Highland County Health Department Director Jared Warner told commissioners on Wednesday that the Highland County Sheriff’s Office now has naloxone kits, and officers have recently completed the training on how to use the opiate antidote drug.
Warner said the health department purchased 15 kits, each containing two doses of naloxone, with grant money the department previously was awarded for that purpose. Now that there are kits with the sheriff’s office and training done there, Warner’s office will focus on reaching out to other local law enforcement agencies in the county.
As previously reported, the county health department received a grant for $1,800 to purchase the naloxone kits. The kits are available to any interested law enforcement agency in Highland County.
Sheriff Donnie Barrera said previously that he planned to have the naloxone kits in cruisers and at the jail.
A policy for the use of the kits was adopted in April by the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
Warner also updated commissioners on the Zika virus and said that there are currently 14 travel-related cases in Ohio, with “a few” sexually-transmitted cases in the country. He said Ohio is capable of performing its own testing for the virus now, and the spread of the virus is something that is being monitored.
Warner also reported that “everything is in place” to implement a nearly $300,000 grant the health department was awarded earlier this year for repairing/replacing household sewage systems.
Warner said there are some financial eligibility requirements to be met for those seeking assistance. For more information, contact Kyle Arn, director of the Environmental Health Division of the Highland County Health Department, at 937-393-1941.
For the month of June, Warner said the health department is offering free prostate specific antigen (PSA) screenings for male Highland County residents aged 50 years and older. Contact the health department for further information.
The health director also reported that with the help of a Katie Senter, an intern from Southern State Community College, the health department is analyzing its nuisance complaint program from over the last year or so to see if changes implemented have helped expedite the process of handling nuisance complaints.
He said before the changes were applied “it took too long to get problems fixed.” So changes were made and information gathered “in a more intentional way.” Now it is time to see if the changes worked, he said.
Warner said the department is working on putting together a program report for township trustees, and also putting together a live map of nuisance complaints across the county.
To contact the health department, call 937-393-1941 or go to [email protected] The department also has a Facebook page.
In other business, commissioner Shane Wilkin said that a meeting sponsored by the Highland County Tea Party is set for next week to hear about one community’s successful battle against drugs. The speaker will be Daniel Meloy and he will outline his community’s program and how it works. The program is scheduled for Monday, June 20 at 7 p.m. at the Hi-Tech Center, 1575 N. High St., Hillsboro.
According to Warner, Meloy is with Colerain Township, which he said was “leading the charge” against drugs.
Commissioner Jeff Duncan reported “a workable solution” seems to be coming together for the county’s recycling coordinator position changing from a county employee to a contract position.
Duncan said the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District is willing to oversee the position. That means that the district would hire for the position and the county would contract with the district. The grant money that pays for the part-time position would still go through commissioners, but would then go to the soil and water district, which would also qualify for matching funds through the state, Duncan said.
While progress is being made, Duncan said the matter was “still a work in progress.”
Commissioners awarded a bid for landscaping at the Hi-Tech Center in Hillsboro to Landscapes and Outer Spaces for $6,500. A bid for less than $40 lower was also received, Duncan said, but the accepted bid included more bushes and trees.
Duncan also reported that the county parking lot, located off of Beech Street and behind the Eagles, will be closed off on Saturday and Sunday for resurfacing.
The Highland County Board of Commissioners meets each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on the second floor of the county administration building, 119 Gov. Foraker Pl., Hillsboro. The meetings are open to the public.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.