BALLSTON SPA — At its monthly meeting held on June 20, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the following resolutions:
• Authorizing the use of opioid settlement funds by the Saratoga County Department of Health (DOH) to support prevention programs, prevent misuse of opioids, and prevent overdose deaths and other harms.
In 2017, the Board authorized the commencement of litigation against the manufacturers, distributors, and certain prescribing physicians of opioid pharmaceuticals to recover damages resulting from the county combatting and treating opioid abuse. With the settlement of some of the lawsuits, the county received funds to be used for opioid remediation.
With the boards’ action taken Tuesday, the Saratoga County DOH will use $72,000 of those opioid settlement funds to increase availability and distribution of naloxone and purchase additional ancillary supplies - such as drug disposal systems and drug test strips, to be included in the County’s Overdose Rescue kits, which are distributed at announced community events.
Additionally, $44,000 in opioid settlement funds received by the county will be used to support the DOH’s initiatives to provide school-based programs to prevent drug misuse, including related travel expenses associated with the presentations.
• Saratoga County had previously been awarded $44.65 million in APRA funds through the Federal Government’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The Board of Supervisors this week unanimously approved $820,000 of its received ARPA funds for the purchase of a Hazardous Material Response Vehicle (HAZMAT) County through the Toyne, Inc. company.
• The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved urging NY Gov. Kathy Hochul to oppose legislation and utilize her veto authority to reject a proposal that would move some local elections across the state to even-numbered years.
The county Board expressed several concerns in its vote opposing the bill. Among them: it would usurp home rule powers reserved by local governments; election and ballot counting technology would not be capable to meet the demands of a significantly increased ballot size, and alleging the change would create confusion among voters in towns and counties across the state.
If approved by Gov. Hochul, the measure would not affect elections this year, according to a report by the Associated Press. Local officials eventually would have to run for a shortened term to get them on an even-year cycle.