Page 42 - Scene Magazine September 2023 48-09
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  CalCo Admin Update
Calhoun County Administrator/Controller
    settlements totaling more than $26B, to resolve opioid litigation brought by states against pharmaceutical distributors, pharma- cies and manufacturers. The purpose of this funding, generally split evenly between the state and local governments, is to implement strategies to reduce opioid related deaths and invest in substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery infrastructure. So, our new county revenues will be mostly restricted for opioid remediation efforts. Fortunately we do have flexibility, as the list of acceptable uses is vast to include enhanc- ing programs and services, and adding new, based on the needs of our local community.
• County Administration is planning to host a facilitated opioid settlement workshop within the next few months for county- wide leaders to provide updates and help determine next steps in developing our initial internal spending plans.
We estimate that Calhoun County will receive nearly $12M total over the next 18 years, through 2038, with an annual average of $700,000.
facilitated by our Medical Director Dr. Will Nettleton and the Substance Abuse Council in Battle Creek, and including officials from the County and various community nonprofits, are updating strategic plans to address opioid usage, overdose and deaths.
According to the County’s Medical Examiner’s 2022 Annual Report from the Western Michigan School of Medicine, there were 47 drug-related deaths. Of those, 38
or 74% of them involved opioids, with a majority of them showing fentanyl mixed
in with other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and various prescription medications.
• The County will then form an Opioid Set- tlement Steering Committee merging our internal and external efforts, in order to move forward cohesively toward an initial spending plan to guide our deployment of settlement funds.
The ultimate hope is that with additional resources being made available to state and local governments, drug overdoses will be reduced and lives will be saved.
• We’ve engaged free technical assistance through the Michigan Association of Counties, which will provide a consul- tant to facilitate our Steering Committee meetings and the development of our spending plan.
Countywide Transit Project Back on Track – Our final update for September from County Government is exciting and much needed! Efforts to develop a new countywide transit authority are resum- ing following the Battle Creek City Coun- cil’s request in July to Calhoun County in- dicating their commitment to participating in the authority and asking the County to take the necessary next steps. The County Board of Commissioners will consider the creation of the Transportation Authority
of Calhoun County (TACC) on Thursday, Sept. 7. Then, by Oct.9 the boundaries for the Authority will be determined based on which townships, villages and cities choose to be included for these new on-demand county-wide transportation services. Our current timeline projects that, depending
Numerous efforts are underway to con- solidate existing efforts aimed at addressing drug overdoses and deaths, and to formulate a spending plan to deploy our settlement funds. So far, there have been two parallel efforts taking place:
Fortunately, our partnerships with community organizations toward addressing substance use disorders are longstanding in Calhoun County. Below, we share informa- tion about a new Narcan initiative in County buildings. We expect that we will have an initial plan for deploying the County’s Opi- oid Settlement Funds by the end of 2023 or the first quarter 2024.
• With the Board of Commissioners’
Lifesaving Narcan Kits Available at County Buildings – In partnership with the Substance Abuse Council, two free Narcan dispensing machines are available at Cal- houn County facilities:
• In the bond office of the Calhoun County
prior authorization, Calhoun County is receiving the payments into a restricted special revenue fund and investing them responsibly.
Jail in Battle Creek
• In the garden level of the County Building
• We’ve been seeking input from county- wide elected officials, the courts and department heads on internal needs for deploying the settlement funds, and for leveraging expected new funds from the State’s portion of the settlement.
in Marshall.
on the securing of federal, state, and local funding, a new countywide public trans- portation system could be operating within the next 18 months. Learn more about this project here.
• So far, the only appropriation of
These refurbished newspaper stands are full of free Narcan (naxolone) nasal rescue kits, which contain three doses of Narcan
Here’s what’s going on in Calhoun County Government.
National Opioid Settlement Funds Coming
settlement funds has been to add a Southwest Enforcement Team (SWET) officer within the County Sheriff’s Office, a prevention measure to help reduce the availability of street drugs that can lead
to overdoses. Other requests are expected from the County’s Health Department for harm reduction initiatives, and from the Sheriff to implement within the County jail a medication-assisted treatment program.
and personal protection equipment to provide treatment. A QR code and website on the top and sides of the dispensing container provide instructions on how to administer Narcan. Narcan is a lifesaving medication used to reverse an opioid overdose and is a tool to help those who are struggling with addiction stay alive and connect them with services.
Calhoun Coun- ty recently started to receive the first in a series of new pay- ments from 2021 and 2022 nationwide
Anyone who witnesses a drug overdose should call 911 immediately. Michigan’s Good Samaritan law provides protection
for people in possession of drugs to seek medical assistance for an overdose in certain circumstances, which makes saving lives the priority in these situations. Individuals interested in seeking treatment options can call 1-800-781-0353.
• The Calhoun County Opioid Coalition,
Election Inspectors Sought for 2024 Early Voting – After the passage of Pro- posal 2 by Michigan voters last November, in-person early voting will be available
in 2024 for nine days before every election day. The Calhoun County Clerk’s Office seeks Election Inspectors from communities across Michigan to work at Early Voting Centers in Calhoun County to ensure voting is convenient and secure before Election Day. This is a paid opportunity and people ages 16 and above are welcome to apply. Election Inspectors will be needed to staff the Centers every hour they are open. If
you are interested in serving as an Election Inspector at an Early Voting Center next year, likely at the County Building in Mar- shall, please fill out the form at the website,

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