Oversight committee proposed for ASAP effort

The creation of a new arm of local government to process funding requests regarding the opioid crisis was proposed to the Bartholomew County Council Tuesday.

Council members informally agreed to the general concept of creating a Substance Abuse Public Funding Board, as well as a related oversight committee, to initially hear those requests.

However, no specific proposals were considered by the council as a result of the presentation made by Mary Ferdon, the city’s executive director of administration and community development.

Ferdon emphasized she made Tuesday’s presentation as a representative of the three major leaders of the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress (ASAP): Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, Columbus Regional Health CEO Jim Bickel, and Bartholomew County Commissioner chairman Carl Lienhoop.

“This framework gives ASAP one place to go to make their recommendations – not three or four,” Ferdon said. “We have to have a way to collectively consider how to spend our money.”

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.