By Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on August 1, 2022
During its Aug. 1 meeting, the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a proposal that determines how the county plans to spend the roughly $422,000 it will receive from the national $26 billion opioid litigation settlement for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year.
This initial allocation, which will be used in part to fund an overdose response coordinator as well as a probation officer for the county’s drug court, is the first payment in what will total $3.4 million paid out to the county over the next 18 years. The national settlement was reached last year with four companies that manufactured and distributed opioids and were accused of helping fuel the nation’s opioid crisis.
Dare County Health and Human Services Director Sheila Davies made the presentation to commissioners, explaining that the proposal was developed with the input of several community partners, including the Healthy Carolinians of the Outer Banks Executive Committee, the Breaking Through Task Force and the Saving Lives Task Force.
The funds must be used to address three areas – treatment, recovery support and harm reduction. Davies said that the department anticipates seeking stakeholder input each year before coming to the commissioners with a proposal for that year’s allocation.
Of the $422,000 allocation, $70,000 will be used to continue the overdose response coordinator position within the health department, a position that was originally grant-funded. The probation officer position, a newly created slot, will account for $100,000 of this year’s allocation.
“This person would handle the logistics in supporting individuals going through recovery court, with all the requirements that they have to meet and the coordination that’s involved in supporting their success,” Davies said.
There would be $125,000 set aside for community initiatives in which agencies doing relevant work in the community could apply for a grant that would be vetted by the Saving Lives Task Force.
Also under the proposal, $40,000 would be earmarked for a Fentanyl Kills Mass Public Awareness Campaign, $25,000 would be used to link residents in need to treatment and another $30,000 will be dedicated for naloxone distribution in the community, which Davies said currently is being funded with grants that will be ending soon.
Finally, $12,000 will fund fentanyl test strips “so individuals can test the drugs that either they’re using or they have gotten, to see if it’s laced with fentanyl,” Davies explained.
“Sadly, a number of our overdoses resulting in deaths in Dare County over the past couple of years have occurred where individuals took a substance that they had no idea was laced with fentanyl, and it’s such a small amount that can be lethal,” Davies told the commissioners, adding that the department would like to make these testing strips widely available in the community.
In conclusion, Davies acknowledged that “These are the recommendations…understanding that yes, these are band aids.”
While adding that detox services and residential treatment facilities have been cited as important needs, Davies noted that the funds from the settlement would not come even close to being able to support such an endeavor.
NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS: BIDDER PRE-QUALIFICATION REQUEST: Barnhill Contracting has been selected as the Construction Manager at Risk by Dare County and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade and specialty contractors to submit bids for furnishing Labor, Material, Equipment, and Other for the new “Dare County – EMS 1 / Fire Station 14” (KDH) located in Kill Devil Hills, NC. PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The scope of the project encompasses approximately 36,000 sqft of new construction and 18,000 sqft of demolition on a 3.5-acre site located at the 1630 N Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills, NC. The project includes masonry bearing walls supporting a Standing Seam Metal Roof over Light Gauge Trusses housing administrative, living and support spaces along with 6 apparatus bays. Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages: BP750 – Turnkey Siding. Additional Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business participation is encouraged. Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals to Meredith Terrell by December 2, 2022, via email at email@example.com or mail to PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (Office Location – 4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612). PREQUALIFICATION FORMS CAN BE OBTAINED from BuildingConnected through this Invite under the “File” tab or from BuildingConnected link on the Barnhill, Bidding Opportunities website at app.buildingconnected.com/ by selecting “Dare County – EMS 1 / Fire Station 14 – Prequalification”, or by contacting Meredith Terrell firstname.lastname@example.org (919-604-2367). Please submit completed prequalification forms A and B along with all required supporting documentation and with All Bid Packages you are Prequalified for Checked. Form B must be submitted for this project. Form A is good for 1-Year and if you have submitted one to Barnhill within the last year, it should still be valid. If you are unsure, please verify this with Meredith. Target Bid Date: January 2023