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Sheriff's Office receives funds for drug response: County Board briefs

Sheriff's Office receives funds for drug response

After initially receiving a $117,500 grant effective Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2018 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a new agreement has increased the same grant's amount to $127,120. The added $9,620 will fund Narcan kits, a treatment for suspected opioid overdoses, and a software and hardware system called Cellebrite, which helps investigators obtain cell phone data — when allowed by court orders.

County to apply for state funding for mental health crisis unit

County Board approved an application for a two-year state grant of $928,339 from the Minnesota Department of Human Services for mental health crisis response services, which include 24-hour telephone screening and triage, face-to-face crisis assessment and intervention services and residential centers for crisis stabilization. The grant term would be from Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 30, 2020.

Currently, Washington County participates in joint funding with ramsey County for after-hours mental health crisis responses for adults, and contracts with Canvas Health, which provides services to children in crisis situations. The grant would fully fund the county's move to create an in-house crisis response unit.

WorkForce Center receives $160K grant for Pathways to Prosperity program

County Board accepted a $160,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to continue Washington County WorkForce Center's Pathways to Prosperity Program in 2018 and 2019. Since 2013, the program has provided post-secondary office technology training, college preparatory literacy and math skills, and job search assistance to students with a variety of barriers to traditional college and employment pathways.

The grant funds administration and staff costs, as well as tuition, school supplies and textbooks for 40 participants.

Bailey Road improvement plan OK'd

The board approved a contract amendment with Twin Cities-based SRF Consulting Group, which was already contracted for preliminary engineering services, that includes $197,626 for carrying out the final design and coordination work for Bailey Road repairs. The country is using highway state aid funds and local contributions for the contract. At the meeting, county engineer Nathan Arnold said that improvements will include transforming the stretch between Pioneer Drive and Woodbury Drive into a four-lane divided highway with trails on either side. The project will also address aging pavement, traffic congestion, intersection and crosswalk safety and drainage, he said.

The improvements come as 3,500 housing units are expected to be built in the Bailey Road area over the next five years and as traffic is expected to double within the next 20 years, Arnold said. Construction is anticipated to take place in 2019.

In other news...

• Roger Green of Woodbury has been appointed to the Community Development Agency Board of Commissioners as a District 2 representative. This partial first time expires Dec. 31, 2020. Under state law, this agency can oversee certain types of housing and redevelopment activities in the county.

Meeting watch

Tuesday's County Board meeting lasted about 45 minutes. Commissioner Jack Lavold was absent.

— compiled by reporter Jackie Renzetti