July 1, 2016

Partly sunny

Medina County: Levy renewal for drug enforcement

MEDINA — The levy that funds drug prevention, enforcement and treatment initiatives in Medina County is up for renewal on Nov. 2. The 0.35-mill anti-drug levy brings in about $1.5 million each year. The Medina County Auditor’s Office reports it costs property owners $9.95 a year per $100,000 of appraised valuation. The levy runs for five years.

Voters originally passed the levy in 1987 and it is set to expire at the end of next year. If voters reject it this year, the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission can attempt to pass it again next year.

Brian Nowak, director of the commission, said the levy is the organization’s only source of fund­ing. Each year, MCDAC makes rec­ommendations of what programs should receive anti-drug levy fund­ing to county commissioners. The commission then monitors pro­grams that receive funding.

He said the programming the levy supports attempts to fight drugs in three ways. First, he said, it “preserves public safety” through drug enforcement. The commis­sion partially funds the two local drug enforcement agencies — Medina County Drug Task Force and Medway Drug Enforcement Agency.

The levy also supports drug edu­cation. All school districts in the county receive some of the money for drug education. For example, it helps fund the DARE programs in several local school districts.

“It helps the community, but particularly the children and ado­lescents to make healthier and more positive choices,” Nowak said.

Finally, Nowak said the levy helps fund drug treatment pro­grams that control “demand for these illegal drugs” and help peo­ple end their dependency on drugs. It provides some funding to Solutions Behavioral Healthcare in Medina — a mental health organi­zation that provides drug treat­ment programs like chemical dependency counselors — and to Cathy’s House, a sober house for men in Medina.