Addiction program coming to Gratis

By Kelsey Kimbler -

GRATIS — According to EMS Chief Joan Vance, Gratis will soon have a drug rehabilitation program in collaboration with Jennifer Mason and Preble County Mental Health and Addiction Services.

During a Gratis Village Council meeting on Thursday, March 16, Vance reported this upcoming program will attempt to help recovering addicts. It is called a Golden Ticket Program and will help to get people into rehab.

Also in her report, Vance said several members of Gratis EMS will be going to a conference in April. It will cost $250 a person, and she requested a maximum of six people attend. The EMS is looking for funding and grants to help people do so. It will cost $450 for two hotel rooms for two nights. This is a training Gratis EMS personnel go to every year. As EMS providers, they must have the required number of continuing education hours every three years. This conference gives them an opportunity to get 15 or 16 hours. In addition to this learning experience, it gives the EMS department the opportunity to network, according to Vance. The conference will be on April 21-23.

In other business:

•Resident Gary Goffinet noted that on Ohio 122 coming into Gratis from Middletown there is a no “No Engine Brake” sign posted. He added, every other way coming into town there is a sign, so he figured it was stolen or misplaced. Council members confirmed there is an ordinance specifying semis do not engine brake.

•Tornado sirens were tested on Saturday, March 11. It was found that all village sirens work well and the village is able to set off sirens on their own. However, the tone to set off all county sirens at once was not working, but officials are working to fix the issue.

•The new Police Department building is well under way. Staff finished installing exit signs on Thursday before the council meeting. Part of the inspection was performed on Friday, March 17. From there, officials are still waiting on a ramp to be installed. They must have a change of use approved before the department moves into the new building.

According to the Gratis Street Department report:

•Lead and copper mapping is finished and all the required paperwork has been turned in.

•The backup generator at the wastewater station is on line and ready for use.

•The high water alarm is down at the lift station, but a service person will be fixing it soon.

•The department is considering purchasing a new or used backhoe and a new or used skid steer. Ultimately, they want to purchased both. At the next meeting officials might have prices to review. They will also look at the current backhoe and consider repairing.

Gravel the park committee wants to purchase in order to match the current gravel, is quoted at $5,942. The committee want this gravel, understanding it is pricey, because it has a long lifespan and has served well before. In the meantime, the committee does not want to utilize different gravel as it might work itself into the ground. The park committee does not have the funds currently, but is hoping to get donations.

There is a Gratis Summerfest meeting planned for Wednesday, March 22, at 6 p.m. and the bicentennial meeting will be held on Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. The next Gratis Village Council meeting will be on Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the Gratis Village Building.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH