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Dayton Gets Update on Jail's Heroin Program, Considers Fee Adjustments

During Tuesday 3-hour long meeting of the Dayton City Council, re-paving roads, heroin abuse, and fee changes were among the topics discussed.

Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery and other county officials were also at the meeting, continuing their county-wide tour of city meetings, and spoke about the county's effort to create a drug counseling program at the Campbell County Detention Center.

Pendery, a supporter of the proposed needle exchange/syringe access program in Northern Kentucky, reported that overdose cases arriving at St. Elizabeth Healthcare were up 35 percent in 2016 over 2015, adding that the state had also seen significant increases in the last year.

Pendery said that between 70 and 80 percent of inmates at the jail come in with an existing drug problem and experience withdrawal without medical assistance, something a new program hopes to change.

Initially, the program will be aimed at helping women in the system, but Pendery said that Campbell County hopes to work with Kenton County to enroll male inmates in their program and Kenton County will be able to enroll female inmates in Campbell County’s program.

The program will consist of six months of treatment within the jail system and once released, inmates will be able to work with the Brighton Center to continue recovery.

Matt Elberfeld, Campbell County administrator, updated the council on the beginning of the process to update all emergency radio systems from digital to analog, which is set to be completed by December of 2018.

Current analog systems make it so that only one person can communicate on the radio at a time, and fire and police systems are not able to communicate with each other. The new digital system will allow multiple people to talk and communication not only between departments, but between cities.

Elberfeld said that the Fiscal Court is implementing the plan county-wide in anticipation of federal government regulations possibly changing soon, making it cheaper now to switch systems.

Campbell County will be making this change along with Kenton and Boone Counties to help lower costs for each county by buying the systems in bulk.

The county will be paying for the infrastructure, but cities are required to buy radios for vehicles and officers.

Other notes:

Councilman Joe Neary presented a first reading of an ordinance that would change fees for violations of city ordinances.

Currently, there is a flat $250 fee for any violation of an ordinance. Neary’s proposal is to change it so that the first offense would be a fee of $50-$500, a second offense would be a fine of $100-$1000 for a second offense, and for a third offense a fine of $200-$2,000.

Residents would still have the option to contest the fines, but that would be for a currently undetermined cost.

Before the monthly meeting commenced, the council held a brief public hearing to discuss using Municipal Road Aid Funds to re-pave Grant Park Drive and to enhance the parking lot at 766 Third Ave. that is used by the city government and school district.

Neary asked the council to consider paving alleys around the city within the coming year as well to help encourage off street parking.

Also at the meeting:

  • A first reading of an ordinance, in coordination with a recent Kentucky state resolution, will make it so that all liquor licenses in the city will begin and expire on the same day.

  • A first reading of an ordinance that will make it so that all vacant properties will have to be registered within the first 10 days of being vacant and a $500 fine will have to be paid after 90 days.

  • A first reading of ordinance to turn Ervin Terrace a two-way street in the 500 block to allow for easier access onto Sixth Ave.

  • The council unanimously voted to allow Fast-Temp to buy out old bonds from the city with new ones so they can continue paying off a loan acquired in 2010 to help build their facilities in Dayton.

  • Dayton Civic Activities Board received a grant for $4,725 from Artswave to go towards the annual Kite Fest. The grant allows the festival to be for-profit, with all proceeds going towards Light Up Dayton.

  • Handicap parking spaces were approved for 219 Eighth Ave. and 201 Fifth Ave.

Written by Carrie Crotzer, RCN contributor