The Putnam County Commission received an opioid settlement update from Alan Pritt of Pritt & Spano, PLLC, at its September 13 meeting. Pritt reported that Putnam County would be the direct recipient of $1 million to $1.5 million over a 12 year period. Pritt said that county could expect to receive 20 percent ($200,000 minimum) of the total before the end of February, 2023.
Pritt told the commission that most of the $400 million statewide settlement with the Big Three opioid distributors (AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson) would go toward abatement programs which would be administered by a nonprofit opioid foundation which would benefit Putnam County but would not require county resources.
Pritt stated that the county could use its share of the settlement money for anything which has a link to addressing the opioid problem. He said that nearly everything in law enforcement would be an eligible use — new facility construction, new hires, equipment.
In unrelated business, the commission authorized three grant applications totaling $689,750.00. A grant through FEMA for emergency generators to fully power the Courthouse and the Judicial Annex of $583,350 requires the county to provide $72,918 in matching funds. The other grant applications ($100,000 from the Courthouse Facilities Authority and $6,400 through the Hazard Security Program) require a 20 percent match from the county.
The commission did not act upon an agenda item which would have established a Putnam County Towing Policy. State code stipulates that eligible towing companies must have a storage yard. Hurricane Wrecker is the only towing service within the county that meets this qualifications. The commission voted to postpone action and asked County Attorney Larry Frye to obtain rate information from Hurricane Wrecker.
In other business, the commission appointed Thomas Keefer to fill a vacancy on the E-911 Advisory Board.
The next Putnam County Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 29, at 5:30 p.m.