LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Lancaster County’s share of an opioid settlement with Johnson and Johnson is around a million dollars, which is to be paid out in pieces for more than a decade. The hard job now, figure out the best way to spend it all.
“Joining Forces put together a strategic plan,” Lancaster County Commissioner Josh Parsons said. “We use the framework of that strategic plan to assess areas in the community where we need to do more work.”
There are five different areas of focus, the most controversial of those, depending on who you ask, maybe a $275,000 allocation to the county’s Drug Task Force.
“One part of it is to use some of the funds for the Drug Task Force, which is a county-wide effort to arrest and prosecute high-level drug dealers across the county,” Parsons said.
“Almost a third of the funds are going to law enforcement,” public health advocate Gail Groves Scott said. “That is well down on the list of priorities that are in the settlement agreements that they need to abide by.”
Groves Scott believes that other voices should be heard to determine what efforts the funds are pointed toward.
“Most of the people who were making the decision where the money should go were people who work for the county and they were voting for money to go to their own agencies,” Groves Scott said.
Groves Scott isn’t a fan of that philosophy, but she knows there’s more money coming. She is hopeful about the possibilities.
“At today’s meeting when they discussed the second allocation of funds, which is about to come in, they did say they would look at the priorities differently,” Scott said.