area civic group presentations and discussions on recycling, composting, conservation, waste reduction, and natural resources.

The District also conducts a Master Recycler Program that offers an in-depth study of recycling practices and the impact on communities.

“We have a very strong team providing this much-appreciated service as this award affirms,” said Commissioner Ron Amstutz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the benefits of recycling include:

  • Reduction of the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Conservation of natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Increased economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Prevention of pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Energy savings
  • Support for American manufacturing and the conservation of valuable resources
  • Creation of jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States

To learn more about the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District, visit


By Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.