Meigs commissioners support jail mental health initiative

By Lindsay Kriz - [email protected]

POMEROY — The Meigs County Commissioners on Thursday approved a resolution regarding the Stepping Up Initiative, which is a national program to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails.

Ron Adkins spoke to the commissioners about the resolution, saying it would affect Gallia and Meigs counties for the 2016 fiscal year. According to a document passed out by Adkins, funds have been secured to provide intensive local care by Woodland Centers for treatment in both counties, but that no funds were available for Jackson County. Adkins requested that the commissioners recognize that Jackson County Correctional Facility needs such services as well.

The resolution states the commissioners undertstand the value of the program and encourage full participation from local officials and community partners.

The services that will be provided to Jackson once funding is secured for them too will include counseling (individual and group, including MRT groups), med-som, through telemedicine technology with access to medications, case management and expanded crisis services. Supportive services will include housing assistance, short-term housing, information and referral for employment, the Wellness Recovery and Action Plan and transportation.

In his discussion with the commissioners, Adkins said the initiative will mainly focus on those who suffer the most from mental illness, and those who are about to be released from confinement within 30 days, as they should be more mentally stable by the time they re-enter society. Currently, $150,000 has been allocated for the region. The program will help Middleport and Meigs jails.

The commissioners made an appropriation of funds of $36,912.71 into hospital insurance and unions, and an appropriation adjustment of $35,000 from bituminous materials into hospital insurance and unions. Other appropriation adjustments into hospital insurance and unions included $30,000 from contract projects, $9,347.97 from workers’ compensation and $8,676 from equipment insurance.

A new fund account for spaying and neutering was created under Dog and Kennel. According to papers provided by the shelter, as of Aug. 1, the adoption price for an adult dog is $90 and $100 for a puppy (with an agreement to spay/neuter when the puppy is of age). The adoption fee broken down includes $26 for shelter revenue, $12 to the dog license fund, $12 to rabies shot costs from Meigs Veterinary Clinic and $40 for spay/neutering if the animal is an adult, or $50 for spaying/neutering if the animal is a puppy. It is this spaying/neutering money that will go into the new fund created Thursday.

The commissioners approved last week’s minutes and bill. Overall bills had 145 entries totaling $368,096.76 and County General bills totaling $54,282.84. They also announced that they have authorized the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office to list a 2006 Chevy Impala for sale.

On Sept. 3, Leann Cunningham, from the Meigs County Health Department, will be in attendance. Sept. 10, Debra Harper will be at the weekly meeting representing Holzer Assisted Living. She will also be bringing a proclamation. At 11:05 a.m. Sept. 17, Buckeye Hills bid opening for Tuppers Plains sewer will take place and Oct. 1, Palmer Energy, on behalf of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, will be visiting. The representatives will be Bob Snavley and Kirk Mizerek.

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.

By Lindsay Kriz

[email protected]