Commission explains OneOhio obstacle


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Darke County Commissioners Matt Aultman and Marshall Combs met on Tuesday to discuss the representative to the Region 15 Board for OneOhio. Commissioner Larry Holmes was absent.

Commissioners approved Marcus Ballinger with the Village of Arcanum to the board for a three-year term. This is his second appointment to the board.

OneOhio establishes a mechanism to disburse settlement proceeds from the opioid litigation into Ohio’s communities to help abate the opioid crisis, including allocations to local government and regions through a statewide foundation.

Although OneOhio has been meeting for the past couple of years, Aultman admits the board has not shown much tangible progress thus far. “We started moving on that board to get the application process ready to spend the million plus dollars that’s allocated to Region 15 and then we got everything in place and the state opioid board that oversees the whole state allocation said, ‘Whoa, wait a minute. We’re creating our own application that you’ve got to submit to the state.” We’re on hold until the state gets its process and procedures in place,” said Aultman.

Aultman pointed out there are several local organizations that are ready to move forward with the application process, such as Tri-County Board of Mental Health, Recovery and Wellness, the hospitals and a few other stakeholders already have a concept of what they want to do with the funding.

He said the state will rank regional projects higher than a community project. There are nine counties in the region.

The allocation will take place over a 30-year period and Region 15 is expected to receive between $19 and $20 million. The funding comes from the prescription companies and the opioid lawsuit. He said Darke County has had $74,000 allocated so far. The region gets a larger portion of the settlement.

Aultman said they were expecting the application process to be completed by June of last year and now the date has been changed to February 2024. The plan is to have organizations apply by June and receive the funding by August.

Commissioner Aultman also shared Versailles FFA will be hosting a Harvesting Wellness program on Jan. 29. The event will include a free meal and dinner theater style program to address some of the mental health issues in the agricultural field. Those interested in attending should register by Jan. 10 to [email protected] or [email protected].

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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