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Commissioners discuss state treatment agreement

A treatment agreement with the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction was brought back to the floor for discussion during Thursday morning’s meeting of the Washington County Commission.

“Nobody that’s taking federal grant money will be prescribing or recommending or encouraging marijuana. Ohio has legalized medical marijuana but the federal government has not,” Commission President David White explained.

Commissioner Ron Feathers said the discussion was a continuation from last week about the use of federal grant money for treating using cannabis.

“Currently, the best we could find out through an audit is we do not have any grants tied to this or anything like that at this point,” he said. “However, it has to do with future monies that could come in. Without a signature on this agreement, it would jeopardize any and all federal grants coming in to agencies like the Board of Behavioral Health, or OU grants that the health department and places like that might end up getting in the future. That’s why I believe at this point, we go ahead and sign it. It shows the commissioner’s intent that none of those federal dollars would be used in treatment with cannabis.”

White further simplified the agreement.

“It is my understanding, in layman’s terms, none of the people in our grant funded units can be advising or prescribing or promoting the use of marijuana for treatment, in a nutshell,” White added. “That’s what they’re after. We have no way to certify that nobody will, but we’re making sure that it is our policy that they won’t. If they do, they are in trouble.”

• In other unfinished business, Flite Freimann, director of the Washington County Job and Family Services, said a resolution for a mobility manager for area agencies will be brought back before the commission at next week’s meeting.

“We have left our mobility manager on your table for several weeks at this point. We’ve been working closely with ODOT. ODOT has found funds available for this position starting Jan. 1,” Freimann said. “We are working with Buckeye Hills. We will be here before you next week. The funds are going to be there, they’re going to use them, but it’s not under their mobility management project, even though that’s what the funds are for. They fund those (projects) a year in advance. They had originally promised us those funds, but they felt it was unfair to put us to the front of the line. We cried like little school girls and they found more money for us.”

The mobility manager will be tasked with helping find better efficiencies with transportation in Washington County. Buckeye Hills Regional Council currently operates a geographic information system that makes maps of trips in the county for their case managers. It could be used by the mobility manager to identify trends to better use transportation means getting people around the county, Freimann said.

As a result of this pilot program, Buckeye Hills hopes this will become a four-county program with Noble, Monroe, Morgan and Washington counties. It has been tabled the last few weeks as Freimann and Bret Allphin, Buckeye Hills development director, discussed the program and what they need from the mobility manager.

• Commissioners also approved bid award recommendations for landslip repairs on four county roads.

County Engineer Roger Wright recommended United Sealing for asphalt paving of landslip repair contracts on Cats Creek Road, Moss Run Road, Highland Ridge Road and Old Camp Road.

The bid for Cats Creek, Moss Run and Highland Ridge came in at $41,136.40, while Wright recommended Grandview Township award the bid to United Sealing with a contract for $10,535.40.

• The commission approved a request from Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks to auction off an unmarked transport vehicle. The vehicle is a 2005 Ford Expedition with 120,437 miles.

Maj. Brian Schuck of the sheriff’s office said the auction date and time will be set by the auction house.

“The vehicles auctioned off…the condition, the maintenance and the miles on the vehicle determine if it’s going to be decommissioned,” he added.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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