WILMINGTON — Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker told Wilmington Council Thursday evening about several city services he hopes to address, from life-saving Narcan to water, trash, transit and streets.
Shidaker said it costs the city about $37 per dose of Narcan, or Naloxone, which “essentially reverses an overdose”; an overdose can take several, or even up to 12 doses, to revive someone.
The state has a rebate program for about $6 per dose that Shidaker hopes to explore.
“It ($37 per dose) adds up very quickly,” he said. “Hopefully we can get some money back.
Council member Joe Spicer asked if the courts could make victims pay for Narcan as part of their fine. Shidaker said overdose victims often refuse medical treatment after receiving Narcan, and the city can’t bill them at that point. Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand added that police can’t charge someone when they’re resuscitated.
Wilmington resident Michael Mandelstein asked if Ohio’s legislators couldn’t create a law requiring those who receive Narcan to be fineable for receiving it if they refuse treatment. Shidaker said that would take people like himself and Mandelstein to call their representatives.
Mandelstein said such a state law could benefit all 88 counties in Ohio.
Shidaker also said the city purchases 7 million gallons of water per day from Caesar’s Creek despite using only 2 million. He said the city is actively negotiating and looking for consumers who could purchase water. The city is locked into a 50-year contract, Shidaker said.
“We’re not using it, we need to sell the rest,” he said.
Shidaker also said something eventually needs to be done about the city landfill, which he called the “elephant in the room.”
Shidaker said the landfill will need to be sold, expanded or closed eventually, and he said Landfill Superintendent Braden Dunham is nearing completion of a plan for council’s consideration.
“We need to be proactive,” Shidaker said. “We need to have that discussion whether we like it or not. Whether we’re going to expand the landfill, close the landfill or sell the landfill, we can’t just stand silent on this issue.”
The streets department has unused beet juice that Shidaker said he intends to use on city streets in anticipation of snow or ice. Beet juice, according to an Ohio Department of Transportation publication, increases the effectiveness of salt on roads. Media and industry reports claim the juice is also less corrosive.
“Being proactive on the streets is much better than reactive as far as snow and ice,” he said. “If we get ahead of the ice and snow, it will actually reduce our costs as opposed to waiting until the ice starts to form.”
Shidaker also said the city’s transit department received four new 2016 Dodge Grand Caravans, paid for by grants.
Wilmington resident Stephen Sawzin pointed out that the grant was approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation when Phil Floyd was director of that department.
“You’re only getting it because of the hard work of the previous transportation director that no longer has a job,” Sawzin said. “He did exactly what he was supposed to, and he proved to the state and the federal government that the city of Wilmington was operating extremely well with perfect management.
“It’s a shame he’s lost his job,” Sawzin continued, urging council to write Floyd a letter.
Floyd was told by Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth in November that he wouldn’t be needed when Stanforth took office.
Finally, Shidaker, previously Clinton County’s chief felony prosecutor, commended WPD Detective Bob Wilson for his work investigating Larry Casey, who was sentenced earlier Thursday to an indefinite sentence of 25 years to life.
Earlier in the meeting, Mark McKay said the city’s finance committee discussed the city’s financial shape broadly and plans to hold more in-depth discussions.
“Hopefully we can put together a plan that makes sense for the city because we really can’t continue on this course,” he said.
In related city business, the council received a written report from Wilmington Treasurer Paul Fear. That report said the city spent more than $900,000 more than it received in revenue, leaving the general fund with less than $1.8 million. Tax revenues increased 3.6 percent in 2015, by $158,212.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.