A new contract for FRS to provide treatment services funded by the Smart Ohio Pilot Grant program (SOPG) was approved by the Highland County Board of Commissioners at Wednesday’s meeting.
According to Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, the grant, which is through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, will provide $435,000 for intensive treatment services through FRS for 2016-17.
The SOPG has been a treatment option for felony offenders for about a year. In the courtroom, Coss often requires those convicted of drug felonies to take part in the program in conjunction with other treatment options.
On Wednesday, Coss said that research has shown that opiate addiction “changes the brain.” He said that while an addict’s brain will eventually recover, it can take anywhere from a year and a half to two years for that to happen, and the treatment programs available don’t last that long.
The contract approved on Wednesday, Coss said, replaces the current contract signed last year, and also restructures payment of the grant.
Commissioner Shane Wilkin asked Coss about the success of the program so far and Coss said that while ODRC hasn’t yet provided a quantitative analysis, “The program seems to be working pretty well.”
The judge added that none of the money is used for administrative costs, but that “every dollar from the grant is going to treatment.”
In other business, Wilkin said that he and Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth visited Greenfield’s RR Donnelley site on Tuesday where Corvac Composites is moving in.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Wilkin said that things with the company are “still moving forward.”
As previously reported, commissioners announced in late June that a preliminary agreement had been reached with the auto industry supplier to purchase the Greenfield property that has sat vacant since RR Donnelley pulled up its Greenfield stakes two years ago.
More than 200 jobs are anticipated with the arrival of the new employer.
On another matter, the plane that once belonged to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office has been purchased by a Florida man who intends to restore it to its “military specs,” according to commissioner Tom Horst. He said the plane is a 1965 Vietnam era spotter plane.
A resolution on the matter was approved by commissioners on Wednesday allowing a transfer of $26,900 from unappropriated funds to the sheriff’s law enforcement trust fund. That was the cost of the plane, Wilkin said.
Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera in May told commissioners that he felt the plane was something the county didn’t need, and also referenced the costs to maintain the aircraft.
Commissioner Jeff Duncan reported progress on ongoing projects in the county.
He said the parking lot of the Hi-Tech Center in Hillsboro has been sealed and is being striped. He said that construction at the building “is ongoing.”
Duncan said the kennel dividers for the dog pound are still being fabricated, but that installation of the panels could happen next week. The panels to separate kennels was previously approved by the board, as was additional work at the dog pound.
Horst said that the roofing at the dog pound should be complete and that painting there was recently done.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.