The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher, Sun-Telegraph 

County Enters Opioid Settlement

Fabric Building Proposal Tabled

 

November 24, 2021 | View PDF



Cheyenne County has entered a case that could net the county part of the national opioid settlement.

County Attorney Paul Schaub said the State of Nebraska will receive about 15 percent and the counties 15 percent. He said 70 percent of the national settlement is for treatment and counseling services. In order to receive the funding, the county needs to commit to be part of the case.

“Everyone that I've seen across the nation are accepting these funds,” he said.

He said the remaining question is if there will be controls on how the funds are used.

According to the NACo web page, naco.org/blog, “Preventing prescription drug abuse continues to be a top priority in counties across the country. The opioid crisis is one of the worst public health emergencies our country has faced in decades, and overdose deaths have risen exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic: More than 96,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses in 2020, according to new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data. That’s a more than 30 percent increase from 2019 and the highest number of overdose fatalities ever recorded in the U.S.”

Many local governments are expecting funds for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts from opioid litigation settlement funds or grant dollars amounting to nearly $4 billion in substance abuse and mental health funding included in the American Rescue Plan.

The commissioners signed on the settlement 3-0.

The commissioners also received an update from Safety Committee Chairman Tracy Bartling. She said video trainings have been conducted, and 30 county employees took part in CPR/AED and security training. The committee is also working on installing evacuation route signs in the courthouse.

The commissioners then tabled action on an agreement with Lake Mac Assessment, LLC. Lake Mac Assessment would be assisting the assessor's office in property assessments.

The commissioners also discussed bids for a fabric building at the highway department facility. The commissioners and highway superintendent Doug Hart discussed the three bids and the budget. Hart was urged to research how the fabric is anchored.

The commissioners and Hart also discussed the cost and availability of cattle gates, and recent road maintenance activity.

Emergency Manager Ron Leal discussed a remodeling project for the building housing emergency management services. Cost of the work is estimated at about $9,000 with $4,500 due at the beginning of work.

 

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