County to receive opioid funds


Updates on the OneOhio settlement were discussed at the weekly Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

Terry Britton, president of the board of commissioners, said the settlement is from the pharmaceutical companies concerning settlements for opioid issues around the country. He said the money would be long-term payments the county will be getting and will be funneled through two different areas, one being OneOhio and the other directly to the county.

Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins said the money coming into the townships, villages and cities is only able to be used on programs and projects that would help to alleviate the opioid epidemic. She said one of those programs would be a task force/quick response team which, if someone overdoses, would be contacted at any hour and those people would go out and provide services to the impacted person “immediately.” She also said there is “definitely” a need for that kind of program in the county.

Collins said the plan is to hire someone whose position would be to run this kind of program and oversee the peer mentors helping people.

Tonya Sturgill, director of programming and clinical services at the Highland County Probation Department, is on the OneOhio Board. She said she knows there is money coming and that it will be available to Highland County agencies. However, she didn’t know when or how it would be split.

To prepare for that eventuality, Sturgill said the county’s region of the OneOhio settlement, Region 9, has started to put together a rough draft application for organizations possibly interested in getting some of the funding. Sturgill also said that any organization interested should contact her to get access.

In other news, Jeremy Ratcliff, director of Highland County Jobs and Family Services, was present at the meeting to comment on last week’s election results and the defeat on a levy for Children Services.

“We’re disappointed, obviously, with the results,” he said. “We’ll have to regroup and restrategize for our Children Services levy. We did have a good bit of support… but, you know, it’s a problem that’s not gonna go away. We’re still approaching $4 million in placement costs this year.”

Ratcliff said he would anticipate a recommendation from him in the coming weeks regarding a possible entry in the March ballot. He also said the organization would need to decide soon and file with the board of elections.

Britton announced that Connect South Central Power has been contracted by the South Central Power Co. to do all of the internet work running the fiber lines throughout the county. He said the company was estimating the work would take around 30 months.

The commissioners approved a bid from Cornele Plumbing to repair the Highland County Administration Building’s cast iron roof drain for $3,875. Britton said the appliance runs all the way down to the basement and then out onto the street. He also said it is “leaking” and has been for “quite a while.” He said this approval was for the complete replacement of it for one that wouldn’t rust.

The commissioners also accepted a bid from Parry Landscaping for the snow removal and ice melting at the Highland County Courthouse and Highland County Administration Building and its walkway through Beech Street, with $200 for the courthouse, $75 for the administration building and $75 for the walkway. The ice melting only for the courthouse is $113. It’s $56 for the administration building and $56 for the walkway.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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