2018-02-21 / Front Page

Opioid litigation?

Legal firm to brief commissioners

An Athens, Ga., law firm has stated that several recent lawsuits are just the opening salvo in Georgia’s opioid litigation.

Early County may be among a number of additional counties joining Georgia’s opioid litigation.

The commissioners agreed at last week’s commission meeting for attorneys with Blasingame Burch Garrard & Ashley of Athens to provide a workshop on the opioid litigation.

Dr. Merrill Norton, an addiction expert in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Georgia, has said the scope of the problem is immense.

“We have lost close to 60,000 people; since 2010 we’ve lost more people to opioid overdose than we lost in Vietnam,” Norton stated. “We’re losing more people to opioid overdose than to automobile accidents; it is a huge public health dilemma.”

The commissioners adopted a resolution placing a T-SPLOST referendum on the May 22, 2018 election ballot. See TSPLOST public notice on page 3.

The referendum will ask voters “whether a special one percent (1 %) sales and use tax be imposed... for a period of time not to exceed five (5) years and for the raising of not more than an estimated amount of $5,500,000.00 for transportation purposes?”

The commissioners approved a contract with the Georgia DOT for “airfield obstruction clearing (seven acres) and crack seal and remarking airfield.”

The total estimated cost of the project is $150,300, comprised of $135,280 in federal funds, $6,150 in state funds and $8,881 in local funds. The work is projected to be completed by the end of March.

The commission appointed Jeffery Haynes to the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission and Taylor Bridges to the Golden Triangle RC&D. Both will serve one-year terms.

County Administrator Spencer Mueller is exploring options for repairing or replacing the Blakely Theater awning which is holding water. He noted the awning was only painted during renovations to the theater.

Mueller will be serving as interim airport manager assisted by a part-time person to handle day-to-day activities, greet arrivals, answer inquiries, etc. until a full-time FBO can be found.

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