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Local Medina County News

Medina County Drug Advisory Council disperses funds after error's discovery

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    Christopher Randles, chief building inspector for Medina County, holds up the Official Building Code book at Tuesdays commissioners meeting. He was given a resolution from the commissioners, which proclaimed May as Building Safety Month.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Medina County commissioners Colleen Swedyk, left, Pat Geissman and Bill Hutson, give Megan Millikin, second from right, a resolution proclaiming May 5-11 as National Corrections Officers and Employees Week. Millikin is assistant superintendent at the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — The Medina County Drug Advisory Council allocated funds to nine agencies Tuesday, the first time the agency doled out grants since learning it had improperly funded agencies for decades.

The fourth-quarter payments totaling $176,767.40 are for school resource and D.A.R.E. officers for several county schools. The Medina County Sheriff’s Office provides Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., and school resource officers for Cloverleaf, Buckeye and Highland.

These are permissible uses of funds from the levy originally passed in 1987.

In March, county officials realized the MCDAC, formerly named the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission, had been improperly funding several agencies in the county for more than 30 years. Through an “administrative oversight,” the anti-drug levy voters approved had been funding drug education and treatment centers.

The levy, adopted under Ohio Revised Code 5705.19(J), can only fund law enforcement operations and services.

After revamping its bylaws on April 2 and a new board adopted, the MCDAC began the process of evaluating funding requests.

The MCDAC committee reviewed applications for funding year 2018-19 and made recommendations for funding.

MCDAC Executive Director Brian Nowak said the biggest difference to the bylaws was the name change as well as that all funds must be strictly for drug enforcement.

“That’s the biggest change,” Nowak said.

He said the committee will make recommendations to Medina County commissioners, who will have the final say. Medina County Finance Director Mike Pataky will distribute the funds, Nowak said.

The allocations are:

  • Spencer Village, $24,000;
  • City of Brunswick, $34,337.50;
  • Medina County Sheriff’s Office, $40,000;
  • Buckeye Schools, $10,500;
  • Cloverleaf Schools, $12,910;
  • Highland Schools, $14,000;
  • Medina Schools, $13,519.90;
  • Medina County Career Center, $8,500;
  • Wadsworth Schools, $19,000.

Nowak’s contract expires July 1. As part of the new bylaws, there will no longer be an executive director.

“I’ll be the last and final,” he said.

He’s been director for 12 years. Nowak said he will devote more time to his counseling practice in Parma.

The new MCDAC committee includes a member from the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Medina County Prosecutor’s Office, director of the Medina County Drug Task Force, two city police chiefs selected by the cities, and a police chief selected by the villages and another selected by the Medina County Township Association and two school superintendents. There are nine members and four alternatives. The board members terms will expire Dec. 31.

They are:

  • Ken Baca, sheriff’s office;
  • Kevin Ross, alternate, sheriff’s office;
  • Forrest Thompson, prosecutor;
  • Mike Lyons, alternate, prosecutor’s office;
  • Gary Hubbard, Medina County Drug Task Force;
  • Randy Reinke, Wadsworth police chief;
  • Brian Ohlin, Brunswick police chief;
  • Ed Kinney, alternate, Medina police chief;
  • Mike Wright, Spencer Village police chief;
  • David Centner, Hinckley Township police chief;
  • Terry Grice, alternate, Montville Township police chief;
  • Will Koran, Educational Service Center of Medina County, superintendent;
  • Kent Morgan, Buckeye superintendent.

In other news

  • The Shook Co. LLC, of Canfield, was approved to install guardrail on Medina County roads for a price of $99,999.
  • Commissioners passed a resolution to proclaim May 5-11 as National Corrections Officers and Employees Week. They commended the hard work and dedication of the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center. Assistant Superintendent Megan Millikin accepted the award for the organization.
  • A second resolution proclaimed May as Building Safety Month. Chief building inspector Christopher Randles accepted the award. Building Safety Month is sponsored by the International Code Council to remind the public about the role of local code officials.
    The theme for Building Safety Month is “No code, No confidence,” which encourages the importance of safe and resilient construction, fire prevention, disaster mitigation and new technologies to the construction industry.
    Randles brought what he called “show and tell” code books for electrical, Ohio building code, energy.
    “There’s quite a bit that goes into building a structure in the state of Ohio,” he said. “The reason we do this is we’ve learned from disasters and people getting hurt and killed. The industry goes out and studies these things and put it in the code. That’s why we have these things and why we enforce them.”
    He said when he gets plans they must be in compliance to the code books.
    Randles said the codes are reflective to Ohio.
  • The Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District sold about 17,000 tree seedlings to 300 people in its annual event. District Manager Jim Dieter said there are some seedlings and bushes remaining, which can be had for free or at a reduced cost at the district office, 6090 Wedgewood Road, Lafayette Township. For more information, call (330) 722-9322.
  • Those interested in restocking their ponds must order fish from the soil and water district by Friday, May 10. Several fish are available, including largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch and others, for 80 cents to 90 cents apiece. White armur and koi are $13 each. They can be picked up at 10:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, May 14, at the district office.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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