Assembly talks drug addiction, treatment options

  • Tuesday, January 5, 2016 10:57pm
  • News

Central Peninsula Hospital is a step closer to exploring the option of additional transitional housing for area residents.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly introduced an ordinance Tuesday night that would authorize the borough to acquire a piece of property on Tyee Street in Soldotna for Central Peninsula Hospital, to be used toward cultivating transitional housing.

A presentation on heroin and other opiates by Dr. Michael Merrick, a family practice doctor in Kenai, later in the meeting prompted more discussion about the community’s drug problem and led assembly members to applaud the transitional housing ordinance as a step in the right direction.

“I’m really pleased to see Central (Peninsula Hospital) working with their community needs survey and taking care of this need that we’re missing in the community,” said Assembly member Kelley Cooper.

On the public safety side of things, the assembly also approved a resolution authorizing the borough to issue $4.4 million in general obligation bonds for Central Emergency Services to use toward upgrading its response vehicles.

Voters approved the move during the October election. One of the pieces of equipment that stands to be replaced is the department’s ladder truck, which CES Chief Roy Browning previously said no longer reaches the top of several buildings in the Central Emergency Service Area.

— Megan Pacer

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